Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- This is just a short note regarding the possibility of a donated home in Park Forest to Saint Irenaeus Parish. Members of the parish should strongly consider supporting the acceptance of this home.
First, this may seem like an odd commentary for our non-Catholic brothers and sisters. Those from other Christian denominations, as well as our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters, are accustomed to weighing in on decisions in their congregations.
Not so much, and not so often, for us Catholics. In the past, some decisions have been, well, decided for us.
But not so much St. Irenaeus.
This evening, at 5:00 p.m. mass, just before the final blessing, Fr. Terry Johnson spoke to members of the congregation in attendance. He will, presumably, speak at masses Sunday as well.
A family wishes to donate a Park Forest home to St. Irenaeus Parish. The home, once renovated, would become the residence for the current pastor, as well as future pastors of the parish community. The parish would be responsible for taxes due up to taking ownership of the property. The parish would also be responsible for costs associated with the renovation and Village codes. Expenses, thereafter, would be limited to normal maintenance of the house.
The exact location and the identity of those offering the home are not being disclosed at this time. Parishioners are being invited to respond to a one-question survey. In essence, do you approve of the parish assuming ownership of a Park Forest home to be used for the residence of the pastor?
So, what becomes of 78 Cherry Street, the current residence, parish office, and more?
That building would be transformed into a parish center. The parish office would remain at that location. For the foreseeable future, the Food Pantry and other activities would remain in the former school building. After the proposed move of the pastor to the home in Park Forest, 78 Cherry Street would see more use by the parish.
The donation sounds like a win-win for the parish community, and the pastor would move to a single level home in Park Forest. There are other Catholic parishes throughout the country that have seen similar changes. Having the pastor live in a house, a home, as opposed to the old-style, institutional dormitory structure seen in the Catholic Church through the years would be welcome.
And, shall we say, a blessing. For the parish, the current pastor, and pastors to follow.
It’s an investment in the future of St. Irenaeus.
Welcoming a pastor into one of our Park Forest neighborhoods would, likewise, be a plus for the community.
Members of St. Irenaeus may respond to the short survey after mass, or take the half sheet of paper home and sit with it, discuss it, pray about it. There is space for comments, and a line for an optional signature.
As our churches continue to grown and evolve, this sounds like a very nice addition to the St. Irenaeus parish community.
Gary Kopycinski is editor and publisher of eNews Park Forest, and a parishioner at St. Irenaeus. Follow him on Twitter at @GaryKopycinski and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FrodoJRR, or email him at [email protected]. He served as a village trustee in Park Forest from 2003-2006, and then again from 2007-2015. He is not a candidate in the April 4, 2017, Consolidated Election.
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