July 28 – Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Every year for the feast of St. Lucy, my family makes arancini, which are balls of rice mixed with cheese and egg that we fill with a meat sauce, cover with breadcrumbs and egg, and fry. One year, it turned out that I was making the arancini too big and we wouldn’t have enough for everybody. I quickly pivoted and started taking rice from the bigger arancini I had already made and made smaller ones. My uncle was amazed, and he kept telling people about how I seemed to make more arancini appear out of nowhere.

Clearly, what I did wasn’t a miracle. And unfortunately, some people interpret Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand in a similar way. They say that all the people in the crowd had brought some food with them and shared it, so that it was really a “miracle of sharing.” But why would we want to turn what is clearly a miracle into something mundane?

On the spiritual level, it’s because, as Michelle Benzinger says, we believe the lie that our God is a god of scarcity. But He is a God of abundance! The miracle of today’s Gospel shows it. Yet often we still live in the lie of scarcity.

To some extent, it makes sense. The Gospel begins with five loaves and two fish to feed five thousand men. That clearly is not enough. But Jesus does not want us to remain in that place. So He takes the bread, gives thanks, and gives it to the five thousand, and there are twelve wicker baskets full of leftover fragments!

Maybe we wonder why Jesus doesn’t feed everyone this way. In a way, what we’re really saying is, “Why doesn’t God do this for me?” But it’s not about the food. It’s about the fact that Jesus will provide us with more than enough.

We see this above all in the Eucharist. In the Eucharist, Jesus continues to feed us, not just with bodily food, but with His own Body and Blood. And even as we go to Mass every week, we might be tempted to give into the lie of scarcity. But God is giving us Himself; there is nothing more that He can give us.

The Gospel tells us that Jesus performs the miracle to test His disciples. They could have refused to follow Jesus’ command, but they obey, and through their faith, a miracle takes place. At every Mass, a greater miracle than the feeding of the five thousand takes place. It’s up to us to receive it.

When I was making the arancini, all I did was redistribute the rice that was already there, but God works true miracles of abundance in our lives. He will not abandon us because a situation is too difficult, though the way He come through might be in a way we might not expect, whether through five barley loaves and two fish or a little bit of bread and wine.

Father Frank

July 21 – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Have you ever come back from a vacation and felt like you needed another vacation from your vacation?  As we work, we come to know our limitations and the need to take a break. However, I would argue that not many of us know how to refuel properly. For example, I’ll go for a run (once in a blue moon) only to come back and eat that candy bar, because I think I deserve it!  As much as the candy bar tastes good, it is not exactly what my body needs after a run.

Many of us exert ourselves, but then try to refuel with things that never satisfy. In these summer months, many of us find time to go on a vacation. However, I would encourage you to reflect on how replenishing your vacations actually are, or how you can make your vacations a real time of rest and growth in the spiritual life! 

When I was a missionary, we would encourage our students that when they go home for breaks, to not to take a vacation away from God. In a similar vein, how many of us travel and take a break from going to Sunday Mass?  It is more than just fulfilling our Sunday obligation, but we should invite the Lord into our break, so that we can actually be fed and nourished.  It is beautiful that in our Gospel, after the Apostles were sent on mission, Jesus personally took them to a deserted place so that they could rest.  He wanted to reveal the importance of getting away from the world and spending time with him. 

Taking time for silence is important. Reading spiritual books, or listening to podcasts that lift the soul to God can be extremely fruitful. How many of us say that we don’t have time to pray as much as we should, but then on vacation we don’t make time to seek the Lord- even though we don’t have a million things to get done!

As a priest, I am required by Canonical (Church) law to take a 5-day retreat every year! Luckily, I’m a rule follower and I took my retreat at the beginning of June. It was life giving. I slept, prayed, worked out, and read. I had the opportunity to pray the rosary and divine mercy chaplet every day with a group of holy cloistered nuns. I offered Mass every day for our parish. 

It also allowed me to examine my year as a priest. Just as our first reading calls out the bad shepherds of Israel, I prayed for forgiveness for the ways I may have failed as a shepherd, and I gave thanks to the Lord for the graces I have received as a shepherd (which are many at OLM).

I hope you have seen the fruit of that retreat in my own life and priesthood since I have returned, and I encourage you to find the time to do the same. May the next vacation you take be an opportunity to rest in the Lord and be replenished by him!

Father Michael

July 14 – Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Parting is such sweet sorrow”, a quote from one of William Shakespear’s Masterpiece, Romeo and Juliet. I dread being away from Our Lady Mercy, a bosom of love and affection, friendship and communion – this is the sorrowful part. But on the flip side of it all, I know that time away will produce more longing and anticipation and more love and this is the sweet part. Our Lady of Mercy remains my home parish and I will always come back whenever I feel “home-sick”. But where did it all start from? Sometime last year (2023), while I was still in Kenya, I received an email from Fr. Michael Kearney, letting me know that once I get to the United States I will be staying at OLM as I prepare to join the Seminary in Mundelein. He described the parish community as welcoming, warm and vibrant. True to his words, when I got here, I was welcomed warmly and the vibrancy of the parish made me feel like I am in one of the parishes in Nairobi, Kenya. I felt at home right away. I remember when Bishop Hicks visited the parish in February, I could not hide my joy, I expressed my feelings of appreciation and affection to the parish and told him that being at OLM feels like home away from home.

Time flies, I can’t imagine that I am saying goodbye! I got here on the eve of the New Year and two days later I was already into the Parish ministry. I was quickly scouted and enrolled to the Hesed House PADs ministry by Maybird, a ministry I enjoyed and cherished on every first Tuesday of the month. Serving the guests at the homeless shelter as an act of corporeal work of mercy was fulfilling and it reminded me of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 25:35 “…for I was hungry, and you gave Me food; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink.” Then I got to learn about the other ministries in the parish:

I got involved in with the Fit Shepherds every Saturday Morning, taking Holy Eucharist to the Home Bound especially at Thrive and Alden in the company of Deacon Bugsy and “the Joes”. I served during mass – my favorite ministry. I joined the morning rosary group every morning after mass to recite the rosary. I also joined the Our Lady of Fatima Group for rosary on Saturdays; I attended the Praying with Sts. Monica and Augustine prayer group on Mondays. Occasionally, joined the Bible study and the Consuming Fire (Young Adults) groups on Tuesdays. I also joined Salt and Light as well as Vine and Branches on several occasions on Wednesdays. I joined the Parish Choir as the omega (last) member just before the summer break, what a joy to sing for the Lord! During Lent I was involved in the Rescue Project Ministry, a very transformative ministry indeed! I was also involved in the Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP) Retreat, a life-changing and inspiring retreat. I joined the Knights of Columbus. I attended meetings with the Society of St. Vincent DePaul. I also attended Spanish classes taught by our Maestra Veronica, though all I can say in Spanish so far is “hola amigo” and “gracias a Dios”, thanks to my classmates! ¡Gracias Maestra, Dios te bendiga!

I would like to thank every person I interacted with in these ministries; I may not mention each one by name but from the bottom of my heart, I say thank you and may God bless you and keep you; may He make His face shine upon you and grant you and your loved ones peace and grace! In a very special way, I would like to thank all the parish staff for the support and love you have shown me. Especially, Zara, for walking with me as I enculturate into the “American Culture”. Thanks to all the parishioners who have opened their doors and invited me to join their families to break bread together, it was such an amazing moment getting to know you all. I would like to apologize for any shortcoming, any toes I stepped or any shoulder I brushed while in ‘the line of duty’. Special thanks to Fr. Michael, Fr. Frank and Jonathan for making my stay in the rectory a happy one. I will be officially leaving for Mundelein Seminary on August 10, 2024. The weekend of July 27/28 will be my last one here at OLM. As a parting shot: in today’s first reading the Lord commissions Prophet Amos to go and prophesy to His people, we are all called to prophesy in different ways. Let us do so through works of mercy, both corporeal and spiritual. When the deacon says, at the end of mass “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life” – we are commissioned to go and carry out the works of mercy! Goodbye good people, best wishes and blessings!   


July 7 – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

As an adolescent, I didn’t have any scruples about telling my dad exactly what I thought when I didn’t like what he told me to do. Unsurprisingly, this led to arguments. Sometimes I was in the wrong, sometimes my parents were in the wrong, and more often both of us were in the wrong. But something that looms large in my memory is that when my dad saw that he was in the wrong, he would apologize to me. Even as a kid, I was impressed by my dad coming to own up to his mistakes, and it gave me a model of how to admit my mistakes and ask forgiveness.

Our culture hates weakness. It tells us that we need to be strong and overcome our weakness at all costs. What this means in reality is that we are taught to avoid those weaknesses at all costs because we don’t know how to overcome them. We need look no further than Superman. He is so powerful that the writers invented the weakness of kryptonite to make him relatable. In some comics, Superman overcomes the kryptonite, but in order to keep the comic interesting, the writers undo that so that the kryptonite does affect him. Ultimately it seems like the best way of dealing with this weakness is just to avoid it.

In the Second Reading, St. Paul begs Jesus to take a weakness away from him, but Jesus replies, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” Our culture tells us we need to overcome our weakness, but Jesus tells us that it is only through our weaknesses, He can act even in us. Why? Because we are no longer blocking His action with our pride and illusion of strength. Instead, we see the truth that without Him, we can do nothing. This might seem depressing until we realize the flipside of this truth: with God, all things are possible. That is why St. Paul can say, “When I am weak, then I am strong.”

We are called to this place of weakness, not to glorify the weakness, but because this is the only way for us to be able to love. Love calls us to be vulnerable, which literally means that we make ourselves able to be wounded. When we give ourselves to someone in love, we take the risk that the other person might hurt us. But we need to make ourselves vulnerable because that is the only way we can give of ourselves as we truly are.

Whenever my dad apologized to me, I caught a glimpse of this vulnerable love and was empowered to love in the same way. We see this love taken the utmost point of vulnerability every time we look at a crucifix: God loved us so much that He sent His Son to become man and die for us. By embracing our weakness and making ourselves vulnerable, we become strong by allowing that same love of Christ to work in us.

Father Frank

June 30 – Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

One of my best friends’ love language is physical touch. This means that he shows his affection by shaking hands or patting you on the back or giving you a hug. Physical touch is not my love language. So my friend had to learn that there were times when I just wasn’t in a place to receive affection through physical touch. I could really relate to Jesus saying, “Who touched me?” But on the other hand, I had to learn that physical touch is how he showed affection and to accept a hug from him as a sign of friendship rather than as a sign to run away.

There is something very powerful in physical touch. In almost every healing encounter, Jesus touches the person He heals. This continues in the Church today in the Anointing of the Sick. The priest lays his hands on the head of the sick person, invoking the Holy Spirit, and then anoints the head and hands with the Oil of the Sick. This is not just a nice gesture, but the Catechism tells us “in the sacraments Christ continues to ‘touch’ us in order to heal us” (CCC 1504).

But something different happens in our Gospel this weekend. Rather than Jesus reaching out to heal a sick person, the hemorrhaging woman reaches out to touch Jesus. Because of her illness, the woman was considered ritually unclean, excluded from the life of the community, and untouchable. To all intents and purposes, she is dead to the world. She is excluded from the intimacy and love which is expressed by touch.

Jesus is able to distinguish her touch from the pressing of the crowd. Unlike the people pressing on Jesus, this woman touched Him in faith, and, as a result, she is healed. The woman’s touch, which would normally have led to uncleanness, does not make Jesus unclean, but instead makes her clean as well. Through the intimacy of touch, the woman is brought back into communion.

But the woman doesn’t take healing against Jesus’ will. Instead, by healing her through her own act of touch, Jesus affirms her dignity and welcomes her back into communion. One of the reasons why Jesus touches those He heals and the Church lays hands on people in the sacraments is because we are body and soul, and that touch expresses in a physical way the love and mercy of Christ we experience in our souls.

Maybe many of us don’t believe that Christ wants to heal us and believe we need to sneak up behind Him and steal the healing, and so we approach Him in fear and trembling like the woman. But Jesus truly wants our healing, and He still reaches out to heal us today. Like I had to learn to accept that my friend was expressing love through physical touch, so we also need to allow Jesus to touch us to heal us and to extend that touch of healing to everyone we meet.

Father Frank

June 23 – Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reincarnation is the belief that people after death will be brought back into the world, but with a different body and a new life.  I’m so glad that as Catholics, who have the fullness of faith, we know this not to be true.  This isn’t an attack on those who believe in reincarnation, but as I like to point out when it comes to a tenant of our faith, what loving God would allow someone to go through middle school more than once? 

I have to say, growing up as a middle school student, I was definitely driven by emotions and struggled with things of the heart and mind. I believe that everyone has experienced this in some way or another.  Additionally, I believe most modern-day psychologists would call it healthy, and a time of self-discovery.  However, I would argue that one other step that is necessary in our self-discovery, but typically missed, is knowledge that we are grounded in our identity as a son or daughter of God and awareness of the Lord’s presence in our lives. 

I believe my greatest struggles in middle school, high school, and beyond would have subsided if I only extended my trust in the Lord and truly understood his care for me.  In our Gospel we hear that the disciples are in a boat with the Lord.  A huge storm comes while Christ is sleeping in the stern of the boat.  On a side note, the stern is usually the place where one steers the boat. The disciples are afraid and they wake up our Lord saying, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” The Lord wakes up and says to the wind and sea, “Quiet, Be Still!” (Mark :38-39) 

Even though the command is directed at the wind and the sea, I’d argue that we need to ask the Lord to give the same command to our head and heart: “Quiet! Be Still!”  How often we get caught up in the emotions of the heart, or in our heads, and it feels like everything is falling apart; we are terrified not knowing what is beyond the horizon. 

The Lord is a loving God; He desires for us to trust in him with faith, and rest in the knowledge that ultimately, he is in control and always in our midst. What a beautiful gift to have this confidence in our Lord Jesus Christ who continues to reveal himself to us, especially in the gift of the Eucharist.  May we walk away as the disciples did after he calmed the storms: with great awe. 

Father Michael

June 16 – Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

The World’s Greatest Father Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers and spiritual fathers! Five weeks ago, we observed Mother’s Day and offered Mass for our moms. Today, on this Father’s Day, we are doing the same – offering our fathers, living or dead, on God, the Father’s altar, invoking our His blessings upon them.

Father’s Day is a special day to remember, acknowledge and appreciate the “World’s Greatest Father,” OUR HEAVENLY FATHER” (Rom. 8:15, Gal. 4:6) Who is Our Spiritual Daddy, actively involved in all areas of our lives. It is He on Whom we lean in times of pain and hurt; it is He on Whom we call in times of need; it is He Who provides for us in all ways — physical, emotional, and spiritual. Many of us pray the “Our Father” day after day, without paying attention to, or experiencing, the love and providence of God. Let us pray the ‘Our Father’ during the Holy Mass, today and every day, realizing the meaning of each clause and experiencing the love of our God for us. May all earthly fathers draw strength from God, the Father!

 God, the Father, gave up His Only Son, Jesus Christ, so that we might be saved through him. God provides the perfect example of the very vocation of fatherhood. Fathers are called to sacrifice their lives for their families. They do this by being the spiritual leader and guardian of their families; praying for and with their families; being a courageous witness to the Gospel; providing care, support and security for their families; serving as an example of goodness and truth; leading with courage and accountability; and laying down their lives for their families. May God, the Father, grow in each man a seed of faith, courage, and love to be fathers who can put forth large branches so that their families can dwell in its shade just as the birds do under the shade of a mustard tree as its recounted in today’s Gospel.

On this day, let us also remember to pray for all priests, our spiritual fathers, especially here with us, Fr. Michael and Fr. Frank – men who are called to be fathers of an immensely large parish family through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. We also pray for the souls of Fr. Hugh and Fr. Don. We thank God for all the fathers! Happy Father’s Day!

Topher Otieno

June 9 – Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

One summer, I was teaching first and second graders about salvation history. I was teaching them about how Mary is the New Eve because, as we can see on so many statues of Mary, she crushes the head of the serpent. As I was saying this, all the first and second graders spontaneously stood up and began stomping on imaginary serpents. In some way, they had gotten the message.

But the First Reading which says, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.” Doesn’t that mean that Jesus will crush the head of the serpent? Yes, but this passage traditionally reads (in the Latin Vulgate), “She will crush your head.” So which is it? As with many aspects of our faith, the answer is both. Mary crushes the head of the serpent in union with and through the victory of Jesus on the Cross.

Jesus says, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.” Even though Satan’s kingdom may not be divided, he delights in sowing division in others. Through the doubt that he has planted in the hearts of Adam and Eve, Satan has successfully divided them from God, from each other, from nature, and internally. They are unable to stand, and because of this, God promises them the woman and her offspring who will crush the head of the serpent, namely Mary and Jesus.

This is what we see in the Gospel. Jesus gains a reputation for driving out demons, even saying that He has tied up the strong man, Satan, to plunder his house. He clearly demonstrates His coming victory over Satan. In the midst of this conversation, Mary and Jesus’ relatives arrive. At first glance, it might seem like Jesus is dismissing them, but we need to look carefully at what He says: “For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mary is Jesus’ mother not only in virtue of giving birth to Him but also because she does the will of God better than any other human person. We see this most clearly at the Annunciation when she says, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done unto me according to your word,” but her entire life is a “yes” to God. In doing this, she also crushes the head of the serpent in union with Christ.

This union of Jesus and Mary through doing the will of God undoes the division sown by Satan, and shows us that we also can crush the head of the serpent. If anyone who does the will of God is Jesus’ brother and sister and mother, then all we need to do is imitate Mary in staying in union with Jesus Who has already won the victory. When we do this, like my first and second graders, we can also stomp on the head of the serpent.

Father Frank

June 2 – Corpus Christi

In every Mass there are entrance and exit processions with priest, deacons, and servers! Have you ever wondered why? What does this simple gesture of walking in and out of Mass mean? The reason is simple: in this world, we are on a journey. It can be clearly seen in our daily lives. We are constantly on the go, going between point A and point B.  This is seen in our careers, our vocations, but more importantly in our spiritual lives. We are on a journey from this world to the next!

However, like any journey, our spiritual life is filled with many obstacles, crosses, and trials.  And if it isn’t apparent to you by now, let me be the first to tell you: the spiritual journey was never meant to be traveled alone, nor are we un-equipped to make that journey! 

This Sunday we celebrate Corpus Christi – the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ.  It is an old tradition of the Church to have a longer procession with the Eucharist after Mass, which we will do on the parish grounds after the noon Mass. Some churches will carry the Eucharist throughout their entire town. What does this symbolize? Why go out into the world with the Eucharist in a Monstrance (that gold frame in which we carry our Lord)? This procession reveals to those around us, and even to ourselves, that we are on a journey with the Lord; and that our Lord has given us food for that journey.  He has equipped us with His Body and Blood, to feed, nourish, and to give us strength for the road ahead.

On this day of Corpus Christi, let us give praise with joy and gratitude to the Lord our God who gives us His very Body and Blood, and who travels with us in our journey of life!

Father Michael

May 26 – The Holy Trinity

It is with great sadness, that I must say my goodbye to Our Lady of Mercy. I have been at OLM for two years, and this experience has been beautiful. I shared my sentiments at some of the Masses last week, but not fully at all of them. This was because during the first two times I said goodbye at Mass I was extremely emotional. I could hardly say anything at the 4pm Mass on Saturday.

What I truly wanted to share was that when I first came to the parish I had completed four years of college seminary. I completed these first four years in Minnesota at St. John Vianney Seminary. I am extremely grateful for this time because I grew tremendously. However, absent from the experience in Minnesota was a connection to the diocese that I was studying for and preparing myself to serve. During my time of discernment, one of the things that filled my heart as I considered the priesthood was my desire for parish life. Thus, leaving the parish to study for four years in Minnesota was extremely tough for me! Although it was, in my opinion, a necessary step for me. Many of you may have heard the phrase, “healed people heal people”. When I entered seminary, I didn’t think that the Lord needed to do any healing in my life. However, during my time there The Lord pointed out places where he invited me to experience greater joy, peace, and love, even if I didn’t realize it at first because I was not bleeding out or suffering excruciatingly. In many ways, he used my time in Minnesota to prepare me to be sent out into parish life.

Thus, getting the opportunity to serve you at the parish and share in your times of joy, suffering, and grief has been a privilege. Know that during my time here you have been loved, and know that during my time here I have felt loved. I will keep you in my prayers, especially during the upcoming summer program that I am doing in Mexico City. If the Lord allows it and if you are able, it would be a wonderful thing to see you all at my deaconate and priesthood ordinations.

Please keep me in your prayers and don’t be a stranger if you ever see me around!

Jonathan Hernandez

Mass Times


Saturday 8:30AM Daily Mass and 4PM Sunday Vigil

Sunday 8AM | 10AM  | 12PM | 5:30PM


Monday 8AM
Monday in Spanish 6:30PM
Tuesday 8AM & 6:30PM
Wednesday 12PM
Thursday 6:30AM & 8AM
Friday 12PM
Saturday 8:30AM


Tuesdays 7PM until all are heard
Wednesdays 12:30PM until all are heard

Fridays 12:30PM
Saturday 9AM – 10AM | 1:30PM – 2:30PM

During Magnify last Weds of the month 7PM – 8:30PM
Or please schedule an appointment here.

Eucharistic Adoration

Monday through Friday 8:30AM – 10PM
Magnify last Weds of the month 7PM – 8:30PM

Private Prayer in Church

Open daily 8:30AM – 8PM
(Will close if there is a Funeral, Wedding, or Baptism as well as early closing when the safety and security are at risk as determined by the pastor.)


Parish Office

(630) 851-3444

Monday thru Thursday
8:30AM – 4:30PM

8:30AM – 1PM

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.