National Nutrition Month

Thank you to everyone who stopped by the Health and Wellness Table on
Hospitality Weekend with a focus on National Nutrition Month®. There was a variety of information available to promote eating fruits and vegetables and to be aware of the sugar content in the beverages that we drink. There were samples of a green smoothie and avocado-lemon hummus to taste with carrots. Many wanted the green smoothie recipe to make at home.

The recipe is from www.simplegreensmoothies.com and it is called the
Beginner’s Luck Green Smoothie. It is full of iron, potassium and vitamins. It is recommended to use organic spinach and fruits. Ingredients:
one cup of fresh spinach; one cup of water; one half cup of frozen mango; one half cup of frozen pineapple and one peeled banana. Tightly pack spinach into a measuring cup. Add spinach to blender with water. Blend together until are chunks are gone. Add pineapple, mango and banana to the blender. Blend together until smooth and creamy – thirty seconds to two minutes depending on the type of blender. Serve immediately. The smoothie can be stored in a container with a tight lid up to two days in the refrigerator. This makes one to two servings. Enjoy!!

Our seminarian, Senovio Sarabia drinks a green smoothie every morning and encourages others to do so. He feels that the smoothie gives him energy and helps him to be clearheaded and calm. By blending the fruits and vegetables, they are “predigested” so that the body does not have to work to break down the foods and waste unnecessary energy in digestion. The smoothie provides powerful antioxidants, vitamins and fiber which helps keep you feeling fuller throughout the morning into lunch. The recipe for the Glowing Green Smoothie® by Kimberly Snyder at kimberlysnyder.com is as follows. It is suggested to use organic fruits and vegetables and a blender with a motor that can handle the blending of the following ingredients: one to two cups of cold water (depends on your preference of thickness); one head of romaine lettuce (about six cups, chopped); one half head of spinach (about seven cups, chopped); a juice of half a lemon (about two tablespoons); three to four stalks of celery; one pear (cored); one apple (cored); and one ripe banana. Fill the blender with water, blend spinach and romaine until smooth. Add celery, apple and pear – blend until smooth. Add lemon juice and banana and blend. Pour and drink! This recipe makes a big batch that can be kept in the refrigerator in a container with a tight lid for up to two and a half days or it can be frozen and thawed out in the refrigerator.

These recipes can be modified to what fruits and vegetables that you prefer. Be sure to check with your physician to see if the dark leafy greens will interfere with medications that you are taking such as anticoagulants. Be aware that the increased intake of fiber may have an effect on the gastrointestinal system. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact Jolene LeRoy RN.

Second Sunday of Easter

As the Easter Alleluias continue to be proclaimed, the church throughout the world celebrates Divine Mercy Sunday today. In the year 2000, when Saint Pope John Paul II canonized Sr. Faustina Kowalska, he declared that the universal Church would now observe the 2nd Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. The devotion to the Divine Mercy of Jesus comes from the private revelations that Sr. Faustina received from Jesus and wrote in her diary from 1937. Those who receive sacramental confession (the confession may take place some days before) and receive holy communion on Divine Mercy Sunday shall obtain the total forgiveness of all sins and punishment. Additionally, one may receive a plenary indulgence with the recitation of the Divine Mercy Chapel. All are welcome to our celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday today from 1:30PM to 4:00PM.

Last Saturday night at the Easter Vigil, three adults were baptized, confirmed and received the Eucharist. We warmly welcome Amy Ball, Douglas Cahanin, and Eric Weyhrich. Also, five adults, baptized in other Christian denominations made a profession of faith and joined the Catholic Church and were confirmed and shared in the Eucharist. We also warmly welcome into our family of faith, Felicia Caldernon, Sabrina Molinari, Haide Noyola, Matthew Sincora, and Alexander Stokowski. And, five baptized Catholics completed their initiation into the church by receiving the sacrament of confirmation. Whenever a priest baptizes and adult, or receives a baptized Christian into the church, those individuals are to be confirmed by the priest as part of being baptized or received into the church. For a priest to confirm baptized Catholics, he has to be delegated by the bishop. Bishop Conlon delegated me to confirm at the Easter Vigil, Jorge Diaz, Kendra Liscano, Alejandra Lopez, Francesca Parrino and Uriel Terrazas. We congratulate them on their confirmation. And, we pray for all our newly baptized, received, and confirmed, that they will have a life changing encounter with the Risen Lord and truly become His disciples.

With our new parish app, you can send in special prayer requests. Ever wonder what happens to those requests? They are prayed for daily by our staff. Monday through Friday, the staff gathers at 9:15am to 9:30am to pray for God’s guidance as we lead our parish, for our parish in general, our local community, individual needs, and the prayer requests that come in through our parish app. Prayer is power!

Finally, I want to share with you a special moment……Palm Sunday at the
10:45AM Mass, as I was distributing communion, a mother with child age 4
or 5 in the line next to me came up to the Eucharistic minister to receive communion. As he gave her communion, the child blurted out “I love you Jesus!” Made me smile!

Have a Blessed Easter Season!

 

March 25, 2018

SPRING WILL BE HERE BEFORE YOU KNOW IT…SO HOW ABOUT “SPRINGING” INTO A GEMS MEETING AND SEE WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT?

Our next regularly scheduled luncheon meeting with be held at Noon on April 11 in the Parish Life Center (PLC).

This luncheon will be specially catered and provided to us at no fee by a representative of Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home in Naperville who will be speaking to us about funeral service and related activity planning. If you haven’t already signed up for the April event please let Phyllis know (her email address is shown below). If you would like to bring a desert dish for this luncheon, they are always welcomed!

Please also consider participating on yet another fun activity that one of our members, Pat Feinberg hosts. The “Critics Corner Movie Club” meets on the last Friday (occasionally on the last Thursday) of each month at a local theater with a following luncheon nearby. Please contact Pat at 630-585-6437 for additional information.

Also please consider the OLM Bridge club, which meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month in the Ministry Room at 1:00 p.m. sharp. Please contact Willie at 630-898-1999 regarding joining. Both men and
women are welcomed.

You may also be interested in the OLM card group,
which also meets on the first and third Tuesdays of the month in the PLC (room #110) from 1:00-3:00 p.m. If you have any questions please email Ann at ANNC1001@AOL.COM

If you have any other GEMS related questions please send them to Phyllis Anderson via email at phyllisanderson5027@yahoo.com

2018-2019 School Year Registration – All Saints

All Saints offers preschool through Grade 8. Preschool
openings are going fast. Tuition Transfer Grants totaling $1,500 are available for students transferring into grades 1-7 from any private*, public, charter or home school (* for exceptions, visit our website).

Tours are scheduled on Tuesday mornings at 9 am; and on Thursday afternoons at 1 pm. We are excited to meet you and find out more about your student and family.

Shadow Days are scheduled on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through mid-May. Shadow Days afford your student the opportunity to experience our academics and school community first hand, making new friends and meeting future classmates.

For more information, visit our website at ascacademy.org, call (630) 961-6125, or email pbajek@ascacademy.org.

Your journey begins today!

Doubting Thomas: The Faith Strengthener?

From a homily on the Gospels by Saint Gregory the Great, Pope

Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. He was the only disciple absent; on his return he heard what had happened but refused to believe it. The Lord came a second time; he offered his side for the disbelieving disciple to touch, held out his hands, and showing the scars of his wounds, healed the wound of his disbelief.

Dearly beloved, what do you see in these events? Do you really believe that it was by chance that this chosen disciple was absent, then came and heard, heard and doubted, doubted and touched, touched and believed? It was not by chance but in God’s providence. In a marvelous way God’s mercy arranged that the disbelieving disciple, in touching the wounds of his master’s body, should heal our wounds of disbelief.

The disbelief of Thomas has done more for our faith than the faith of the other disciples. As he touches Christ and is won over to belief, every doubt is cast aside and our faith is strengthened. So the disciple who doubted, then felt Christ’s wounds, becomes a witness to the reality of the resurrection.

Touching Christ, he cried out: My Lord and my God. Jesus said to him: Because you have seen me, Thomas, you have believed. Paul said: Faith is the guarantee of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. It is clear, then, that faith is the proof of what can not be seen. What is seen gives knowledge, not faith.

When Thomas saw and touched, why was he told: You have believed because you have seen me? Because what he saw and what he believed were different things. God cannot be seen by mortal man. Thomas saw a human being, whom he acknowledged to be God, and said: My Lord and my God. Seeing, he believed; looking at one who was true man, he cried out that this was God, the God he could not see.

What follows is reason for great joy: Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed. There is here a particular reference to ourselves; we hold in our hearts one we have not seen in the flesh. We are included in these words, but only if we follow up our faith with good works. The true believer practices what he believes. But of those who pay only lip service to faith, Paul has this to say: They profess to know God, but they deny him in their works. Therefore James says: Faith without works is dead.

Life’s Simple 7

The American Heart Association encourages everyone to make little changes every day that will add up to big improvements in overall health. Number 1 is to Get Active. The goal is to get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise or a combination of both. Number 2 is to Eat Better. Try to limit sugary foods and drinks, processed foods and salt. Eat a colorful diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat products, poultry, fish and nuts. Number 3 is to Lose Weight. A healthy weight is important for good health. Number 4 is Control Cholesterol. It is important to know cholesterol levels and ways to decrease as high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Number 5 is Manage Blood Pressure. High blood pressure is also a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. When was the last time that you had your blood pressure taken? The ideal pressure is below 120/80. Number 6 is Reduce Blood Sugar. Blood glucose is an important fuel for the body but too much sugar may contribute to chronic diseases. Number 7 is Stop Smoking. Smoking damages the circulatory system and increases the risk of multiple diseases.

If you would like personal health counseling or have any questions about Life’s Simple 7, please contact Jolene LeRoy RN Parish Nurse at jolenel@olmercy.com.

Faith and Good Health Go Together

Over the past twenty years, dozens of studies show that prayer, faith and belief in God has a positive effect on physical, spiritual and emotional health. Dr. Harold C. Koenig is the Director of Duke University’s Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health and is considered among the country’s leading authorities on faith and healing. According to Dr. Koenig, it was reported in 2015 that an analysis of more than 1,500 reputable medical studies “indicate people who are more religious and pray more have better mental and physical health”.

If you are wondering what kind of impact faith may have on physical health, Koenig, the senior author of the “Handbook of Religion and Health”, says that involvement in a faith community, enables people to better cope with stress, experience greater well-being “because they have more hope,” and have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure and “probably better cardiovascular functioning.” Dr. Koenig reports that nearly 1,200 studies done on the effects of prayer on health show that religious people are motivated to live healthier lives.

It is interesting to note how being involved in and attending religious services on a routine basis offers a trusted support system providing a connection to social interaction and bonding. Clay Routledge, social psychologist and professor of psychology at North Dakota State University, writes that recent studies found that praying together promotes feelings of unity and trust. It seems that social prayer may be a factor in bringing people closer together.

The intent of this article is to show that prayer and faith have a positive impact on one’s total health – mind, body and spirit – and to emphasize that our parish provides and supports ministries that promotes whole person health.

MERCYFEST Baskets

Beginning Feb. 26th until the end of EDGE, April 19th, EDGE will begin to take items that are donated from our teens & their families to make Mercy Fest Baskets for next year. Our teens will bring home a sheet explaining what type of basket they have chosen & what type of items could be donated. Then the last week of EDGE, during our “Sports Party” volunteers will make up baskets for the next Mercy Fest. Candy will provide a pizza party to the one class of EDGE teens that bring in the most items-one from Monday’s EDGE & one from Thursday’s EDGE! They can enjoy this during the “Sports Party.”

The Significance of Easter Lillies

It’s Easter Sunday and our church is filled with many beautiful and fragrant flowers, chief among them the lily. The magnificent white lily known as the Easter Lily has long stood as a symbol of purity, hope, innocence and peace. Also called the Bermuda lily, the Trumpet lily, and Jacob’s Tears, the Easter lily is a biblical flower commonly associated with the resurrection of Christ.

In Christian tradition, the Easter lily signifies rebirth and a new beginning. It is said that beautiful white lilies sprang up in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus wept in the last hours before he was betrayed by Judas. Another legend claims that the white lilies grew from the repentant tears shed by Eve upon her departure from Paradise.

The lily is mentioned frequently throughout the bible and serves today as a beautiful reminder of the significance of the Easter season. Easter lilies grace homes and churches each spring as a symbol of purity, joy, hope and life.

Easter Sunday

ALLELUIA!! It is with great delight and joy that we priests, deacons, seminarian intern, and staff at Our Lady of Mercy parish welcome you today to celebrate Easter Mass!! No matter if you worship here weekly or occasionally, are from out of town, are not Catholic or Christian, have been away from the Church, weak or doubting in faith, have been hurt by the Church, have not been living the best moral life, have been searching – you ALL are made to feel WELCOME! And not just today, but always! We are here for you! And, we want to help you experience a life changing encounter with the Risen Lord. Please feel free to reach out to me or Fr. Mark by phone or e-mail –we would love do whatever we can to facilitate your encountering the Risen Lord.

Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and our faith that through baptism we too will live beyond our death. But have we ever considered that, because of the resurrection, new life a reality now – that we have already begun to participate in our eternal life. For three days (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter) we have been immersed in the Pascal Mystery of the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus – not just recalling historical events of 2,000 years ago, but entering the mystery of what is now happening among us as an Easter people called to conversion. Easter celebrates not history, but mystery. So what is happening among us now that are signs of resurrection and new life? Three people have been so moved by their experience of welcome and community at OLM, that after a period of prayer, discernment and instruction, last night at the Easter Vigil they became members of our Catholic Christian community through baptism, confirmation and sharing in the Eucharist. Five already baptized Christians became Catholic by a profession of faith, confirmation and Eucharist and five Catholics were confirmed at the Easter Vigil. We welcome them with great joy! The Spirit moved 38 men and 54 women to participate in recent CRHP (Christ Renews His Parish) retreat weekends at OLM – the largest number of participants ever! Over 1,600 families are using the parish App and the online platform FORMED to grow in their faith and spiritual life. While all of these are some signs of new life at OLM, ultimately Easter calls us to a personal encounter with the Risen Lord – an encounter that stops us dead in our tracks and changes our life forever! And while that encounter is different for each individual – the effects are similar….a burning desire to bring others to meet Jesus – the one who loves us unconditionally, accepts us, forgives us, and gives us new life now – you don’t even have to wait until you die! So this Easter, roll away the rock and let your risen self out of the tomb!

On behalf of Fr. Mark, Deacon Art, Deacon Bob, Deacon Mike, Deacon Phil, Deacon Tim, Deacon Tony, our seminarian intern Senovio, and all the staff at Our Lady of Mercy, I wish you many blessings, not only on this Easter Day, but throughout the 50 days of the Easter Season!

Peace!