All of Us – #120

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It’s 3:00! What Are You Doing?

Immaculate Conception St. Joseph Parishes Catholic Church in Chicago

I spoke at all the Masses last weekend explaining the financial status of Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph. My remarks and our 2015 Parish Financial report are both posted on our parish website. If you were not able to worship with us last weekend, please take the time to read through this important information that gives a clear picture of the financial challenges we face as we try to support the mission of the Church.

I asked everyone last weekend to pray for our parish every day. I asked folks to set their smart-phone, or alarm clock at home, to ring at 3:00 PM every day, so that they could say one Our Father, one Hail Mary and a Glory Be for their parish.

Let us pray every day for the Holy Spirit to transform us and our parish, by the generous offering of our time, talents and treasures. Please pray with me, every day at 3:00 PM. Know that at the same time I will be praying for you.

The True Heroes of our Church

This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints. We remember the hundreds of men and women who throughout the centuries boldly lived out their faith and love for the Lord. We on earth are surrounded by the communion of saints whose lives are a shining example and encouragement for us. The saints give us a glimpse of God’s promise for all who put their hope in the Lord. We believe they have received their heavenly reward.

Throughout the liturgical year, there are particular feast days dedicated to individual saints; like St. Patrick’s feast day on March 17th; or St. Joseph’s feast day on March 19th; and St. Francis of Assisi’s feast day on October 4th. On All Saints Day, we also pray for any unknown or unsung saints who may have been forgotten, or never been honored specifically. We ask for their prayers and intercessions as we try to answer the call to holiness.

A Good and Faithful Servant

Curtis Hale Food Pantry Immaculate Conception St. Joseph Parishes Catholic Church in Chicago

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Mr. Curtis Hale who was a volunteer for twenty-eight years at the Immaculate Conception – St. Joseph Food Pantry. Curtis was called home by God on October 15, 2015. Curtis will be missed by many who knew him; especially through the Food Pantry. We are grateful for his years of service, and dedication to helping the poor and those in need. May his reward be great in heaven.

Today’s bulletin also contains an article explaining the history of our Parish Food Pantry (also on our site here), and various ways that parishioners can support or volunteer on Saturday mornings. Please consider participating in this valuable ministry. We can use your help.

“Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them O Lord”

The month of November is traditionally dedicated to remembering our beloved ones who have died. We hold in our prayers all who have gone before us in faith with the hope and confidence that they now share in the fullness of God's love for them in heaven.

This Monday, we celebrate the feast of All Souls, November 2nd. I am sure that there is some part in us that will forever mourn the loss of a loved one. All Soul's Day is an opportunity to recognize that loss and sadness that we feel. But, it is also an expression of our hope and confidence that our loved ones are still with us in spirit.

There is a helpful saying that goes like this: “When you remember someone, you keep a part of them alive.” Part of them will stay with you, and be present to you forever.

Throughout the month of November, the parish register, Book of the Dead, will be displayed in both churches. It lists the parishioners who celebrated their lifelong journey of faith with the Mass of Christian Burial. Our Easter candle will also be lit during Mass in the month of November. It is a reminder and sacred symbol that we always are invited to live in the light of Christ, our Risen Lord. The light of Christ dispels the darkness of suffering and death.

Parishioners are invited to bring pictures of their loved ones who have died and place them on the memorial table next to the Easter candle in church. The pictures will be on display during the month of November. May their souls and the souls of all our faithful departed, rest in peace. Amen.

In the past year at Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph we have celebrated the life and faith of the following individuals:

Lillie Shotwell
Ken Ozaniec
Roberto G. Davilla
Patricia Ann Casey
Billie Jean Harris
Dr. Aloysius Chen
Pat Rodgers

Immaculate Conception & St. Joseph Parishes Catholic Church in Chicago Thanksgiving Food Drive

Thanksgiving Food Collection

This year, the ICSJ Parish and School are working together to feed those in need. We ask for your help. You can pick up a brown paper bag at the back of the church today (or supply your own) and drop off non-perishable canned and boxed food at the church between now and November 12. The food will be donated to the ICSJ Food Pantry in the basement of the old St. Joseph School, and our sister parish, Assumption Church BVM located in the Little Village neighborhood. This is a great opportunity for us to come together as a church and as a parish to give to those in need at this very important time of Thanksgiving.

Seeking God’s Healing Touch

We will celebrate the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick on Sunday, November 15th at the 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM Masses. This powerful sacrament can be received by anyone who is in need of healing; either in mind, body or spirit. Anyone seeking God’s grace and strength during their moments of pain, suffering and struggle; are encouraged to be anointed.

October Mass Count

During the month of October we count the number of people who attend Mass on a given weekend. These figures will be a great help to the Parish Transformation Committee as we begin to create a long-range action plan for the future. The figures below reflect the average attendance for each Mass.

Immaculate Conception
5:00pm: 101
9:30am: 123
12:30pm: 46
Total IC Average: 270

St. Joseph
8:00am: 67
11:00am: 226
Total SJ Average: 293

Combined Total Mass Count: 563

A Great Success

I am happy to announce that our Parish Benefit in October, The Sounds of Hill Street, was able to raise over $20,000 for the parish. Again, thank you to all who worked so hard to make the evening a wonderful event. Congratulations to John Cizek, who won the Split-the Pot Raffle taking home $9,320 in cash. It helps to be lucky.

– Fr. Larry