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 96th anniversary of our parish this year (founded on March 5, 1920), 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 on March 27, 1921, 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.
The annual Joliet Diocesan Priesthood Ordination Mass took place Yesterday, May 21st, at St. Raymond’s Cathedral in Joliet. Five transitional deacons were ordained as priests for our diocese. We promise them the support of our prayers as they celebrate their First Masses today and begin their priestly ministry in our diocese next month.
We continue to remember in our prayer our Confirmation candidates. They will be confirmed this Saturday, May 28, 2016, with two separate celebrations at 10:00am and 1:30pm. Abbot Dismas Kalcic, OSB, of St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle will be with us to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation with our young people this year.
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 with us for our double Confirmation Masses this Saturday, and then they will be on “sabbatical” during the summer months.
Most of our college students have completed their spring semester and have returned home. Congratulations to those who have graduated. Many of our local high schools are holding their graduation ceremonies over the next few weekends. I am again honored to be able to celebrate the graduation Mass for St. Francis High School later this afternoon at St. John Neumann parish in St. Charles. Congratulations to all of our high school students who are graduating in the Class of 2016.
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.
Thank you to the 953 households who have responded to Bishop Conlon’s request to support the 2016 Joliet Diocesan Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal. We are only $705 away from reaching our 2016 goal in pledges with $170,537 pledged towards our parish goal $171,242. Thank you for your generous response. The Diocese recently mailed a second follow-up letter to those who made a pledge over the past few years but have not yet made a pledge for this year’s Appeal. I want to encourage everyone who has not had a chance to respond to the 2016 Joliet Diocesan Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal to do so as soon as possible. We have additional commitment envelopes at both the Parish Office and the Hospitality Desk in the Church. On-line pledges can be made at www.jolietdioceseappeal.org. Thank you again to all those who have already responded and are helping us reach our 2016 goal in pledges. Your generosity is deeply appreciated.
Graduation for our Grade School Class of 2016 will take place this Thursday evening. The school year will end the following Friday, June 3rd. 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