It is not very exciting to debate when the Church Year should begin or end. Maybe it doesn’t, especially since ending and beginning themes seem to sound alike and to flow into each other. But there is a Sunday when we come to the end of one year’s reading of a specific Gospel and turn our attention to another. That Sunday happens to be today as we celebrate the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
Today we conclude our reading from the Gospel of Mark, which we began last Advent. Week after week we have been journeying through this Gospel and have heard it proclaimed in almost its entirety. Next week, on the First Sunday of Advent, we begin a new Church Year. We will change cycles in our Sunday Scripture readings and begin reading from the Gospel of Luke for a year. Luke’s picture of the person of Jesus will unfold before us.
Thank you to all who sponsored a Thanksgiving dinner box, packaged by the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Our offerings were collected over two weekends earlier in the autumn before the dinner boxes were ordered. Each box contained a turkey and all the side trimmings for a family’s Thanksgiving dinner. The dinner boxes were delivered last Friday, November 20th. Several dinner boxes were taken to Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica parish in Chicago on Friday. The remaining boxes stayed here for our neighborhood families in need and were picked up over the weekend. Thank you for your generous response in providing these Thanksgiving dinner boxes.
This Thursday – Thanksgiving Day! A wonderful way to begin the day is by celebrating Eucharist with our parish family. We gather as a faith community to give thanks to our God for the many gifts with which we have been blessed. As is our custom on civil holidays, we will celebrate a single Mass on Thanksgiving morning at 9:00am in the church. Please join us.
With the season of Advent beginning next Sunday, we have Bishop Ken Untener’s “The Little Blue Book” for the Advent and Christmas Seasons 2015-2016 available this weekend. These “Little Books” give us a wonderful guide in our personal, individual daily prayer throughout the major seasons of the Church Year. This year’s book for Advent and Christmas gives us six-minute daily reflections on the Advent/Christmas season weekday First Readings. The six-minute program begins next Sunday, November 29th, the First Sunday of Advent. These books – in both English and Spanish – are available in the Narthex. We also have additional resources to assist our personal prayer during the upcoming Advent/Christmas seasons.
This weekend we have the opportunity to participate in the annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). Funds collected through the CCHD support self-help projects for poor and low-income people working together to improve their lives and their communities. Thank you for your generosity.
All through the month of November we have kept a prayerful remembrance of those who have gone before us in faith. Our parish Book of Remembrance at the front of the Church near the Baptistery and the Easter Candle reminds us of our commitment to pray for the dead. During this month of November, we continue our prayerful remembrance of those who have gone before us in faith. You are welcome to add additional names of your beloved dead in the Book of Remembrance during this final week of the month. May God welcome them into his glory.
Last year our Diocesan Vocation Office launched a major Vocation Event – “Who Will Fill These Shoes?” It was held at the Cathedral in Joliet on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Young men between the ages of 16 and 40 came together to learn more about the diocesan priesthood and to consider the possibility of a call to serve as a priest. The response was so encouraging that a Second Annual “Who Will Fill These Shoes” gathering will be held at the Cathedral in Joliet on the Friday following Thanksgiving – November 27th – from 9am to 3pm. Young men between the ages of 16 to 40 are invited to attend. Parents are also welcome. Registrations can be made at https://www.dioceseofjoliet.org/vocations/sectioncontent.php?sedid=19. Please contact me, Father Matt or Father Clive at the parish office for additional information.
Our parish bulletin is published by Diocesan Publications in Grand Rapids, MI. Their representative, Mr. Dave Chulski, was on-site with us over the past few weeks. He visited with our advertisers to thank them for their support of our parish through their ad in the bulletin and to solicit new advertisers. Our parish bulletin is made possible through these ads. Please patronize our advertisers and tell them that you saw their ad in our Sunday bulletin.
Please note that our Parish Office will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and on Friday. Weekday Mass on Friday will be celebrated at 8.15am, our Saturday morning time.
We complete another Church Liturgical Year in fine form. As we celebrate the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe this weekend and Thanksgiving later this week, we thank God for all of the blessings that we have experienced this past year and look forward to what lies ahead. We pray that God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy