Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends and Parishioners of Saint Jerome,

Pax Christi semper vobiscum!

Last weekend the Archdiocesan Hispanic Ministry conducted a recognition Good Samaritan award ceremony for the Covid19 first responders from each parish. The ceremony was presided by Cardinal Cupich together with the Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese of Chicago. The front page of our bulletin captures the highlights of the event. We would like to thank and acknowledge Irma Hernandez, Jose and Domitila Garcia, Claudio and Ana Serrano, Belinda Cambron and Vertin Jimenez for their dedication and availability to serve our community during the re-opening of Saint Jerome Parish after the peak of the pandemic. They continue to serve us until today in various capacities. There are some other members of our parish community who also dedicated their time and talents behind the scenes to assure our safety while we were in transition to the different phases of social gathering. Thank you so much for what you each have done for all of us.

Cardinal Cupich presided the opening Mass of the Synod on Synodality last Sunday evening. This two-year process of reflection and dialogue among members of our parish aims at facilitating a much deeper awareness of our involvement in the life of the Church through communion, participation and mission. You will hear more about this process in the coming days as the Archdiocese of Chicago gives us more instructions on how to proceed with our communal reflections and parish integrations.

While the repair and tuckpointing of the convent is going on, the church ceiling made its way to be the next in line for repair. After the 6:00pm Mass last Sunday, while our volunteers were cleaning up and locking up the church doors, there was a sudden crashing sound that filled the church building. The plaster work on the northeast section of the church above the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe caved in due to water accumulation on the damaged roof after a heavy rainfall that day.

This is another unexpected project that we need to work on. You have probably noticed also that there are various sections in the church ceiling where water damage can be traced that require attention and maintenance. Like anyone’s house, our worship space needs regular repair also. I wonder how we could creatively respond to this urgent church repair with the weather changing rapidly as we come closer to winter. We need to anticipate a campaign towards maintenance and repair of various sections of the church in the coming days. I will keep you posted.

Finally, as we commemorate the Solemnity of All Saints, sacred relics of some special saints are exposed by the altar of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Stop in to pray, venerate and ask for their intercession. Also, I would like to remind you that there is an indulgence given to anyone who comes to our church of St. Jerome on November 6th. This special spiritual gift is attached to the commemoration of the dedication of the Altar of Perpetual Privilege upon its consecration in 1948. The morning Mass on that day will be celebrated with great solemnity to highlight the importance of this history of our parish. Please come to honor and pray for the generations before us who left us this magnificent worship space.

Be careful as you go out on the streets for “trick or treat.” I shall see you next weekend.

Sincerely in Christ and Mary,