Parish Transformation Blog

  1. Francis of Assisi, Timeless Saint for All

    By Parish Transformation Team | Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    St. Francis of Assisi is one of the greatest saints in Church history.  Almost single-handedly, he helped revive the medieval Church in the 13th century with the founding of his mendicant Order of Friars Minor (the Franciscans), the Poor Clares, and the Third Order of Brothers and Sisters of Penance,. He was a mystic, a healer, and a leader who had a special relationship with nature as God’s creation.  Many in today’s world might find his appeal in his seemingly New Age approach of being one with nature, as reflected in his famous Canticle of the Sun.  However, St. Francis’ life goes deeper than a communal existence with nature.  Rather, St. Francis lived a life of radical conformity and divine union to the sacrificial life of Christ that deepened over the years.  More significant than any of his preternatural gifts is the life St. Francis led in faithful imitation of Christ, particularly the crucified Christ.  Many in today’s world, both young and old alike can relate to and find inspiration in St. Francis’ faith journey. 

  2. Parish Stories

    St. Theresa Parish - Celebrating 75 Years with Parish Transformation

    By Parish Transformation Team | Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    2016 is a special milestone for St. Theresa Parish in Palatine as it celebrates its 75th anniversary.  In line with this celebration,  Rev. Timothy Fairman, pastor of St. Theresa, along with a group of dedicated volunteers,  decided to avail of the Parish Transformation experience  offered by the Archdiocese of Chicago.  Fr. Tim who has been pastor of St. Theresa for three years has already participated in this Parish Transformation program with his prior parish and found the process extremely helpful not only for the pastor, but also for the whole parish, to have an action plan in place to help the parish flourish.

  3. For your bookshelf

    Great Catholic Parishes by William E. Simon, Jr.

    By Parish Transformation Team | Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    Great Catholic Parishes takes a candid look at what is really happening in the Catholic Church in North America.  It is based on a 2012-2013 study by the author and his team on 244 vibrant parishes in the USA and Canada to show what makes them great.  It answers the vital question of whether parishes are thriving or dying.  Is there growing dissatisfaction among Catholics or is there increased engagement of Catholics in the new evangelization of the Church? 

  4. Imitating Christ Today the St. Francis Way

    By Parish Transformation Team | Tuesday, October 18, 2016

    St. Francis of Assisi is a familiar saint for most Catholics today.  How he lived his life is a worthy example to emulate, especially in these times when being a faithful Catholic often means being countercultural.  He was a radical in his time and this certainly holds appeal for the modern Catholic who seeks to make his Catholic faith relevant in every aspect of his life.  It is important to remember that St. Francis’ life was one that is in radical conformity and in deep union with the sacrificial life of Christ.  His life was a faithful imitation of Christ, particularly, the crucified Christ.

  5. St. Teresa of Calcutta

    By Parish Transformation Team | Thursday, September 22, 2016

    On September 4, 2016, in the Year of Mercy, St. Teresa of Calcutta was officially canonized by Pope Francis.  Mother Teresa, as she is known to the modern world, is famous for her selfless works of mercy among the poorest of the poor.   

  6. Parish Stories

    St. Gall Parish – Transforming the World into the Kingdom of God

    By Parish Transformation Team | Thursday, September 22, 2016

    Steeped in rich history, St Gall Parish traces its roots back in the 1840’s when German farmers settled in what is now known as Gage Park.  Chicago Archbishop Feehan accepted the suggestion of one of the 132 original parishioners, to name the newest parish in the Chicago southwest side, St. Gall, Father Michael J. Sullivan was appointed as its first pastor in May 1899.   

  7. C.S. Lewis - The Screwtape Letters

    By Parish Transformation Team | Thursday, September 22, 2016

    A brilliant and insightful book, The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis  is a classic tale uniquely narrated in a collection of  witty, humorous  letters from a senior devil, Screwtape, who is mentor to his nephew, “junior tempter” Wormwood.  Screwtape holds an administrative post in the bureaucracy (“Lowerarchy”) of Hell. In keeping with his job to increase malice and misery on Earth, Screwtape advises Wormwood on how to secure the damnation of a young man, the Patient, who is a recent convert to Christianity. 

  8. The Greatest in the Kingdom

    By Parish Transformation Team | Thursday, September 22, 2016

    1a At that time the disciples* approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a child over, placed it in their midst, 3b and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,* you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4cWhoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:1 – 4)

  9. Blessed Mother and the Feast of Her Assumption

    By Parish Transformation Team | Tuesday, August 16, 2016

    Loving someone means knowing more about that person, and understanding that person better, which results in an even greater deepening of that love.  Such is the love that should drive our devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary - our Mother, and the Mother of God.

  10. Parish Stories

    St. Therese Chinese Catholic Church: Cultural Diversity United in Catholic Identity

    By Parish Transformation Team | Tuesday, August 16, 2016

    Located in Chicago’s historic Chinatown, St. Therese Chinese Catholic Church is testimony of cultural diversity united in Catholic identity. In 1904, Italian Americans on Chicago’s near South Side built the Church of Santa Maria Incoronata in the neighborhood now known as Chinatown.  By around 1910, Chinese immigrants started to move into the predominantly Italian American neighborhood.  With more Christian Chinese Americans settling in, the St. Therese Chinese Mission was founded. By the 1960s, the Chinese Christians exceeded in number the Italian Americans in the neighborhood.  With the changing demographics, the Church of Santa Maria Incoronata became the new home of the St Therese Chinese Mission.  Over time, the parish became more ethnically diverse, with Indonesians and other Asians joining the parish.

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