All of Us – #114

fr, larry lisowski all of me immaculate conception st. joseph catholic church chicago

Why is this Sunday so special?

This Sunday, throughout the United States, Catholic parishes in each diocese will celebrate Catechetical Sunday. Those whom parish communities have designated to serve as catechists will be called forward to be commissioned for their ministry. Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each person plays by virtue of their Baptism in passing along the faith and being witness to the Gospel. Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the mission of Jesus as a community of faith.

What does the word “Catechetical” mean?

The word might be more familiar than you think. Many Catholics have used the word “catechism” for years, and they know it has something to do with the compendium of the Church's teachings. The root word, “catechesis,” is from a Greek word meaning “to echo, or resound.” Catechesis is the act of resounding or bringing the Church's teachings to the world. A catechist is one who teaches in the name of the Church.

Why do we have a special say set aside to commission Catechists?

Catechesis is a distinct and special ministry in the Church. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church makes clear, “Catechesis is intimately bound up with the whole of the Church’s life . . . her inner growth and correspondence with God’s plan depends essentially on catechesis” (no. 7). This ministry of teaching in the name of the Church has a profound dignity, which is why catechists are formally commissioned by the Church. It is only fitting that we set aside a day to highlight this ministry and invite the entire church community to think about our responsibility to share our faith with others.

How are parents, the primary Catechists of their children, recognized on Catechetical Sunday?

Parents are truly the primary catechists of their children. They prepare the soil and plant the first seeds of faith. On Catechetical Sunday, we not only highlight the work of catechists in parishes and schools, but we also commend parents and guardians and encourage them to take seriously their role of making their Catholic households a place where faith is passed onto the next generation.

Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph parishes are blessed by those adults who teach our children both in our Parish School, and also in our Sunday Religious Education Program. We are grateful for their commitment and willingness to help our children know the Jesus story and develop a life-long relationship with the Lord.

immaculate conception st. joseph catholic church chicago parish transformation program

What’s Your Vision? Why Do You Need One?

The Parish Transformation Program has gotten off to a very good start. Our diverse committee of 50 plus parishioners serving on the General Team meets on Wednesday evenings. It has been a great opportunity for parishioners to get to know each other and to begin to reflect together upon the life our parish community.

The first “baby-steps” that we are taking is to articulate a clear and overreaching vision for our parish. Here is a good explanation why creating a parish vision is important.

Without one, we are lost. The excerpts below are provided by the Parish Transformation Program.

A vision provides a snapshot of who we are and where we are called to go. Vision holds the values we are trying to live out, provides for direction for us to articulate specific goals, keeps us on track and motivates us for each step we take. Articulating a vision for a parish is one of the strongest threads woven into the fabric of the entire Parish Transformation Program.

One of the ways to understand vision is to think of vision as the lens or filter through which we view the world, ourselves, and God. Vision speaks to our deepest values and priorities. We all operate out of a vision even if we are not aware of what that particular vision is. We make decisions every day based on our vision. Sometimes we may say or do something and someone will ask us, “Where are you coming from when you say that?” What we are trying to understand is the reason or foundation for our statement or decision. Asking the question pushes us to be more conscious of our vision and more intentional about what we say and do.

We can apply this to our vision as a parish. Imagine a stranger asking us, “Why does your parish do this or not do this?” We may not always have the answer to that question. But asking the question makes us look a little closer at our parish to see if we are operating out of an intentionally discerned and chosen vision; or whether we are just doing things because that is the way it has always been done. Parish Transformation helps us to re-examine our vision and to see if there is an identifiable mission that naturally flows from our vision.

Crafting a new vision for our parish’s future will lay the foundation from which we will be able to develop specific plans. Without taking the time to reflect, discern, and articulate a vision, our plans for the future will lack focus and direction. May the Holy Spirit open our minds and hearts to prayerful reflection and discussion; to new ideas and to listen to each other.

Immaculate Conception St. Joseph Catholic Church Chicago Sounds of Hill Street Fundraiser

You Could Be A Winner!

Raffle tickets for our October Parish Benefit will be available after Mass on the weekends, through our IC Parish Coordinator, Clair Martin at 312-944-1230 x2201 on weekdays, and online at the "Sounds of Hill Street" web page. The raffle tickets are $20 each. The Raffle this year is a simple “Split the Pot Raffle” which means there is 50-50 split with the Parish.

The more tickets sold, the bigger the grand prize. The raffle also includes 10 Chromebooks that will be included as raffle prizes. Help support our parish by buying a ticket. Winning a new Chromebook would be really slick.

–Fr. Larry