St. Isidore Parish at 427 W. Army Trail Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108-1390 US - From the Pastor's Corner
From the Pastor's Corner
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Happy Father’s Day to all of our dads, grandpas, Godfathers, and all those who are like a father to us. We celebrate and thank you for all of the marvelous ways you reveal God’s love to us. We ask God’s blessing upon you today and particularly remember those of our fathers who have gone ahead of us in faith and now live with the Lord.
We also remember those who do not look forward to today’s celebration. For some of us, our fathers are no longer with us and there is still a hole in our hearts. Others have had hurtful or abusive relationships with their fathers. Still others among us struggle with the painful experience of infertility. Couples in this situation spend this day grieving in the shadows. Besides honoring our fathers this day, we prayerfully remember those who are grieving the absence of their father or the opportunity to be a father.
This Wednesday, June 19th, is the official transfer date for priests serving in our diocese. Most of the priests of our diocese who have been transferred this year from one parish assignment to another will be moving this week. This includes Father Rogelio who is moving to St. Matthew’s in Glendale Heights, Father Josh Miller who is moving from Ss. Peter and Paul in Naperville and Father Matt Nathan who is moving from St. Mary’s in West Chicago to serve at our parish. We remember in prayer all those priests who are moving to a new parish this week.
As we near the end of our Fiscal Year on June 30th, I’d like to look over the events of the past several months that are now shaping the next several months.
Last fall we learned that the building we are leasing as the home of our CONNECT Youth Ministries, The Link (78 Stratford Drive), has been sold. Our new landlord honored the remainder of the lease, allowing us to remain in the building until June 2014, at which time we would need to vacate the off-campus building.
The space has also provided a place for additional parish ministries to meet and do their work during the hours it was not occupied by our 7th-12th grade teens and their faith formation programs. These additional ministries include English as a Second Language classes, Scouts, and some adult faith formation programs, like Discovering Christ.
We were faced with immediate questions concerning where to find a new home for our CONNECT Youth Ministries and the dollars to continue to offer the additional ministries meeting at The Link over the next several years. Long-term plans included building a multi-ministry center on campus that would serve parishioners of all ages.
To help address our questions, we saw the need to conduct a parish assessment to determine how we should proceed. Before we made any decisions regarding the future, we needed to listen to you and seek your input. We hired Lorraine Nelson Consulting, Inc. to conduct the assessment.
During January and February, she set up individual interviews, vision group sessions, and a parish-wide survey to help us determine our next steps. Towards the end of February, we offered an in-pew opportunity at each Mass to complete the survey.
At the conclusion of her work, Lorraine Nelson provided us with a list of her findings and recommendations. First, she noted that our parishioners feel very connected to our parish and see our parish ministries as a crucial part of parish life. Two priorities were named by a number of parishioners. The first concerned our parking and the need to repair our current parking lot. The second concerned our off-campus priests’ residence and a need to house our priests on campus. Finally, while support for providing space for parish ministries was important, financial support for a new facility or support for a leased site for Youth Ministry was not demonstrated. There was a strong voice to locate parish ministries on campus in our existing facilities.
In view of her findings, Lorraine Nelson made the following recommendations. First, proceed with a space analysis of current campus facilities. A number of parishioners felt that space existed on campus, but may require combining some current ministries and creative scheduling for the best use of space. Second, locate Youth Ministry space on campus. Third, provide a more positive parking experience for Sunday worship, including repairing and expanding our current parking areas. Finally, build a priests’ residence on campus that can provide a home away from the office.
The initial question of a 5-year Capital Campaign at the core of the assessment indicated a willingness to raise the funds necessary to accomplish these recommendations. We shared these recommendations with the larger parish at a meeting on April 9th. Initial options for relocating CONNECT Youth Ministries within current campus space were shared. We considered the pro’s and the con’s of each option. Initial feedback identified the Chapel building as offering the best option to consider.
We immediately began meeting with senior staff members and architects familiar with our facilities to address the first recommendation of doing a space analysis of our current campus facilities. We began initial conversations with the Village of Bloomingdale and Fire Department to know what would be necessary for any renovations of our facilities. We reviewed our current ministries and current scheduling of space, looking for the best use of our space. We reviewed the needs of our junior high faith formation program, our Confirmation program and our senior high youth ministry programs. It was important that we listened to both you and to each other. With a lot of give and take, possibilities began to appear. While there are no perfect solutions, we are seeking the best “win-win” arrangements for all. It is exciting to see what is emerging!
Since the initial question of a 5-year Capital Campaign at the core of the parish assessment indicated a willingness to raise the funds necessary to accomplish the recommendations from the assessment, we will introduce a Capital Campaign later in the summer to bring our plans to fruition.
I hope that this has been a good summary of where we are at this point in time. We asked; we listened; and now we are considering all of the options before us. It is an exciting time!
Summer officially begins this Friday, June 21st, at 12:04am CDT. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year. Remember back to the winter when it was dark at 5pm? We yearned and pined for these long, warm days of summer. Savor God’s gift of light and the gift of this season. Happy summer everyone! May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.