April 5, 2005
Dear Parishioners and Friends of Queen of Angels Parish,
We see the images of unprecedented numbers offering their prayerful respects to Pope John Paul the Second - Catholics and peoples of other religions as well. In a local and particular way, Cardinal George has invited Catholics of this Archdiocese and all people of good will – as is being done in dioceses around the world - to gather in spirit the day before the Mass of Christian Burial which will be celebrated for the Pope at 3:00 AM Chicago time Friday, April 8 at the Vatican.
I invite you to join in one of two Memorial Masses, both of which will be celebrated in our Church on Thursday, April 7 and to hours when the church will be open for private prayer and visitation.
The first Memorial Mass will be at 9 AM Thursday. The students in our School will attend this Mass. The second Memorial Mass will be at 7 PM Thursday. At the end of both Masses, all will be invited to the front of the church to see our remembrance of the Pope: the Christmas Blessing he gave to our Parish in 1994. The church will be open from 6 AM to 8 PM both Thursday and Friday: the day before and day of the funeral. Stop in as you pass by.
I hope you will attend one of these Masses. We gather to escort John Paul to peace, to entrust the future of our Church to the Holy Spirit and to express our unity in Faith. Above all, we celebrate the Easter Season resurrection of Christ and our belief in our own resurrection.
Please share this invitation with others whom you meet. An e-mail announcement is going to all parish organization leaders and information can be found on the Parish (www.parish.queenofangelschicago.org) and Archdiocesan (www.archchicago.org) websites.
If you are unable to join in these Masses please say the following prayer, presented to us by the Cardinal, until a new Pope is elected.
Prayer for the Church at the Death of John Paul the Second
God of mercy and kindness, your servant John Paul the Second
echoed in your Church the words of Jesus: “Do not be afraid…Put out in the deep.”
May these words find a home in our hearts and encourage us as we move into the future.
Direct your Church by the power of the Holy Spirit and raise up a supreme Pastor who will confirm his brothers and sisters, who will feed and strengthen them with word and sacrament, who will stand strong in witnessing the Gospel before the world, and who will be a sign and source of unity for your Church. Bless your people with grace and determination to continue the mission of your Son Jesus and to be a people brought together in unity
from the unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Rev. William J. O’Brien