The summer is over and we are back in full swing at Holy Name of Jesus – St. Gregory the Great Parish.
As most of you know, we are undergoing a major renewal and restructuring of our parish’s physical plant. The goal is to more effectively leverage the space we have to better accomplish our mission to be disciples of Jesus and make disciples. A central part of this multi-year and multi-part process is the complete overhaul of the lower church that housed the St. Mary of the Angels Chapel, food storage space for the food pantry, and the Thrift Store. All the demolition of that area is now complete. A word on the demolition: the beautiful mosaics and the main altar of the chapel have been preserved so that they can be incorporated in our new chapel. Now the lower church is being prepped to receive a new energy plant that will become the new greener, more energy efficient heart of our electrical, heating, cooling, and plumbing systems. Once installed, we will fit out a kitchen, refrigerators and freezers, restrooms, a new chapel/choir rehearsal space, and a state of the art auditorium that will be able to host 200 + guests. The new lower church, to be finished in a year, will be accessible from the street and the church to all our parishioners via an elevator and ramp. This new space will host parishioner events on the evenings and weekends, and a senior center, food pantry, and sandwich lines on weekdays. With a new kitchen and refrigeration units, we will be better able to better help our neighbors dealing with food insecurity and provide hot meals.
Please allow me to share with you some important upcoming dates.
On Monday, September 19, at 6:30 pm, in the church, we will be hosting an evening of prayer, welcome, and listening for our newly arrived neighbors seeking asylum from the countries of their birth. Many of these refugees are residing in two shelters within the parish boundaries and the folks we have encountered are all Venezuelan. Thanks to the generosity of many of our parishioners we are able to provide toiletry kits, socks and underwear, clothing and shoes, and gift cards for meals as we help our new neighbors get on their feet. If you would like to help serve or provide simple refreshments on the evening of September 19th, or would you like to be present to hear their needs, please call the parish Monday – Friday between 9 am and 5 pm.
On Saturday, September 24 at 1pm we will be having an afternoon of fellowship, prayer, and training for ALL existing Lectors, Ushers, and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, AND those interested in any or all of those ministries. The conferences will be offered in English and Spanish. There will be practical items covered, but also an exploration on how these ministries can inform and strengthen everyone's relationship to Jesus. The afternoon starts with lunch in the school cafeteria and ends with the 5:30 pm Mass. If you have not yet RSVP’d via Flocknote and wish to attend please call the parish Monday – Friday between 9 am and 5 pm.
Finally, after an over two-year hiatus, the perpetual novena of Our Lady of Perpetual Help will begin again on Saturdays at 8:30 am beginning October 1st. We Catholics have a long tradition of dedicating Saturdays to the Blessed Virgin Mary. After her Son died on Good Friday, Mary kept hope despite her immense sorrow, helping prepare the disciples for the resurrection. So, Saturdays are a time to prepare with Mary for our Sunday celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. Please consider spending Saturday mornings with your parish family starting with the Our Lady of Perpetual Help novena at 8:30 am, Mass at 9 am, and rosary immediately after.