May 14, 2023:

Happy Mother’s Day! We wish God’s choicest blessings on all of the mothers, grandmothers, Godmothers and stepmothers of our parish. May God bless you all for the wonderful things that you do. And in a special way, as we gather around the table of the Lord, we remember our mothers who now live the fullness of life with the Lord. We pray that God reward them for their goodness as they continue to pray for us in God’s presence.

A mother defends herself with a heart filled with love before doing so with words.

Pope Francis

We also want to remember those for whom this day brings incredible pain. Many couples, most unknown to others, struggle with infertility and the inability to become parents. Others may be alienated from their parents or their children, and this holiday only intensifies that pain. Please know that you have a special place in our prayer today.

Last weekend, we announced at our Masses that both Father Rey Treyes and Father Asirvadam Dandu will be completing their time as Parochial Vicars at our parish. Father Dandu has completed his 3-year assignment with us and is being transferred to St. Mary parish in Downers Grove. Father Rey is now retiring from active ministry. Bishop Ron Hicks has assigned Father Ramon Sida and Father Thomas Benzes, O.Pream to our parish as Parochial Vicars. Father Ramon currently serves at St. Mary Immaculate parish in Plainfield. Father Thomas is a Norbertine priest who will be coming to our diocese. All of these changes will be effective as of July 1. I want to thank Father Rey and Father Dandu for their faithful service among us. We will arrange a time to say thank you and good-bye to them before their departures at the end of June. I also want to thank Bishop Hicks for assigning two new priests to our parish.

Today, as we celebrate the Sixth Sunday of Easter and continue our reading from the Farewell Discourse in John’s Gospel, we hear a very powerful and encouraging message. Situated at the Last Supper, Jesus shares a special farewell gift with his disciples. At Jesus’ request, the Father will send “another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth.” While Jesus, their original advocate, will be leaving the disciples, the other advocate will remain with them always, reminding them of Jesus and his teaching. Anticipated separations can rob us of a peaceful spirit and make us feel troubled or afraid. Change is never easy. Jesus knew the Apostles and the human heart well. And he knew their call to be his disciples would not be an easy one – that they would need an advocate to strengthen them (the Holy Spirit). As he prepares the apostles for what is to come, he is also preparing us for our celebration of the gift of God’s Spirit among us on Pentecost. We will celebrate that feast in just two weeks.

Thank you to all who helped make our parish May Crowning at last Sunday’s 10:00 am Mass such a beautiful celebration. May has traditionally been dedicated to honoring Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Our parish May Crowning was led by representatives of our St. Isidore Catholic School 8th grade class, the officers of our Council of Catholic Women and our CCW Woman of the Year, Mrs. Donna Stephenson. Also, thank you to the choir for leading us in song. 

Monday, May 15 is the Feast of St. Isidore the Farmer. This is our patronal feast day and a major feast for our parish. Both daily Masses on Monday (7:00am and 12:05pm) will honor the Feast of St. Isidore the Farmer.

Next Sunday, we will celebrate the feast of the Ascension. Normally. this feast is celebrated on the 40th day of Easter, which would be this coming Thursday, May 18. Twenty-four years ago, our Bishops received permission to transfer the observance of the feast to the nearest Sunday. This had already been the practice in the western states of our country. The Bishops of the state of Illinois decided to make the transfer, which took effect in May, 2000. So, this Thursday is simply “Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter.” Next Sunday is the feast of the Ascension and the following Sunday will be the feast of Pentecost, bringing our 50-day Easter celebration to a close.

The annual Joliet Diocesan Priesthood Ordination Mass will take place this Saturday, May 20 at St. Raymond’s Cathedral in Joliet. At this celebration, four transitional deacons will be ordained as priests for our diocese. A fifth will be ordained at a later date in June. We promise all of them the support of our prayers as they prepare for their ordinations and the beginning of their priestly ministry among us.

Is it safe to say that spring has finally arrived and is here to stay? This is a wonderful season of new life. As always, I pray that God continue to bless us with everything that we need, and more.

Father Jim Murphy