June 18, 2023

Happy Father’s Day to all of our Dads, Grandpas, Godfathers, and all those who are like a father to us. We celebrate and thank you for all of the marvelous ways you reveal God’s love to us. We ask God’s blessing upon you today, and we particularly remember those of our fathers who have gone ahead of us in faith and now live with the Lord.

“A good father knows how to wait and knows how to forgive from the depths of his heart…The father who knows how to correct without humiliating is the one who knows how to protect without sparing himself.”

Pope Francis

We also remember those who do not look forward to today’s celebration. For some of us, our fathers are no longer with us and there is still a hole in our hearts. Others have had a hurtful or abusive relationship with their father. Still others among us struggle with the painful experience of infertility. Couples in these situations spend this day grieving in the shadows. Besides honoring our fathers this day, we prayerfully remember those who are grieving the absence of their father or the opportunity to be a father.

that our celebrations of the Easter season the major Solemnities of Trinity Sunday and the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ are concluded, we return to the cycle of Sundays in Ordinary Time – “the green Sundays.” We re-enter this season at the 11th week, where we left the season at the beginning of Lent. We will continue reading from Matthew’s Gospel, section by section, until we begin the season of Advent on December 3. Ordinary Time reminds us that we are called to steady and regular growth as we celebrate the events of Jesus’ life. It is good to be back in this regular cycle of our Church Year.

Two years ago, Bishop Hicks asked us to take up a “Father’s Day Special Collection for Diocesan Priests’ Care & Support.” This is a special collection to care for our retired priests. The Fund for Diocesan Infirm and Elderly Priests is a special way for us to express our concern for the welfare of those who have dedicated their lives in service to our pastoral care. The money in this fund goes toward priests who need help with extraordinary medical expenses or who have suffered a catastrophic illness. It also provides for the care of the St. John Vianney Villa in Naperville, home to several retired priests in the Diocese of Joliet. Envelopes for this collection have been included in the May-June packets mailed to our homes. Other contributions can be placed in the collection baskets or made online using the link on the parish website or Flocknote. Thank you for your generosity in responding to this appeal for our retired and infirm priests.

While Memorial Day traditionally signals the beginning of summer, the official beginning of summer will take place this Wednesday, June 21 at 9:58 am. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year. Remember back to the winter when it was dark at 4:30 pm? It is time to savor God’s gift of light and the gift of the summer. May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.

– Father Jim Murphy