A word from Pope Francis ~ “Your response to Jesus cannot be conditioned by momentary calculations and convenience. It must be a life-long ‘yes’.”
Happy Memorial Day weekend! It does not seem possible that the first of our summer holidays is upon us, especially following our long cool and rainy spring. Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was initiated to honor the soldiers for the Union and Confederate armies who died during the American Civil War. Celebrations honoring Civil War heroes started the year after the war ended, but the establishment of a public holiday was meant to unify the celebration as a national day of remembrance instead of a holiday celebrated separately by the Union and Confederate states. By the late 19th century, the holiday became known as Memorial Day and was expanded to include the deceased veterans of all the wars fought by American forces. In 1971, Memorial Day became a federal holiday and was given the floating date of the last Monday in May. This holiday gives us the opportunity to pray for the dedicated men and women who maintain and preserve peace and freedom for us and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. It is important day for us to remember. Please note that we print the “Military Prayer List” in our bulletin each week.
Memorial Day Mass will be celebrated in the Church at 9:00am on Monday. Please note the time of the Mass – we normally celebrate one Mass on civil holidays at 9:00am. This is a perfect way for us to observe the holiday. Parish Offices will be closed on Monday for the holiday.
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 98th anniversary of our parish this year (founded on March 5, 1920), that also means 97 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 97 years of continued 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.
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 both the 8:30 and 10:00am Masses. They have certainly had an awesome year being with us each week and at each of our special celebrations. Their presence will be missed as they enjoy their “sabbatical” during the summer months.
This past Wednesday evening we celebrated the Graduation Mass and Commencement for our St. Isidore Grade School Class of 2018. Graduation day is always a special day for our Grade School students. Just as the Lord Jesus grew in “age, wisdom and grace,” so too have our young people. We congratulate our graduates, their parents, and our Grade School administration, faculty and staff on a job well done. The Grade School will conclude their school year this Friday, June 1st.
The annual Joliet Diocesan Priesthood Ordination Mass was celebrated yesterday, May 26th at St. Raymond’s Cathedral in Joliet. Seven transitional deacons were ordained as priests for our diocese. We prayed for them during the weeks leading up to their ordination and promise them the continued support of our prayers as they begin their priestly ministry among us.
Thank you for your prayers and good wishes last weekend as I celebrated the 40th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. It was a full and blessed weekend. I can remember a time when 40 years seemed like an eternity. Now it is just a flash in the pan. And I am especially grateful that 18 (and still counting) of those 40 years have been spent here at St. Isidore.
Memorial Day traditionally signals the beginning of summer. While we still have a few weeks remaining before the “official” beginning of the season on Wednesday, June 20th, we welcome this time of year. May God continue to bless us with everything that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy