Summer Missionary Co-Op Appeal
During the summer months, throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago, missionaries who minister and serve around the world are invited to come to our local parishes and share their experiences and reflection with regard to the good work that they are doing for the Catholic Church. In return, we are invited to support them with our prayers and financial assistance.
Next weekend, August 29th-30th, Fr. Robert Lombardo, from the Community of Franciscan Friars of Renewal, will speak at Immaculate Conception parish for the Summer Missionary Co-Op Appeal. (In July, a missionary who served in Africa spoke at St. Joseph parish, and the collection was taken-up at that time.) Thank you for your generosity and support for those who are committed to carrying the gospel message of Jesus to the end of the earth.
Some Quiet Time With Jesus
I try every year to take a directed retreat. A retreat is good medicine for my mind, body and soul. The luxury of having time for prayer and refection keeps me grounded in my vocation and provides me with a clearer focus to my ministry as a parish priest. I know that having the opportunity to make a retreat is a precious and rare gift.
I will be away from the parish next week and will be attending a silent retreat that is being offered at the Jesuit Retreat House in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. (I am sure that the Jesuits up north will try to convince me that Jesus is a Packer fan.) Please keep me in your prayers. I will do the same in return. Even though we may be hundreds of miles apart from each other next Sunday, when we gather for the Eucharist, I am confident that we will be connected together by prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit, and our love for the Lord.
Back to School
Our Parish School will open its doors on Monday morning signaling the start of a new school year. Our faculty and staff of over 60 employees will welcome the 445 students who are enrolled at Immaculate Conception St. Joseph School. The families of our school community represent over 20 different Chicago zip codes.
As pastor of a parish with a large and vibrant school, I am blessed by the leadership and experience of Katie Sullivan and Maria Hill; who serve as our co-principals for the two school campuses. They do a great job. Our children receive more than just an excellent education; but one that is rooted deeply in the Catholic faith.
Parish life noticeably kicks into a higher and faster gear when school resumes. Our parking lots become more congested as multiple activities take place throughout the week. Please be extra cautious and patient when driving so that potential accidents can be avoided. Small children can be very hard to see. Giving ourselves some extra time will help us to be safe. I thank you all in advance for your cooperation.
Parish Transformation Program
In my last two bulletin columns, (“All Of Us”- #107 and #108) I have written about the upcoming Parish Transformation Program that our two parish and school community will participate in this September. The program will help us to better identify our overall mission and clarify our parish identity. Please read my columns that are posted on our parish website. I describe in detail the purpose, direction and benefits of the 12-week program that is offered by the Archdiocese of Chicago. Also, in last week’s bulletin, I listed the nearly 60 parishioners and members of our Pastoral Staff that will be serving on the Parish Transformation Committee.
In September we will also welcome to our parishes, Maureen Williams, who has been assigned as our parish facilitator for the Parish Transformation Program. Maureen is an experienced coach and organizational development professional with a passion for helping individuals, teams and organizations increase their effectiveness. She is highly skilled in small and large group facilitation, as well as one-on-one coaching, and is a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coaching Federation.
Maureen possesses over 20 years of experience leading teams and talent management initiatives in both public and private companies and is experienced working with diverse populations across all layers of an organization. Maureen is a former teacher and Chairperson of the Social Studies Department at Lourdes High School (now De La Salle High School) and is currently a Loyola University Quinlan School of Business adjunct faculty member teaching change management, leadership development, organizational behavior and career development.
Maureen is a former chairperson of St. Clement’s parish council and is currently a member of both St. Clement’s and Old St. Pat’s.
Welcome Clair Martin
We welcome Clair Martin to our office staff; who will serve as our new Parish Coordinator for Immaculate Conception parish. She will be the new voice answering the phone when you call the front office during the week.
Samantha Stephens, who has held this position, is joyfully expecting the birth of her first child this Fall. Samantha, and her husband Dave, expressed the desire to decrease her work hours as the pregnancy progresses.
We are happy to have Clair working with us. She has lived and worked in Chicago for he last seven years after growing up in Wisconsin. She comes with organizational experience and a warm and pleasant personality that will present a good first impression to our parishioners. Clair is excited to join the parish and work with everyone as she grows in her faith.
Know that both Clair and Samantha together will try to assist you as best as they can. Do not hesitate to contact them.
We are still waiting for the completion of the exterior signs for our two parishes. It has taken a little longer than we expected to have them made. Before they are installed, we will bless them at Mass, and let folks take a good look at them. I am sure it will be worth our wait. Thank you for your patience.
Why does Fr. Larry look a little older this Sunday?