March 6, 2016

Any birthday is great but Saturday birthdays are the very best. 
You get a whole day to revel in your birthdayness without worrying about school or work.

So aren’t we lucky to be celebrating our 100th birthday on Saturday, July 1, 2017?  A Saturday birthday during a summer holiday weekend!  This truly is a once-in-a-century occasion!

After much discussion, we’ve decided the best way to  celebrate this day is with a big ol’ party where we invite everyone who has ever been a part of the St. Raymond community from near and far to come together for a   weekend of fun--a true Homecoming.

At this point, we need to get a basic framework for the Homecoming weekend established so the committee (more on that in a second) has some guidelines to work within.  Last Monday, the Parish Council worked through various options and came up with this plan:

Saturday, July 1, 2017:  This will be a full-day-and-night of fun and entertainment on parish grounds.  During the day, we’ll have all sorts of family-oriented activities and in the evening, we’ll have live music under the stars.

Sunday, July 2, 2017:  We’ll have a special Homecoming Mass at 11:00 a.m. in the Cathedral.  We’ll invite all of the priests who either belonged to the parish or served here to concelebrate.

After Mass, we’ll head outside for a Sunday afternoon and evening party with plenty to entertain old and young alike.  Throughout both days, there will be great food and drink to add to the celebration.

It’s going to be great fun to plan this over the next 15       all-too-short months.  We need to establish a planning group now to start fleshing out the weekend.

While this isn’t Oktoberfest (it’s all ages and not a        fundraiser), there are a lot of correlations between the planning for the two events.  We will borrow upon the   Oktoberfest committee’s format and look for folks to head up committees like these:  facilities, bar, entertainment, decorations, tickets, publicity, alumni more.

If you would like to serve on the Homecoming Committee, please email me this week at or call 815-722-6653, extension 242.   Once we have a good group together, we’ll meet (probably the week of April 17) to brainstorm and get the ball rolling.

It’s important that this committee reflect our community, so we need a good mix of folks to volunteer to help lead this event.  If you have worked on something like this (here or somewhere else) we need your experience.  If you’ve never done this kind of work, we need your fresh eyes.

Our intention is to make this a  don’t-miss, schedule-the-vacation-around-it, call-in-the-old-friends,  be-there-or-be-square destination event.  Come help us!

And speaking of birthdays, our very own Fr. Elizeo Nthalika is celebrating a milestone birthday on March 20.  It’s milestone because his age will end in a zero (and no it’s not 20 or 30...though with his youthful appearance, those are fair guesses.) and because it is his first birthday in the USA, and it’s his first birthday on the First Day of Spring.  (They don’t really have spring in Malawi.)  If you have a chance to extend good wishes, I’m sure he’d appreciate it.

Have a great week and be sure to call or email me this week!

Eileen Hooks Gutierrez
Director of Development,
815-722-6653, extension 242



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