On Saturday, August 20, youth group members and a few NCA students went to the Escape Room and enjoyed downtown Chicago on a beautiful day!
You may have noticed ALL the scaffolding that has been up for years for the masonry work on the Ministry Center is now taken done and gone back to where it came from! This long project has been completed. Thank you for your patience these many years. (May 2022)
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.
Thank you to all who attended our services during Holy Week and on Easter both in-person and online! What a joy it was to get together and celebrate God’s unending love for us.
The past few weeks have required extra time and energy from so many of our volunteers in order to rehearse and then serve at all the services of Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter! Thank you to all of our wonderful and generous cantors, our choir, musicians, and corps of liturgical ministers. They did a magnificent job!
Great churches don't just happen, they are created and nurtured by active, engaged, and generous parishioners. We appreciate you sharing your time at Church, your talents and helping hands at Mass and parish events, your stewardship, and your prayers. We are grateful to have you as part of our St. Gertrude family!
Congratulations to the young adults of our parish who made their Confirmation on Saturday, March 5! We are so proud of these teens, who have worked towards receiving this sacrament for two years!
Christmas at St. Gertrude was wonderful! We appreciate all who attended our services, whether they attended Mass online or put on a mask and came to Mass in person. These holy days were a reminder that churches are created and nurtured by active, engaged, and generous parishioners. We appreciate you sharing your time with us and are thankful to have you as part of our St. Gertrude family!
We are also grateful for the hard work of so many parishioners who made Advent and Christmas at St. Gert’s so beautiful and festive.
So many parishioners participated in our Giving Tree program, organized to make Christmas special for families in need! The gift cards went to Care for Real and the Refugee Ministry to support their work.
Thank you for your tremendous response to our call for help. Your donations were very much appreciated.
St. Gertrude's very own “Heavenly Horns” performed for parishioners on Sunday, December 19 after the 10:30 am Mass. Selections included Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, Good King Wenceslas, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, and We Three Kings.
We appreciate all who attended and especially the talented team that performed - Jim Szmurlo, Tona Palomino, Peter Buttitta, Fran Guenette, and Nicholas Bussey.
Mary Clare Barker, our talented Music Minister, wrote a special note for her volunteers:
"I want to extend a heartfelt and sincere thank you to all of the cantors and musicians who contributed mightily to the beauty of our Christmas liturgies.
We are so blessed at St. Gertrude to have so many talented musicians who give so freely of their time and share their prodigious talents with our community. I am deeply appreciative of all that they do."
We are so grateful to the many people that donated to St. Gertrude Parish’s Giving Tree. More thaIn total, $7,577 in gift cards was donated, with Care for Real receiving $3,000 and our parish's Refugee Ministry receiving $4,577 to support their work. This will make it possible for many families to have adequate food and clothing in these winter months and possibly beyond.
We truly appreciate your generosity!
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:
At the celebration of our Parish Feast Day in November, 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!
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 year, 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!
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
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.
On Thursday, October 20, the Yale Whiffenpoofs performed at St. Gertrude. The group is the country's oldest collegiate a cappella group. Founded over a hundred years ago, the Whiffenpoofs have been singing around the country (and the world!) delighting audiences with a wide variety of a cappella music.
The Whiffenpoofs also performed a few songs with former members, including parishioner and St. Gertrude cantor Matt Heimer, A wonderful time was had by all!
On Sunday, October 16, St. Gertrude welcomed Bishop Bartosic and members of the Peruvian community in Chicagoland for a Feast Day celebration of El Señor de Los Milagros (Our Lord of the Miracles).
In Lima, Peru, homage to the Peruvian Shrine of El Señor de los Milagros is known as one of the largest Catholic processions in the world. It is venerated for three days every October and attended by thousands. Devotees pray to the Lord for miracles for health, relationships, jobs, or any life challenge.
This devotion began in 1687 after the original image of our Lord, painted by an African slave, remained unscathed after a high magnitude earthquake in 1655 destroyed everything. This was the first of many miracles.
In 1979, the Lord of Miracles Mass, procession, and the Hermandad of El Señor de los Milagros (Brotherhood of the Lord of Miracles) was established by six founders at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Over the past 43 years, thousands have attended the Chicago annual Mass and procession. There are countless testimonials of miracles to this day.
El Señor de Los Milagros shrine is now permanently housed in our parish after St. Ignatius closed. The shrine will temporarily be located in back of church. Its permanent home will be on the south wall just outside the shrine of the Little Flower (St. Therese of Lisieux).
History of the Shrine and Our Lord of Miracle
In Lima, Peru, homage to the Peruvian Shrine of Our Lord of Miracles (El Señor de los Milagros) is known as one of the largest Catholic processions in the world. It is venerated for three days every October and attended by thousands. Devotees pray to the Lord for miracles for health, relationships, jobs, or any life challenge.
This devotion began in 1687 after the original image of our Lord, painted by an African slave, remained unscathed after a high magnitude earthquake in 1655 destroyed everything. This was the first miracle. Over the past 43 years, thousands have attended the Chicago annual Mass and procession. There are countless testimonials of miracles to this day.
In 1979, the Lord of Miracles Mass and procession was established by six founders at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Teresa Mazzarri, the visionary, dreamt of God telling her to establish the procession in Chicago. Teresa told her sister, Vicky Ugarte, husband Cesar Ugarte, Cesar’s sister, Mercedes Ugarte, and family friends Felix Galvez and Luis Galvez, Sr. The group established the Hermandad of El Señor de los Milagros (Brotherhood of the Lord of Miracles) as a nonprofit in Illinois with a founding board of 19 members, who were their closest friends and who shared the common vision of strong faith in the Lord. In 1981, the Shrine moved from Our Lady of Lourdes to St. Ignatius Church where it has been housed for 41 years. Today, Mr. Luis Galvez Sr. is the only surviving founder.
There are many Lord of Miracles Brotherhoods throughout the U. S. and in the world. Maria Luisa Ugarte, niece of visionary Teresa Mazzarri, niece of Mercedes Ugarte and daughter of Cesar & Vicky Ugarte has been filming a documentary to record the Chicago history while Mr. Luis Galvez Sr., the only surviving founder, is writing the book of the Chicago history. These community leaders plan to assure continuity of this very important cultural tradition in the Peruvian community of Chicagoland.
Thank you to Fr. Rich and St. Gertrude Parish for welcoming us and for supporting the continuity of our mission of spirituality. We will honor the Lord through prayer groups and spiritual retreats in addition to the annual celebration. All are welcome to our ministry!
~ Maria Luisa Ugarte