Important Parish Update 6-23-20

We have been notified by a very conscientious parishioner that we have had a positive Covid diagnosis. Following CDC guidelines, we are advising all who were exposed to self-quarantine (these people have been notified) until June 29, 2020. This period covers 14 days from exposure which occurred on June 14. For this reason, all Masses with attendees are suspended until June 29th. Mass will be live streamed as before until that time. We thank you for your patience. Prayers for all who contract the virus. Should any of the rest of you test positive please let us know we would be most grateful. 

Read the articles posted by the USCCB here regarding racism.

Dear St. John Neumann Family,

What else can I say but a BIG thank you!! We have been under stay-at-home orders for more than ten weeks. As your pastor, I had numerous concerns from the beginning of our campus closure. I was concerned for your spiritual nourishment and physical health. I was concerned that we about staying engaged as a community, meeting the needs of those struggling, praying that our elderly did not feel forgotten, and keeping the parish running financially. It has been a whirlwind of transition for us all. I want to thank you, our parishioners, for the numerous ways you have stepped up to support St. John Neumann.

Financially, April was a full month of no public masses, and the fact that we received about 71% of the budgeted collection is outstanding. We were able to obtain a Small Business Administration loan under the Paycheck Protection Program, which ensures paying our staff through  mid-June. I am overwhelmed by your generosity and support, and I am extremely grateful.

The parish staff quickly shifted to working from home to support our community and me in new ways — adapting as the situation required. I am thrilled with their love for God and the community and how they have poured themselves out for us all. To a person, our staff adapted quickly to the unforeseen. They have done an outstanding job. I am immensely thankful.

Our maintenance staff cleaned and disinfected every square inch of our campus. Now that we are reopening for limited public Masses, they continue to help keep things going. I am thankful for their dedication and care.

Please know that we are assessing everything. We are cutting expenses so that we are ready for the eventuality of when PPP does run out. Your continued and consistent support to SJN will help us prepare for the future. If you have not already, please do sign up for Online Giving. Your support is uplifting. I thank you for trusting us to lead you safely through these times as we continue to adapt to the circumstances.

Most importantly, let us continue to pray for each other and allow the Lord to draw us closer to Him and one another. Jesus is the answer to everything. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!

In the Risen Jesus,

Fr. Peck

Wednesday, April 1

SJN’s Pastoral Ministry during COVID-19. These times of isolation call for new kinds of ministry with you, our brothers and sisters in Christ. As a staff, we have targeted 10 new ways to share Christ’s love and triumph with each other (see PDF below). These methods of ministry have at their heart keeping our community healthy and honoring the shelter-in-place guidelines of our government. We have been working to bring these new methods up-to-speed over the last two weeks. Know that you are in our prayers, that we miss you, and that we want you to stay healthy and close to Jesus, Our Lord. A special thanks to the Archdiocese of Washington, who provided the starting point for us in adapting these ideas to our community. Click here for PDF.

Plenary Indulgences

The Holy See recently granted a plenary indulgence to the faithful suffering from Coronavirus, who are subject to quarantine by order of the health authority in hospitals or in their own homes if, with a spirit detached from any sin, they unite spiritually through the media to the celebration of Holy Mass, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, to the pious practice of the Way of the Cross or other forms of devotion, or if at least they will recite the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and a pious invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity towards their brothers and sisters, with the will to fulfil the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy Father’s intentions), as soon as possible.

As well as to Health care workers, family members and all those who, following the example of the Good Samaritan, exposing themselves to the risk of contagion, care for the sick of Coronavirus according to the words of the divine Redeemer:  “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13), will obtain the same gift of the Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions.

And to those faithful who offer a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, Eucharistic adoration or reading the Holy Scriptures for at least half an hour, or the recitation of the Holy Rosary, or the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross, or the recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, to implore from Almighty God the end of the epidemic, relief for those who are afflicted and eternal salvation for those whom the Lord has called to Himself.

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, also announced after the Angelus prayer on Sunday, March 22, that this coming Friday, March 27, at 6:00 pm, he will preside over a moment of prayer on the sagrata of Saint Peter’s Basilica, before the empty square.  He invites everyone to participate spiritually through the means of communication. We will listen to the Word of God, we will lift up our supplication, we will adore the Blessed Sacrament, with which at the end, he will give the Urbi et Orbi blessing, to which will be connected the possibility of receiving the plenary indulgence.

A plenary indulgence validly obtained, grants the remission of all temporal punishment due to sin.

A plenary indulgence is obtained by: 

-carrying out one of the external acts listed above

-sacramental confession (as soon as possible)

-receiving Holy Communion (as soon as possible)

-praying for the Holy Father’s intentions

Perfect Contrition

Where the individual faithful find themselves in the painful impossibility of receiving sacramental absolution, it should be remembered that perfect contrition, coming from the love of God, beloved above all things, expressed by a sincere request for forgiveness (that which the penitent is at present able to express) and accompanied by votum confessionis, that is, by the firm resolution to have recourse, as soon as possible, to sacramental confession, obtains forgiveness of sins, even mortal ones (cf. CCC, no. 1452).

Perfect contrition means a sorrow for sin out of love for God.  It does not mean being “perfectly sorry.”

Perfect contrition is sorrow for sin out of love for God and His goodness, whereas imperfect contrition (while still a gift of God) is sorrow for sin due to a fear of hell, judgment and punishment (CCC 1452-1453).

Act of Spiritual Communion

 It is a beautiful and praiseworthy tradition to recite an act of spiritual communion when one is unable, for whatever reason, to receive Holy Communion.  Below is an act of spiritual communion composed by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri.

My Jesus,  I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.  I love You above all things,  and I desire to receive You into my soul.  Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,  come at least spiritually into my heart.  I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.  Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

More information from the Diocese of Rockford 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Dear St. John Neumann Parishioners,

Due to the current pandemic, our parish offices will be closed beginning Wednesday, March 18, at 5pm. The best way to reach parish staff is leave a voicemail on our parish office number, which will be monitored daily, or our parish email at parish@sjnstcharles.org.

We ask all parishioners to direct donations of food or other items directly to the organizations in our community, such as Hesed House, Lazarus House and Salvation Army.  Do not bring physical donations to the parish. Please bring your items to either of these locations. The people who are served by these organizations are still in great need.

Salvation Army
Hesed House
Lazarus House

A special note about your Sunday offertory: 

  • The parish and diocese are committed to continue to pay its staff even though our offices are closed. Guided by the mission of Christ, we feel we must do this.
  • The building, though closed, must still be maintained with water, lights, and other utilities.
  • Like everyone, we still have bills to pay from previous purchases even though we have halted all non-essential orders.
  • Most importantly, we are continuing outreach efforts to the homeless, hungry, and needy in our community via direct monetary and other donations. These children of God will most particularly be hurt by the extenuating circumstances of this pandemic.

As always, we depend on your weekly offertory to make these essential activities happen. We still need your continued donations. Further, if you are blessed to be able to dig deeper and offer more than normal, your help is needed now.

We urge all parishioners to move to our Online Giving resource so that the parish does not lose its revenue to fund outreach ministries, salaries, and other essential efforts. Online Giving will help sustain our Church. It allows you to make your donations, payments, and pledges via your smart device or computer. You can contribute using direct withdrawal (ACH) or credit cards. There is no need to contact your bank or the parish office. The payments are flexible; you can start, stop, and change your contributions at any time. The web site adheres to banking security standards. 

To sign up for Online Giving, visit the following web site and choose “Create New Account” above. Be sure to remember your user name and password. Signing up for Online Giving will ensure that the parish can continue its ministry efforts during this difficult time.

Finally, we are suspending the parish-organized prayers at Planned Parenthood, which we previously announced as continuing. Parishioners are encouraged to continue to pray for an end of all abortions.

We have posted the Facebook Live Rosary for Hope Amidst COVID-19, which we prayed on Monday, to our Facebook videos. Please join us in prayer on this recorded video.

You will continue to be in my prayers: for hope and healing. Your parish is with you in these uncertain times.

In Christ,

Fr. Peck