Dear Family of St. Matthias,
Greetings! Next Sunday at our 10:30 AM Mass we will celebrate the Rite of Election with our RCIA Candidates. They will sign the Book of the Elect and then will proceed later in the afternoon to Holy Name Cathedral for an afternoon prayer service. Our group will be joining other RCIA candidates who are in the same process in their own parishes. Since there are so many participants in the RCIA process, there will be four prayer services at the cathedral. Bishop John Manz (who was baptized at St. Matthias) will be our celebrant of prayer. Our group has been meeting faithfully every Tuesday evening since September. Their Baptism or Profession of Faith will be at the evening service on Holy Saturday, March 26th. Please keep our RCIA candidates in your prayers. They thank you and I thank you.
In our recent weekend gospels, we have heard reference to the "native son" and "the hometown son" referring to Jesus. Well, since I will be conflicted next Sunday for the 4 PM Mass with the Holy Name Cathedral celebration, Fr. Bob Heidenreich, who was baptized at St. Matthias and celebrated his first Mass here, will be the celebrant of our Mass that afternoon. Welcome home Fr. Bob!!!
Well now, how fast time goes by. Lent begins this Wednesday with our celebration of Ash Wednesday. Our church doors will be open from 7 AM until 9 AM for the reception of ashes. We will have two Masses, one at 8:15 AM and one at 7 PM. We will have a Word Service at 5 PM and as at Mass, ashes will be distributed after the homily. Please check the bulletin for further Lenten events for our spiritual renewal during this holy and humble season.
The first of our annual Lenten Fish Fries is this Friday at the Atlantic Bar and Grill(5206 N. Lincoln) and continues through to March 18th. Thanks to the thoughtfulness and generosity of the Atlantic, our Parish will receive a portion of the proceeds from each night. If your dinner timing is well calculated on Friday, please also join us at 7 PM for Stations of the Cross and Benediction.
We had fourteen parishioners meet with Tim O'Connor and two of his staff members last Monday evening to discuss paint colors for our church. We are going to re-convene this Monday as well but by ourselves. It was a good meeting but no final decisions were made leading to this week's meeting and possibly one additional.
Three decisions were reached. The yellow and gray colors are out. In the original scope of work, the ceiling with its acoustical tile was not going to be painted but now will be painted. The original plan called for three colors and now there will be four. I will keep you updated and eventually you will see a photo of our selected colors. Before the actual work begins, the colors will also be displayed on a small section of the walls. I thank this group for their work and creativity last week and let us keep going forward!
This upcoming Tuesday, members of our pastoral staff, four parish representatives (Parish Council, School Board, Finance, CCD) and I will be attending our Vicariate meeting concerning the re-vitalization of our parishes. Our meeting is at St. John Brebeuf in Niles. This meeting will be a summary of where we were, where we are now, and where we will be in the very near future. I am glad to see the Archdiocese is consulting and keeping our staffs and parish leadership informed. This whole renewal process of the Archdiocese is based on three things which include the vitality of each and every parish, the financial stability of every single parish and thirdly, the October count of attendees at weekend Masses in all parishes. In our bulletin next week, I will give you a summary of the meeting with Bishop Kane, Monsignor Kaczorowski and our parish staff. The following week, a summary of the Vicariate meeting will follow.
Also at noon on Tuesday, our Parish Senior Friendship group will have our monthly lunch. Please join us for a good and delicious lunch and the lively art of conversation. There will be one order of business which is to begin making plans for the Anointing of the Sick Mass on a late Saturday morning in Spring.
On page 4, you will see a review of our RAISE/To Teach Who Christ Is campaign. At this point we are almost at a million dollars in pledges with our goal of 1.8 million. The timeline consists of 'witness talks' the next two weekends at all Masses by our parishioners sharing their love of St. Matthias and explaining their participation in our RAISE program (please know that I am also a participant). The following two weekends will provide an 'in-pew-solicitation' much like we do with the Annual Catholic Appeal. I hope by now everyone will have received a RAISE mailing. At anytime, please contact me with any questions, concerns or your readiness to make a pledge. I THANK YOU!
As you have most likely heard by now, our Principal Sheila Klich was robbed at gun point last week. Thanks be to God Sheila was not hurt but still shaken by this terrible and violent incident. Please keep Sheila in your Prayers. These 3 thieves did take a number of valuables from Sheila including keys. So for safety sake, we have changed all locks on our Church, School and rectory.
Please see page 2 for last week's Offertory collection summary. On behalf of our Finance Committee and myself, we thank you. Thank you for ALL that you do for our Family of St. Matthias.
I pray for you everyday.
I see where Navy Pier is getting a new Ferris wheel and it is coming by boat. It must be on the 'carnival cruise line'
Have a good week!