From the Pastor’s Desk

August 30 – Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Last week I ended my article indicating that Our Lady of Mercy Parish has a new relationship with All Saints Catholic Academy in Naperville.  Let me give you a little history about ASCA and our parish involvement.  Founded in 2005 as a regional inter parish Catholic grammar school, five area parishes were asked to make a financial commitment to purchase the building and property that was formerly Calvary School.  Those five parishes are St. Margaret Mary in Naperville, St. Thomas the Apostle in Naperville, St. Elizabeth Seton in Naperville, Holy Spirit Catholic Community in Naperville, and Our Lady of Mercy in Aurora.  Holy Spirit and Our Lady of Mercy were not able to make a financial commitment at the time to become a supporting parish.  Both parishes were either already in or planning to undertake a capital campaign for a building project.  In our case, we would be conducting a capital campaign to build the Parish Life Center.  The other three parishes committed $3.3 million paid over 15 years. Each parish paid $200,000 a year out of their Sunday income to fund this commitment.  Families attending ASCA from those three parishes received a reduced tuition rate. A higher tuition rate for families not from the three supporting parishes is charged. However, Fr. Hugh (and myself) want to support Catholic Education. Our Lady of Mercy parish pays the difference between the two rates of tuition for families from OLM who send their children to ASCA.  Our Lady of Mercy has also done that for our registered families who attend a Catholic grammar school in Aurora and elsewhere, even though those schools are not in the Diocese of Joliet.

The three parishes, St. Margaret Mary, St. Thomas the Apostle, and St. Elizabeth Seton have completed paying their $3.3 million commitment.  This past January, officials from the Diocese along with Bishop Pates met with the pastors of all five parishes.  There is still $4 million owed on the building and property.  The five parishes were asked to commit $60K annually for four years to reduce the debt that will be managed in the schools budget after four years.  You may remember that the Diocese was instituting a “tax” beginning this fiscal year on parishes without schools to help struggling schools.  Our tax would have been $60K and is in our budget.  Therefore, I agreed providing that our “tax” would now go to ASCA and not to a general fund for struggling schools. As a result, families from OLM will receive the “supporting parish” tuition rate instead of the higher rate of tuition.

Throughout the years, OLM has had many families attend ASCA.  In my 8 years of being associated with ASCA, I can testify that it is a great school!  I will be celebrating the 8:15AM Wednesday School Mass on a regular basis.  Check out ASCA, and any parents interested in sending their children to ASCA, please feel free to contact me.

Have a blessed week!

Father Don