Happy Father’s Day to all of our dads, grandpas, Godfathers, and all those who are like a father to us. We celebrate and thank you for all of the marvelous ways you reveal God’s love to us. We ask God’s blessing upon you today and particularly remember those of our fathers who have gone ahead of us in faith and now live with the Lord.
We also remember those who do not look forward to today’s celebration. For some of us, our fathers are no longer with us and there is still a hole in our hearts. Others have had hurtful or abusive relationships with their fathers. Still others among us struggle with the painful experience of infertility. Couples in this situation spend this day grieving in the shadows. Besides honoring our fathers this day, we prayerfully remember those who are grieving the absence of their father or the opportunity to be a father.
Now that we have completed the Lent/ Easter cycle of our church year, we celebrate a few additional Solemnities of the Lord before we return to the steady cycle of Sundays in Ordinary Time. Today we celebrate the second of our two special feasts – “The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ” (traditionally known as “Corpus Christi”). Apart from the dark themes of Holy Thursday night, we are able to celebrate and appreciate the tremendous gift of Christ’s presence among us through the gift of the Eucharist. Next Sunday we resume our Sunday celebrations in Ordinary Time, returning to the season at the 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time. We will be in this “green season” of the Church Year from then until November 27th, the First Sunday of Advent.
Since the first Mass celebrated in our church, now chapel, was on Easter Sunday, March 27, 1921, the Eucharistic presence of the Lord has remained on our parish campus for 96 years. Two years ago we introduced the practice of honoring the continuing presence of the Eucharistic Lord in our parish by having an outdoor procession with the Eucharist immediately following the 1:00pm Mass. We will continue that custom this year with a similar outdoor procession immediately following the 1:00pm Mass. We will pause for prayer at different stations around our parish campus and conclude with Benediction in the Chapel. All are welcome to join us as we honor the Eucharist today. If you have attended an earlier Mass, you can join in the procession as we exit the main church at the southeast door.
Several weeks ago Bishop Conlon asked us to announce that he was appointing Father Matt Nathan as pastor of St. Alexis parish in Bensenville. As this Wednesday, June 21st, is the official transfer date for priests serving in our diocese, this weekend is Father Matt’s final weekend with us. Most of the priests of our diocese who have been transferred this year from one parish assignment to another will be moving this week. We were blessed to have had Father Matt as a Parochial Vicar for the past four years. He goes to St. Alexis with significant parish experience – both here at St. Isidore and previously at St. Mary in West Chicago. While any new experience can be a cause for anxiety, I am very confident that Father Matt will serve very well as a pastor. Our staff gathered with him at a luncheon before the school year ended to express our gratitude and good wishes to him. I have asked him to share his parting thoughts with us at each Mass this weekend. He has brought much energy and enthusiasm to his ministry among us. Please join me in wishing him the very best in this new chapter in his life.
The assignment of our new Parochial Vicar, Father Juan Jose Hernandez, is also effective this Wednesday, June 21st. Father Juan Jose has previously served as Parochial Vicar at St. Mary’s church in West Chicago. We will have the opportunity to welcome him to our parish next weekend, June 24/25. I will ask him to introduce himself at each of our Masses next weekend. We remember in prayer all those priests who are moving to a new parish this week.
Thank you for the welcome you extended to Father Raphael Makori last weekend. He visited our parish through our Joliet Diocesan Mission Appeal program and spoke about the needs of the Education programs of the Diocese of Musoma, Tanzania, East Africa. In response to his appeal, we have tithed 5% of last Sunday’s collection as well as 5% of our collection on Sunday, July 2nd.
Summer officially begins on Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at 11:24pm CDT. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year. Remember back to the winter when it was dark at 4:30pm? It is time to savor God’s gift of light and the gift of the summer. May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy