Summer Missionary Co-Op Appeal
During the summer, the Archdiocese of Chicago invites missionaries from around the world to share their reflections and experiences with parishioners at our local Church. Their stories of good news help us to be aware of the good work that is being accomplished in the name of Jesus. Many lives are dramatically changed by their ministry; and the Catholic faithcontinues to flourish in countries around the world.
Our courageous and dedicated missionaries are a great sign of hope. They provide us in a good way with a larger sense of “Church” as we look beyond our Archdiocese of Chicago.
We welcome to our parish this weekend Fr. Titus Kachinda who has served for nearly 20 years in Tanzania, Africa. He will be preaching at all the Masses. Our Second Collection today is for the Summer-Missionary Co-Op Appeal. Thank you for your generosity and support. Please keep our missionaries in your prayers.
All In One Name
Well, this is the first weekend for us to use our new parish name, “Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish.” Now that we are officially and canonically combined as one parish entity, I ask that in our regular conversations that we remember to use both titles when referring to our one parish. It is a simple way that will help foster the unity and identity of our parish. I know it may sound like a lot to say at one time, but it is important to stress that we are one parish with two worship sites. Our school community has been able to accomplish this well with the language and image they have presented over the years.
A Sad Farewell
Mary Beth May, the Director of our Religious Education Program, has decided to step-down from her full-time position in order to be more available for her newborn daughter Ellen, and her husband, Patrick. She shared this difficult decision with me last week, and mentioned how she will miss working with the families of ICSJ. Her departure is a huge loss for our community; and she will be missed by our many parishioners.
Mary Beth has been a great addition to our Pastoral Staff and her ministry has had a positive effect upon the overall spiritual life of our parish. She has helped families and faculty members deepen their appreciation for their Catholic faith. She has encouraged young parents, by word and example, to consciously and actively model their faith for their children. She has helped us to joyfully celebrate the sacraments of Confirmation, First Holy Communion and First Reconciliation with dignity, grace and meaning. She has welcomed and held the hand of adults seeking to learn more about the Catholic faith through the RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) program and graciously lead them to the joy of the Easter Vigil. I admire her ability to humbly dress our young children on Christmas Eve who wanted to serve as angles and shepherds at our Christmas pageant. She inspired our teens to answer the invitation to be Altar Servers at Mass. She worked with Fr. Larry McBrady to organize our Advent and Lenten retreats. She has recruited and trained catechists so that our children can grow in wisdom and knowledge about their Catholic faith. She helped organize our Family Mass liturgies so that our children can actively participate in the Sunday Eucharist. This is justa short list of how Mary Beth has served the needs of our faith community and the impact she has made in her time with us.
Please keep Mary Beth and our parish in your prayers as we go through this important time of transition. I have formed a Search Committee to assist me in the interview process for potential candidates who could fill this position.
We will have the opportunity to show our appreciation to Mary Beth on Sunday, July 17th at 12:00 noon in the atrium in the St. Joseph Parish Center. A reception for Mary Beth will take place immediately after the 11:00 AM Mass. I hope you will be able to join us as we offer our best wishes to Mary Beth for the future.
Even though our children are gone for their summer vacation, there will be a lot of activity happening at our parish facilities during July and August. This is the time of the year when capital improvements are made in a parish. Colm Murphy, our Facilities Manager has created a long list of jobs to complete before school resumes in mid-August. His crew will be busy painting classrooms, remodeling some bathrooms, moving furniture, fixing sewers, and tackling areas that need a “deep cleaning.” It is amazing the amount of people that come through our doors during “prime time.”
Hit The Road Jack!
I am away from the parish this Sunday. I drove down to Greenville, South Carolina to see good friends of mine for the holiday weekend. I actually towed along with me my little scooter so that I could ride the countryside with them. My friends are motorcycle enthusiasts. Don’t worry; they do not have any tattoos, nor do I. I am sure the roads down south will not be as crowded as Wells Street on a Saturday night.
Happy Independence Day!
On this holiday weekend, we pray that God will continue to bless our country with the gifts of freedom and peace. We remember in our prayer the thousands of women and men around the world currently serving our country in the armed forces. May they soon return home safely to be with their families and friends.
God bless America, the land that we love. Be safe and enjoy the holiday with family and friends.