All Are Welcome
St. Gertrude Parish in Chicago
Our parish strives to be a community, growing in faith, that welcomes all and brings Christ’s love to others.
Our parish strives to be a community, growing in faith, that welcomes all and brings Christ’s love to others.
On Saturday, May 7, 35 children from the Religious Ed program and NCA made their First Communion at 10:00 am in church.
We are so proud of their hard work and are so blessed by their kind hearts and loving presence in our parish. Together, we offer our congratulations and express our joy for the faith of these young people.
We are especially thankful for our our teachers: Ewa Jablonska and Cristine Salazar from NCA; Peter Buttitta, Ellen Buttitta, Dorothea Tobin, Ginevra Clark, Suzanne Stryczek, Steven Monti, and Jacalyn Meier from our Religious Education Program, for their kind and patient instruction. , for their kind and patient instruction.
Please continue to hold the First Communicants in your prayers as they experience the unfolding mystery of the Sacrament of Communion.
We are looking to staff the Rectory office in the evenings and on weekends. The hours are Monday-Thursday from 4:30-7:00 pm, Saturdays from 9:00 am-2:00 pm, and Sundays from 8:30 am-noon. Please email Kevin Chears at email@example.com if you are interested. Candidates must either be Virtus trained or willing to attend a Virtus class.
For the past nine years, I have had the pleasure of being part of the Pastoral staff here at St. Gertrude. After lots of prayerful discernment and family conversations, I will be retiring in June.
Sharing in the ministerial life of the parish first with Fr. Dom and Fr. Mike Bradley and later with Fr. Rich and Fr. Mike Gabriel and all the other ministerial staff members over the years has been a grace filled time for me. I have had the privilege of working with a wonderful group of Eucharistic Ministers, Ministers of the Word, ushers and other volunteers who give deeply of themselves and have taught me so much about service.
As I write this so many memories come flooding in. Standing in the back of church hearing your news of the week, watching the children grow, sharing a hug in celebration or sorrow, learning from each other in faith sharing groups and retreats in the social hall, the Christmas Bazaars, the Gralley, International Night dinners, Centennial celebrations, Pastoral Council meetings, weddings, baptisms, funerals, reading the announcements, decorating the altar, sharing the RCIA journey with those coming into the church, my year shepherding the Religious Education program and learning about faith and kindness from the voices of our future, of the lingering love and laughter of those we have lost along the way. Truly a tapestry to wrap around me as a prayer shawl.
While I am looking forward to this new chapter with hope and wonder at the possibilities, I know that I will miss you and miss being part of your lives. Thank you for your kindness, generosity, and patience. My heart overflows with gratitude and love.
This will be my second attempt at retirement, the first resulted in the call to ministry that lead me here. Who knows what God has in store me this time.
May God continue to bless us all in these difficult times.
The Rectory office will temporarily close at 4:30 pm Monday-Thursday. Weekend office hours may be limited.
Per the State of Illinois and City of Chicago regulations, wearing of masks in any public setting is now optional. Priests and Ministers of Communion will continue to wear masks while they are distributing Communion.
Please consider wearing your mask -- especially if you have not received your vaccination shots.
Communion will continue to be distributed only in the hands.
If you would like to donate to the care of the Ukrainian people, please consider making a contribution to Catholic Relief Services for emergency aid to the people in Ukraine: https://support.crs.org/donate/donate-ukraine.
CRS has supported Caritas Ukraine in its emergency efforts by providing shelter, food and livelihood support for individuals and families displaced and affected by crisis. Emergency assistance supports people who have been displaced to safe areas, as well as conflict‑affected residents in isolated settlements.
CRS takes a holistic approach to comprehensively meet people’s immediate and long‑ term needs. These include food, water and safe, dignified shelter, as well as counseling and care for psychosocial needs, opportunities to strengthen livelihoods and the resources to rebuild homes.
I have some updates from our ministry as well as news from the neighborhood and the world.
Our Local Ministry: We recently met and reflected on all the sorrow in the world right now. We also talked about some concrete steps we might take.
In terms of refugees from Ukraine, we still don't know what the timeline will be on that. Biden had said the U.S. will accept 100,000, but we don't know when or if that will materialize. (The expectation is that most of the Ukrainian refugees will want to remain in Europe with the hope of returning home at some point.)
With that in mind, we have sufficient resources to support more families, and Catholic Charities is in a bit of a lull (Brother Joe reports that the main influx of Afghans ended around January). We're going to reach out to Refugee One, World Relief, and Heartland Alliance to see if we can partner with them to sponsor a family and also the Ismaeli Center to see if there are needs.
We also talked about having another education station in the church vestibule (you may recall we've done this for the Rohingya, the regions from which our families have come, etc.). We'd aim for the fall and gather information on the worldwide refugee crisis, perhaps with real-life local stories.
In regards to families currently being sponsored, Refugee & Immigrant Ministry member Catrine Guzik has continued to regularly assist Kadidja and her daughters, whom, she said, still have various needs. This family is in need of people available to drive the mom and/or daughters to different regular events. If interested, contact Catrine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Illinois School of the Americas Watch (ILSOAW) and the national organization have long been in the trenches of justice work in Latin America. SOA Watch has grown to become the largest grassroots Latin America solidarity organization in the United States, and works to close training centers such as military, law enforcement and border patrol. We strive to expose, denounce, and end US militarization, oppressive US policies and other forms of state violence in the Americas. On October 8-9th, SOAWatch will be part of a presence at the AZ-Mexico border in support of and collaboration with Border Patrol Victims' Network on the 10th anniversary of the murder of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriquez by US Border Patrol.
Our Neighborhood: Perhaps you've heard of the free store for refugees in Rogers Park. They are running out of space and need to find new space soon. If you know of anything, please forward the information to Allen Stryczek at email@example.com.
Information & Upcoming Events: We've all seen so much suffering for the Ukrainian people. The Social Justice Resource Center's April newsletter has important information on the Ukrainian refugee situation.
And of course, there are still terrible conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, Africa, and other parts of the world. All of these people are our brothers and sisters.
You also might be interested in an event sponsored by the Illinois Holocaust Museum on Wednesday, June 8 at 6:30 pm at Navy Pier. The program is entitled "In Our Voices: Stories of Survival & Resilience". The evening will feature discussion and storytelling from descendants and survivors of genocides in Armenia, Bosnia, and Rwanda, their personal and families’ experiences, and end the discussion with key lessons for today and beyond. Registration is required but the event is free. Details are here.
So much need, but also so much good work going on! That's the Easter message - together we can be the light of love and hope.
On behalf of the refugee ministry team, thank you!
~ Denise Goodman
We have entered into the “busy” time of the year! May has so many special celebrations - Mother’s Day, First Communion, graduations, weddings, etc. These are celebrations of gratitude and thanksgiving.
For some people, these “extra” celebrations also cause extra anxiety when they already have so much on their plates. There is a need for all of us to be aware that we may feel over-burdened and undone by trying to balance a few more items into already over-scheduled lives. It is vitally important for each of us to take our “mental health temperature” on a regular basis.
The arrival and duration of the COVID pandemic has caused an enormous increase in cases of depression and other mental health challenges. For many, being isolated only got worse during the highly contagious time of the virus. And for everyone, grappling with the uncomfortable, daily sensation that we were no longer in control of our own lives was extremely unsettling.
We are also, possibly, at the end of the pandemic phase of the COVID virus. But that simply means we have entered the endemic phase -- and we are going to have to adjust to the virus being around for a long time -- even if not as threatening as when the virus was causing so much sickness and death.
On top of those issues, is that nearly everyone had to find a way to deal with is that so many people also were either sick themselves from the virus or had close friends and relatives that got sick. Many lost important and significant people in their lives to the virus. Now, the added awareness of the horrible situation in Ukraine has become a constant in our lives. Taken together, this may well be an unprecedented level of burden upon our mental health. And each of us needs loving and caring support to re-establish we are not alone and that we are cared for.
If you or someone you know has been adversely affected and still hurting from these various situations, please consider consulting with a mental health professional. Visiting a counselor may be a good option for many. In some cases, medication may help to lift you out of your depression or other ailment.
~ Father Rich
As part of our marriage preparation program, St. Gertrude offers a parish-based PreCana classes, as well as the premarital inventory tool, FOCCUS. The FOCCUS tool measures the level of agreement between the engaged couple in about 11 different areas they will encounter in their married life. Couples fill out this questionnaire through a link provided by a facilitator couple and each party answers a series of questions online. The two sets of responses are then matched and scored, then a print-out of the level of agreement/disagreement between the bride and groom is shared. The facilitator couple, who has been trained in how to read the results, then meets with the engaged couple to discuss the results.
Right now, we have only one couple doing this important ministry, and we are hoping to get one or two more couples involved to share the load. As is true with PreCana, the facilitator couple should be married for at least a few years, with or without children. Experience as a married couple is a prerequisite, but couples of any age are welcome.
Please consider if this might be a good ministry for you! If you have any questions, I would be glad to speak with you, and/or connect you to our facilitator couple who could better explain exactly how FOCCUS works. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Father Rich
All are welcome to be a part of our parish composting program! Those who join our program are welcome to use the parish’s new compost tumbler, a user-friendly options that will produce compost at a quicker pace. Participants can bring their compost to St. Gert's next week!
We are hoping to plant many vegetables and herbs on Saturday, June 4 from 9:00-11:00 am. Bring your garden trowels, tools, and knee pads and help us get our parish garden up and running. Teens are welcome to participate. We will need people to weed, plant, and water. Please come join us!
If you are interested in joining our composting program or need information about our garden, please reach out to Mary Clare Barker at email@example.com.
You may have noticed last weekend the re-building of the stairs on the Granville/handicap-access entrance is well underway, as well as the stairs at the entrance to the Social Hall. All the stair projects should be completed within a few weeks. Please be sure to follow any sign re-directing you to another entrance if the one you usually use if being worked on.
~ Father Rich
The Summer Mission Trip has been cancelled. Unfortunately, we did not reach the minimum number of participants. We hope to have our Mission Trip next year.
Have you tried "Meatless Monday" yet? Reducing meat consumption supports one of the important principles of the Pope's encyclical "Laudato Si" by creating sustainable dietary habits. Your veggie-friendly choices can make a difference to our climate and support caring for our common home. Click here to learn more.
The Biodiesel Program at Loyola University accepts donations of used cooking oil! If you have recently deep-fried a turkey, or have a jar of expired oil...they'll take it! All vegetable oil (including peanut oil) donated to Loyola will be turned into clean-burning, renewable fuel: biodiesel. To learn more information and the drop off locations visit the School of Environmental Sustainability's page.
10:30 am in Church - We apologize for the quality of this week's video - there were techinical difficulties.
We send out an e-bulletin of parish news on Thursday afternoons. We also distribute a printed bulletin in church on Saturday afternoons and Sundays. This printed bulletin is a slightly shortened version of our e-bulletin and easier to read. Both versions are available below.
Older bulletins can be found HERE.