March 5, 2022 | Weekly Update
Temptation in the Desert
After 40 days of fasting (symbolic of the Israelites’ 40 years of desert wandering), Jesus meets the devil who tries to lure Him into sin. Tempted by the sensual pleasure (“turn this stone into bread”), fame across all kingdoms (“I will give you power and glory”), and power (“throw yourself down” from the mountain), Jesus rebukes satan and emerges from the desert victorious, ready to gradually reveal His identity as the Messiah of the World.
As the Son of God, Jesus could never sin but He allowed Himself to experience temptation so that He might be with us in all things, and show us an example of the nonviolent path forward.
This week, be courageous! Ask the Lord, “Help me!” whenever you experience temptation, for Jesus Christ is truly with us in this season of Lent and all the days to come!
We hope to see you at the weekend Mass times where Father James is preaching or stop by and visit Jesus at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel or at daily Mass during the week.
To prepare our hearts to come to Holy Mass this weekend, consider watching the short clip from the award-winning Catholicism series “Who is Jesus?” in the Flocknote email
“Repent of the past briefly and quietly, and concentrate on the present!”
—Fr. Benedict Groeschel
Did you miss Father Don’s’ homily last week on “Respect, Welcoming Father Michael, & Giving to the CMAA”? See it below. Come and support OLM through the CMAA, donate at this link.
THIS COMING WEEK
- In his March column, Bishop Hicks writes about Pope Francis’ 2022 Lenten Message with gusto – or even with a tone of “Lenten Madness”. Read it here.
- This Lent, let us journey with Jesus through the desert with Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving.
The season of Lent is a grace-filled opportunity to invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts, to repent and seek conversion, and to follow the Lord more closely from the desert to His Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Listed below is a variety of offerings Our Lady of Mercy has for you and your family to enter these days intentionally. Ask the Lord what He desires of you this Lent, and let’s make the pilgrimage of Lent a sacred journey and a holy adventure as we grow in faith, hope, and love through our prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
- LENTEN GUIDELINES
- LENTEN HOMILIES
- LENTEN LITERARY, VISUAL, OR ONLINE RESOURCES
- LENT SCHEDULE
- HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE
- LENT FAQs (Such as Are Sundays excluded from Lent? Does Lent end on Palm Sunday or Holy Thursday?)
- Click here for the Lenten Resource & Schedule page.
- What an amazing first night of Alpha! We had a great time sharing a meal, getting to know new people, and discussing the first video! (Check out Alpha Week 1 in pictures at the bottom of this email).
It’s not too late to join this session, walk-in and registration will still be open for the next couple of weeks.
- Details and registration are found at this link, hope to see you on Thursday!
- Invitations can be intimidating, so we want to make inviting your friends and family to Alpha as easy as possible. Read some tips that can help you invite anyone in your life to join us for Alpha! You can do it! We’re praying for you https://olmercy.com/alphainvitations/
- Salt and Light Grow Group’s first gathering start this Wednesday! Come and be loved & be fed; come and experience family, hospitality, and intentional community at Salt and Light Grow Group.
- We weren’t meant to do life alone. “Encounter/Grow/Witness” is the threefold dimension of the Christian life. Once we encounter Jesus, we are then called to grow daily as His disciples.
Grow Groups are one way Our Lady of Mercy (OLM) is responding to our missionary identity where we are called to help parishioners grow continually in discipleship.
To follow Jesus is to commit to lifelong learning and growth. Like Jesus’ disciples, our walk with the Lord today is not one lived in isolation but rather one immersed in community and enriched by authentic friendship with others. At OLM and in the company of friends, Grow Groups provide a place of deep transformation where people can be known, loved, and cared for as they strive to deepen their friendship with Jesus and one another.
- For more information, connect with Bob Maxwell our Salt and Light Grow Group Leader at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Details and registration are found at this link.
- Have you ever asked: What really is racism? How does it affect me? How could I help make the world a little more accepting of all God’s children?
The Anti-Racism Committee (ARC) of The Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate will be doing a free workshop open to all parishes of the Joliet Diocese via ZOOM on Saturday, March 12, 2022, from 10am to 12pm. The committee is made up of a multicultural mix of Sisters and laypersons. This well-done workshop is informative while treating this topic with the sensitivity it deserves.
- All are invited to attend the in-person St. Peregrine Prayer Service on Tuesday, March 15 in the church after the 6:30pm Mass (at 7pm) with Deacon Tony Leazzo and Jolene LeRoy RN Parish Nurse and Director of Pastoral Care.
- St. Peregrine is the patron saint of the sick, especially those experiencing cancer, serious illness, or chronic illness. Anyone experiencing physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual health concerns would benefit from attending the prayer service. The relic of St. Peregrine will be present.
- The Mobile Food Pantry is on Weds Mar 16th from 4:30pm to 6pm. Don’t forget to share the Our Lady of Mercy social media posting on your network; you never know who among your network is in need of food.
- The Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet Mobile Food Pantry delivers healthy food (meat, produce, and non-perishable items) to people in need. No identification or information will be required or collected. This event is open to anyone in need of food! Mobile Food Pantries use a “drive-thru” method to distribute food during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please clear space in your trunk or backseat so volunteers can load boxes of food directly into your vehicle. Catholic Charities helps people of all faiths and beliefs. Mobile Food Pantries take place snow or shine!
Parish Mission – Unbound 3/18 & 3/19
- Proceed to this link for details and registration for the 2-day parish mission on Friday evening 3/18 from 6:30pm to 9:15pm and all day Saturday 3/19 from 9am to 8pm (catered lunch & dinner included)
- Led by Father Burke Masters, Father Steven Borello, Father James Guarascio, and the Unbound Team!
- These past two years have been a difficult time for us and we need a place to process what we’ve been through; from a number of things from our past or from our time during the lockdown, that we had either forgotten about or had never really dealt with.
With this in mind and our vision of providing ways to encounter Jesus, grow as disciples, and experience more power for mission, our parish mission this year is an Unbound Conference. Looking forward to seeing you there.
- Recommended reading prior to the conference is the “Unbound: A Practical Guide to Deliverance.” The book is available in the parish office for $15, purchase a copy today and prepare your heart to be overwhelmed by the love of Jesus.
- Check out the short video below on what Unbound is. Please register soon. The deadline is Sunday 3/13th.
St. Vincent de Paul Clothing Drive 3/19 & 3/20
- Clear out your closets for a good cause! Pick up a St. Vincent de Paul bag and bring it back on before and after the 4pm Mass on Saturday and on Sunday until noon.
- The Clothing Drive will accept clothing, shoes, linens, and books in good or bad condition. Unusable clothing, shoes, linens, and even books generate income for the needy because they are sold for rags or in bulk. No baby equipment such as cribs, walkers, strollers, playpens, etc. ALL BABY CLOTHES ACCEPTED! Small housewares and electronics – dishes, glassware, utensils, toasters, blenders, coffee makers, radios, cd players etc. Unfortunately, NO TELEVISIONS.
- Walk with Jesus through the desert this Lenten season at MAGNIFY. Scriptural reflection by Father James, Adoration, Praise & Worship, Confessions, and Prayer Ministry. So many powerful reasons to come to Lenten MAGNIFY.
- The Respect Life ministry is showing the movie Unplanned at 6pm. Students for Life will be present to answer questions and lead a group discussion after the movie.
- “Unplanned” tells the story of Abby Johnson, who rose quickly through the ranks of Planned Parenthood, becoming one of the youngest clinic directors in the organization. One fateful day, she assists with an ultrasound-guided abortion of a 13-week-old fetus. And that changed everything for her.
Johnson quit Planned Parenthood and became a pro-life advocate herself. She eventually founded “And Then There Were None,” which claims to be the only ministry in the country that helps abortion workers leave the industry and find new jobs. Close to 500 people, including doctors, have chosen a new walk of life through Johnson’s organization.Catholic News Service’s review of the film calls it, a “hard-hitting, fact-based drama (that) dares its viewers to confront the reality of what happens when a baby is aborted.”
- Do you have a teenager or young adult in your life? Bring them to watch Unplanned. Or if you’ve never watched Unplanned, come and see this movie that is one of those that is important to see.
- Have dinner for a good cause! All proceeds from the Lenten Fish Dinners benefit the Teen Summer Mission Trip. Free-will offerings will be accepted on both dates.
- Fridays 3/25th and 4/1st from 5:30pm to 8pm with the following choices Jumbo Shrimp (6 pieces) $12, Cod (choice of baked or fried) $11, or Salmon $12. All plates include coleslaw, tator-tots, dinner roll, chocolate brownie and beverage (soda or water).
- Ticket sales for both dates will be held the weekend of March 19-20 after all masses and in the Parish Office during the weeks of March 21-25 and March 28-April 1. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.
- Any high school teen who is interested in learning more about Christianity is welcome to attend! Alpha gives teens the opportunity to explore the meaning of life in a relaxed, friendly setting. The Alpha course usually meets once a week for 9 weeks, sometimes in a church, a home, or a restaurant. Sessions begin with food, followed by a short video/talk, and time to discuss the topic.
- Our Spring Session will begin April 3rd, so please go to our Youth Alpha page to get all the details and then sign-up if you would like to attend. Please note this session of Alpha is for High School age teens. Please contact Dave if you have questions at DaveM@olmercy.com.
An Ecumenical Chain-For-Life Event on 4/9
- Register by 3/31st to join an ecumenical, prayerful, and silent pro-life event sponsored by St. Michael Catholic Church in Wheaton from 10:15am to 11:30am held at Compass Church parking lot.
- Details and registration can be found here.
- The media would have us believe that Pro-Life advocates are in the minority. The hope is to bring as many Pro-Life advocates as possible together in a large, visible way, to let others know who share a similar view, that they are not alone and certainly not in the minority. We hope this will encourage them to speak out in their own way. We also look to use this event to send a message to our Supreme Court (Dobb’s case decision is due this summer) and to our national, state, and local politicians, and to our broader communities, that we want an end to abortion.
Support Our Teens Going on the Mission Trip
- Every moment we walk alongside a young person as they join in the work God is doing is an opportunity to affirm their purpose and celebrate their gifts. You have the opportunity to walk alongside our teens in a simple and good way by supporting them financially to offset the costs of the Misson Trip, any dollar amount is helpful.
- Drop your donation in a marked envelope into the offertory baskets during Mass or donate online through Our Sunday Visitor platform here: https://www.osvhub.com/olmercy/funds.
- Please also keep our teens, parents, and volunteers in prayer, as they prepare for and go on the Mission Trip to serve at a neighborhood in need in Ohio in July. In a special way let us pray for our teens for God to bless their quest for purpose, joining them in prayer on their journey to discover what God is doing in their lives.
- All Saints Catholic Academy (ASCA) located at 1155 Aurora Ave, Naperville is our parish school!
- Are you a parent with preschool, elementary and middle school-aged children struggling with the antithetical to Christian values the government schools are indoctrinating the children who attend the government schools? You’re not alone.
- Join a growing number of OLM parents who have made the movement! Consider connecting with some of the families who have made the move from sending their child(ren) to public school to All Saints Catholic Academy.
- Connect with Patty Bajek at (630) 961-6125, or email@example.com to express your interest and to schedule a personalized tour. Or peruse their website to explore your interest.
Children’s Liturgy of the Word CLOW 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Jean Palasz email@example.com 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 2021 we provided assistance to 35 people/families.
- 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 to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and contact information.
- Father Don speaks about our new pastor! Read all about it at his weekly Bulletin article located here.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Prayer ministry is an opportunity for those in need of physical, emotional, or spiritual healing or with a specific intention. Come as an individual, as a couple, or as. a family and receive prayer for yourself or request prayers for someone in need. Listen and receive the prayers while being open to the Holy Spirit’s movement. Trained prayer ministers are available.
- 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
Mary LoGalbo firstname.lastname@example.org
John Frederick email@example.com
Jim Marks firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the video to find out more about Vine and Branches
Mission. 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
Connect. Reach out to Lydia Schmitt email@example.com for any questions.
SALT AND LIGHT GROW GROUP
Mission. “Encounter/Grow/Witness” is the threefold dimension of the Christian life. Once we encounter Jesus, we are then called to grow daily as His disciples. Grow Groups are one way Our Lady of Mercy is responding to our missionary identity where we are called to help parishioners grow continually in discipleship.
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.
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 APP
Hallow 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 JAMES
We’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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
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.firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more information on when and where we meet.