Weekly Updates During the COVID Lockdown

Though we miss you and we can’t be with you, we will always be here for you.  To accompany you during this time, please see the following links as we Journey together during these tumultuous times.

 

May 30, 2020 | Weekly Update

It was really good to see many of you throughout the week at Confession and we look forward to seeing more of our families returning because we have great news; OLM is re-opening!

As we continue to make the phased transition back into the sacramental life, we want to echo the recommendations from the Diocese for all who are vulnerable or uncomfortable to stay safe and remain home for the time being.  We do miss you and hope to see you soon.  Please see below good news items on the re-opening.

Safety precautions to observe at all times

  • Prior to coming to church, please take a moment to go through a health protocol self-checklist. If you experience any of the symptoms, we ask that you stay home.
  • You must sanitize your hands upon entering the church. We will have sanitizers at the doorway.
  • You must wear a mask or face covering upon entering the church and for the duration of your time inside.
  • You must stay within the designated areas that are in place to adhere to the social distancing measures.
  • Only door B off the main parking lot will be open to enter and exit. Please follow the marked off areas keeping to the right while entering and exiting.
  • Follow the 6’ social distancing marking on the floor in the narthex at all times.
  • Please follow the guidance of the hospitality ministers present who will direct you, seat you, or answer questions.
  • We will be working hard between the Masses, Confession and the duration of Private Prayer to sanitize our Worship Space and prepare it for future use throughout the day.

Sunday Masses Beginning the Weekend of June 6 & 7

  • The dispensation from the Sunday obligation remains in place indefinitely.
  • If you are fearful or have any reluctance to return to Sunday observance at this time, you should not do so.
  • Those most susceptible to contracting COVID-19 by virtue of age, medical condition or other vulnerability should not attend the in-person Mass.
  • Masses are on Saturday at 4:00PM and Sunday at 9:00AM and 5:30PM. We will continue to livestream the 9:00AM Sunday Mass.  We are working on having a parking lot Mass on Sunday at 11AM, be on the lookout for details on this.
  • Maximum seating capacity in church is 100 for any service.
  • Online reservations are required for Sunday Masses. Please register here.  For those who do not have access to a computer or need assistance with this process, please contact us at 630-851-6444.
  • Please plan on arriving to Mass early, especially as our hospitality minister will help escort you to your seats. If you arrive before Mass has concluded, we ask that you remain in the parking lot until the previous Mass has cleared out.
  • There will not be worship aids or hymnals in the pews.
  • There will be no congregational singing.
  • Bring your own sanitizer to sanitize your hands before receiving communion.
  • Follow directions of the usher and observe social distancing to receive communion.
  • There is still no handshake of peace.
  • Communion will be distributed in the hand only. Communion from the cup is discontinued indefinitely.
  • After receiving communion, set to the side, remove your mask and consume the precious host.
  • After the final blessing and dismissal, you will be dismissed by an usher, pew-by-pew like at a wedding.
  • Please do not congregate in the narthex or parking lot before or after Mass.
  • With regard to our weekly collection, we encourage you to continue to give online or text for the safety of our ministers and money counters. This can be done by visiting our Give page creating an account or by texting your offering amount to (630)647-8105, follow the rest of the instructions.  For those who cannot do so, we will place the collection basket in the narthex for you to drop off your offerings upon entering the church.

Weekday Mass Resumes Beginning June 8

  • NEW! Saturday Morning Mass at 9:00AM
  • Monday through Friday 8:00AM
  • We still continue to livestream the daily Mass.

Church Open For Private Prayers Beginning June 8

  • Following 8:0AM Mass until 9:00PM. However, we will close the church if there is a Funeral, Wedding or Baptism. Please be watchful of our communications platforms to be notified in the event of church closings.
  • Due to the small size of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel it will not be available for private prayer. Please remain in the main body of the church.

Confession Schedule (NO Pre-Registration Required) Beginning June 1

  • Tuesdays 7:00pm to 8:30pm
  • Saturdays 1:00pm to 2:30pm

Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction Begins June 15 & 18

  • Following 8:00AM Mass
  • Monstrance will remain on the main altar the entire time
  • Blessed Sacrament Chapel Will NOT be available for private prayer.

Office Opening Beginning June 8

  • The Parish and Religious Education Offices will be open to the public the week of June 8. Please wear a mask and sanitize your hands upon entering the offices.  We look forward to welcoming you!

We ask for your patience. We are attempting to implement the governor and bishop’s directives as faithfully as we are able.  We will continue to evaluate everything weekly and will make adjustments as necessary and prudent.

Virtual Narthex Grow Groups right after the 9am Sunday Mass | Are you tired of the separation? Change the pace of the quarantine life and fight back the separation, join Father Mark after Mass at the grow groups. For details, proceed here

Livestream of the 9am Mass | Let us know where you are tuning in from, we’d love to acknowledge you.

  • We are grateful to Father Don’s college friend from Indiana State University, William T. & Ginger Coffey who live in Edgemont, Arkansas for sponsoring this weekend’s live stream Mass.
  • If you have friends or family who you think could benefit from joining us online for Mass, share the links with them; the spiritual strength of Jesus Christ’s presence at Mass can be helpful during this time.  Here is an invite you can send if you wish.
  • Praise God for the blessing of technology that allows Mass to meet us right where we are, we look forward to worshipping with you! If you are interested in sponsoring a Livestream of the Mass, please reach out to frdon@olmercy.com.  Cost is $750.

Post A Need | We’re continuing our sunshine calls and additional outreach efforts to support our community.  During this time, if you are in need, click here and let us know how we can help. A member of our team will be in touch soon.

At Home Guides | To help us enter more into the liturgy, follow this link for the At Home Mass guides; there are guides for the Family, Children, and Adults.
In this same link you can also find your prayer altars at the end of the page, submit your picture to jeanp@olmercy.com for posting, it’s very uplifting to see them and gives us so much joy especially during this time of separation.

Bulletin | Father Don’s weekly Bulletin article is located here.

Looking forward to seeing your sign-ups at the weekend and daily Mass for we can’t wait to see you!  And perhaps it is timely that it’s on the heels of the birthday of the church, Pentecost Sunday, that we are able to gather next weekend.

See you tomorrow at the livestream of 9am Pentecost Sunday Mass—Come Holy Spirit!
Fr. Don & Fr. Mark

 


May 23, 2020 | Weekly Update

Happy Ascension Weekend – What a great feast we are celebrating tomorrow where our King Jesus definitively introduces our human nature into heaven when He took his seat the right hand of the Father!  Jesus, before He ascended, told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father; the gift and power of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit.

In a way, these days of the gradual re-opening of our parish can be seen as a waiting period for us.  Let us pay attention to the movements in our hearts, seeing the items posted below in a new light, as we slowly make our way back to our parish home. The first of which is by way of the beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Where we receive the forgiveness of our sins and new grace to continue our Christian life in the middle of the world.  Please see below the weekly update items.

Fr Don’s Re-Opening Announcement | If you missed the re-opening announcement, find it here.

Reconciliation starts Tuesday! | Guidelines and sign-up are found here.

Virtual Narthex Grow Groups right after the 9am Sunday Mass | Are you tired of the separation? Change the pace of the quarantine life and fight back the separation, join Father Mark after Mass at the grow groups. For details and sign up, go here #MichaelJordanIntensityKeepGod1st

Livestream of the 9am Mass | Let us know where you are tuning in from, we’d love to acknowledge you.

  • We are grateful to our beloved ministry, the Babette’s Ministry for sponsoring the livestream of the Mass honoring Father Mark’s 3rd Anniversary of his ordination on 5/27th.
  • If you have friends or family who you think could benefit from joining us online for Mass, share the links with them; the spiritual strength of Jesus Christ’s presence at Mass can be helpful during this time.  Here is an invite you can send if you wish.
  • Praise God for the blessing of technology that allows Mass to meet us right where we are, we look forward to worshipping with you! If you are interested in sponsoring a Livestream of the Mass, please reach out to frdon@olmercy.com.
  • Be on the lookout for two gathering initiatives that will be mentioned during the Mass!

Magnify this Wednesday 5/27th | livestreamed @ 7pm. We look forward to joining you virtually in prayer with Jesus, encountering Him in a special way that He is personally inviting you to come and share your heart with Him.

The Difference Jesus Has Made In My life | Be inspired and uplifted during these days of the lockdown, especially if you are reaching a breaking point.  Daily on Facebook or our website, check out who among us has answered Father Mark’s challenge of giving witness to the difference that Jesus has made in your life.
The Lord can reach others with your story.  Help others, come and share what Jesus has done for you, reach out to zara for more details.

Post A Need | We’re continuing our sunshine calls and additional outreach efforts to support our community.  During this time, if you are in need, click here and let us know how we can help. A member of our team will be in touch soon.

In Prayer for you | Plug into the power of prayer.  Our blessed prayer teams are here for you, you can submit prayer requests here—you are not alone!

At Home Guides | To help us enter more into the liturgy, follow this link for the At Home Mass guides; there are guides for the Family, Children, and Adults.
In this same link, you can also find your prayer altars at the end of the page, submit your picture to jeanp@olmercy.com for posting, it’s very uplifting to see them and gives us so much joy especially during this time of separation.

Bulletin | Father Don’s weekly blog and the Bulletin are located here.

Did you get a chance to make the move? | We remain grateful for your generosity in supporting our parish.  May we ask those who are giving by envelopes, to please consider moving to the safe and secure Online Giving platform.  In doing so, you will help us immensely in the following ways: 1) we can save $9,000 per year if we eliminate sending envelopes, 2) by giving electronically, it gives us a better sense of budget, 3) it saves time for our staff and volunteers when donations are made online and free them up to attend to other pressing needs.  We can assist you with making the move, please connect with us at 630-851-3444 or email us here.

We re extremely grateful for your continued prayers and words of encouragement that keep us going We are also most grateful for your generosity which continues to create more opportunities for Our Lady of Mercy to reach our vision: To offer every person a life-changing encounter with Jesus, grow disciples, and send them on mission.

You are in our prayers in a special way and we ask your prayers as we continue to implement the phased re-opening of our parish.  Let us continue to be together “with one accord to prayer (Acts 1:14)” this coming week to prepare for the incredible gift of His Holy Spirit for Pentecost Sunday.

With the intercession of Our Lady of Mercy, we remain.
Fr. Don & Fr. Mark


22 May 2020 | Announcement on the Re-Opening 

Dear Parishioners,

Thanks to the hard work of our re-opening leadership team, Fr. Mark, Jolene LeRoy, Bob Gancarz, Phil Zwick, Len Eickhoff, and Phyllis Anderson, I am pleased to inform you that our parish has received certification from the Diocese of Joliet to begin scheduling confession times, baptisms, weddings, funerals, private prayer times and Eucharistic adoration. ALL of these celebrations have the following requirements:

  • 10 people maximum (excluding celebrant and assisting minister(s)
  • Face masks must be worn at all times
  • 6-foot social distancing must be maintained at all times (except those living in the same house)
  • Hand sanitizing upon entering and exiting the church

Confessions will begin on May 26. The last week in May and the first two weeks in June we will be scheduling confession times only. The schedule for confessions and directions for anonymously reserving a time will be on our website. We will send out the link to the reservation site and a separate communication on directions for confessions soon. For those who do not have access to the internet, you can make a reservation for confession by calling Diane at the parish office at 630.851.3444.

We will add scheduled times for private prayer and Eucharistic adoration beginning the week of June 14.

The Diocese has also certified us to begin weekday and Sunday Masses.  However, we may not begin celebrating public Masses, weekday or Sunday, until the Governor allows churches to open for public worship.  When this happens, it will likely be limited to a certain percentage of our seating capacity. We have planned for 20% occupancy, which means 200 people at a Mass. We have planned to celebrate four Masses on the weekend. We will continue to live stream Sunday Mass at 9:00 AM and weekday Masses at 8:00 AM.

Like confessions, an online reservation system will be used for Sunday Masses.

I know this has been a very challenging and difficult time and I thank you for your patience and support. You have missed reception of the sacraments and the solace and spiritual comfort they provide. You have missed the quiet and peace of praying in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. You have missed community, and we have missed you!! As I said in a homily a week or so ago, we are in a mess! But, I take comfort in knowing that God is in the mess too!

We are not abandoned!

May God bless you and your resolve to be faithful!

Sincerely in our Risen Lord!

– Fr. Don

 


May 16, 2020 | Weekly Update

Parish Family,

This weekly update has a touch of hope during these tough times of pandemic and social distancing.  In the past weeks, we’ve watched with a small relief as our Bishops have reached an agreement with the Governor’s office on a multi-phase Plan for re-opening.  Enclosed below is the Bishop’s letter regarding the plan.

There is a certification process that comes with this plan, that will allow a parish to open. With the complexity of that process, we cannot yet guarantee a date that Our Lady of Mercy will enter into the initial stages of opening.  As overwhelming as it looks, know that we will be working hard to meet the requirements as set before us by the Diocese.  We ask for your continued patience especially in the coming weeks as we slowly reopen.  Be on the look-out for communications from us as we start to put things in place.  Please lift this endeavor up in prayer!  Hopefully, we will be together soon in the midst of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist!

Bishop’s Re-Opening Letter | The Diocese of Joliet has reached an agreement with the governor’s office for a phased re-opening of churches with a limit of 10 attendees.  In spite of challenges and restrictions, we are working to restore the Sacraments to our parishioners as quickly and safely as possible. We will abide by the instructions of our local ordinary, understanding that “the salvation of souls must always be the supreme law in the Church” (Canon 1752).  Here is the letter.

The Transformation Zone Part 2 Video | Watch at your own risk!

Livestream of the 9am Mass | Let us know where you are tuning in from, we’d love to acknowledge you.

  • We are grateful to our beloved parishioners, the Khayum family—Omar, Becky, Samantha, Leah, and Thomas, for assisting us in bringing the live stream of the Mass to you.
  • If you have friends or family who you think could benefit from joining us online for Mass, share the links with them; the spiritual strength of Jesus Christ’s presence at Mass can be helpful during this time.  Here is an invite you can send if you wish.
  • Praise God for the blessing of technology that allows Mass to meet us right where we are, we look forward to worshipping with you! If you are interested in sponsoring a Livestream of the Mass, please reach out to frdon@olmercy.com.
  • Be on the lookout for two gathering initiatives that will be mentioned during the Mass!

Immediately after the 9am Mass | Is something that is timely and can be helpful for couples during this time, please keep an eye out for it.

Wednesdays @ 7pm | Each Wednesday, we’ve been gathering together @ 7pm. We hope you join Father Mark, Andrew & Ricky; hang out with them for a mid-week spiritual break.

The Difference Jesus Has Made In My life | Be inspired and uplifted during these days of the lockdown, especially if you are reaching a breaking point.  Daily on Facebook or our website, check out who among us has answered Father Mark’s challenge of giving witness to the difference that Jesus has made in your life.
The Lord can reach others with your story.  Help others, come and share what Jesus has done for you, reach out to zara for more details.

Post A Need | We’re continuing our sunshine calls and additional outreach efforts to support our community.  During this time, if you are in need, click here and let us know how we can help. A member of our team will be in touch soon.

In Prayer for you | Plug into the power of prayer.  Our blessed prayer teams are here for you, you can submit prayer requests here—you are not alone!

At Home Guides | To help us enter more into the liturgy, follow this link for the At Home Mass guides; there are guides for the Family, Children, and Adults.
In this same link you can also find your prayer altars at the end of the page, please do submit them to jeanp@olmercy.com for posting, it’s very uplifting to see them and gives us so much joy especially during this time of separation.

Bulletin | Father Don’s weekly blog and the Bulletin are located here.

Make the Move! | Once again, thank you for your generosity in supporting our parish.  If you are giving by envelopes, please seriously consider moving to the safe and secure Online Giving platform.  In doing so, you will help us immensely in the following ways: 1) we can save $9,000 per year if we eliminate sending envelopes, 2) by giving electronically, it gives us a better sense of budget, 3) it saves time for our staff and volunteers when donations are made online and free them up to attend to other pressing needs. We can assist you with making the move, please connect with us at 630-851-3444 or email us here.

We re extremely grateful for your continued prayers and words of encouragement that keep us going We are also most grateful for your generosity which continues to create more opportunities for Our Lady of Mercy to reach our vision: To offer every person a life-changing encounter with Jesus, grow disciples, and send them on mission.

We miss you.  Please know we continue to be in prayer for you during our private and live-streamed Masses.  We pray you’ve felt the loving comfort of Jesus as you await the day you can be in His Real Presence in the Eucharist.  We praise the Lord with you and thank God as we move toward the gradual reopening of our parish home.

See you tomorrow at Sunday Mass and the daily live streams.

Asking the intercession of Our Lady of Mercy, we remain.
Fr. Don & Fr. Mark


May 9, 2020 | Weekly Update

OLM Family,

The six Bishops of Illinois met earlier this week to discuss a plan to reopen our churches. We are working with officials at the diocese to ensure all proper safety measures will be in place when we are allowed to open the doors. The current closures remain in place until further notice. Please know that a movement to a gradual re-opening is being worked on. Please continue to pray for us, the Bishops, and our state’s policymakers.

We want to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all our wonderful mothers! Thank you for all you do for us! “Motherhood implies from the beginning a special openness to the new person: and this is precisely the woman’s ‘part’. In this openness, in conceiving and giving birth to a child, the woman ‘discovers herself through a sincere gift of self’.” -St. John Paul II

Spiritual Nourishment Video | Take Action to Stop Watching Porn.
As the pandemic hit and lockdowns went into effect, porn usage skyrocketed. This should not surprise us as Satan is at work in the lockdown; he wants you to watch porn. Father Mark encourages those struggling with pornography and introduces a new ministry at OLM.  Watch here

Livestream of the 9am Mass | Let us know where you are tuning in from, we’d love to acknowledge you.  We are grateful to our beloved parishioners for assisting us in bringing the Mass to you; the live stream is courtesy of the Schettek family in loving memory of Sharon Lee Schettek.

If you have friends or family who you think could benefit from joining us online for Mass, share the links with them; the spiritual strength of Jesus Christ’s presence at Mass can be helpful during this time.  Here is an invite you can send if you wish.

If you are interested in sponsoring a Livestream of the Mass, please reach out to frdon@olmercy.com.  Let’s also give praise to God for the blessing of technology that allows Mass to meet us right where we are, we look forward to worshipping with you.

Wednesdays @ 7pm | Each Wednesday, we’ve been gathering together @ 7pm. We hope you join Father Mark, Andrew & Ricky; hang out with them for a mid-week spiritual break.

Supporting Expectant Mothers in Need “Baby Bottles for Life” – Virtual Baby Bottle Campaign | Please consider supporting the life-affirming work of meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of women facing an unplanned pregnancy.  Donate via this link.

The Difference Jesus Has Made In My life | Be inspired and uplifted during these days of the lockdown, especially if you are reaching a breaking point.  Each day, check out who among us has answered Father Mark’s challenge of giving witness to the difference that Jesus has made in your life.  You can view their awesome stories on Facebook or our website.
The Lord can reach others with your story.  Help others, come and share what Jesus has done for you, reach out to zara for more details.

Post A Need | We’re continuing our sunshine calls and additional outreach efforts to support our community.  During this time, if you are in need, click here and let us know how we can help. A member of our team will be in touch soon.

In Prayer for you | Don’t forget we also have our prayer teams that are here for you, you can submit prayer requests here—you are not alone!

At Home Guides | To help us enter more into the liturgy, follow this link for the At Home Mass guides; there are guides for the Family, Children, and Adults.
In this same link you can also find your prayer altars at the end of the page, please do submit them to jeanp@olmercy.com for posting, it’s very uplifting to see them and gives us so much joy especially during this time of separation.

Giving | We couldn’t do any of this without YOU! Your continued prayers and words of encouragement keep us going and your generosity continues to create more opportunities for Our Lady of Mercy to keep our family connected and bring people to Jesus, grow disciples, and send them on mission. If you are not experiencing hardship at this time, please consider supporting our efforts here and support our community through any of the following ways to give.
While mailing in your giving envelopes is great, please consider signing up for Online Giving here.  Additionally we also now have text-to-give; enter desired contribution amount and text to (630)647-8105, follow the rest of the instructions.

We miss you. Please know of our daily prayers for you. See you tomorrow at Sunday Mass and the daily live streams.
Asking the intercession of Our Lady of Mercy, we remain,
Fr. Don & Fr. Mark

May 2nd, 2020 | Weekly Update

Happy Easter!

OLM Family, please see below for the weekly update.

An awesome tradition we have is dedicating the month of May to Mary, the Mother of the Church, and the Queen enthroned above.  Journeying with Mary has been a tried and true way of attaining holiness of life for she always leads us to her Son Jesus; she is a sweet and powerful comfort during times of crises.

Renewal of Consecration of Our Lady of Mercy Parish &
May Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary
 | In times like these, we turn to heavenly aid and assistance asking Mary to watch over our country, obtain healings, and to ask Jesus to do something miraculous.  Join this Sunday following the 9am for the consecration and crowning of Mary.

Livestream of the 9am Mass | It is Good Shepherd Sunday and how perfectly aligned it is that the live stream is courtesy of the Fit Shepherds; thank you so much!  Connect with them here for more information.

If you have friends or family who you think could benefit from joining us online for Mass, share the links with them; the spiritual strength of Jesus Christ’s presence at Mass can be helpful during this time.  Here is an invite you can send if you wish.

If you are interested in sponsoring a live stream of the Mass, please reach out to frdon@olmercy.com.  Let’s also give praise to God for the blessing of technology that allows Mass to meet us right where we are, we look forward to worshipping with you.

Saturdays with Mary | @ 10am every Saturday, join us as we grow deeper in love with Jesus through His Mother Mary. During this time we will pray the Rosary, hear a reflection on Mary’s life, and offer prayer intentions.

Supporting Expectant Mothers in Need
“Baby Bottles for Life” – Virtual Baby Bottle Campaign
| Please consider supporting the life-affirming work of meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of women facing an unplanned pregnancy.  Donate via this link.

The Difference Jesus Has Made In My life | Last week, Father Mark placed before us a challenge of giving witness to the difference that Jesus has made in your life.  Every day you will hear a parishioner sharing the difference Jesus makes in their life. See Alex’s story.  The Lord can reach others with your story. If you would like to share what Jesus has done for you, reach out to zara for more details.

Post A Need | We continue to reach out with the “sunshine calls” and additional outreach efforts.  During this time, if you are in need, click here and let us know how we can help.

In Prayer for you | Don’t forget we also have our prayer teams that are here for you, you can submit prayer requests here—you are not alone!

At Home Guides | To help us enter more into the liturgy, follow this link for the At Home Mass guides; there are guides for the Family, Children and Adults.

In this same link you can also find your prayer altars at the end of the page, please do submit them to jeanp@olmercy.com for posting, it’s very uplifting to see them and gives us so much joy especially during this time of separation.

Bulletin | Sunday Bulletins are available electronically on this page.   Also Father Don’s pastor’s blog “Chardonnay Whines” can be found online at this link; he talks about Father Mark moving in this latest one.

We pray you use this gift of time we have been given to draw closer to Jesus through Mary.  It is a special time to see Jesus through the lens of His mother and can be such a comfort because this ongoing separation can be hard.  Nevertheless, we continue to stay strong, we continue to keep safe, we continue to miss you and be in prayer for you.  The King of Kings has each of us in the palm of His hand. He has risen and He is the Good Shepherd.

In Jesus through Mary,

Fr. Don & Fr. Mark


April 24th, 2020

OLM Family please see below weekly update.

Spiritual Nourishment | As the lockdown continues many are struggling with discouragement and sadness: missing graduations, losing jobs, and not knowing when things will get back to ‘normal’. Psychological discouragement is a normal human reaction. It is important for us to take steps to overcome psychological discouragement, such as, getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising. In this video Father Mark explains that psychological discouragement can easily lead to spiritual discouragement. Father Mark gives three tips in Overcoming Spiritual Discouragement.

Inside OLM | Have you ever wondered what the golden box beneath the altar is?  Check out the 2nd edition of Inside OLM where Father Mark takes you to an inside look at…..

Encouragement to Families and Parents | St. John Paul II once said that “the future of the world and the Church passes through the family” (Familiaris Consortio, #79). As the lockdown continues and you balance work, homeschooling, housekeeping, (and making sure you have enough toilet paper on hand), know that you have these two Priests behind you propping you up in prayer. Your work as Mom and Dad are truly “essential”. “The family is indeed more than any other social reality, the place where an individual can exist ‘for himself’ through the sincere gift of self. This is why it remains a social institution that neither can nor should be replaced: it is the ‘sanctuary of life’” (JPII in Letter to Families, #11). Continue to pour yourself out as a gift to your family. Receive nourishment and strength from Christ. Your family needs you; the Church needs you; the World needs you. Keep up the great work and know that the Lord is proud of you!

At Home Guides | To help us enter more into the liturgy, follow this link for the At Home Mass guides; there are guides for the Family, Children and Adults.  In this same link you can also find your prayer altars at the end of the page, please do submit them to jeanp@olmercy.com for posting.

Livestream of the 9am Mass | We look forward to worshipping the risen Jesus with you at the 9am Sunday Mass.  We are indebted to our beloved parishioners for assisting us in bringing the Mass to you; the livestream is courtesy of Manuel, Brenda & Jonathan Cordero in loving memory of Daniel Cordero. If you are interested in sponsoring a livestream of the Mass, please reach out to frdon@olmercy.com.

Giving | Thank you so much for your stewardship, especially during these challenging times!  We couldn’t do this without you.  If you are not experiencing hardship at this time, please consider supporting our efforts here and support our community through any of the following ways to give.
While mailing in your giving envelopes is great, please do consider signing up for Online Giving here.  Additionally we also now have text-to-give; enter desired contribution amount and text to (630)647-8105, follow the rest of the instructions.

Staying connected | If you have not signed up for all our communications platforms, we encourage you to do so.  One of the ways we communicate with you is through email, please sign up to receive our emails; let’s stay connected as much as possible during this time.

Post A Need | We continue to reach out with the “sunshine calls” and additional outreach efforts.  During this time, if you are in need, click here and let us know how we can help.

 If you need anything, our staff remain available by email and phone.  Don’t forget we also have our prayer teams that are here for you, you can submit prayer requests here—you are not alone!  Looking forward to meeting you in prayer at the livestream Masses as well as staying connected through the online posts on Facebook.  You remain in our hearts.  Happy Easter!

We love you and we miss you,

Fr. Don & Fr. Mark

 


April 16th, 2020

Octave of Easter Update

Happy Easter greetings parish family!  Thank you for celebrating online with us throughout Holy Week and Easter.  We pray that the virtual Masses and prayer opportunities brought you the comfort and peace of the Risen Lord.  Triduum and Easter was difficult for us this year (we know it was for you too), but Jesus has certainly blessed us!

As Catholics we celebrate the day of Easter over the course of eight days; and the season of Easter goes on for 50 days. 40 days of fasting are followed by 50 days of feasting, so multiple scoops of ice cream for everyone! We continue to be in prayer of creative ways to minister to you.  Please see below:

At Home Guides | To help us enter more into the liturgy, follow this link for the Divine Mercy Sunday At Home Mass guides; children’s activities and questions included.  In this same link you will find your prayer altars at the end of the page.

Divine Mercy Sunday | The Feast of Divine Mercy celebration is taking place at 3pm this Sunday, hosted by our seminarians Andrew and Ricky with Father Mark.  Don’t forget to position your Divine Mercy sacramentals for the virtual blessing. Please see the letter from Bishop Pates regarding the Divine Mercy Plenary Indulgence.

Virtual Narthex | Join us immediately following Sunday’s Mass for a conversation in the “Virtual Narthex”. This week hear our Priests and seminarians talk about vocations and share their own vocation stories.

Inside OLM | Have you ever wondered about certain areas at our parish home?  Check out this first look of “Inside OLM” where Father Mark takes you to  an inside look at…..

Magnify | Join us Wednesday 4/22 at 7pm as Father Mark exposes the Blessed Sacrament for a time of online adoration!  Think of the prayers you want to bring to Jesus in Adoration, listen to Praise and Worship music, and hear a meditation from Father Mark. Live streamed on Facebook or our website. Keep an eye out on the website page for the praise song list that will be played.

Bulletin | Even though you can’t receive the physical copy of the Bulletin, we post them every Sunday on our website.  Follow this link, the bulletin is where you can also catch up on Father Don’s “Chardonnay Whines” blog which can also be read here.

Giving | Thank you so much for your stewardship, especially during these challenging times!  While mailing in your giving envelopes is great, please do consider signing up for Online Giving here.  Additionally we also now have text-to-give; enter desired contribution amount and text to (630)647-8105, follow the rest of the instructions.

Livestream | We are indebted to our parishioners for assisting us in bringing the Mass to you.  The Knights of Columbus, the Indian Community Rosary Group, and the Joe Feldman Family in loving memory of Mary Ellen Feldman & Mike Prasse.  If you are interested in sponsoring a livestream of the Mass, please reach out to frdon@olmercy.com.

Staying connected | If you have not signed up for our communications platforms, we encourage you to do so.  While this certainly is not an endorsement for Facebook, it really has allowed for us to gather together as a community virtually.  Being able to connect with fellow parishioners, for example greeting each other “Peace be with you” through Facebook comments during the Mass, while it’s not ideal, it can be comforting.

Death has been defeated; our lives has been forever changed for our Lord Jesus has risen.  Let us rise with Jesus in these days of Easter, remaining in His glory and joy, persevering in faith and prayer! He has risen, He has risen indeed!

You continue to be in our hearts,
Fr. Don & Fr. Mark

 


April 8, 2020
Holy Week Update 

Parish family,

This is a Holy Week like we have never experienced before. Nonetheless, Jesus takes center stage. As He does, watch what He will do; watch what He will do to Sin and Death. We look forward to watching with you as we enter the Triduum.

Triduum Schedule Follow this link for the schedule, however, please see below notable items related to this week.

Holy Week At Home Guides | To help us enter more into the liturgy, follow this link for the Holy Week At Home Mass guides; for adults and for children with activities and questions included.

Lectio Divina Wednesdays | Continuing from last Wednesday, accompany Fr Mark, who will be joined by our seminarians, Andrew and Ricky @ 7pm for Lectio Divina—holy reading of Scripture.

Holy Thursday Adoration | The traditional emptying of the tabernacle and procession to an altar of repose will not take place this year due to the lockdown and empty church. However, after the solemn stripping of the altar, we will have an hour of Adoration of Jesus in the tabernacle. We will conclude with Night Prayer.

Good Friday | At noon, join Father Mark for “I Thirst” meditation.

Holy Saturday Blessing of Easter Baskets | Gather around with your Easter baskets on Saturday morning! Join us immediately after 8am morning prayer as Fr. Don and Fr. Mark will give a virtual blessing of Easter baskets.

Message from Bishop Pates | Please see the enclosed message regarding the Easter duty of receiving Holy Communion.

Anointing of the Sick (Last Rites) | There has been confusion around Priest availability for the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. In the Diocese of Joliet, Priests are able to give the sacrament when one is in danger of death. Please contact the emergency line if you or a love one’s death is imminent.

Even though it’s not possible for us to celebrate the liturgies of this most holiest of weeks together, we’re still united as we watch Jesus go to work.

As you connect with us virtually, know that your connection with us is active and not passive.  Jesus Christ is still the universal King and very much present in our hearts; His true greatness consists in being the King of our spirits.  When we offer your sacrifice with us every time we celebrate the Mass, you’re united with us and with Jesus.  That act of Spiritual Communion; telling the Lord that you love Him, offering your heart to Him, allows Him to work His Love in you. Together let us put Him at center stage these coming days, and then watch Him go to work.

In Christ with Mary,
Fr. Don & Fr. Mark 


April 4, 2020

Hi Everyone – A note about Palm Sunday and other things.  Please see below.

The Transformation Zone

The purpose of Lent is to bring about spiritual change and transformation. The lockdown has provided new opportunities on our journey to the heights. Like you, we have also been spending much more time with each other due to the lockdown. This has caused some weird things to happen at OLM. Enter the Transformation Zone here, if you dare: https://bit.ly/2X96CS0

Palm Sunday At Home Guides

Along with each weekend, we’ve been publishing a weekly “At Home Mass Guide” to help you in your prayer at home.  Every guide contains practices to help you get the most out of your weekly viewing of the Mass. The At Home Mass Guide is available on our Website and Masses are streamed on our Website and Facebook Page. 

Q&A with the Fathers

Will be immediately following the Mass.  Submit your questions here or post them on the Comments during the Live Feed.  You can find last Sunday’s first Q&A here.

Holy Week Schedule

The live stream schedule is located on our home page (just scroll down) or here.

We hope that we can remain close together as a Parish Family and continue to pray together and support each other through this time. We are doing all we can to keep us connected and safe during this time. We know that many of you are experiencing hardships. Know that you are in our prayers and we are here for you. If you are in need, click here and let us know how we can help. A member of our team will be in touch soon.

If you are able, please support our efforts and support our community by continuing or increasing your giving. If you haven’t yet, you can sign up for online giving using our secure platform. Your generosity creates more opportunities for Our Lady of Mercy to keep our family connected and continue our mission to offer every person a life changing encounter with Jesus, grow them as disciples, and send them out on mission.

Know that each of you is in our prayers. If you need anything, our staff remain available by email and phone.  We love you and miss you!

In Christ with Mary,
Fr. Don & Fr. Mark


April 2, 2020
STEPS OF FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY TAKEN BY OLM DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

During this time of the Coronavirus Pandemic, we at Our Lady of Mercy and the Diocese of Joliet realize that all of us have been financially affected by the pandemic.  The volatility in the stock market has people worried.  Many have been laid off work or worse yet, lost jobs. Families are struggling to pay bills and put food on the table.  While many will get some financial help from the federal and/or state government, please let us know if there are any ways in which Our Lady of Mercy can help.  Also, Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Joliet can be contacted for help.

As you can imagine, five weeks thus far without a Sunday collection, especially Easter Sunday, our income is significantly down. With the extension of the governor’s “stay at home” order through April 30th that will add another two weeks without public Masses.

One third of our Sunday collection comes from parishioners who donate online.  Many have mailed in their envelopes.  We are grateful to report that through March, our online and mailed in donations have amounted to 57% of our budgeted Sunday collection for the month.  Thank you so much!!  And thank you to the over 90 parishioners who are new online donors since the start of no public Masses. Please consider donating online if you do not already.  Set up your account by going to:  www.olmercy.com and click on “Give” at the top of the page and scroll down to the link to set-up an online giving account.

Here are some things we at OLM are doing to be fiscally responsible during this time.

  • The Diocese of Joliet has mandated a 1/3 reduction in pay for the month of April for all salaried and hourly employees of the Diocese and parishes, including the priests
  • Our custodial employees from Buck Services are laid off
  • All non-essential spending is curtailed
  • Reduction in spending for flowers and environment for the Easter season
  • Suspension of garbage collection
  • Heating shut off in the gym, and lower temperatures elsewhere throughout facilities
  • Reduction in house cleaning services at the rectory from weekly to every other week
  • Planned landscaping of the outdoor Station of the Cross is put on hold
  • Fr. Mark and Fr. Don have gone on a diet of bread and water – just kidding 😊!

Perhaps you have noticed the new sign at the driveway of church.  While just installed in March, the sign was ordered and paid for in full in November 2019 to receive a 10% discount.  The funds to pay for the sign came from profits still on deposit from the Manna gift card program that was discontinued in 2017.

Sacrament availability

Many have reached to us sharing ideas of creative ways to still have the sacraments available during this time. Know that we have thought long and hard about different ways to bring you the sacraments during the lockdown while still abiding by social distancing guidelines. Yes, this can be done, but not under the Diocese of Joliet guidelines. It is all the more frustrating when, like you, we have seen other places in the country who are doing “drive-thru” confessions (or as Fr. Don likes to say, “toot-and-tell”), outdoor Masses, and parking lot Adoration processions. Our Bishop has made it clear that we are to do no such things while the state is in a “lockdown.” We will be obedient to the Bishop’s directive. Thank you for your understanding.

As we approach this extremely unusual Holy Week, be assured of our prayers. We believe the Lord will pour out His graces tenfold throughout this most Holy Week.  May we all choose to enter in fully and with expectant hearts. Know that we continue to remember you everyday as we celebrate Mass.

Yours in Christ,
Fr Don and Fr Mark

 


March 31, 2020
Weekly Update

Parish Family,

Thank you for praying with us this past Sunday and joining us for the live Q&A after Mass.  We had a lot of fun and look forward to connecting with you again this coming Sunday as we celebrate Palm Sunday! Submit your questions here or live on Facebook. We’re told there were over 4,000 views (and growing). It is uplifting to see all of us take advantage of these online opportunities in our movement to be close with the Lord and each other and to be encouraged in the midst of these difficult times.

See below what we have coming up this week!  All live events can be viewed on Facebook or the homepage of our website.  Please note you don’t need a Facebook account to view the live feed.

Lectio Divina with Father Mark 

Join us this Wednesday 4/1st at 7pm with Father Mark for Lectio Divina in the chapel.

Stations of the Cross

Once again, we will have Stations of the Cross on Friday 4/3rd at 7pm with Father Don and Father Mark in the Narthex of the Church.

Daily Mass

Start your day with the live stream Daily Mass @ 8am with Father Mark and the parish online community.

Spiritual Nourishment

Continue to Journey to the Heights as we near Holy Week. The journey to the heights is a journey inward; a movement toward a deeper interior life.  The only way the interior life grows deeper is through prayer and seeking out spiritual nourishment.  Remember the great content at Formed as well as Fr. Mark’s videos on “Dealing with Fear” and “God in the Separation.”

How Can We Pray for you today?

Our prayer team is ready and would be honored to pray for your needs now. Just click this link to submit your prayer request https://olmercy.com/prayer-intentions/

Hesed House

Our Lady of Mercy’s PADS day is April 7th, serving 200 of our brothers and sisters in need.  This Sunday would have been the day that we would have seen the monthly PADS board in the atrium of the church….but this is not a normal month. We will be dropping off a prepared dinner on April 7th and breakfast and lunch for the next day.  To keep everyone as safe as possible we will be collecting money instead of food items.  If you are able to help, please send us a check. You can make the check payable to Our Lady of Mercy and write Hesed House-PADS in the memo line.  Our address is 701 South Eola Road, Aurora, IL 60504.  Any questions, please email jeanr@olmercy.com.  Thank you for your generosity.

We’re in this with you, know of our support and heartfelt prayers for you. We give God the glory and praise that is due to Him! He is Lord!

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Don and Fr. Mark

 

 


March 28, 2020
About Sunday 

OLM Family,

We are looking forward to praying with you virtually tomorrow! You can tune-in at 8:45am to enjoy Gregorian Chant before Mass begins at 9am. Also, see below about the new feature this week where we will have a live Q&A with Fr. Don and Fr. Mark immediately following Mass.

You can access the livestream on our website or on Facebook. Please share these links with loved ones and extended family members as all are welcome!

Share your Sunday!

Post pictures of your Sunday experience on the Sunday Mass livestream feed on Facebook. Thank you to the families who have already shared with us. Take a look at what some of our parish family have sent (scroll to the end of the webpage  )

Q&A with Fr. Don and Fr. Mark

Do you guys have any questions for the Fathers?  Curious to know if Chardonnay has become Father Mark’s new best friend?  Tune in and find out at the Q&A with the Fathers immediately after Mass.  Submit your questions here or post them on the Comments during the Live Feed.

Financial Support

Thanks again to our new online givers this week! Please consider giving through our secure online platform located here https://bit.ly/33zLmGf

Mass Resources

\_“At Home Mass Kit” for 5th Sunday of Lent. Download here:  https://bit.ly/2WPcijO

\_ Spiritual Communion Prayer https://bit.ly/2JornB8

\_ Send Your Guardian Angel to Mass Prayer https://bit.ly/3bvcYio

Looking forward to gathering with you in prayer tomorrow!


March 27, 2020
Lockdown Update

OLM family,

We are in the 6th day of the “lockdown.” We look forward to being with you again soon! In the meantime, He is still Lord, and we are still on our Journey to the Heights.

Tonight at 7pm | STATIONS OF THE CROSS

Join Father Mark tonight at 7pm for livestream Stations of the Cross. We Journey to the Heights together by recounting the last steps of Christ’s life.

Spiritual Nourishment | GOD IN THE SEPARATION

We are separated from each other in a way that is utterly unfamiliar. Watch Fr. Mark’s message on how God is at work in the separation of the lockdown.

Our Lady of Mercy School of Prayer | HOW CAN WE PRAY FOR YOU TODAY?

Our prayer team is ready and would be honored to pray with you or for your needs now. Just click this link to submit your prayer request https://olmercy.com/prayer-intentions/

Fr. Don and Fr. Mark


March 24, 2020
Lockdown Update from OLM

Parish Family,

We miss you!  (Chardonnay misses you!) Father Mark and Chardonnay are now best friends….. yeah right!
We continue to be in prayer for you.  Our vision continues to be on the forefront: To offer every person a life-changing encounter with Jesus, grow disciples and send them on mission.  Here is what you can expect from us in the coming days.

Magnify

Join us this Wednesday (3/25) at 7pm as Fr. Mark exposes the Blessed Sacrament for a time of online adoration! Gather your family to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, listen to Praise and Worship music, and hear a meditation from Fr. Mark. Let’s meet together in prayer tomorrow! Live streamed on Facebook or our website. Keep an eye out on Facebook and website for the songs that will be played.

Stations of the Cross

Join Father Mark this Friday at 7pm for live streamed Stations of the Cross in the OLM Narthex.

A FORMED opportunity

The Lord has given us an amazing opportunity to grow in our faith this Lent and Journey to the Heights.  Go to www.formed.org, follow the instructions online and log in for an abundance of free content today. Click here to find out more about FORMED.

Financial Support

  • We want to thank the 35 people who began online giving this past week! If you’re not signed up for online giving, please consider giving through our secure online platform which can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/33zLmGf.
  • For those who are continuing to use their envelopes, please mail your contribution to the parish offices at this address: Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, 701 South Eola Road, Aurora, IL 60504.

As always, your generosity is greatly appreciated!

Live Stream Mass

We continue to live stream the Daily Mass at 8am and Sunday Mass at 9am on Facebook and on our website.  A recording of the live Mass will be made available shortly after to watch on-demand on both sites.  Father Mark’s homily for the Daily Mass is sent out on the myParish App, sign up here.  Also keep an eye out for the “At Home Mass Kit” each weekend helping people to enter more into the liturgy through reflecting on the readings and participating together as one family.  Thank you for sharing your Sunday pictures with us, continue to post those on the Facebook feed comments; we then post them on our website!

Meet the Need

Thank you again for all those who have signed up to help “Meet the Need” of those in our community.  A special thank you to our teens who have been calling in to check on the elderly at the parish. We are most grateful for the way you are spreading the love of Christ during this time! We also thank Jolene LeRoy and Dave Miserendino who have helped spearhead these efforts.

Sacrament of Reconciliation

We have received further guidance from the Vatican and Pope Francis during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The guidance addresses the issue of a lack of access to the sacrament of reconciliation. Pope Francis directs us to paragraph 1452 in The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states: “Where the individual faithful find themselves in the painful impossibility of receiving sacramental absolution, it should be remembered that perfect contrition, coming from the love of God, beloved above all things, expressed by a sincere request for forgiveness and accompanied by votum confessionis, that is, by the firm resolution to have recourse, as soon as possible, to sacramental confession, obtains forgiveness of sins, even mortal ones.”

Perfect contrition requires:

  • The love of God
  • The sincere desire for forgiveness
  • The ardent commitment to receive the sacrament of reconciliation when available

Also, Bishop Pates has determined that: “Given the “stay in place” order of Governor Pritzker, it is best to suspend the Sacrament of Penance at this time.”

Be assured, as soon as the Governor deems it appropriate to lift the “stay at home” order and restrictions on the size of a gathering, we will schedule many opportunities to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Father Don will address the understanding of the “Easter Duty” in the April 5th Sunday bulletin which you can read online.  Don’t forget you can continue to read the bulletin on the website (click here).

Stay Connected!

In addition to www.olmercy.com follow us on our Communications platforms for Daily Mass recordings, to receive recent news, video messages, and more!  Stay Connected with us here.

Universal Prayer

Finally, Pope Francis is urging all Catholics to unite spiritually in praying the Our Father tomorrow 3/25th at 6am. Let’s do our best as a local community to gather with our worldwide family in praying the Our Father asking the Heavenly Father for His mighty movement in these times.

We continue to keep you in prayer every day, especially presenting your prayers to the Father when we celebrate Mass.

In Christ,
Fr. Don & Fr. Mark


2pm on March 21, 2020
COVID-19 UPDATE

Latest Coronavirus update from OLM.

We have received further instructions from the Diocese of Joliet (read here) in taking steps to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The following are effective immediately and remain in place until April 7th (when the State plans to lift the “stay in place” order):

  • The Church and Chapel doors are locked.
  • All weddings and baptisms must be postponed and can be re-scheduled once the order is lifted by the State. There are no exceptions to this, regardless of the size of the group.
  • As noted by Bishop Pates, funerals and wakes must be postponed until the order is lifted. Call the parish office (630)851-3444 and press “1” for death and emergencies.
  • In addition, in case of an extreme emergency for baptism, please call the parish office and press “1”.
  • As noted by the Bishop, anointing of the sick and confession/absolution guidelines will be forthcoming.
  • Remember that the parish staff is here for you and are reachable either by calling the main office number or via email.

At Home Prayer Altar

You can’t come to Church during this time because the doors are locked, but we encourage you to build a little Altar in your home! Set a special place aside in your home and light a couple candles, hang a crucifix or picture of Mary and the saints, place a Bible and rosary there. This will help you spend consecrated time with Jesus, especially on the Lord’s Day, when you can’t come to Mass. Make room, Jesus wants to dwell in your home! Oh, and don’t forget to send a picture of your prayer altar to us!

At Home Mass Kit

We are excited to bring you this resource to use with your family as you watch the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass from home! We have been working with the Diocese in developing this resource for other churches in our area to use as well. Every week we will send this out on Saturday so you can use at home on Sunday. Please see attached link for the “At Home Mass Guide.”

Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow at 8:45am on our website or on Facebook to be ready to watch the live streamed 9am Sunday Mass.

Daily Homilies on myParish App

Father Mark’s daily homily is being posted every day on the Parish App. If you have not already downloaded the parish App please click here. If you have any trouble with downloading the App please call the parish office and we will get you all set.

Continue to know of our prayers for you at this time. We continue to offer Mass for you all. The Body of Christ is real! The communion of Saints is real. We are still connected, and He is still Lord of Lords and King of Kings!

Sincerely,
Fr. Don & Fr. Mark


March 20, 2020
COVID-19 UPDATE

Parish Family, with this afternoon’s announcement from Governor Pritzker, OLM is taking the additional steps to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The following are effective immediately until further notice:

  • Suspension of all regular Confession times
  • Suspension of regular Eucharistic Adoration times

Mass (Monday through Saturday at 8am and Sunday at 9am) will continue to be live streamed on Facebook and later posted on the website. These Masses are closed to public.

Know of our continual prayers!
Fr. Don & Fr. Mark


Additionally, please see the note below from our pastor, Fr Don:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we together face the challenges and fears presented to us by the Coronavirus pandemic, we turn to our faith in God who is our surest recourse in time of need.  I share with you the sorrow of not being able to gather together for the celebration of the Eucharist, especially as the holiest days of the Christian year are upon us.  The thought of celebrating Easter Sunday Mass with nobody there is really weird!

I want to share with you that in speaking with my doctor this week, he instructed me to self-isolate for 14 days for my protection because of recently having had a cold, being a “senior” citizen (how dare he!) and having only one kidney.  So, you won’t see me in the livestream of Mass this weekend, but be assured, I am fine. And I am well taken care of with people dropping off food.  Thanks to Fr. Mark for stepping up and providing the much-needed pastoral leadership at this time!  Be assured of my prayers and together we will get through this!

Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Don


March 19, 2020
COVID-19 UPDATE

Dear Parish Family,

We’re staying vigilant as the health situation in our area evolves. In an effort to help stop the spread of this virus, and in continued cooperation on the federal, state, local and Diocesan levels and in accordance with our Bishop (please see Bishop’s letter here), we are enacting the following:

  • We are saddened to inform you that now all weekend and all daily Masses are cancelled through Easter. As the letter indicates, if this should change, we will notify you immediately.
  • We will start to live stream Daily Mass at 8am and will continue to live stream a Mass on Sundays at 9am on Facebook and our website. A recording of the live Mass will be made available shortly after to watch on-demand on our website and FaceBook. Each weekend we will also have a “Sunday Guide” helping people to enter more into the liturgy through reflecting on the readings.
  • The Church is open for private prayer: Sunday 11am to 9pm, and Monday through Saturday 9am to 9pm. Please follow the CDC guidelines of social distancing of 6 feet.  We will continue to disinfect Church pews on a regular basis.
  • At this time, Eucharistic Adoration will continue as scheduled: Mondays 8:30am thru 6pm and Thursdays from 8:30am thru 9pm. As the Church will be open for private prayer, we have plans to increase Eucharistic Adoration times but we are seeking further clarification from the Diocese.  Upon approval, we will make our plans available to you.
  • At this time, Confessions will continue to be heard as scheduled: Saturdays 3/21, 3/28 from 9am to 10am and 2:30pm to 3:45pm. Wednesday 3/18, 3/25, 4/1 from 6pm-7pm.  As with Eucharistic Adoration we are seeking further clarification from the Diocese.  In addition we are exploring other options for us to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance outdoors (drive by Confessions while in your car). Stay tuned!
  • Future clarification is forthcoming with Weddings, Funerals, Baptisms and Confession times.
  • Plans for Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Sunday are being prayed about and thought through. These are opportunities for us to be creative and think outside the box.  Details forthcoming.

As with all this, please continue to be on the lookout for further communications and updates.

“Meet the Need” Outreach & Support

We have formed a team of people ready and willing to help those in need. Thank you for your generous response! If you would still like to offer your help, please sign up here.

If you find yourself in need of errand help (i.e. someone to pick-up groceries for you), in need of a spiritual care phone call, or you just feel alone and isolated and could use a chat, please sign up here.  Know that those who are 80 years old and above will receive a check-in phone call.

A Holy Opportunity Ahead

We believe that we are living in a momentous time of the Church. As we are no longer able to gather in person for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and receive the Eucharist, it is easy to feel anxious and discouraged, but we believe Jesus is Lord and will move in power in these times. His grace will be at work! Let us use this as an opportunity to double-down on what the Church has always proclaimed, that the family is the domestic church. Pope John Paul II says, “The Christian family is called upon to take part actively and responsibly in the mission of the Church, in a way that is original and specific, by placing itself, in what it is and what it does as an “intimate community of life and love,” at the service of the Church and of society.” Take this opportunity to grow in love of Jesus and as a family to Journey to the Heights. We will help you do this.

Spiritual Nourishment

We have been releasing short teachings across Facebook, Instagram, Constant Contact, and our Website. We hope you have been taking advantage of these opportunities.  Let us know if you need any help accessing this content.  Taking advantage of these online opportunities will be important in our movement to be close with the Lord and our Parish family, to be encouraged in the midst of the struggle, and to grow in our walk as disciples of Jesus Christ. We have great expectation and hope that God is going to bring great blessings out of these bizarre times! God is good, He is faithful, He is Lord, He is above all, He is King of Kings!

In the heart of Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Don & Fr. Mark 

Psalm 30:7 “Thou art a hiding place for me, thou preservest me from trouble; dost encompass me with deliverance.”


March 17, 2020
COVID-19 UPDATE

Dear Our Lady of Mercy Family,

In light of these uncertain times, we’re reaching out to let you know that your parish is here for you.  We can only imagine that some of us are experiencing fear and anxiety while others are going through the loss of things we’ve taken for granted; going out to restaurants, movies, sporting events.  Tantamount to our loss is the inability to gather to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Sunday.

What we do in the Church, we do out of love for God and love for our brothers and sisters and so in accordance with our Bishop (please see Bishop’s letter here), effective immediately all public celebration of the Sunday weekend Masses at OLM are suspended until further notice. All souls are dispensed from their Sunday obligation.  We are taking this extraordinary step today out of love and concern for those in our families and communities who are most vulnerable to this deadly coronavirus.

In light of the recent developments on the federal, state, local and Diocesan levels, in addition to the above please find below what you can expect from Our Lady of Mercy.

  • We will still praise God and will have a Mass streamed live on FaceBook at 9am that will be closed to the public but available to view later so that you can stay connected to your faith and your parish.
  • We intend to offer other forms of regular spiritual sustenance online.
  • Group gatherings of Stations of the Cross are suspended until further notice.
  • All group meetings in the Parish Life Center (PLC) are suspended until further notice.
  • At this time, Confessions will continue to be heard as scheduled: Saturdays 3/21, 3/28 from 9am to 10am and 2:30pm to 3:45pm. Wednesday 3/18, 3/25, 4/1 from 6pm-7pm.
  • Eucharistic Adoration will continue as scheduled: Mondays 8:30am thru 6pm and Thursdays from 8:30am thru 9pm.
  • The church will continue to be open for private prayer from 8:30am thru 9pm. If you’re in the church, please follow the CDC guidelines of social distancing of 6 feet.  We will continue to disinfect church pews on a regular basis.

We know that those most susceptible to this virus are those who are in the high-risk categories. We are formulating teams to “match the need of those in need”. For example, errand help for those who would like groceries picked up and delivered outside their front door, make phone calls to those who are alone and isolated, or spiritual care phone conversations. If you find the Lord calling you to serve in any of these ways please sign up here. Our Director of Pastoral Care, Jolene LeRoy, will be in contact with you with further directions.

In addition, Our Lady of Mercy is taking steps to be positioned to help parishioners who will be most financially in need during this pandemic. Due to your previous generosity, we are positioned to help those in need at this time. In order to continue to be in that position we ask that you consider moving your weekly contribution to our On-line giving platform (sign up here).  We currently receive about a 1/3 of our weekly Sunday contribution due to Online-giving.

Please monitor our website and social media channels for the latest updates as we continue to receive the developments with regards to the coronavirus.  We expect further instructions from the Diocese and we will let you know about them when we are made aware.  Let us also keep a vigil of being in prayer for those in the front lines of this virus; all the doctors, nurses, caregivers, and public health and civil authorities.

Isaiah 30:15 “By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust your strength lies.”

Psalm 30:7 “Thou art a hiding place for me, thou preservest me from trouble; dost encompass me with deliverance.”

In the heart of Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Don & Fr. Mark


March 14, 2020

Dear Our Lady of Mercy Family,

In the midst of these difficult days, we have hope when we remember that God has known of this moment in history from before the beginning of time. We believe this is an opportunity to grow in faith and trust by turning to the Lord.

Please know our team has been closely monitoring the situation.  We want to stay close to our vision and values as a parish to bring people to an encounter with Jesus and will continue to do so with caution.

In the midst of these unprecedented times, we believe that the hope of Jesus Christ is our greatest strength.  As such, we will have the following taking place tomorrow Sunday 3/15th.

  • We will live stream a private Mass tomorrow @ 9am on our Facebook page which will be posted on our website for further viewing. 
  • We will hold Eucharistic Adoration from 12pm to 9pm for private prayer time with Jesus; perhaps offer up a Eucharistic Holy Hour for an end to this pandemic.
  • We will have Confessions from 1pm to 2pm and 7pm to 9pm.

Thank you for joining with us as we pray and follow the directives of the country, state, and diocese. The situation is ever evolving and we will continue to keep you updated.  Stay connected with us through our media channels such as the myParish App, Constant Contact emails, and our social media platforms (click here) for we will provide updates as the situation changes.

“In all things God works for the good of those who love Him.” Romans 8:28.  We believe that the Lord can and will bring good from this for the Church and for His people. Our staff is eager to embrace this as an opportunity and will be exploring new ways to connect, encourage, empower and support our community.

You may feel anxious during these times. We pray that the peace of Christ that surpasses all understanding will be with you. Take time this weekend by yourself, as a family, or as a small community to pray for those in the world suffering from this and other diseases. We will continue to pray for you and your families and for a swift resolution of this current situation.

In the heart of Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Don & Fr. Mark

In times where one is not able to receive the Eucharist, the Church has always encouraged us to make a spiritual communion.  Let us pray.

/Prayer for Spiritual Communion\
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Amen.


March 13, 2020
COVID-19 UPDATE

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Our Lady of Mercy’s vision is “To offer every person a life-changing encounter with Jesus, grow disciples and send them on mission.” In times like this, we are presented with an opportunity to strengthen our trust and reliance on the Lord.

In the wake of ongoing developments on the federal, state and local levels, and in accordance with the Diocese of Joliet guidelines, here is what you can expect from Our Lady of Mercy this weekend.  Please refer to this link to see the most recent statement from the Diocese of Joliet.

  • Suspension of regular weekend Mass services (3/14th and 3/15th); everyone is dispensed from their Sunday obligation this weekend.
  • We will still praise God and will have a Mass streamed live on Facebook at 9am that will be closed to the public but available to view so that you can stay connected to your faith and your parish.  It will also be posted on our website when it is over.
  • Confessions will be heard on Saturday 3/14th from 9am – 10am and from 2:30pm – 5pm.
  • The church will be open for private prayer from 9am to 9pm on Saturday 3/14th. Please be mindful there is a wedding at 2pm (with only invited guests attending).
  • The church will also be open for private prayer from 12pm to 9pm on Sunday 3/15th.
  • Effective immediately, all children and student programs are suspended.  If you have a child or student currently in our programs, you will receive additional information from your program director.
  • The High School Confirmation Seder Meal is cancelled.
  • Tonight 3/13th Fish Fry and Stations of the Cross will still be held. Carry out option for the Fish Fry is available.
  • Saturday 3/14th Father Don’s Tour Meeting is still taking place.
  • The Charismatic Prayer Group Saturday 3/14th is cancelled.
  • Daily Mass will continue as normal.

We encourage all within our parish community to practice safety and diligence.  For those persons who are most at risk of contracting COVID-19, continue to follow the advice of your healthcare professional and consult the CDC’s coronavirus webpage for more information.

Please be on the lookout from us for spiritual nourishment opportunities during these uncertain times (increased Eucharistic Adoration, Confession times, and Journey to the Heights Lenten reflections).

Please monitor our website and social media channels for the latest updates as we continue to monitor the developments with regards to the coronavirus.  Please be in prayer with us for the health and safety of our parish family and our brothers and sisters around the world.

In the heart of Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Don & Fr. Mark

In times where one is not able to receive the Eucharist, the Church has always encouraged us to make a spiritual communion.  Let us pray.

/Prayer for Spiritual Communion\
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Amen.


March 12, 2020

Letter below in .pdf

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Peace of Jesus be on your lips and in your hearts! We pray you have drawn nearer to Jesus and are growing in His love for you during this Journey to the Heights Lenten season.  As we become more attentive to the world’s response to the coronavirus and seek the Lord’s wisdom for our part to play during this pandemic, we’d like to address a few concerns brought to our attention.

First, take comfort that we are already responding in conjunction with recommendations made to us through our Bishop as to how we can be health conscious while celebrating the Mass. Please see attached list of Coronavirus Precautions at Our Lady of Mercy.

We encourage any parishioners who are feeling ill (coughing, sneezing, have a fever) or are in fragile health to refrain from attending Mass and make an act of Spiritual Communion (see prayer below).  Know that we are praying for and with you!  We will continue to post our homilies on our webpage and on FaceBook so you can participate at home.

As a parish who believes in Jesus Christ and has as our vision “to offer everyone a life-changing encounter with Jesus,” we think it is important we take the little and big opportunities in these days to rely on God and preach His Gospel of peace.  St. Paul exhorts us so well in Romans 8:35, 38-39, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

During these times, let us entrust ourselves, our families, our nation and our world to the heart of God, our Father, seeking His continued protection and every manner of His love!

May every day be filled with His grace and our hearts know peace in His love!

In the heart of Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Don & Fr. Mark

The Prayer for Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Amen.


CORONAVIRUS  PRECAUTIONS AT OUR LADY OF MERCY


Effective March 12, 2020 until further notice

  • All priests, deacons, altar servers and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion must wash their hands before Mass begins and use an alcohol-based, anti-bacterial solution before and after distributing Holy Communion.
  • All vessels used at Mass, once purified, are thoroughly washed with soap and hot water after each use.
  • Holy water fonts are emptied.
  • The collection baskets will not be passed. Collection baskets will be placed at the entrance doors to the church in the narthex and at the handicapped entrance. Please place your offering in the baskets as you enter or leave church.
  • Refrain from holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer.
  • The Sign of Peace is omitted.
  • Holy Communion from the cup is discontinued.
  • Updated 3/16/2020, at this time, Holy Communion is received reverently in open hands only.
    Given the frequency of direct contact with saliva in the distribution of Holy Communion on the tongue, out of charity to your brothers and sisters in Christ during this pandemic, every consideration should be given by each individual to receive Holy Communion reverently in open hands for the time being. Those still wishing to receive Holy Communion on the tongue are asked to come forward at the end of the communion line.
  • Faithful who are sick or are experiencing flu-like symptoms are not obliged to attend Mass and are encouraged to stay at home. You may view the Mass online at TheSundayMass.org if you wish or visit our FaceBook and our website for the homilies.
    https://olmercy.com/audioandvideo-homilies/
    https://www.facebook.com/olmercy/
  • The maintenance staff at OLM are frequently wiping down the top rails of the pews and door handles as well as taking other precautionary and sanitary measures.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding!  And pray the rosary and other prayers for an end to this pandemic.

Fr. Don and Fr. Mark


In this time of need, let’s seek together the maternal intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe.


Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas. We fly to you today as your beloved children. We ask you to intercede for us with your Son, as you did at the wedding in Cana.

Pray for us, loving Mother, and gain for our nation and world, and for all our families and loved ones, the protection of your holy angels that we may be spared the worst of this illness.

For those already afflicted, we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance. Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful, wipe away their tears and help them to trust

In this time of trial and testing, teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind. Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.

We come to you with confidence, knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother, health of the sick and cause of our joy.

Shelter us under the mantle of your protection, keep us in the embrace of your arms, help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.