Nativity of Mary, Janesville

JANESVILLE — After combining Janesville’s four Catholic parishes a year ago into one pastorate, church members are now voting on a name for the newly formed parish made up of the combined churches.

The four individual church buildings will still be known as St. Patrick, Nativity of Mary, St. William and St. John Vianney, according to an email sent to parishoners.

Parishoners have until Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024 to cast their votes, which will be forwarded to Bishop Hying of the Diocese of Madison.

The choices include:

St. Joseph Parish – St. Joseph is the guardian and patron saint of the universal Church. The Church honors him as the light of patriarchs, guardian of the Virgin, faithful guardian of Christ, pattern of patience, lover of poverty, model of workers, pillar of family life, comfort of the troubled, hope of the sick, patron of the dying, terror of demons, and protector of the Church. He was chaste, just, prudent, brave, obedient, and loyal to God. He is sometimes overlooked by Catholics, but his intercession can have an immense impact on those in need and of our Church. We are all saved by Jesus. St. Joseph is unique in that he saved Jesus from the evil machinations of Herod. The feast day of St. Joseph is March 19

Holy Family Parish – Our parishes are coming together as one family to work together so this name may help us see ourselves as being part of one family. The family is the building block of civilization and the most important structure in a young person’s life. The Feast of the Holy Family presents the Holy Family as a model for Christian families. The feast day of the Holy Family is the Sunday after Christmas.

The Three Hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph Parish or Three Hearts Parish – The Three Hearts is a devotion to the hearts of the Holy Family: The Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Chaste Heart of Joseph. The hearts of the Holy Family exemplify love within the family and are an example for all Catholics to live by. Christ’s Sacred Heart is encircled with thorns and topped with a cross; Our Lady’s Heart is surrounded by roses and can be depicted with a sword piercing it; and St. Joseph’s Heart is surrounded by lilies. All three hearts are topped by flames symbolizing divine love. The feast day of the Sacred Heart is the second Friday after Pentecost followed by the Immaculate Heart the next Saturday. There is no official feast day for the Chaste Heart of Joseph.

St. Jane de Chantal Parish – St. Jane was a wife, mother, nun, and founder of the Visitation of Holy Mary. Her mother died when she was one year old, grew to be a woman of great beauty, married a local nobleman and had six children. Her husband was murdered seven years into the marriage and five years later she began spiritual direction with St. Francis de Sales. She went on to become a religious and founded 86 different convents. Her order took in women who were rejected by other orders because of age or health reasons. Other positives are that her feast day would be great for a parish picnic, her name does work with Janesville, and her name works with our new website address (as does St. Joseph). The feast day for St. Jane de Chantal is August 12.

Divine Mercy of Jesus Parish – Mercy is God’s greatest attribute and the source of all our graces. It is God’s mercy that brought us into existence, and it is God’s Mercy that has brought us the hope of our salvation. While the Divine Mercy of Jesus is something that has been in the Church from the beginning, it took on a prominence through the private revelations of our Lord to St. Faustina of Poland during the 1930’s. The “Chaplet of Divine Mercy” was taught to St. Faustina by the Lord Jesus himself. In the year 2000, Pope St. John Paul the Great, designated the Sunday after Easter as “Divine Mercy Sunday.”

The Light of Christ Parish or Lumen Christi Parish – Every year at the Easter Vigil the Easter Candle is processed into a dark Church with the priest or deacon chanting, “Light of Christ!” This image is also in the prologue of John’s Gospel where Jesus is proclaimed as “The true Light who gives light to everyone.” It is the Light of Christ that burns in our hearts, enlightens our minds, and is reflected in sanctuary lamps next to every tabernacle in the world. It is “the Light that shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish It.” (John 1:5)

King of Kings Parish – In the scriptures, Jesus is called the “King of kings” three time. He also refers to Himself as having a “Kingdom that is not of this world.” Since everything was created through Jesus all things will eventually be placed under him for His kingdom has no end. To say that Jesus is a king is to point out his absolute power and that we are to make Him the King of our hearts. The Feast of Christ the King was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 and is celebrated on the last Sunday in Ordinary Time, the last or penultimate Sunday in November.

Our Lady of Hope Parish – On January 17, 1870, with the Prussian army on the verge of marching into the French city of Laval, small children, for three hours experienced a vision of the Virgin Mary with a banner underneath her spelling out, “But pray, my children. God will hear you in time. My Son allows Himself to be touched.” The children were singing the hymn “Mother of Hope,” while our Lady clapped her hands to the music. That same evening the Prussians halted their advance, and an armistice was signed a week later. The virtue of hope is indispensable for the Christian life and this title of our Lady conveys a powerful message of trust in divine intervention during challenging times. The connection to a moment when hope triumphed over adversity adds a compelling layer to our identity. It’s not just a name; it’s a symbol of resilience, faith, and the assurance that, through prayer, we can overcome even the most daunting challenges.