Renew My Church
An Archdiocesan-Wide Initiative for Revitalization and Growth

Jesus Christ calls us to constantly renew His Church. Renew My Church is the Archdiocese of Chicago's response to His call and our personal invitation for renewal. Addressing current challenges, needs and opportunities in today's society, including a trending crisis of faith, Renew My Church will bring new and sustainable life to our local Church through three mission imperatives : making disciples, building communities and inspiring witness.

Making Disciples - Jesus calls us to grow in our own discipleship and go out to make new disciples. As baptized Catholics, it is our responsibility to act on His call. Renew My Church efforts will support us in renewed ways to grow in our own relationship with Jesus and ( Mission Priority 1 ) to evangelize and form new and existing Catholics in faith, especially the young, and ( Mission Priority 2 ) increase vocations.

Building Communities - We will revitalize our parishes and schools alike, increasing vibrancy and fortifying bonds with each other, drawing us and others to active participation in His Church.

Mission Priority 3 :  Leadership development & support, ** Mission Priority 4 :  Parish Vitality - Grouping Rollout, Parish Mission Vitality Support, Parish Operating Stability, Mission Priority 5 :  School Vitality

**We are here

Inspiring Witness - In this renewal, our Lord asks us to come together in solidarity and spread the light and hope of Jesus Christ in order to transform the world. Together, we will find new ways to serve the needs of the people on the margins of society: the poor, the hungry, and the outcast.   Mission Priority 6 :  Faith in Action, Mission Priority 7 :  Society Engagement

All based on Mission Priority 8 :  Foundational Excellence

What is the goal of a grouping?
The goal of a grouping of parishes and schools is to realize the vision of Renew My Church by building a renewed, vital, and sustainable Catholic presence for the good of all people in the collective communities within the grouping. To do so, a grouping must start by answering these questions:
  • How can we be more effective through collaboration?
  • Given resource realities, what do we need to change so we are better together?
Your grouping has begun this journey of discussing and discerning feedback on collaboration and structural scenarios that are viable and sustainable to renew the Church given today's realities.

What are Scenarios?
Scenarios = Possibilities regarding new parish structures in the grouping that enables the vision. Includes:
Status of the parishes
  • Ex. 1: Remain as is with no structural changes
  • Ex. 2: Join together with another parish and all church buildings remain open
  • Ex 3.: Join together with another parish and some church buildings close
  • Ex. 4: Something that the grouping develops
  • Parish leadership (i.e., full-time resident pastor, shared pastor)
Who decides what is the best scenario?
It is the Cardinal's decision, yet he has invited your grouping into this discernment and decision planning process to share insights from your local experience and give him vital feedback before he decides.
How does the Cardinal get our feedback?
Two types of meetings produce feedback to the Cardinal:
Grouping Sessions - Local parish and school leaders meet over the next 3-4 months and:
  • Discerns scenario feedback by discussing operational and ministerial strengths and challenges in each of your parishes and schools based on current realities and your local experiences in your community
  • Incorporates feedback or insights heard at the parishes
  • Submits a Feedback Summary Report to the Commission who makes a recommendation to the Cardinal
Parish Sessions - Parishioners gather with their Grouping Feedback & Discernment Team and:
  • Are informed about what is being discussed
  • Ask questions about the Grouping Feedback & Discernment Team's progress and process
  • Provide input to the team that informs the Feedback Summary Report for the Commission and Cardinal
Some pertinent facts...

Younger generations are not connecting with religion as previous generations did:
  • 36% of Millennials claim no affiliation with organized religion
  • Of Millennials who identify as Catholic, only 17% attend Mass weekly
  • 85% of children confirmed stop practicing their faith by age 21
Sacramental participation is rapidly declining:
  • Catholic marriages are down 55% and baptisms are down 30% since 1990
  • 1 in 5 children baptized do not receive 1 st Communion
  • 2 in 5 children baptized are not confirmed
Many dioceses, especially in the Northeast and Midwest, have needed to consider new approaches with declining Mass attendance and fewer priests and religious women and men.

Compared to 1980, in the United States there are now:
  • 36% fewer priests
  • 63% fewer religious sisters
  • 2,700 additional parishes without a resident priest or pastor
Declining Mass attendance: Over 150,000 fewer people attend Mass on a weekend now compared to 20 years ago: a 27% decline from 554,000 weekly Mass-goers in 1995 to 401,000 in 2016.

Fewer priests to serve our communities:
  • Nearly 500 fewer diocesan priests (39% decline) compared to 1980
  • More than 180 of the ~525 diocesan priests in active ministry will retire in the next decade: an average of 18 retirements per year compared to recent trends of 5-6 priest ordinations per year
  • A changing population: Demographics have shifted significantly over time across the Archdiocese: areas of Chicago that were once predominantly Catholic with a parish for each ethnic group now have fewer people and fewer Catholics but often the same number of facilities as in the past
An aging infrastructure: Many parishes have significantly under-invested in building repairs, leading to challenges with building upkeep that take time and resources away from ministry

Important Upcoming Dates!

Sunday, March 11th - Mass of Healing (Anointing of the Sick), 8 am

Sunday/Monday, March 18th/19th - Parish Mission, 7 pm - 9 pm

Dynamic Catholic
Best Lent Ever
Don't Just Give Up Chocolate For Lent. Join Us for Your "Best Lent Ever"

Almoners gift cards available
Almoners gift cards are now available after Mass on Sundays during Lent. Please take a few to distribute to those in need that you encounter.

Sign up here to help distribute cards after Mass.
Men's Spirituality Group Meeting
The St. Josaphat Men's Spirituality group will meet next on Saturday March 3rd, 2018, at 6:30am in the Rectory.
SJS Applications
St. Josaphat School is now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year.
Stations of the Cross
The Stations of the Cross trace the steps of Jesus to Calvary. This Lenten devotion will be prayed on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m, alternating each week between our Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph:

Wednesday, March 7th - IC Church
Wednesday, March 14th - IC Church
Wednesday, March 21st - St. Joseph Church
Wednesday, March 28th - IC Church

St. Vincent dePaul - stations in the church every Friday at 7pm, and at 3pm on Good Friday.

SJS Moe-Hawk Money Gift Cards Available
Purchase a gift card and a 2-10% rebate will go back to SJS school. Forms are due every Friday morning at 9:00 a.m. and you will receive your gift card(s) the following week. Questions/suggestions: Gina Lynch
Parish Development Council
Know Fundraising or Communications? Join the Parish Development Council! Contact the Office.
Men's Club March Madness Party
St. Josaphat Men's Club is hosting a March Madness Casino Party on Friday March 16, please consult the bulletin for details.
Social Justice Dinner
St. Agatha, our sister parish, hosts a dinner and a conversation on race the second Tuesday of every month. Contact Kim Nugent ( for more information. Upcoming event is Tuesday, March 13th starting at 6:30 pm.