Welcome to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel!

We are open for mass BUT registration is no longer required!!





Registration for Mass is no longer required!!


Dear Friends and Parishioners and Visitors of Our Lady of Mt Carmel:


Our Parish is elated to inform you all that we will be opening the doors of our Church this weekend with new capacities and seating. The biggest change is that Mass Registration is not longer required!!


The State of Illinois and the Diocese of Joliet are making the move into the "Bridge Phase" ahead of a full reopening in the future. Our Lady of Mt Carmel is excited to be moving to open up more fully beginning this weekend! We desire to allow all our Parish Families to continue their participation at our masses and to return home.


Our Church will move to utilize each pew of our Church with an arm's length of distance between households as directed by the Diocese. "All pews may be used, yet at least an arms-length distance is recommended between households. It is not necessary to skip rows of pews in sections where parishioners are comfortable with reduced distancing."


As of right now, masks are still required inside the Church at all times. Please remain patient with us as we continually adjust our reopening plans for masks as we receive the new directives from the State of Illinois, CDC, and the Diocese!


Thank you all for your support to Our Lady of Mt Carmel throughout this last year and all the phases of our reopening. We could not have done this without your support and especially the support of our Volunteers! Please make sure to thank them when you see them!



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Fr. Mike's Advent Letter

     Welcome to this most sacred time of year, when we celebrate the Advent of God among us. This marvelous event – the coming close of our transcendent God – was designed and prepared for by the Almighty.  It is the gift to us of His Son and the fulfillment of God’s plan of redemption for all people.  The divine mission of Christ redeems us from what we cannot overcome on our own – sin and death.  Perhaps even more astoundingly, in taking on our humanity, Jesus invites us into divinity, into the family of God, to live as God’s children.  For that reason, He comes into human life precisely as we do, as a helpless child.  The arrival of every baby orients us to the future and calls forth from us our best.  The Christ child invites us to grow as human beings.  The Incarnation is all about God’s initiative and the one Christmas gift that truly counts.  Even as we anticipate the birth of the Child Jesus, we should be pondering our response. The crucial consideration is not what we will do, but rather how receptive we will be.  Our Parish Liturgy Committee has chosen, “Lord, Prepare Our Hearts,” as our Advent theme.  It implies that our time might be better spent, not engineering some project to make Christmas happen, but that we create time and space in our lives to be still, prayerfully reflect, and receive the gift.

     The objective of this letter is three-fold.  First to posit an approach to this holy season of preparation that can engage each of us and draw us in.  I have attempted to keynote that invitation above.  Let’s resolve not to be the same persons on Christmas morning as we are on the first Sunday of Advent.  The arrival of the Child begs response from all.  Secondly, this missive accompanies the parish fiscal report for the past year and attempts to flesh out the numbers – to assess how we are responding to the Christmas gift in the area of stewardship of our resources.  Finally, I hope to invite and challenge each parishioner to decide on a specific course of engagement, ministry, or service in the coming year as evidence that God’s gift of His Son changes us, calls us to growth.

A perusal of the Parish Fiscal Report, which accompanies this letter, clearly indicates that we are situated well financially.  We are proud of the stewardship models of past Carmelite administrations.  I am thankful that we have been able to enhance those fiscally sound policies over the past 16 years.  Much credit has to go to the advice and guidance of our Parish Finance Council, presently comprised of: Vito Abbate, Jack Blackburn, Bill Cernugel, Brian Griffin, Ed Mack, and John Prosia.  But, of course, the bulk of the credit for our secure standing is, and always has been, the generosity of our parishioners.  You have embraced ownership of our parish mission admirably.  We thank you.

     Upkeep and improvement of our facility, indoors and out, remains a priority.  The two large expenditures in this area this past year were the clean-up and repairs of damage incurred by the tornado and the resurfacing of our parking lots.  The first was taken care of by our terrific insurance coverage.  The latter was completely covered by our reserves.  A tip of the cap to Bill Lyons of our Building and Maintenance Committee for his research and sustained work on the parking lot project to completion. It is worth noting that we have accrued no loan debt and have had no capital campaigns in the last 16 years.  Again, your generosity is the reason.

     I am proud to report that attendance at Masses has grown gradually but steadily since our re-opening following the Covid crisis.  Still, our weekend collections have continued to decline.  Not drastically, but a continuing trend nonetheless.  Two fortunate circumstances have mitigated the effects of that drop.  Over the past year and a half, we applied for and were granted two installments of the federal Payroll Protection Program.  These enabled us to maintain our full parish staff with no cuts and no reductions.  John Hawkins, our Business Manager, gets credit for the application process as well as compliance with accountability standards.  As a result, both loans have been forgiven in full.  Additionally, the most generous response of our parish to the Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal (once again exceeding 150% of our quota) resulted in a $40,000 rebate to OLMC.  These blessings allowed to sustain the reduction in weekend income without dipping into reserves. In partial answer to the reality of that lessening in weekend collection, and at the suggestion of the Parish Finance Council, I want to encourage all parish households to consider On-Line Giving.  It is a simple streamlined process to sign up for this option.  Go to the OLMC website, locate the “On-Line giving link” at the top of the opening screen.  Follow directions to our secure partner for On-Line giving, “Our Sunday Visitor,” and you can then survey payment options and input your information.  It is easy, eliminates the need for envelopes and checks, and will help our Church.  Please pickup one of the cards titled, “On-Line Giving,” on tables and counters in the entryway and gathering areas.

     Most important to the aim of this letter, there is another type of depletion that threatens the smooth running of our Parish.  That is the slowed enlistment of volunteers to step forward to be actively involved in the many ministries and services that make OLMC vibrant and faithful to our mission as a local Catholic community.  There are a number of reasons for this decline.  Many faithful volunteers have served for years and deserve to step away from the workload.  They have our gratitude.  During the pandemic, others, who are at risk or don’t feel secure in interaction, have understandably stayed home.  We look forward to having them in full Communion with us.  Most crucially, we have not been able to host our usual Ministries Fair and Commitment Weekend for two consecutive fall seasons.  It is time for us to call out the troops, to invite/challenge each of you to enlist your time and talent in the various services and ministries that make OLMC alive and special.  None of these activities, liturgies, outreach programs regenerate magically on their own.  WE NEED YOU!  So, while the Commissions of our Parish Council engineer new approaches to advertise our needs, I am asking each of you to use this Advent season to decide how you will get more actively involved in the reawakening of some aspect/activity of life at OLMC in this coming year.  We need lectors, ushers, Eucharistic Ministers, and altar servers at every weekend Mass time.  Our impressive Religious Education Program needs teachers and support staff.  The Food Pantry is in need of volunteers.  Our newly reforming Youth Ministry Program can’t get up and running without leaders.  On the Adult Faith Formation level spiritual enrichment offerings depend on help, your help.  Our Music Ministry needs voices and musicians.  There are so many opportunities for you to make a difference.  Choose one and let your interest be known.  You can approach me or Sherry Rochford, our DRE, Stephanie Snyder, Youth Minister, or Cathy Lentz, our new Director of Adult Faith Formation.  Don’t wait for someone to come to you.  Consider this appeal as your invitation.  Take the initiative.  Let’s adopt the slogan, “If it is to be, it’s up to me.”  We have the unique chance to, not only come back to full function after the necessary dormancy of the pandemic, but to bring a new fervor to OLMC.  We can be an even better version of a proud tradition of faith.

     This letter has attempted to do three things: set a tone for a productive Advent season, review the stewardship of our resources, and to invite every parishioner to a more active role in our corporate mission.  What is the “glue” that holds these disparate considerations together?  It is the gift of the Christ Child at Christmas.  What will be your response?
                                                          Always proud to be your Pastor,

                                                          Fr. Mike O’Keefe

This Week's Bulletin


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


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.  


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

Mass Times


Saturday: 9:00 AM; 5:30 PM (Vigil)
Sunday: 8:15 AM, 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM
Weekdays: 9:00 AM   
Saturdays 4:00 PM -4:30 PM
Rosary Divine Mercy Chaplet –        Wednesdays 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM



We still have signs available. Contact the RE office if you would like to pick one up!

Important Updates

That Man Is You! begins again Saturday, February 5. Click here for more information.

Food Pantry News

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 or at any Mass time.

Note: Please contact the food pantry chairman if you are considering a food drive or a large donation of items. 

A note from the food pantry

The Food Pantry would like to extend our thanks and gratitude  to all the parishioners of Our Lady Of Mt Carmel. This past year has been a long and hard one, but your continued generous support of our mission has been amazing!!

Click here for our current wish list

Thank you for your continued support of our mission!

Liz Eberhart 

PLEASE-do not leave any perishable items in the blue bin, and if at allpossible, please donate perishable items during hours of operation so we make sure to keep these food items safe. 

Support Our Troops and Our Vets

Donate much needed items for both in the box located to the left of the front doors as you enter the church building

Click HERE for a list of requested items


Online Faith Formation


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.

Pick of the week:
Extraordinary Stories for Children


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


     Upcoming Events





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