Father John Chrzan St. Gilbert Weekly Pastor Message (847) 223-4731

Dear Parishioners,

I am frequently asked what's new and exciting around the parish, and often I respond that there certainly are all manner of things going on in God's Kingdom!  Here's this week's summary of a few of them.

Today we take a special collection to benefit our St Vincent de Paul ministry which provides material assistance to families in our area that are experiencing particular hardship.  Sharon Schmitt and her collaborators, with the help of the entire parish, demonstrate compassion for the especially needy through this essential ministry and I'm grateful for the magnificent work they do.  Thank you for your generous support of this worthy appeal and please stop after Mass and greet one of the St Vincent de Paul representatives stationed by the ministry information desk in the narthex.

Work is about to begin on renovation of the front entrance to the Chapel, the side facing Belvidere Road.  Paver stones will be removed from the Chapel front and sidewalk steps and stored for reuse around the parish campus later.  Stamp molded concrete front steps will be constructed which will have the attractive appearance and sturdiness of natural stone without the same maintenance and safety concerns.  I'm glad we're able to complete this high-priority improvement project before the coldest weather season arrives, so again thank you for graciously supporting the monthly Buildings and Grounds collection which makes this important work possible.

Finally, I hope you can find opportunities to thoroughly enjoy this season of autumn.  Last Sunday's Scripture reading spoke of the Lord of hosts providing from his holy mountain a feast of "juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines" (Isaiah 25).  Last summer's very fair growing season yielded an abundant harvest of the earth's fine produce and many families have embarked on apple or pumpkin picking expeditions together.  Recently on my customary evening walk about town I was pleasantly surprised to discover the outdoor red brick fireplace gracing the lovely public plaza at the corner of Center and Whitney Streets ignited and roaring away.  What a wonderful amenity for the whole community to enjoy!  Check it out some pleasant rain-free evening and don't be surprised if you see me relaxing at one of the picnic tables situated near the fireplace.

                                                                           Peace,

Fr.  John