|Father Gerard Weber|
|According to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), the catechumen (Bernie) is met at the door of the church.|
Planera and Jessica, also at the door of the church, in the group of
those preparing for full intiation. Jessica is preparing for
confirmation and Communion|
priest introduces the RICA. There is a brief dialogue; Bernie speaks
for herself. She expresses in her own words her intention to become a
Christian. Evelyn, her mother, gives her assent. Her godmother, Lucy,
promises to help Bernie on her journey. So do the other boys and girls.
The priest then marks her forehead with the sign of the cross. Others
present do the same. Bernie is now a catechumen, an upbaptized person
preparing for baptism, confirmation, and first Communion. Now, in a
brief procession, everyone moves to the front of the church.
of the Word, at the front of church. There is a Gospel reading, a brief
homily, a litany, and prayer for the catechumen. As usual, for the
litany, all sing, "Lord, we beg you, hear our prayer."|
|The banner of the Risen Christ is mounted on the rerodos, the back wall, up to and including Pentecost Sunday.|
Sunday, April 4, 2010. Here are godmother Lisa Seeder, mother Anna
Marie (Subula) Patrizi, father Louis Patrizi, baby Sofia Rose, and
godfather Justin Graca.|
|Baptism of Sofia Rose Patrizi.|
|At the conclusion of the baptism liturgy, there is a special blessing for the mother, the father, and (above) all of us.|
6, 2010. San Rocco Finance Council in session: (from left) Pete Ruhl,
John Graham, Jackie Graham, Father Gilligan, Gene DaCorte.|
9, 2010. After John, the father, expresses his intention to raise
Bernie Catholic and after Bernie professes her faith, the priest sings
the blessing of water. All sing "Blest be God. Blest be God."|
by Lucy, her godmother, Bernie puts her head over the font and is
baptized with water. The people sing Amen to the baptism. Normally, an
anointing (chrismation) would take place after the baptism. However,
Bishop Perry will do this during the Mass, which follows immediately.|
the baptism, the family together holds a candle, symbolic of the light
of faith. On the right are some of the children in our religious
Mass, Bishop Joseph Perry gives confirmation and Communion to the eight
children in the religious education program. Including Bernie, four of
them complete their Christian initation by receiving First Holy
the left are the children's three catechists: Mary Rodriguez, Lucy
Czarnecki, and Yvettte Betancourt. Father Gilligan is on the right.|
Sunday morning, after Mass, a team of collection counters records the
categories and amounts of the donations. This is the general policy used
throughout the Chicago Archdiocese, in every parish and oratory. Above,
from the left, are Leroy Czarnecki, Priscilla Fushi, Theresa Bravo, and
Paul Preuss. Leroy thinks that four is just the right number of
|The San Rocco Choir on Pentecost Sunday, May 23, 2010. The organist, Celeste Jones, in the lower right corer, in red.|
|The color red is used for Pentecost. In the front row, seated, in the yellow shirt, is Dennis Nardoni.|
|At the May Crowning, here are Bernie, Jessica, and Adrian.|
|Jessica puts the crown on the head of the stature of Mary.|
|From the left are Bernie, Jessica, Adrian, and Conrad.|
2010. The San Rocco Choir. In the back, from the left, are Erin, Mary,
Raven, Lou, and Rob. In the front, from the left, are Sharon, Carol,
Bev, Steve, and Celeste. Missing are Tom Planera and Don Ternes.|
|On Christmas, there is a long Gospel Procession, with incense.|
|The deacon incenses the Gospel Book. On the right, Conrad Pater is holding the Gospel Book in place.|
|Proclamation of the Christmas Gospel.|
|Conclusion of the Eucharistic Prayer: "Through him and with him and in him..."|
8, 2010: Here is the forming-up of the San Lorenzo Procession. On the
right is the Amaseno Lodge. In the middle, above the banner, is the
statue of St. Lawrence.|
|Here, the San Lorenzo Procession is moving east on 22nd Street.||
[Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010] At Holy Name Cathedral, at 11 a.m., nine priests concelebrate the funeral Mass of Father Gerry Weber.
The sermon is given by Father John Cusick. Bishop Tim Lyne, a
classmate of the deceased, presides. Bishop Ray Goedert also
concelebrates. Father Weber was a writer and publisher during his
priesthood; he contributed much to the life of the Church,
especially in the catechisms he wrote.
The same day, a massive earthquake strikes the capital city of Haiti. The government of that country estimates that 200,000 people are killed.
[Jan. 17] At the request of Cardinal Francis George, President of the U.S. Conference of Bishops, San Rocco has a special collection for the people of Haiti. This second collection is taken up immediately after the regular collection and is presented in the procession.
[Jan. 18-21] Father Gilligan goes on retreat up in Mundelein, with other priests of the local vicariate. The retreat master is Father Kevin Huber, of the Diocese of Gary. The retreat is a good occasion for priests to evaluate pastoral service to people.
[Jan. 22] Father Gilligan meets with Father Dave Simonetti of St. James parish, Sauk Village, to discuss common pastoral challenges.
24] Before Sunday Mass, at 9:15 a.m., the children and teachers
involved in religious education go over to the church building.
Bernie Barasa is welcomed as a catechumen in a brief liturgy, with only the Gospel as a Scripture reading; the Rtie of Christian Initation is followed, the RCIA.
Her mother, Evelyn, is also present, gives her consent, and
participates in the rite. During the Mass that follows at 10 a.m.,
we also pray for Bernie and her family. During Lent, Bernie
will participate in the usual scrutinies, as with other candidates for baptism. The First Scrutiny is on the Third Sunday of Lent.
[Jan. 26] The finance committee of San Rocco Oratory meets in South Holland. Pete Ruhl, formerly of Citizens Bank, presents his summary of recommendations, based on the recent audit by Crowe Horwath. The
committe considers first of all how to implement the recommendations
given for the counting and deposit of the Sunday collection.
[Feb. 9] Father Gilligan makes his annual report to Bishop Perry,
on the state of things at San Rocco Oratory. The report concerns
the Sunday bulletin, the choir, the finance committee, unusual expenses
in 2009, religious education, membership, and appropriate delay of
baptism, in the case of parents who do not go to Mass on Sunday.
17] Ash Wednesday, at 6:30 p.m., a Liturgy of the Word, with
distribution of ashes, takes place at The Park in Olympia Fields. At 7
p.m., another Liturgy of the Word also includes the distribution of
ashes, as usual, at San Rocco Oratory. After that, a Vigil liturgy
is celebrated at Panozzo Funeral Home in Chicago Heights, for the late
Raffaele ("Ralph") Biasella, who died Feb. 14. He was 100
[Feb. 18] We celebrate the funeral of Raffaele Biasella. He was the father of Emidia Bonanotte, wife of Cleto.
[Feb. 19] As in years past, on Fridays of Lent, we pray together Stations of the Cross and Vespers, from the Leaflet Missal prayerbook.
7] Today, following the recommendation of the recent audit, a new
procedure is begun, for processing the Sunday collection. At
least three people count the donations immediately after Mass, total it
up, and bring it to the night deposit right afterwards. Mike
Prisco helps coordinate this work; he is familiar with the procedure for
some years. A stamp is used to endorse the checks. A
roster is used to record the amounts given and the
names given of those donors who wish to have their donations
documented. A tamper evident bag, with a deposit log, is prepared
each Sunday. This procedure is intended to give greater security
to the processing of the collection.
[March 10] Cardinal
George speaks at the monthly meeting of the Homewood Rotary Club, on the
relationship between religion and public life. His talk is given
at the Flossmoor Country Club, with about 200 people attending.
24] Adele and Jesse Propst have their baby baptized at Sunday Mass,
Angelo James Propst. Angelo's older sister, Jessica, regularly
serves at Mass with us. The family is from Midlothian. Like
many others in the San Rocco family, they drive in to 22nd Street on
Sunday morning. In the afternoon, the DiGiovanni clan celebrates
its annual reunion, with a St. Joseph Day Table, at the Lutheran church
hall in Steger. The Lutherans have a bigger kitchen.
[March 26] In addition to Stations and Vespers, Benediction is celebrated in the evening at San Rocco Oratory.
30] Father Gilligan gives a talk on the most important days preceding
Easter Sunday. He does this in the afternoon at St. Stanislaus
[April 4] Easter Sunday
brings San Rocco Oratory a full house, in part because of the baptism at
this Mass of Sofia Rose Patrizi, daughter of Louis and Anna. The
family flew in from Naples a week ago. The choir performed well,
doing Sunday Morning, In Bread that Is Broken, We Bring You Praise, One Is Holy, and Morning Has Broken, all in full, four-part harmony. This was the first time the choir sang Morning Has Broken.
All these songs were directed by our guest musician, Dennis Peters,
from Holy Ghost Church in South Holland. Dennis also played the
organ for most of the songs. Mary Jones was in town for Easter
break and helped with the soprano section. The Easter collection was
Carmella Johnson, the grandmother of the baby baptized,
said that this baptism "was the most beautiful I have ever seen."
The liturgy itself, especially with traditional singing, can be
inspiring and memorable. Carmella is the sister of Frances
[April 6] The finance council of San Rocco
Oratory meets in South Holland. The new collection procedure is
evaluated; it seems to be going well. (Leroy Czarnecki and Paul
Preuss have been helping regularly. There are about eight others
who rotate their service, week by week.) Noteworthy is the fact that,
for the past two months, the Sunday collection has increased. Some
bills, however, remain outstanding because we do not yet have the funds
needed. We also consider a new budget for the coming fiscal year,
studying what Pete Ruhl has carefully prepared, from the Quickbooks
program. Special consideration is given to landscapting and
snow plowing work at the oratory. John Graham is getting
competitive bids for both services.
[April 7] The large
banner of the risen Christ is installed in the sanctuary, for the Easter
Season. This new banner, paid for by Chicago Archdiocese
insurance, replaces the similar banner that was destroyed in the 2007
fire. As in years past, the banner covers the large crucifix on
the back wall and is in place up to and including Pentecost
[April 11] We celebrate the funeral of Rose Romano, mother of Rose Marie Vena, wife of Larry Vena.
[Wednesday, May 5] Bob Rigali comes down from Daprato-Rigali Studios,
on the northwest side of Chicago. Bob studies the statue of St.
Rocco, which his firm had refurbished after the December, 2007, fire;
Bob considers developing a shrine for the statue, in the same
location. On this day, in the late afternoon additional security
cameras are installed around the church building and the hall,
especially protecting the air conditioners. Video evidence is
useful for the police. Signs are also mounted, warning
of this new security.
[May 8] A special meeting is held in the
church hall and the church proper, with the confirmandi, the sponsors,
and family. Final instructions are given by Yvette Betancourt,
Lucy Czarnecki, and Mary Rodriguez, the catechists. Marta Planera
and the catechists help prepare the church, as well. Father
Gilligan meets with the people and answers questions. Additional chairs
are set out towards the front.
A leak in one of the furnaces
brings an emergency technician in from Nicor; he shuts off the gas, for
satety. The leak will be fixed Monday or Tuesday; in the
meantime, there is no heat in the church building.
[May 9] At 9:30
a.m., Bernie Barasa is baptized at the baptismal font, by Father
Gilligan. Her fellow students and their families are present,
gathered in the open space in front of the font. As usual, those
present take part in the liturgy by singing responses and acclamations.
10 a.m., Bishop Perry begins to celebrate Mass with the San Rocco
community; he is assisted by Deacon Ray Deabel and Deacon Dennis
Rozak. Bishop Perry preaches the sermon; he also gives
confirmation and first Holy Communion. During the sermon, Bishop
Perry asks the parents and sponsors to do their best to raise the
children Catholic; he also gives public honor to the mothers and
grandmothers present. In this liturgy, Bernie is confirmed by
Bishop Perry and receives her first Holy Communion. In our
religious education program, there are eight chldren in total.
Photographs are taken after the Mass; after that, there is a simple
reception in the St. Anthony hall, to the east of the main parking lot.
The Sunday buleltin on this day includes a statement from Pope Benedict, reaffirming
the conclusions of the 2005 synod of bishops in Rome. In
2007, the Pope repeated their teaching that "many people lack a good
understanding of confirmation." Therefore, he asks bishops to
study the matter, in their local and regional conferences. (For
us, that's the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.)
Then, says the Pope, the bishops are to decide which order of the three
sacraments of initiation best represents the Eucharist as
the climax and summit of Christian initation. The bishops'
conferences, he says, are to make this decision "in close conjuction
with the Roman Curia." In other words, they are to figure out
whether confirmation would best precede first Communion or follow it.
Just in case they have trouble making the right decision, they will have
the help of the Curia, that is, the head of the Congregation for Divine
Worship, who as of today is Cardinal Canizares.
Because today is Mothers' Day, we sing after Communion the hymn Love without Limit.
23] Today, Pentecost Sunday, is the last Sunday of Easter. After
today, the Easter candle is removed from the sanctuary and put back in
its place, in the baptistry.
[May 30] Because tomorrow is Memorial
Day, the choir sings (for the first time) a special arrangement of the
Battle Hymn of the Republic. Although several members are absent,
nonethelss, the choir does an excellent job. This arrangement is
by the renowned English composer, John Rutter. Celeste Jones
directs and accompanies the hymn from the piano.
[Saturday, June 5] Today, at 11 a.m., we celebrate the baptism of the daughter of Abby and Chris James (MacKenzie).
6] Today, the Feast of Corpus Christi, Dennis Peters comes once again
as guest organist and choir director. At the end of Mass, we march
outside in procession, to the grotto for the Corpus Christi devotion.
[Tuesday, June 15] At 6:30 p.m. in South Holland, the finance council of San Rocco Oratory meets.
[Saturday, June 26] Today, we celebrate the funeral of Cesare Panici, twin brother of Rosario.
[July 4] Again, the choir and people sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic, using John Rutter's arrangement.
July 11] For their 50th wedding anniversary, Armando and Giovanna
Zomparelli receive a special blessing, right after Sunday Mass.
Their extended family is there to celebrate with them.
[Saturday, July 24] At l p.m., we celebrate the Quincenera
of Anali Gomez, sister of Sara. Except for the three
collects and the sermon, the Mass is entirely in Spanish. At the
end, several gifts are blest and presented to Anali.
25] As he did last Sunday, Father Tommaso Petrongelli presides at
Sunday Mass. Four songs are sung in Italian, during the
course of the liturgy. At 5 p.m. Father
Gilligan celebrates Mass also at St. James parish, Sauk
|Quinceneras of Anali Gomez. Here, the procession is forming up in the vestibule.|
Tommaso Petrongelli in the pulpit at San Rocco. His religious community
is the Order of the Mother of God, based in Rome. It's a missionary
|After Mass, Father Petrongelli greets the people. Next to him is Livio Planera.|
|Dennis Nardoni (left) with Bill Clinton (right). Clinton is privileged to golf with someone as famoua as Dennis Nardoni|
[Aug. 4] The finance committee of
San Rocco Oratory meets in South Holland. The annual report is
reviewed carefully, so that it can be submitted on time.
Because of unusual, one-time expenses in the past year, our financial
reserves are exhausted. As things stand, we are just getting
by, Sunday after Sunday. The committee suggests that we
ask the congregation to give more generously. The committee
recommends that Yvette Betancourt take over administration of the hall,
from Fred LoBue, who is retiring from this task. He lives too far
south now (in Grant Park), to drop by the hall as needed, he says.
[Aug. 8] For the San Lorenzo festival,
Mayor Alex Lopez himself takes part in the procession from the Amaseno
Lodge. Livio Planera is the master of ceremonies. Sunday Mass
begins around 11:30, with a full church. The choir is well
prepared. The singing is excellent, on the part of the people and the
choir. The litany of St. Lawrence is sung at the beginning of
Mass. The Sequence (hymn before the Gospel) also
commemorates St. Lawrence. During the preparation of the gifts, as the
statues are incensed, the people sing in honor of St. Rocco. At the
end of the Roman Canon (the first Eucharistic Prayer), the bread is
blest. It is distributed at the end of the liturgy.
[Aug. 9] At St. Anthony's in Frankfort, we celebrate the funeral of Dennis Nardoni,
67. He is survived by his mother, Ann, his wife, Claire, and
numerous children and grandchildren. Dennis was a faithful member
of San Rocco Oratory; he helped build the new church. The funeral
is held at St. Anthony's because of the large number of participants;
there are about 600 people. The country of St. Lucia
sent up ten representatives, because Dennis' resort there is a major
part of the local economy. Father Gilligan presides, at the
request of Claire; Father Greg Skowron, pastor, concelebrates.
Deacon Bill Boucek helps with the liturgy. The choir director and
organist is Lisa Kristina, originally from St. Agnes, Chicago
Heights. The First Reading is proclaimed by Jim Kaberna II; the Second
Reading, by Denise Nardoni.
[Aug. 13] Many members of St Rocco Oratory join people from other parishes at the showing of the movie, The 13th Day, about the Fatima apparitions in 1917. People gather at the Holiday Star Theater in Park Forest. Afterwards, Father Dave Simonetti delivers some reflections and answers questions, right in the theater.
24] We celebrate the funeral of Mary Dalie, nee Sylvester, 90. In
earlier years, she was an active member of St. Rocco parish. The
readings are proclaimed by Christy, a granddaughter; the eulogy
is given by Ryan, another granddaughter.
[Aug. 27] Mayor Alex Lopez, 44, dies suddenly, of a heart attack. He is a member of St. Agnes parish, Chicago Heights.
Aug. 29] The First and Second Readings are proclaimed by two 10-year
olds, from the Onofrio familly; one of the Mass intentions is for
Margaret Onofrio. Joe and Susan Grilli celebrate 50 years of
marriage. Mike Prisco announces that Mike Jr. and his wife
Monica have a new baby girl. Laura Ludwa comes by, from The
Park in Olympia Fields, to say good-bye to her many friends at San
Rocco; she is moving to California. At the end of Mass, Jeremy
Garcia receives a special blessing; he is now three years old.
Afterwards, Carl and Celia Bauer join the Oratory; they live in the
neighborhood, on the Hill.
[Sept. 2] In the morning, Father Gilligan presides at the funeral of Margaret McInerney, a resident of the The Park at Olympia Fields. This Mass takes place at Infant Jesus of Prague Church, Flossmoor.
5] After Sunday Mass, we celebrate the baptism of Sullivan ("Sully")
James Smith. He is the great grandson of Dolores Renzi. He is also
the son of James and Gina Smith. After Mass, Brian and Dawn Moreno join
the Oratory community.
[Sept 16] Over the air conditioner on the
south side of the hall, a set of two night lights are installed, with a
motion detector. These lights are a deterrent to thieves, in
addition to the signs in two languages, video cameras, cages, and
400 feet of barbed wire already installed.
[Sept. 19] The San
Rocco community welcomes two new members: Amy Green and her
daughter, Tatiana. They live on the hill, in the
neighborhood. Amy is the granddaughter of Carl & Celia
[Sept. 20] At a local priests' meeting, at Infant Jesus of
Prague parish, pastoral concerns dominate the discussion. Steve
Kubiczky of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council is present. He asks
the priests to get lay people to join this council, especially
people from this area. This council is a group of lay people
from all over the diocese, to give advice to Cardinal George. The
southern suburbs, however, are not well represented. As of now, there is
only one representative, from St. Jude's in South Holland.
21] The San Rocco finance committee meets in South Holland. With
Yvette Betancourt, the committee reviews policies for the use of the
hall, as well as the annual report recently submitted.
At 7 p.m., we celebrate a Mass for the Dead, in memory of Gino
Bragaloni, who passed away one year ago at the age of 65. His son,
Tom, and his family are here from Latina, Italy, in part, for
this liturgy. Gino's daughter-in-law, Marzia, has prepared a
memorial statement for the occasion. Other family members and
friends also take part in the Mass: Rosemary Petrongelli reads the
memorial of Gino; John Ianucci reads the first Scritpure reading.
Matteo Petrongelli, 7, serves the Mass. Marilyn Jobbe helps with
Communion. The widow, Rita Bragaloni, is the niece of Italo and
[Sept. 26] At 11:15 a.m., we celebrate the
baptism of Ariel Bretvelt, daughter of Kenneth Bretvelt and Erica Bauer,
daughter of Carl and Cecilia Bauer. The parents were married in
2006; the family is from Watseka, Illinois.
Also, today, Bill and Gerri Reichert join the San Rocco community; they are from Crete.
[Saturday, Oct. 2] We celebrate the Quinceneras of Yesinia Munoz, sister of Elizabeth.
[Sunday, Oct. 3] This is Respect Life Sunday. We sing "Lord of All Life."
Oct. 8] We celebrate the funeral of Sue Ziccardi, mother of Ken, who
gives the eulogy. Her grandson, John, reads the First Reading from
Ecclesiastes. Frank and Kayla, grandchilldren, serve the
Mass. Sandra, daughter-in-law, helps with Communion.
Jeanette Dandurand leads the singing and plays the organ, as needed, to
help the people participate.
[Saturday, Oct. 16] From 9:30 to
11:30 a.m., Bishop Perry's Men's Conference meets in the hall at San
Rocco Oratory. After breakfast, Father David Simonetti speaks on
"Holding on to our faith in difficult times." This is a gathering
for men only.
[Sunday, Oct. 17] During Sunday Mass, we celebrate the baptism of Nena Lucia Prisco, daughter of Michael and Monica Prisco.
[Oct. 19] Priests of the Chicago Archdiocese meet at the Drury Lane in Oak Brook.
Father Michael Joncas flies down from the Minneapolis/St Paul
Archdiocese, to help us implement the new translation of the Mass, due
to go into effect in Advent, 2011.
[Sunday, Oct. 24] A spaghetti
dinner is held in the hall, from noon until 5 p.m. Cost is
$10; those five and under are free. Mayor Sam Ciambrone organizes
this event. With attendance in excess of 300 individuals,
this dinner is a great success.
[November 7] During the month of
November, a table of remembrance is set up in the vestibule.
Presented on this table are numerous photos of deceased friends and
relatives, as well as holy cards from funerals.
25] Thanksgiving Day Mass is celebrated at 9 a.m., to allow more time
to cook the turkey, as usual. The usual bin for food for the poor
is set up in the vestibule of the church building. This food is
distrbuted through the Jones Center in Chicago Heights.
28] In the Sunday bulletin, the annual financial report is
published for the congregation; a copy is sent to the regional vicar and
the director of finance for the Chicago Archdiocese.
December 25] The Christmas liturgy is well celebrated and well
attended. After numerous rehearsals in November and December, the
choir sings various Christmas carols before Mass. During the
liturgy, they sing both the Angels' Carol and Still, Still, Still, by John Rutter, as well as Of the Father's Love Begotten and a new setting of Silent Night, by Ron Klusmeier. As usual for Christmastime and Eastertime, we sing the Missa de Angelis for the Kyrie, the Sanctus, and the Agnus Dei. For the Gospel Procession, the choir sings Mozart's Alleluia: Round of Praise. Incense is used, as on other major feasts.
Dec. 27] At St. Agnes Church, we celebrate the funeral of Tony Anselmo,
father of Lou. Father John Siemanowski presides; Father Gilligan
concelebrates. Although Tony was able to join in Mass often at San
Rocco, especially in the past few years, his home parish is St. Agnes.
There is a small lead group, the "Resurrection Choir" which helps the
congregation in their sung prayer. Carl Opat, parish music
director, leads the singing.
[Wednesday, Dec. 28] At
San Rocco, we celebrate the funeral of Rosario Panici, twin brother of
the late Cesare Panici. Both have been regular participants in Sunday
Mass, faithfully. The church building is filled, with participants
from as far away as Amaseno, Italy, and Toronto, Canada. Some of
the prayers of the Mass, notably the collects and the Eucharistic
Prayer, are proclaimed in Italian. Rosario is survived by his
wife, Filomena, and numerous descendants.
Dec. 31] Again at San Rocco, we celebrate the funeral of Raymond Rossi,
husband of the late Genevieve, who was buried from San Rocco a year ago
in December. Raymond is survived by his daughter, Pam. His
grandson, Graham, reads the Scripture, as he did a year ago.
|St. Lawrence himself.|
|The procession continues east on 22nd Street.|
just north of 22nd, the procession continues east, just in front of the
church building itself. That's Augusto Zomparelli on the left of St.
|At the entrance of the church, the procession pauses. The litany of St. Lawrence is sung; the people answer "Pray for us."|
cortege enters the church building. Note the large basket of bread, on
the left. The bread is blest later, at the end of the Roman Canon, the
Eucharistic Prayer today.|