From Fr. Mike Shanahan, our Pastor
The long-awaited weekend is finally here. Since last August, we have been involved in a major pastoral initiative referred to as Renew My Church. The overall intention of this pastoral initiative is to restore our parishes to vibrancy by re-organizing our resources. Parishes are combining. Priests and pastors are shifting their ways of operating in order to create unity among the neighboring parishes and vitalize our mission. Pastoral teams are joining forces. Readers here have heard a great deal about Renew My Church. This weekend we are announcing the future reality for Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.
I regret that I cannot provide this decision in writing in my normal article as I would normally do. The reason is that I am writing this article more than a week before we hear from Cardinal Cupich. However, we will be announcing the decision at all the masses in church this weekend and in future weeks. We continue to hold Cardinal Cupich in our prayers.
I have learned many things during this process of Renew My Church. One of the greatest lessons is that it is very important to maintain focus on the question of why. Why is the Archdiocese of Chicago engaging in this process? Why would parishes combine or close? Why would priests move around? Why not simply leave everything the way it has been? We estimate that our parishes and facilities were built for a Catholic community that existed here in Chicagoland way before 1950. Most aspects of life have changed since the 1950’s. So, church life should change also. But Why? The reason is that the mission of evangelization is the highest priority and we must do whatever it takes to embrace and promote the message and spirit of Christ in our broken world. I have listened to many of your memories of Our Lady of Lourdes parish that are filled with pride, gratitude and a sense of home. We want to make whatever changes are necessary today so that your children and grandchildren will also be able to celebrate sacred moments in life and foster memories that sustain all that is good. Parish life has been a blessing for us. May it continue to bless many more generations to come. Hope, determination and conviction are indicators of the Christian spirit. We will move forward from this weekend with courage and boldness to create a new reality in all of our parishes.
Please note the upcoming Awakening Concert which is raising funds and spirit for our parish. I joined with several other musicians and a dedicated, creative team of organizers in creating this concert. We began long before COVID appeared on the scene. We had to postpone and change the entire concert due to the pandemic. We finally are ready to share this concert on YouTube on Friday, Feb 12. I plan to share more of the background for this concert in the weeks to come. In the meantime, please help us reach our fund-raising goal of $50,000 from this concert. We are blessed to have a donor who has agreed to match your donation up to $2500. We are blessed indeed! Please see the information in the following ways:
We continue to hold our country in prayer during this time of political transition. This is definitely a time for renewal in many ways.