Father Jerome Kish, (Diocese of Joliet '98), St. Mary Nativity & Holy Cross Churches, Joliet, IL
Submitted by: Rosa Barbosa
During this challenging time when churches were closed, Father Jerome took the initiative to start streaming daily 8:30 a.m. masses and a daily 6:00 p.m. Rosary almost immediately when the pandemic started in March. He worked on the setup on his own and only missed streaming when he had technical difficulties. He brought a community of parishioners and former parishioners together on a daily basis (and continues to do so). Personally praying the Rosary on a daily basis with Father Jerome and our little community has brought me peace and comfort during this challenging time. We recognize each other now when we post our intentions. People that probably would not have met are praying for each other’s intentions. He streamed a procession in May for our Blessed Mother. During the procession, he prayed the Rosary as he walked between St Mary Nativity and Holy Cross Churches. During Lent, he also streamed Eucharistic Adoration so we could feel close to our Lord. He set it up by the front doors so parishioners could adore from their cars.
I am not a member of his current parish, but I do follow him on social media because he was the pastor at St Joseph's in Downers Grove many years ago. He publishes his homilies from time to time and many former parishioners stay in touch. His commitment to keeping us close to our Lord has helped many of us during this challenging year.
Father Jerome has helped me stay connected with my faith this year. I had not prayed the Rosary on a regular basis before this. It was a rare occasion when I did pray. The daily 6 p.m. Rosary has brought me closer to my faith. I now pray the Rosary on a daily basis. If I am not able to join live, I go back and pray afterwards. Personally knowing the priest streaming masses and Rosaries helped make it so that it was almost as if I was attending Mass at my parish. He has given so much of himself to make sure we can all pray together.