Mary, Mother of God parish is seeking an Outreach Ministries Manager to oversee the Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry at St. Thomas of Canterbury church (4827 N. Kenmore). We encourage parishioners to share this job description far and wide so we can get as many applicants as possible.
Qualified candidates should submit their resumes and cover letters to the parish office at email@example.com, 1220 W. Catalpa Ave., Chicago IL 606040 or call 773-561-5343.
The Franciscan Friars and Secular Franciscans want to thank everyone who helped us celebrate Thanksgiving this year! The 10:30 AM Mass at Saint Ita church was well attended with beautiful music from the Saint Ita choir. And no one went away hungry from the 12 PM potluck dinner in Jubilee Hall. In addition to the turkeys cooked by the friars, over 100 pies were donated from St. Mary of the Woods church and parishioners brought dozens of flavorful side dishes. In short, there was much to be thankful for this year!
Father in Heaven, Creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon us and receive our heartfelt gratitude in this time of giving thanks.
Click "Read More" to see photos from the Thanksgiving dinner!
Highlights from last Friday’s movie night sponsored by the Mary, Mother of God Religious Education program. Children and parents enjoyed snacks while watching “Across the Spider-Verse” the sequel to the last movie night film. We hope to see you next time! Don’t forget to check the bulletin for more upcoming parish events.
On Christmas in the year 1223, St. Francis of Assisi desired to “enact the memory of that babe who was born in Bethlehem: to see as much as is possible with (his) own bodily eyes the discomfort of his infant needs, how he lay in manger, and how, with an ox and an ass standing by, he rested on hay.”*
St. Francis wanted to experience in his body whatever Christ experienced, trying to make the Incarnation real. Thus, he created the very first nativity scene in the tiny Italian town of Greccio. In a cave, he set up a stable with live animals and a babe in a manager to bring people's hearts and minds towards the poor Christ Child and his Holy Family.
This year, we celebrate 800 years of nativities! Christians today continue the tradition started by St. Francis of erecting the Christmas crèche in our homes and churches. (Did you know the word crèche comes from the name Greccio?) As we celebrate this special anniversary, we are called to slow down and take notice. To look upon the poverty of Christ in the manger and allow our hearts to be moved.
"Love cannot be given or received from a drive-through window. Love takes time; it cannot be rushed, and the Saint Francis understood this," said Fr. Alejandro Lopez, pastor of Mary, of God parish. "He wanted everyone to slow down and contemplate the Great Mystery of the Incarnation. To allow the simplicity, the poverty and the humility of God in the person of the Son to move us to love. To love God, for loving us so much, and love our neighbor."
On Christmas in the year 2023, let us remember that God loved us first and that love then moves each of to be loving to others. Moving us to recognize Christ not only in the manger figure, nor on the Altar, but also in one another, especially others who are poor and vulnerable. May the Lord transform us all through the inspiration of our Holy Father, St. Francis!
*From “The Life of St. Francis” by Thomas of Celano, in Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, Volume I: The Saint, Chapter XXX, Page 255
SAVE THE DATE!
We are pleased to announce that Friar Bede Thigpen has been ordained a priest! The celebration took place at Saint Ita church on Saturday, November 11. Mass was celebrated by the Most Reverend William Patrick Callahan, Bishop of Lacrosse and fellow Franciscan, who had previously ordained Friar Bede a deacon. Parishioners volunteered to sing in the choir and the Secular Franciscans prepared Jubilee Hall for the following reception.
Fr. Bede, you are in our prayers as you begin this new phase of your life.
“O Jesus, our great High Priest, Hear our humble prayers on behalf of your priest, Father Bede. Give him a deep faith, a bright and firm hope, and a burning love which will ever increase in the course of his priestly life.
Click "Read More" to see more photos!
What drew you to Franciscans?
My idea of the Franciscan way of life was that of the capuchins and not Conventual. I was in a retreat program with another religious community, and it is then peeping through the chapel I saw a multitude of Friars praying and sing wearing the grey habit and I think that was decisive moment. I left the other community and joined the Conventuals.
Where were you before coming to Mary, Mother of God Parish?
Before coming to America, I was working in one of our parishes in Kenya as an assistant to the parish priest. Coming to America, I was working in Marytown working at the shrine of Maxmilian Kolbe.
What will you be doing here at the Parish?
I will be helping with weekday and Sunday Masses at Sain Ita, St. Thomas of Canterbury and most probably occasionally at St. Gregory the Great. I will also be engaged in the RCIA programs.
What are some of the things you enjoy in your spare time?
I like reading, in good weather, I enjoy outdoor activities.
¿Qué te atrajo de los franciscanos?
Mi idea del estilo de vida franciscana era el de los capuchinos y no el conventual. Estaba en un programa de retiro con otra comunidad religiosa, y es entonces cuando asomándome por la capilla vi a una multitud de frailes rezando y cantando vistiendo el hábito gris y creo que ese fue el momento decisivo. Dejé la otra comunidad y entré en la Conventual.
¿Dónde estaba antes de venir a la Parroquia María, Madre de Dios?
Antes de venir a América, trabajaba en una de nuestras parroquias de Kenia como ayudante del párroco. Al venir a América estuve trabajando en Marytown trabajando en el santuario de Maxmilian Kolbe.
¿Qué vas a hacer aquí en la parroquia?
Ayudaré en las Misas de los días entre semana y de los domingos en Santa Ita, Santo Tomás de Canterbury y muy probablemente de vez en cuando en San Gregorio. También participaré en los programas de RCIA.
¿Qué le gusta hacer en su tiempo libre?
Me gusta leer y, cuando hace buen tiempo, disfruto con las actividades al aire libre.
Last Sunday, our parish specifically invited migrants from Venezuela (who are temporarily living near Saint Ita church) to join us for the 12:30 PM Spanish Mass followed by our parish social. We hope these individuals and families feel welcomed into our community.
El domingo pasado, nuestra parroquia invitó específicamente a inmigrantes de Venezuela (que viven temporalmente cerca de la iglesia de Santa Ita) a unirse a nosotros para la misa en español de las 12:30 p.m. seguida de nuestra reunión social parroquial. Esperamos que estas personas y familias se sientan bienvenidas en nuestra comunidad.
Photos courtesy: Carmela Dumas