Scenes from our community picnic and BBQ on August 7, with wonderful food and fellowship despite stormy weather! Thank you so much to the Filipinos of St. Gregory for organizing and hosting!
La versión en español sigue la de inglés
In August, we will relaunch our Ministers of Care – people who take Holy Communion to the sick and the homebound. Anyone who is interested in serving should attend a Ministers of Care meeting on August 16 at 7 PM in Jubilee Hall at St. Ita.
This ministry was suspended in 2020 because of pandemic restrictions, but it is vital for those who, because of sickness or infirmity, can no longer come to Mass. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our lives as Catholics because it is Jesus Himself – not something that simply represents Him.
When we speak about Christ in the Eucharist, we refer to His “Real Presence”: Jesus’ body and blood, soul and divinity are contained in this sacrament. Christ is present in the Church in many ways, but it is only His presence in the Eucharist that is described as “real.”
Pope Paul VI, writing on the Eucharist, explains it in this way in the encyclical Mysterium Fidei: “This presence is called ‘real’ ... to indicate presence par excellence, because it is substantial and through it Christ becomes present whole and entire, God and man.”
All of us have had the experience of being around other people, but not with them, whether that is in a crowded train car where no one makes eye contact or a conversation where nobody is really listening to each other.
Christ never treats us like this. There are many different ways to look at the Eucharist: as healing medicine, as the sacrifice of thanksgiving (which is the literal meaning of the word Eucharist), as the memorial of Christ’s Passover. All are centered on the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, with us entirely as God and man. He is with us completely, without dilution or distraction.
The pandemic highlighted how much we need Him in this sacrament. But though the worst of COVID-19 appears to be behind us, there are many who are homebound or sick. They need Jesus in this sacrament, and we will need your help to bring Him to those who cannot come to Mass.
Anyone interested in being part of this work should attend the Ministers of Care meeting on August 16 at 7 PM at St. Ita.
If you have any questions, contact the parish office at 773-561-5343 or at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for Candido Reyna or Deacon Bede.
En agosto, relanzaremos nuestros Ministros de Cuidados - personas que llevan la Sagrada Comunión a los enfermos y a los confinados en casa. Cualquier persona que esté interesada en servir debe asistir a una reunión de Ministros de Cuidados el 16 de agosto a las 7 PM en el Salón Jubileo de Santa Ita.
Este ministerio fue suspendido en 2020 debido a las restricciones de la pandemia, pero es vital para aquellos que, por enfermedad o dolencia, ya no pueden venir a Misa. La Eucaristía es la fuente y la cumbre de nuestras vidas como católicos porque es Jesús mismo - no algo que simplemente lo representa.
Cuando hablamos de Cristo en la Eucaristía, nos referimos a su "Presencia Real": El cuerpo y la sangre, el alma y la divinidad de Jesús están contenidos en este sacramento. Cristo está presente en la Iglesia de muchas maneras, pero es sólo su presencia en la Eucaristía la que se describe como "real".
El Papa Pablo VI, escribiendo sobre la Eucaristía, lo explica de esta manera en la encíclica Mysterium Fidei: "Esta presencia se llama 'real'... para indicar la presencia por excelencia, porque es sustancial y a través de ella Cristo se hace presente entero y completo, Dios y hombre".
Todos hemos tenido la experiencia de estar cerca de otras personas, pero no con ellas, ya sea en un vagón de tren lleno donde nadie establece contacto visual o en una conversación donde nadie se escucha realmente.
Cristo nunca nos trata así. Hay muchas maneras de ver la Eucaristía: como medicina curativa, como sacrificio de acción de gracias (que es el significado literal de la palabra Eucaristía), como el memorial de la Pascua de Cristo. Todos se centran en la presencia real de Cristo en la Eucaristía, con nosotros enteramente como Dios y como hombre. Él está con nosotros por completo, sin diluirse ni distraerse.
La pandemia puso de manifiesto lo mucho que le necesitamos en este sacramento. Pero aunque lo peor del COVID-19 parece haber quedado atrás, hay muchos que están confinados en casa o enfermos. Necesitan a Jesús en este sacramento, y necesitaremos su ayuda para llevarlo a los que no pueden venir a Misa.
Cualquiera que esté interesado en ser parte de este trabajo debe asistir a la reunión de los Ministros del Cuidado el 16 de agosto a las 7 PM en Santa Ita.
Si tiene alguna pregunta, póngase en contacto con la oficina de la parroquia al 773-561-5343 o en email@example.com y pregunte por Cándido Reyna o el diácono Bede.
We welcome two new friars to our community: Friar Jason Warrer and Friar Bede Thigpen. They have both been assigned to Mary, Mother of God Parish.
Friar Jason will be making his solemn profession of vows as a Conventual Franciscan on August 14th. (Read Friar Bede's interview here.)
What drew you to the Franciscans?
I was raised in Indiana, and I had friars that lived not too far from my home, and I would go there for daily Mass. What drew me was the way of simplicity, the life that they lived, living out the Gospel. I remember becoming good friends with them and asking them questions: What's being a friar? What about the Franciscan order? And they were able to share that with me.
That sparked in my heart to really discern: Is God calling me to be a friar? I found the Conventual Franciscans up at Marytown, which I'd never heard of. I knew they were not too far from where I lived, and my first come-and-see in Chicago on Kenmore was a very beautiful experience. The way they interacted with one another, that fraternity, that community life was something that I was looking for. I came to the come-and-see in 2015. Then I entered with the friars in 2016.
Where were you assigned before coming here? What will you be doing at Mary, Mother of God?
I was living in Peoria, Ill., at our parish there, Holy Family, with our provincial Fr. Paul Langevin, OFM Conv. and Friar Bede too. My ministry was helping with the children at the school. I remember when my old provincial said, "You're going to be assigned to Peoria and helping at the school," and I said, "Well, I've never taught children, I've never been in a school setting, so I don't know how that's going to work, but God, give me the grace to do it."
And I was able to. I was helping out with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, from pre-K all the way to first grade. It was a wonderful experience, because they were children that wanted to know about the faith, wanted to know about the Lord. It was mainly teaching them about the Mass and then the importance of it, and they really enjoyed it. It was so hard to actually leave Peoria, because that's the thing about the Franciscan order is that you don't stay in one place, you get to move to different places, and it's sometimes hard to say goodbye to people that we have got to know.
Here I'll be helping out with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and also with First Communion. And I'm going to be involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal at St. Gregory, because I'm Charismatic, have belonged for 17 years. I'll [also] be doing sacristy work, because we have three churches here.
There’s obviously a lot in that schedule, but when you have spare time, what are some of the things you like to do?
I like to go walking, and I like to go running a lot. I like to do reading, I really enjoy reading the lives of the saints, and different works on spirituality, especially the Mass and everything. I love listening to music, especially praise and worship music. That helps me a lot, gets me centered in the Lord in all things. Moving here to Chicago, you hear all the noises.
Also going to spend time with my family, because they don't live too far from Chicago, so there will be some weekends that I'll be able to go visit with them. And also spend time with the friars too.
Is there anything else you'd want people to know?
If anyone ever needs prayers or anything- I'm more than happy just to pray with them. It doesn't necessarily mean just saying "Oh, just pray for my family," but [praying] in person. If someone needs any prayers or anything, I'm more than happy to be able to do that.
We welcome two new friars to our community: Friar Jason Warrer and Friar Bede Thigpen. They have both been assigned to Mary, Mother of God Parish.
Friar Bede is a transitional deacon on the way to the priesthood. (Read Friar Jason's interview here.)
What drew you to the Franciscans?
I'm a convert; I was raised in the Episcopal church, converted when I was in college, and I would say from the time that I became Catholic, I started to feel a call to religious life. I didn't recognize it as such at that time, but there was some sense of God calling me to follow him in this really particular way. At the time in college, I was excited about my newfound faith, but I wasn't living it very well.
So in an effort to try to rectify that, I moved to Chicago in 2007 – I’m originally from North Carolina – and I started working for a street ministry called Emmaus Ministries that serves homeless men that are involved in prostitution. The ultimate goal is to help them get out of the lifestyle, get off drugs and find housing and finish their GED, but a lot of it is just trying to build relationships and being like "Hey, no matter what's happened to you, God loves you, you're a man made in God's image."
That was really a life-changing experience. I intended it to be a pre-law school thing, but it reoriented all of my priorities. I did that for two years and then after that was done, I was definitely convinced from talking to spiritual directors and stuff like that that God was calling me to religious life. I initially looked into monasticism, because it just seemed like it was the most direct way to get to God. It took me a couple of visits to different monasteries and stuff to realize that while that was a beautiful life, it wasn't what God was calling me to.
Then I reflected back on the Emmaus experience and it was like: "Well, if that was so fulfilling and if grace builds on nature, maybe the life that God might be calling me to looks something like that." So that's when I started learning about St. Francis. There's a popular image of him from "Brother Sun, Sister Moon," a movie from the 70s, as an anti-institutional hippie child, and I hated that image, like that's not me at all.
But I read a couple of biographies that really changed my whole perspective, to see that he was thoroughly a man of the Church and yet one who had this radical vision of God's presence imbuing not only the sacraments, but because of the sacraments, all of the rest of creation too, the leper and nature and one's enemies. So skipping ahead a couple years, in 2013, I was working at Misericordia , and really enjoying that. Then I learned about the Conventual Franciscans, but didn't know much about how they were different from the other branches. But they were right down the street from my apartment.
They weren't a lot different from other communities I visited – they had their own issues – but for the first time it felt like very natural, like I wasn't trying to force myself into something. There was just a sense of being at home and a calmness. I took that as a sign from the Holy Spirit and I've been in it for 9 years now.
In a nutshell: I loved their devotion to the Eucharist; their love of the Blessed Mother, especially in the heritage of St. Maximilian Kolbe; the dedication to ministering to the poor in urban areas, and just that sense of brotherhood.
Before coming here, you were at Holy Family in Peoria with Friar Jason Warrer. What will you be doing at Mary, Mother of God?
While I loved the time at Peoria, in terms of ordained ministry, I didn't get quite as much experience as I probably should have, because [of filling a teaching role]. They said "Friar Bede, would you mind taking this place?" And I just was like: "Well, I guess so? I've never taught a day in my life, I don't know what the heck I'm doing."
The plan was to do that for a couple of weeks until they could hire somebody else, but they never found anybody else, so I ended up being there full-time from September through June.
Fr. Paul Langevin, who was my previous guardian, did a great job giving me what he could, given the circumstances. I baptized a bunch of the school kids, which was really neat, especially during school Mass. But I didn't get to do kind of any wedding or funeral preparations. So I’ll be focusing on those two things. I will preach about three times a week, including Sundays, and do baptisms, house blessings, home visits.
One of the things I liked about teaching was that you know what your hours are going to be. Whereas parish ministry, or ordained parish life is it's kind of a mixed bag. Some days, you may have the whole morning free, and then other days, you'll just have meeting after meeting after meeting until 8 at night. So as somebody who does a bit better with a consistent schedule, that's just something that I'm going to have to get used to- got to have the self-discipline of: if you have two hours free, instead of just staring at YouTube, you could do this.
So what do you do in your spare time, such as it is? And what would you watch on YouTube?
I enjoy working on my car actually. Mostly just maintenance stuff; I enjoyed working with my hands. Honestly though, if I have free time, I just love to nap. Sometimes I'll ask if Friar Jason just wants to go for a walk or something.
I like cooking stuff [on YouTube]. If it's my turn to cook, then I like to try to replicate it. Provided you have the time, because a lot of times you just don't. A lot of car channels, mostly like DIY things.
I love church history, that's probably my favorite subject. That's sort of what led me into the church, is the history of Christianity. There's not a lot of emphasis on history for most Protestants. I was at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, a secular school, but the people in the religion department presented the material in this objective way. So for the first time I learned about the Church Fathers, who I'd never heard of, and they're talking about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and apostolic succession and the Blessed Mother and the three-fold ministry of deacon, priesthood, bishop, and I'm like: whoa, what is all this?
There's a famous quote from John Henry Cardinal Newman, the Anglican convert to Catholicism: “To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant." That’s part of the reason I chose Bede as my sort of religious patron. He's the patron of historians, that's pretty much what he did in his life as a monk.
Can you talk a bit about that, choosing a religious name?
In our order, in our province, at least, we have the option to take a religious name at your first profession. Some guys prefer to keep their baptismal name; I'd say most do. I can certainly see the value in that. But I also appreciate the tradition of taking a religious name.
And actually what I did is I didn't get rid of Christopher, my baptismal name, I just bumped it over one slot, so Bede Christopher Thigpen.
On Sunday, we held a farewell reception for Fr. Simon, who is leaving for a new assignment in the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin on July 1. Fr. Simon has served with us since February 2019. Thank you, Fr. Simon, for all you have done for Mary, Mother of God Parish!
El domingo, tuvimos una recepción de despedida para el P. Simon, que se va a una nueva asignación en la Diócesis de Green Bay, Wisconsin, el 1º de julio. El P. Simon ha servido con nosotros desde febrero de 2019. ¡Gracias, P. Simon, por todo lo que ha hecho por la Parroquia María, Madre de Dios!
On June 19, St. Ita held Corpus Christi processions after the 10:30 AM and 12:30 PM Masses. St. Gregory the Great held its procession after the 9:30 AM Mass. The tradition of processing with Jesus in the Consecrated Host began in Germany around the year 1275 and became widespread throughout the Church.
Oh Sacrament most holy, oh Sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine!
El 19 de junio, St. Ita celebró las procesiones del Corpus Christi después de las Misas de las 10:30 AM y 12:30 PM. San Gregorio Magno tuvo su procesión después de la Misa de las 9:30 AM. La tradición de procesionar con Jesús en la Hostia Consagrada comenzó en Alemania alrededor del año 1275 y se generalizó en toda la Iglesia.
Oh Sacramento santísimo, oh Sacramento divino, ¡toda la alabanza y toda la acción de gracias sean en todo momento tuyas!
St. Gregory the Great
St. Ita (10:30 and 12:30 Masses)
In the late Medieval period, St. Thomas of Canterbury was the most famous martyr of the Church—murdered by King Henry III’s knights to “rid him of that meddlesome priest.” Because of this, St. Thomas of Canterbury church has several shrines to martyrs: The Martyrs of Vietnam, of Laos, of Korea, of Japan, San Lorenzo Ruiz of the Philippines, and Friar Casimir Cypher, the Conventual Franciscan priest from Wisconsin murdered in Honduras.
To further honor the martyrs of the Church, a Shrine to the Martyrs of England and Wales has been created by Joe Malham of Trinity Icons.
The center of the Shrine is a statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, who appeared in England to Lady Richeldis in 1061. A shrine was built on the spot and it became the center of Marian devotion in England—Thomas of Canterbury himself visited on many occasions.
As part of the Reformation, Henry VIII destroyed the shrine and statue. In 1897, Pope Leo XIII restored the shrine and had a statue made by the artists of Oberammergau, Germany, based upon images of the original statue.
Our statue of Our Lady of Walsingham, also from Oberammergau, is seated upon a shelf supported by two Augustinian friars—the religious Order that served the original Walsingham shrine. A tapestry of St. Margaret’s Brocade (a design of the Tudor period) hangs between the two friars.
Beneath Our Lady of Walsingham hangs a print by Daphne Pollen titled “The Forty Martyrs of England and Wales," commissioned as part of the celebration of the martyrs' canonization in 1970. Featured prominently at the center is St. Margaret Clitherow, who was pressed to death for hiding Catholic priests during the persecutions in England, which roughly spanned from 1535-1679.
On either side of “The Forty Martyrs of England and Wales” are original paintings by Joe Malham. To the right one finds a portrait of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, executed by Henry VIII. They have been described as the “Peter and Paul” of English Catholicism. To the left, one finds St. John Jones (+1598) and St. John Wall (+1678), the two Franciscan friars among the forty martyrs. They were hung, drawn and quartered.
Beneath the print and paintings, there is an altar with the risen lamb, bearing the flag of St. George.
The wall is painted red to represent the blood of the martyrs, and is adorned with gold Canterbury crosses. Above the shrine are the words “Martyres Anglia et Cambria”—Latin for the Martyrs of England and Wales.
Holy Martyrs, pray for us!
On June 18, we held our International Fashion Show and Fundraiser, with a cocktail reception afterward. Thank you to all our models, guests and the Fashion Committee for your hard work!
El 18 de junio celebramos nuestro Desfile Internacional de Moda y Recaudación de Fondos, con un cóctel posterior. Gracias a todos nuestros modelos, invitados y al Comité de Moda por su arduo trabajo.
On Friday, June 10, we will hold an Ecological Embertide prayer service at St. Gregory the Great Church, in the Our Lady of Consolation Chapel.
The date is significant. As we close out the Easter season with the celebration of Pentecost, we come upon the Whit Emberdays, which occur in the week after Pentecost. Ember days are days at the beginning of each new season that were set aside by the Church as days of fasting, abstinence and prayer (Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 5). These days are meant to thank God for the gifts of nature, teach men to use those gifts in moderation and help those in need.
The Whit Emberdays are:
-Wednesday, June 8
-Friday, June 10
-Saturday, June 11
Our prayer service, which will begin at 7:30, includes:
We hope you will join us! You can RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/435620921727795/
There is a centuries-old tradition — particularly in the churches of Great Britain and New England-- to paint church doors red. There are many possible reasons. Red symbolizes the Blood of Christ, through which we enter into the Church. Red also signifies the tongues of fire at Pentecost, a sign that the Holy Spirit is within the doors. Red doors also recall the sprinkling of the door lintels of the Israelites with the blood of lambs on the night of Passover. Beginning in the Middle Ages, red doors indicated a place of sanctuary which offered physical safety from outside evils.
Our parish’s former artist-in-residence, Joe Malham of Trinity Icons, chose the shade of red from the palette of Augustus Pugin, the master of 19th Century Gothic Revival design.
Cardinal Mundelein, in designing St Thomas of Canterbury Church, based it on a Connecticut Meeting House to reference the New England roots of American Christianity. By painting the doors red, we honor Cardinal Mundelein’s inspiration.