As we come to the middle Sundays in this month of July, we also celebrate the 15th Sunday in the Ordinary Time of the Year. We have been making our way through the Gospel of St. Mark in our Sunday Gospel readings. Week by week, we are seeing Mark’s portrayal of Jesus’ ministry unfold before us. It certainly is an interesting journey.
We were very happy to welcome our new Parochial Vicar, Father Clive Otieno to our parish last weekend. Father Clive was able to introduce himself at most of the Masses last weekend. Thank you for the personal welcome many of you extended to him before and after our Masses. Father Clive was ordained a priest by Bishop Conlon on May 16th at St. Raymond’s Cathedral in Joliet. His assignment to St. Isidore’s is his first priestly assignment! As our parish is so large, please continue to extend your personal welcomes to Father Clive when you see him. We are blessed to have him with us and serve our parish community.
One of the blessings of our Catholic faith tradition is our practice of interceding and supporting each other through our prayer. We do that every time we gather for the Eucharist, especially during the Prayer of the Faithful. Since we are connected to each other in faith, it is important that we support those in need with our prayers. While we regularly remember those who are sick and those who have died, we have additional opportunities to request the prayers of our community. Our Parish Book of Prayer is located in the Narthex near the south doors entering the Church. All are welcome to write their prayer requests and intentions in our Parish Book of Prayer. We also have our prayer list for those who are engaged and preparing for Marriage. And since we are a people who value life, our Respect Life Expecting Parents’ Prayer List is also in the bulletin. Should you wish to have anyone added to a particular prayer list, please call the Parish Office. This also includes a son or daughter marrying at another parish, or an out-of-town family member expecting a child. It is good for us to remember all of these intentions in our prayer.
The slower pace of parish life during July provides a good time to attend to some projects around the parish. The parking lots around the Chapel were recently seal-coated and restriped. These lots were resurfaced last August following the work done in the Chapel building last summer. Another summer project involves some repair work and new, energy saving lights in the main parking lot. This will be done over the next few weeks. A final project will be done in the parish office. Some refurbishing work will be done on the main floor level, including replacing flooring and carpets as well as some painting. This work began last Thursday as all the first floor offices were relocated throughout our other buildings. The main parish office is now located in the main office of the Grade School. We have signs posted directing people to the right building. This work is scheduled to conclude on July 22nd. Hopefully the interruptions will be minimal. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this causes. We chose this time of year as things do slow down a bit this month.
Now that the summer months have arrived, our parish staff normally shifts into our summer hours. 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 practice gives our staff some additional time family activities.
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. Our parish goal for this year’s appeal is $161,241. Thank you to the 1050 households who have already pledged and paid $116,971 towards our parish goal. Your generosity is deeply appreciated. The diocese is moving into a new phase of the appeal by contacting those who have pledged in the past few years, but have not pledged to this year’s appeal. 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.
Tuesday (July 14th) we celebrate the fourth anniversary of the Installation of Bishop Daniel Conlon as the 5th Bishop of the Joliet Diocese. Now that the Bishop has been with us for four full years and has had the occasion to visit our parish numerous times, we hope and pray that he is feeling more “at home” among us in his new diocese.
Will you be away for some much needed vacation time this summer? If so, no need to lose contact with your parish family. Our weekly Sunday bulletin is posted on our parish website – www.stisidoreparish.org. Be sure to check it out on those weekends when you are away from the parish.
This week we reach the mid-point of the month of July and the mid-point of the summer. Why is it that winter seems to drag on forever and summer passes in a flash? Let’s be sure to take advantage of the family times and outdoor activities that make summer such a wonderful season of the year. May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy