Father David’s Letter

Dear St. Mary Parish Family,

You may have seen flyers posted on the church doors and elsewhere about a youth rally coming up soon.  I would like to make mention of this now.  The Rally is Sunday, October 15, 10 am – 4 pm at Marian Central Catholic High School.  It is entitled “BE REAL.”  It is a conjoined effort by the McHenry Deanery to gather the youth from all of our parishes together for a lively and faith-enriching event.  There will be excellent praise and worship music, engaging talks, a pizza lunch, and of course Mass over the course of the day.  There is a $20 cost for the event, but I will say if you know a high school youth from St. Mary who would like to attend, I would be happy to pay the cost for him or her myself!

We are all aware of the formidable challenges our youth face in our age.  Or we know at least some of the issues.  They face constant pressures from the culture, social media, and often their peers to rebel from the foundations of faith and morals that many of them were instilled with, to abandon any and all forms of religious structure and practice with which many of them were raised, and to forge their own path in life truth and reality be darned.  Furthermore those of us who are adults know that it is not easy to be a teenager to begin with!  Often teenagers feel out of place.  Many or perhaps most of them don’t know there they belong yet; they don’t know where they fit in this world.  Sometimes they feel they don’t fit in at all, as the recent spike in teenage suicides would indicate.  All of you parents of teenagers and adult children know this, and you were in their shoes at one time, as was I.  Cultural issues may be different, but the reality of growing up is not.  Our youth, as with the youth of every generation, need compassionate and truthful guidance, they need honest and inspiring leadership, and they need the bond of each other to nourish and strengthen their faith.  For those reasons this rally is happening!

On a personal note, I know I have shared with you more than once the critical role peers have played in pivotal moments in my life.  Whether it was the stabilizing force of a Christian youth group in Rockford that in high school helped save me from the brink of disaster, or the strong foundation and prayerful support of Catholic friends in college who lovingly and patiently helped guide me toward my vocation, or the bond today of my priest support group that is a consistent outlet for fellowship and encouragement especially in troubling times for our Church, or the joy and simple faith of our current schoolchildren that lift my spirits every time I’m with them, the shared bond of faithful Christian and Catholic friends has always been paramount in my life.  As it is with our youth today.   As it is for all of us at any age or stage of life.

As your pastor, therefore, I am strongly urging you to encourage your children and grandchildren to attend this rally!  Unfortunately we don’t have an organized group from St. Mary – which is always a preferred way to do this – but if they know any friends who are going or who would be interested perhaps they can go as a group.  Of course they can invite non-Catholic friends as well, as this is an open invitation to all youth!  Please don’t let this rally pass without talking about it with the Catholic youth in your life!  Especially if they have been struggling with their faith for whatever reasons, this event just might be what they need to get revived in their faith and love of Christ!

Thank you for whatever ways you can help encourage and promote this event!


Fr. David






If you still feel uncomfortable to attend Mass, the weekend Mass is still available on St. Mary’s Facebook page and also still being broadcast for you to attend in your car on radio station FM90.3. You can then receive the Eucharist after Mass.

Here is the link to Spiritual Communion and Chaplet of the Blessed Sacrament: https://www.virgosacrata.com/spiritual-communion.html