Signs of a “New Ordinary Time” Emerging at St. James

During April and May, if you had been able to walk through the church narthex at St. James, it eerily appeared as if it was stuck in a time warp from mid-March when the unthinkable happened and we closed down for public worship. The bulletins from March 15th were still in the racks and a Lenten theme was still evident in the worship aides and flyers advertising Stations of the Cross.

Since we were last together, we have journeyed through Lent, Holy Week and the entire Season of Easter. And while this weekend we will celebrate the Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time, nothing feels quite ordinary anymore.

Yet this week, if you happen to make a stop to visit the Blessed Sacrament in the front of church, you will notice signs emerging of a “New Ordinary Time” which we are about to create with one another. If you happen to peer into the narthex, it no longer is stuck in March, but is being readied for a new adventure at St. James and we on the Parish Staff and the Reopening Team couldn’t be more excited!

At the end of this week all registered parishioners will receive a mailing with news of our reopening and a guide to what our new ordinary will look like. In Friday’s Flocknote we will also provide a link to our website where you will find the same materials to download and/or print. Keep an eye out for this super helpful guide in your mailbox and/or inbox. And a big thank you to all of our parishioners who helped us to get this mailing out quickly!

On Saturday and next Wednesday our St. James Reopening Volunteers will undergo training so that they are ready to welcome their fellow parishioners back to St. James. If you are interested in getting involved, it isn’t too late! Though we want all to be cautious in their decision as to whether or not to assist, dependent upon one’s risk factors, we are not turning away those who may be in a high risk age group, but are healthy and want to help! To get involved or to find out more, please email and you will receive further instructions as to when you may attend training.

Next week we will share a short and informative video in a Flocknote and on the website which will visually walk you through the church and our new ordinary so you know what to expect when you decide to return to public worship. A special shout out to the Prindible Family and the Tomczak Family for generously giving of their time and extraordinary acting talent to assist us in the production.

Finally, we thank you for your patience during these strange and difficult times. It is with great joy that we look forward to being together again very soon.

Bishop Pates Announces the Fall Re-Opening of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Joliet

The bishop has appointed a task force headed by Fr. Burke Masters to prepare the schools so that each will fully comply with necessary provisions to make the particular school safe in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The stakeholders of our schools – parents and children, administrators and teachers, priests and parishioners – very much desire to see our schools fully functioning this Fall,” Bishop Pates said.

“All connected with our Catholic schools eagerly await the new school year to once again benefit from the academic excellence and Catholic identity that characterize these schools.”

Bishop Pates Encourages All to Watch the Virtual Ecumenical Rally for Racial Justice, Now Available on YouTube

“This past Saturday diocesan staff members Tom Garlitz, Edith Avila-Olea and Peter Newburn and their associated committee members planned and staged a highly effective ecumenical prayer rally for Racial Justice at the University of St. Francis.

The gathering was live-streamed and featured an array of exceptional speakers each of whom carried a unique and pertinent message. Together they contributed to a vision which calls for our solidarity as well as our unbending commitment to the eradication of racism, an intrinsic evil.

We can address the morality of this question in many different ways: in our preaching, by providing for the witness of racial minorities in our communities, by our witness in prayer gatherings, by our participation in peaceful protests. Cardinal Cupich has mandated that all Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago at every level teach a course in the coming year on the evil of racism.

I was pleased that the Prayer Rally received highly positive reviews from viewers who have a reputation for their objectivity. I encourage you to watch it at the link:

It is local. It speaks to our situation. Hopefully, it might inspire you to take action. It is through our coming together that change occurs. And in so doing justice for all God’s Sons and Daughters takes greater hold.”

-Bishop Pates, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Joliet

SAVE the DATE and SPREAD the WORD: Join Us on Wednesday, June 24th (a week from today) at 6:00 P.M. for a Parade to Celebrate Fr. Sebahar’s 62nd Anniversary of Ordination!

All are invited to join us as we wish Fr. Sebahar a happy 62nd Anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood on Wednesday, June 24th at 6:00 P.M. In the interest of creating a safe pattern of traffic, we will line up our procession of cars beginning at 5:50 P.M at Parkview Elementary School, 250 S Park Blvd.

At about 5:57 P.M. we will start our procession by turning right onto Park Blvd. and then right onto Fawell Blvd.. From there we will swing a quick right into the church parking lot. (Please be sure to honor all traffic signals along the way). We will drive past the front doors of the church where all may greet Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (as the tabernacle remains there at this time) and then Fr. Sebahar who will be standing under the canopy.

We ask that everyone please remain in your cars, but take a moment to honk your horn, wave, roll down the passenger side window and express your gratitude to Fr. Sebahar for his ministry to our parish. Let’s all join together to make this an unforgettable show of love and support for Fr. Sebahar, even in the midst of a pandemic!