The Gift of Forgiveness
One of the ways to spiritually prepare for the coming of Christmas is to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation. We all know difficult life can be when forgiveness is not extended, especially when it is really needed. Unfortunately, healing then can never start. The beauty of the sacrament of Reconciliation is that it reminds us that God never stops loving us. God’s mercy endures forever.
This Advent, our parish will be hosting a Reconciliation Service on Monday, December 5th at 7:00 PM at Immaculate Conception Church. The pastors and parishioners of Old St. Michael’s, St. Vincent De Paul and St. Teresa will be joining us. There will be several priests available to hear individual confessions.
I hope you can take advantage of this opportunity. Consider it some good “spiritual medicine” for the soul. Even if it has been a very long time since you went to confession, that’s okay. Don’t worry. Be assured that you will be welcomed and guided by the priest.
This Advent, give yourself a special gift –the gift of God’s compassion and love.
Congratulations to our students in 2nd Grade. They just celebrated their first spoken confession on Saturday. The white candles burning in the sanctuary are “penance candles” that were lit by our children. The candles serve as a simple reminder to them of how God calls all of us away from the darkness of our sin into the wonderful light of Christ.
Immaculate Mary, Your Praises We Sing
On Thursday, December 8th we will celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, which is a holy day of obligation.
There will be four Masses celebrated in our parish. Feel free to attend any one of them. Note that our school children will be present at two of the Masses.
7:00 AM at Immaculate Conception Church
Celebrant: Fr. Larry Mc Brady
8:00 AM at St. Joseph Church
(Students at our Hill Street Campus)
elebrant: Fr. Larry Lisowski
10:00 AM at Immaculate Conception Church
(Students at our North Park Campus)
elebrant: Fr. Larry Lisowski
6:00 PM at Immaculate Conception Church
elebrant: Fr. Larry Mc Brady
Celebrate With Cardinal Cupich
I am looking forward to our celebration with Cardinal Blase Cupich next Sunday. He will celebrate the 9:30 AM Mass at Immaculate Conception Church, and a breakfast reception with the Cardinal will follow after-wards in the Parish Hall. This is Cardinal’s Cupich’s first visit to Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish.
To say that the Cardinal has been very good to our parish is an understatement. In the past year he has supported the canonical combination of our two separate parishes into one family of faith. He has offered us a wonderful opportunity to relieve our parish debt; through the To Teach Who Christ Is capital campaign.
It is important that you make your reservation today if plan to attend the breakfast reception so that we can place an accurate order for the food. If you plan on attending the 9:30 AM Mass, I suggest, if possible, to walk, cycle, or “Uber” to church. Our parking lot is very small and I am sure that the Mass attendance will be much higher next Sunday.
There will not be a 12:30 PM Mass on Sunday, December 11th.
To Teach Who Christ Is
Our To Teach Who Christ Is campaign continues to succeed. More than 95 parish families have already made a generous pledge to the campaign and we are at 85% of our goal. Thank you.
At all the Masses this weekend, we will celebrate the conclusion of our campaign. If you have not already done so, you will have the opportunity to make a sacrificial gift that will directly impact our parish and Catholics across the Chicago area for generations to come. We are encouraged by our early success and overwhelming generosity of so many parish families. Our aim is to reach 100% participation.
All are encouraged to consider making a pledge to the campaign. Everyone should have received by now a brochure and a commitment card in the mail recently. If not, the material is available in the back of church today. Thank you for your prayerful consideration.
(It did cross my mind that it would be wonderful to tell Cardinal Cupich next weekend that we reached our campaign goal. This would be a wonderful response to the generosity of the Archdiocese.)
Sharing With Our Sharing Parish
Our friends from our Sharing parish were able to join us for Mass and fellowship. It’s great to be able to associate names and faces with Assumption B.V.M parish and the Kolbe House ministry. It also adds a personal touch to our Thanksgiving food collection and our Christmas Giving Tree program. You can view photos from the evening here on our Facebook page.
Fr. Mark Bartosic is the new pastor of Assumption parish and the Director of the Kolbe House that ministers to those at Cook Country jail.