June 2, 2024

On this first Sunday in June, we celebrate the Solemnity of “The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.” Now that we have completed the Lent/Easter cycle of our church year, we celebrate a few additional Solemnities of the Lord before we return to the steady cycle of Sundays in Ordinary Time. Last Sunday, we celebrated the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity. Today, we celebrate the second of our two special feasts, “The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ” (traditionally known as Corpus Christi). Apart from the dark themes of Holy Thursday night, we are able to celebrate and appreciate the tremendous gift of Christ’s presence among us through the gift of the Eucharist. The first Mass celebrated in our original church was on March 27, 1921, so that means we have had 103 years of continuous Eucharistic presence of the Lord on our parish campus. Our Perpetual Adoration Chapel on the north side of the main church is also a great reminder of the Lord’s continued presence among us. While I try to keep things very simple at our celebrations of First Eucharist each spring, I do remind our young people who are receiving the Eucharist for the first time of a very basic truth of our faith. The Lord gave us this great and wonderful sacrament for one reason – he wants to be with us. Even though the time had come for him to return to the Father, he also wanted to stay here with us. Through the gift of the Eucharist, the gift of his Real Presence among us, he found a wonderful way to remain with us.

The Eucharist is essential for us: it is Christ who wishes to enter our lives and
fill us with his grace. The Eucharist, although it is the fulfillment of
sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and
nourishment for the weak.

Pope Francis

In honor of today’s Solemnity, we will have a special Eucharistic procession throughout our campus immediately following the 1:00 pm Mass. This special time of prayer is a perfect way to observe the second of the three-year Eucharistic Revival proclaimed by our Bishops. Both the Filipino and Spanish communities will join together to lead us in this prayer. If you attended an earlier Mass this weekend, you are welcome to return to participate in this special Eucharistic procession on our campus.

Next Sunday, we resume our Sunday celebrations in Ordinary Time, returning to the season at the 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time. We will be in this “green season” of the Church Year from then until December 1, the First Sunday of Advent.

Anticipating the end of my term as pastor of St. Isidore Parish and my retirement from active ministry at the end of this month, our next pastor, Father John Balluff, visited our parish a few weeks ago. He was able to meet most of our staff members and he got a tour of our parish campus. As I have always found myself to be in the right place at the right time, I am confident that our parish will be in good hands with Father John as our pastor. I am grateful for the chance I had last Friday night to join with the Spanish community to say thank you and good-bye. I had another chance to join with the Filipino community a few Sundays ago for another farewell. I am truly grateful to have been able to serve this parish for these past 14 years.

Thank you to all who have pledged to the 2024 Joliet Diocesan Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal. Our pledges support the work of the diocese, our larger church. Our CMAA goal this year is $154,900. Thank you to the 698 households who have paid $133,592 towards our 2024 goal. We are doing everything possible to reach our goal again this year. Bishop Hicks recently sent a follow-up letter to those households who contributed to the Appeal last year, but have not yet contributed this year. If you haven’t had a chance to respond to the 2024 Joliet Diocesan Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal, please join me and make your pledge as soon as possible. Your generosity is deeply appreciated and helps us meet our obligations to the larger Diocesan church.

We have waited for this time of year for a long time. Enjoy it now as best as you are able. May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.

– Father Jim Murphy