“Spiritual Heartbeat Check-Up” Survey Results

Thank you to all who completed the “Spiritual Heartbeat Check-up” survey in September. The committee is analyzing responses and already implementing programs within the parameters of the current COVID environment. 

What we have addressed and implemented as a result of survey input:

*Communicated with parishioners via a letter from Fr. Schultz to provide an opportunity to pray together virtually using the burgundy book that highlights Matthew’s gospel. 

*Enabled connections between parishioners who expressed a need by matching several individual parishioners and families to form prayer or check-in partners. We also had volunteers call parishioners to “check-in” during this unprecedented COVID time. 

*Addressed specific struggles by having appropriate St. Patrick’s staff contact them to guide and assist with their need. 

*Added all general prayer requests received to our parish prayer list. If you would like to have a prayer intention added to the list, please go to the website “stpatrickmerna.org”, select the tab “Pray” and then select “Prayer Network”.

*Held a 6-week women’s-only Bible Study that was offered in person and virtually. Several women shared their talents by helping to help facilitate.

*Completed a book study with Fr. Schultz and Fr. Martin on the book “Searching for and Maintaining Peace, A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart” by Father Jacques Philippe. This was offered both in person and virtually. More studies will be offered in the future.

What is in the works:

*A lot of feedback regarding communication was received. Research and meetings have occurred to discuss options for updating communication plans and approaches to keep our large parish family “in the loop”.  Stay tuned…

*Ministry spotlights will occur throughout the year to inspire parishioners to share their time or talents.

SVdP Needs Your Help!

The Holy Trinity Chapter of St. Vincent de Paul needs volunteers for proposed Saturday morning food distribution two weekends each month beginning in November. Social Distancing and Sanitation processes are in place to keep volunteers and individuals safe. Face Masks are required.

Sign up to become a Food Pantry Volunteer HERE!

For more information email: info@svdpbn.com

Did you know we have our own chapter of St. Vincent de Paul here at St. Patrick Church of Merna? Click the button below to learn how you can become involved or support our Parish Chapter (St. Brigid Conference) today!

Change is in the Air!

Central Illinois winter weather is coming, so it’s time to change from walk-up Communion to drive-up Communion! This change will take place beginning next weekend, Oct. 31/Nov.1.
Some logistical information:
  • During Mass when the north (chapel) doors to the church open, that is your sign to begin lining up your vehicle for drive-up Communion.
  • Please enter the parish driveway by the Shamrock Hall (signs will indicate this as well).
  • Follow the parish driveway past the Parish Office entrance and the west entrance to the church (continue following the signage).
  • Communion will be received from your car under the north portico of the church (the chapel side).
  • Please form one single line of cars!

**This procedure is subject to change. Thank you for your patience!**

Calling for all CURIOUS MINDS!

Do you have burning questions or curiosities that you would like to know about Fr. Schultz and/or Fr. Martin but never had the chance to ask?

Here is your opportunity….

Video interview chats are being planned and we would like to include questions from their flock! If you would like to submit inquiries, please do so to Marylynn Meredith, meredithmarylynn@yahoo.com

Questions for Fr. Schultz and Fr. Martin

Have questions for our priests? Fill our the form below and they may be included in our upcoming video interview chats!

Divorced Catholic Support Group FORMING NOW!

The Divorced Catholic Recovering from Divorce program is specifically designed to help divorced/separated Catholics. This 13-week program offers support and addresses the most pressing challenges of divorce. The program is designed to help divorced/separated Catholics recover by more fully learning and living their faith.

This 13 – week program begins Wednesday September 23 from 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM in the Conference Room at St. Patric Church of Merna.

For more information contact Pam Goode at nursery@stpatrickmerna.org, calling the Parish Office at 309-662-7361, or submitting the inquiry form below.

Divorced Catholics Inquiry form

RE Grades 1-5 Registration Open Now!

Registration for Fall 2020

RE Grades 1-5

As all families plan for the new school year, the uncertainty remains apparent. It is an understatement, by all definitions of that word, that the COVID-19 virus has challenged each family on every imaginable level.
Here at St. Patrick Church of Merna, we have been fortunate to open the church for daily and weekend Mass with an attention to the guidelines necessary to provide a safe environment. I encourage you to check out the parish website for these details and to find out safe ways you can attend Mass, both in-person or virtually.
After weighing all options, we have decided that for the safety and well being of our students and volunteers, we will NOT be meeting in the building. We will continue to consider all options of this fluid situation.
For at least the fall semester, our plan involves a remote approach.
  • weekly schedule & pacing guide provided
  • workbook & folder provided
  • access to Blest Are We & Blessed digital resources
  • parent guided lessons
  • contract/sign-off sheet
  • virtual mini lessons
  • virtual teacher-student connection time
Parent involvement has always been a component of faith formation. We are leaning on parents in a new way this year. This is a great time as a family to celebrate our faith.
REGISTRATION: All registration is online.
  • Registration is open for all incoming 1st thru 5th grade students.
  • Please remember that 1st grade attendance is a prerequisite for 2nd grade Sacrament year.
  • Fees cover the cost of the workbooks as well as supplemental items to be sent home for Advent, Lent and other resources.
  • If the fees are in any way a burden, please contact Bobbi Hassel at bobbi@stpatrickmerna.org or (309) 585-1705.

2020 Annual Diocesan Appeal

During the weekend of September 19/20 both our parishes, St. Patrick Church of Merna and St. Mary Downs will be participating in the Annual Diocesan Appeal (ADA) for the Diocese of Peoria.  As followers of Christ, we are called to respond to God’s grace in our lives and to serve one another.  The Annual Diocesan Appeal is an opportunity to respond to His grace by sharing our gifts and so transform lives throughout the diocese.  Please give generously as God has given to you.

This past May, after years of study, two men were ordained to the transitional diaconate for the Diocese of Peoria. During their years of preparation for this vocation, they were supported by family and friends – and by everyone who made a gift to the Annual Diocesan Appeal. When you make a gift to the Appeal, you help meet the cost of priestly formation and education, since a portion of Appeal funds are used for this purpose. Please support our seminarians by making a gift to the Annual Diocesan Appeal next weekend.

During the coming week you will be receiving a brochure from the Diocese and a pledge card with a letter from Fr. Schultz asking you to support the Annual Diocesan Appeal. You can pay in full or use one of the payment options provided by the Diocese, please make your checks payable to the Catholic Diocese of Peoria. Donations may also be made by signing up for automatic deduction by credit or debit card, by direct debit or online.  May God continue to bless our Diocese and the services and programs provided by the ADA.

For more information CLICK HERE to visit the Dioceses website or contact Jeff Lopez at jeff@stpatrickmerna.org or 309-662-7361

GriefShare: Grief Support Group

What is GRIEFSHARE: A support group that meets weekly for 13 weeks. There are 3 key parts to the GriefShare experience:

  1. Video seminar: encouraging, information packed videos featuring leading grief recovery experts.
  2. Support group: small group discussion about the weekly video content
  3. Workbook: journaling and personal study exercises that reinforce the weekly session topics

GriefShare is led by caring people who have experienced grief and have successfully rebuilt their lives. They understand how you feel becuase they’ve been in the same place and will walk with you on the long path through grief toward healing and hope for the future.

WHO is GriefShare for: Anyone desiring help and encouragement after the death of a spouse, child, family member, or friend. It may be a recent loss or a loss you’ve been struggling with for a time.

WHEN is GriefShare: Due to health and safety concerns from COVID-19, our 13 meetings will be a mixture of in-person and virtual gatherings. the first GriefShare meeting is on THURSDAY, AUGUST 27TH AT 6:30 PM. We will gather in=person on the grounds of St. Patrick Church of Merna (near the chapel). Bring your own lawn chair.

HOW do I register for GriefShare or learn more: Pre-registration is suggested but not mandatory. To register or to ask questions contact Jana Schopp at 662-7361 ext. 217 or email: jana@stpatrickmerna.org or Rich Gordon at richgordon12@yahoo.com. There is no registration fee.

Volunteers Needed

As we begin to reopen for public worship and Masses, volunteers will play an essential role in ensuring the safe return of our parishioners.

Volunteers must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Are not considered high risk
  • Not live with someone who is high risk
  • Have no underlying health conditions
  • Not experience any symptoms of illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.)
  • Not have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and not yet cleared as noncontagious by state or local public health authorities
  • Not have traveled internationally or to a highly impacted area within the United States in the past 14 days
  • Attend mandatory training provided by Parish Staff
  • Follow all safety/hygiene protocols & procedures implemented by Parish Staff, ex: wearing of face masks at all times,
  • Understand & assume any risks

If you fit the above criteria and are able/willing to help, below to sign up now!