PARISH BULLETIN ARTICLE – JANUARY 29, 2023
Last Sunday evening, the unified Oak Park parishes shared in a Sunday evening 5:00 pm Mass at the St. Edmund Church site. The Mass is open to all, especially those who have been expressing interest for this weekend Mass time. Many have said they like the reverent, quiet way of ending what can be busy weekends, especially for families, and beginning their week on a spiritual note that brings a sense of peace and guidance for the week ahead. Through the efforts of our parishes’ Music and Liturgy Directors and the support of a group of young adults, this Mass time opportunity is now part of our regular schedule. The third Sunday of each month will have a special focus on young adults, planning and participating in the Mass – CLICK FOR INFORMATION AND VOLUNTEER SIGN-UP
I want to remind everyone that in January 2022 in an update for the Oak Park Churches, this information was shared. After the Grouping Discernment Team met, it was suggested and agreed to by the Archdiocese that all the parish communities, regardless of the specific parish structures decided, would continue to work together as a united Oak Park Catholic Community. We now have our two new parish structures in place, and we have been moving forward in some important and meaningful ways for the future of the Church here that serves Oak Park and our members beyond.
Getting the Sunday evening Mass on the schedule in one central location is part of that process. Using the space at St. Catherine-St. Lucy’s Rectory for the temporary shelter is another as members of the entire Oak Park Catholic community have been and continue to be involved. And if you have been reading the bulletins across the parishes, you are aware of a new initiative coming together to unify our Religious Education programs for all our children.
All of these are important initiatives as we move into the next phase of Renew My Church, BUILDING A NEW REALITY. I, and our staffs, will keep everyone informed by sharing information and details as we make this journey together.
The Christmas message is an important one to keep in mind and heart, Emmanuel, GOD IS WITH US!!
Today’s scriptures remind us that the entire life journey of a Christian can be one guided by the Beatitudes. As we hear these holy words, may we remember to be merciful peacemakers along the way. Empathy, we are reminded, teaches us to show mercy, to make peace, to work for justice and to be humble. The Kingdom of Heaven awaits those who are empathetic. This is not something we practice randomly. It begins in our homes, at school, in our staff meetings and in all interactions on our journey as we work together trying to understand and build a new reality among us. Our experience of church has been changing as we have gone from four faith communities into two new parishes. Let’s not forget that at the heart of who we are is Jesus who calls us around the Table and then sends us forth to live as his disciples. That practice must begin with how we look at, feel about and treat each other.
Perhaps a good question for us all to reflect on is where in this process am I being called to strengthen this virtue of empathy?
Have a great week ahead, stay safe and be well!
With you a Christian. For you a priest.
Father Carl Morello
Pastor of St. Catherine-St. Lucy and St. Giles Parish