Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Happy Easter to all! Thank you for being with us this Easter as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Your presence at Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph parish today is a precious gift to our parish community. How good it is for us to gather and share in this Holy Eucharist. I am sure God is smiling down from heaven upon us today.
Easter is filled with hope and joy. The songs we sing, the prayers we offer, even the colorful flowers and beautiful Easter lilies that decorate our church, all reflect the faith we profess today and the in new life given to us by our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Easter is just one day in the year. But every day, as followers of Jesus, we are to give witness to Christ in our life. Our prayer every Sunday is rooted in the death and resurrected Lord. The Easter season itself continues on for 50 days as we make our way to Pentecost Sunday.
I am grateful for the many volunteers who worked so hard behind the scenes throughout this Holy Week to make our liturgies beautiful and meaningful expressions of our Catholic faith. Hundreds of hours go into the planning, practicing, rehearsing, organizing and decorating. Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph parish is blessed to have so many dedicated and devoted parishioners who bring great care and attention to our prayer and worship. Thank you to all who gave of their time and talents to make this a very special and ‘Holy’ Week.
Many great things have happened in our parish during Lent. We collected over a hundred bags of food for our Parish Food Pantry and for our Sharing Parish, Assumption, BVM. It is great to see our pantry shelves stocked again.
Also, there was a tremendous response to our Refugee Collection that helped us to sponsor the young Afghan family of six that recently came to Chicago. As of now, our collection has totaled$21,440. Our Refugee Committee will be working closely with the social worker from Catholic Charities to help the family adjust and get established. Please take the time to read the article in today’s bulletin, written by Mary Pendergast, about what our parish has been able to accomplish so far for the family. It is truly great news!
Welcome to Our “Family of Families”
As always, we welcome those who are visiting and those who are new to our parish. If you frequently attend our services please make sure that you register with us so that you will be able to receive important information about our parish throughout the year. It is also important for families to be registered with a parish so that important sacramental information can be recorded. The easiest way to register is to go to our website, icsjparish.org.
As a sign our hospitality, a “Welcoming Dinner” will be held on Thursday, May 18th for those who are new to our parish in the last year. It will take place at Immaculate Conception Church at 6:00 PM. It is a great opportunity for me and our staff to meet and get to know new families. It also allows us to explain what is going on in the life of our parish and the various ways our -parish reaches out to families.
Come To The Feast!
All are welcome to come to our Spaghetti Dinner on Saturday night, April 29th. Details are in today’s bulletin. It’s a great opportunity for our whole parish to gather for some great food and fellowship. Make your reservation today.
Here Come the Brides!
There are over 40 weddings booked to be celebrated at St. Joseph church this year. Our church certainly is a very sacred and beautiful place for a wedding to take place.
We are in the process of recruiting and training men and women who can help as Wedding Sacristans. Often with a wedding there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make the church experience personal, organized and reverent; for example, wedding programs, flowers, kneelers and candles are just some of the things that need to be put in place before the celebration of the Mass. The sacristans also assist the bridal party at the wedding rehearsal. It is a great opportunity for the sacristans, who represent our parish, to welcome those who are new to Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph, or who are visiting from out of town.
The commitment to this ministry would be minimal. Most weddings are scheduled for Saturday at 3:00 PM at St. Joseph. With a good response to this ministry, sacristans would be responsible for only about three or four weddings for the year. Please call our Parish Office, or email Samantha Stephens at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. Training will be provided. Trust me, it is a very rewarding ministry that you will enjoy.
“Yes … He Is Alive!”
This Easter Sunday don’t be surprised if you see me riding up and down Wells Street proclaiming the Good News! “Alleluia! HE IS ALIVE!”