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ST. JAMES Good News IS GREAT News!

 May 27, 2020



Good Day St. James!
We began our St. James Enduring Faith Re-Opening Plan this past Sunday and all has gone smoothly so far. Please review the email message that went out last Friday here for details of the church re-opening, and register at for private prayer or a confession time. We encourage you to sign up for a slot as I believe it will help with getting back a small feeling of normalcy. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we gently move ahead with re-opening plans.
Funerals, baptisms and weddings will resume with 10 or fewer guests, until we are told otherwise. Please contact our office to schedule at 224-345-7200. Fr. Ryan and I are very eager to celebrate these sacraments and will do our best to accommodate everyone.
Additionally, if you belong to a small group Bible study you may resume physical gatherings of 10 or fewer with proper facemasks and hand sanitizing procedures.  Please reach out to your leaders for more details. If you are interested in joining a small Bible study group this summer, Sarra Stanley ( and Matt Marcheschi ( are standing by to help you!
This Sunday, May 31, we celebrate Pentecost, which recalls the birth of church. Please take a moment to read this short reflection offered by parishioner George Ostendorf. It provides a lovely interpretation of Pentecost and of the Holy Spirit who dwells within each of us.  

Most Holy Spirit, you who proceed from the Father and the Son, hear our prayer.
Spirit of Wisdom and Truth, teach us your divine ways.
Give us the strength to overcome our personal shortcomings and other obstacles in our
path to a holy life.
Guide us, counsel us, dwell within us, now and forever.

Thank you for your continued financial support of St. James, and special thanks to those who have migrated to Faith Direct over the past few months. I am grateful for your sacrifices, your patience, and your flexibility as we move along through this pandemic. It has not been easy, but we are together in our efforts, and Fr. Ryan and I are grateful to you all.
And now for your St. James Good News!
  • This past Monday we celebrated Memorial Day. Thank you for sending your pictures that allowed us to create this video to remember our fallen heroes. Watch a lovely tribute video here.
  • Our Rosary Challenge Update is over the top! As a parish we are in the fourth week of celebrating the Blessed Mother Mary in our St. James 2020 Rosary Challenge. We are so happy to announce that our goal of 2,020 rosaries prayed has been surpassed! The Children’s Rosary Zoom group meet-up last night put us over the goal! Way to go kids!! As of Wednesday morning, 5/27, we are currently at: 
2100 Rosaries Prayed in May 2020
If you are just tuning in to this challenge, click here for Fr. Matt’s instructions and you can still add your name to the list. There are four more days this month to pray and see how many rosaries our has said during this month of Mary, May 2020!
All ladies are welcome to join the Women of St. James (WOSJ) TONIGHT at 8 PM via Facebook Live for our final live praying of the rosary. Contact Sarra at for more information.
And look at this RCIA team going strong with their Rosary meet-up last week. They are responsible for adding 16 more names to the list!
  • Our St. James graduates enjoyed their annual May Crowning last week, social-distancing style. Traditionally at the conclusion of mass the grads would sing a rousing rendition of Ave Maria. Because this year that was not possible, watch the technical creativity that allowed this singing tradition to live on! A commemorative video for viewers and students is shown toward the end of the morning announcements here.
  • Our SJS grads came together last Friday night for the ringing of the 2020 (8:20 pm) bells at St. James. Even our Bulldog participated, and all practiced social distancing guidelines. To view the Friday night video please watch our morning school announcements from yesterday, May 26, here.
  • St. James School’s last day of e-learning is this Friday, 5/29. We are thankful for a different kind of wonderful and successful school year. We are grateful for the positivity, grace, and patience the staff, students, and parents have shown, and for the support of the parish during a very unusual time. Should you hear honking and cheers at 12:30 pm on Friday, those are the sounds of our last day of school parade that will route around the neighborhoods of St. James. Give a wave as we drive on past. 😊
Everybody have a safe and happy summer, and let us look forward to (hopefully) seeing everybody back in person this August! Enjoy our final collection of school memories of 2019/2020 here. #thankfulsong #FINDAWAYSJSBulldogs
  • Please remember! As we encounter difficult economic times, I want to ensure our Bulldog families that St. James will FIND A WAY to enable your child or children will remain a student(s) at St. James School. If you are in need of financial assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our controller Barbara at 224-345-7239.
  • We celebrate two St. James School Alums graduating this year from St. Viator High School who have received the highest academic awards in these subjects:
Faith Kuper – English
Daniel Ornelas – Social Studies
Many additional parishioner and St. Viator students received academic achievement, club, activity, athletic and service awards. St. James congratulates all our parishioner winners and wishes everyone much success at their chosen colleges. Always remember that St. James walks with you wherever your paths lead!
  • We also congratulate our beloved parishioner and St. Viator teacher, Kate Costello, who is retiring after 21 years of teaching at the school. In the words of St. Viator school parent, Sharon Dillon:
"Kate is more than a good teacher; she is a true gem to the theater community. Her work ethic, attention to detail, and energetic teaching style have given the St. Viator community years of entertaining productions for all to enjoy. She has the keen ability to make every student look and feel their best on stage. I am very grateful for her positive influence on my daughters’ high school years. She will be missed. Everybody wishes her well during retirement!”
Additionally, Tony Calzaretta Sr., is retiring as Kate’s assistant and “right hand man” for all of these years. Suzy Daugherty, Patron of the Arts President at SVHS has a few words on Kate and Tony’s departure and the impact they made on the community:
When I think of Kate and Tony, loyal dedication and unwavering commitment is what stands out in my mind. Their willingness to be so inclusive to allow not just the highest theater talent, but all students who wanted to give theater a shot. They never turned away students even when the unsuspecting athlete with no experience would show up to audition. They built a large, impressive theater program bringing together students and families across the Viator community that leaves a lasting impression on everybody’s hearts.

Kate always has three goals for a musical production put in a very particular order. Number one was that the students were having fun. Number two was to be inclusive. Number three was to produce an amazing performance that kept audiences coming back to benefit the theater program. Number one and two were the most important, and number three would come naturally provided that fun and inclusivity were achieved.

Tony’s thoughtful guidance wrapped in fatherly love really reinforced the Viator stage as a special home to so many. Although Kate and Tony may not be directing anymore, they both will be front and center in future audiences. I know the students will continue the Viator tradition to make them proud!
Congratulations Kate Costello and Tony Calzaretta! You are forever loved and will be missed at St. Viator High School!
  • Several adorable St. James Alumni returned to St. James last Friday afternoon for an outdoor tour of the campus. We are always so happy to see SJS Alumni come back and visit! 😊
  • And on the topic of alumni, 🎓 We want to hear from you! Did you recently graduate? Get a new job? Receive an award or start your own family? Share with us through our new Alumni Updates page here! #WeAreSJS #SJSAlumni #FindAWay
  • Check out our Facebook feed here for these great educational, entertaining and inspirational chats offered by our Evangelization Team! Everyone will enjoy these short nuggets that remind us of the joys of living!
    • Coffee with Fr. Ryan (Fridays)
    • Motivational Mondays (Mondays)
    • They’re Cute but You’re Stumped! (Wednesdays)
    • Kevin Byrnes offers words of wisdom about the Feast of the Pentecost this week. Check it out!
  • And on the topic of education and entertainment, our Trivia Night Second Edition is THIS FRIDAY! Looking for something fun to do during the stay-at-home order? Join us for our 2nd Live Virtual Trivia Night on May 29. Call up your former teammates or find new ones for this night of fun and laughter! As of today we have over 90 people registered! Learn more and register here:
  • Mental Illness Resources: In such a short amount of time, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed our lives and the world around us. St. James wants you to remember that this pandemic is temporary, and that we are praying for you during these emotionally challenging circumstances. Please refer to many online support resources below, including one here for the Archdiocese of Chicago emotional support channel:
Additional Resources
Emotional Resiliency Tips to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recorded webinar: Cultivating our Best Selves in Response to COVID-19.

Religious and Spiritual Resources, compiled by Advocate Aurora Health. Includes information on livestream worship services, online sermons, prayers, meditations and resources for faith leaders.

Resiliency, Health and Well-being Resources, compiled by Advocate Aurora Health. Includes guides, toolkits, resiliency tips, webinars, meditation resources and more.

Mental Health Ministries provides information about COVID-19 and mental health resources.

Action for Happiness Calendar offers monthly calendars, packed with actions you can take to help create a happier and kinder world.
  • St. James Family Connection will make your summer better! St. James Family Connection aims to steer your family into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Family Connection is a simple discussion journey through the Gospel of Mark, supplemented with short readings form the Old and New Testaments. After the readings, a short reflection is presented and is followed by a challenge for the children. The challenge goal is always to grow in virtue: to do something nice for someone, to serve in some way, or to pray. We believe this summer program, which starts June 1st, will help your family grow closer to God. 

    Please reach out to Kevin Byrnes, Coordinator of Children's Formation, for more information and materials. Kevin can be reached at or 224-345-7217. All families are invited to participate!
  • Our fourth and final new song is here for your personal video instruction. Over the past four weeks, Tam Conseur, Director of Music Ministry, has offered a weekly video clip of a new song that he will incorporate into future masses. Beautiful Savoir is the name of the final new piece, and do not forget that singing is good for the soul, mind, body, and spirit!
  • Text-to-Give makes giving super easy! Once you set up your account to enable text donations (which takes less than two minutes) you are good to go. Please consider text-to-give to make financial gifts to St. James even easier! Regular electronic donations are taken at We appreciate your support and generosity!
  • Remember that while the parish office remains closed to in-person business, we are available for you every day! We happily continue to take mass remembrances, sick list requests, and answer questions from our parishioners by phone and email. You may reach our front desk staff in the following ways:
  • Email
  • Email Flo Trunk, Office Manager, directly at
  • Call the front desk at 224-345-7200 – leave a message if no answer as messages are checked routinely
  • Call Flo Trunk directly at 224-345-7206 – leave a message if no answer as messages are checked routinely 
We can leave a mass card taped to the outer front office door for a no-touch pick-up. There is a lockbox to the left of the door if you wish
  • Join us for ADORE at 7:00 pm tomorrow night, and every Thursday night at
Remember that mass is said daily at 9:03 am Monday through Saturday. Wednesday is our dedicated children’s mass throughout the summer. Saturday we broadcast a live 5 pm traditional mass, and Sunday we broadcast a live 10 am contemporary mass. Thursday evening Adore begins at 7 pm. All of these services are found at our home page:
I hope you are getting outside to enjoy the sudden summer-like weather. Take time to pray for all of those in need of healing, for our nation’s leaders, and for all of the graduates who have made their own special year-end memories this month. The staff, Fr. Ryan, and I look forward to finally seeing many of you for church prayer and confessions this week.
Continue to stay in touch and remain in the Lord’s safe embrace.

Your Servant in Christ,
Fr. Matt
Copyright © 2020 St James Parish Arlington Heights, All rights reserved.

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