Pictured are our catechumen, Jess Nelson (tall man on left), with Bishop Sartain and his sponsor Gary Regan. This picture was taken at the Cathedral of Saint Raymond when our RCIA team went with Jess for the Rite of Election.
As I write to you, I am making plans to be away for the weekend. Many of you know that I have been a doctoral candidate at Catholic Theological Union for what is now far too many years! Finally, I am hoping to graduate this spring. The first complete draft of my thesis is due to my committee readers by March 15. After that, there will be a series of revisions recommended by these readers, then my thesis director, and the final project will be done sometime in April so that I can finally graduate in May! In order to meet that first March 15 deadline, however, I still have a lot to do. So, I will be hard at work on this over the weekend. I would like to thank Deacon Tom and Mimi Wolak for their extra help while I am writing at the Mundelein retreat house during these days.
We continue with our Lenten theme of "Go Make A Difference," with a new addition to our bulletin. Derrick StaRosa has written our first "Go Make A Difference" article, sharing with us how he has been moved to do something to make a difference in the world. I would like to invite any of you, whether an adult or child, to consider sending in an article like this for one of the upcoming bulletins. As we learned well during our parish mission, the testimony of fellow parishioners can be very moving.
Speaking of invitations, as I mentioned at last weekend's Masses, our diocesan Chrism Mass will be coming up soon. This is a special Mass held during Monday of Holy Week (April 2) at the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet. It is the Mass at which the blessing of the holy oils that are used in every parish takes place. These are: the Oil of the Sick, which is used in the Sacrament of the Sick; the Oil of Catechumens, which is used at Baptism; and the Oil of Sacred Chrism, which is used at Baptism, Confirmation, and at ordination to Holy Orders. Each year, every parish in the diocese sends representatives to the Chrism Mass to receive their holy oils for the year.
This is a very beautiful Mass, with a great procession of the oils, some carried to the altar in great baskets held by people walking two-by-two, some people dressed in various ethnic costumes. Some baskets are carried on the heads of those in African dress. All the priests and deacons of the diocese are present, along with all of the bishops. It is a most beautiful celebration and one really gets the sense of being together with the whole diocesan church.
Each year, I receive 6 tickets for parishioners to attend. It is tradition here that catechumens, candidates, and any members of the RCIA team who have not gone previously receive the first tickets. This year, I will still have three parishioner tickets available and we will have a drawing next weekend to pull the names of three more people to attend. Please consider putting your name in the basket next weekend. You would really enjoy this celebration. Those who are going will meet at the parish house at 5 pm for soup and sandwiches, and then we will drive together to the cathedral. After the Mass, we have continued Father Barrett's tradition of going out for ice cream afterwards. So, it will be a full and joyful evening!
National Child Identification Program
Recently, I received a letter from the FBI. I was very excited to get the letter because I thought that they had somehow learned of my lifetime secret desire to be an FBI agent! (It has occurred to me that because of my religious vocation, I've always been attracted to mystery!)
However, the letter had nothing to do with me personally! Rather, I was being addressed as a religious leader about the FBI's National Child Identification Program. Churches, mosques, and synagogues are being asked to participate in this program, which is the largest faith-based child safety initiative in our nation's history.
When my own children were young, I remember child finger-printing programs that were available but there was always controversy about the implications of law enforcement agencies keeping fingerprint records of our children. This FBI program, however, provides for kits that parents can keep in their own homes to store fingerprint and DNA information on their children. It is then up to the parents to turn the records over to law enforcement in case of emergency.
I want to make this program available to our families. The cost to parents for this kit varies depending upon how many kits we order. I would say, however, that if parents wish to send in $6.60 for each child, this should cover the cost for shipping and handling, based on our ordering 50-99 kits. You can send your check in to the parish office, or drop it off at Religious Ed. If you are a grandparent, you might also consider ordering a kit for each of your grandchildren. There is no parish interest in this program other than protecting children. Please make your check out to Mary Queen of Heaven and we will send in one check for all those who pay in this way. If there are more than 100 kits ordered, the cost is about $2 less and we will be happy to refund the difference to you. We will wait until April 1st to send in our parish order. After that date, parents can still order kits on their own.
While I'm on the subject of the FBI, I have heard that we have several FBI agents who are members of our parish. I would like to thank all of you who serve our country in this way. I live my secret dream vicariously through you! I only know one of you, Bob Walker, who has kindly volunteered time with his friends to do painting for us in the school building. Thanks to Bob and all of the other dedicated folks who have been helping with continuing efforts to beautify our school building. This is one wonderful way of helping to make a difference for others!
Mary Foley, Pastoral Life Coordinator
Parish News Mary Queen of Heaven Preschool registration continues! Please see our website at www.maryqueenpreschool.org and contact the parish office for more information and registration. Preschool tours scheduled on request. Stations of the Cross Friday, March 10, at 7:30 PM Stations of the Cross are being held in Church during the Fridays of Lent. Perhaps you and your family could make a special effort to attend this devotion. "Woman of the Year" Election This Weekend, March 3 & 4 An insert with the names of the nominees with a short biography of each is in today's bulletin. Please take a few minutes to review this and vote for the candidate of your choice. All parishioners, ages 18 and older, are invited to vote for the woman they feel leads a life of faith and love and who has given generously of her time and talent to the various ministries and organizations in our parish. Religious Education News Our annual collection of Easter Basket items for Marillac House continues on all the Wednesdays of Lent. There will be a "basket" in the hall of school for donations of small stuffed animals, candy, toys, anything that would be appropriate for an Easter Basket. Please be generous. Are you being called to be a catechist? Every year there are catechists who cannot return for one reason or another. I am sure that this year will be no different. So if you have always wondered what goes on in the building after you drop your children off, this is the perfect time to stop by and say "Hi." Remember you don't have to be a theologian; you just have to love children, love your faith and want to share it. We are looking forward to hearing from you. Mark your calendar: Saturday, Mar. 10 - Confirmation Final Interviews - 9 a.m. to Noon in school. For more info on any of the above, please call Mary Ann Woods at the REO, 832-8962. Christian Worship Commission Diocesan News Rachael's Vineyard Retreat For post-abortive men and women March 23-25, 2007 Rachel's Vineyard Retreat for is sponsored by the Joliet Diocesan Life Office and will be held at St. Charles Borromeo Pastoral Center. This retreat aims to allow participants to focus on God's unconditional love and forgiveness in a completely non-judgmental setting. Confidentiality and privacy will be strictly observed. To learn more about a Rachel's Vineyard Retreat or to register, contact Kay Corcoran at 815-838-7171. For more information and a list of retreats in other locations: www.rachelsvineyard.org or call the toll free national hotline at (1-877-HOPE-4ME). L.O.S.S. - 10 Session Group The L.O.S.S. (Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide) Program provides services to those who are grieving a death by suicide of a family member or close friend. Eight weekly sessions and 2 monthly follow-up meetings for those grieving the death of a loved one will be offered. Meetings are held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the: Offices of Catholic Charities (Diocese of Joliet), 26 West St. Charles Rd. Lombard Mondays, March 19 thru May 7, June 4 and July 9 We need at least 10 people signed up to convene a group. Call 1-800-240-7011 to register or for additional information. The deadline to register is March 14. L.O.S.S. is a program provided by Catholic Charities. Community News Prayer Requests To pray for our sick is an important privilege of our parish family. We hope that you will pray for these persons every day. Natalie Baker Pam Bondfide Pat Caffarelli Rose Caffarelli Kathy Calzante Cosmore Ciancio Dennis Ciancio Geroge Cibula Paul Cirone Ida Corriedo Cynthia Catalano Family Trudi Dolato Baby Dobrowolski Virginia Feret Cecilia Garstki Modesta Goggins Mary Hagerty Anna Heffel Jen Huwalt Tom Huwalt Michelle Humann Maureen James Kathy Johnston Irene Kmieciak Bernadette Kohn Anne Kostas Tim Kowalski Baby Emma Lynde Marie Mangano Robert Manion Dennis McCabe Mary Piszczor Raymond Mitchell Fred Moss Mary Sabel Oye Geri Pstrzoch Baby Faith Reid Robert Restivo Vera Rossiano Agnes Sabel Patricia Sabel Joaquina Scroppo Jess Smith Mary Spierowski Rachael Thompson Rest In Peace Margaret Conroy Nancy Rentner If you or a family member would like to be included in our prayers, please call the rectory at 279-5700. Also, please let us know when a name should be removed. Benedictine University Open House For adult undergraduate & graduate students Saturday, March 10, at 9:30 a.m. The event begins in the Krasa Center. Students can meet with deans, program directors and faculty. They will also hear from representatives of Benedictine University's adult accelerated undergraduate and graduate business, education and health programs. For more information, please call the Enrollment Center at 630-829-6300, or visit Benedictine University on the Web at www.ben.edu. Encounter With God's Call Encounter With God's Call, held March 24-26 at Conception Seminary College, is a discernment retreat for young men age 16 and older who are considering the vocation to priesthood. This is an excellent opportunity to meet the seminarians as they share their stories of responding to God's call. This visit is free. For more information, please contact your Pastor or Fr. Burke Masters, the Joliet Diocese Vocation Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or Conception Seminary College at 660-944-2886/Email: email@example.com Christ The King Parish St. Joseph Table Christ the King Parish will hold its annual St. Joseph Table on Sunday, March 18 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. in their school gymnasium, 115 E. 15th Street, Lombard. The tradition behind this event is the offering of simple food dishes in return for a free-will donation. All the proceeds go to the needy and less fortunate. It's a great opportunity to gather with family, friends and neighbors. It is also an opportunity to enjoy good food, take a chance on a raffle prize, share your generosity and help someone in need. For further information, please call the rectory at 630-639-1717, X16. This past Sunday Jesse Nelson moved from being a catechumen to being called THE ELECT. This is the final stage of formation prior to receiving the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil. It is the duty of the parish community to support those seeking the Sacraments of Initiation. The assembly gathered at the 10:30 Mass witnessed Jess signing the Book of the Elect and spoke for the community at large by affirming our support of Jess through prayer and Christian example. We look forward to the time when Jess and our candidates, Beth Wrobel and Jerry Cote, will join us at the Eucharistic table! Special thank you goes to Mary Nanak for helping set up the luncheon for the RCIA folks prior to our trip to the cathedral and to Ellen and Don Walker, as well as the Cote family for helping with clean up! Diocese of Joliet Job Opening Freelance Writer /Photographer Summary: The Freelance writer/photographer is responsible for covering events, writing the news and feature stories, and taking photographs for the diocesan newspaper. Duties & Responsibilities: Discusses story length and format with Editor or Assistant Editor. Conducts interviews and writes news and feature articles. Covers new events throughout the diocese. Writes photo captions. Verifies accuracy of questionable facts and obtains supplemental material and additional details Organizes material and writes story conforming to specified length, style, and format requirements. Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in journalism; or related field with prior print medium/newspaper experience preferred. Excellent writing and interviewing skills. Ability to work under pressing deadlines. Familiarity with AP style book. Knowledge of photography. Working Knowledge of the Catholic Church. Must have transportation, digital camera and ability to transmit completed assignment (text and photographs) electronically. Writing sample required. Working Conditions: Independent contractor position. Un-benefited. Flexible schedule necessary to cover frequent evening and weekend work according to news loads. Compensation based on assignment; mileage included. For Questions, Contact: Michael A. Svach St. Charles Center 402 S. Independence Blvd. Romeoville, IL 60446 815-834-4077 firstname.lastname@example.org Description or application at www.dioceseofjoliet.org Brand New Evening Yoga Class Recommended for ages 15 to 75 (however, everyone is welcome) Increase your flexibility, strength, and decrease your stress. It is about balance, strength, and mobility. Four Wednesday nights in March 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. $4 per class ($6 for families) Call Debbie styka at 941-7224 or email Debbie@styka.com (Minimum class size 4 persons) Please bring a non-slip yoga mat if you have one. Required: comfortable clothing, socks that can come off St. Alexander Parish Mission Father Brian Walker, OP will give the Parish Lent 2007 Mission at St. Alexander Parish in Villa Park on March 19, 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. Services will be in the Parish Hall due to refurbishing work taking place in the church. The theme of the Mission is "God's Mercy and Love." Visitors are most welcome. St. Petronille Parish Dinner and Discourse Series Growing In Our Relationship With Christ Featured Speaker: Bishop Peter Sartain Friday, March 23, 2007 Dinner: 6:30 p.m. /Speaker: 7:15 p.m. St. Petronille Parish Life Center 420 Glenwood, Glen Ellyn To register, call Adele Lessmeister 630-469-0404, ext. 2107, or Email email@example.com. Registration fee: $10 per person, $25 per family. RSVP by Friday, March 16. Elmhurst Catholic M.O.M.S. Elmhurst Catholic M.O.M.S. (Moms Offering Moms Support) is a social and spiritual organization that provides an opportunity for mothers of young children from Elmhurst Catholic parishes to meet other mothers. M.O.M.S meets in Msgr. Plunkett Hall, lower level of the Immaculate Conception chapel, from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Erin go braugh! On Thursday March 8, celebrate the luck of the Irish at EC MOMS St. Patrick's Day party! There will be plenty of Irish music and loads of fun. Everyone is Irish at this St. Patrick's Day party! Eucharistic Adoration The Worship Commission would like to thank all who have been able to come and spend some time with Our Lord during our days of adoration. For those who haven't had the opportunity, if there's anything you need to thank or praise God for, to express sorrow for, or to ask for, know that He waits for you to come and spend some time with Him at our next Day of Eucharistic Adoration, Monday, March 5, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The day of adoration and prayer closes with Benediction at 7:00 p.m. All are invited to join us any time during the day as well as for Benediction. The Worship Commission Immaculate Conception Parish Is hosting Matthew Kelly for Three unforgettable evenings: "Becoming the-Best-Version-of-Yourself" Join us, March 25, 26, and 27, as we welcome internationally acclaimed speaker and New York Times best-selling author, Matthew Kelly. With his keen sense of humor and heart- warming charm, Kelly has been effortlessly elevating and energizing audiences in more than 50 countries for the past decade. Matthew Kelly will discuss God's dream for us to become "the-best-version-of-ourselves" and the role that our relationships and our faith play in the quest to discover lasting happiness. Each night, Kelly will present a different talk. Each presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. and last for approximately one hour. All are welcome and encouraged to attend! Located at 134 Arthur, at the corner of Arthur and York Go Make a Difference: Transforming Words to Action By Derrick StaRosa After our Parish Mission with Father Fragomeni, I started to reflect on how I could make a difference in our Community. At first, it almost seemed to be an opportunity that would be too monumental to transform from words into action. But, I also remember one of Confucius's most famous and inspirational sayings that "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". Many times, we look too hard and forget that making a difference is closer to home than we expect. The documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" has received a lot of attention and I recently viewed it to determine firsthand what the excitement is all about. It sends the message that we need to take care of one of God's gift to us: our planet Earth. I wanted to combine our Mission with the documentary so I started to observe my behavior and determine how I can make a difference. March 2007 marks my 5th year living in Elmhurst and I can count in one hand the number of times that I have walked to Mass. The odd part about this is that I only live two blocks from Mary Queen of Heaven. The other thing that I noticed about my household is that I have a recycling bin at the bottom of my deck, which perhaps has been used twice! Like any situation that requires change, I asked myself three questions: 1) do I want to change; 2) why am I doing it this way; and 3) what would it take for me to change? Well the answer to these three questions is 1) I do want to change; 2) I do what I do because it takes time to walk to Mass and it takes time to actively recycle; and 3) for me to change would require using the tools that I already had to begin with. Win - win situations are difficult to find but in this particular case, it was a slam dunk for the home team. I am on the tail end of a bad cold but soon, I will be walking to Mary Queen of Heaven. It's going to be a wonderful change because I can now see God's gift of nature to me as opposed to experiencing it at 25 miles per hour. Also, I now recycle all my newspapers, bottles, cans, plastic containers and even take my plastic bags back to the grocery store, where it too can be recycled. Deep inside, I believe we all know that conserving energy and reducing waste makes a difference and in the long run, the efforts of many will go a very long way. In closing, I encourage all of us to either start or to continue to be good Stewards to one of God's greatest gift to us: Earth. Watch for information about the MQH 50th Anniversary Committee Raffle Tickets will be sold next weekend after Masses. First prize will be $10,000. Drawing on Sunday, April 22, in Barrett Hall following the 50th Anniversary closing Mass.
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