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December 4th, 2022

Thank You Bishop Grob

     So many of you have commented on the warmth of our Vicar Bishop Jeffrey Grob during his visit last weekend to celebrate the 9:00am Mass. Bishop Grob is gracious and grateful for the vibrant nature of Holy Family, and he supports our mission with appreciation. He oversees 48 parishes in Lake County and northern Cook County. He was here to thank us for completing the initial formal phase of Renew My Church, which included three meetings with select members of St. Anne in Barrington.

     Renew my Church is a comprehensive movement that includes EVERY parish in the Archdiocese. As a result of this initial process, many parishes undergo a change in canonical status, which mean several things: some merge with another parish; some merge with multiple other parishes and close a portion of their campus, and as a part of the process, centralize administrative offices, and in some cases, schools. In both of these scenarios, almost always, a new parish with a new name is formed.

     With Holy Family and St. Anne there will be no merging or closing, no change in canonical status. Both parishes will stay separate and as vibrant as they are. However, this is only the beginning of renewal at each parish based on the lively discussions from our three meetings. New ideas were surfaced, we learned from each other and what has resulted is what the Renew My Church initiative calls BUILDING A NEW REALITY.

     All of this is based on the need for evangelization and engaging new parishioners amidst many challenges of today’s world. Once again, I want to thank our Renew My Church Vicariate I Vitality Coordinator, Eleanor Seagraves.  Eleanor has been a valuable resource for planning and helping us to take the best of Renew My Church to St. Anne and to bolster our own initiative of renewal, Adventures in Grace, here at Holy Family.

     Eleanor continues to offer her assistance and other resources to all of the parishes in the Vicariate.  She has led a small group of us pastors in ongoing planning and visioning, and helped us brainstorm regarding building new programing and teams to lead ongoing renewal.

     Renewal seems to be the key word and we are blessed to have begun new life and blessings with last year’s pilgrimage and ongoing Adventures in Grace.  We must build on that new life.

     In last week’s article I articulated several of the specifics of ministries, programs and initiatives that are the backbone for us here at Holy Family to BUILD A NEW REALITY of our community. Please see that article on our website.

kNOw Hunger in our Academy

     Students in our Academy have spent significant time recently researching issues, facts and more about hunger in the world and here in our area. They have learned much about hunger and have shared much of what they have learned at the last two all school Masses. 

     Students are grouped according to the neighborhoods in which they live for certain projects, such as collecting food for hungry people. These groupings include children from pre-school to grade 8. As of Thanksgiving, they have collected 6,866 items including canned goods, pasta, granola bars, fruit packs, beans and more to be donated to the Palatine Community Food Bank. By the time this article is published that number certainly will rise. I can say for certain that they kNOw a lot more about hunger now in far-away places and those close to home, AND they have done something to address the need.

Advent Week Two

     We hear again from the prophet Isaiah in the first reading this weekend. He tells us that a shoot shall blossom from the stump of Jesse. Jesse had eight sons, the youngest of which would become the greatest Old Testament King David. One of David’s descendants was Joseph, the carpenter husband of Mary, and also the father of Jesus on earth.

     From this lineage comes Jesus, the human manifestation of God of whom John the Baptist prepared the world. John is a loud strong voice urging preparation and repentance. Repentance is aided by the Sacrament of Reconciliation that we offer every Monday from 5:30-7:00pm and, in particular ways, during Advent and Lent for All Parish Reconciliation Services. Please join us for our All-Parish Reconciliation Service on Wednesday, December 14 at 7:00pm.

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