Rescheduled – Parenting Faith in a Social Media World

We are inviting all Parents, RE Catechists, EDGE Leaders & L.I.G.H.T. Leaders to join us for a special presentation, “Parenting Faith in a Social Media World.” Our presenter will be Bill Johnson, Campus Minister & Outreach Coordinator for Marmion Academy. As the primary teachers of our faith to our children, we know how difficult it is to reach them sometimes with all of the media distractions. And it is also tough with all of the hectic schedules parents follow every day. Our world tells our children one thing, but it isn’t what Christ wants for them. Nor is it what we want for them. So come & listen to Bill. Our teens love him!

Please join us on Monday, April 9th at 7-8PM in the Church. Bill is also a Deacon at St. Patrick’s Church in St. Charles and has done many presentations here for our teens, Jr. High & High School, as well as leading the 5th grade retreat in April.

Employment Opportunity – Director of Religious Education

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church (OLM) is a parish committed to the New Evangelization and making disciples. Our desire is to offer every person in our community a life-changing encounter with Jesus. OLM is seeking an experienced Catholic lay apostle passionate about working with students
(Kindergarten through 5th grade) and their parents to help foster a deep relationship with Jesus. The DRE position is a full-time paid position with benefits, reporting directly to the Pastor. 

Applicants meeting the necessary qualifications please send the following to: OLM Business Manager, Bob Gancarz at bobg@olmercy.com

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Two references
  • Statement of faith (should be roughly two-five paragraphs long and describe your faith journey and current spiritual disciplines)

To view a full job  description please visit the Human Resources page on the Diocese of Joliet’s
website: www.dioceseofjoliet.org

Palm Sunday

Today begins the most solemn week in the Christian world. This should not be just another same ole week like all the rest. This week should be lived as if your life depended on it!! And it fact, it does! The life giving events of our salvation are remembered and celebrated in three days called the Sacred Paschal Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good  Friday, Easter Vigil). Many understand these three days to be a re-enactment of the historical events – that Holy Thursday commemorates the day Jesus instituted the Eucharist; Friday, commemorates the day he was executed on the cross; and the vigil commemorates his emergence from the tomb. But to make these sacred three days truly meaningful, we need to see them in a different light. Precisely because these faith-anchoring events are historical, they cannot be repeated or “re-enacted.” That is why the church’s long tradition insists that what happened once in history passes over into the mystery of our liturgical and sacramental celebrations. What the Sacred Paschal Triduum actually celebrates is mystery, not history. The liturgies of these days do not “take us back” to the upper room or the path to Calvary. Their ultimate purpose is not to retrace or relive the last hours of Jesus’ life, nor catch sight of him emerging from the tomb at Easter’s dawning. They celebrate not what once happened to Jesus but what is now happening among us as a people called to conversion, gathered in faith, and gifted with the Spirit of holiness. They celebrate God’s taking possession of our hearts at their deepest core, recreating us as a new human community broken like bread for the world’s life – a community, rich in compassion, steadfast in hope, and fearless in the search for justice and peace. And so, with this perspective, Fr. Mark and I cordially invite you and yearn for your joining us in celebrating three days of sacred mystery!

The Sacred paschal Triduum

Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper – March 29th at 7:00PM
Good Friday Celebration of the Lord’s Passion – March 30th at 7:00PM
The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night – March 31st at 8:00PM

If you can’t make the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday evening, we look forward to seeing you at one of our Easter Sunday Masses. Please note that our Easter Sunday schedule is different from our regular Sunday schedule. Masses on Easter Sunday are at 7:00AM; 9:00AM in church and activity center; 11:00AM in church and activity center; and the last Mass on Easter is at 12:30PM. There will be no 5:30PM Mass on Easter Sunday.

Have a Blessed Holy Week!

Walking to Jerusalem

The bulletin deadline was written before the miles were reported for Week Five so were not ready to be in the bulletin. Participants who provided an email address will receive an email with the progress of the walk. Please save the date for The Walking to Jerusalem Celebration which will take place on Saturday morning, April 7 with refreshments, prizes and prayer – more details to follow. Blessings to you during Holy Week as we complete the miles to Jerusalem and back.

May we become closer to Jesus and improve our physical and nutritional health!!!

Preparing & Letting Go

Preparing for Holy Week

As we enter into Holy Week with the beginning of Palm Sunday, it is a time to reflect on how much Jesus loves us. No matter how busy or “distracted” we might be this week, keep the focus of Holy Week in the forefront of our daily prayers and reflections. As we feel the presence of Jesus in our life, we know that we are not alone whether we are experiencing struggles or triumphs, sorrows or joys.

During Holy Week, the following suggestions are offered to prepare for Easter. Read the four gospels on the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. Attend the services of Holy Week – the Triduum or three days – Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter vigil. Focus on a mini-Lenten observance such as an act of sacrifice or devotion from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. Consider eating less or more simply this week to help focus the mind and spirit on Jesus and his suffering and death. Unplug for the week if it is getting in the way of focusing on the meaning of Holy Week and your participation in spiritually preparing for Easter. Consider turning off or limiting watching television, using the computer and cell phone and social media use.

These ideas are meant to be a source of blessings during Holy Week, not a burden. Each of us knows the best way to focus on the meaning of Holy Week, feel God’s love and presence in our lives and celebrate the joy of Easter at Mass. We are invited to walk with Christ this Holy Week. Easter is not just a day – it is a season of remembering and entering into the passion and resurrection of Jesus.

Letting Go of Worries

Life is full of worries. We may worry about our jobs, studies, finances, health and safety and relationships. We worry about the past, present and future. The concern is that worrying make take control of our thoughts and negatively affect our physical, emotional and relational well-being. Take a moment and think about three things that you may be worrying about at this point in your life and how it is affecting your physical, emotional and relational well-being. When worry gets to the point of interfering with the normal activities of daily life, it may be a time to seek professional counseling.

There are a variety of ways to deal with and let go of worry. Prayer helps to displace worry and be in relationship with God. Praying with the psalms or other scripture may help to lessen worries. Philippians 4:7 reminds us “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”. Live in the present moment and be affirmed with positive self-talk. If a given situation causes worry, assess the problem and ask yourself what you can do about it and prepare a plan of action with prayer and trust in God. Listening to music with deep breathing may be soothing and uplifting in time of worry and stress. Journaling and regular exercise are other strategies to help lessen worry.

When worry begins to take over, it may help to think of easy-to-remember phrases or actions to call to mind. This may help to redirect your thought process so that you do not listen to the worries. The words of St. Francis de Sales may provide comfort in dealing with worry and stress: “Do not worry about what might happen tomorrow. The same loving Father who takes care of you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either he will shield you from suffering, or he will give you unfailing strength to bear it”.

(Source: Why Do I Worry? by Br. Francis Wagner, O.S.B.)

If you have pastoral care concerns or health needs, please contact Jolene LeRoy RN Director of Pastoral Care at 331-707-5380 or at jolenel@olmercy.com.

Holy Week: Reenacting the Passion of Our Lord

Holy Week is the last week of Lent. It begins on March 24th this year and ends on April 1st. The purpose of Holy Week is to reenact, relive, and participate in the passion of Jesus Christ. Holy Week includes…

  • Palm Sunday (or Passion Sunday), the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem.
  • Holy Thursday (or Maundy Thursday), the institution of Communion and the betrayal by Judas.
  • Good Friday, the arrest, trial, crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus Christ.
  • Holy Saturday, the Sabbath on which Jesus rested in the grave.

The time from sundown on Holy Thursday to sundown on Easter Day is also  known as the Triduum, which is Latin for “three days.”

Holy Week observances began in the earliest days of the Church, when devout people traveled to Jerusalem at Passover to reenact the events of the week leading up to the Resurrection.

Friday: Preparation Day, the Passover

The disciples arranged for the Passover meal, which took place after sundown on Thursday (making it Friday by Jewish reckoning). Jesus and the disciples ate the Passover in the upper room. Judas betrayed Jesus, who spent the rest of the night being tried by the Sanhedrin and by Pilate. The following morning the Crucifixion took place just as the Passover lambs were being slaughtered in the Temple. Jesus died on the cross and was buried before sunset. So Friday was first day that Jesus lay in the tomb.

Saturday: the Jewish Sabbath

Jesus rested in the tomb on the Sabbath. This is the second day in the tomb.

Sunday: the first day of the week, the Festival of First Fruits

On the third day, Jesus rose from the grave. It was the first day of the week and the day after the Sabbath. The first day of the week is the Jewish name for Sunday. Sunday is also the eighth day after the creation in Genesis, so Paul describes Jesus’ Resurrection as the first fruits of the new creation.

Renewal Weekend – Christ Renews His Parish

Christ Renews His Parish, or CRHP, is a program designed to help us renew our Christian faith by bringing members of the Our Lady of Mercy community together in Christ.

It is a break from your busy schedule of personal, business and family obligations so that you can refresh yourself spiritually and renew your heart. You will be meeting with and listening to the experiences of other men or women from our Parish in an informal and relaxed environment of reflection, fellowship and fun.

Men’s Weekend: March 3-4, 2018
Women’s Weekend: March 17-18, 2018
Register before February 28

The emphasis during the weekend is on small group interaction. Everyone is free to share as much or as little as they feel comfortable. Discussion and sharing is enjoyed by all participants.

After the weekend, the opportunity to continue faith formation exists with an option to continue to meet and grow as a spiritual community and eventually share what you’ve experienced with others.

Chuck Clark @ 630.229.6300 | CRHPOLM@GMAIL.COM
Teri Martinez @ 630.806.1344 | CRHPOLM@GMAIL.COM

Bible Study – David the King

Registration is now open for the upcoming Bible Study on Bishop Barron’s “David the King” starting on Thursday Feb 15th. Let’s get to know more about our Lord Jesus and experience how the New Testament opens up as seen through the lens of David.  Starting on Thursdays Feb 15th, we will meet every Thursday for 7 weeks 2/15, 2/22, 3/1, 3/8, 3/15, 4/5, and 4/12 at the PLC in Room 204.

​You can register online https://www.biblestudyatolm.com/ sign up in the PLC, or email-call Zara Tan to register.  A study guide commentary accompanies this program; you may purchase this ahead of the class at https://www.wordonfire.org/cart/   We will have commentaries available at the start of the class as well.  Scholarships are offered so please don’t hesitate to reach out.

You can purchase the study guide ahead of time, please scroll down to the Bible Study Books section. Use the 10% coupon code P73JM2 as this will cover the shipping cost.

Please contact Zara Tan 312-731-7748 | TruthIsJesusLovesYou@gmail.com with any questions.

 

https://www.wordonfire.org/resources/studyprogram/david-the-king—study-guide/5452/

Don’t forget to use the 10% coupon code P73JM2 as this will cover the shipping cost.

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

The parents with children in our Religious Education program and our Catechists were informed on December 27, 2017 that our Director of Religious Education, Mrs. Karen Boyle resigned from the position for personal health reasons. I share this information with you today to keep the entire parish community in the loop. We thank Karen for her short time with us. To finish out the RE semester, Fr. Mark, myself, and our seminarian Senovio are working closely with our catechists, students and Religious Ed Staff to provide instruction and direction. Your prayers are appreciated as we will begin our search for a new Director soon.

One of the things that Fr. Mark and I have noticed since our arrival this past June is that there are a lot of you out there looking for spiritual nourishment. There are several spiritual renewal opportunities coming up for adult members of the parish. This weekend you have heard about the “Christ Renews His Parish” retreat weekends. The men’s weekend will be March 3 & 4 and the women’s weekend will be March 17 & 18. I encourage anyone, young adult to senior citizen who hasn’t experienced a CRHP retreat to consider this opportunity. During Lent, there will be the opportunity for small group faith sharing through the “Be My Witness” program offered through Renew International. These groups will meet for 6 weeks in Lent and then meet again in the fall. Information about this and sign-up will be the weekend of January 27/28.

And, speaking of on-going faith formation on YOUR schedule, in the convenience of YOUR home, on topics of YOUR interest, have you signed up for “Formed” yet? Since we announced the gift of Formed to the parish in November close to 400 parish families have taken advantage of the gift. Thus far over 15,000 minutes of content have been viewed by OLM Parishioners. It’s never too late to subscribe and have instant access on the web to the best of Catholic programs and information. There is something for everyone…..families, children, teens, young adults, life-long Catholics. And it’s absolutely FREE – it’s a service to you provided by Our Lady of Mercy parish. Simply go to www.formed.org and create your own account using access code:
WKZJPW

I mention all these opportunities to help you to keep that New Year’s resolution of getting closer to God and growing in your faith!

Have a Blessed Week!

Moving Past Your Past

12-20-2017
By Doug Fields

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–and I was the worst of them all. But that is why God had mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. The others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. –1 Timothy 1:15-16 (NLT)

I must confess–I don’t have a wild and raunchy past that would make for a best selling action movie. My history is fairly bland–not very colorful at all–pretty much beige with a few streaks of tan. Don’t get me wrong–I occasionally express a worldly “wild side.” Sometimes I’ll empty my shopping cart without returning it to its parking lot cage. And when I’m in my “mean mood” there are times I don’t recycle. While I might not have the sordid résumé of some, I know God clearly sees my very real sins.

So it’s obvious that I’m not Charles Manson Jr. … but, let’s be honest, most people aren’t. We’re not running from the law. We’re not hiding criminal records. We’ve never spent time in jail. We just do boring-sin stuff and do it over and over and over.
But, we’re still haunted by our pasts. Our present-day lives are checkered with memories of our poor decisions and actions. For all these things, we suffer guilt and that guilt is a roadblock to pursuing your best life now.

Take heart! The Bible is filled with men and women with rough pasts and yet God used them to make a difference in the world. There is no sin God can’t forgive. There is nothing you have done in your past that God can’t redeem. The straightforward encouragement here is to know that, if you’ve asked God for forgiveness, He has forgiven you. Remind yourself of this every day if need be, because God wants to use you.

Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! –Psalms 32:1-2 (NLT)
 Do you know who wrote that? King David, who was an adulterer and murderer earlier in his life. King David truly understood forgiveness–and he called it a joy.

The joy of forgiveness should draw you closer to God, not keep you distant. If God has let go of your sins, now it’s your turn to let go of them. Stop reaching back into your past and pulling those sins out. You’ve got to move past your past…God has. Say this aloud, “My past is gone. Truly gone. Thank You, God!”

GOING DEEPER:

  1. Read and reflect on verses that talk about forgiveness (see “Further Reading” below.)
  2. Find someone you trust and talk to each other about your pasts in the spirit and attitude of James 5:16.

    FURTHER READING:

    1 John 1:9; Romans 8:1, Psalm 103:12, James 5:16