On Saturday, March 24, “March for Our Lives Chicago” will join with gatherings across the country to urge Congress to pass stricter gun control laws. The Chicago Rally, which will be held at Union Park at 1501 W Randolph Street, at 11:00 will also emphasize the need to address the City’s ongoing violence. The Rally, followed by a march through the neighborhood around the Park, is organized by students from high schools across the Chicago area. More details can be found here and here.
Our theme for Lent this year is Repent and Believe in Jesus. Lent is a time to open ourselves to changes of goodness and peace. It is a time to let go of the negatives and embrace the grace of God that is constantly raining down upon us. This is a sacred time in the Church year when we can become more of what the Holy Spirit meant us to be –fully human and fully Christian. View our 2018 Lenten Activities & Resources here.
Want to deepen your faith? Do you hunger and thirst for God’s justice and God’s kingdom? Do you want to engage with other parishioners? If so, part 2 of our Scripture Study series, Seek First the Kingdom of God: A Spiritual Retreat is for you! We’ll continue exploring the most vital topics about what it means to live a Christian life today and find encouragement for our spiritual journey. All are welcome. Come to one or come to all. Learn more here.
This Lent, ICSJ will be offering small faith-sharing prayer groups that will follow the Good Ground Press resource, “Sunday by Sunday." Several parishioners have graciously offered to host these groups which will meet at various times on weekdays, weekends, in homes and at the parish. If you would like to participate, please sign up in back of each of our churches after Mass on January28, February 4 or February 11. Contact Kim Rak with questions.
Reclaim a sense of balance amid all the distractions of daily life and rediscover how you can live more mindfully and refocus on what really matters. Join author and former ICSJ parishioner Judith Valente for The Art of Pausing: Reclaiming A Sense of Balance in Lent, simple ways we can practice the art of pausing during Lent and still remain active and attentive to our daily lives. Sunday March 4th, 12–1:30 p.m. in the St. Joseph Parish Hall. All are welcome!
Changes to our weekday Mass schedule began on Ash Wednesday with the start of Lent. Masses during the week will be celebrated at 7:00 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at Immaculate Conception Church; 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday at St. Joseph Church (Mass for our middle school students; parishioners, parents and guests welcome); and 7:30 a.m. on Saturday at Immaculate Conception Church. These changes are reflected on our Mass Schedule page and in our bulletin.
Our Young Adult Ministry will be selling $5 Bags to Give at all Masses on February 24th and 25th. These bags contain a water bottle, socks, trail-mix, granola bar and an uplifting message of hope. Keep one or more of these bags handy in your car, gym bag or purse so the next time you see a homeless person or someone in need, you’re not scrambling for leftover food or spare change. Instead, you grab a Bag to Give!
Looking for a great way to celebrate Valentine's Day? The talented ICSJ choir will be giving a special performance tonight, Saturday, February 10th at Immaculate Conception Church at 6:00 pm in the Parish Hall (immediately following 5:00 pm Mass). They will be performing a number of popular love songs. This is a great way to enjoy some good music on a Saturday night with your friends. Wine and cheese and other refreshments will be served. Let’s party before Ash Wednesday comes!
All ICSJ parishioners are invite to our first parish Renew My Church session at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 28th at Immaculate Conception Church. Our Grouping Team is interested in your input so please make every effort to attend! The session will cover the Renew My Church process, a review of the strengths/challenges of our church grouping, and much Q/A. All are welcome. Learn more here.
Don't miss our annual St. Joseph Table celebration where we honor the patron saint of St. Joseph Church. This lunchtime feast takes place Sunday, March 18th at 12:00 P.M. at ICSJ School-Hill Street, across the street from St. Joseph Church. The event will feature menu items from many of the area's most popular restaurants, as well as pot-luck items from our parishioners. All ICSJ families and friends are invited. This is a great opportunity for feasting and fellowship!
Catholic Charities will host its premier wine tasting event D'Vine Affair on Sunday, January 28th to benefit their Self-Sufficiency Programs. In addition to a "Barrel of Wine" live auction, the event will feature 90 vintners from around the world and over 250 different types of wine available for tasting and to purchase. Reservations are $125. Click here for more information.
If you traveled out of town for the holidays, there's time to share your Christmas gift with Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish by clicking here. This year our Parish Operating Budget is affected because Christmas and New Year’s Day landed on a Monday. As of today our Christmas collection has totaled $71,822. We budgeted for $100,000. Thank you to all who have generously supported our parish!
Do you want to work for social justice? Do you see unfairness in the world? Do you want to enact change in the world along with your peers? Then get involved in our growing ICSJ Youth Ministry. Our next get-together is Sunday, January 7th following the 11:00am Mass at St. Joseph. Grab a donut after Mass and join us!
Now through January 21st, our Junior High Religious Education class will be collecting hygiene items for The Night Ministry, which provides housing, health care and human connection to members of the Chicago community who are struggling with poverty or homelessness. Travel sizes of items like shampoo, soap, toothpaste, disposable razors, shaving cream, etc. are most useful and can be dropped in the labeled boxes in each of our churches. Contact Kim Rak with questions.
This Sunday, January 14, at the 11:00 am Mass ICSJ Parish will welcome Kimberly LeDoux into the Catholic Church! Kimberly, already baptized as a child in the Lutheran tradition, and her husband Jason are moving this week to Bangkok for Jason’s work. This lovely couple will welcome their first child in May. Kimberly has been a part of our RCIA group and will miss our Easter Vigil, so we wanted her to receive her sacraments with our faith community. Keep this family in your prayers!
This Lent, ICSJ will be offering small faith-sharing prayer groups that will follow the Good Ground Press resource, “Sunday by Sunday." If you would be open to hosting one of these small groups (at times convenient for you) please sign up after Mass the weekend of January 14th. Your group may meet in your home or at the parish. and training will be provided. Group sign-up will occur after January 28. Contact Kim Rak with questions.
In November, Fr. Larry participated in the Archdiocese's regular review process, Catholic Leadership 360, which helps priests develop their leadership skills by asking for direct feedback from peers and parishioners. In his January 14th "All of Us" column, Fr. Larry shares his insights from the program as well as the areas of leadership development that he is committing to for the future.
Separate funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 27th at St. Joseph Church for Norma Gerbich and Alba Nesti Loverde Wright. Visitation begins at 11:00 a.m. for Ms. Wright followed by Mass at 11:30 a.m.; Ms. Gerbich's visitation begins at 2:00 p.m. followed by a Mass at 3:00 p.m.
Throughout the month of November, the parish register, Book of the Dead, will be displayed in both churches. It lists the parishioners that celebrated their life-long journey of faith with the Mass of Christian Burial. Parishioners are invited to bring pictures of their loved ones who have died and place them on the memorial table, next to the Easter candle in church. The pictures will be on display during the month of November.
ICSJ Parish's Christmas Giving Program is going on now through December 15th. This wonderful program provides gifts to families in our Sharing Parish, senior citizens who frequent our Food Pantry, and residents of Flannery Apartments, a CHA building for seniors and disabled individuals. It's as easy as taking a name tag off one of the trees at the back of our churches and returning a gift by December 15th. Click here for more info.
Love to sing or play a musical instrument? Christmas is coming and the ICSJ Music Ministry Team invites all parishioners—adults and children 4 years old and up—to join in song at our Christmas Eve Family Mass on Sunday, December 24th at 3:15 pm. Interested? Visit our webpage submit the online sign-up form.
Our Young Adult Group has two events coming up so now's the perfect time to get involved. The group will hold their first Bible Study gathering (BYOB!) on Thursday, November 30th at 7:00pm and will also be forming a coed Tuesday night volleyball team. For more info contact Allie or check out their Facebook page.
ICSJ Parish teens are joining with teens from St. Michaels Church in creating a new Youth Ministry in our Old Town neighborhood. The group's next meeting—at which they'll plan their 2018 Big Bang Kick-Off event featuring dodge ball & pizza—will be Sunday, December 3rd at 12:15pm in the ICSJ School/Hill Street library. Email Kim Rak here for more information.
Loom, a Catholic Charities' effort that encourages refugee women artisans to create beautiful, handmade products to supplement their income, is having a Holiday Market on Sunday, December 10 at their Lillstreet Loft location. (You may recall representatives from Loom sold products at ICSJ last Easter.) This is a great way to benefit refugees and finish up your Christmas shopping! Click here for more information.
For many years the Archdiocese has provided a televised Sunday Mass for those who physically cannot attend church. ICSJ parishioners have been invited to participate in the taping of one of these Masses on Sunday, December 10th. If you would like to attend this neat and rewarding experience, there's more info in the December 3rd bulletin, or you can contact Kim Rak, our Director of Religious Education.
Do you say to yourself, "Lord, you've been on my mind and I wanted to respond, but. . . right now things are so busy at work and at home. I just can’t seem to find the time..." If so, here’s an easy way to make a little time for the Lord in your life: join Fr. Larry McBrady and other parishioners for an inspirational morning of reflection on Saturday, December 9th from 9:00am–11:30am at Immaculate Conception Church. Take an opportunity to slow down a little, just for a while.
On Friday, December 8th, we will celebrate the The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, which is a holy day of obligation. There will be four Masses celebrated in our parish (see schedule here). Feel free to attend any one of them. All are invited to a reception in the IC Parish Hall after the 6:00 PM Mass to celebrate the feast day of our parish