Father David’s Letter

Dear Friends in Christ,

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned in my letter the happy news that we had met and exceeded our goal for the 2020 Diocesan Stewardship Appeal.  Again let me just say how thrilled I am about that!  A first in a long while, and during a pandemic of all times.  Perhaps there is a greater sense that we just need to get this done; it is what it is as they say, and let’s just do it.  Well, we here at St. Mary are an integral part of the larger Church, of the bigger Vine if you will, and it is good that we do our part faithfully to support the greater mission of the Vine.  I am very pleased about this; I know it is not easy, and yet together we make it happen.

Now I would like to mention, in no particular order, several building and maintenance projects for which we are in process of gathering quotes and other information.  A few of these may be obvious, others not so much:

  1. Parking Lot – This is the biggest item by far, no surprise. You can see for yourselves that work needs to be done to repair and improve the lot.  This could become a safety liability soon if we do not seriously address it.  While we would love to rebuild the entire lot, that process would cost upwards into the several hundred thousand of dollars.  I will not push that on you.  I will put it out there, and we will do what we can, if that means doing a section at a time.  But we must do something about in the near future.
  1. Condensate Piping – The condensate line that runs from the school under the alley back to the boiler in the church has recently had some leak issues. We are getting some initial pricing on this, as well as finding out just to what extent is the issue.  This is old piping and it might be getting time to rework it.  The cost could be significant, but we will see; hopefully it will not be.
  1. Tuck Pointing – We need to have some of this done on the outside of the church and the school.
  1. Old Boiler Chimney – We are looking into removing the top of the chimney to the old church boiler. It is no longer in use of course, and it has many cracks.  We do not use it, so there is no use in repairing it.  But if we leave it as it is it may collapse, and naturally we want to avoid that.
  1. New Roof on Parish Center Building – This is overdue. We’ve been holding back as long as we can, but we can’t do that too much longer.  We should get this done in the next couple of years.
  1. Cemetery Cross – Some of you might have noticed that the cemetery cross structure has some significant cracks in it. If the structure were to collapse we could lose the beautiful glass cross that has stood as a sign of hope and victory for many years in our beloved cemetery.  We cannot lose this cross!  It has been quite a process for our team finding out just how to handle this, but happily we are now at a point where we can soon move forward in refortifying the structure and thereby securing the cross again.
  1. Church Sound System – If we cannot hear, we cannot understand. Therefore we are looking into upgrading our sound system in the church just a bit.  Nothing major, but hopefully enough to make a noticeable difference in sound quality and reception.

The rectory could use a few updates as well, but I have been holding off on those for the time being.  Still I might need a new appliance or two soon, they’re just getting old.  But you know me, I don’t like to overspend, to use funds that we don’t have (I could never work for the federal government).

That’s all for now.  Just wanting to keep you informed, and let you know that even if you don’t hear me talk much about these items, we are assessing the issues little by little and proceeding forward as we can.

Take care and Happy Easter once again!

Fr. David





COVID-19 Mass Directives

As some parishioners do not feel comfortable attending Mass for at this time, you are encouraged to watch Mass on ETWN, local channels, and on St. Mary’s, St. Patrick’s and Holy Apostles’ websites. Bishop Malloy will also offer Masses on Sundays at 9am and reflections on Wednesdays at noon. These will be available on the diocesan website and their Facebook page. Here is the link to Spiritual Communion and Chaplet of the Blessed Sacrament: https://www.virgosacrata.com/spiritual-communion.html

To attend Mass, please remember to bring your face mask! This a requirement to wear a mask during the Mass. You can remove the mask when receiving Communion. Hand sanitizers are available in the church for your use as well. Our highest prioritiy is to keep our parishioners safe! We are following all the directives issued by the Diocese of Rockford and the Archdiocese of Chicago regarding social distancing, sanitizing, etc. 

Don’t forget that you can also tune your car radio to FM90.3 to listen in the parking lot and then receive the Eucharist after the Mass.


Here’s something to SMILE about! 🙂 

St. Mary’s Church is now connected with AMAZON.SMILE!  What is Amazon.Smile? Amazon is dedicated to giving back to charitable organizations like our parish. When you buy online at Amazon, you have the opportunity to have .05% of your purchases donated to St. Mary’s by Amazon. When you sign up for AmazonSmile, you’ll be asked to select from over a million of charities to support. But you can skip this step and click on our unique link. Then you’ll be taken to smile.amazon.com and then automatically asked if you want to support St Mary Church. Our unique charity link: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/36-2182123

Don’t forget to sign up for St. Mary’s MyParish App today!

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enhance your spiritual life and get updates on what’s happening at St. Mary! Just text App to phone number 88202 or visit myparishapp.com to download. St. Mary’s will not automatically be one of your choices because we are a national parish which means we have no boundaries. Just type in St. Mary 1407 and the site will be available for you to click on and join. Keep yourself up to date on parish events, daily readings, messages, Pope Francis messages, and programs to enhance your faith journey.