I took a quick look at my personal calendar and realized that the month of May is going to be a real busy time for our parish. Many great things will be taking place every weekend. This is a good sign of a healthy and vibrant parish.
Mother’s Day is next weekend. This Sunday actually has one of the highest numbers for mass attendance, next to Christmas and Easter. I hope your family will be able to worship with us on Mother’s Day.
On Mother’s Day, women from our parish have been invited to share a reflection on “Motherhood and Faith” at Mass. The following parishioners will be speaking from their own experience. Please pray for them as they put their thoughts together this week. They told me they are glad that they do not have to do this every Sunday.
- 5:00 PMCatherine Mayer
- 8:00 AMFrancesca Besztry
- 9:30 AMMary Key
- 11:00 AMCarol Rivers
- 12:30 PMEileen Sethna
This is a special year for the Archdiocese of Chicago because it celebrates the 100th anniversary of Catholic Charities. For 100 years, parishes have supported Catholic Charities in their effort to feed the hungry, house the homeless, welcome the stranger, aid veterans, care for children and the aged, and strengthen families. Catholic Charities does life-saving work at 150 programs throughout the Archdiocese. Among those served last year, 6,327 people live in the same neighborhoods that are served by our parish. Catholic Charities helps to bring peace and comfort to those who are faced with unimaginable suffering.
I often pass by the Catholic Charities facility that is located at the corner of LaSalle and Superior. I am amazed by the number of people who stand in line every day, waiting for a warm meal. The line wraps around the block. Imagine, what would these people do without this service?
There is phrase that has circulated through the pews of church. It’s called “Giving Fatigue.” It’s when folks feel tired from responding to the various requests that come their way seeking financial aid. These requests are certainly worthy causes, and it is difficult to respond to all of them.
On Mother’s Day we will have the annual second collection for Catholic Charities. Whatever you can do will be greatly appreciated. Last year, our parish raised $6,639 in the second collection. Your donation to Catholic Charities will help the Church’s efforts to restore human dignity, and bring hope to those living with brutal violence and poverty.
The Future of our Church
Several of our teens from our parish will be attending the National Catholic Youth Conference in November in Indianapolis, Indiana. They will join with 20,000 other Catholic teens from all over the country to develop their leadership skills. This is the start of what we hope will be a vibrant Youth Ministry program here at Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph.
Nest weekend there will be a Mother’s Day Flower sale (and a 50/50 raffle) to help the teens defray some of the expenses of their trip to the conference. Please take the time to read through the details included in today’s bulletin. Your help is greatly appreciated.
From Deacon To Priest
Deacon Jinzhou Zhao, who has been serving in our parish for the past year, will soon be ordained to the priesthood. He has been studying for the religious order known as the “Divine Word Missionaries.” He has had the opportunity to preach, assist at weddings and perform baptisms. I have even helped him to improve his aim when pouring the holy water over the infant at a baptism. I kindly recommended to Jin to aim for the baby’s forehead, not their mouth.
Deacon Jin has also helped to teach our 2nd Graders in our Religious Education Program, as our adults in the RCIA program. He has been a great resource for those seeking to learn more about the Catholic faith.
Deacon Jin’s actual ordination will take place on Saturday, May 20th at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit; 2001 Waukegan Road, Techny (Northbrook), Illinois. Hopefully his family in China will be able to attend. Our parishioners are also invited to attend his ordination.
Deacon Jin will then celebrate his First Mass of Thanksgiving, at Immaculate Conception on Sunday, May 21 at the 9:30 AM Mass. There will be a reception for him afterwards in our Parish Hall at Immaculate Conception Church. I hope you can stop by to congratulate him on his remarkable journey of faith and vocation.
Deacon Jin will be heading to the Divine World Mission in Mozambique, Africa for his first assignment. He certainly is a courageous, faithful and humble young man. He is prepared to get several vaccinations to preserve his health, and begin to study another new language. This time he will be learning Portuguese.
It has been a true delight and a pleasure to have Deacon Jin share his final preparation and training for priesthood here in our parish. He will be greatly missed. He has been a good friend.
Happy Anniversary, “Father!”
The month of May marks the anniversary of ordination for many priests who serve in our Archdiocese. Fr. Larry McBrady celebrates 46 years of service to the people of God (He was ordained on May 12,1971). This year I will be ordained 33 years (May 19, 1984). Fr. Ron Hicks, the Vicar General for the Archdiocese who lives at St. Joseph’s Church with me, celebrates 23 years of priesthood (May 21, 1994). Please keep us in your prayers. May the Holy Spirit guide and strengthen us in all that we do.
Their Second Holy Communion
You might see at Mass this weekend some young girls dressed in white, and a few boys with their hair neatly combed and sporting a suit and tie. They are our First Holy Communicants. On Saturday, we celebrated two First Holy Communion Masses for the 52 children. Their names are listed in today’s bulletin.
We welcome our children to the Table of the Lord for their “Second” Holy Communion. What a proud moment for them, their parents and their families. Congratulations! May they always stay close to Jesus, their friend.