My Dear Friends in Christ,
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
All Saints and All Souls
Thursday, November 1 will be the Solemnity of All Saints; it is a Holy Day of Obligation. Mass will be celebrated in the Main Church at 6:30 AM, 8:30 AM and 7:00 PM. On Friday, November 2, the Church observes the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed. Mass will be celebrated at 7:30 AM in the Historic Church and 7:00 PM in the Main Church. The names of all those buried from St. Pat’s this past year will be read at both Masses. There are special envelopes in your monthly packets for both days.
On October 1 and 2, Cardinal Cupich mandated that all pastors attend the Renew My Church Summit and bring with them a representative group of our parish leaders to pray and talk together about ensuring the dynamic viability of our Archdiocesan Church in Lake and Cook Counties. Over 2,500 people participated in this two day event. We prayed together, listened to exciting presentations on how to move forward as a Church and the Kingdom of God in our midst, and talked with one another on our common mission as the Body of Christ in our society and culture.
Attending from St. Pat’s were Mary Vitulli (our School Principal), Bernie Oberdick (Our Director of Music), Jim Murray (Our Director of Liturgy), Bill Buholzer (School Board Member and Chairman to the To Teach Who Christ Is Capital Campaign), and Chris Colaizzi (our Parish Finance Committee Chairman). It was my privilege to dialogue with them during the meeting and share our collective visioning thoughts about our parish and how we are to proceed to our common mission here at St. Pat’s. I had the opportunity to visit with some of the persons who are leaders in other parishes that I have pastored. I was deeply touched by Steve—a leader from my former parish of St. Gabriel (located in the South Side of Chicago near Sox Park). Demographic changes there will probably mean that his and other neighboring parishes will need to merge to continue the Church’s Ministry in that area. That kind of change will be difficult as people I know there will be deeply affected.
Our parish is viewed by people in the Archdioceses as being a success in many and varied ways. But that does not mean we can be complacent about our needs and our future. We need to be pro-active in reaching out to the unchurched and non church-practicing people who live with us and beside us in a culture that does not see the Church as a vital part of their lives. I am sure many of you have family members and friends who fit that description, perhaps even some of your own children and grandchildren. The pressing question is what to do to create an atmosphere where they will respond to the invitation of Christ to come and follow Him. Perhaps, there are some of us who need to become more committed ourselves before we can intentionally reach out ourselves to them. I am exploring options of how to initiate this effort. One way will be to gather all our Ministry leaders together to get their input and then have them to gather their members to discuss future efforts to become even more committed followers of the Lord. Theologically we call this initiative Evangelization—a big word that has for reaching future consequences.
There are several projects and opportunities that we will need to consider, and then put them into action as we move forward. We all need to be open to new possibilities and initiatives as they become available to us here. We need to be more committed to our weekly participation at our weekend worship. The question for each of us is not whether we will attend Mass or not, but which Mass we will attend each Lord’s Day. The question is not whether we want to be part of a parish Ministry or not but which Ministry we will join. The Ministry possibilities are many and varied— music, lectors, Communion Ministers, Altar Servers, greeters, ushers, hospitality, food pantry, soup kitchen, Good Samaritan, scouting, religious education teachers and aides, welcome café hosts and hostesses, sacristans, Children's chapel leaders, athletic coaches, Knights of Columbus, Scrip sellers, Marriage Ministry couples, Communion Ministers to the sick and Nursing Homes, bereavement helpers for funerals and funeral planning, funeral luncheon helpers and cooks, laundering Altar server robes, helping with our Peru Ministry and Family to Family aid, Merold’s Movers (we are always moving something), initiating a youth program for our middle-schoolers, Ministry to divorced persons, painting and general repairs, assisting with Fun Fair and Auction Night, Spring Raffle workers, helping with the Lenten Seder- Passover meal, adorers for Wednesday’s Adoration, SOS prayer group, set up and take down for parish events, picnic helpers, cleaning and polishing Church furniture in both Churches, rummage sale workers, Vacation Bible School (our program next Summer is already being planned) RCIA, Light of the World, Prayer Shawl, the list goes on and on. Please pray on how you would like to become more involved at St. Pat’s.
Parish Financial Report
Our annual report will be ready for publication shortly. It contains our income and expenses for the past fiscal year— July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.