All of Us – #169

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

Welcome Deacon Jinhou Zhao

Our parish has had a long relationship with the Society of Divine Word (S.V.D.) seminarians who are currently studying at the Chicago Theological Union located in Hyde Park. These men are preparing to serve as priests for their religious order, which is the largest missionary congregation in the Catholic Church. 

In the past many seminarians have taught our children in the Religious Education Program, assisted with our Holy Week services, and prepared adults to be baptized, confirmed and receive their First Communion at the Easter Vigil.

We are blessed to have “Deacon Jin” Zhao who will be serving at Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish as part of his final preparation for priesthood. He will be ordained into the priesthood next year in May.

Deacon Jin’s internship with our parish will provide him with the opportunity to preach at Sunday Mass; perform weddings, baptisms, and wake services; teach weekly at our RCIA classes on Tuesday night and our Religious Education Program on Sunday morning. 

Deacon Jin is a real nice guy! You will enjoy his sense of humor and his genuine holiness. Please offer him a warm welcome by extending your love and support as he begins his deaconate ministry in our parish. This is a great opportunity for him to learn “outside of the classroom” what some of the dynamics that come with parish life are like.  

Below are a few words of introduction from Deacon Jin that he wanted to share with you. His road to priesthood is an amazing story of courage and confidence in God’s call. 

I was born and raised on a farm in mid-northern China, I decided to join the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) in 2007. 

After two years preparation living in the community, I professed my first Vows in 2009 and then was sent to the US for my pre-priesthood training. 

I spent two and half years on English and Philosophy study in Iowa before I came to Catholic Theological Union (CTU) for my Theology study and training for future ministries. 

This is my last year in CTU and in the US, and it is my great pleasure to spend part of my final year in ICSJ, this beautiful and family-like community. 

After my graduation and my ordination in May 2017, I will have a short visit with my family and then go to my first mission assignment in Mozambique. 

Thank You Jesus!

The Spiritual Works of Mercy are all centered in the compassion by which we help our neighbors with their spiritual and emotional needs. In this Jubilee Year of Mercy we are encouraged to instruct, advise, console and be patient with one another, even when mistakes happen. 

At all of the Masses last weekend I announced that the Archdiocese of Chicago, in light of our upcoming capital campaign; “To Teach Who Christ Is,” has shown our parish a huge sign of mercy by forgiving a large portion of our parish debt. 

Our current debt of $12 million was accumulated over the past several years during the construction of our school buildings and renovations to St. Joseph and Immaculate Conception. In an act of great generosity, the Archdiocese has reduced our parish debt to $1 million. This means that they will match every dollar raised towards our share in the capital campaign with $11 in relief.      

What a tremendous opportunity for our newly combined parish to move into the future with financial security and a strong position for growth and vibrancy! I am personally grateful for Archbishop Blase Cupich for his leadership, understanding and care for Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish. 

In the next couple of weeks everyone will be invited to make a commitment to the capital campaign. Please be open-minded and receptive. I ask you to take the time to read through the material that will be mailed directly to your home. Listen to our volunteers when they come to speak to you on my behalf about the campaign needs. You can receive them into your homes or meet at the parish. Prayerfully consider our volunteer’s request when they ask for your support. 

There will be two special gatherings to help provide information to parishioners about the To Teach Who Christ Is capital campaign. All are invited to a cocktail reception that will take place in the Parish Hall at Immaculate Conception Church at 6:00 PM on Thursday, October 20th; and then again at 6:00 PM on Saturday, October 22nd.  In advance I thank you for your support and commitment to our parish. 

Come Pray With Us

Our next Family Mass will take place at St. Joseph Church on Sunday, October 16th at the 11:00 AM Mass. The parents and children from our Parish School and Religious Education Program will be actively involved as ministers in the Mass. 

At the Mass we will be commissioning our newly trained Altar Servers. We are blessed to have these fine young men and women assist us at Mass. 

END Domestic Violence

Archbishop Blasé Cupich will celebrate a Mass to END Domestic Violence on Saturday, October 29 at 5:15 p.m. at Holy Name Cathedral. Everyone is invited. He will preach on our need to reach out to victims of domestic violence and their children and work to build healthy relationships in our families. A reception will follow afterwards.

Showered In God’s Love

There were several brave pets who dodged the rain on Saturday for our annual Pet Blessing. St. Francis of Assisi would be proud of how they behaved at church. Not one dog fell asleep during my homily, or left church early. 

– Fr. Larry