Be still and know that I am God.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It’s beautiful to reflect on the history of Our Lady of Mercy: from its founding in 1987, to the building of the Church in 1998, to the construction of the Parish Life Center in 2005. From our humble beginnings in Waubonsie High School auditorium, to now worshiping in a church filled with so many gorgeous stained-glass windows, wonderful families and parishioners. One thing is certain: Our Lady of Mercy has been built by the generosity of many faithful souls—many of whom have been here since the very beginning. Thanks to your countless acts of service, innumerable hours of prayer, and unwavering financial support, we have continued to provide the people of our area (and even beyond!) with what every heart longs for: a place of belonging, growth, support, and above all, Our Lord. For this, and for so much more, I am truly grateful to be the pastor at Our Lady of Mercy!
Today, I’d like to present another opportunity to the parish—to all of you—which will only be possible with that same generosity. As I mentioned in October, it’s the desire to bring an adoration chapel to Our Lady of Mercy.
As you may already be aware, one of the many reasons for this desire is that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has called for a Eucharistic Revival in our country, beginning with every individual parishioner, parish, and diocese. This chapel would help foster a love for Our Lord in the Eucharist and offer a more accessible and consistent opportunity for people to have a life-changing encounter with Jesus in Eucharistic adoration.
Additionally, because we have so many beautiful ministries of encounter, growth, and service at our parish, my hope is that this adoration chapel will fuel our ministries with prayer and make them all the more effective in bringing people to know, love, and serve Our God and our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us dwell more profoundly in God’s love for us and hear the Scriptures speak to us, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
Currently, we have two and a half days of adoration in our church. However, because we utilize our church so much, these times of adoration frequently must be interrupted. Funerals, for instance, take precedence as we bring comfort and consolation to our grieving families. We likewise have to spend a lot of time cleaning and decorating our Church each week, which can be a distraction for those seeking to spend some quiet time with Our Lord. In fact, one of the reasons we don’t already have more adoration time available is because we need to use the church so much! Having a dedicated adoration chapel will allow private prayer and adoration to be uninterrupted and more regularly available.
With all that in mind, I had sought approval from the clergy, staff, and various parishioners at OLM last fall. Having received their support and suggestions, I then presented plans for the adoration chapel to the diocese. With the direct support and oversight of our bishop and diocesan committees, I am happy to announce that the diocese has now given us permission to begin fundraising for our adoration chapel.
What is being asked? Thankfully, we are blessed to already have the space needed for the project; we will not have to build a new structure, only renovate what we already have. The “ministry room” just off of our narthex has the perfect external structure for our chapel: with the already existing windows, walls, exterior door, and bathroom. We want this space to be beautiful and to immediately lift our hearts and minds to heaven, so the current general contractor has quoted the plans at just over $250,000, which doesn’t include the particular fixtures like the tabernacle, monstrance, or pews. With those additional expenditures, the project’s total cost will be just over $275,000.
Please consider giving an additional one-time donation outside of your Sunday offertory to this beautiful project as best as you are able. Our Lady of Mercy is a dynamic parish, filled with many generous faith-filled people. I am confident that this project will bring peace and comfort to many, and that it will help us to live out our mission to offer every person a life-changing encounter with Jesus, grow disciples, and send them on mission. May this project be a blessing to you, to your family, and to our community for generations to come!
Fr. Michael Kearney