All of us here at St. Josaphat are very excited to welcome our new Pastor, Fr. Francis Bitterman, into our parish family. He grew up in Elmwood Park, Illinois. As a child, he attended St. Vincent Ferrer, where in grade school as an altar server he first felt the calling to the priesthood. A priest there, believing that Francis would be a priest
someday in the future, often asked him to serve as a Lector or Eucharistic Minister. In high school, Fr. Francis worked in the rectory (a position that the Office Staff is certain contributed greatly to his future success), which brought him even closer to
the priests.

 After attending the University of Dallas, he spent two years in Rome running the university's study abroad program there, where his vocation became clearer. He
returned home, and after a year, he made the decision to become a priest.

 His first parish was St. Norbert's in Northbrook, where he was the associate pastor. After that, he was asked by Cardinal George to serve as vocation director for the
Archdiocese, a position he has held for the last 4 years. This job, which brought him to many of the parishes across the city, showed him the diversity as well as the unity that combine to make the Archdiocese such a wonderful community-the "different [ways] church has been done," but also the common thread of purpose that ties the Catholic community together.

 While Fr. Francis enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to see so many different faith communities, he is excited to be returning to the more familial approach of serving one specific parish, and to have the opportunity to get involved in and grow with our faith community.

 His prior experiences made abundantly clear to Fr. Francis the uniqueness of every parish, and he looks forward to seeing "what the Holy Spirit is doing" here at St. Josaphat. Therefore, one of his main goals during the first months of his time here is to listen and see what makes the St. Josaphat community special, and how we as parishioners want to grow and develop in faith.

 To that end, he wants to get to know as many of you as possible, and hear what you have to say. Whether this is simply after mass, or stopping in to the office to say
hello to him and his dog Grace, or even inviting him over for dinner (he made special mention of a barbecue), he wants to get to know the people who make St. Josaphat
such a wonderful and vibrant community.

If you are interested in meeting Fr. Francis, his official welcome mass will be this Sunday, July 9 th , at 10:00. Hospitality is being generously provided by the Boomers Plus Club, which will give Fr. Francis a chance to not only meet many of you, but also to get his first taste of one of the many wonderful community-building traditions we
have here at St. Josaphat.  
 
 
 
Important Upcoming Dates!

July 9 -10 AM - Fr. Francis Welcome Mass
July 22-23 - Sheffield Garden Walk Open House
All are Invited to an Welcome Mass and Hospitality for Fr. Francis at 10 am on Sunday 7/9 

Stage Fabric
One of our parishioners who works at a local TV Station has donated yards of high quality multicolored fabric.  It can be used for stage backdrops, costumes or even tablecloths.  If you or any groups you know are are interested in this material, please contact the Parish Office (office@stjosaphatparish.org).  All we ask is a free-will donation to our homeless outreach program in return.
Coaches Wanted
SJS needs volunteer volleyball, X-C and basketball coaches!  Contact AD Kate York (katerosenbachyork@ gmail.com) for more info.  

Homeless Outreach:
Volunteers
Signup to help with the Homeless Outreach Program HERE!