This site will contain information about current Parish news and events.
ST. GREGORY FREE CHRISTMAS BOOK INITIATIVE
For the past seven years we have given away a free book at Christmas. The books we have distributed are Rediscover Catholicism, The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic, Nine Words, Life’s Greatest Lesson, Everybody Needs to Forgive Someone, Rediscover Jesus and 13 Powerful Ways to Pray. One of my goals as a pastor is to help our parishioners grow in their faith, hope and love. Our Christmas book initiative is one way in which I have sought to do this. At this point in time, I want would like to find out if people have read the books, to see if people have put into practice any of the suggestions offered in the books or if any of the books had an impact on people’s way of thinking or living and to see if we should continue to sponsor this initiative. Please email me at email@example.com or check in with me after our weekend Masses to let me know if our book give-away program has made a difference in your life and if you think we should continue to give a free book at Christmas. Thanks in advance for your feedback. – Fr. Paul
RENEW MY CHURCH
The Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Chicago is in the midst of a new initiative of Cardinal Blase Cupich called Renew My Church. It is an effort on the part of Cardinal Cupich to make sure that as the Catholic Church in Chicago moves into the future, every parish has the financial, personnel and facilities resources it will need to thrive and not just survive. Every parish in the Archdiocese of Chicago has been placed in one of 97 groupings. The groupings will be activated in waves over the next three years. Each grouping when activated will be asked to look at what might need to happen in order to make sure that their people will be well served sacramentally and spiritually. St. Gregory is in a grouping with 6 other parishes, one mission and one school. The other parishes in our grouping are St. Gertrude, St. Ignatius, St. Henry, St. Timothy, St. Jerome and St. Margaret Mary. The mission is Blessed Alojzije Stepinac Croatian Catholic Mission which is located at Ridge and Devon. The school is Northside Catholic Academy. Our grouping will be activated this coming Fall. What follows are some websites where you can go to find out more about Renew My Church. As our grouping is activated, I will keep you informed about the decisions that we will make. If you have any questions about Renew My Church, please do not hesitate to call me. – Fr. Paul
ST. GREGORY THE GREAT HELPING HANDS TO REPLACE OUR PARISH SOCIETY OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL
For many years now, St. Gregory the Great Church has hosted an organization known as the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. At the end of December, 2017, we ended our relationship with this organization. Many of the current members of our Society of St. Vincent de Paul are elderly and are no longer able to give this ministry the time and the effort that are needed. We also have been unsuccessful in recruiting new members to take over for our current leadership. We thank the members of our Society of St. Vincent de Paul for all the work they have done over the years to reach out to people in need in our St. Vincent de Paul district. We thank you, the parishioners of St. Gregory the Great, for your ongoing generosity to our Society of St. Vincent de Paul in terms of the collection we take up at the end of each month. You have been most generous. All funds currently left in our parish St. Vincent de Paul checking account will be sent to the Pope Francis Center which is one of the local organizations sponsored by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Chicago and which serves individuals and families in need who live in Chicago north of Fullerton Ave.
Since as a parish we do not want to give up on our outreach to people who are experiencing genuine need, we are creating a new parish ministry known as St. Gregory the Great Helping Hands. This new parish ministry will provide emergency assistance to parishioners and to other people living in our immediate neighborhood. To fund this new ministry, we will continue to take up a collection on the last weekend of every month. A portion of the funds we receive each month will be sent to the Pope Francis Center to support their work with the poor and those in need. In this way, we will support the Renew My Church initiative of Cardinal Cupich. Renew My Church seeks to make sure that every Catholic parish has the facilities, staff and financial support they need to thrive. It also invites every parish to care for and support not only its own parishioners but also to reach out beyond their parish boundaries to provide care for people who are experiencing great need regardless of race, creed or color. – Fr. Paul
PARISH TRANSFORMATION UPDATE
Over the past year, St. Gregory the Great has participated in an initiative of the Archdiocese of Chicago called Parish Transformation. Parish Transformation is a program that seeks to help a parish look at how it might be more effective in responding to the needs that the parish is facing not only today but 5 to 10 years in the future as the demographics of the parish change. As the world around us changes and as we change as people, it is healthy to step back and evaluate how we are living out the mission of Christ through our parish.
The Archdiocese of Chicago provided us with a trained facilitator who walked us through the process. We also had a team of 32 parishioners who represented all the different groups that make up our parish.
We have now completed our Parish Transformation process. Our reflections and discussions affirmed who we are and much of what we are doing as a parish. However, we were also able to highlight certain areas of need that challenge us to try new ideas and approaches in a way that we hope will make our parish even more vibrant and effective in carrying out the spirit of Jesus’ mission and ministry not only in the present but also in the future.
As the end of the process we focused on two of the Parish Transformation building blocks – Communio and Evangelization.
Communio refers to efforts we make to be hospitable and inclusive, getting to know people by name, socializing with fellow parishioners, attending to the needs of others. We developed five action items that we as a parish want to pursue as part of Communio.
Evangelization refers to how we have to be creative about how we can show the relevancy of the Gospel to contemporary society, using language, new methods and communication systems that speak to today’s modern culture. Employing our imagination to show a new face for our parish may be the open door that leads others to rediscover Christ alive in his Church. We developed three action items that we as a parish want to pursue as part of Evangelization.
In an upcoming bulletin, I will share the vision statement that we developed which grounds our action items. Then the following week, I will share the five action items under Communio. And in the following week’s bulletin, I will share the three action items under Evangelization.
At the end of the process, representatives of our Parish Transformation team met with Bishop Frank Kane and presented our plan to him. He was very positive and affirming of the work that we have done. He was also very positive and affirming of St. Gregory the Great Parish as a whole.
I want to thank in a special way members of our Parish Transformation team for all the time, talent and effort that they dedicated to this process. Please offer a prayer of gratitude to God for them, and pray for the success of our Parish Transformation action items.
For more information about the entire Parish Transformation Process, please go to the Parish Transformation link under the About Us pull down menu. – Fr. Paul
LET THE CHILDREN COME TO ME - In the Gospel of Mark, chapter 10, we hear Jesus say to his disciples, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
Now that our Children’s Liturgy of the Word is on a Summer sabbatical, we have our little children with us for the entire Mass, and I have noticed at the 10:30 Mass in particular that our little children have become more animated and vocal.
People have various reactions to the presence of little children at Mass. Some people are happy to see little children in Church with their parents. Some people find the activity of children at Mass to be a distraction to their own worship and prayer. While I do acknowledge the concerns that people have, my own personal view mirrors the words of Jesus. I welcome parents who bring their little children to Mass. As you know, little children have a lot of energy and short attention spans. They like to walk and move around and vocalize when they are in Church. Yes, sometimes the baby cries or the toddler runs around, but I am still glad that they are present in Church along with their parents. These children are our future. We need to be patient with them as over time they learn how to be quiet and still, pay attention and participate at Mass.
Given that, if you, as a parent, experience your small child crying non-stop, talking too loudly or running around too much during Mass, I suggest that you take them to the vestibule of Church or to the North Courtyard Entrance of Church for a little break to calm them down before bringing them back into Church. - Fr. Paul
ST. GREGORY THE GREAT APP - St. Gregory the Great Church now has a mobile app that is compatible with your iPhone/iPad or android phone. You can obtain the app by going to your iPhone store or by going to the Google Play Store on your android phone. It can be found at St. Gregory the Great, Chicago. iPhone users can also text great1 to 555888, and android phone users can text great2 to 555888. Our app is still a work in process. We are still learning how to best make use of it, but it does currently contain several buttons with up to date information about what is happening at St. Gregory the Great as well as other informative sites. If you have any suggestions as to how we might make this mobile app more helpful to you, please do not hesitate to get in contact with me. – Fr. Paul
AMAZON SMILE – A NEW WAY TO MAKE A DONATION TO ST. GREGORY
Now that we have discontinued our Scrip program, we are initiating a new way to make a donation to St. Gregory. It is called Amazon Smile. Our user name on the website where you can made a donation every time you purchase something on AmazonSmile is St. Gregory Church.
What is AmazonSmile?
AmazonSmile is a way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the same low prices, selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.
How do I shop at AmazonSmile?
To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You use the same account on Amazon.com and AmazonSmile.
How do I select a charitable organization to support when shopping on AmazonSmile?
On your first visit to AmazonSmile, select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. We will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make will result in a donation. Our user name is St. Gregory Church.
How much of my purchase does Amazon donate?
The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges.
FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY BOOK - At the time of the Fiftieth Anniversary of St. Gregory the Great Church in 1954, a group of parishioners put together a book which contains the history of the parish along with pictures of the Church and many of the people who have been a part of our Church history since its beginning. Recently this book was put on line, and we are able to access it. Go to the following link to access our Fiftieth Anniversary book. https://archive.org/details/saintgregorystor00chic
ST. GREGORY THE GREAT – GUN FREE ZONE - On July 9, 2013, Governor Quinn’s veto of the concealed carry bill was overridden making Illinois the final state to issue concealed gun carry permits. Certain places are exempt from the law, but one of the provisions of the law as it is currently written is that people may bring a concealed gun into Churches and places of worship. In light of that, after consultation with our Parish Staff, we have made a decision to declare St. Gregory the Great Church and all of its buildings to be a gun free zone. A sign stating this will be placed in the Gymnasium Building, the Church and the Parish Center. I ask that all parishioners and visitors to our Parish keep St. Gregory the Great Church as a gun free zone. The only exception to this would be legitimate law enforcement personnel.
ST. GREGORY THE GREAT – POPE AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Sept. 3 is the feast day of St. Gregory the Great. He lived from 540 to 604 A.D. St. Gregory was the Prefect of Rome before he was 30 years of age. After five years in office, he resigned, founded six monasteries on his Sicilian Estate, and became a Benedictine monk in his own home at Rome. Ordained a priest, he became one of the Pope’s seven deacons and also served six years in the East as Papal Nuncio in Constantinople. He was recalled to become Abbot and at the age of 50 was elected Pope. He served as pope from 590 to 604. As pope, he was direct and firm. He removed unworthy priests from office, forbade taking money for many services, emptied the papal treasury to ransom prisoners of the Lombards and to care for persecuted Jews and the victims of plague and famine. He was very concerned about the conversion of England and sent forty monks there from his own Monastery. He is known for his reforms of the liturgy, for strengthening respect for doctrine, and for introducing the type of music known as Gregorian Chant. His book, Pastoral Care, on the duties and qualities of a Bishop, was read for centuries after his death. He described Bishops mainly as physicians whose main duties were preaching and the enforcement of discipline. In his own down-to-earth preaching, Gregory was skilled at applying the daily Gospel to the needs of his listeners. Gregory lived in a time of perpetual strife with invading Lombards and difficult relations with the East. When Rome itself was under attack, it was he who went to interview the Lombard king. An Anglican historian has written of him, “It is impossible to conceive what would have been the confusion, the lawlessness, the chaotic state of the Middle Ages without the Medieval Papacy; and of the Medieval Papacy, the real father is Gregory the Great.” If you look at the high altar in our Church, Pope St. Gregory the Great is the figure located at the far right.