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Letter from Fr. Darrio

January 17, 2021:

I’m surprised our Christmas lights are still shining brightly each night.  We were told by the Installation Company, that they would be taken down shortly after January 15th, which was last Friday.  Keep enjoying them while you still can.

Remember that our weekend schedule of Masses is as follows: Saturdays at 5 pm and Sundays at 7:30 am, 9:30 am, and 11:30 am.  Our 5:30 pm Mass on Sunday evenings is still suspended.  We might resume it again in the coming months, if there seems to be a need for it.  You MUST REGISTER to attend Mass, either by going to our website: www.stedna.org or by calling the Office at 1.847.398.3362.  Only 110 people are allowed to attend each Mass because of social distancing.  Please arrive early, since it will take some time to check-in at the kiosks that are set up inside the Main Portico entrance ONLY.    View the four-minute video on our website to understand what returning to St. Edna Church will be like for the duration of this pandemic. 

Weekday Masses are celebrated Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8 a.m.  Only 40 attendees are allowed at each Mass and each person must register to attend by either going to our parish website at www.stedna.org or by calling the Office 1.847.398.3362.

Deacon Joe Yannotta leads Morning Prayer in Church (with the distribution of Holy Communion) on Thursdays at 8 a.m.  Again, you must register to attend (see above).

Our weekday Communion Services are at 6:45 a.m., Monday through Friday.  Each Service concludes by 7:00 a.m. so commuters can catch their trains.  The readings of the day are proclaimed, and Holy Communion is distributed.  An attendant at our Kiosk will check you in each morning and an usher will seat you.

PRIVATE PRAYER time in Church is available Monday through Friday for fifteen minutes each morning (from 7:15 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.).  Only 10 people are allowed inside the Church during that Private Prayer time.  You must register to attend.  You can find a link on our website Home Page www.stedna.org to register electronically or you can call the Parish Office at 1.847.398.3362 and leave your name and phone number.  We will call you to confirm your Prayer Time request.

Thank you for understanding why you must you register to attend Mass or Morning Prayer or Private Prayer----so we have the information needed for possible virus contact-tracing.

CONFESSIONS are available by appointment.  I am available five mornings a week (every morning except Sunday and Thursday) from 7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and four evenings a week (every evening except Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday) from 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm.  Call the Office (1.847.398.3362) and leave your first name and your phone number.  I will call you back (or one of our secretaries) to set up a definite day and time for you to come and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Be sure you are wearing a face mask.  Enter the Church Vestibule from the Main Church front doors (under the Portico).  That is the only entrance that will be unlocked.

Every First Friday I administer the Sacrament of ANOINTING OF THE SICK after the 8 a.m. Mass.  If you are seriously ill in mind, body or soul, please attend Mass on First Fridays and receive the Anointing of the Sick after Mass in the Narthex near the Holy Family Statue.

Please know that you can enter Church ONLY from the Main Portico Entrance and will have to exit from the doors at the West end of the Narthex.  The West end washrooms are the only washrooms available for use, the others at the east end of the Narthex are locked and unavailable.  Every other Church pew has been roped off to assure social distancing and markers have been placed on the open pews so people stay at least 6 feet apart.  These measures are being taken to ensure that our Church building is a safe, sanitary place for you to pray in. 

For those who would like to pray before the Blessed Sacrament, please know that our original 1965 St. Edna Tabernacle (with the Blessed Sacrament inside) is positioned in the NORTH window of the Holy Family Shrine niche.  Feel free, day or night, to stop for a while and pray.  Please know that this space is not meant for public gatherings, but for private prayer.  We must comply with physical distancing directives.  It’s a beautiful thing seeing so many people stopping to pray, day and night.  We also have a framed Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a beautiful Blessed Mother statue positioned to the left and to the right of the Narthex window Tabernacle.    

Thanks for keeping our Outreach Ministry going.  This is dependent on you and your generosity with groceries.  Please keep our shelves filled so we can continue helping the poor.  Place your grocery donations in the covered storage bins between the benches near OFFICE ENTRANCE (Door #6).  Our maintenance crew brings the food into the building each morning.  Now that the weather is colder, please refrain from placing items in these bins that could freeze overnight.  Outreach food DISTRIBUTION takes place SATURDAY MORNINGS, from 9 a.m. until noon.

Our St. Edna Parish Office is open for essential business Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

30 of our young people received Jesus for the first time over the last few months.  It was a total pleasure celebrating their First Holy Communions.  Our other students have opted to wait until Spring.

100 of our Parish teens were Confirmed at four separate Masses on Saturday, October 31st, Saturday, November 7th and Saturday, November 21st.  Be proud of our Parish teens. They are REMARKABLE young people.

Our Religious Education Summer Intensive will still take place this year but our annual Vacation Bible School will not occur until 2022.  Our “Taste of St. Edna” outdoor Fest on our parking lot (with a band, beer tent, games for the kids and plenty of food) should take place on Saturday, June 12th.  Our Fall Craft Fair is scheduled for October 23-24th.  SNACK Theater has postponed their wonderful performances for now.  Hopefully they can take place later this year. 

Outside of Office Entrance Door #6 (mounted on the brick column) is a security/mail/drop box for you to place your weekly donation envelopes in.  Thank you everyone!  Your generosity has been wonderful and amazingPlease consider increasing your weekly offering just a bit, so we can continue to make it through this pandemic.  You can still mail your envelopes in to us, if that is easier for you, or you might want to consider electronic giving, if that is easier.  There is a Give Central link on our website (it is safe!) for those considering electronic giving.  Parishioners who donate using Give Central really love it.

We email a Parish ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER every Wednesday to all parishioners.  It’s free!  If you haven’t received it yet, it’s because we don’t have your current email address (or maybe it has gone into your junk/spam email).  Contact us so we can update our records and send you this wonderful form of communication.    

Recorded Mass from St. Edna is available each Sunday morning on our website and on Facebook.  We pray at these Masses, a Spiritual Communion, for those at home unable to physically receive the Body and Blood of Christ.  Remember, Cardinal Cupich has extended, until further notice, the dispensation relieving us during this time of pandemic, of the Obligation to physically get ourselves to Church for Sunday Mass.  Several other Mass options are available on TV and on-line for you to consider.  A whole list of them are mentioned on the home page of our website.  Various prayer options are also listed.  There is also an on-line ALPHA program that you can be part of as an added way of drawing closer to Jesus Christ. Take a look each day at the Archdiocese of Chicago website www.archchicago.org for the latest information regarding decisions that we must abide by.  On their website you can also click on the link to view daily Mass from Holy Name Cathedral.

Please keep praying for an end to this global pandemic.  Thank God a vaccine is beginning to be distributed and administered.  Many of our parishioners have now received the first shot of the vaccine.  Continue praying for those in the medical “front lines” who are struggling right now.  Some of them are our parishioners. Please follow all safety precautions to keep yourselves well.  Do your part to eradicate this pandemic.

Each week a few more people bravely return to our Parish for Mass, realizing we are a safe place to worship in.  We welcome everyone back with great joy.  It is good having people back on our campus grounds and in our beautiful Church.  Enjoy the week ahead, everyone.  Stay safe and well and do what you can to keep the peace during this week of Presidential transition.  God bless our Nation.

Fr. Darrio