July 2, 2023

We are now into July and enjoying the 4th of July holiday weekend. With the actual holiday falling on a Tuesday this year, many of us will have Monday off and be able to enjoy a long, mid-summer holiday weekend of fun activities with family and friends. As is our custom on civil holidays, we will celebrate a single Mass on Tuesday at 9:00 am in the Church. Please join us for our special Independence Day Mass, as we give thanks to God for all the blessings and freedoms we experience in our country. It is a great way to begin the holiday. Our parish offices will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, so that our staff may enjoy the day with their families. We will reopen on Wednesday, July 5.

“The more Jesus occupies the center of our lives, the more He allows us to come out of ourselves and brings us closer to others.”

Pope Francis

For our weekend Masses, we are celebrating the Thirteenth Sunday in the Ordinary Time of the Year. We continue our reading of Matthew’s Gospel. Week by week, we are seeing Matthew’s portrayal of Jesus’ ministry unfold before us. This week, we hear of the commissioning of the disciples and Jesus’ sending of 72 followers ahead of him to the places he plans to visit. There will be some successes and there will be some failures. Not all are ready to hear the Good News of the kingdom. Following Jesus is certainly an interesting journey.

July is a very welcome month in the life of a parish. It is a chance for many of us to catch our breath. It has felt like we ran a marathon from the Christmas holidays…through Ash Wednesday…to the last day of school…and even over the past few weeks until now! Committees, boards and councils will not meet during July. The Administrative staff of our parish school is off during July and the school office is closed. Parish staff members will also have an opportunity to get away for some well-earned vacation time. We are continuing our practice of closing the parish offices on Fridays during July. One of our staff will be on duty for telephone calls and deliveries. This gives our staff some additional time for family activities.

The slower pace of July also provides a good time to attend to some important projects around the parish grounds. Summer projects will include tuckpointing areas in need of attention on each of our buildings, replacing the fire alarm panel in the Ministry Center, sealing and restriping our parking lots, and installing safety and security upgrades to all of our buildings. I will share more details about the security upgrades in the weeks ahead. The majority of this summer’s projects are not as visible as in past summers when we replaced the lights in the parking lot or resurfaced the lots. But these behind-the-scenes projects are just as important as the more visible ones.

This month is also a good time for us to catch up on things that may have worked their way to the bottom of the pile or been pushed to the back burner. It is a good opportunity to step back and take a look at the “big picture.” Often, we surround ourselves with such constant activity that we can easily lose sight of the forest for the trees. It is time to catch our breath and get back in touch with our roots.

This weekend, we have the opportunity to participate in the annual “Peter’s Pence” appeal. This collection helps to fund the Holy Father’s personal efforts at caring for the needy and suffering of our world. Envelopes for this appeal were included in the pack you received in the mail, or you may donate online or use one of the white envelopes in the pew racks. As always, thank you for your generosity.

This will be Father Dandu’s final weekend with us before his transfer to St. Mary’s parish in Downers Grove. I have asked him to speak at each of our Masses this weekend. We have been blessed to have had him serving our parish community for the past three years. We wish both him and Father Rey God’s blessings as they take leave of our parish. Our new Parochial Vicars, Fathers Benzes Thomas and Ramon Sida begin their new assignments on Monday, July 3.

Have a safe and blessed holiday weekend. May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.

– Father Jim Murphy