Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends and Parishioners of Saint Jerome,

Pax Christi semper vobiscum!

The in-person Confirmation classes of our Religious Education program began this weekend. These classes will be alternating between in-person and remote learning. Our younger kids who are in First Communion preparation will continue to be in remote learning only. I would like to thank our catechists, coordinators and parents who have made this in-person initiative a reality for our Confirmation students. Our goal is to make their sacramental preparation integral in terms of community building and personal interaction while remaining cautious of not having physical contact with other students. Let us remain conscious of safety while the pandemic continues.

We are just two weeks away from our Lenten observances. In anticipation, Ash Wednesday will be totally different from previous years. Our staff and the re-opening team are still in the process of discernment on how to implement the Archdiocesan guidelines we have received in terms of the various liturgical celebrations ahead. We need everyone’s cooperation to register online or through the Parish Office before coming to church on Ash Wednesday so we can prevent having any overflow of people based on the allowed number of participants in the church at any given moment. I will make sure that our staff uploads the registration page on our Facebook page in plenty of time. Since the number of those who can be in church is limited, please make sure to show up if you have registered before the celebration begins. We have had several experiences up until recently where a family or an individual signs up for a certain number of people and yet opted not to come after all. Family emergencies are understandable, but it is also important to call the Parish Office if you need to cancel your registration, so your space can be filled by another person or family.

There were a few deaths in the parish over the last few weeks due to Covid19. Our prayers go out for the families of the deceased and for the eternal repose of the souls of their beloved departed. Please remain vigilant and cautious by following the safety measures from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. I hope that you remain patient with our guidelines in terms of parish protocols for our public gatherings. Our goal is safety and the preservation of life. The Archdiocese of Chicago has also dedicated a webpage of information regarding Covid19 guidelines and protocols. In case you have further inquiries that we have not mentioned in our parish announcements, I recommend that you go to the Archdiocesan website for extensive information that was put together by the Covid19 task force.

Our Gospel this weekend continues to unravel the mysteries of Jesus’ public ministry. Something immensely powerful is guaranteed to us by Saint Mark. Jesus heals and expels anything and everything that is oppressive of our spirit. The healing of the possessed person in the Gospel was indicative of Jesus’ power to restore what was broken and distraught by spiritual maladies that take someone away from the fullness of life. Perhaps we should also bring Him all that prevents us from being the person that He would like us to be. Until next weekend.

Sincerely in Christ and Mary,