er Bob’s Weekly Message
“Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you.” Isaiah 60: 1-6
We celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. The revelation of Jesus’ birth for the whole world. God’s son was born to reveal God’s word not just to the people of Israel but to people everywhere!
How can I embrace God’s word this New Year? How can I let it change me in a new way? It may change me already but how do I let it stretch me beyond myself and my own priorities?
We have just begun a New Year six days ago. It is still fresh for all of us. A New Year always gives us hope and fresh new possibilities! Let God’s word lead you and fill you with a new Hope and the Grace of the Holy Spirit.
Many Parishioners of St. Anselm and St. Elizabeth gathered on December 15thwith Parishioners of Corpus Christi and Holy Angels for a Renew My Church Meeting. It was lead by Valarie Jennings of Parish Vitality, and Deacon James Norman, our Vicariate Administrator, who presented on Renew My Church. Some facts which they gave us about the current reality of the Church in Chicago now are significant.
-17% of Catholics in the Archdiocese are going to Church every Sunday.
-7% of the 17% going to Church are involved on a regular basis at their home Church/Parish
-The number of students in our Catholic Schools has dropped because of fewer students and people not having children as they once did, and because of the choice of better schools in many areas.
-Currently the Archdiocese has 749 (January, 2018 number) Diocesan Priests (including active and retired). Approximately 30 are retiring from active ministry every year, getting sick or passing away each year. 181 of that number are retired/sick already. The total number of Priests available will drop to 200 Priests in 10 years.
This Renew My Church Meeting was the beginning of a “Soft Collaboration” between the Parishes of the Bronzeville Grouping that includes the Parishes of St. Anselm, Corpus Christi, St. Elizabeth and Holy Angels. Some activities are planned for this year and I will list them now.
-January 27, 2019-A pulpit exchange of Pastors for Sunday Masses. I will go to Corpus Christi. Fr. Andrew Smith of Holy Angels will come to St. Anselm and St. Elizabeth. Fr. Tony Anike of Corpus Christi will go to Holy Angels.
-Lenten Reconciliation Service at Corpus Christi at 11:00 am on April 6, 2019 followed by lunch.
-Easter Season Choir Concert to be explored.
-Confirmation Mass for our young people preparing from 4 Parishes (plus St. Kilian) on May 19, 2019 at 3:00 pm at St. Elizabeth. Bishop Perry will celebrate that day and Confirm.
The above is just a beginning. Let us embrace each other in the soft collaboration which we have already begun on December 15th. And, let us pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit for Renew My Church in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Have a wonderful week.
“Never hesitate to trust the unknown future to a known God.”