[Sunday, Jan. 2] Upon hearing that St. George Orthodox Church, Monee, had its windows vandalized, with $5,000 damage, the people of San Rocco participate in a second collection, for the benefit of St. George.
[Saturday, Jan. 8] Father Gilligan visits St. George Church, participates in Vespers, and gives the new pastor, Father Samuel, a donation of $200 from the people of San Rocco. Coptic Vespers is more complex than Roman Vespers; at St. George's, it's also in Arabic and Coptic. Fortunately, a hand missal is available, in the English language. Vespers itself is followed by another service, with much chanting.
[Sunday, Jan. 9] Joe Grilli, John Onofrio, and Dave Sebastian meet after Mass, to discuss a possible addition to the hall at St. Rocco Oratory, for a meeting room and a storage room.
[Monday, Jan. 10] Father Gilligan reports on the state of San Rocco to Bishop Perry, at his office in South Holland, at Seton Academy. Bishop Perry meets annually with each pastor in his vicariate, as well as all rectors of oratories.
[Friday, Jan. 14] Funeral Mass is celebrated for Argia DiMascio, sister in law of Americo Mascitti, usher at San Rocco. Argia was also the sister of Gina Ristenpart. Written by Deacon Bob Bonta, nephew of the deceased, the euology is read by Tony Bonta, who also reads the first two Scripture readings and helps with Communion. Because of the cold, the usual entrance procession is omitted. Usual songs include Eternal Rest, I Lift My Soul, May Light Eternal and May God Welcome Her in Glory. All singing is unaccompanied, as usual. Burial is at Evergreen Cemetery in Steger.
[Sunday, Jan. 16] At Sunday Mass, Gabriella Maria Randazzo is baptized; she is the second child of Rosario and Enza, granddaughter of Giuseppe and Giovanna Incandela. The new baptistry, built by Dave Sebastian, serves the purpose well.
[Tuesday, Jan. 25] Priests from the southern suburbs take part in a retreat, organized by Bishop Perry, the regional vicar. These few days are spent at the Retreat House on the seminary grounds, up in Mundelein, Illinois.
[Monday, Feb. 7] A wake is held for Margaret Onofrio, wife of John.
[Tuesday, Feb. 8] Bishop Perry meets in the St. Anthony Hall with Father Gilligan, August Anzelmo, and Angelo Ciambrone, to plan ahead. Bishop Perry also checks out the new baptistry and confessional in the church. Although a larger font is normative for baptism, for the sake of immersion, the font used at San Rocco is from the original church and so has a certain value for the sake of local tradition. Bishop Perry agrees.
[Ash Wednesday, Feb. 9] Full house at San Rocco: Liturgy of the Word, with distribution of ashes.
[Friday, Feb. 11] Stations and Vespers begin, to be celebrated every Friday evening. Tonight, Tom Planera celebrates his 70th birthday at Mr. Benny's. The large Planera clan knows how to celebrate. Gene Planera dances the tarantella with vigor.
[Saturday, Feb. 12] In the St. Anthony Hall, people share a dinner for St. Valentine's Day.
[Thursday, Feb. 24] Father Gilligan attends a liturgy seminar at Yale University, New Haven, CT. Scholars come from many parts, to study the place of Christ in liturgical prayer. The work of Father Joseph Jungmann, S.J., is considered anew, especially with regard to christology. Speakers include Father Robert Taft, S.J., of the Pontifical Oriental Institute and Gabrielle Winker of Tuebingen.
[Wednesday, Mar. 9] In the afternoon, local priests attend a Virtus training program at Seton Academy in South Holland, for the protection of children. At 3 p.m. Mary Tintari and Theresa Bravo help complete the San Rocco photo directory; they work in South Holland, at ACP.
[Saturday, Mar. 12] Cosmo Constantino is buried from San Rocco with a funeral Mass. The family is Sicilian; as the deceased's name gives evidence, there is Greek ancestry.
[Wednesday, Mar. 15] More work is done on the photo directory for San Rocco. The book is almost done as of now.
[Friday, March 18] Anthony Taveletti is buried from San Rocco with a funeral Mass.
[Thursday, March 24] The choir sings for Holy Thursday Mass. During the washing of feet, we sing "A New Commandment I Give You," from the hymnbook. Both women and men have their feet washed.
[Saturday, March 26] Trisa Panici Boccia passes away. She is to be buried in Amaseno, Italy.
[Sunday, March 27] At Easter Mass, Michelle Prisco has her second child baptized, Vincent Michael. The choir sings "May the Lord bless thee." Dawn DeVries is guest soloist today, Easter Sunday. The choir is excellent. After not being used all during Lent, the organ is played today once again; it is a welcome sound.
[Monday, March 28] Marty Bramlette meets for a music planning session. She will be away in the Summer of 2005 and will move to Matoon in 2006.
[Tuesday, Mar 29] John Onofrio faxes in two bids received for an addition to the St. Anthony hall, a meeting room and a storage room.
[Wednesday, March 30] Mayor DeLuca hosts a Chicago Heights clergy gathering, in part to discuss social problems in the community. This meeting takes place at Bethel Hall on Portland, just a few blocks north of San Rocco. Most of the clergy present are from the east side of Chicago Heights. The clergy speak to social concerns: drugs, unemployment, etc.
[Friday, April 1] Tricia Panici Boccia is buried from San Rocco with a funeral Mass. She was the sister of the late Ettore Panici, husband of Anna.
[Sunday, April 3] Because Pope John Paul died yesterday, at Mass we sing after the sermon, "May God Welcome Him in Glory," followed by the usual versicles and responses: "Eternal rest" etc. At the end of Communion, we sing "May Saints of Old."
[Sunday, May 8] In honor of the new German Pope, Benedict XVI, we sing at Sunday Mass, "Words of Wonder" to a tune by Franz Josef Haydn; since the nineteenth century, this melody has been the German national anthem. In the afternoon, Father Gilligan attends a benefit dinner at the Oak Brook Marriott, to support the new Coptic Orthodox parish in Monee, St. George. Their new church cost $1.3 million; there are 35 families in the parish. Afterwards, he visits Brian Diamond, an attorney in Wheaton who organized the St. Thomas More Society there.
[Wednesday, May 11] Father Gilligan meets with Bishop Perry, in South Holland, to review several topics, for example, when confirmation will be celebrated at San Rocco. Bishop Perry, with the help of his secretary, Father Max, decides on Sunday, June 5. Also discussed was a committee recently formed to help people in Ford Heights get jobs.
[Pentecost Sunday, May 15] Dawn DeVries again sings with the choir. For the first time, the choir sings a Mozart Alleluia and "Sunshine in My Soul," in Gospel style.
[Tuesday, May 17] May Devotion at San Rocco.
[Wednesday, May 18]. Paul Preuss meets with other people who have become Catholic. He is preparing for baptism; his sponsor is Teresa Bravo. The group meets weekly in South Holland, at ACP.
[Saturday, May 21] The new online directory for San Rocco goes live. Now, with the password announced at Sunday Mass, Oratory members can check out photos of staff and those who had their photos taken by Olan Mills.
[Sunday, May 22] The South Suburban Catholic Children's Choir visits San Rocco; the children sing several songs used during the Byzantine Divine Liturgy, in English. The choir practices at Annunciation Catholic Church, Homer Glen, and includes both Byzantine and Roman Catholics. The director is Tim Woods, who previously was choir director at St. Joe's in Homewood. Concelebrating is Father Joseph LaRoque, a new priest from Haiti, who is here to serve the Haitian Mission at Our Lady of Peace; he speaks both Creole and French. His name in Italian is "Rocco." Some parishioners from the Haitian Mission also attend, Emma Jean and Renee. After Mass, all gather in the hall for coffee and donuts, prepared by Vera DiMaggio.
[Sunday, May 29] At Mass, the new print directory is distributed to the people. This beautiful, 4-color book, with flexible binding, includes photos of those who posed for Olan Mills, other photos, an extensive roster, a map to San Rocco, numerous activity photos, and a list of relevant phone numbers on the back cover. For those who posed for Olan Mills, the publisher, the directory is free. For everybody else, it's $3.00 each. We have only a limited number of extra copies. Today, too, the password was announced for the San Rocco online directory. You have to go to Sunday Mass or get a bulletin to find out the password.
[Tuesday, May 31] At Panozzo Funeral Home, in the evening, a brief Vigil was held as part of the funeral liturgy for Ercolino ("Argo") Ciancanelli, age 80. He was the brother of Ann Nardoni. Arco was born and raised across the street from San Rocco Church; he served Mass as an altar boy. He was given an extensive obituary in the Sun-Times.
[Saturday, June 4] Today, several children received their First Holy Communion, as part of a special Mass with their families. During the Mass, after the sermon, each father responded affirmatively to the question if he wanted his child to receive holy Communion. Jo Walter spoke for Rachael. As on Sunday, those receiving Communion were able to receive also from the chalice. The organist was Henry Dicristofano. After the Mass, the Panici family made use of the San Rocco Hall, named in honor of St. Anthony.
[Sunday, June 5] With permission of Father George Rassas, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Bishop Joseph Perry today confirmed 13 children of the San Rocco community. The parents had asked to have them all confirmed, in part to keep the group together; they had been studying together, with their parents, since last Fall. The parents felt that all the children were ready to be fully initiated. The parents and children had studied carefully sound articles on Christian initiation, for example, the pastoral letter on confirmation from the bishop of Fargo, North Dakota.
Even more important than confirmation, Bishop Perry celebrated the Eucharist with them, their sponsors, and the whole Sunday community. For several of them, this was their First Holy Communion, as part of this Sunday gathering. Bishop Perry gave an especially eloquent homily and was accompanied by a seminarian who served as his assistant during the celebration, Mario Borha. The organist was Dr. Laura Javorka, from Holy Ghost parish in South Holland.
At noon, newly-ordained Father Dave Simonetti celebrated Mass at San Rocco; during the celebration, he baptized the baby of Tom Amadio. Afterwards, the family hosted a meal in the San Rocco Hall, named after St. Anthony. Father Simonetti is from Chicago Heights.
[Monday, June 6] San Rocco celebrated a funeral Mass, for the burial of Edea Napoli. Except for Helen Paolini, Romie DiRienzo, and the priest, all the participants in the Mass were from out of town. As usual, singing during the Mass was without organ accompaniment. Burial was in Resurrection cemetery mausoleum, in Justice, Illinois.
[Tuesday, June 28-Friday, July 1] Priests' Convocation in St. Charles, Illinois.
[Sunday, July 3] At a 3 p.m. Mass, Father Ismael Sandoval witnessed the marriage of Bernardo Soto and Cristina Ayala; the liturgy was celebrated entirely in Spanish. The organist was Joanne Rossbach. Father Sandoval is from St. Benedict's in Blue Island. Bernardo's mother and sister travelled up here from Durango, Mexico, especially to take part in the celebration.
[Saturday, July 9] At 9 a.m., San Rocco celebrated the funeral of Anna Biasella, the mother of Emedia Bonanotte, wife of Cleto. Cara Scott sang Schubert's Ave Maria, with accompaniment by Jeanette Dandurand. At 11 a.m., San Rocco celebrated the funeral of Giuseppina Zomparelli, mother of Armando and nine other children.
[Monday, July 11] Angelo Ciambrone sets up a separate bank account for the St. Anthony Hall, which continues to welcome guests, especially from the neighborhood. For example, people use the hall for the Quinceaneras, the coming-out party around the fifteenth birthday of a young woman.
[Wednesay, July 13] After returning from visiting Rome, Italy, Paul Preuss resumes inquiry classes at ACP in South Holland. His sponsor is Teresa Bravo.
[Sunday, July 31] Today, Emilia Hilgen is baptized, daughter of Dave and Kathi Hilgen. At Mass, after the sermon, we sing 610, "God, through Water." During the procession to the font, the litany of the saints is sung, followed by petitions relating to baptism. The people profess their faith in dialogue and then sing 611, "Lord Jesus." They respond with Alleluia to each verse of the blessing of Water. To the pouring of water and the anointing with oil, they sing Amen. After Communion, the choir sings, "May the Lord Bless Thee," in four part harmony. Mass ends with a special blessing for the parents of the newly baptized child. For the third Sunday in a row, Dennis Peters (of Holy Ghost parish in South Holland) plays the organ.