November 27, 2022

First Sunday of Advent

     Our Adventure in Grace continues as Holy Family enters into a new era. This era consists of several major influences, such as: post-pandemic challenges; continued decline in affiliation with any church by younger people; a hostile, divisive political, spiritual and ecclesial landscape; and the shifting of the demographics of our community.

     Cardinal Cupich has lifted the general dispensation for attending weekend Mass, meaning that he is encouraging anyone who is physically able to return to in person, live worship. However, we will continue to offer the livestreaming of our 9:00am Mass each week which can be viewed either in real time or any time throughout the week. Recent national survey results tell us that across ALL generations half of people surveyed want some experience of hybrid church, meaning a combination of live and virtual participation. As we encourage anyone who is physically able to pray in person, we realize that many people cannot join us for many reasons, and there are people all over the world who find our worship style feeds them spiritually. For these and other reasons, we will continue offering the livestream Holy Family worship experience.

     We also continue to develop our website as a means not only to INFORM but also to FORM.  Our website currently has presentations and resources for your spiritual enrichment. For example, both of the Tenderness presentations – Fr. Ed Shea’s Tenderness and Forgiveness and Bill and Joanne McElroy’s Tenderness in Prayer – are available.

     The cornerstone of addressing the challenges of a new era here at Holy Family is our parish renewal initiative, Adventures in Grace. The Archdiocesan Renew My Church process has given us supplemental resources as well. Here are some specific ways that all of us can participate in renewal, grace and spiritual growth in order to more fully address the challenges ahead of us, to engage new parishioners and re-engage existing faithful ones:

  • Look for Grace in your life more intently and intentionally
  • Use grace language surfaced in last year’s pilgrimage such as:

When and Where did you experience Grace this past week?

Who or What mediated that Grace?

This is language is based on a statement by Fr. Pat McGrath, the new Pastor of Old St. Patrick’s: “Catholicism can be whittled down to three words – Grace, Mediation and Sacrament.”

Grace – The energy and flow of God’s love

Mediation – The transmission of that love and energy through an agent

Sacrament – How we label, articulate, celebrate and ritualize the impact of Grace in our lives on a regular basis, and in formal ways as well.

  • Start or join a G.I.G. (Gathering in Grace or Small Christian Community)
  • Attend the Beloved Retreat December 9-11 at Mundelein Seminary
  • Participate in our Tenderness series of presentations throughout the year
  • Consistently go to our website for both information and formation; use the website to access details of our story
  • Encourage others to go to our website
  • Tell others about our unique story here at Holy Family
  • Just be more tender with others
  • Encourage others to join us for any one of our fun Shenanigans gatherings
  • Join a ministry where you can share your God-given talents
  • Attend our monthly FM Masses with three generations of your family or friends
  • Be intentional in your financial support of our mission.

Our Advent Theme 2022

     Advent always has an overarching theme of preparation for the birth of Christ each year. We articulate that theme in slightly different ways each year here at Holy Family.

     This year we are offering an acronym that reflects the major themes of the four weeks:

P – Prepare

R – Repent

A – Accept

Y – Yes! (Not only Mary’s, but Joseph’s as well)

Let us P R A Y together

in a special way this Advent.

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