Growing in Faith Opportunities
Here at Our Lady of Lourdes, you are encouraged to participate in the many opportunities which enhance our Faith Life:
Baby Steps is a program where Our Lady of Lourdes students welcome newly Baptized children into our Church community. The school children share in the joy of the child’s Baptism by coloring a special card and sending a small gift. The family is then sent a card on the anniversary of the child’s Baptism. The goal of the Baby Steps program is to encourage the families to become involved in the Catholic education of Our Lady of Lourdes School.
This is an outreach to all women in special times of motherhood. This ministry was designed to encourage, assist and affirm women by sharing and serving one another by acting on the sacredness of life!
This is a Beginning Religious Program for three, four, and five year olds. The classes meet during the 9:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday in the school. The program runs from September through April. A donation per child is requested to cover materials. Registration is held in August before each school year.
Liturgy of the Word for Children
All children in grades 1-4 are welcome to join us at the 9:30 a.m. Sunday Mass for this very special program. It is an opportunity for the children of our Parish to share God’s Word at their level of understanding and relate it to their everyday lives. We come together during the Liturgy of the Word at Mass.
PSR – Parish School of Religion, Grades 1-8
The PSR classes meet every Wednesday from 6:30-7:45 p.m. during the school year. Our Lady of Lourdes students who attend public schools are encouraged to attend. The teachers are volunteers who are truly dedicated people who witness Christ through their lives. There are usually around one hundred-fifty students and fifteen teachers in the Program.
Our young people and their families are prepared to receive First Reconciliation while in the Second Grade. The Sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation are received as Third Graders. This is accomplished through the school or through the PSR program. There are parent informational meetings held before each of the Sacraments. If you have special circumstances, you will need to contact the Parish Office. Any adults in need of these Sacraments must also contact the Parish Office.
In order to foster a deeper appreciation of the Holy Eucharist and to offer people an opportunity to become more aware of Christ’s Presence, Eucharistic Adoration is held every Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in St. Anne’s Chapel. Anyone is welcome to come at any time during the day to pray for special intentions, vocations, respect and dignity for life, peace in our world, for praise and thanksgiving, etc. If you would like to sign up for a specific time, please call the contact person at the end of this section.
Evening of Prayer, Men and Women
These evenings are designed around a time for fellowship and spiritual renewal. A meal is served to all, followed by a Guest Speaker. Watch the bulletin for dates.
Our Gift Shop is located at the west exit of the Church. It is open following the weekend Masses of Saturday at 4:30 p.m., and Sunday at 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. . During the week, the Shop can be made available during regular Parish Office hours. The Shop offers a variety of books, Bibles, sacramental gift items, rosaries, wall crucifixes and crosses, jewelry, statuary, music and other religious articles. We also carry special items during various Church seasons, i.e. Advent, Lent, etc. We are always happy to take orders for any special interest item. Volunteers staff the Gift Shop and are always ready to assist parishioners!
Our Parish Library is located near the Red Room, just before the Enrichment Center. Our librarians have catalogued hundreds of books, tapes and videos that can be checked out to be used by parishioners in their search for knowledge and spiritual growth. Our reference section includes Catholic encyclopedias, Books on Saints, Bibles, etc. (These books cannot be checked out.) The Library is available to use any time the Church is open via the Red Room door.
This is a 3-5 day long experience with a visiting priest that usually consists of weekend homilies touching on the theme of the Mission, Informal Morning Discussion Sessions and Evening Sessions which can include Inspirational Talks, Eucharist and the Celebration of Reconciliation. The whole family is invited to attend! This is usually help in the Fall.
Twenty-four hours a day, everyday, Exposition of the Blessed sacrament, in St. Mary’s Hospital Chapel, 1800 E. Lake Shore Drive. (A code is needed for entry between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.) Parishioners can sign up for a specific hour each week or are welcome to make a visit at any time.
The Prayer Line consists of parish volunteers who receive petitions for prayer from parishioners in need. They spend time, as available, each day praying for the prayer requests. Anyone may call for their own physical, spiritual, emotional needs or for those of a relative or friend. Phone numbers of Prayer Line leaders are listed at the end of this section marked Contact Persons and also in the church bulletin. The leaders pass the prayer request to prayer volunteers who pass it on to other volunteers. Please call the Parish Office for further information.
Prayer and Healing Services
Prayer and Healing Services are offered monthly, except December, June and July, on the last Monday of the month from 7:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in St. Anne’s Chapel at Our Lady of Lourdes, except when the last Monday is a holiday. Please check the church bulletin or call the church office to confirm the date and time. The services include scriptural readings, meditations, and prayers for emotional, physical, and spiritual healing. The services are led by a team: Sister JoAn Schullian, Pastoral Associate, and several parishioners. All are welcome! For more information, or if transportation is needed, call the Parish Office at 877-4404.
Prayer and Wellness Workshop
This workshop is offered periodically for people who are interested in learning more about how one can improve and maintain one’s physical, emotional and spiritual health. The sessions include meditative prayer, positive prayer affirmations, reflecting on God’s Word, reflexology, prayer for healing, stretching exercises as Tai Chi, and sharing information about other alternative health care approaches. The connection of body, mind, and spirit is emphasized. The sessions are held in OLOL's Enrichment Center led by Sister JoAn who has worked in the health care field for nearly twenty-six years and who has studied spirituality and pastoral ministry. For more information, call Sister JoAn or the Parish Office at 877-4404.
RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)
Participation in the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) leads adults on a journey of faith to learn about the Catholic Faith and to experience conversion through catechesis, discussion, prayer, fellowship and a series of liturgical celebrations. This comprehensive process directed toward formation supports and encourages the spiritual journey of all involved. It is a four-step process within parish life which welcomes new members into the Church and leads parishioners to deeper commitment and renewal of their Catholic faith. RCIA participants are the unbaptized, those baptized in another Christian tradition, those baptized but uncatechized, Catholics who have never been confirmed, and the RCIA team and sponsors. Those who desire to join the Catholic Church prepare for the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist and Profession of Faith which climaxes in full reception in the Catholic Church. The ongoing sessions begin with the Inquiry Classes which usually start in August or at the time a person inquires about the Catholic Faith and continue until after the Easter Vigil or Pentecost, or an appropriate time according to a person’s situation. For further information contact the Parish Office or Sister Joan.
This program is designed to bring the average lay person to a greater understanding of the Bible, awareness of God’s living presence in Sacred Scripture, and appreciation of how the Bible can be applied to daily life. They meet on Tuesdays from 9:30-11:00 a.m. and evening sessions are also offered from 7:30-9:00 p.m.. Sessions are held during the Fall & Spring.
Growing Together As a Community
Here at Our Lady of Lourdes, you are encouraged to participate in the many opportunities we have to grow as a Community:
This is a wonderful opportunity for parishioners 55 years and older to gather together for the Eucharist, prayer, fellowship, and enrichment. The group meets every 3rd Wednesday of the month in the Enrichment Center. Mass begins at 11:30 a.m. in St. Anne's Chapel, followed by a Pot Luck Luncheon, a scheduled speaker, a program or entertainment. Everyone over 55 is welcome! Bus trips are planned at certain times for those interested.
Council of Catholic Women
The goal of this Council is to afford women of the parish fellowship in a comfortable and social setting, while benefiting the parish as a whole. Activities include educational seminars, organized bus trips, fashion shows, luncheons, and craft workshops. All women of the Parish are welcome and encouraged to attend.
The Parish Finance Council acts in the capacity of advisor to the Pastor regarding matters of a financial nature. The Council actively participates in the preparation of the annual parish budget and conducts reviews of the quarterly and annual reports. Members of the Council are appointed by the Pastor to three-year terms. The two parish trustees and the Parish Finance and Plant Manager are ex-officio members. Meetings are held on a monthly basis from September to June. Meetings with the Finance Council can be arranged through contact with the Finance and Plant Manager at the Parish Office.
This Council is the planning organization of the Church, which is advisory to the Pastor. Its main function is to identify the needs of the Parish, study needs, and recommend workable, informed and effective solutions. The Pastoral Council consists of 12 church members who each serve a 3 term and various Ad Hoc members. Four new members are selected each spring through nominations and by the draw. In order to be an effective Pastoral Council we need the input of our Parishioners. If you feel there is a need that the parish should fulfill, please convey it to a Council Member or feel free to attend a Council meeting. Names and pictures of current Pastoral Council members appear on the bulletin board just west of the Church’s main entrance. The Council meetings are held the 4th Thursday of each month.
Prison Ministry at the Decatur Correctional Center for Women.
Communion services at the prison are given on Wednesdays at 5:00 p.m. The Rosary is prayed before the communion service. Mass is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday of the month. When possible, the opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation is offered. Prayers are very much appreciated for this ministry and the women at the facility.
The Cub Scout & Boy Scout Program is open to all boys Grades 1st-5th and Grades 6th-12th, respectively. The purpose of Scouting, with the help of parents & leaders, is to help boys develop character & spiritual growth, outdoor skills, citizenship, & personal preparedness. The Cub Scouts have weekly den meetings & monthly Pack Meetings & are prepared for Boy Scouts. The Boy Scout troop meets weekly during the school year & features one outdoor activity, such as camping or hiking each month. In the summer the troop attends a one week summer camp.
The Girl Scout Program is open to all girls ages 5-18. They’re divided by age into troops of Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, and Seniors. Most troops meet twice monthly after school in a classroom. A Girl Scout promises to serve God and her country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law. The girls sell cookies in January and the OLOL troops have an annual lock-in in March for Girl Scout week.