All of Us – #151

Fr. Larry Lisowski Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish Catholic Church in Chicago

Helping To Make A Big Day Even Better

The number of weddings celebrated in our parish has greatly increased over the past three years. We have about 40 weddings scheduled for this year. I foresee the trend only going upward with all the growth happening in our neighborhood.

You will see the pictures of our brides and grooms on their wedding day as you page through our Sunday bulletin. We also list the up-coming weddings that will take place in the next couple of months. 

Ninety-nine percent of our weddings are celebrated at St. Joseph Church. Most engaged couples develop a good relationship with our parish. I will see them at Mass on Sunday, before and after their actual wedding. A good thing is that most couples live and work in downtown and will register with our parish and make it their new spiritual home. 

Our parish has a reputation for making the whole wedding experience a meaningful and positive experience for the bride and groom and for their family. Our staff works hard to assist them from beginning to end. A couple will often tell me that the church preparation was the easiest part of all that they had to do.

Our wedding ministry is a significant form of evangelization. You may have heard of the famous three words that describe when people need the Church the most in their life. It’s HATCH, MATCH, and DISPATCH. People turn to the church when they desire the sacraments of Baptism or Marriage or to celebrate a Christian funeral.  

We are in the process of recruiting and training more Wedding Sacristans. It would be great if we could get about eight more parishioners to serve in this ministry. A wedding sacristan assists at the wedding rehearsal and helps behind the scenes on the day of the wedding. They attend to the details of setting-up so that things run smoothly, and that there is a sense of welcome and hospitality, especially to our visitors and guests. 

If you are interested in this ministry, please call our Parish Office. With more Wedding Sacristans added to the schedule, you would be assigned to cover about two or three weddings a year on the weekend that you are available to help.

It’s truly a rewarding ministry. Please give it some thought. We could certainly use your help.

Parish Sharing

I hope you can join us next weekend as we journey to our Sharing Parish, Assumption

B.V.M.  Fr. Arturo Perez and our good friends have invited us to worship with them at their 5:00 pm Mass on Saturday, June 11th. A reception will follow afterwards so that we can share in some food and fellowship.

Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph will provide transportation to and from Assumption parish, located near 26th Street and California Ave. Our bus will depart from the Hill Street school parking lot at 4:00 p.m. and will return around 8:00 p.m. Please call either Parish Office to reserve a seat on the bus. 

As part of our trip to our Sharing Parish, we will be collecting food for their food pantry. You can take a brown bag home with you from church today. Please return your donation by June 10th so that we can pack the bus. Thank you for your generosity.

The Class of 2016

Congratulations to the Class of 2016 of Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish School! Their graduation was celebrated on Friday evening, June 3rd at St. Joseph church. We are proud of these fine young men and women who have received an excellent Catholic education. The list of high schools that they will be attending is quite impressive. Some are the best in the city of Chicago and the state.

May God bless our graduates as they journey forward in faith to embrace many new endeavors in high school. I am confident that they will do great things in their life because ofthe solid formation and guidance they have been given by our dedicated faculty and staff.

The last day of class for our Parish School is Friday, June 10th. Our “End of the Year Mass” will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. at St. Joseph church. It’s one of my favorite Masses of the year because I get to yell out at the end of Mass, “Kids go home! School is out for summer! Be safe and have lots of fun!”

God Help Them

Next Sunday, June 12th, the annual collection for the Retired Priests of the Archdiocese will take place. Please take the time to read the statistics included in today’s bulletin that shows the yearly expenses to provide adequate health care for them. Donations can also be made online at www.prmaa.org. Thank you for your sacrifice and generosity. 

Give-Central, E-Giving

It is not uncommon for our parishioners to worship at another Catholic parish on a given weekend. They might be traveling on vacation, or gone to a warmer climate for the winter months, or visiting family and friends out of state for a wedding or a baptism on the weekend. 

Our parish’s Operating Budget relies heavily on the 52 Sunday collections taken throughout the year, plus the major holy days like Christmas and Easter. 

Please consider enrolling in our electronic giving program called, Give-Central, that allows you to keep your Sunday contributions uninterrupted when you are away from the parish. 

Electronic giving is a very convenient form of stewardship and an account is easy to set-up with the parish of your choice. You can enroll for Give-Central on our parish website, icsjparish.com. More information about Give-Central is also included in the bulletin today. Thank you for your generosity and support to our parishes. 

A Few Deep Thoughts

A friend of mine sent me an email last week, that was entitled, “Christian One-Liners.” I thought you might enjoy a few of them. 

It is easier to preach ten sermons,
than it is to live one.

When you get to your wit’s end,
you’ll find that God lives there.

People are funny; 
they want the front of the bus,
themiddle of the road,
and the back of church.

God doesn’t call the qualified.
He qualifies the called.

We don’t change the message.
The message changes us.

Peace starts with a smile.

– Fr. Larry