Our parish strives to be a community, growing in faith, that welcomes all and brings Christ’s love to others.
A limited number of balsam pine Christmas trees, wreaths, and garland is available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting St. Gertrude’s ministries!
For sale are 6’ trees for $45; 5’ lengths of garland for $35; 18" wreaths for $20; 24" wreaths for $22; and 36" wreath for $30. Online orders can be placed at https://bit.ly/ChristmasGreenery. If requesting delivery, please add the delivery fee of $3 to your order.
Greenery will also be sold on Sunday, December 5, and Sunday, December 12 from 11:30 am-1:00 pm at the playlot on the west side of the Social Hall, 1401 W. Granville Avenue. Only cash and checks will be accepted, no credit cards.
Greenery Order Forms/Paying Via Cash or Check
Paper order forms are now available in church and available for download HERE. Orders using the greenery order form can be paid for with cash or checks made out to St. Gertrude. Please note Greenery in the memo line.
Where to Drop Off Paper Forms
These forms, along with cash or a check, can be dropped off at the Rectory office, 1420 W. Granville Ave. Forms and funds can be placed in the mail slot in the side (west) red door next to the Rectory side yard if the Rectory office is closed. Orders can also be sent to NCA to the attention of Eduardo Soto.
Deliveries of items are available for a $3 fee! The boundaries for deliveries are north to Oakton, south to Irving Park, and east of the North Shore Channel. Deliveries will be available between 10:00 am-12:00 pm on:
When placing an order for delivery, please rank your top three choices and the greenery team will do their best to accommodate you and reach out to notify you of when your order will be dropped off.
Email Eduardo Soto at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Rectory at 773.764.3621 with any questions.
The St. Gertrude Parish office is open Monday-Thursday from 9:00 am-7:00 pm, Fridays from 9:00 am-4:30 pm, Saturdays from 9:00 am-2:30 pm, and Sundays from 8:30 am-noon. We will open at 9:00 am weekdays/Saturdays only through until December 13.
Each year, every pastor is required to share the state of the parish finances with parishioners. On the other side of this letter is the Financial Report for the fiscal year that ended June 30. As we discussed at the recent Finance Council meeting reviewing this year’s report, it is nothing less than amazing that in the midst of the COVID pandemic we have done so well. This is all due to your generosity and I want to thank you for remembering St. Gertrude Parish -- even when you were not able to be here in person because of the virus.
As you can see in the report, in spite of the pandemic, our Ordinary Income (your contributions) remained pretty much unchanged from the previous year. Thank you! The second factor, reflected in the “Other Extraordinary Income” line of the report is the deposit of PPP funds provided by the federal government which allowed us to keep all our employees during those most difficult days. The third item was a slight reduction in staff hours by re-arranging some responsibilities and not filling a position immediately. Together, these produced the first positive Annual Report in many, many years! Thank you!
Unrelated to the Annual Report, but appropriate to this communication, is an equally large expression of gratitude for the success of our recent campaign to tend to some repairs and improvements. The fund-raising campaign was initiated in response to an unexpected grant from the Polk Bros. Foundation through the generous suggestion of our former parishioner, Ray Simon. That gift of $100,000 became the instigator of the campaign to allow us to make these necessary repairs and improvements. Our goal was an additional $100,000. Because of the amazing response of so many parishioners, we actually received slightly over $175,000! The first of the projects -- additional handrails to assist people navigating between different levels in the church have now been installed. And we are beginning the process of narrowing the possible bids for new carpeting in the church. Because of winter, we won’t be able to start the exterior maintenance projects until the weather is kinder.
The stewardship of our campus is an important responsibility. Just as we have been recipients of this beautiful set of buildings which glorifies God and provides us beauty and reverence, so also must we care well for the campus that future generations may also benefit.
Gratefully yours in Christ,
Rev. Rich Prendergast
It is with great sadness that we share that Fr. Bill Kenneally, the former pastor of St. Gertrude from 1984-2006, passed away on Thursday, October 28, in the presence of his loving family. Fr. Bill was a vital part of St. Gertrude for so many years and will be dearly missed.
Born in 1935 to Irish immigrants, Father Bill was raised in Humboldt Park and educated at Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary School, Quigley Seminary, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein. After being ordained in 1961, his first assignment was at St. Paul of the Cross in Park Ridge, followed by stints at Little Flower on the South Side, St. Edmund in Oak Park, Immaculate Conception in Old Town, and St. Nicholas in Evanston. In 1984, Fr. Bill was named pastor at St. Gertrude and remained there until his retirement in 2006. Kenneally then served part-time at the parish of St. Barnabas. In May of this year, he celebrated his 60th ordination anniversary.
Fr. Bill truly lived a life of service, integrity, and kindness. He leaves behind a large, caring family and many dear friends.
On November 19, 2021, Fr. Bill's life was featured in the Chicago Sun-Times: Rev. William G. ‘Bill’ Kenneally, popular longtime St. Gertrude’s Parish pastor, dead at 85
Linked below is a Tribune article about his retirement from St. Gertrude in 2006 and his life as a priest: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2006-06-05-0606050104-story.html.
Notes of condolences can be sent to John Kenneally, 522 S. Owen Drive, Madison, WI 53711.
Last Sunday, at the celebration of our Parish Feast Day, at the 10:30 am Sunday Mass, the Annual Spirit of St. Gertrude was awarded to Therese Schreiner. As the inscription read, it was given, “In grateful recognition of many years of service to the parish and the school in liturgical music, the play production, counseling, service to the senior & ailing communities through Heart to Heart and your constant, positive addition to every aspect of parish life.”
Therese taught at NCA for 22 years, then at Loyola Academy for 25 years, then back to NCA for two years. Along with time spent at other Archdiocesan schools, she was in Catholic education a total of 51 years! And that is just one of her many, many activities and services here at St. Gertrude.
Thank you, Therese, for your extraordinary example of service and the amazing spirit alive in everything you do!
At our parish Thanksgiving Day Mass, this year’s Parish Service Awards were presented to the recipients. These are parish members, selected by you and the parish staff, to be recognized for their outstanding service in different areas of Ministry and Service. Congratulations to all of this year’s award recipients! And thank you for your continuing generosity of your time and talent to St. Gertrude Parish!
Here are this year’s recipients and the areas in which they were honored:
When we shut down in March of 2020, that included not only the Masses in church, but also the gym masses and the 9:30 masses at Sacred Heart on Sheridan Road. In June of 2020, we resumed Masses in church, following the COVID protocols. And in September of this year the Gym Mass resumed. But we will not be resuming the 9:30 am (Sheridan Road) Mass. As many people will remember, at the time we shut down, the 9:30 am (Sheridan Road) congregation was trying to build up its membership in the hopes of being able to continue. But during the pandemic we lost some of the key players to COVID or other illness and the limitations of age.
We are so grateful to Sacred Heart for their hospitality throughout the years as they generously allowed us to use their vestibule on Sunday mornings for worship. Our relationship with Sacred Heart will continue as we provide presiders for various school liturgies and their sacramental celebrations are held every year here at St. Gertrude. And special thanks to all those who worked so faithfully in the weekly set-up and take-down for the Mass, for all those who were liturgical ministers at the 9:30 am Mass and all those who found a home congregation there.
~ Father Rich
Wednesday, December 8, is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and a Holy Day of Obligation. All Catholics are required to attend Mass on Holy Days of Obligation.
Masses for the Holy Day will be Tuesday, December 7 at 6:30 pm, and on Wednesday, December 8 at 7:30 am and 10:00 am (NCA).
All are welcome to attend the next meeting of the Peace and Justice Committee on Monday, December 6 at 6:30 pm in the Ministry Center.
We will be spending the next several meetings reflecting on "The Spiritual Work of Racial Justice: A Month of Meditations with Ignatius of Loyola" by Patrick Saint-Jean, S.J. The book can be ordered via www.anacharabooks.com -- look under "Featured Works."
Email Fr. Mike Gabriel at email@example.com or call him at 773-764-3621 if you plan to attend or if you have any questions!
Our annual Advent Reconciliation Service will be on Sunday, December 12 at 1:00 pm in church. This is a reflective service, offering songs, scripture readings and a guided examination of conscience. It usually lasts about 45 minutes. During the holiday season, it is a great opportunity to spend some quiet time in church, to reunite with the Lord, have our sins forgiven and be ready for the celebration of Our Lord’s birth.
Continuing a long tradition from St. Ignatius Parish, all are welcome to attend weekly Friday evening gatherings to say the Rosary. The group meets at 7:00 pm, and the Rosary is said in Spanish in the church.
The group will not meet on Friday, December 10. Their last gathering for 2021 will be on December 17.
This Advent, St. Gertrude Parish’s Giving Tree will once again support people in need in our community this Christmas season. Gift cards to Target, Jewel, and Aldi will be collected in support of Care For Real and the Refugee & Immigrant Ministry.
The gift cards may be brought to church or dropped off/mailed to the Rectory, 1420 W. Granville, Chicago, IL 60660. (Even if the Rectory office is closed, you can always put mail through the mail slot in the side (west) red door next to the Rectory side yard.)
Purchased cards can be placed in one of two boxes, one for Care for Real and the other for the Refugee Ministry, on the table in front of Blessed Mother’s shrine in the front of church. When you have placed your gift in the box, please take one of the ornaments and place it on the Giving Tree in the back of church.
Please be sure all gift cards are delivered by Wednesday, December 15.
Care for Real is collecting $20 gift cards to Target to give to their clients with children. Last year, they were able to give one gift card for every child so that parents/guardians could purchase a gift for the child.
St. Gertrude Parish Refugee & Immigrant Ministry
We are also collecting gift cards for the refugee families sponsored by St. Gertrude Parish. For these families, we are requesting gift cards from Target, Jewel or Aldi for gift items, household needs, and groceries.
Your contributions are most appreciated! Participation in our St. Gertrude Parish Giving Tree is a blessing for all, gift givers and receivers, in this holy season of Advent, and makes the lives of all those who are touched truly filled with Christmas joy! Thank you for your generosity to those most in need in this special time of the year.
Students in 7th and 8th grade are invited to submit essays based on this prompt: We have been experiencing a lot of different catastrophes all over: the pandemic, fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, war, etc. What we also see on the news are “bad news” stories that tell of people expressing hatred, violence, discrimination, and other evils demonstrating the worst of humanity. But there are many people who are making the world a better place...you!
The essay should focus on where the good news can be found within the bad news and explain how the good news you are sharing in your essay reflects the message of Jesus.
Entries should be 500–650 words. Spelling and grammar count. Students may send their essay entry to Eloy Escamilla at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail/drop it off at the Rectory at 1420 W. Granville Ave., Chicago, IL 60660.
Entries must be submitted online or postmarked by Monday, December 13, 2021. The three best essays will receive a gift card and will appear on our website.
The Edgewater Singers are back! The group will perform on Saturday, December 11 at 7:30 pm in St. Gertrude’s church.
The program will include Hanukkah songs, carols from many traditions, the ancient and the new.
The holidays have always been a time to look backward and to hope forward and this year it is more important than ever that we gather, remember and hope.
Please join us. The Singers will observe safety protocols in rehearsal and while performing. Audience members must produce proof of vaccine status and wear masks while inside the venue.
Here is the schedule of services this holiday season. Please note two important changes from regular weekend schedules. Because Christmas Eve is a Friday and Christmas Day is a Saturday, we will have two morning Masses on Christmas Day. But there is no 5:00 pm evening Mass of anticipation for the Sunday Feast of the Holy Family.
The 5:00 pm Family Mass on Christmas Eve will be live-streamed, as well as the 10:30 am Masses on Christmas Day, on Sunday, December 26, and Sunday, January 2, as well as the 10:00 am Mass on New Year’s Day.
The next gathering of the parish youth group will be Thursday, December 16 at 6:30 pm. The teens will gather in the Ministry Center in the second floor parlor.
All teens in middle and high school are invited to consider joining the parish youth group for fun and enriching activities, including a mission trip this summer! For more information, contact Eloy Escamilla, Pastoral Associate for Religious Education and Youth Ministry, at email@example.com.
Join us in walking and praying in solidarity with our immigrant sisters and brothers who— as the Holy Family sought a place to stay—have been knocking on the doors for legislative shelter, or “Posada,” year after year, even during a pandemic.
This year, Pastoral Migratoria from the Archdiocese of New York will join us simultaneously to elevate our voices for immigration reform.
To view the livestream the Posada via FB Live on December 17, visit the Pastoral Migratoria Facebook page. For more information, please visit pvm.archchicago.org/xvi-annualposada. Contact Mauro Pineda at 312.534.8103 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Raymundo Valdez at 773.619.1448 or email@example.com with any questions.
A Saint Gertrude tradition has always included the lovely music from our very own “Heavenly Horns” (Jim Szmurlo, Tona Palomino, Peter Buttitta, Fran Guenette, Nicholas Bussey, and Amir Ghazaleh ) at the Christmas bazaar. Because of COVID, the bazaar has been cancelled, but the group would still like to serenade us with their unique arrangements of traditional Christmas carols.
So this year they will perform after the 10:30 am Mass in the church on Sunday, December 19. We encourage you to stay and absorb the beautiful sounds of the season.
In October, we assisted people from 14 Chicagoland zip codes who were recovering from surgery, families caring for family members with mobility issues and in need of extensive assistance with daily tasks (including bathing, toileting, and eating), and home health outreach workers (including OTs, PTs, social workers, and RNs).
We have provided a local homeless encampment with mobility equipment for residents in need, a nursing home resident with personal care products she couldn't afford, Community Health (the largest volunteer-based health clinic in the nation) with nebulizers, CPAP breathing machines and masks, and a Cook County care coordinator with supplies for her outreach work. The vast majority of people we serve have limited resources and are often in need of equipment or supplies for extended periods of time.
Donations came in from people who live in eight different zip codes, most of whom have recently lost family members or close friends. Over and over again, we are told how much it means to surviving family members/friends that durable medical equipment and supplies that helped their loved ones can now be used by someone else in need. The generosity of people grieving the loss of a friend or family member is tremendously moving and greatly appreciated.
Laurie Hasbrook, Lending Closet manager, can be reached by telephone at 773.973.5464 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am-2:30 pm or by appointment, while Jane Callahan-Moore answers calls Monday-Friday from 9:00 am-5:00 pm on her cell phone (773.595.9992).
The Little Blue Books - Advent and Christmas Season are available in church. These booklets provide a six-minute reflection a day, and their readings are a great way to slow down, focus, and dedicate some time to God during this holy season.
There is a suggested donation of $1.
Thank you for sharing images and memories of your special someone with us during the month of November. Next week, they can be picked up in the Rectory office.
The Rectory office is closed Wednesday, November 24, Thanksgiving Day, and Friday, November 26. The regular hours are Monday-Thursday from 9:00 am-7:00 pm, Fridays from 9:00 am-4:30 pm, Saturdays from 9:00 am-2:30 pm, and Sundays from 8:30 am-noon.
Do you feel called to help others journey with the Catholic faith? Please consider being part of our RCIA Ministry!
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process by which adults learn more about the Catholic Church. Many people who begin RCIA are non-Catholics seeking to become Catholic or at least to explore whether Catholicism might be a good home. Those who complete the process and decide to become Catholic are initiated into the Church at the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday. Others who take RCIA are already Catholic but want a deeper understanding of their faith foundation.
The RCIA process does not ask those who have been baptized in another faith to give up their denominational experiences. Rather, the RCIA process seeks to add new colors and designs to their existing faith life tapestry. In addition to attending Mass, the RCIA process includes weekly gatherings of breaking open the Word of God, sharing our stories, and learning about our faith traditions.
If you are interested in joining our RCIA team, please reach out to Kevin Chears, Pastoral Associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The live streaming of Mass started as a response to the COVID-19 protocols for gathering together. Even after these protocols were relaxed, we have continued to broadcast the 10:30 am Mass every Sunday, as well as other special Masses through out the year.
Our ability to join as community both in person and via the live stream keeps us connected. What started as an answer to a problem has become a ministry and a way of being of service to others.
We are looking for assistance with these live-streams! The process is simple, you do not have to have a technical background, a special camera or phone, just a willingness to help. If you are interested in being part of the live stream ministry please contact Kevin Chears at email@example.com.
St. Gertrude's Resurrection Compost Garden has come to the end of a successful first season! We thank all of our composting program participants who leased a bucket and contributed materials to fertilize our garden.
We are so grateful for the many hands that made our composting program and our vegetable garden a success! From building the composting bins, to preparing a space for them and digging up part of the Rectory yard for the garden, to planting seeds, weeding, watering, and harvesting produce, our volunteers were so generous with their time and talents.
The coordinators at Care for Real and St. Thomas of Canterbury's soup kitchen also expressed their gratitude for the donations of fresh vegetables and herbs from our garden to feed their clients.
We look forward to another successful program and harvest next year!
~ Mary Clare Barker
Members of the parish youth group and parish teens making their Confirmation this spring went to the Cultural Center on Saturday, November 14. The students enjoyed seeing a wide range of diverse and engaging exhibitions devoted to the visual arts and contemporary culture.
Our Repair, Renew, Refresh campaign is over! Our goal was to raise $100,000 to address some specific needs in our parish buildings and to establish an assistance fund for parishioners with children attending NCA. I am very happy to report that we have received over $165,000!
These funds will enable us to continue the mission of St. Gertrude by maintaining our buildings and supporting Catholic education. The much-needed repairs include: Exterior repairs to the church and rectory roofs, and internal repairs from water damage, installation of two handrails between the main floor of church to the sanctuary, and two handrails from the lower sanctuary level to the altar level to increase accessibility, re-carpeting the church, rebuilding the deteriorated entrance stairs to the parish hall/gym/classroom building and the stairs at the south (accessible) entrance to the church.
Additionally, we will establish a Fund for Catholic Education for parish families with children attending NCA in need of financial help to enroll, as well as to have funds available for families in crisis due to health, employment, or other unexpected situations.
Thank you to all those who contributed to the campaign!! Your gift makes this possible!
~ Father Rich
Pictured: Handrails being installed with funds from the campaign
Given the uncertainty of the COVID variants, as well as concerns about social distancing and the safety of our staff and volunteers, the Christmas Bazaar will not be held.
NCA will host an open house on Thursday, December 2 at 9:00 am. The event will be at the primary campus, 6216 N. Glenwood Ave. Come hear about NCA's curriculum and enjoy a visit with Santa, milk, and cookies!
Please RSVP to Leigh Holzman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each year, the Archdiocese recognizes one parishioner in each parish with the Christifideles Award for their outstanding service and ministry to the church at the parish level. I am very happy to announce that this year’s recipient is our Pastoral Associate, Kevin Chears. Kevin has been the Master of All Things That Needed To Be Done for many years, looking out for the Art and Environment in the church, being sure all the moving pieces are all lined up for any of the services in church, coordinating and training the liturgical ministers, keeping in contact with and scheduling our Sunday supply priests, and, in recent years, coordinating the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.)
Last year, as we were preparing for the start of a new academic y ear, when the Coordinator of Religious Education surprised us by resigning just days before the new year was to start, Kevin generously agreed to step in and get the Religious Education program up and running -- and did that during the pandemic! Kevin and her husband, Victor, are long-time parishioners who bring great vitality and positive energy to everything they do. Congratulations to Kevin, this year’s recipient of the Christifideles Award!
Care for Real is experiencing a surge in the need for food assistance, with more than 35,000 pantry visits so far in 2021, compared to 24,000 during the same period in 2020. The organization distributes food to approximately 140-200 families in need every week.
You can help Care for Real provide this fresh and nutritious food by signing up to volunteer! With time slots for volunteering available Monday-Saturday between 8:30 am-4:00 pm and until 7:00 pm on Thursdays, there's something for every member of our community. Sign up for a shift today by visiting careforreal.org/get-involved/volunteer or sending an email to email@example.com. Thank you!
"It could be verse." Poetry Pilgrims, our parish's poetry-reading group, discusses poems of all kinds from recognized authors. If you’ve ever been curious about poetry and how it can enrich your life, why not sign up to receive poems, and maybe even join us occasionally? No background is needed-- we learn by sharing each other's questions, guesses, and insights.
We meet on the third Monday of each month, via Zoom, so we're undeterred by distance and weather.
For more info, contact Roy Lipscomb at 773.338.3564 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are looking for St. Ignatius parish sacramental certificates, AFTER Thursday, July 15th, please note:
Teens in middle and high school are invited to consider joining our parish youth group! We are planning a mission trip this summer! More details will be shared in the future. Attendance at youth group meetings is required to participate in the mission trip.
For more information, contact Eloy Escamilla, Pastoral Associate for Religious Education and Youth Ministry, at email@example.com.
St. Gertrude's Heart to Heart Ministry is looking for wheelchairs to loan to those who need them. Currently, there are none to share.
Contact Laurie Hasbrook at the Heart to Heart office at 773.973.5464 or firstname.lastname@example.org on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm or call Jane Callahan-Moore at 773.595.9992 Monday through Friday between the hours of 10:00 am and 5:00 pm.
Priests have dedicated their lives to the ministry of God’s children, serving our needs as Catholics without asking for anything in return. Now, it is our turn to show our love and care for their ever-faithful support. Please consider including the Priests’ Health and Retirement Fund in your will. Your donation will support the healthcare needs of our active priests, as well as the medical and housing needs of our retired priests.
For more information, please contact Eduardo Soto, St. Gertrude's Business Manager, at 773.764.3621 or email@example.com. .
A Laudato Si goal we can all relate to: the adoption of simple lifestyles. Here are a few simple things that make a big difference: avoid single-use plastic, adopt a more plant-based diet and reduce meat consumption, increase your use of public transportation, and avoid polluting modes of transportation. Learn more here.
A Prayer for our Earth
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures. You embrace with your tenderness all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes. Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day. Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace.*
Pope Francis published this prayer in his Laudato Si’ encyclical, and is meant for sharing with all who believe in a God who is the all-powerful Creator.
First Sunday of Advent
Fr. Bill's funeral Mass on Tuesday, November 2.
As we move forward through the pandemic, Bishop Bartosic and the Vicariate II team share a few things that are important to us.
As of July 30, 2021, both those vaccinated and unvaccinated will need to wear masks at Mass or when visiting the Rectory/any Archdiocese of Chicago property.
Click here to read the letter from the Archodiocese's COVID team.
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.