Monday, July 8, 2013

Sunday at Holy Family in Chicago

Monday morning greetings from a very warm and sticky city of Chicago.

Yesterday I attended Mass at Holy Family parish here in Chicago, not too far from where I live. Here's a shot of the exterior:

As I was walking along the street from the church's parking lot, there was a family in front of me. One of the teenage sons suddenly said, "Mom, give me the car keys, I forgot my phone." She said, "Why do you need your phone?" He replied, "So that I don't fall asleep." Made me wonder what I was in for once inside.

Here are a few shots of the interior:

This church is mammoth and has an interesting history.

I was seated up front and found myself amid a large Latino family. I would say there were at least two hundred people at Mass. This is a very ethnically diverse parish. A lively and engaging spirit among the community members was quite evident.

I believe that there is usually a large choir at this 9:45 A.M. Mass, but they were not present yesterday. There was a person playing the piano, which was located on the top level of the sanctuary. The pianist announced the hymns and led the singing from the piano. There was only one other person sitting near me who had a hymnal open and was singing. This is one of those church spaces where one's voice just seems to get lost in the sheer volume of the space.

The readings were proclaimed well and with care. The homily was engaging. All in all, I really felt nourished at the celebration of Mass. Even though this is a wonderful looking church building, I really felt that the enormity of the space really fights against good liturgy. Just a first impression. I will be returning to Holy Family, perhaps sitting in other locations to get a sense of the singing and the other responses of the assembly. As part of the announcements, the pastor asked all visitors to rise, which I did. I felt a genuine sense of welcome. And let me tell you, the coffee after Mass in the hall behind the sanctuary was wonderful!

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

1 comment:

Denise Morency Gannon said...

So interesting that you're visiting different parishes for Sunday worship. When I started doing likewise over a year ago and began to blog A View from the Pew (, the liturgical diversity of how parish communities worship widened my perception and perimeter. Even when I traveled and worshiped, I blogged about the worship experience and met many really terrific people who wanted to learn and grow. I know that you travel widely, working with parishes that invest in their faith and invite you to share in that journey. You may find a far different experience when you pitch your temporary Sunday tent in someone's pew each week. I applaud your efforts and encourage you to be honest in what you experience. Sometimes, you'll discover a jewel; sometimes, you'll uncover a stone. I look forward to reading what you discover in Gotta Sing Gotta Pray