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On the Journey - Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

The McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame partners with Catholic dioceses and parishes to address pastoral challenges with young adults.

The ECHO program exists as one of the leading initiatives within the institute. It is a two-year service-learning program which offers participants the opportunity to earn an MA in Theology from the University of Notre Dame and to serve the Church by working in a parish in a leadership role.

The ECHO apprentices engage in leadership in a variety of parish ministries. Each apprentice is formally matched with a parish mentor to help guide their ministry experiences and assess their professional development.

Three years ago, our parish was part of bringing this program to the Joliet Diocese along with three other parishes in the diocese. Tricia McCarthy, served in our parish community for two years. She graduated from Notre Dame on July 29th and will begin her professional life at Elon University as a Campus Minister, this fall.

Holy Spirit Catholic Community has again been matched with an ECHO apprentice who will begin the two-year service program at our parish later this month. We look forward to welcoming our next young, catechetical leader. More information will be provided in next week's bulletin.

On the journey,
Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Second Sunday of Easter

Jesus is alive! Jesus conquered sin and death and reopened the gates of heaven. His victory and our rebirth in baptism make it possible for us to share in everlasting life. Now we begin the Easter Season: the fifty days that follow from Easter Sunday to Pentecost. We celebrate this season as one feast day, sometimes called “the great Sunday”.

Today’s first reading sets the tone for the season. As we listen to the teachings of the apostles, we are reminded that even though we have not seen Christ, we believe and rejoice. During this season we are called to come together, each week, as a community to give thanks to God, to break bread, and to strengthen our faith. Let us pray for one another and open our hearts to this season of joy.

The Season of Easter is also when children of our parish receive the Sacrament of Eucharist for the first time. As we welcome our children to the full presence of Jesus Christ, we pray that they will continue to grow in their faith and deepen their initiation into Christ’s life.

As a Catholic community, we are called to share our God-given talents, gifts, and strengths to the service of all. Each year, families are welcomed to volunteer to help in an RE session and/or the Confirmation Program. Training is provided for all volunteers through a variety of grade level meetings and diocesan workshops. I wish to express my appreciation to Jane Ehlrich our DRE, and to all the children and parents who participated in the RE program and/or Sacrament preparation this year.

Families of our parish, with children in grades K-9, will soon receive information about next year’s RE and Confirmation Program. I encourage all families to learn more about the programs we offer at Holy Spirit.

On the journey,
Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski