Today we celebrate the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time – our last Sunday in the season of Summer. Autumn officially begins this Friday, September 22nd at 3:02pm CDT. A season filled with tremendous beauty awaits us. New opportunities are all around us.
It was a very moving sight to see the fire department, police department and first responder vehicles in our parking lot last Sunday morning. The sky was as cloudless and clear blue as it was sixteen years ago on September 11, 2001. Our First Responders were all here for the “Blue Mass” which we celebrated at our 10:00am Mass last Sunday. They appreciated the prayers and thanks we offered for them and were especially grateful for the blessings we prayed over them at the end of Mass. Many joined us for the luncheon held in their honor following the Mass. It was an emotional day for both our First Responders and for us who honored them last Sunday. Thank you to our Father John Guiney Council of the Knights of Columbus for sponsoring our 3rd Annual Blue Mass. Special thanks go to Bill Gorsline who spearheaded this special event with the Knights. It was something we needed to do!
Last Sunday we began a new series of inquiry meetings on the Catholic faith at 9:30am in the Chapel Lower Level. This meeting was the beginning of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process that will lead us to Easter 2018. A few weeks ago I mentioned that many of the adults who enter the Church through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) do so because someone else invited them to consider the Catholic faith. Many of the people who gathered last Sunday were there because someone else invited them to consider our Catholic faith. These inquiry meetings continue this week at 9:30am in the Chapel Lower Level and are offered in both English and Spanish. It is not too late to join this group. There are no costs or additional obligations. Perhaps all another person needs is an invitation to consider the Catholic faith. If you know someone who may be searching, please invite them to our Sunday morning meetings. If you would like additional information, please call Leonor Carvajal at 630-529-3045.
New beginnings and opportunities are certainly happening all around us. Many of our parish programs are either launching or are now in full swing. Our parish Grade School began classes on August 23rd. Faith Formation classes for grades K-6 began last week. Our first Teen Mass of the season will be celebrated tonight at 6:00pm in the main church. Our Junior High (7-8) and Confirmation program begins this week. Thank you to all of our catechists, office help and volunteers who make all this possible. We are still seeking three facilitators for our Junior High Sessions. Contact the Faith Formation Office if you are willing to share your faith with our teens. Our Sacred Heart Prayer Group continues to meet on Monday evenings and the Spanish Prayer group on Tuesday evenings. We have additional prayer groups that meet throughout the week.
Adult Faith Formation groups are now meeting, including several Bible Study groups. We have two groups viewing Bishop Robert Barron’s latest series, “David the King” on Thursday and Friday evenings in English and a third Spanish group on Wednesdays. As I mentioned above, RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) sessions are now up and running. Rehearsal for our St. Isidore Children’s Choir, grades 3-8, began last Thursday. Our Music Ministry will hold their initial gathering on Wednesday, September 27th. The Knights of Columbus have been on the neighborhood corners all weekend with their Tootsie Roll Drive and the Council of Catholic Women hold their kick-off dinner this Thursday. New opportunities are all around us. This autumn season of the year is a wonderful time to take the next steps in our faith. Please check out all of the additional opportunities printed in the rest of the bulletin.
As we move into the autumn season, let us make it a point to notice the beauty of the new season around us. It is the Lord’s gift to us in this present moment. As always, we pray that God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy