November 20, 2016

Our Centennial celebration will officially start on Thursday, December 8.

Now you know that is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and a Holy Day of Obligation, but why would we choose to start our year-long celebration on a Thursday in December

Well, as it turns out, December 8 is an important date in our parish’s 100-year history.   In 1918, it was the date of the first Mass in the original St. Raymond Church on Douglas Street.  And 36 years later, it was the date of the first Mass in the Cathedral in 1954.  Both of those liturgies were huge milestones for our parish, so it is  fitting to begin our Centennial on this date.

Our celebration, as always, is centered around the  liturgy.  Bishop Conlon will  be our principal celebrant at the 7:00 p.m. Mass. The Cathedral choir will lead us in Marian hymns , and we have invited parishioners who are descendants of founding families to participate in the liturgy.

Before Mass, we have plans for a candlelight  congregational procession from the Centennial Walkway to the Cathedral.  This is a bit of a nod to the Eucharistic Procession they had in 1954 to transfer the Eucharist from the Douglas Street church to the Cathedral.

At 6:30 p.m., we’ll gather as a community near the    archway on the east side of our campus. Fr. Brad Baker will lead us west on Douglas and north on Raynor to the Cathedral.  Along the way, the procession will stop briefly at the cornerstone of the original building to commemorate Fr.  Scanlon and the founding families. There will be candlelight, songs and bells.  It should be a remarkable and stirring way to come together as a community.  Please join us for a very special evening.

If the weather isn’t suitable for a walk around the block, we’ll modify as needed.  And if you prefer not to join the procession, feel free to head straight into the Cathedral.  

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In preparation for our Centennial, we’ve been looking to see what needs an extra bit of spit and polish.  Last week we fixed the Cathedral ceiling (don’t forget to look up to see how we did!), and we purchased some new liturgical supplies.  Specifically, we have replaced the processional candle sticks and the sensor.    After 25 years of use, those items were beyond polishing no matter how much elbow grease was used.  (It’s funny to think that the servers who first used those items in 1991 are now all pushing 40.)  Art and Joan Siegel also found a vendor to refurbish the custom altar candle sticks that were made in 1991 as well.  They will be part of the Christmas art and environment.

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This is our first weekend to distribute tags for our annual Giving Tree.  Mary Wollgast and her team will be distributing tags after all Masses this weekend—and next.   After seeing how quickly the tags went last year, Mary sought additional organizations that might have some folks who could use a little Christmas cheer.  The Senior Services Center provided 100 additional names as did the Boys and Girls Club.  That means we’ll have more than 800 folks counting on our community.  Please stop by the table to see whose Christmas you can   brighten.

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And lastly, we want to give you the heads up that we are changing the Christmas Eve Vigil Mass times to 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.    In both cases, this is an hour    earlier than in past years.

While we fully expect 3:00 p.m. Mass in both the Cathedral and the gymnasium to be filled to capacity as in the past, our hope is that the 4:30 p.m. Mass in the Cathedral will also be a big draw.  You’ll be able to  attend Mass  and still get to your family dinner before all of the appetizers are gone.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week with those you love!

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



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