Last Sunday’s celebration of the Feast of Pentecost was a wonderful, spirit-filled celebration. And it brought our 50-day celebration of the Easter season to a great conclusion. Now that we have completed the Lent/Easter cycle of our church year, we have a few additional weekend feasts of the Lord before we return to the steady cycle of Sundays in Ordinary Time. Today we celebrate the first of those feasts — the Feast of the Holy Trinity.
The first mention of a feast of the Trinity appeared in 1030 and was celebrated on the Sunday after Pentecost. Pope John XXII made it a feast of the universal church in 1334, and chose the first Sunday after Pentecost (today) for the celebration of the new feast.
Next Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Apart from the dark themes of Holy Thursday night, we have the opportunity to appreciate the presence of the Lord Jesus among us in the sacrament of the Eucharist. As we mark the 95th anniversary of our parish, that also means 95 years of continued Eucharistic presence of the Lord on our parish campus. From the time of the first Mass celebrated in our church, now chapel, the presence of the Lord has remained through the Eucharist. In order to celebrate next Sunday’s Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, and the 95 years of continues presence of the Eucharist in our parish, we will have an outdoor procession with the Eucharist immediately following the 1:00pm Mass. We will pause for prayer at different stations around our parish campus. All are welcome to join us as we honor the Eucharist next weekend. If you attend an earlier Mass next Sunday, you can join in the procession as we exit the main church.
Thank you to our choir and all of our music ministers who served our parish so well in leading us in prayer over the past year. The choir completed their year last Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, as they served at the 8:30 and 10:00am Masses. They will be on “sabbatical” during the summer months.
Thank you to all who responded to our 2015 Stewardship of Talent Renewal last weekend. Some returned their commitment card shortly after they received it at our Parish Mission II the previous weekend. Most completed their commitment card at Mass last weekend. The Scripture readings for Pentecost Sunday highlighted the fact that all of our different gifts and talents have been given to us by God to be used to build up the Kingdom of God on earth. If you have not had a chance to return your Stewardship of Talent commitment card, please either mail it to the Parish Office or bring it to Mass this weekend. Again, thank you for your personal commitments to being good stewards of the many different talents and gifts God has so generously blessed each of us with each day.
Many of us enjoyed the practice of daily, personal prayer guided by The Little Black Books during the 40 days of Lent and The Little White Books during the 50 days of Easter. These Little Books offered a Scripture verse and reflection as well as practical seasonal reflection for each of the days of the season. We were invited to “spend some quiet time with the Lord.” These reflections concluded with the feast of Pentecost last Sunday. Some have asked if there is a Little Book available for Ordinary Time. Unfortunately, there is not. These Little Books are provided for the major seasons of the church year – Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter. It is possible though to continue the practice of daily, personal prayer throughout the Ordinary Time season of the year. One option — each week we print the Scripture readings for our daily Masses in the bulletin. Either the first reading or the Gospel reading could be a good starting point for spending “some quiet time with the Lord.” This is a good way for us to continue the valuable practice of daily, personal prayer.
Looking back – it was at this time a year ago that our lease of the building which housed the LINK, the home of our CONNECT Youth Ministries ended. Furniture and other furnishings were moved from the LINK and stored in the Ministry Center for the summer. The school year for the Grade School was completed. Demolition work in the Chapel lower level has already begun. The upstairs classroom and computer lab had already been moved, and the grade school library was packed up. Work on installing the handicap accessible elevator in the Chapel building had already begun. We were moving full steam ahead! Looking back, we can see exactly how much work took place in the chapel building over a very busy last summer. It was all possible through your generosity in our capital campaign, “Honoring Our Roots, Cultivating Our Future.” As the next phase of work on our parking lot begins this summer, please continue to be faithful to you monthly pledge payments. Your payments make the additional phases of the campaign possible.
Also, thank you to all who have pledged to the 2015 Joliet Diocesan Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal. Our pledges support the work of the diocese, our larger church. Thank you to the 1025 households who have pledged and paid $98,980 towards our parish goal of $161,241. Your generosity is deeply appreciated. Please continue to make your monthly payments on your pledge. If you haven’t had a chance to respond to the 2015 Joliet Diocesan Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal, please do so as soon as possible. We have additional commitment envelopes at the Parish Office and the Hospitality Desk in the Church. A follow-up letter from the Diocesan Development Office was recently sent to those who have previously pledged in past years, but have not responded this year. Again, thank you for your support of our larger diocesan church.
Our Grade School Class of 2015 graduation takes place this Thursday evening. The school year will end the following Thursday. The slower pace of summer will soon be here. As always, may God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy