Welcome to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel!

Happy Mothers' Day! Please see the video below for Mass for 5/10/2020.

 Fr. Mike's Open Letter to Parishoners
RE: COVID-19          March 19, 2020

Important News about Re-opening

Letter Regarding the Re-Opening Plan for Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish
Amid the Dangers of Covid-19

OLMC Faith Family,

     My prayer is that you and all you love are blessed with good health and let us continue to pray for all who are struggling in any way.  As you may have seen, Bishop Pates recently published the plan for re-opening churches of the Diocese of Joliet.  To wit:

Phase One allowing of celebrations of Baptism, Reconciliation, Weddings, and Funerals with a limit of ten attendees.
Phase One-A allowing the re-opening of church doors for private prayer and Adoration with the ten attendee limit.
Phase Two allowing resumption of weekday and weekend Masses for larger groups depending on the guidelines issued by the State of Illinois at a later date, and the capacity of our church facility considering safe spacing.

The OLMC Re-opening Plan

     First, it is important for everyone to understand that our design will prioritize the safety and well-being of all while honoring due respect and reverence for the sacraments and our Catholic norms.

I have called together a Parish Re-Opening Leadership Team and will appoint captains to guide our effort.  That Leadership Team has already participated in required training offered by the Diocese to ensure that our parish plan conforms to the guidelines developed by the Diocese in collaboration with civil and healthcare authorities.  We have begun to obtain the protective and cleaning supplies needed.

Volunteers Needed

     This I consider the most crucial part of this letter.  We are inviting as many parishioners as can step forward to assist with the various aspects of our parish re-opening.  Specifically, we seek those who are under the age of 65 and not of the “vulnerable population.”  I am especially encouraging high school and college age parishioners as well as young adults to step up and answer the call to assist in this essential effort.  We need you to help in one of the following capacities:

Set-Up.  Duties will include ensuring that all necessary supplies for each sacramental            celebration/gathering are ready for use and that entrances and exits are clearly marked to assist the congregants. 

Greeting.  Admittance of worshippers and welcoming our guests. Helping to guide the flow of people, making sure that attendees use hand sanitizer, are wearing a mask, and directing worshipers to appropriate seating spaces.

Cleaning.  Maintaining and cleaning trafficked and occupied areas of the church before and after    each liturgy.

      The Leadership Team will help in making sure that all volunteers are properly trained and ready.

      And we will be looking for individuals at each Mass time to step up into a leadership role in each of the three above-described categories. 

     To respond to this appeal for volunteers, please contact:

          Fr Mike at frmike.okeefe@ourladyofmtcarmel.org
          Sue Haa, our parish secretary, at receptionist@ourladyofmtcarmel.org
          Mary Prebys, our Youth Minister, at mary.prebys@ourladyofmtcarmel.org

      Or call the parish office 8am-4:30pm at 630 852 3303

Timing for Our Re-Opening

The parish Re-Opening Leadership Team is in the process of reviewing and completing the steps prescribed to all parishes as part of the re-opening certification process to be approved by the Diocese.  I am confident that we can accomplish all of the tasks necessary to be approved for Phases 1 and 1A in the next couple of weeks.  We must move at a pace that we deem appropriate to have all of the stipulations in place and sufficient volunteers on board.  Again, the need for voluntary parishioner assistance cannot be overstated.

     Making a prognostication as to when we will be able to resume weekend Masses with an increased number of attendees admitted is more difficult to assess.  First, we are dependent on approval from the Governor’s office.  Secondly, to have permission to proceed from the Bishop’s office, we must complete all the protocols of a process we have never been through before.  We are working at it.

     Another issue of which I would like to make you aware is that, when we are able to resume, we will have to limit the number of persons admitted for a given Mass.  One of the tasks of the Leadership Team will be to design some form of a registration for admittance ahead of time so that we can avoid turning people away at the doors and consequent hard feelings.  Limiting the number is necessary to minimize the risk of the spread of disease.  Please be alert for the announcement of that procedure and cooperative with it.  The guidelines and measures required to re-open are designed to protect the well-being of all with whom we come in contact.  Christ taught that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.  Our collective patience, willingness to help, and the care we take to re-open will be evidence that we have listened to Him.

                                                                                                                God’s Peace to us all,

                                                                                                                Fr Mike

Gospel Reflection for May 24th by Fr. Mike



     The descriptions in Scripture of the Ascension of the Lord tell us that Jesus was “taken up,” “lifted up,” and that the disciples stood there “looking up.”  Throughout the Easter season we have been celebrating that Jesus rose from the dead.  On today’s feast we acknowledge that he kept right on ascending.  “Houston, we have lift-off.”  The scene, as described, seems entirely other-worldly.  But I believe we have, in this feast, the opportunity to see the connection between the earthly life of Jesus, the man, and the destiny of Christ, the Son of God.  And in that connection we find our own invitation and the path toward fullness of life.  Today we are invited to consider another way of examining the meaning of this event.  Jesus is not taken away, absent.  He is showing the Way.  And it can have personal significance and impetus for each of us.
     Every day of His life Jesus was growing, ascending in His humanity.  In loving, self-sacrificing service He was discovering and revealing gifts that the Father invests in each of His daughters and sons.  In pursuing wholeness as a human being, Jesus was marking for us the path to holiness.  He was teaching us how to become authentic persons and how to have our lives extended beyond any limitation.  Don’t we get glimpses of the prize in how we feel when we take pride in having done something productive and well, especially if it benefits others?  Think of emblems of human triumph.  A coach is carried off the field on the shoulders of his players – a sign of gratitude, respect, and accomplishment.  Jesus won the only contest that really counts in victory over the previously undefeated Death!  The Ascension is His definitive entrance into Glory.

     Jesus tells us, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”  Back with His Father, he has been given the power to act with unlimited freedom.  There are no limitations that He experienced as a human being.  Note that this is not the power that one might call license, to pursue one’s own whim.  Notice that Jesus did not employ this power to punish those who put him to death, for instance.  This is power to be exercised in favor of community; to continue the building up of the Kingdom.  The power that God allows and leads us to is never just for oneself.  Jesus didn’t live that way when He was among us.  The Ascended Christ hasn’t changed.  He is consistent.  And now He has the freedom to share the power of His Way of life with us.  He empowers us with His Way, which will guide us to ascending life.

     In our response to this invitation, we should guard against making the same mistake made by the  disciples of Jesus on that original Ascension Day.  They stood there gazing up into the heavens.  They thought “up” was the prescribed direction.  For the present (and as a guide to the future) Jesus sends us not up but “out.”  “Go out and teach all nations,” was His instruction.  Get up and move out.  We have a job to do.  We must go out and continue the work that Jesus began.  It is the path to living significantly and the formula for ascending life.  If we trust Him enough to venture out in His name, living His Way, we’ll discover that the Ascended Christ, who no longer has time/space limitations, goes with us.  “I am with you always, until the end of the age.”  His presence will remind us that any power divorced from discipleship or any freedom exercised without regard for community is a distortion.  It is crucial that we stay close to His message because the persistent voices of this world insist that, making oneself the sole point of reference for what is deemed good or evil, should be the norm.  Present society consistently teaches that the modern principle of morality should be “everything is negotiable.”  If, on the other hand, we go out from here in the company of the Risen Jesus, we will operate on a different interpretation of the power of the Ascension – one modeled by Jesus Himself.  It is the Way to Ascended life.

                                                                                                                                  God Bless All,
                                                                                                                                  Fr Mike


God, Family, Friends Pages-Something for all Ages -
Ascension of the Lord (7th Sunday of Easter)-English and Spanish
"I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly"

This Week's Bulletin       

We are a welcoming Catholic community called by God to live out the message of Christ in love and service to all people. Our parish mission is We are the Church, alive with Christ, a diverse community rooted in faith, celebrating a liturgy of life.  We are prayerfully responsive to the Spirit of the living Gospel, freely and fully ministering to all.  

All Religious Education Classes Have Been Canceled Until Further Notice per Diocesan Directives

Statement from Bishop Pates Concerning COVID19

Letter to Parents from the Office of Youth Formation RE: COVID19

Watch Sunday and Daily Masses!


Parish Mission Statement

Religious Education

Our Faith


Parish Photos

Events Calendar

Maps & Directions


            Saturday: 9:00am; 5:30pm (vigil)
            Sunday: 8:15 AM, 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM
            Weekdays: 9:00am
            Confession: Saturdays 4:00 PM -4:30 PM

           Rosary Divine Mercy Chaplet –           Wednesdays2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Stop by to get your Yard Sign and share the message!

Come to the RE door!

Friday May 22nd: 9am-noon 

Contact the RE office for your sign.

Come to the RE door!

Important Updates

  • Our Food Pantry is still open.
    Hours of operation have been limited due to the COVID-19 crisis, but we are open on
    Tuesday and Friday from 1:00 PM-3:00 PM.
    You can drop off donations during the hours of operation listed above. We can use:

    Peanut butter and jelly
    Cake mixes
    Boxed side dishes
    Canned or jarred meatless spaghetti sauce,         please no pasta!
    Paper and plastic bags
    All paper goods other than toilet paper.
    Tea, boxes with individually wrapped tea bags

  • Confirmation has been postponed. We will inform you of the new date when we receive the information.
  • In light of the extended "Stay at Home" directives, First Holy Communion will be postponed. Pray for all our families! Stay safe and be healthy.
  • We will start Children's Liturgy of the Word as soon as Masses are able to be celebrated together again.

Online Faith Formation


The Diocese of Joliet has created a resource for families, produced in English and in Spanish, designed to help all parents draw their families into a deeper relationship with: God, one another, and with friends.  Although families cannot attend Mass, it is our hope that parents will lead their families to honor the Lord's Day and focus together on what is really most important. Click the picture above or the link  below Fr. Mike's weekly reflecction to the left.


Our Lady of Mt Carmel has purchased a subscription that allows access to formed.org
 Watch, listen and read. Anywhere, anytime. FORMED provides the very best Catholic content from more than 60 organizations to help parishes, families and individuals explore their faith anywhere. Supporting thousands of movies, children’s programs, ebooks, audio, parish programs and studies direct to your browser, mobile or connected device.
To register go to formed.org enter our Parish Code 8bd394 and create a personal account.

We Still Need You!

All those who want to help our children grow in their faith, when we return, are required to follow the Safe Environment procedures which includes participation in a "Protecting God's Children" workshop. The diocese has now allowed on-line training for all volunteers. Please sign up for this extremely informative workshop. It does take about 90 minutes to complete, (Live workshops are three hours long).

Click Here for Virtus Web Site

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