Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Update on Lighting 2017

In my last update on the church lighting project I relayed the decision to install the new lights down the center aisle instead of their present position. The benefit of this decision was that we would be able to use the existing catwalk in the attic of the church for servicing the light fixtures, instead of building 20 new catwalks that would have reached out to the present light locations. Upon further study we learned that the existing catwalk is not centered, and as such, would be in the way of the new lights. This means that some modifications will have to be made to the catwalk to allow sufficient clearance for the new lights.

A meeting was held at Saint Andrew for all the companies that were bidding, to go over the plans, and to do a walkthrough of the main church, the attic and basement. Three companies submitted their bids, each with different estimates on cost of materials and installation. The lowest of the three bids came in at $250,000, which is $100,000 more than what was originally estimated. While that may sound like bad news, there is a reason for the higher cost, and there’s actually some good news to share as well.

As is often the case with any remodeling, whether it is a church or a home, there are additional costs that were never anticipated when preparing a budget. These are the “oh no” moments that happen when you finally get a look behind the wall, or under the subflooring. Such was the case with the church lighting as I mentioned with the catwalk. But, it also meant that other modifications were going to be necessary. There is a steel framework that holds up the church ceiling. One of the discoveries we made was that the light fixtures would not fit into the existing steel framework. Modifications will need to be made to the steel framework to allow for the lights to be dropped into their new location. So between the catwalk and steel framework modifications, as well as removing the old light fixtures and covering up the holes, there is a significant amount of construction work that needs to be done. About $72,000 of the total $250,000 is for this construction work alone. If it weren’t for this additional work that needs to be done, the bid would have been very close to the original estimate.

As I mentioned though, there is some good news. While this project moved at a slower pace than we had planned, it has actually worked to our benefit. If you remember when we had the ceiling tile fall in the church, our insurance company was advising that we have every tile physically inspected. This was projected to be a huge expense. With the passing of time our insurance company no longer feels it necessary to have every tile inspected. Instead, when the old light fixtures are being removed, only the old tiles immediately around the fixtures will be inspected, as they are the ones that would most likely be in need of repair. This new plan will save us a tremendous amount of money.

The Finance Council has been updated on the status of the church lighting project and on the $250K bid and the reason for the higher cost. They


have recommended that we move forward with the project. The rational for this recommendation included the fact that we need to show progress soon on this proj


ect to help keep the momentum of the capital campaign. And secondly, we may find that the cost of one of the other projects may come in less than we estimated, which would offset the higher cost of the lights.


The Archdiocese of Chicago has approved the project, both the scope as well as the funding. I hope to receive a contract for me to sign within the next few days. Once that happens, it will be about 8 weeks for the light fixtures to be delivered. Our plan would be that the new lights would be installed before Christmas.

Thank you to all who have contributed to our capital campaign, Enrich-Expand-Grow. Please keep those redemptions coming. The faster they come in, the sooner we will be able to get started on the other projects. If you have not yet made a pledge to Enrich-Expand-Grow, it is not too late! We need your help. You can still participate and help us achieve our goal. For more information please go to and click on the Enrich-Expand-Grow section for more information, or contact Julie Richards at

-Fr. Sergio Romo

Date at the Lake 2017

Date at the Lake 2017

Thanks to everyone who came out Saturday to help make A Date at the Lake such a great success!

Were you there, but didn’t get a chance to sign up for all the parties you want to attend?
Or did you miss the event, but still want to partake in the parties?


2017 Running of the Bulldogs 5k

You can now register for the Saint Andrew Parish Running of the Bulldogs 5K & Kids Fun Run!
Sunday, October 22, 2017

Purchase your race registration, sign up to volunteer, and become a sponsor here.


Welcome Deacon Mark

Hello! I’m Deacon Mark Purdome, and I’m excited to join the St. Andrew community.

After raising our two daughters in Gurnee, my wife Bridget and I, along with our dog Shadow, recently moved to Chicago as empty-nesters. We’re looking forward to living the city lifestyle, enjoying the restaurants and entertainment just outside our door.


I was ordained in 2007, and for the last 10 years I was assigned to St. Paul the Apostle, Gurnee. I would say that my spirituality tends to lean toward joy and awe at the opportunity to come together as a community to serve the Lord. I find myself frequently repeating the opening of Psalm 100: “Shout joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness”.

For both work and hobbies, I am a bit of a geek. I’ve done things ranging from Unix operating system development to telephony call processing. For the last 14 years, I’ve been the IT manager for a small non-profit foundation in the northern suburbs. Bridget is a spiritual director and is responsible for spiritual care at three transitional living facilities for people with HIV/AIDS in the Chicago area. Shadow (the dog) is responsible for greeting everyone with an enthusiastic tail-wag and defending our city against rabbits.

It is a great time to be together as a community, and I’m excited and thankful to call St. Andrew “home”. I hope to get to know all of you in the coming months.

Parish Wide Curriculum 2017

Finding God – Parish- Wide Enrichment

One of the primary responsibilities of a parish community is to foster the faith of its parishioners through religious education. Mistakenly, this is sometimes reduced to merely having a parish school and/or a K-8 Religious Education program, but in fact, the responsibility extends to all ages as we pursue the knowledge of and relationship with God.
But how do we do that and what will we study?

Thankfully, our parish now has a unified curriculum that extends across the entire parish through Loyola Press’ Finding God series. This series is built on a spiraling curriculum that enriches the capacity of each student year by year over set themes. Both our parish school and K-8 Religious Education programs have adopted this curriculum, which provides a strong framework for the rest of the parish. For the first time, our parish bulletin, homilies, classrooms, media, and adult education opportunities will have a common theme from which to draw and every subgroup will be having variations on the same subject at the same time.

This is not only helpful for efficiency of planning, but it also makes sense when offering parents and adults opportunities for faith formation. If you have a child or grandchild in our K-8 programs, you may sometimes wonder how to answer the questions they have about what they are studying in religion class. How beneficial it would be to have a corresponding program for adults that offers broader context to what is going on in the classroom. How much more helpful is it when articles found in the bulletin and on social media reinforce the conversations our teachers are having with their students.

From now until late October, we will be focusing on the first unit of the Finding God curriculum entitled “God our Father and Creator.” During this period, we will be emphasizing the conversations about who God is, how we come to know God, especially through creation.
If you would like a more in-depth presentation to accompany this conversation, you are invited to attend our “God our Father and Creator” session for adults on Sunday, October 15 from 8:50am to 9:50am or on Thursday, October 19 at 7:00pm. Both presentations will be in the Social Hall.

In future weeks and months, please be mindful of the united conversation we will have between our students, families, and parishioners as we continue to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ.

There will be similar presentations for adults during all of the months listed in the parish-wide curriculum below. Please join us in growing as disciples together.

To read more about the overall curriculum, visit


Harvest Food Drive 2017

Harvest Food Drive – September 9 & 10

During the weekend of September 9 and 10 after all masses at Saint Andrew, we will be collecting items (at the back of Church) focussed on the autumn harvest. If you can donate vegetables that are found in season (onions, potatoes, peppers, greens, etc) all contributions will go directly to the Saint Mary of the Lake Food Pantry.

Stop by the table to learn more about the good work Saint Vincent de Paul Society is doing.


Greater Chicago Food Depository

Saint Andrew parishioners regularly volunteer at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Serving at the depository helps alleviate the problem of people experiencing food insecurity in the Chicago area and our neighborhood specifically. Hours spent helping at the Food Depository help amass credits that purchase food for St. Mary of the Lake Food Pantry.

Trips are scheduled and announced in our bulletin and e-bulletin. To join one of our scheduled service times, contact Nancy Holland by completing the form below.

Upcoming Dates for Saint Andrew at the Food Depository:

Saturday, September 16, 2017, from 8 am to 11am

The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago’s food image1bank, is a nonprofit food distribution and training center providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community. The Food Depository, founded in 1979, makes a daily impact across Cook County with a network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, mobile programs, children’s programs, older adult programs and innovative responses that address the root causes of hunger. Last year, the Food Depository distributed 70 million pounds of shelf-stable food, fresh produce, dairy products and meat, the equivalent of 160,000 meals every day.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository depends on volunteers to assist with breaking down large quantities of food into smaller, more manageable sizes to be distributed to the above mentioned programs. By having volunteers, they are able to keep their number of full time employees low and use that money to purchase additional food to send out to the local pantries. In addition, for each volunteer that attends, our own local food pantries get ‘food credit’ to use towards purchasing whatever additional foods they need to assist with their local fight to end hunger. When you volunteer, you are fighting to end hunger at a local and regional level!



Interest Form in serving at the Greater Chicago Food Depository with Saint Andrewn
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Date at the Lake 2017

Date at the Lake 2017

Registration is now open for the Date at the Lake fundraiser on Saturday, September 23, 2017 including our Golf Outing at Sydney Marovitz Golf Course, Clubhouse Mingle, and Party.  For more information and to register visit (more…)

The Bible and Charlottesville

The Bible and Charlottesville

Originally, I had written a completely different article for this week’s bulletin and then the events of Charlottesville last weekend erupted to my horrified dismay. How are we still embattled in conflicts which are hinged on the premise that one race has a “right” or a “privilege” that exceeds those of another’s?
I doubt that many individuals who read this will be sympathetic the white nationalist movements, so I do not feel there is a need to argue about the fallacy of their position. When flag bearers wave Nazi symbols in the open, there is a general consensus that something has run amok.
I also don’t think the parish or the world needs another opinion article about racism. You should have already (or at least I hope) and probably have been inundated with personal experiences, antidotes, philosophies and opinions about the need to support the equality of all people.
What I do feel is pertinent for us to reflect upon as a parish is where the call to inclusion, for acceptance of immigrants, foreigners, and any person of a different race comes from in the Bible and in Church teaching. Luckily, in terms of supporting material, I didn’t have to look much farther than this weekend’s scriptures.
In the First Reading (IS 56:1,6-7) from today’s scripture the prophet Isaiah states “The foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, ministering to him, loving the name of the LORD and becoming his servants – who keep the Sabbath from profanation and hold to my covenant, them [the foreigners] I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be acceptable on my altar, for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
Is there anything more clear? Who has the privilege of right relationship with God before God’s holy altar? Is it a privileged race? No. Not at all. The prophet Isaiah declares that the covenant with God belongs to those who do the will of God, even if those individuals are foreigners. There is no privilege guaranteed to race. Anyone who places race as a privilege right ahead of the will of God does violence to the will of God.
Later in the Gospel reading for today (MT 15:21-28), a very subtle articulation of this same theme comes through in the actions of Jesus in response to a foreigner who seeks his help. In a playful twist, Jesus even tips his hand toward the perceived prejudice of privilege saying “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” By Jesus’ words, you would think he would deny the foreign woman any benefit, but her faith was so strong that Jesus participated in the healing of her daughter. Again, the race, the nationality, the creed did not matter and it shouldn’t for us either.
In the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching, the Catechism, the Tradition of the Church, and numerous other Biblical passages, we can see the same theme arising over and over again. The Kingdom of God does not have room for bigotry and perverse tribalism, no matter who the tribe is.
Hopefully, there is a moral voice inscribed in your heart that echoes this truth, but part of the service of the Church to us, the disciples of Jesus, is for the Church to remind us that the internal voice crying out for justice has been ratified repeatedly by the sacred writings and actions of the Church. What remains to be ratified is for us to have an unquenched response to justice in our world not by arguing more craftily in a Tweet or taunting others for their political positions but by being instruments of peace, instruments of reconciliation, and instruments of love. If we as Church can contribute this to the conversation and public actions of our society, then like the Canaanite woman in today’s Gospel, our faith will heal us.
-Davi d Heimann, Pastoral Associate

When Things Change – New Mass Schedule

When Things Change – Our New Mass Schedule

I see my nieces and nephews rather frequently. Becaus

Change, Same Green Road Sign Over Dramatic Clouds and Sky.

e of this, it is sometimes hard for me to notice how much they have grown and matured. It’s only when I look back at a photo from a few years ago that I am keenly aware of the changes that have occurred. At other times, one of them might say or do something that gives me a sense of how far they have matured in their emotional development.
Somewhere deep in my heart, there is a place where nothing ever changes. It’s in this world that my nieces and nephews are perpetually five years old and they will always remain the same. But sometimes I get a sense of how much they have grown and matured and I find myself having to reconcile my heart’s image of them with reality.

This dynamic of perceiving things are always the same can play itself out in other areas of our lives as well, whether at work, in relationships or even in our experience of Saint Andrew Parish. Whether we are lifelong parishioners or whether have been here for just a few years, it can at times be difficult to notice the changes that have been taking place. I’d like to draw your attention to two of them.

One change has been the decrease in attendance at Sunday Masses. It’s not a change that is unique to Saint Andrew. Currently we average around 750 people attending the five Masses we have on a weekend. Just a few years ago we were averaging 875. Studies have been done which point to various reasons for the decline in Mass attendance across the country. While there are various factors that a parish may have some control over to improve attendance, there are others where it has little or no control, such as the prevailing culture that increasingly does not place a value on religious practices.

The second change has taken place over the last few months. For the first time, probably since the first years of our parish’s history, Saint Andrew has only one full-time priest assigned to the parish. While we do have the assistance of our resident priests, Fr. Arlin and Fr. Agustin, and the weekend help provided by Fr. Alec and Fr. Ted, there are times when they are unavailable to help with sacramental needs. For example, Fr. Arlin is a chaplain at Presence St Joseph Hospital and is often on call. Fr. Agustin is away this summer doing mission appeals for his diocese. Fr. Alec occasionally is away at a conference or in another country helping a diocese with their canonical affairs. I am grateful for the assistance Deacon Eric provides, but as a deacon he is not able to say Mass, hear confessions or anoint the sick.
Combined, these two changes require us to make some adaptations to our Mass schedule. For the Sunday Masses, all will remain the same, except for the 11:30am Mass. In the past, we have suspended this Mass just for the summer months. In our new Mass schedule, the 11:30 am Mass will be suspended indefinitely. We will continue to have the 4:00 pm Vigil Mass on Saturday, and the 8:00 am, 10:00 am and 5:30 pm Masses on Sunday.

In the weekday Mass schedule, there will make two alterations. We will no longer have an 8:00 am Mass on Saturday mornings. This is in part due to the other scheduled sacramental work expected of a priest on Saturday. Secondly, we will be changing the morning Mass time for most weekday Masses. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, we will celebrate Mass at 8:00 am instead of 9:00 am. On Wednesday the Mass will remain at 9:00 am to accommodate the all school Mass. This new Mass schedule will take effect the week of August 27th, 2017.

The adaptation of the Mass schedule is not merely a reaction to the changes I mentioned above. We are making these adaptations in hopes of advancing our experience of the Mass. When 750 people attending Masses on a weekend in a church that seats 650 people, it means there are some Masses where there are less than 100 people in attendance. This makes it hard to visualize and experience a sense of community and our identity as members of the Body of Christ when only a few people are in a large church. The change to the 8:00 am Masses during the week will make it possible for people who work downtown and/or parents dropping off their children at school to attend daily Mass.

In addition to the changes to the Mass schedule, we will be working on other improvements to other areas of the liturgy in the near future. More information will be made available throughout the year.

I am sorry for the inconvenience that the new Mass schedule may cause to some of our parishioners. As I studied the results of our Mass survey and prayed for guidance from the Holy Spirit, I found this to be the most difficult decision I’ve had to make as a pastor, even more difficult than budgetary ones. Please pray for an increase of vocations to the priesthood. Every year around 30 priests retire, die or leave the priesthood, with only 5 to 12 being ordained to replace them. We need more good priests. Please encourage someone to consider priesthood as a vocation.
-Fr. Sergio Romo