The cultural center will be sending out regular newsletters with reflections and updates on center happenings. Read the first one below- and be sure to sign up!
Welcome to the first newsletter for the cultural center at St. Gregory the Great! I have been very busy since starting as director on March 1 and am happy to share some of what we have been doing and planning.
Parish socials have returned after Mass on Sundays, and I have had the privilege of introducing myself and the cultural center to parishioners at St. Gregory and St. Ita (and will do the same at St. Thomas on March 27). I was encouraged by the enthusiasm and interest of parishioners and received many good suggestions for the center.
Last week some of the parish staff and myself observed Lenten Embertide, a traditional period of increased fasting, abstinence, and prayer for the praise of God’s creation and repentance for the ecological harm wrought by human beings. The spiritual readings emphasized our need to recognize the gift of God’s creation through praise and thanksgiving: “How beautiful are all his works, delightful to gaze upon and a joy to behold!” (Sirach 42:22). Pictured above are Maggie Flynn, Patrick Kennedy, and myself after praying the rosary with Fr. Bob in the Our Lady of Consolation chapel at St. Gregory. You will be invited to participate in future devotions like this one, so stay tuned!
On April 30th, the parish will hold a holy hour for the canonization of Dorothy Day at St. Thomas of Canterbury church (see the announcements below). As I read through Dorothy Day’s autobiography, The Long Loneliness, I am struck by her recognition of God in the beauty of nature and in the loving relationship she has with Forster, her common-law partner, before her conversion to Catholicism.
She writes: “It was life with him that brought me to natural happiness, that brought me to God. His ardent love for creation brought me to the Creator of all things…the very fact that we were begetting a child made me have a sense that we were made in the image and likeness of God, co-creators with him.”
Dorothy Day came to know God through beauty and human relationships, and she has much to teach us now. In preparation of the Holy Hour on April 30, the cultural center will host a reading group, with selections from The Long Loneliness, on April 9 and 23. I hope you will join us!
See our list of announcements below.
Please pray for the success of the cultural center. May we all be edified by our Lenten observance and be prepared for the glory of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.
St. Gregory the Great Cultural Center
Take the Survey
If you have not done so already, please take two minutes to fill out a survey to provide feedback on a permanent name for the cultural center and to share which programs you would be interested in participating in. TAKE THE SURVEY HERE
APR 9 & 23: Join the Dorothy Day Reading Group!
Come read and discuss the writings of Dorothy Day, 20th century Catholic convert and founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. Day's radical vision of societal renewal - based on the Gospels and the Church's social doctrine - has influenced generations of Catholics, including those who started our parish soup kitchen at St. Thomas of Canterbury.
Saturday, April 9 and Saturday, April 23 at St. Gregory the Great
8:30 AM – Morning prayer in the Our Lady of Consolation chapel at St. Gregory
9-10:30 AM – Breakfast and discussion in the parish center
Registrations encouraged, but not required. RSVP to Mark Franzen or call the Parish Center at 773-561-3546.
APR 30: Attend the Dorothy Day Holy Hour, Dinner and Discussion
The reading group is organized in anticipation of the special event on Saturday, April 30. Join us at St. Thomas of Canterbury at 5:30 p.m. for a Holy Hour for the Canonization of Dorothy Day with Bishop Mark Bartosic preaching and sacred music provided by the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius. Dinner and a roundtable discussion on "Dorothy Day: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” will follow.
Archdiocese to feature the Cultural Center in the Lumen Cordium Magazine
On March 10 our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program was visited by a photographer from the Archdiocese of Chicago. The Cultural Center will be featured in the summer issue of Lumen Cordium Magazine, and I wanted to showcase the beauty of children at prayer. The Level 3 class (ages 9 and 10) ended their class time with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament led by Deacon Paul Spalla. I look forward to sharing more about CGS with you and the entire parish in the coming weeks.