The Old St. Mary's Community Weekly Newsletter
Thursday, October 7, 2021
An Engaged Parishioner as we Renew the Church
This little article is not talking about people getting married, although those preparing for marriage and already married can certainly be engaged parishioners.
Nor is an Engaged Parishioner just a description for those who have children in Old St. Mary's School, although there are benefits for parents who are. Among those benefits will be a lower tuition rate in the 2022/2023 academic year.
The chief benefits of being an engaged parishioner are beyond the financial realm and reach into the spiritual, social, liturgical and apostolic areas of Church life. To translate that a bit, an engaged parishioner works to develop their spiritual life through both participation in communal prayer and sacraments with the community as well as at home and in their own personal practices.
Social refers to meeting others, discovering common areas of interest and building up relationships. And it also takes on the dimension that those relationships we form serve as pathways to reach out to others in our community beyond the parish, inviting them in as well as sharing our faith experiences.
Liturgical for most people would be the Mass and other Catholic devotional and sacramental celebrations. These days it is more than showing up in person, it is joining online or connecting with others in any way we can to see God at work through us even as we grow in appreciation that our prayer together changes things and makes our world a better place.
Apostolic is the outreach activity of the Church. We as a community are never meant to simply show up at church, or wait for others to show up and join us. In fact, "Mass" comes from the Latin "missio" meaning to be sent. At the end of Mass, we are not told to stay, we are told to go. We have come together to be nourished through scripture and sacrament and each other. Once refueled, time to go to work: heal the sick, comfort the dying, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, work for justice, accomplish reconciliation, build alliances to better see God at work all around us.
Engaged Parishioners are what we all should be trying to be. This parish of Old St. Mary's is formed in a particular place (and remember we have been in six different places and served many different constituencies and needs in our almost 140 years as a parish), and there are particular needs, an assortment of skills, and a bundle of opportunities that we have. Figuring out what God is calling us to will be very much part of the Renew My Church process we as parish will enter into in February.
The time is now for everyone to decide how to be involved in the parish and the faith as we each reflect on our individual calls, needs and abilities. May God bless our efforts.
Take a look at our newsletter this week - what interests you, what are you committing too, and what do you have to offer?
Fr. Brad
Sunday Worship Aid
October 9-10, 2021

The Worship Aid is not available for this newsletter. We will publish it on our website as soon as we have it.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.
The House of the Good Shepherd, a program of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, opens its doors and hearts to women and children who face unimaginable trauma and fear. Its holistic transitional housing and family violence recovery programs empower women and children to leave behind the cycle of violent homes, step out of poverty, and embrace a future full of hope and independence.
In support of the important work of the House of the Good Shepherd, Old St. Mary’s is sponsoring a diaper, pull ups, baby wipes, and gift card drive during the month of October—which happens to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The following donations are needed: diapers in sizes 4 & 5, pull-ups in sizes 4 & 5, baby wipes, and gift cards from Walgreens, CVS, or Jewel-Osco.
You can bring your donations to the parish office during the week, or drop them off in the Commons when you come to Mass.

Exploring your personal spirituality and understanding of Discipleship
Adults interested in exploring their own relationship with Christ and His Church are invited to join us on Wednesday mornings for fellowship and discussion centered on Catholic Discipleship. It is an opportunity to explore our individual and community understanding of identity as missionary disciples and to deepen our own connection to Christ. This invitation brings with it an opportunity to meet other people, share ideas, your faith story, explore your beliefs, and think about questions that really matter. Everyone is welcome.
We have a group meeting on Wednesday mornings but are seeking facilitators for Tuesday or Wednesday evening group. Can you help facilitate conversation in the evening?  If we can recruit 3 more leaders, one more for Wednesday mornings and two for the evenings, we have an opportunity to spark parish-wide renewal. Consider donating just 90 minutes once per week for the next 4 weeks.    
Weekly Wednesday Morning sessions begin October 20th and end November 17th. We will meet at 9:15-10:45 in the parish commons. 
Evening sessions will be announced if a facilitator becomes available. 
To learn more about participating or to help lead, please contact Maryellen at or 312-922-3444 ext 26
with more details. 
Old St. Mary’s is in the early stages of developing a parish Youth Ministry. We are collaborating with St. Mother Theresa Parish to do a shared Youth Ministry initiative for both parishes. We need Old St. Mary’s adults invested in caring for our youth to be a part of this ministry.  You can meet our partners from St. Mother Teresa pictured above.
  • Would you like to see Old St. Mary’s Parish youth active and participating in the life and mission of our Church? 
  • Would you like to see our parish youth grow in enthusiasm for and have their lives animated by their faith?
  • Would you like to see the unique ministry needs of young people better served? 
  • Are you concerned about the way young people today dissociate with the Catholic Church and organized religion?
Do you know of anyone from our parish who has a heart for the youth?  Would you be interested in joining a team that seeks to better minster to youth and explore the challenges our youth face today?
Our next team meeting for the Old St. Mary’s / St. Mother Teresa Parish Youth Ministry is Sunday October 24th immediately following the 11am Mass.  St. Mother Teresa already has adults interested in caring for our shared parish teens. All we need is you!
Please join us and or contact Maryellen at or 312-922-3444 ext 26 with more details. 
Come and See Retreat in
Washington DC on October 22-24.

This will be the Paulist first in-person discernment retreat since COVID happened and we are so glad we are able to do this again since it's vital information for someone
who's discerning a vocation with us.
Visit for more information.

Attend (or stream) the 6th annual Chicago Archdiocese Domestic Violence Survivors’ Mass on Saturday, October 16 at 5:30 PM, at Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State Street, Chicago, or

“Let us pray for women who are victims of violence, that they may be protected by society and have their sufferings considered and heeded by all.” Pope Francis, February, 2021,
“Violence against women, inside or outside the home, is never justified, and it is a sin and often a crime … No one is expected to stay in an abusive marriage.” The U.S. Catholic Bishops, 2002 letter, When I Call for Help.
Approximately 9 of 10 people who are abused are women, but men are abused as well. The forms of abuse include physical, emotional or verbal, economic, and sexual. 
How can you help? 

  • Share information about this all too hidden problem and that there is help available. 

  • Contribute to shelters and services for those dealing with domestic violence issues.

  • Above all, pray for those who have experienced abuse and those who have abused, that they may all find the help they need.

If someone is in imminent danger, call 911.
For free assistance or referrals, call the
Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline
1-877-863-6338, 1-877-863-6339 (TTY)
or the
National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233), 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
From the Old St. Mary’s Domestic Violence Ministry

Saturday, November 6
Book of the Names of the Dead 

Every year as we look toward November, we start to remember the people we have lost in preparation for All Souls Day, November 2nd. Usually, we invite you to add names of those who have died in the last year, but this year you can inscribe anyone you would
especially like to remember. Part of our All-Souls celebration this year will include the reading of the names of the dead. You will also be invited to bring pictures to remember our many dear departed.
  • All Masses are open. You no longer need to register to attend.

  • Masks are required for everyone over the age of 2 regardless of your vaccination status.

  • You may sing and respond.

  • There will still be a worship aid available on our website for those not attending Mass in person.

  • Sanitizing and social distancing for Communion are not required.

  • Collection baskets will be passed to collect your offerings. Thank you.

  • COVID-positive Parishioners

Since we are no longer requiring Mass registration,
it is important to let us know if:
A. you receive a COVID-positive diagnosis AND your symptoms
started with 48 hours of attending Mass and/or a parish meeting, OR

B. you receive a COVID-positive diagnosis and the date the test was administered was within 48 hours of attending Mass and/or a parish meeting.
Please send an email to or
call the parish office, 312-922-3444, ext. 23.

  • All Masses will continue to be livestreamed. The dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation is still in effect.
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Old St. Mary's Church is Chicago's First Catholic Parish Established in 1833
Served by the Paulist Fathers since October 12,1903.

Phone Number: 312.922.3444
Old St. Mary's Church
1500 S Michigan Ave,
Chicago, IL 60605