St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

What's new for St Joseph and St Mary Parishes!

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Time and Talent Survey

Next weekend we will introduce a Time and Talent Survey in response to the Pew Survey last January. We really appreciate your responses and are looking forward to responding with concrete solutions. But we need your help in finding and implementing these solutions. Our hope is to find people who are willing to help fill the needs of our community. Right now, we have a limited number of helpers. Are there people willing to step up and help us be an Amazing Parish? We need people to do the ground work and people who are willing to co-coordinate various ministries. After the survey, we hope to identify those people who would serve as the new combined parish council as well. Continue reading

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PEW SURVEY RESULTSfrom the Be Bold Be Catholic (BBBC) Team

BBBC MISSION: We the Catholic parish communities of Freeport, Illinois, commit to bring all souls to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Dear Parishioners:
We, the BBBC Team, thank you for the Pew Survey feedback and your patience. There are currently nine active members under the direction of Fr. Timothy Barr that have been working toward understanding and organizing those results.
As a reminder, there were four questions on the Pew Survey, as follows:
What can your Parish community do to better serve your needs?
• How can your Parish community help you come closer to Jesus’ mercy and love?
• Do you think sharing your time and talent would help you come closer to Jesus? How, or why not?
Are there ministries in which you would like to participate? Circle Yes or No. Please state the name or type of ministry you would like to participate in.
Results/Findings Continue reading

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Be Bold, Be Catholic 3

Keeping the light of faith lit takes work and help from our neighbor. We grow in faith by sharing our faith in word and action. The more we share, the stronger our faith becomes. It starts with our interior thoughts about our faith. Then we share what is good and helps what keeps the faith alive in our hearts. We all need a witness of God’s goodness once in a while. We need to hear the stories of little triumphs to help us realize God is there and does listen to our prayers. Continue reading

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Be Bold, Be Catholic 1

Many of you may be wondering what this Be Bold, Be Catholic thing is all about. In the last ten years we have continued to see a dramatic plummet in attendance and faith life in God’s people. This is not something that is only happening in the Catholic Churches in Freeport, IL. This is a plummet nationwide in nearly all Christian faith communities. Particularly here in Freeport, it is taking its toll in our lives.

We have so many struggles in our lives. It would be easy to fall into depression or despair going on the way we are going. The degradation of our culture into promiscuity, lies, violence, manipulation and false “fun” are the norm. The empty promises of this world are leaving us lonelier and wondering if there is anything more. We start chasing after things that only bring more emptiness and pain instead of chasing after the God that can satisfy.

As Catholic Parishes, we have missed the boat on helping people through their tough times and bringing them to Jesus in these times. We have focused on doing things and on helping others, but we have forgotten that it is Jesus and our relationship with Him that really helps us all. There are a growing number of people who have no idea that a relationship with God is even possible. Moreover, that our relationship with Jesus can bring us happiness and peace. There actually is hope, but it depends on our relationship with Jesus.

Because of the lack of education and inspiration, many people today have a very low level of understanding of their Catholic faith and so are easy prey for anything that would take them away from finding their fulfillment in Jesus. We need to do something about that. We cannot go on ignoring the real and basic needs of God’s people.

This is where the Be Bold, Be Catholic comes in. The mission of Be Bold, Be Catholic is; “We the Catholic parish communities of Freeport, IL, commit to bring all souls to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” This is the purpose of Be Bold, Be Catholic. We aim at serving others and leading them to Jesus and their fulfillment. We hope to make the faith more alive and meaningful for you. We will look at all we do from the liturgy to community events to personal needs. Ultimately, we plan on serving the community at large as well.

We can no longer do the same old thing. “We have always done it this way” is no longer a valid way of doing things. Every person has the basic need to grow in their spiritual life. This is what Jesus designed Catholic communities to do. The intent is to help us grow in our spiritual life. This life is a long journey, a pilgrimage of discoveries and possibilities that we may never have known otherwise. It is a pilgrimage of love, grace and fellowship in Christ Jesus.  We hope that you will make this pilgrimage of faith with us.