On this first Sunday of the month of August, our Church calendar celebrates the 19th Sunday in the Ordinary Time of the Year. And in this particular Sunday, Luke gives us a very familiar, yet challenging, saying of Jesus: “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” This saying continues the message Jesus began last week: “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” In the midst of stories about masters and servants, stewards and thieves, lamps and purses, Jesus tells his disciples (including us), that what really matters in life is how we set up our priorities. What do we value most? What are the things that are most important to us? And with our possessions, what can we let go of and what is “nonnegotiable?” Our answers reveal what is most important in our lives! Is there a difference between what we have and what we need? Where our treasure is, there will our hearts be!
Thank you for your patience and flexibility last weekend in dealing with our partially completed repaved parking lot. In spite of our thought out schedules and preparations, the heavy rains at the end of the week prevented the asphalt company from completing the work before the weekend. They returned at midnight on Sunday evening to resume work to complete the project on Monday morning. They were still painting the parking lines when the 10:45am funeral pulled into the lot. The entire project was completed by noon Monday! The work begun last summer in repairing the sewers and installing new high efficiency LED lights and relocating the light poles was the first step. A few weeks ago the curbs in front of the church were repaired. The final step was the resurfacing of the entire lot in front of and behind the church. Our newly paved lots clearly say, “Welcome!” to all who come to our church. I was told that the last time our lots were repaved was during the time Father Joel Fortier was pastor and the Ministry Center was built and the church converted from a multi-purpose space to a permanent church! That was about 20 years ago! So thank you for your patience while the work was being done and thank you for providing the funds that made all of this possible. All of the work in our parking lots was included in Phase II of our “Honoring our Roots, Cultivating our Future” capital campaign. Your faithfulness in making your pledge payments to this 5-year campaign has provided the funds that made these much needed improvements possible. Thank you for your faithful and regular payments of your pledges.
Our summer celebration of the feasts of many of the great saints of our church continues this week. On Monday we have the feast of St. Dominic, a 13th century Spanish priest who founded the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans. On Tuesday we celebrate one of our 20th century saints. St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross began her life in 1891 as Edith Stein, a German Jew. Inspired by the writings of St. Teresa of Avila, she became a Catholic convert in January 1922. She taught in various schools from 1923 to 1933 until forced to resign due to anti-Semitic legislation in Germany. In 1933, she entered the Carmelite convent in Cologne and took the religious name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. As a result of the Nazi persecution of Jews, she moved in 1939 to the convent at Echt, Holland. In 1942, during the German occupation of Holland, she was arrested and transported to the German concentration camp at Auschwitz, where she was killed on August 9, 1942. Saint Pope John Paul II canonized her a saint, religious and martyr, on October 11, 1998. Wednesday, we celebrate the feast of St. Laurence, a deacon in Rome who was martyred in 258. And on Thursday we have the feast of St. Clare of Assisi, a disciple of St. Francis and founder of the Poor Clares. She served as abbess of the convent at Assisi for forty-two years.
Did you know that we celebrate a Mass every Tuesday afternoon at one of our local nursing homes? We alternate weeks between Lexington and West Suburban nursing homes. We have a corps of Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist who take turns bringing the Eucharist to those who are unable to join us in the dining rooms where we celebrate the Mass. And we have the assistance of two volunteers who are with us every week – Pat Jenisch, who brings the Mass box and does the set up for us and Karen Petrus, who brings her guitar and provides the music for each Mass. Thank you to these faithful volunteers and to all who assist in providing Mass for those in our nursing homes.
We are now into the final month of the summer. The Grade School office has re-opened as they prepare for the beginning of a new school year in just a few short weeks. The Religious Education/Faith Formation office never closed during the summer! We endured a long, cold winter and cooler than normal spring waiting for this summer season of the year. Let’s enjoy it to the full. May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy