As we come to the second Sunday 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. Luke in our Sunday Gospel readings. Week by week, we are seeing Luke’s portrayal of Jesus’ ministry unfold before us. It certainly is an interesting journey.
We are blessed to be able to welcome home one of our own, Father Charles Banks, OMI. Father Banks is truly a native son – his parents were married here at St. Isidore, he was baptized here, and he graduated from St. Isidore Grade School. Following high school he joined the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (the OMIs) and was ordained a priest in 1966. He celebrates our 10:00am Mass this weekend in honor of his 50th Anniversary as a priest. Please be sure to welcome him home when you see him. Additional information is available elsewhere in the bulletin.
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 indicate 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.
We are always looking for opportunities to help our young people feel like they belong to our parish community, and especially help them find their place at our Sunday Eucharist. This is especially important for our youngest members who have not had the opportunity of coming to the Eucharist yet. Our Sunday Children’s Liturgy of the Word at the 10:00am and 11:30am Masses is one such opportunity. At those two Masses our young people are dismissed after the Opening Prayer and gather in the Father John Guiney Room to hear the Sunday Scriptures from the Children’s Lectionary. They also hear a reflection at their level before they return to the larger community at the Preparation of the Gifts. Another opportunity that was introduced a few years ago is our Children’s Collection. While the regular collection is being taken up, we invite any of our young people who brought a food offering for the poor or their Sunday offering to approach the altar and place them in the baskets on the altar steps. Children’s collection envelopes were distributed in the St. Isidore Grade School classes and in the Faith Formation classes shortly after the first of the year.
Thank you to all who have pledged to the 2016 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 $171,242. Thank you to the 1,014 households who have already paid $116,327 towards our parish goal. Your generosity is deeply appreciated. If you haven’t had a chance to respond to the 2016 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.
Work on our summer projects continues as we enter the middle weeks of July. As we prepare to resurface our main parking lot later this month, repair work has been done this past week to the concrete curbs and sidewalk in front of the church. Deteriorated sections of curb and cracked slabs of the sidewalk were removed and replaced. We anticipate all of this work being completed before the activity of the weekend. Thank you for your patience in working around the construction crew this past week.
All of this work is included in Phase II of our “Honoring our Roots, Cultivating our Future” capitol campaign. Your faithfulness in making your pledge payments to this 5-year campaign have provided to funds that make these improvements possible. Thank you for your faithful and regular payments of your pledges.
Thursday, July 14th, we celebrate the fifth 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 five full years and has had the occasion to visit our parish numerous times, we hope and pray that he is feeling more “at home” in our Joliet Diocese.
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