Archives for October 2010
My name is Krista Kutz, and I am a Master of Divinity student at the University of Chicago in Hyde Park. This year, I will be serving Old St. Pat’s as a ministry intern. I look forward to being involved in Liturgical planning, religious education, social justice outreach, and much more. Above all, I am eager to get to know the members of Old St. Pat’s who make this faith community so welcoming and inspiring. What drew me to Old St. Pat’s was the way it empowers the laity — women and men of all generations — to transform the world through the Gospel message. I consider it a privilege to serve this vibrant congregation!
Old St. Pat’s is already an important part of my life because of what happened on March 14, 2010. On that day, after the St. Patrick’s Day Community Celebration, my fiancé proposed in the Church balcony! As the site of our engagement, Old St. Pat’s will always be a beloved place to us.
Before entering graduate school, I studied theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. I continue to be a big Musketeers fan, and as a St. Louis native, I still cheer on the Cardinals. (Sorry Cubs fans!) In my free time, I enjoy jogging on the lakeshore paths, exploring Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods, and eating my way through every local restaurant. At the top of my “favorites” list is Molly’s Cupcakes in Lincoln Park. I hope to immerse myself even more in this great city and Old St. Pat’s community throughout the year.
We celebrate the Liturgy of Healing on Sunday, October 31, 2010 at Old St. Pat’s. During the 12:45 p.m. Eucharistic celebration, hundreds of members of our community will come forward to receive a blessing of soothing holy oil and words of comfort and affirmation — all in the service and hope of healing. One can imagine any number of participants in the Healing Mass wondering, come about five in the afternoon — or perhaps more poignantly – at three thirty a.m. – Did the healing “work?”
Like so many realities we can trace back to God — healing is a mysterious one . . . a REALLY mysterious one. A few reflections on this mystery:
God wants us to know the grace of healing.
On the one hand this seems obvious — on the other hand when we are actually hurt, sick, scared, scarred, wounded, etc., it is not uncommon to ask why God is “letting” this happen and if God in fact desires our healing . . . then why aren’t we, in fact, healed. One of my sources of comfort in the face of this apparent dilemma is a story from scripture. In the story a tormented man on the side of the road is trying to get Jesus’ attention. The disciples are trying to “calm the man down” so as not to disturb Jesus. Not to be denied, the man yells louder: “Jesus, son of David, if you want to you can heal me.” Jesus stops, approaches the man, reaches out and touches him and declares: “Of course I want to heal you.” Even, or perhaps especially in the face of evidence to the contrary, I have found deep comfort in this scene, and over the years I have chosen to trust Jesus’ declaration: “Of course I want to heal you . . .”
Much to our chagrin, healing is a cooperative venture.
In the face of hurt, loss, despair, sickness, death . . . it is not uncommon for us to want God to do something — anything to heal us. Another scene from scripture puts this into perspective for me. In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus says emphatically: “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.” Subtly, but crucially, implied in this declaration of Jesus is the cooperative nature of healing. Upon reaching Jesus, in response to his invitation to healing, it will be necessary for us to lay down our burden in order to receive Jesus’ comfort, refreshment and companionship. This seems ridiculously obvious on first blush; but you and I both know it would be an impossible task to count all the people who leave Jesus’ presence just as weary and burdened as they arrived because . . . they just couldn’t “let it go” — they just couldn’t trust their burden to Jesus — sadly, they cling to their burden.
Often, healing does not look like what we imaging healing looking like.
It is not uncommon for us to confuse the reality of curing with that of healing. While praying for healing, what we are really hoping for and expecting is a cure. To be cured is to be returned to the state we were in before the accident, before the depression, before the illness . . . before the amputation. But healing is not so much a return to a previous state as it is a transformation — a pushing us forward into a surprising unexpected state. One can only imagine at some point during his nocturnal confrontation with the angel, Jacob prayed for healing — after all his hip was dislocated in the course of his “wrestling match” with the angel — low and behold, he was indeed healed— he awoke free to return to his brother and family with humility and hope — and he was still limping as a result of his dislocated hip. More often than not being healed does not equate with being “fixed.” To be healed is to be free rather than fixed.
And so we pray today with all those who will participate in the Liturgy of Healing . . . and we pray for all of us that we might have the courage and trust to enter deeply and intimately and recklessly in to the mystery of healing — in to the arms of a God eager to ease our weariness and heavy burden — in to the presence of a God who desperately wants to heal us.
Can the Church say Amen?!
Terry Nelson-Johnson is director of Faith Formation at Old St. Patrick’s Church.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Together We Are Creating Great Church
Important Dates to Remember:
Sunday, November 7: “Testimonial Sunday”
Hear from fellow Old St. Pat’s members on the impact of Sunday Giving!
Sunday, November 14: “Commitment Sunday”
Bring your completed Pledge Card to Mass.
Watch for a new date to be announced to celebrate the 2011 Sunday Giving commitments!
We would like to thank all of the members and friends of Old St. Patrick’s Church who have already submitted their 2011 Pledge Card, and to all of you who will be submitting your pledge in celebration of Commitment Sunday on November 14! Your pledge helps support the mission to bring you Great Church. Your gifts are needed to effectively host this unique Church experience. On Sunday, November 14 in celebration of Commitment Sunday, Sunday Giving Pledge Cards and return envelopes will be available in the information holders in the Church vestibule.
Are you looking for more information?
- Check-out the SGC 2011 website at http://oldstpats.org/giving/, where you can also view the Sunday Giving Commitment Brochure online.
- Call or email the Advancement Office at 312.798.2348, or email@example.com.
- To answer any of your questions, Kate (Moffatt) Rhodes, Director of Advancement, or Judi Nealey, Associate Director of Advancement, will be available following all Masses on Sunday, November 7 and Sunday, November 14.
Would you like to pledge electronically to the 2011 Sunday Giving Commitment?
- Visit http://oldstpats.org/giving/ to sign-up for monthly electronic funds transfers (EFT) from your checking account; or schedule monthly withdrawals from your credit/debit card.
- If you do not have access to a computer or are uncomfortable with submitting your banking or credit card information online, call the Old St. Pat’s Advancement Office at 312.798.2348 and we will be happy to offer you personal and confidential service over the phone.
I have a really unique job at Old St. Pat’s Church as Director of Outreach. I have numerous opportunities to witness firsthand the generosity of giving and see its impact from the volunteers and receivers perspectives. It is an amazing outcome I have been blessed to see time and time again. I never tire of seeing this particular form of faith in action.
The words of the Gospel command us to “love our neighbor as ourself,” and to go out into the world crossing a variety of borders to accomplish this labor of love. We also are taught “for it is in giving that we receive.” Perhaps in the world of spirit, there is no border between giving and recieving.
AS CHRISTIANS AND CATHOLICS, WE ARE COMMANDED TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR AS OURSELF, …
Let me share a few vignettes of such “boarderless” giving. A few years ago, I was privileged to watch a volunteer in action during Christmas at the University of Illinois Pediatrics program. Old St. Pat’s was hosting a Christmas party complete with gifts and treats for the chronically ill children who were in the hospital during the Christmas holidays. Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause were visiting each child’s room distributing presents. There was a terminally ill child who had been waiting for Santa’s visit for weeks. When this child was finally aware of Santa’s presence, he was able to let go, and he quietly passed away. What an honor to be there for this child and the parents at this particular moment.
Sometimes our borders to cross are geographical and we need to travel by plane to get there. On a visit with Coprodeli to Pachacutec, Peru, I again was able to cross a communications border. I was on a mission trip and my assignment that day was to work with the social work team visiting abused women in the community. I listened to their stories and to their needs. These women were given vouchers to get clothing for themselves and their children. Later that afternoon, our team opened up a “shop” completely stocked with articles of clothing from the previous Old St. Pat’s Coprodeli Clothing Drive. The ladies went “shopping” for their families’ needs, and their eyes lit up because they were able to make their own choices. My eyes lit up when I saw one woman “purchase” a Chicago Bears sweatshirt and a Riverside Brookfield T-shirt for her family. I could remember packing those particular items in boxes to ship to Peru last May. I was so proud of the Old St. Pat’s community for donating to this annual clothing drive.
WE ALSO ARE TAUGHT FOR IT IS IN GIVING THAT WE RECEIVE.
THIS IS WHERE THE PUREST FORM OF CROSSING SPIRITUAL BORDERS OCCURS.
The women and teenagers of the “manicure ministry” bring dignity and respect to the ladies of the House of Mary and Joseph Shelter while providing each resident with a gorgeous manicure. Hands are held, forearms are massaged, and stories are exchanged. The shelter ladies look fabulous and the manicure ladies “crossed the border” in a gracious and loving manner. The radiance in that room cannot be ignored.
My hope today is to share with you the experience of “borderless crossings.” To cross these borders with love and compassion is truly a spiritual experience. Come join me in Outreach where every day is a blessing waiting to happen.
Beth Marek is Director of Outreach at Old St. Patrick’s Church.
Dear Members and Friends,
As I have recently mentioned in this column during the past few weeks, if there is one thing I am passionate about, it is a commitment to creating great Church! Not just good, but great Church demands we host programs and ministries that really move the spirit within each of us, while ultimately calling us to go out into the world and serve others. It is one thing to say this is who Old St. Patrick’s Church is; it is another thing to live it out! I hope you share this passion and will join me, once again in 2011 as we co-host — what I believe to be — one of the best urban expressions of a dynamic Catholic faith community!
The Sunday Giving Commitment (SGC) is the name for Sunday giving throughout the year by members and friends of Old St. Patrick’s Church, and is the primary resource that funds the mission and annual operating costs. Your pledge and active participation in the 2011 Sunday Giving Commitment is a celebration of your faith, in communion with one another, as together we create great Church!
Can Old St. Pat’s count on you to make an annual pledge to the Sunday Giving Commitment in 2011? Participation in the Sunday Giving Commitment is simple and convenient. You will receive more information in your homes this week regarding SGC 2011 along with a pledge card and instructions on how to give using the new online giving page at http://oldstpats.org/giving/. Please consider joining the member households (more than 1,000!) who already pledge. Your timely participation and positive response helps to provide Old St. Pat’s a clear vision as we fiscally plan for the coming year.
In the midst of a Church and a world that is struggling, it is your pledge, faithful presence, and generosity that sustain this endeavor toward making great Church possible for all at Old St. Pat’s! I am truly humbled and grateful that you choose to co-host this hopeful, life enriching celebration with me.
In the Spirit of Life Without Borders,
Fr. Tom Hurley
Someone You Should Know
Fr. Paul O’Connor, S.J.
A. I am truly enjoying my experience at Old St. Pat’s! I wanted to be a part of this Church because it knows how to be a vibrant worshipping community— I am extremely happy to be here. Everyone is so welcoming, and I am learning something new every day. The staff, members, and volunteers are phenomenal.
Q. How old were you when you decided to become a priest?
A. I decided to become a priest when I was 25 years old. I was a high school theology teacher, coaching hockey and soccer, and co-leading three retreat teams at Trinity High School in Cleveland, OH.
Q. Why did you choose the Jesuits rather than another religious order or the diocesan priesthood?
A. I chose the Jesuits because I really enjoyed teaching high school, so I knew my gifts and talents were calling me to be a priest and to do other things, which is what the Jesuits do very well. I also liked living in community with other Jesuits as a source of support and life. Finally, I really enjoy Ignatian Spirituality and prayer— this has changed my life and my relationship with God.
Q. Where did you grow up?
A. I grew up in a Westside suburb of Cleveland (Bay Village, OH) where I attended St. Raphael’s Grade School.
Q. Where did you go to high school?
A. I went to St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, then I graduated from Canisius College in Buffalo (a small Jesuit school) where I also played hockey and soccer. During my Jesuit training, I graduated from Loyola University Chicago with an MA in Applied Philosophy, and I most recently completed a Master’s of Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA.
Q. What were some of your other experiences as a Jesuit Scholastic (before you were a priest)?
A. I have been to Peru (South America) for a Spanish speaking experience. I was an ER hospital chaplain in Detroit and in St. Louis. I’ve been to the Pine Ridge Native American Reservation in South Dakota to minister with the Lakota Tribe. I’ve been to Katmandu, Nepal to study and participate in an inter-religious dialogue program with Hindus and Buddhists. I continue to participate in the “Ignatian Spiritual Project”— retreats for homeless men and women that started in Chicago with a Jesuit priest.
Q. When and where were you ordained?
A. After twelve years of Jesuit formation, I was ordained on June 11, 2010 at Gesu Church in Milwaukee, WI—on Marquette University’s campus. These have been twelve of the greatest years of my life.
Q. How did you choose Old St. Pat’s for your pastoral year?
A. With my vow of obedience, I never “chose” anything since my superior ultimately missions me. As Jesuits, we discern, and we see where God is calling a person to minister/work—it’s a very caring process. I sensed that God might be calling me to a place like Old St. Pat’s, so I simply mentioned this to my superiors and the Holy Spirit took over from there (this is short version of the story).
Q. Do you have brothers and sisters?
A. I have an older brother (John) and an older sister (Mary Ann) who live in Ohio, and my mom (Ann) and dad (Frank) still live in Cleveland—they’ve been married for over 52 years.
Q. In your first three months at Old St. Pat’s, what has surprised you the most?
A. How welcoming the people are and how active and alive this Church is! Also, I was surprised at how generous Fr. Hurley was in handing over the “Pet Blessing” to me!
Q. What do you wish you had known before you came to Old St. Pat’s?
A. Everyone’s name! It’s very hard for me to learn names when I see people only once a week, so I hope people are patient with me.
Q. What is your next assignment following your internship at Old St. Pat’s?
A. I will most likely be in a Jesuit high school—somewhere in the Midwest—starting August 2011. However, a Jesuit is ready to be missioned anywhere in the world to build God’s kingdom.
Q. When not attending to Liturgical matters, what do you like to do? Hobbies, other interests?
A. Golf, movies, exercise/gym, watching live sporting events (e.g., hockey, basketball, baseball, football, soccer, etc.), street festivals, live music, symphony, theatre, and I mainly enjoy hanging out and sharing a meal with friends and family.
Q. As a new resident of Chicago, what are some of your favorite things about the city?
A. I enjoy how many different things are going on at once on a particular day or weekend. The city is so alive and active. Chicago is definitely one of my favorite cities.
In this year of imagining our lives without borders, I have been struck by a reflection from the writings of St. Teresa of Avila. St. Teresa has always struck me as one of the “powerful women” who has graced our Church: a woman whose writings and legacy continue to both help us nurture our spiritual lives and challenge us to break down some of the barriers that stand in the way of our coming into deeper relationship — deeper communion — with the Body of Christ. These words have been lingering in my spirit, and so I thought I might share them with you, in case you and I might share a similar “border” within our souls that God desperately wants us to let fall away.
Keara Coughlin is Director of Young Adult Ministry at Old St. Patrick’s Church.
You do not have to be bashful with God
as some people are,
in the belief that they are being humble.
It would not be humility on your part if
your sovereign were to do you a favor,
and you refused to accept it.
But you would be showing humility
by taking it and being pleased with it,
yet realizing how far you are from deserving it.
A fine humility it would be
if I had the royalty of heaven and Earth in my house,
coming to it to do me a favor
and to delight in my company,
and I were so humble
that I would not answer their questions,
or remain with my guests,
or accept their gifts, but left them alone.
A fine humility it would be
if they were to speak to me
and beg me to ask for what I wanted,
and I were so humble
that I preferred to remain poor
and even let them go away,
so that they would see I had not sufficient resolution.
Have nothing to do with that kind of humility.
Speak with God as a father, as a mother,
as a brother, as a sister,
as a lord, as a spouse.
Sometimes in one way,
sometimes in another, God will teach you
what you must do to be pleasing.
Do not be foolish.
Ask permission to speak
with the spouse of your soul.
Remember how important it is
for you to have understood this truth — the Lord is within us
and we should be aware of his presence.
Do not be bashful with God.
From: 30 Days with a Great Spiritual Teacher Let Nothing Disturb You
Teresa of Avila
Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN: 1996
Many thanks! There is a song that has become a familiar part of the Old St. Pat’s repertoire, especially with our children’s liturgies that captures my attention. It’s called Malo Malo, Thanks Be to God! In its very simple form, the composer allows the singer to proclaim a word of thanks in various languages. I am reminded of this song when the question is asked: how many ways can I say thanks? Malo, malo; danke shoen; muchas gracias; xie, xie; merci!
First of all, a big thanks to all of you who supported the Old St Pat’s Emerald Ball this past Friday night. The Emerald Ball is one of the four major events we need to host each year in order to raise the necessary funds for us to do great Church at Old St. Pat’s. Without the Emerald Ball and the other significant events throughout the year: The World’s Largest Block Party, Deck The Hall, and our Siamsa St. Patrick’s Day Concert, we would be in a difficult position to advance the mission of Old St. Patrick’s. So a big Malo Malo to all who attended and supported this great event. We were delighted to honor three families whose support of our mission throughout the years has been a real blessing: Steve and Peg Lombardo, Ann and Rich Carr, and Sue Hanley and her family.
Another big thanks goes to all of you who supported the Bank of America Chicago Marathon last Sunday. Old St Pat’s was an official cheering station for the race and, as a participant, you have no idea how much it means to see and hear so many people supporting this signature Chicago event. From our own cheering station to all of those 12,000 volunteers along the 26.2 mile course, a big thanks for the support and encouragement.
Today, we welcome the families involved with our Partners Program that is the Old St Pat’s version of Religious Education. With more than 500 kids of grammar school and high school age, we are delighted and grateful for the choice our families have made to allow us the honor of “partnering” in this journey of faith with them. Thank you for your commitment to your children and to the mission of Old St. Patrick’s. We also welcome today the Memorial Wall of the Chicago Fire Department that honors the lives of fallen firefighters from our city. This memorial is being erected today in the Church Hall and many CFD personnel will be joining us at the 12:45 p.m. Liturgy. Please join me in honoring and offering deep thanks for these local heroes.
In the Spirit of Life Without Borders,
Fr. Tom Hurley
I am not much into numbers. I can’t say I would have made it in the world of accounting or teaching mathematics and I don’t really put a lot of weight on the significance of numbers and their symbolic meaning or combination. But many people are really into it. Perhaps the ones we dread the most are the numbers associated with our years of existence in this life. Think of the birthday cards in the stores that either point out extreme fear or outrageous mockery of the years we mark with our birthdays. Numbers carry a lot of significance for many of us. Birthdays, anniversaries, and balance sheets keep us keenly aware of what those numbers mean to us and our life.
I can’t say I know a lot about the symbolic meaning of certain numbers, especially the ones pointed out with biblical significance. “3” and the Trinity is pretty obvious for us! “12” is pretty easy too, with the Apostles and the 12 tribes of Israel. Everyone certainly knows the dreaded: 666! The number “7” speaks of Creation and God’s perfection in all of it! “8” signals the “now” but the “not yet,” the Eschaton and our hopeful anticipation of Christ’s return.
10-10-10 is more than just a date on the calendar.
10 calls us to the ideal and to strive towards perfection.
But think about today’s date: 10-10-10. What is it about “10?” Though I’m not totally familiar with the history or meaning behind the number, but in popular culture a 10 is perfect. Like 3, 7, and 12, 10 signifies completeness of order, nothing lacking, and everything in the perfect order. Perhaps another way of saying it is that a 10 is ideal. Many find themselves ranked on a 10-point scale; therefore scoring a 10 is a job well done! The running of the Chicago Marathon on this date of 10-10-10 is pretty fascinating to me, and I hope for all those supporting this signature Chicago event. There’s a reason why the Chicago Marathon is one of the top races in the world and why it attracts more than 40,000 runners and wheelchair athletes each year. Besides the sheer number of participants, I think one of the reasons why Chicago is so popular is based on the course itself. Despite 26.2 grueling miles, nothing fascinates me more than the running of this race through a pretty good cross section of Chicago neighborhoods. From the business district to near north to Wrigley Field to Old St Pat’s to Greektown to the near west side to Pilsen to Chinatown to IIT and Sox park to Bronzeville to south loop, runners and wheelchair athletes get to see it all. We pass a lot of neighborhoods and cross a lot of borders in order to get to the finish line! And getting there is not always an easy passage. It takes determination and a lot of hard work.
Wouldn’t it be a “10” if every Church strived to make their places of worship where all are welcome, all are fed, and all are sent to bring about the Kingdom of God each week?
10-10-10 is more than just a date on the calendar. 10 calls us to the ideal and to strive towards perfection. It challenges us to a sense of completion and to an order we believe is true and lifegiving. The bigger goal is not hitting the finish line. I believe the bigger goal for us all is being able to run freely and cross borders without fear. Faith tells us God chose to cross the border of humanity and become One of us; and One with us! Jesus is the perfect 10; a life of faith is striving to live like Christ, who was indeed a risktaker and a border walker. Think about it: wouldn’t it be “ideal” and “perfect” (a 10!) if in this big complex city, we could freely cross neighborhood boundaries with no fear or risk of harm? Wouldn’t it be a perfect “10” if we could freely cross the lines that divide us and keep us apart because of ethnicity, gangs, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, and socio-economic backrounds? Wouldn’t it be a “10” if every Church strived to make their places of worship where all are welcome, all are fed, and all are sent to bring about the Kingdom of God each week? Wouldn’t it be a “10” if we could bring down the barriers that separate us politically and causes so much heartache and frustration in trying to move ahead as a country? Wouldn’t it be a perfect “10” if the hierarchical structures that often divide and separate us as a Church could be eliminated so that we might more lovingly embrace the Body of Christ for who we are called to be?
Getting to “10” calls us to work harder; pray harder, forgive more, love more!
In the Spirit of Life Without Borders,
Fr. Tom Hurley