All of Us – #203

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

Enjoy Your Birthday Gifts

It might seem weird, but actually the most appropriate song to sing at Mass this Sunday would be “Happy Birthday.” The feast of Pentecost is known as the “birthday” of the Church. We were born on this day. The Holy Spirit came and enlivened a group that had almost died. The risen Lord sent his living Spirit to be our life. 

Each one of us, as well as the whole Church together, received the gift, and the gift is to be used. We begin to grow in the gift of a peaceful mind and heart, and peaceful relationships in our life. That is our first prayer. Come Holy Spirit, into my mind and heart and life.

The second gift is the mission. We are sent out from church today into the world. We are able, with the Spirit’s help, to bring a gift of peace into the lives of those we live with and work with. We are entrusted with a responsibility. This is a grace given to us. May we not waste this sacred gift. Yes, all of us have the ability to inspire others.

The third gift is the grace to reconcile people who are at war with one another. We have the power to forgive others and the power to call people to justice. 

The Church birthday gifts are here for us – peace-finding and peace-making. Do you believe this? Do you accept this? Come Holy Spirit!  Come!

Thank You George and Donna

This Sunday, at the 12:30 Mass our parish bids farewell to George and Donna Miles who are moving to Westerville, Ohio to be close to their family. George and Donna have been parishioners for over 30 years and have been very active in a variety of our parish ministries and committees. Their departure is a huge loss to our parish because we have been blessed by their dedication and faithful service. 

George and Donna were one of the first parishioners I met when I came to Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph four years ago. They were a big help to me during my awkward time of transition when I was trying to figure out where the light switches were; knowing what keys open what doors, and remembering the names of parishioners. I will always be grateful for their support and kindness and their friendly welcome. I instantly knew that they wanted the best for me, and that they had a profound love for their parish.

You may not know this, but, George and Donna live in Lisle and have commuted into the city for Church. I realize that I have nothing to complain about when I get stuck in traffic on Wells street, trying to get from one church to the other on my scooter.

So many times, when our parish needed help George and Donna were there to assist, in big and small ways. They showed humility when after Mass they would hang around to clean-up the church for the next service. Their hospitality was shown by all the donut and coffee receptions they hosted after the 9:30 Mass. (Imagine all the gallons of coffee they made over the years). Their love for the liturgy was expressed through their ministry as Lector or Eucharistic Minister. Their wisdom guided us during the Parish Transformation Program that resulted in the combination of our two parishes into one. Their compassion and care was shown every time they went to the nursing home to pray with and distribute Holy Communion to those too feeble to attend our Sunday worship. Their love for the liturgy was evident when they sacrificed many hours decorating the church for Christmas, Holy Week and Easter. This is just a small list of their involvement, and it really does not include all the other parish events that they supported over the years. 

We wish George and Donna the best in Ohio. I am jealous because the parish that will receive them will be blessed to have them. Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph is a vibrant parish today because of George and Donna. They have truly been “the pillars” of our parish and an important chapter of our history.  George and Donna, we thank you for everything!  

Bring A Bag For Dad

Our parish will be hosting a Father’s Day Food drive to support our Parish Food Pantry through the summer months. You can take a brown grocery bag home from church today. Fill it up with some non-perishable items, and return your donations on Father’s Day, June 18th when you come to church.

Also, on the flyer that is attached to the bag there is a space where you can write-in the name of your dad, and we will pray for him at all the Masses on Father’s Day. So, bring a bag for your dad! Thank you for your generosity.

Just 5 Days Left

It is hard to believe that another school year is quickly coming to a close. Our students, and probably a few teachers, are anxiously counting the days to the summer vacation. I am sure they are looking forward to staying up late, sleeping in the morning, and having no homework or uniforms. 

We will end the school year with a Mass at St. Joseph on Friday, at 9:30 AM at St. Joseph church as we pause to give thanks to God for all the blessings that we have received this year. 

The Class of 2017

Congratulations to the Class of 2017 of Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish School! Their graduation took place on Friday evening, at St. Joseph church. We are proud of these fine young men and women who have received an excellent Catholic education. Their names are listed in today’s bulletin.

May God bless our graduates as they journey forward in faith to embrace many new endeavors in high school. I am confident that they will do great things in their life because of the solid formation and guidance they have been given by our dedicated faculty and staff.  

Remember the Summer Schedule

In my bulletin column, “All of Us- #201”, I explained why our parish will be changing to a Summer Mass Schedule. Note that starting next weekend, June 11th, there will not be a 12:30 PM Mass on Sunday afternoon at Immaculate Conception Church. If you did not read my article, you can find it posted on our parish website. 

To help some of our parishioners during this time of transition there are sign-up sheets in church today for those who might need a ride to Mass. Also, we are looking for a handful of volunteers who would be willing to offer a fellow parishioner a ride to church. Yes, you can call it, “Catholic Uber” and it’s free. 

Masstimes.org

If you are traveling this summer, and looking for a church to attend for Sunday Mass, a great resource is Masstimes.org. The website will quickly locate the nearest place of worship for you no matter where you travel in the United States. 

– Fr. Larry