It doesn’t seem possible that today is the final Sunday of June and with the 4th of July falling on next Saturday, the holiday is being observed on Friday, July 3rd. As businesses, government offices and the Postal Service are observing the 4th of July on Friday, so too will we. As is our custom on the civil holidays, we will celebrate a single Mass on Friday (July 4th observed) at 9:00am in the Church. Please join us for Mass as we give thanks to God for all the blessings and freedoms we experience in our country. Our parish offices will be closed on Friday, July 3rd so that our staff may enjoy the day with their families. Mass on Saturday, July 4th, will be at 8:15am, the regular time for Saturday morning.
But before we begin the month of July, we have a major feast on our church calendar at the end of June. Monday, June 29th is the feast of Sts. Peter & Paul. Peter was one of the original twelve apostles and along with James and John, was with Jesus at the most significant moments in his ministry. Paul, originally a Pharisee, was called by the Lord to be the apostle to the Gentiles. Paul led the early missionary efforts of the church beyond the borders of Israel into Asia, Europe and ultimately Rome. These two apostles are among the “giants” of the early church.
We look to the saints as role models and examples of encouragement in our own efforts to be disciples of the Lord. A common practice, though, is to elevate them to such a degree that we can no longer identify with them as human people. We remember their greatness and their successes and forget about their human struggles. Fortunately with Peter and Paul, their human side is clearly recorded for us in the Scriptures.
We are told that Peter had a temper and was a “hot-head.” He also gave in to his fears when he denied knowing the Lord following Jesus’ arrest on Holy Thursday. The good news is that Peter recovered and spent the rest of his life professing his faith in the risen Lord.
As a Pharisee, Paul was stubborn and resisted change of any kind. He channeled all of his energy into destroying the new Christian movement. His efforts were so intense that God had to literally knock him off of his horse in order to get his attention. Following his conversion, Paul channeled that same energy into proclaiming his newfound faith throughout the known world. Both of these apostles became martyrs in Rome.
It is important for us to remember the struggles and the failures of our saints. We look to them as examples of Christian living as we follow the same path. When we rob them of their humanity, it is hard to see them as credible human examples. Peter and Paul are two passionate, human examples of Christian life.
Thank you to all who expressed your gratitude and good wishes to Father Josh last weekend as we took leave of him. We were blessed to have had him serve our parish over the past two years. He began his service as pastor of St. Charles Borromeo parish in Bensenville last Wednesday. We promise him the continued support of our prayers. Our new Parochial Vicar, Father Clive Otieno, is celebrating a Mass of Thanksgiving this weekend at his home parish in Kenya. He is due to return to the United States on Thursday and will introduce himself at each Mass next weekend. Please welcome him when you see him next weekend. We are blessed to have him serve our parish community.
It was good to have Camp St. Isidore back at our parish last week. We did not offer it last year as the Ministry Center was used as a major storage area during the construction last summer. Thank you to Laura Polido, Yvonne Mundorf, Monica Schaffer and their team of volunteers for leading us through such a great week for you young people.
As welcome as the warm weather is, it brings with it another kind of problem. At the June meeting of the Parish Pastoral Council, the question of “summer attire” was brought up. We usually don’t have to worry about this issue during the winter months when we are dressing to keep warm. But in the summer months…. Over the past few weeks we have had some people pushing the envelope. Please remember when coming to church during the summer months to dress appropriately. We come together in God’s presence to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. We should not dress as if we were coming from or going to Lifetime or another fitness center. Tank tops, stretch leggings and short shorts were not designed for worship. Our church is air conditioned. It is good to be respectful of those who are sitting around us.
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. Please use the envelopes that were provided in the packs you received in the mail. As always, thank you for your generous response.
As we end our fiscal year on Tuesday, I want to thank you for your regular and faithful support of our parish through your Sunday offerings. The Sunday collection is our primary source of income for our parish. Your generosity makes it possible for us to do all that we do here at St. Isidore.
Have a safe and blessed beginning of July and holiday at the end of this week. May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.