Mary's Corner

Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Church
426 N. West Avenue
Elmhurst, Illinois 60126-2171
Parish Office: 630/279-5700
Fax: 630/279-4667



Last evening, I stopped by our Wings to Heaven Youth Group's Christmas Party. As the children enjoyed their Christmas treats, I visited each table to say hello and ask the children what they looked forward to at Christmas. I was struck by the responses I received.

Many children told me they were looking forward to receiving presents but when I asked them if there was anything in particular that they wanted, they all said no. Not one child told me that they wanted any special toy, game, or electronic device.

I came away from my visit with the children thinking about how different their responses were from what could be expected in a day and age when Christmas has become so commercialized and our society as a whole is so fixated on individualism and materialism. I have no doubt that the parents of these children, along with our youth group leaders and catechists, have all made a difference in the outlook of our children and in their judgment about what really is of the highest value in life. I also came away from my visit with the children reflecting on the purity of their expressions of hope, as they talked with excitement about presents they would receive. Whether or not they had special wishes they didn't tell me about, they said very clearly that they were just excited knowing that they would receive gifts. There is something essentially Catholic about this kind of hope and it is at the heart of what Christmas is all about.

Sometimes as adults, I think we lose our sense of this kind of hope. We confuse wanting what we think is right with hope and then when things do not go our way, we become angry or depressed, sometimes even to the point of despair. This can happen in all kinds of ways, from times when we experience life's greatest sorrows to times when we experience other kinds of disappointments. There is something in the way that our children express themselves that can teach all of us something about the true meaning of hope.

Very recently, Pope Benedict issued an encyclical message titled, Spe Salvi, meaning On Christian Hope. As he says, our "great, true hope, which holds firm in spite of all disappointments can only be God - God who has loved us and who continues to love us 'to the end,' until all 'is accomplished'" (Jn. 13:1, 19:30). Our children even have some early sense of this in their knowledge that the gift they expect to receive is itself more important than whatever is their desire.

In his encyclical message, the Pope shares many stories of people of faith who experienced great trials in their lives; discovering the presence and love of God sustained them through their suffering. Surely in one sense, they, like us, could have had hopes for an easier life, with less struggle or pain. However, their "great, true hope" was anchored in God and their lives became transformed in spite of the circumstances around them.

Pope Benedict quotes St. Augustine in describing his daily life: "The turbulent have to be corrected, the faint-hearted cheered up, the weak supported; the Gospel's opponents need to be refuted, its insidious enemies guarded against; the unlearned need to be taught, the indolent stirred up, the argumentative checked; the proud must be put in their place, the desperate set on their feet, those engaged in quarrels reconciled; the needy have to be helped, the oppressed to be liberated, the good to be encouraged, the bad to be tolerated; all must be loved...The Gospel terrifies me." The Pope goes on to describe this kind of fear as a "healthy fear which prevents us from living for ourselves alone and compels us to pass on the hope we hold in common." For Augustine, Pope Benedict says, "Amid the serious difficulties facing the Roman Empire... this was what [Augustine] set out to do: to transmit hope, the hope which came to him from faith and which, in complete contrast with his introverted temperament, enabled him to take part decisively and with all his strength in the task of building up the city."

St. Augustine shows us that his hope was anchored in God when he says, "[Christ] intercedes for us, otherwise I should despair. My weaknesses are many and grave, many and grave indeed, but more abundant still is your medicine. We might have thought that your word was far distant from union with man, and so we might have despaired of ourselves, if this Word had not become flesh and dwelt among us."

The very heart of Christmas is the story of this Incarnation. How can we renew our sense of hope in the season when we celebrate the greatest gift of all? How can we renew our hope when things are not going the way we wanted? How can we renew our hope when we are in pain - physical, emotional, or spiritual? How can we renew our hope when there are so many troubles in the world today? Pope Benedict has suggestions for us. One is that we renew the practice of "offering up" (or entrusting to God) our daily hardships, a common devotional practice of the past. Another is prayer. "When no one listens to me any more, God still listens to me. When I can no longer talk to anyone or call upon anyone, I can always talk to God. When there is no longer anyone to help me deal with a need or expectation that goes beyond the human capacity for hope, he can help me."

Whatever trials we face in life, our loving God, made Incarnate in Jesus Christ whose birth we celebrate, is there to save us. Let us then, through prayer and perseverance, and through offering up our sufferings to Christ, become renewed in the "great, true hope" that can never disappoint, God's all powerful and abiding love. Like the children this Christmas, let us rejoice in the gift itself, infinitely more valuable than anything we could ever ask for ourselves.

Dr. Mary Foley, Pastoral Life Coordinator

A Vocation View

Vocations from God are not always clear.  Not all of us are like 
Joseph who had an angel appear to him saying:  "Take Mary as your 
wife, and fear not."

Parish Office 
		426 N. West Avenue 
		Elmhurst, IL 60126

Phone	(630) 279-5700

FAX	(630) 279-4667

Parish Office Hours:
 Mon.-Thurs.. 9:00 am-7:00 pm
        Friday: 9:00 am-4:00 pm
		Evening and weekend appointments can be made with the Pastoral 
Life Coordinator by calling the Parish Office.

Parish News

Catholic Perspectives on Immigration

Save the Date:  January 23, 2008

	On the evening of Wednesday, January 23, 2008 the 
parish will sponsor a panel discussion on the topic of 
immigration.  Bishop John Manz, of The Archdiocese of 
Chicago, who worked together with the U.S.-Mexican Bishops' 
Committee, which produced the pastoral letter Strangers No 
Longer, will discuss Catholic Social Doctrine and 
Immigration.  Other speakers will discuss the role of local 
churches regarding immigrants and the issue of reform of U. 
S. immigration laws and procedures.  Questions and 
discussion will follow.

Christmas Mass Schedule:

Children's Mass with Nativity Pageant
Monday, December 24 at 4:00 p.m.
(Please note the NEW TIME this year)

Christmas Eve, Monday December 24
Prelude Concert at 10:00 p.m.
"Midnight Mass" at 11:00 p.m.

Christmas Day, Tuesday December 25
8:30 a.m. Mass
10:30 a.m. Mass

New Year's Eve, Monday December 31, 2007
5:00 p.m. Mass

New Year's Day, Tuesday January 1, 2008
9:00 a.m. Mass

	Making it Easier to Give
Please consider this option when choosing how to best support our 
Parish Family at Mary Queen of Heaven.
Contact, or call 866-PARISH-1 for further 
 "God loves a cheerful giver"

Collection total for Sunday, 
December 16, 2007
 amounted to $5713.00

Thank you for your support.

Gospel Reflection

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time
He became a child, so that the Word could be grasped by us. 
In this way God teaches us to love the little ones. In this 
way he teaches us to love the weak. In this way he teaches 
us respect for children. The child of Bethlehem directs our 
gaze towards all children who suffer and are abused in the 
world, the born and the unborn. Towards children who are 
placed as soldiers in a violent world; towards children who 
have to beg; towards children who suffer deprivation and 
hunger; towards children who are unloved. In all of these 
it is the Child of Bethlehem who is crying out to us; it is 
the God who has become small who appeals to us. Let us pray 
this night that the brightness of God's love may enfold all 
these children. Let us ask God to help us do our part so 
that the dignity of children may be respected.
Pope Benedict XVI, Homily, Midnight Mass, Christmas 2006


	"Naming God's Grace" with Sr. Marianne Saieg, OSF will 
be presented at the Mayslake location in Westmont.  9:30 
a.m.-2:30 p.m. Cost is $50.  Call 630-323-1620 with 
reservations by 1/4/08.

       Through your generous support and donation of monies and 
gifts, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet, was able to make 
Christmas a little brighter for low income families in DuPage 
County.  This year, through the agency's Holiday Outreach 
Program, hundreds of families were "adopted" by participating 
parishes.  Surely each of the families that received the gifts 
collected by your parish will have cause to celebrate this 
season of the birth of Our Lord Jesus.
       Again, we offer our most sincere thanks and wish you and 
your families every blessing of the New Year!

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.

	Aurora Arce			Natalie Baker
	Katherine Brennan		Pam Bondfide
	Pat Caffarelli			Rose Caffarelli
	Kathy Calzante			Cosmore Ciancio
	Dennis Ciancio			Lou Ciancio
	George Cibula			Paul Cirone
	Ida Corriedo			Cynthia Catalano Family
	Rosemary Davis			Deacon Bob Delbeke
	Trudi Dolato			Baby Dobrowolski
	Virginia Feret			Kathy Filipiak
	Cecilia Garstki			Mary Goggins			
	Mary Hagerty			Anna Heffel			
	Jen Huwalt			Tom Huwalt			
	Michelle Humann			Maureen James			
	Richard Jones			Kathy Johnston			
	Sr. Emmanuel Kattner, OSF   	Irene Kmieciak			
	Anne Kostas			Wendy Kraffky
	John Larkin			Baby Emma Lynde		
	Marie Mangano			Robert Manion			
	Mary Martin			Dennis McCabe			
	Mary Piszczor			Jennie Milazz			
	Raymond Mitchell		Fred Moss				
	Mary Sabel Oye			Geri Pstrzoch			
	Baby Faith Reid			Robert Restivo			
	Vera Rossiano			Agnes Sabel			
	Patricia Sabel			Joaquina Scroppo		
	Joan Skimina			Jess Smith
	Steve Snyder			Mary Spierowski	
	Joen Szypulski			Rachael Thompson
	John Unger			Richard Vanni

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.

	Worldwide Marriage Encounter is a weekend experience for 
any married couple who wishes to enhance their life together.  
Most marriages can use some tender loving care, and every 
marriage deserves it!  Weekends will be held on the following 
dates in 2008:
February 22-24		April 11-13		June 6-8
September 19-21	November 14-16	December 5-7

To register, or for more information, please call ((630-577-0778) 
or see

	Sunday, January 13, 2:00 p.m. - The first annual Mass in 
Celebration of All Life in honor of those who respect & protect 
life will be held at the Cathedral for parish Respect Life 
coordinators and their families.  Bishop J. Peter Sartain will 
serve as celebrant and homilist. Bishop Roger L. Kaffer will 
concelebrate. There will be a Children's Candle and Roses 
Procession. Special blessings will be given to all who are or who 
have worked for Respect Life as well as those traveling to the 
March for Life in Washington or San Francisco.  A reception will 
follow the Mass.  For more information, contact John or Mary 
Therese Egizio ((815-722-1600) or the Life Office ((815-838-

	Start something new for yourself this New Year. New Yoga 
Class Schedule - Come for one or more classes. 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.

Tuesdays 9 am to 10 am
 January 8, 15, 22, and 29

	$4 per class ($6 for families) Call Debbie Styka at 630-
	Please bring a non-slip yoga mat if you have one.
Required:  comfortable clothing, socks that can come off

	May the Light of Christ burn brightly within you 
during these Holy Days.  A Blessed Christmas to all from 
Mary Queen of Heaven Preschool.

Please note: There is no RE on December 26th and January 2nd. 
RE Class sessions will resume at the normal time on Wednesday, 
January 9th. 

For more info on any of the above, please call Mary Ann Woods at 
the REO, 832-8962.


	On behalf of all of us in the REO, we wish you a most holy 
and happy Christmas.

	Please see our website at and 
contact the school office for more information and registration.              
(630) 833-9500
Preschool classes have begun.  We still have some openings in our 
Tuesday/Thursday class.  
Come join us!
	         Preschool tours scheduled upon request.
The Preschool will begin Registration for the 2008-2009 school 
year beginning in January.  We will be offering Open House for 
those interested in visiting our classroom.  
Saturday   January 12, 2008   9:00am-11:00am
Sunday   January 13, 2008  9:30am-12:30pm
After the 8:30am and 10:30am Masses
Tuesday  January 29, 2008      6:30pm-8:00pm

Parish News

	Mark your calendars and plan to join us.
June 27-29, 2008
Youth Leadership Conference
Lewis University, Romeoville
	It is an awesome weekend of
praise, friendship and worship. We hope you will plan on joining 
us. Questions?  Call Mrs. Gusloff 

Christian Education Commission

	There will be no morning Masses on Monday, December 24 
or on Monday, December 31.  We will be having Masses later 
in the day on each of those days and it is a hardship to 
stretch our priests any further than they already are 
during this busy liturgical season.  Please check the 
schedule on page 3 for up-to-date days and times.  Thank 
you for your understanding and we look forward to your 
worship with us later on those days.

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