As a community of faith, we give thanks for the many ways God blessed our parish family in 2017.
Strengthening our Liturgies
Beginning with our Sunday gatherings, we are grateful for the investment of our parishioners, staff, and parish liturgy committee – now in its third year – for enlivening our Sunday liturgies and the physical space in which we worship. We now have a Mass coordinator for most celebrations, bringing more consistency and preparation to all six of our Sunday liturgies (four in Spanish, two in English).
We also continued to have beautiful liturgies for feast days and seasons this past year, including a better incorporation of the rites of the RCIA process with youth and adults into Sunday Mass.
The interior and exterior of our buildings also saw major improvements. Scaffolding hugged our church for months as workers cleaned, repaired, and tuckpointed the exterior. Other improvements continued from 2016 as we replaced boilers, elevators, and ventilation systems and repaired the church roof. We give thanks for generous donors who made this possible!
The summer street festival – La Kermes – and the re-vamped fall banquet – Un Nuevo Amanecer – are important fundraising and community-building events for us. This year we worked hard to broaden the involvement of all our parish groups in the planning and carrying out of these events. Our community came together and the results exceeded our expectations!
Our June Kermes in 2017 saw a second straight year of increased funds raised in support of our parish along with the usual strong sense of community. The new October banquet filled our parish hall to capacity, exceeded our fundraising goals, and gave our parishioners and parish groups a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Programs for Youth and Older Adults
Ministries to people at different ends of the age spectrum also saw growth this year. In a separate post, Fr. José shared the story of the development of the two-year Confirmation preparation program that takes place weekly at Casa Juan Diego.
Our Tercera Edad or Older Adults group is also in its third year and continues to draw more participation and provide support and fellowship for some of our parish’s most important members. Participants enjoy social gatherings, educational sessions, arts and crafts, and even field trips.
Providing Food for the Hungry
Socorro Flores and her team of volunteers in the parish kitchen are among many unsung heroes at St. Pius V parish. Socorro and her crew not only run a soup kitchen three days a week and food pantry once a week, but they provide exceptional meals for all of our parish’s special events, including the October banquet.
On top of this, they coordinate dozens of volunteers each week from Benito Juarez, St. Laurence, St. Ignatius, and other high schools and colleges. They continue to build collaborations with the Greater Chicago Food Depository and other food assistance programs. They even coordinate our parish’s involvement in the annual city-wide Hunger Walk, which had a record high number of walkers and donations this past summer!
As federal policies toward immigration shifted in 2017, many people in our community became afraid even to leave their homes. St. Pius V partnered with the other parishes in Pilsen – St. Procopius and St. Paul – to develop strategies to support our people. We also welcomed the Chicago Legal Clinic for frequent Sunday workshops on immigration policy and people’s rights.
We hosted a town hall meeting on August 10 in collaboration with other organizations to address Illinois State Police procedures related to ICE that were endangering our residents. The meeting was part of a larger successful effort that eventually led to a change in police policy.
HOPE Family Services
The family strengthening services of our HOPE program continue to empower people to build healthier, violence-free relationships.
In addition to individual and group counseling for domestic violence victims and their children, our staff provide services for women, men, couples, parents, teens in the local high school, as well as persons facing issues such as depression.
HOPE staff and volunteers hosted a successful fundraising gala last February, that will be back on February 10, 2018 (see below). This is a fun and elegant way to support our program!
From our religious education program to our school to our Guadalupanos group to our charismatic prayer circle to our base communities and to much more – our parish family continues to face joys and challenges as a community of faith, building God’s Kingdom and bringing the transforming love of Christ to our city!
Your support makes a difference! Please consider a year-end gift to support the mission of St. Pius V parish.