of Our Lord

653 West 37th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60609
Phone (773) 927-6263 Fax (773) 847-0600 

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The Pastor's Page

From Our Pastor Rev. James F. Hurlbert


Dear Friends,                                                                            November 22nd

As we head into Thanksgiving week, we cannot help but be disappointed by the fact that this cherished family holiday will be muted this year. We have been asked not to gather with extended family as we normally do in order to help tamp down new corona virus infections. The way I look at it, we are being asked to sacrifice Thanksgiving for the sake of Christmas, hoping that by the time Christmas rolls around the infection rate will have subsided and we can gather with more people. It is hard to do this, though, as we are all longing for a solid dose of time with
family and friends. We knew that this present spike in cases was coming, as it was predicted as early as last Spring. But I don’t think that makes it any easier.

Despite what you may see in the news about church attendance being restricted, I want you to know that the Illinois Catholic bishops have been working with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the protocols that were set up last summer allowing us to have 20% capacity in church for Mass continue. This means that we can get up to about 120 people in either church (fewer in the gym/chapel at Nativity). It is important to sign up online, or to at least give your name and contact information at the door- we have not had a problem with too many people trying to attend (I wish that were an issue), so “drop-ins” are always welcome, as long as we write down your name and contact info. This will be a different story for our Christmas Masses, but we’ll cross that bridge then.

All are invited to Mass on Thanksgiving morning at 9:00 a.m. We flipped a coin and came up with having it at Nativity of Our Lord this year; next year we’ll have it at Saint Gabriel. I have a feeling this is the way a number of our liturgies are going to work moving forward: we’ll go back and forth from year to year. I hope that as we become more accustomed to being unified as a parish, more and more of us will feel just fine attending either of our two worship sites. Another Thanksgiving note: I was asked to pass on that the Madonna Council of the Knights of Columbus regrets to announce that they will not be able to host their annual Thanksgiving dinner, and so are not requesting any donations for that this year. Instead, please consider making a donation to a local food pantry or soup kitchen.

Next weekend, the First Sunday of Advent, our Sunday Mass schedule will change. We’ll still have Saturday 4:30 pm at Saint Gabriel and Sunday 5pm at Nativity. On Sunday morning we’ll have 8am at Nativity in the chapel/gym, 9:45 a.m. at Saint Gabriel, and 11am at Nativity in the church.

Don’t forget to participate in the survey about parish naming. Links to the survey can be found on either parish website. We also have some hard copies available if that is easier for you.

May your week reflect the encounter with Christ
we experienced at Mass today.

Fr. Hurlbert

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