Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

These past three weeks we have been looking at Discipleship through the lens of Service, Gifts and Spirit. The first week we prayerfully considered ways we could serve God and others through ministries at the parish and by getting involved in our local community. Last week we discerned how we are using our financial resources to support the Mission of St. Josaphat Parish.

This week I want to talk to you about Spirit, which focuses on our prayer life as a parish and as individual disciples. As you can imagine, helping people to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ is what excites me most as a priest. The challenge for me, as your Pastor, is that I am new to the parish community and am still learning how the Spirit has been working in this community over the years and how each of you still feels the need to grow in your faith.  That's why I am asking each of you to take some time and fill out a brief survey online that will help me understand how I can serve you better. You can find the survey by typing this link into your web browser:


Let me be clear, my sole mission as your Pastor is to serve you better. I am not looking to make changes to make things easier for myself or to make all of you conform to my way of praying, serving, etc. My only desire is to help you grow in intimacy with Jesus Christ; and for you to have a genuine relationship with him that will strengthen you and lift you up throughout the course of your life.
The first area that I naturally look to for that is the celebration of the Eucharist. For me, Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is my everything! Encountering the Lord in that most intimate and personal way is where I draw my strength to face life's challenges and it is where I go to be filled with grace to try to live a life of charity, seeking holiness. My whole life flows to and from the Altar of the Lord and the grace that comes from the Sacrament of our Lord's Body and Blood.

The Second Vatican Council referred to the Eucharist as the "source and summit of our faith" (Lumen Gentium #11).  "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch" (Presbyterorum Ordinis #5).

Consequently, one of the areas of the faith life of the parish that has drawn my immediate attention, and my concern, is our celebration of the Eucharist. I am disheartened by our low Sunday Mass attendance. Our parish claims to have 1,500 registered families. And yet, our October count indicates that fewer than 500 people are attending Mass on any given Sunday. Where are our brothers and sisters??? Where are our friends and neighbors who used to sit beside us at Mass?

It's easy to shake your head and bemoan that "this generation" just doesn't care. However, I don't believe that is the case.  My experience as Vocation Director has taught me that this generation is as interested in God as any other that has gone before it. What's missing has been the Church's willingness to go out to byways and the highways and invite them in! Our culture has changed, people are busier than ever. Consequently, I believe we must change too and make the Mass and the Sacraments more accessible to accommodate the busy pace of people's lives.

To that end, if our Mass times and Confession times and the ways in which we offer religious instruction and faith formation are no longer convenient for our parishioners, then I need to adapt and serve you better. It is my job to conform myself to your schedules, it's not your job to conform yourselves to mine. Like St. Paul, "I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible...I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings" (1 Cor. 9:19-23).
So please, take the time to fill out our survey and help me to serve you better as your Pastor. The survey is very brief and will only take a few minutes of your time.  You are also more than welcome to send me additional comments and suggestions at  frfrancis@stjosaphatparish.org

To sign up for our Sunday Offertory program through Give Central, please visit www.GiveCentral.com . Our Parish Office staff would be happy to help you as well, just give Tim or Michelle a call at 773 327 8955.  

If you feel called to serve the St. Josaphat Parish Community please fill out our "Opportunities to get Involved" form.

Thank you for making a commitment to the future of St. Josaphat Parish and ensuring that we will always be, "a Church to come home to."
                                                   
 Your Brother in Christ,

 
Important Upcoming Dates!

Thursday, October 26th- VIN Chicago Wine Tasting
Saturday, October 28th - 8th Grade Car Wash 10 am - 1 pm
Wednesday, November 1st- All Saints Day (Holy Day)
Thursday, November 2nd - Barnes & Noble Day
Thursday, November 2nd - All Souls Day 7:00 Candlelight Mass
November 4 - 5 - Boomers' Clothing Drive
Saturday, November 11th - New Parishioner 5:00 pm Mass and Reception
Sunday, November 19th - Winter Athletes Blessing at 10:00 am Mass
 
St. Josaphat Private Wine Tasting at VIN!
Thursday, 10/26 7-8:30pm VIN Chicago, 1836 N. Elston Ave

Join fellow parishioners while stocking up for the season!
VIN will graciously donate 10% of sales to St. Josaphat.
Car Wash
Support our 8th Grade's Washington DC Trip by having your car washed for $10 on Saturday, October 28, in the parking lot.
Barnes and Noble Book Fair
Come to the book fair at Barnes and Noble in support of SJS on Thursday, 11/2 from 10 am - 8 pm.
Or on bn.com from 11/3-7 (use code 12227070)

20-25% of sales goes back to SJS

Contact Maggie Snyder to volunteer at messagemaggie@yahoo.com
Clothing Drive
The Boomers Plus Club will be collecting clothing for Marillac St. Vincent Family Services Outreach Program. Masses on 11/4-5
Unity Gala
Save the date for our parish's largest fundraiser -- Sat 2/10! W e need YOUR HELP for o pportunities large and small!   Contact Stephanie Samz, at  stephaniepall@gmail.com
Shop Around
Shop for wonderful toys for birthdays and Christmas at Building Blocks. 15% of proceeds will be donated back to SJS. 

Nov. 13 - Nov. 17th
10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Winter Athlete Blessing
St Josaphat Parish winter sports athlete blessing at 10am on Sunday Nov 19. 
It's not too late to sign up for Religious Ed!
Has your child been Baptized and received Reconciliation and First Communion?  Enroll your Children in Religious Ed on Tuesdays from 6-7:30 pm.

C ont act maryjane
 @stjosaphatparish.org 
Tots Playgroup
St. Josaphat Tots Playgroup meets in the Fireplace Room every Thursday from 10 - 11 AM and welcomes all children and caregivers! Join us for playtime, a treat, and conversation!
Substitute Teach at SJS
St. Josaphat School is always on the lookout for new substitute teachers.
jkowieski@stjosaphat.net