All of Us – #200

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

“Dear Mom…”

There is an interesting old Jewish proverb. “God could not be everywhere; and therefore he made mothers.”

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who have been blessed with the vocation of motherhood. The beauty of today is watching how families humbly show their love and appreciation for their mothers who provide so much for them. Hopefully this is a prayerful and grace-filled day of recognition for many women. 

Flowers, cards or candy are the token signs of gratitude on Mother’s Day. But I suspect that what pleases a mom most of all is a simple hug or a kiss and hearing the words, “I love you” from their kids. It’s free and powerful. If you are a mom, I hope you are blessed with this gift

As a parish priest, it becomes more and more evident to me that mothers play an important role in the faith life of their children. They, along with their husbands, are the primary educators of their children in the ways of faith, and are the ones needed to nurture the spiritual life of their children. It is an important responsibility that our Catholic faith is passed on from one generation to another. May God’s blessings be upon our mom’s and may God keep them strong.

We are grateful for Catherine Mayer, Frannie Besztery, Mary Key, Eileen Sethna, and Carol Rivers who shared their reflections on “Motherhood and Faith” at Mass this weekend. We appreciate their insight and wisdom.

Fr.-Larry-with-Motorcycles.jpg

“Just Saving Souls”

Priests are asked to bless many things...cars, boats, pets, houses, rosaries, bibles, statues and other various religious articles. For the past several years, I have been asked to do a prayer service and blessing for a chapter of motorcycle riders at the Chi-Town Harley Davidson dealership in Tinley Park on the first Saturday of May. It is an honor for me to be with those who seek God’s protection and care as they travel the highways and byways this summer on their “iron.” 

Of course, the priest is always the most clean-cut guy in a group of bikers. But, I learned not to be fooled by one’s appearances. Behind the black leather jackets, the colorful tattoos, gray beards and braided pony-tails are grade school teachers, hospice nurses, accountants, grandfathers and God-fearing, every Sunday church-going believers. I wouldn’t doubt that the three guys pictured here were once top notch altar boys in grade school.       

One biker showed me a pin on his jacket that he was veryproud of. It said, “Loud Pipes Saves Lives. Jesus Saves Souls!”

George Plamondon

George Plamondon

Rest In Peace

There will be a Memorial Service for George Plamondon on Saturday, May 20th at 6:00 PM at Immaculate Conception Church. All are invited to attend. He was a long-time parishioner of the parish and would usually attend the 5:00 PM Mass. George would pray quietly in the back of the church. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. May he now be with God forever in heaven.

Great Things Next Weekend

Next weekend, Deacon Jin, who will be ordained on Saturday, will celebrate his first Mass as a priest for our parish on Sunday, May 21st. Jin will preside at the 9:30 AM Mass at Immaculate Conception. We are happy for him and proud of the journey of faith that will lead him to serve in Mozambique, Africa for the Divine Word Missionaries. There will be a reception after Mass in the Parish Hall at Immaculate Conception. I hope you will be able to join us we give thanks for Jin’s vocation to the priesthood.

Also, our Young Adults will have the opportunity to gather for a Sunday Brunch on Sunday May 21st. Details are in the bulletin. Even though I do not make the age requirement, I plan on attending. It will be a nice way to mingle after Mass, and get to know some of the folks you usually see every Sunday.

200 Down!

You may have noticed that this is my 200th All of Us bulletin column. In the past 4 years, I have tried to write an article every week so that parishioners know what’s on my mind, and to keep them informed about the major events and happenings in the life of our parish and the Archdiocese of Chicago. (The most I ever wrote in college was a twenty-five-page term paper on Shakespeare that really wasn’t all that good. When I got it back it was dripping with red ink; and I got a C+ on it.) 

I consider my bulletin space to be a helpful tool for communication. I know some pastors who never write a weekly bulletin column. I think they run the risk of leaving their parishioners to sometimes guess what’s going on. Thanks for reading every week.  

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. More information about Give-Central is also included in the bulletin today. Thank you for your generosity and support to our parishes. 

– Fr. Larry