RMC – Oak Park Unification / New Reality – January 22, 2023

Parish Bulletin – January 22, 2023

If you have been reading the bulletin and Flocknote, you cannot help but notice the efforts being made by the greater Catholic Oak Park Parishes and its members beyond who are working together for the greater good of strengthening our ministry.

First, the temporary homeless shelter at St. Catherine-St. Lucy Rectory has opened. That was made possible through the efforts of members from both parish communities to ensure the necessary work was completed before the doors could be opened for overnight guests. Many volunteers have come forward to prepare meals and offer assistance on the different shifts throughout the evening and morning. Financial donations have been generously made to support the work and needs of the shelter.

This Sunday, our first 5:00 pm evening Mass will be held at the St. Edmund Church site. The focus is young adult; however, all are welcome. The desire for an evening Mass with such a focus has been something our two newly unified parishes have been hearing for a while now. The time has come, and we begin something new and exciting.

And there is a movement going forward for a combined Religious Education program that will gather the gifts and talents of the entire Oak Park Catholic community to help form our young people in their faith. This is new and innovative and coming this fall.

So, while we are two new parishes, there is a continued effort to work together on ministries and opportunities for spiritual and faith formation and growth that benefit us all. These collaborations all fall under the Renew My Church (RMC) model – bonding together and working toward making new disciples, creating something new that folks are interested in and want to become a part of. All these plans and efforts are leading us into the next phase of RMC, Building a New Reality. Stay tuned and keep your eye on the bulletin and our website for more information.

We are called to create a new missionary moment in our parish and together in the larger community. What does a new missionary moment mean? In a nutshell it means we make a primary commitment to share our faith. This must be at the center of all we do – socially, in school and Religious Ed programs, at Mass and in the celebration of the sacraments. We all know that attendance, interest in the church, willingness to volunteer have affected our communities. Can we create the change to help turn things around? We are working at it; it is at the heart of Building a New Reality. This information was shared with and discussed at our joint unification teams’ meeting last Tuesday evening. We also talked about a time to transition from unification teams to creating new parish councils and finance committees. These are next steps!

Finally, you will soon hear more about something that will be offered to our parishes and community, discernment of gifts! Stay tuned.

“You will know your vocation by the joy that it brings you.” – Dorothy Day

Have a safe and blessed week ahead.

With you a Christian. For you a priest.

Father Carl Morello
Pastor of St. Catherine-St. Lucy and St. Giles Parish