All of Us – #210

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

Let’s Celebrate Summer!!!

A lot of great things will be happening at Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish next Sunday, July 30th. I hope you and your family will be able to join in the festivities.

First of all, our parish will be hosting a Taco Fiesta at 12:00 noon at the Hill Street Campus of our school. This is a simple summer social event to help foster a sense of unity within our community. (You may recall the successful Spaghetti Dinner we had back in April at Immaculate Conception Church). These events are great ways to meet and greet your fellow parishioners. So, I hope you can come for lunch next Sunday. There will be tacos and margaritas. Please make a reservation with our Parish Office if you plan to attend so that we can plan accordingly. A nice cold margarita on a hot summer day... 

Next Sunday, we will also recognize and thank those who have made a commitment to the To Teach Who Christ Is capital campaign. As a sign of our appreciation a personalized memorial stone will be installed on a “Thank You Wall” in the ICSJ Courtyard that is adjacent to the school cafeteria, at our Hill Street campus. The Courtyard is a peaceful and serene setting perfect for lunch, studying, quiet time and prayer. This “Thank You Wall” will become a permanent part of the Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish and school history.

For those who would like to make a pledge to the To Teach Who Christ Is campaign, and also receive a memorial brick paver, please contact Angela Gore at our Parish Office 312-787-7174 ext. #8, or by email. You can also begin the process by using the To Teach Who Christ Is pledge form that is included in today’s bulletin. Or, you can go to the link on our parish website.

“Keep Calm and Carry On”

A few years ago, one of our parishioners gave me a nice big black coffee mug as a birthday gift. On the outside of the mug in simple white letters is written, “Keep Calm and Carry On.”  Every pastor should have such a mug, just for coffee; especially when they have to deal with the maintenance and repairs of their buildings and facilities.

When I came back from my vacation last week, Colm Murphy, our Parish Facilities Manager, informed me that four of our air-conditioning compressors at St. Joseph Church died; all four at the same time. (You may have noticed last weekend that it was a little stuffy in church during Mass.) We believe that there was a major power surge that occurred during one of our recent thunderstorms that fried the compressors. 

We immediately filed an insurance claim with Gallagher and Bassett, who represents the Archdiocese of Chicago and they will be investigating the situation. We already have started the process to repair the units. If needed, our parish has the funds in reserve to cover the cost of the repair. Money has been set aside every year for emergency situations like this one. By next Sunday, we expect the air-conditioning system to be completely up and running.

There are several other capital projects that will take place over the summer before school resumes in mid-August. After a close examination, we realize that it is best to tackle these projects now and not wait. Things will only get worse in time. Plus, will be more expensive if we delay the maintenance.

For example, the stained-glass windows on the south side of St. Joseph church (Hill Street) will be scraped, re-chalked and painted. If you take a real close look, you will see that the paint has cracked and peeled away. Much of the wooden frame is now exposed and bare. I doubt that the windows will be able to survive another Chicago winter without some further damage. 

We will also be resurfacing the parking lot at Immaculate Conception church. If you take a close look you will see that there are various sink-holes and ruts that have formed over the years. There are also areas that have been sporadically patched. Not only does this pose a problem for parking for the school and church activities, but also it becomes a risky situation for our school children who use the lot during recess.    

Finally, we will be replacing the front doors of St. Joseph Church that are in bad shape. They have been constantly repaired over the years. They have out-lived their life expectancy and it is time to replace them, especially for security reasons. They are a real pain to lock, unlock and lock.

Summer Missionary Co-Op Appeal

We welcome to our parish next weekend Fr. Rodlin Rodrigue who will be speaking at all our Masses on behalf of the annual Summer Missionary Co-Op Appeal that is sponsored by the Archdiocese of Chicago. Every summer, priests, religious brothers and sisters from around the world are invited into our parishes to share with us their experiences and reflections about the great missionary work that is taking place. They help us to appreciate the “wider Catholic Church” and the thousands of faithful men and women who are dedicated to the teaching, preaching and healing mission of Jesus Christ. 

Please take time to read the article that Fr. Rodlin has provided for our bulletin today that describes the Sapate Mission near Hinche in the central plateau of Haiti, and the care they give to the children. The mission is in need of our prayers and financial support. There will be a Second Collection on the weekend of July 29th and 30th. You can also donate online here. Thank you for your generosity.

– Fr. Larry