This site will contain information about current Parish news and events.
REGISTRATION PROCESS FOR MASS
Beginning the weekend of July 4-5, we have been certified by the Archdiocese of Chicago to celebrate Mass in church. There will be one Mass offered every Saturday at 4:30p.m. and one Mass every Sunday at 10a.m. In order to be able to attend Mass, you will need to make a reservation ahead of time. Reservations can be made by going to our parish website – www.stgregory.net. On far right side of the home page towards the bottom, you will see a link that says MASS RESERVATIONS SIGN-UP. Click on the link. Then click on Mass Times. Choose the Mass (date and time) that you would like to attend by clicking on Sign Up. Then on the bottom of the page click on Submit and Sign Up. Then fill in your information. Ignore the box that says Quantity. Then click on Sign Up Now. Each person in your family attending will need to sign-up separately. You will need to sign up again every weekend. If you already have a SignUpGenius account, then click on Login.
If you do not have a computer, you may register by phone. Call the Parish Center Monday through Friday at 773-561-3546 from 9a.m. until noon to register. The receptionist will add your name to the list on Sign Up Genius.
There is a limit of 45 people who can sign up for any Mass. This total does not include the greeters, ushers and the cleanup team. The registration process every week will end on Friday for the Masses on Saturday evening or Sunday morning. You will need to reregister each weekend. Please note that you will not be admitted into the church if you have not made a reservation. If you know people who do not have a computer, please let them know that they can call the Parish Center to make a reservation. When we have reached our limit of 45 people, the registration process will be closed for that weekend. We will continue to livestream the 10a.m. Mass every Sunday. To access our livestreamed Mass go to https://www.facebook.com/stgregschicago. If you are not able to watch it live, it will be downloaded onto our Facebook page immediately after the Mass is over for viewing at a later time.
Please wear a face mask when you come to church. You will also be asked to wear your face mask for the entire time that you are in church. Before you enter the church, a greeter will welcome you and give you some additional instructions.
CHURCH REOPENING FOR SUNDAY MASS GUIDELINES
Just a reminder that our church will be open every Monday from 1-2p.m. and every Friday from 7-8p.m. for personal prayer and reflection. Our church will also be open every Saturday from 1-2p.m. for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Please enter the church through the North courtyard handicapped ramp entrance.
As we reopen our church for daily and Sunday Mass, I want to give you some information about what to expect as you come to church. The Mass itself will be the same, but the way in which we enter the church and participate in the Mass and the way in which the church will be sectioned off will be very different from what we are used to. The guidelines that follow were developed by the reopening team of the Archdiocese of Chicago and are meant to make sure that anyone who comes to church will remain safe and well. Please carefully read through it. – Fr. Paul
While our parish staff will attempt to take all appropriate precautions consistent with the advice of public health authorities, parishioners and guests should understand that they assume the risk of contracting COVID-19 any time they enter a public space since such precautions do not eliminate the risk of infection.
In order to attend Mass, you will need to register ahead of time. Please do not register if you are running a fever, if you feel sick or if you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus during the prior 14 days. It is also the recommendation but not a requirement of the Archdiocese that people over 65 and people with preexisting medical conditions not attend Mass. If for any reason you feel uncomfortable about returning to church, know that the dispensation from attending church on Sundays and holy days of obligation remains in effect for everyone. We will continue to livestream the 10a.m. Mass every Sunday. To access our livestreamed Mass go to https://www.facebook.com/stgregschicago. If you are not able to watch it live, it will be downloaded onto our Facebook page immediately after the Mass is over for viewing at a later time.
No one will be allowed into church who has not registered ahead of time. There are two reasons for this. The first is that due to social distancing, we have a maximum seating capacity of 55 people in our church which includes greeters, ushers and the cleanup team. Second, we need to keep a record of all people who attend the Mass for the purpose of contact tracing in the event that if anyone who comes to Mass is diagnosed with Covid-19, there will be a list of people who will need to be notified. The list will be destroyed 14 days after the day on which the Mass took place.
You are asked to enter the church through the front doors of the church located on Paulina Street. When you arrive, you will be met by a greeter who will check to see if your name is on the list of people who registered. The greeter will also ask you some Covid-19 questions and will make sure that you are wearing a face mask. You will not be allowed in the church if you are not wearing a face mask. And you must wear the face mask for the entire Mass. Children under the age of two do not need to wear a face mask.The greeter will also spray your hands with a liquid hand sanitizer.
When you enter church, you will be met by an usher who will lead you to your seat. Please observe social distancing as you enter the church. You will see blue crosses on the floor of church spaced six feet apart. All the pews have been marked in a way that reflects six feet of social distancing. Seating will take place from front to back. On the back of each available pew, you will find blue crosses. You must sit at that place in order to maintain proper social distancing. Only two people can be seated in the center pews and only one person can be seated in the side pews. Family groupings, however, may be seated together.
During the Mass, there will be no altar servers. There will be no opening, offertory or recessional procession. There will be no sign of peace. There will be no congregational singing. Only the cantor will sing. You will notice that in the pews there are no hymnals or missalettes. The blue envelopes and the GiveCentral cards have also been removed. There will be no worship aids. The ushers will not take up a collection. A collection basket will be available at the North Courtyard ramp entrance where you can leave your Sunday offering. Bulletins and a TIPS FOR ALL WORSHIPERS brochure will be available as you leave church.
When it is time for communion, ushers will signal you when it is your turn to receive communion. Once again, please observe social distancing as you come forward for communion in one single file line. There are blue crosses on the floor of the church spaced six feet apart. Communion will be only be distributed by the celebrant of the Mass. He will wear a face shield when he distributes communion. Before you receive communion, you will be asked to use hand sanitizer. Communion will only be distributed under one species – the most Precious Body of Christ. You may only receive communion in the hand. Once you have received communion in the hand, you will be asked to step to the left or to the right to a spot that is indicated on the floor with a blue cross. At this point you may remove one side of your mask to receive communion. Immediately after receiving communion, you will be asked to replace your mask before returning to your pew.
At the end of the Mass, you will be asked to remain in your pew until an usher dismisses you beginning at the front of church and moving towards the back. Please take with you any Kleenex, hand wipes or any other items that you brought with you to church. You will be dismissed via the North Courtyard ramp door. You are asked to observe social distancing as you leave church and are asked not to congregate outside of the church doors. Continue to wear your mask until you leave the church grounds. There will be no red vigil candles available to light at any of our shrines.
LATEST CORONAVIRUS UPDATES FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE OF CHICAGO
This document is an Executive Summary of the multi-phased protocols and procedures, known as the Plan, for reopening churches and resuming public participation in the sacramental life of the Church for the Catholic dioceses in Illinois. The full Plan is provided at the end of this Executive Summary. The Plan has been developed by the bishops of the Chicago Province in consultation with and the approval of state and local public health officials and civil authorities.
Four guiding principles undergird the multi-phased Plan:
1. Everything possible should be done to provide people the solace of the church’s sacramental life in a timely and reasonable way.
2. The current situation in Illinois remains dangerous and fragile. While much has been achieved, there remains the potential that the gains could be lost by a second more virulent wave.
3. Trust needs to be established that the top priority in any Plan is the safety and well-being of people. We cannot take for granted that people will return just because churches are reopened.
4. Calling people to exercise faithful citizenship will be key. Each Catholic will need to take personal responsibility for the common good as well as their own safety.
With these principles in mind, a Plan to prudently and gradually resume the full scope of public sacramental celebrations, liturgies and faith practices, has been designed. The Plan envisions a set of required measures and phases. There will be an ongoing review of the Plan so that adjustments are made in accord with new data. The basics of the Plan are as follows:
1. A robust communications effort to inform parishes and parishioners of the Plan and any updates to it.
2. Each parish needs to recruit non-vulnerable volunteers at the parish level to assist the pastor in implementing the Plan.
3. The selected volunteers are to complete training by way of a webinar. The training will begin the week of May 18.
4. A required certification of readiness to reopen will be required of each parish at each phase. Each parish is to complete an implementation template confirming completion of all action steps and demonstrating that there are a sufficient number of trained volunteers to execute it.
5. Phase I allows for parishes to reopen for Baptism, Reconciliation, Weddings and Funerals with a limit of 10 attendees.
6. Phase IA allows for parishes to reopen for private prayer and adoration with a limit of 10 attendees. Given the training schedule noted above, it is anticipated that all parishes, if they choose to do so, could be opened by May 23 for Phase I and by May 30 for Phase IA.
7. Phase II allows for reopening for weekday and weekend Masses for larger groups depending on the guidelines from the state and the capacity of the church building.
8. Through ongoing discussions with pastors, health care professionals and civil authorities, there will be a review of the Plan at each stage with an eye to making adjustments in accord with new data.
MULTI-PHASED PLAN FOR REOPENING CHURCHES
PHASE I: Limited Sacramental Celebrations and Private Prayer
Parish Actions and Responsibilities
• The pastor will need the assistance of the parish community, as he will be required to create a parish leadership team consisting of 6 people, including himself, to co-manage operations and to supervise cleaning, set-up and greeting.
• The parish business manager or someone designated by the pastor will serve as the compliance manager for the parish and assist with the submission of necessary compliance forms.
• The entire team of leaders is required to attend training and submit an implementation template for reopening, which needs to be reviewed and certified by the archdiocese or respective diocese.
• The parish will need to maintain an on-going procurement program for safety and cleaning supplies.
• Based on go-forward approval, each parish will have the prerogative to offer Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals, and Reconciliation in the church within the current limit of 10 attendees excluding ministers and on-site staff (“Phase I”).
• With additional preparation, each parish may optionally offer Eucharistic Adoration and private prayer times (“Phase IA”). In choosing to do so, parish leadership teams must comply with all published bishops’ guidelines outlining precautions preparing for, during and after the rite(s).
NOTE: During Phase I, parishes will not be allowed to offer either daily or Sunday Mass, even with 10 or fewer attendees. The resumption of public Mass, regardless of the number of attendees, is a more complex process, which requires the input of lessons that will be learned from Phase I. To that end, parishes and archdiocese or diocese will collaborate to gather data to improve the protocols and processes of the Plan before we move to worship services in Phase II.
Archdiocesan/ Diocesan Actions and Responsibilities
The archdiocese or diocese, depending on capacity, will provide the following services to support the parishes and pastors:
• Provide parishes information on securing supplies or a list of preferred vendors for supplies throughout the phases of the Plan.
• Conduct required training webinars for clergy, parish leaders and volunteers, to assist the pastor in managing the Plan in each phase. The Archdiocese of Chicago will develop a standard webinar based on these guidelines and make it available to the other dioceses in the Chicago Province.
• Create and distribute to parishes a video message from the local bishop to explain the Plan for reopening churches.
• Evaluate and certify parish proposals for opening during the phases. Create a dedicated email box that will be monitored by staff to answer questions or otherwise support parishes that feel they cannot open safely without additional help.
• Gather and evaluate data from parishes on their Phase I and IA experience to adapt Phase II protocols for larger numbers, which will include public Mass.
• Work with government officials to explore possible increases in crowd size taking into consideration the capacity of church buildings.
PHASE II: Resumption of Public Masses
Parish Actions and Responsibilities
In Phase II parishes may apply for certification to offer daily and Sunday Mass. Parishes will also continue to celebrate Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals and Adoration. Given the more complex nature of celebrations of the Mass, entering Phase II will require parishes to:
• Expand the number of parish team members if civil authorities permit an increase in the crowd size for Phase II.
• Maintain an on-going procurement program for safety and cleaning supplies.
• Continue recruitment and training of new, non-vulnerable volunteers as needed.
• Develop logistical procedures in accord with the guidelines of the Plan to manage more frequent and larger services that cover actions before, during and after the rites.
• Implement a safe and secure attendance reservation/ ticketing system to maintain order and facilitate possible contact tracing of infection.
• Submit a detailed proposal for implementing Phase II.
Archdiocesan Actions and Responsibilities
To support the parishes in the preparation and implementation of Phase II, the Archdiocese or diocese will:
• Establish and update requirements for all services and rites according to the standards of government officials, health care experts and church authorities.
• Review and certify all parish proposals for reopening with celebration of Mass.
• Provide additional required webinars and training, as needed.
• Create and distribute to parishes a video message from the local bishop to explain procedures for attendance at Mass in Phase II.
• Conduct random assessments over time to ensure continued compliance with published requirements.
• Gather feedback from parishioners across the Archdiocese or diocese on how well the safety protocols are working and how comfortable they are with church precautions for their safety.
• Continually monitor feedback on execution and resources to assist in problem solving through ongoing communication with parish leadership, state and local authorities and public health officials.
MESSAGE FROM FR. PAUL
Dear St. Gregory the Great Parishioners,
I pray that you and your loved ones are healthy and have the resources you need amidst the current restrictions. We know these measures are designed to protect our wellbeing and that of the of our broader community and world. If you know anyone in our parish who is in need of financial assistance or help with grocery shopping, please call the Parish Center at 773-561-3546 and leave a message for me, Fr. Paul at ex. 204.
For many of us, particularly when we’re now told to stay home for weeks at a time, our initial reaction is to gather all we can and hunker down to weather the storm. As a Christian family of faith, this is also a time – perhaps the most important time – to consider our need for spiritual unity and the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Though our family of families at St. Gregory the Great may be physically separated from one another right now, we are blessed with several ways we can unite in prayer and devotion. I encourage you to consider any number of the following to join as a St. Gregory the Great Parish family:
Livestream Masses: Sunday Mass from Holy Name Cathedral is available in English, Polish and Spanish at https://radiotv.archchicago.org/television/broadcast-masses. All Masses are also available at www.YouTube.com/catholicchicago and on the Archdiocese of Chicago Facebook page. The Mercy Home Mass for shut-ins is available every Sunday at 9:30a.m. on WGN, channel 9. Bishop Robert Barron is livestreaming daily and Sunday Mass at https://www.wordonfire.org/daily-mass/.
Cardinal Cupich has asked all Churches who have bells to ring them daily at 9a.m., noon, 3p.m., 6p.m. and 9p.m. At these times we are invited to pause for a moment of prayer. The 9a.m. prayer time is for those infected with the virus and all who are ill. The noon prayer time is for health care workers and those attending the sick. The 3p.m. prayer time is for first responders and essential workers. The 6p.m. prayer time is for people of every nation and their leaders. The 9p.m. prayer time is for all those who have died today from the coronavirus or from other medical conditions.
Visit the www.archchicago.org/coronavirus web page to enrich your personal prayer life and deepen our solidarity with one another as we experience the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cancellation of Mass is leading to significant losses in our offertory income, which is placing all our ministries and operations at significant risk. Many people in our parish and community depend upon your regular, weekly offertory contributions and, during this current challenge, they are needed more than ever. Please consider using one of the options listed below to support our Church with your Easter donation and with your weekly Sunday donation.
Please consider giving online at https://www.givecentral.org/ where you can make a weekly offertory contribution, an Easter contribution or a one-time contribution to our St. Gregory the Great family and keep the vital ministries and services we provide going. We ask you to prayerfully consider maintaining your regular weekly donation level or even increasing it during these times.
Please consider giving online at www.archchicago.org/offertory were you can make an offertory donation to our St. Gregory the Great family and keep the vital ministries and services we provide going. Please make sure to select St. Gregory the Great Church from the drop-down menu on the form.
If you want to make a Sunday offertory donation, you can mail it to St. Gregory the Great Church, 5545 N. Paulina, Chicago, IL 60640. Although the Parish Center will be closed until further notice, you can drop your offertory envelope or donation through the mail slot at the main door of the Parish Center on Paulina St. I will be checking it on a regular basis.
May God grant you peace during this difficult time and may He manifest His love and presence to you in abundant ways. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Parish Center at 773-561-3546. You can leave a message for me at ex. 204. I will be monitoring voicemail messages on a regular basis.
Thank you for your continued support of St. Gregory the Great Church. Know that you are daily in my personal prayer, especially in the difficult days and weeks to come.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
The Archdiocese of Chicago is closely monitoring the news regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 and actively planning for any potential circumstances. We are adhering to all guidance provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC has labeled the current Coronavirus outbreak as a serious public health threat.
Below are guidelines from the CDC, which we will update as the guidance changes, as well as specific actions we are taking throughout the Archdiocese.
Individual Preventive Actions
Stay home when you are sick and if you have a fever, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash immediately and not on any hard surface. If tissues are not available, cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Eliminate open sources of shared snacks and food in the workplace.
Stop shaking hands.
The health and well-being of all within our archdiocesan community is of utmost priority. We will stay connected to the CDC’s evolving guidance and share new information as soon as possible.
Finally, please pray that all those involved in identifying a vaccine are given wisdom, those caring for the sick are provided strength, and those suffering from this illness are granted relief.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW FR. PAUL'S 70TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AD BOOKLET
ST. GREGORY THE GREAT INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT
St. Gregory the great now has an Instagram account. You can access it at https://www.instagram.com/stgregorythegreat_chicago/. It is currently a work in progress. In the future we will be adding additional pictures and videos. Check it out. If you have any pictures from parish events, please share them with us. You can email pictures to Bernadette Daniels at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PARISH EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLAN
The weekend of March 16-17 at all our Masses, I shared our Parish Emergency Evacuation Plan. I ask you to study the plan so that you will know what to do in the event of a fire, a tornado or an active shooter. Periodically we will review this plan at our weekend Masses. A copy of the plan can also be found in the back cover of our parish Ritual Song Hymnal. I hope that we never have to make use of this plan, but in our day and age, we need to be always prepared and know what to do. If you have any questions about our plan, please do not hesitate to call me. - Fr. Paul
PRAYER FOR THE HEALING OF THE CHURCH AND FOR VICTIMS OF CLERGY SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Clergy Sexual Misconduct and its cover-up has been a serious issue for the Church for a long time. As more instances come to light, it is important that we as church members pray for the healing of our the Church and its leadership and for victims and for all members struggling with these issues.
Communal prayer is very effective. We would like to suggest that anyone who wishes to participate take a few minutes at 6p.m. every Wednesday evening, to stop and pray with each other, for each other, wherever they may be, with our families, our friends or as individuals.
It can be a simple prayer – a calling to mind of the problem and asking God for his help in bringing about healing. Another suggestion is to pray the Angelus - a traditional Catholic call to prayer. It is a way of praying together in praise of God and asking him for his help. The Angelus is a prayer that traditionally was prayed daily at 6a.m., noon and 6p.m.
A reminder will be sent on Wednesdays to email subscribers of St Gregory the Great. A reminder will also be placed in the bulletin each week. Please pass it on to others.
V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with Thee;
Blessed art thou among women,
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word.
Hail Mary, etc.
V. And the Word was made Flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, etc.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
LET US PRAY
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
CLERGY SEXUAL MISCONDUCT UPDATE
The Archdiocese of Chicago has a website - http://heal.archchicago.org – which gives detailed information about what the Archdiocese of Chicago is doing to protect children and to hold bishops and priests accountable for their actions. Please also note that on our parish website, there are two links. If you go to our homepage at www.stgregory.net, click on the pull down menu that says About Us. At the bottom you will find a link that says Clergy Sexual Misconduct – Resources. This link contains detailed information about what the Archdiocese of Chicago has done since the 1990’s to protect children, about resources that are available to provide healing for victims of sexual misconduct, about how to report instances of sexual misconduct to civil authorities and to Church authorities and about the offices and services of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth of the Archdiocese of Chicago. There is a second link entitled Clergy Sexual Misconduct – Articles. This link contains several articles related to clergy sexual misconduct. Please check them out. If you have any questions or concerns related to this, please contact Fr. Paul.
ST. GREGORY THE GREAT HELPING HANDS
At St. Gregory the Great, we have created 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
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.”
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
AMAZON SMILE – A NEW WAY TO MAKE A DONATION TO ST. GREGORY
There is now 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.