Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time  

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Jerome,

Pax Christi semper vobiscum!

The month of October came so quickly. Fall is here. The life of our parish moves on as usual. We have plenty of events planned for this month; here is an overview of our activities.

We would like to welcome our Religious Education Students back to the program. The Mass of the Holy Spirit this weekend opened the first day of the Latino School of Culture as well as the regular Sacramental Preparation classes. As mentioned in the past, the success of these programs depends on the collaborative effort of the students’ parents with our catechists and coordinators. There are certain expectations that the program requires: Commitment to the Sacramental Preparation classes and Mass attendance are the two primary expectations that our team asks our families to collaborate with. Let us offer a welcoming spirit to our young people so they feel received and supported by all of us. Know that the Latino School is being conducted on Saturdays from 9:00am – 1:30pm; and the regular sacramental preparation classes are conducted on Sundays after the 8:30am Mass in Spanish and after the 10:15am Mass in English.

During the month of October, it is traditional that our devotion to pray the Rosary of the Blessed Mother is intensified. As part of this initiative, I would like to invite you to come every Tuesday evening for a candlelight rosary procession in the church. Various images of the Blessed Mother will be adorned during the procession that represent her under her titles in different cultures and devotions.

I would like to invite our Young People for a gathering in Union 1 Arena (Former UIC Pavilion) for the Holy Fire event on October 14th and15th. This is an opportunity to bring them together as parish youth. There will be inspirational speakers and activities that are designed to uplift, encourage, and provoke their interest to Christian discipleship. Please visit the Archdiocese of Chicago website for this event. I will give more information through our Facebook page regarding this invitation.

As I explained in my previous bulletin letter, the Matthew 25 Ministry, our parish outreach for our homeless neighbors, begins next week, October 9th. We have a sign-up sheet available at the back of the church for those who would like to come and volunteer. Monetary donations are also welcome as well as groceries for the hot meal preparations. You will know in anticipation each week what items are needed so you may bring them to the parish office during the week if you so choose. I thank you in advance for your generous collaboration.

In the long run, you have seen how many unprecedented situations caught us off guard.  The more recent influx of Venezuelan immigrants to our neighborhood is a call for us to be mindful of their needs. We do not intend to solve the crisis. Our intention as a parish is to accompany them through our pastoral sensitivity by offering them basic human necessities. We have done it so well in the last few days. Some of you brought in clothing and toiletries while others donated money for them at the parish office. Thank you so much. The Archdiocese of Chicago is organizing a more feasible pastoral response to this new migration issue. I am certain that we will need to do an extraordinary collection for this purpose in the coming weeks. We will centralize our help through Catholic Charities so as to avoid any possible confusion or chaos while we respond to the needs of our brethren.

Also, we began our sales of commemorative candles for the deceased. We are also anticipating building the Altar for the Faithful Departed. You may start bringing pictures of your beloved departed by mid-October. In connection to the tradition of celebrating the “Dia de Los Muertos,” (The Day of the Dead), the Kermes Committee is organizing the “Velada.” This is a fun night of food, music, and celebration to remember the lives of the departed. Though this is a fundraising event, it is a good way to bring our consciousness to honor the departed who contributed to building of God’s Kingdom.

In the end, I hope that all that we are invited to celebrate and participate in during the month of October helps us to increase our faith and strengthen our commitment to Christian discipleship.

Sincerely in Christ and Mary,