Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time  

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Jerome,

Pax Christi semper vobiscum!

We are a month away from Kermes. We know that the success of this event depends on the volunteers and the efforts of each one. This would be a good opportunity for our parish to bring our people together in our cultural diversity. Though our goal is to raise funds for the upcoming projects (especially the repair of the church roof), we should not forget that our primary goal as a parish is to be an instrument of evangelization to our neighbors. We know that after a long pause of coming to church regularly, there are some who lost a sense of comfort with being around a bigger crowd and surrounded by people. Even more, then, our presence as a community is a critical point of reference that should give a sense of fellowship and camaraderie. Please participate. There are so many ways to contribute and to practice our stewardship.

Father Joseph Tito, a priest from the Archdiocese of Chicago and former pastor of Saint Nicholas Parish in Evanston, retired last June. He will be our resident priest at Saint Jerome. It is a blessing for us to have another cleric on our parish team who can pick up some extra sacramental functions while Father Joel continues his Clinical Pastoral Education courses during the summer. Please say hello to Father Tito when you see him around to make him feel welcome at the parish. He and I worked together at Our Lady of Mercy in Albany Park during the first four years of my priesthood. His wisdom and energy will surely be a great source of assistance to our ministries.

The Missionary Sisters of Saint John launched the Children’s Summer Camp in the middle of last week. The children are participating in various interesting activities such as artwork, basic catechism, dance, sports, and exercise. As you know, kids are always hungry whenever they are engaged in physical activity, so feel free to bring some individually wrapped snacks for them if you have an opportunity to do so. There are forty of them in total. We are also planning to take them to an educational trip in the middle of the program. In case there are some other children in the parish who would benefit by joining in this field trip, please express your interest to one of the sisters so we can make a special arrangement with them.

Finally, we will proceed to create a patio in the area by the small parking lot. It is simply dangerous to have some debris and other objects piled up on the area, so we will transform it. As announced last week, you may donate both monetarily and gift-in-kind for this project. We need pieces of lumber for the pergolas, bricks, retainers, and benches that we would put around the area. Please contact the Parish Office if you are willing to do so. There are always plenty of opportunities to be good stewards of our gifts. The offertory ritual that we began last weekend will be the summary of our prayers of thanksgiving each Sunday. I know that this sounds a bit challenging for some, since this is something new that we are doing as a parish. Your collaboration will be a profession of our faith as well as an affirmation of our prayers. Thank you in advance for your presence in this process. It will take a bit of time before we become accustomed to the movement that we are doing during the Sunday liturgy.

See you next weekend and God bless.

Sincerely in Christ and Mary,