December 11, 2021 | Weekly Update
Embrace this Gaudete “Rejoice” Sunday as a call to pause from our busyness to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Lord, to prepare ourselves with JOY! “Cry out with joy!” we hear in Isaiah 12, for “the Lord is in our midst,” writes Zephaniah.
Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit! Joy goes beyond mere moments of happiness that come and go. Hear more about it in the less than 2-minute video on the Flocknote email.
In our Sunday Gospel we hear that John the Baptist brought good, joyful news to his followers:
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of His sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire!”
Have an expectant joy-filled third week of Advent. If you missed any of the Advent homilies of the Fathers, you can find them all on our Advent Resource page. We hope to see you at the weekend Mass times where Father James is preaching and this coming week at any of the gatherings. Or stop by and visit Jesus at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel or at daily Mass during the week.
Questions for Additional Reflection:
- How is Joy different than Happiness?
- Have you ever experienced real joy? Even in a time of suffering or trial?
- What’s one thing you can do to live joyfully this week?
THIS COMING WEEK
Second Collection for Retired Religious on 12/11 and 12/12
- Help aging religious. Elderly Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests have offered their lives in service to others— educating the young, comforting the sick, and ministering to the less fortunate. Today, many are frail and need assistance. Your gift to the Retirement Fund for Religious helps furnish medications, nursing care, and more.
- As Bishop Hicks writes in this letter to us on helping our senior religious, “I am reminded that senior religious never retire from their vows. Instead, the prayer and ministry of older religious are an ongoing witness to the Gospel.
In their younger years, they laid the foundation for Catholic schools, hospitals, and works of mercy. Today, many serve in volunteer ministry. Others are frail and need assistance. Yet all remain wholly committed to their vocations, accepting the limitations of aging and embracing the opportunity to spend more time praying for our Church and world.” Let us be inspired to give generously to this weekend’s second collection.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass 12/12
- Please join the Hispanic Ministry at the bilingual Mass celebration in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe at 2pm on Sunday 12/12 in Spanish. We hope to see you in person at the Mass (or at the livestream) which commemorates this wonderful feast day of the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe (OLG), the patron saint of the Americas who appeared to Juan Diego in Mexico City in 1531. For more on OLG watch Bishop Barron’s visit to the OLG shrine in Mexico here.
- For those with cancer, serious or chronic illnesses, and their caregivers. As well as anyone experiencing physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and health concerns. Come to the In-Person St. Peregrine Prayer Service this Tuesday following the 6:30pm Mass.
- Visit the Ministry Room after all the Masses to grab a stocking to fill for a family in need! Stockings will benefit families receiving assistance through the Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry and Hesed House. Each stocking will come with a list of suggested items to purchase and stuff your stocking with!
- Once you have filled your stocking with suggested “stocking stuffers,” please return it to our table in the Ministry Room after any of the Sunday masses OR return it to the main office during office hours by no later than Tuesday, 12/14. Please contact Lydia Schmitt, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 331-707-5377, with additional questions.
- We hope to see you on Wednesday 12/15th at 6:30pm to watch this Christmas movie that is on limited release in the theaters here at Our Lady of Mercy!
- This is the perfect opportunity to bring friends and family, including those who haven’t seen The Chosen, those who have not been to Church in a while, and those who don’t know Jesus, for a unique Christmas story experience.
Simbang Gabi 12/18
- The Simbang Gabi Filipino tradition of celebrating devotional Mass in preparation for the coming of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ will be held on Saturday 12/18 at 6pm with fellowship and light refreshment after Mass.
- Come and join the Filipino community at the Simbang Gabi Mass which invites all of us to nurture the spirit of Advent not only as individual preparation but to prepare as a community, a family of God united in worship and in prayer. We bring our families and friends to the Eucharist, joining the entire community in waiting, and being strengthened by God’s Spirit in preparing for the birth of Jesus.
- What is Simbang Gabi you may wonder? Find out here.
- Please register ahead of time for the fellowship and light reception taking place after the Mass.
LOOKING AHEADBishop Hicks’ Monthly Column
Advent Resources & Schedule
- For December is now posted, it’s entitled “Our Lady of Guadalupe” read it here.
2021 CMAA Closing Reports
- To accompany your preparations during Advent, don’t forget to check out our Advent Resources and Schedule webpage which also includes the following
- Christmas Mass Times and FAQs (details)
- Advent Homilies
- Advent Reconciliation Times
- Thank you so much for your support of the 2021 Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal (CMAA) helping us surpass our goal of $154,400 with $162,242 in commitments to which our parish rebate is $5,490! Please proceed here to view the closing report and letter from Bishop Hicks.
Christmas Flower Memorials
- This Christmas we will decorate the church with poinsettias around the altar. Flowers can also be memorialized by using one of the flower envelopes found in the narthex. The recommended donation is $10.00. Thank you for your generosity and for helping to make our church beautiful during the holiday season.
- This year for Christmas we are partnering with the Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry Hesed House and St. Vincent de Paul to assist families in need throughout the holidays. Donations will benefit those individuals who are currently receiving aide through SVDP in order to assist the families with rent and utility payments. Donations will also assist the purchase of Christmas meals through the Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry and Hesed House to benefit those families whom they currently assist.
Elise Flagg Academy of Dance Presents: The Naperville Nutcracker 12/17 – 12/19
- (Our very own parishioner) Elise Flagg, her Academy of Dance is presenting The Nutcracker at North Central College Pfeiffer Hall.
- Celebrate this holiday season with the magic of The Naperville Nutcracker! Set to the beloved score by Tchaikovsky, with its beautiful costumes, gorgeous sets and impressive dancing. This production is guaranteed to fill the audience with cheer and delight! Tickets and information are found here.
- Feel free to ask Elise any questions, she is a daily Mass attendee.Parishioners may make donations via our online giving portal under “Angel Giving” or checks can also be made payable to Our Lady of Mercy with “Angel Giving” in the memo and placed inside of the bin in the Narthex after mass. Please contact Lydia Schmitt, in the main office, with additional questions at email@example.com or 331-707-5377.
Blue Christmas In-person Prayer Service 12/19
Christmas Collection & End of Year Giving 12/25 and 12/31
- May those experiencing grief and loss at Christmas, find hope and peace in this prayer service and comfort in knowing that you are not alone. It is a time to listen, pray and feel the love of God.
- The Blue Christmas Prayer Service will be in the church on Sunday, 12/19 from 3pm to 4pm. Please connect with Jolene LeRoy at 331-707-5380 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Informational Meeting on Diocesan Mission 1/4/2022 and 1/12/2022
- As we prepare for the Solemnity of Christmas, the Scripture readings inspire all faith-filled stewards to stop and ponder in great awe God’s ultimate gift: the gift of His only begotten Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Out of heartfelt gratitude, what of our prayer, service, and generosity can we present to Him?
It is a great blessing that all of the funds donated as part of the Christmas Collection stay with Our Lady of Mercy and will help us meet our Weekly Sunday Collection which we are falling short of its weekly goal. If you wish to donate to the Christmas Collection, please use one of the following three methods:
1. Give online at www.olmercy.com/give look for the online giving portal and be sure to select “Christmas” (use the drop-down arrow)
2. Give during Mass using your Christmas envelope.
3. Give during Mass using a blank envelope labeled “Christmas Collection,” also include “Christmas Collection” on the memo line of your check
PLEASE NOTE: only donations received (or postmarked) on or before December 31 will appear on your 2021 giving statement that will be sent out by the end of January, 2022
- Join the diocesan mission trip to the Navajo Nation in June 2022!
The Diocese of Joliet will resume its U.S. mission program in June with a two-week trip to the Navajo Nation located near Chinle, Arizona.
The June 4-17 trip will focus on construction projects for residents of the reservation, with volunteers helping with such jobs as framing a house, tearing down dilapidated buildings, repairing fencing, etc. “It’s not just going to work for the people, but to be with them and experience their life and culture,” said diocesan missions coordinator Bruce Carlson. The diocese has organized mission trips to the reservation since 2002, but paused the annual expeditions during the past two years because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Informational meetings on the trip will be held on Jan. 4 and 12 at the Blanchette Catholic Center, 16555 Weber Road, Crest Hill, Illinois. For more information, email email@example.com or call 815-221-6256.
Free Throw Championship 1/22/2022
Exploring the Priesthood Weekend at Mundelein Seminary 1/28 – 1/30/2022
- On Saturday 1/22/2022 at 9am is the Robert H. Weaver Knights of Columbus #12005 Free Throw Championship in the gym at the Parish Life Center. Registration begins at 8:45am
- All boys and girls aged 9 to 14, as of 1/1/2022, are invited to participate, please present proof of age during registration with written parental consent. Participants will compete in their respective age divisions, with the winners advancing to the district, region, and state competitions. All contestants at this local event will be recognized for their participation. The District competition will take place in February at a to be determined location. For additional information call (630) 957-7559
- The Exploring the Priesthood Weekend at Mundelein Seminary is an “open house” to give men Junior in College and older an opportunity to learn about Mundelein Seminary and to hear about the priesthood. Private room and meals included. There is no cost for the weekend.
- More details and registration is found at this link. Connect with Father Steve Borello Joliet Diocese Vocation Director 815.221.6100 firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.
- Recall Father Steve’s homily in late August (found here) where he gives us reason to stop and consider asking those we know who would make wonderful fathers and mothers if they have ever given serious consideration to the joy of being with Jesus as a spiritual father or spiritual mother through the priesthood and religious life? Know of men Junior in college and older that would make a wonderful father, please let them know of the weekend.
Synod on Synodality
Children’s Liturgy of the Word CLOW Volunteers
- The Synod on Synodality is a two-year process of listening and dialogue that began with a solemn opening in Rome in October and will conclude in 2023.
- Let us be in prayer for Bishop Hicks and all the Bishops, for blessings upon the preparation for the Synod of Bishops, and that the dialogue of those participating in the pre-synod process will bear great fruit for the salvation of souls.
- What is a synod you may wonder? Here is an article that explains it.
Check this article out as well, which has a four-point consideration to help us better understand what will be on taking place these next two years.
- Here is a link to our Diocesan page where Bishop Hicks and his Diocesan Pastoral Council lay out the framework of the process
St. Vincent de Paul Society Volunteers
- Every Sunday at the 10am Mass is the beautiful ministry of the Children’s Liturgy of the Word. Do you love children and caring for them while they listen to the Gospel? Please connect with Mary Jo Trapani email@example.com or Jean Palasz firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
- Thank you for your support of our clothing drive. Your clothing donation, as well as your financial donations throughout the year, allows us to help our parishioners and neighbors in need. In 2020 over 120 people/families were provided assistance.
- The ministry is always looking for volunteers to join our St. Vincent de Paul Society in assisting our neighbors in need. If you would like to volunteer or learn more, send an email at email@example.com with your name and contact information.
Don’t Get Scammed by Fake Fathers!
- Don’t forget to check out Father Don’s insightful weekly Bulletin article located here.
For the Hispanic Community
- Did you get an email or a text message from (a fake) Father Don this past week? Please remember, Father Don and Father James DO NOT send texts or emails asking for money or gift cards. If you receive a message appearing to be from Father Don or Father James, please discard it and DO NOT SEND ANY ELECTRONIC MONETARY AID.
A Note from the Intercessory Prayer Ministry
- Please proceed herefor the OLM Hispanic Ministry’s upcoming events and resources.
Continúe aquí para conocer los próximos eventos y recursos del Ministerio Hispano de OLM.
- There will be Stations of the Cross in Spanish every 2nd Wednesday of the month after the 12pm Mass.
A partir de la próxima semana, habrá Estaciones de la Cruz en español cada segundo miércoles del mes después de la misa de las 12 pm.
Have you downloaded our myParish App yet?
- How can we be praying for you today?
There are times when life is overwhelming when all we have is questions. In those moments, hope can feel far away. The great thing about prayer is that it shifts our perspective toward the One who stands ready to listen. No matter what you’re facing, we’d love to pray with you. Submit your prayer requests at this link
- Prayer Ministry takes place monthly at MAGNIFY and at the last weekend of the month Mass times. Come forward after Mass by yourself, or with your family, friends, spouse, or in the place of someone you know who needs prayer. Prayer ministry is for all those in need of prayer, be it for spiritual, physical, or emotional need or thankful praise.
- If you haven’t done so, we encourage you to download the Our Lady of Mercy app available to download for iPhone and Android smartphones. Or text APP to 88202 to download.
- Stay connected with our parish throughout the week with instant notifications, an easy-to-access event calendar, and the ability to quickly reply to or share messages via Facebook or Twitter. Also enjoy a bunch of additional features like prayers, daily readings, helpful reminders to silence your phone before Mass or Confession, and much more.
GROW GROUPS | WE CONTINUE TO LAUNCH GROW GROUPS, ONE GROUP AT A TIME
Connect with firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.
Mission. This group exists to grow a community that inspires and forms the young adult generation to be saints.
Website. Proceed here for details.
Meets. Tuesdays @ 7pm and twice a month for social gatherings.
Connect. Reach out to Matt Kubanda and Mary Rysavy email@example.com
See what they have been up to at this video.
Mission. Vine & Branches is a group at Our Lady of Mercy that offers support and belonging to individuals of any age or faith who are divorced or separated on the way to divorce.
Website. Proceed here for details
Meets. Wednesdays @ 7pm with social gatherings.
Connect. The group leaders are looking forward to hearing from you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to them.
Kim Harris firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary LoGalbo email@example.com
John Frederick firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Marks email@example.com
Check out the video to find out more about Vine and BranchesMission. A Mother’s Heart is a group for Catholic mothers with children ages 0-11 who are seeking to journey with other like-minded women of faith. Following the example of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, we strive to imitate her “little way” of growing in holiness through the lenses of motherhood and family.Website. Proceed here for details.Meets. Thursdays twice a month. For any of the following: book chats, podcast discussions, “Mom’s Night Out”, community service projects, fellowship, playgroups, prayer. Please join them and register ahead of time for this month’s gatherings with Lydia Schmit.
-|- Advent Crafts & Storytime on Thursday 12/16 @ 9:30am at Our Lady of Mercy-|- Zoom Discussions on Thursday 12/9 & 12/21 @ 7:30pm to discuss episodes from the Abiding Together PodcastConnect. Reach out to Lydia Schmitt firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.
GROW YOUR FAITH
FREE ONLINE RESOURCES In this section, you will find free conferences, webinars, and studies that you can freely take part in that can grow your faith.
Diving into the beauty of the Faith has never been easier: at home, on the go, or from any internet-connected device. Discover thousands of books, audio talks, movies, documentaries, and studies… there is something for every member of the family to help them grow closer to Christ and His Church.
- Visit http://signup.formed.org/
- Enter our parish zip or name
- Enter your name and email
Check out our “Eucharist Resources” page to help us understand deeply the centrality of the Eucharist in our lives and the great Feast of Corpus Christi.AMEN – CATHOLIC MEDITATION APP
From Augustine Institute comes this NEW & FREE Catholic prayer app that inspires your daily conversation with God through faithful meditations and nourishing Scripture. There is also Family Content: Enjoy and share family-favorite audio from the series Brother Francis and the Jesus Stories. Please enjoy this latest offering from the Augustine Institute.
HALLOW – A CATHOLIC PRAYER & MEDITATION APPHallow is a Catholic prayer & meditation app that helps users deepen their relationship with God through contemplative prayer and strengthen one’s mental health in the process. Easy-to-use, audio-guided sessions anywhere from 1 to 60 minutes long. Pray your own way with a personalized prayer plan pulling from 3,000+ unique sessions including the Lectio Divina on the Daily Gospel, Rosary, Examen, Night Prayer, Calm & Humility “Praylists” and much more. Hallow Light is free. Hallow Plus is $5 per month ($60 per year). Sign up for either one here.
WORD ON FIRE
Did you know that you have complete access to Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire ENGAGE video library! Check out this linkto watch any of the videos whenever you want without ever having to login.
Looking for authentically Catholic content for men? Look no further than HeroicMen.com—the all-new, 100% FREE Catholic streaming platform for men.
Learn about your faith from today’s best Catholic speakers—and do it all from the convenience of home. Stream-on-demand from your phone or tablet, too, for quality Catholic content on the go.
Get it all—for FREE – at HeroicMen.com
AQUINAS 101 FREE COURSES
Have you wanted to get to know St. Thomas Aquinas and his writings more so as to grow closer to Jesus?
Sign up for any of the short and free courses at Aquinas 101 a project of the Thomistic Institute seeks to promote understanding of the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, the eminent 13th-century philosopher, and theologian.
Aquinas is a masterful interpreter of reality. His writings assist us in answering perennial questions on topics like God, man, the natural world, law, and morality, and questions of special relevance to our time like the relationship between modern science and faith or pursuing happiness in the digital era.AMA WITH FATHER JAMESWe’ve learned so much through the questions you asked! Thank you for submitting them. Let’s continue to learn together as Father James answers more of your questions. Watch them here or submit any questions you may have!
If you have physical, mental, emotional or spiritual health concerns or questions about end-of-life issues, funeral planning, journeying through grief, caregiving for a loved one or are homebound, please contact Jolene LeRoy RN Parish Nurse and Director of Pastoral Care for support and resources at email@example.com or 331-707-5380.
OPEN HEARTS MINISTRY
There will not be a gathering in December for the Open HEARTS Ministry. If you are in need of emotional or mental health support or resources, please contact Janice Hurtado Aeppli at 321-217- 7872 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you find yourself struggling in overcoming your battle with pornography? Restore is a weekly (anonymous) meeting where men lean on each other for support and accountability and share ideas as to how to strengthen our resolve to stay on God’s path of chastity. All men are welcome, whether you have been free of pornography addiction for many years or struggle with it every single day.
If you are ready to start breaking free from the grips of pornography and want to Restore your life email us at Restore.email@example.com to find out more information on when and where we meet.