RMC – Oak Park Unification Update – March 20, 2022

Parish Bulletin – March 20, 2022

Working Today for a more Vibrant Church Tomorrow

Dear Members of our Four Worshipping Communities,

On January 28, 2022, we learned the decisions regarding the future our parishes. As of July 1, 2022, St. Catherine/St. Lucy and St. Giles Parishes will unite. Ascension Parish and St. Edmund Parish will also unite.

Perhaps some of you attended the meeting held on March 8 at St. Giles Parish. It was an informative meeting insofar as it laid out, in general terms, some of the spiritual and practical dimensions to what lies ahead for us.

Now what? In this brief update, we’d like to share with you some concrete plans that are already underway, and what some of the very next steps will be.

First, you may like to know that throughout this process, we, your priests, (Fr. Carl Morello, Fr. Rex Pillai and Fr. John McGivern) have been meeting regularly to discuss the ways that we can build the vibrant future we desire while honoring the legacies that our four parishes have afforded us.

One of the most recent topics being discussed is the future of Religious Education for our parish children. You may not be aware of the fact that over the past two years, the RE programs of all the parishes have been open to all our children regardless of parish affiliation. Sometimes, a certain day of the week is more convenient. Other times, a different style of education may be preferred. There are already many options. As July 1 now fast approaches, we want to be prepared for the coming year. Next week, we will be meeting with all the local RE leadership to determining ways to unify our programs further. Wherever a family chooses to worship locally, their children will have the same opportunities and benefits of a well-planned, comprehensive, multi-faceted RE program. Stay tuned for more details.

In the not-too-distant future, we will likely be discussing our Sunday and weekday Mass schedules. We have the time and the opportunity right now to consider what the actual needs are, given current Mass attendance trends. It is possible, if not likely, that some locations may need fewer Masses. Given the fact that we will have fewer priests beginning in July, this will be an important discussion.

Very soon, we will be establishing Unification Teams. These individuals from all four of the parishes will have the important task to support the priests and the pastoral staffs as we envision our new and more vibrant future, all the while ensuring that no one is ignored and no one is left behind.

The list of issues to address is very long and this has only begun to scratch the surface of all that needs to be considered. This is where we are today. We shall update you regularly as we move forward. You are always welcome to reach out to any of us to share your thoughts and ideas.

For all of this endeavor to come to fruition, we need your ongoing prayers. Let us always remember to pray for one another and together, let us pray for the Holy Spirit of God to guide us.

Fr. Carl Morello, Fr. Rex Pillai, and Fr. John McGivern