A word from Pope Francis ~ “Seek the Lord in prayer: He is the one who has called you.”
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.
Several weeks ago Bishop Conlon asked us to announce that he was transferring Father Clive Otieno as Parochial Vicar to St. Walter parish in Roselle. This transfer was expected since the term for a priest’s first assignment is three years. Father Clive came to us three years ago as a newly-ordained priest of our diocese. As this Wednesday, June 20th, is the official transfer date for priests serving in our diocese, this weekend is Father Clive’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 Clive as a Parochial Vicar for the past three years. He goes to St. Walter’s with all of the parish experiences he had with us here at his first assignment. While any new experience can be a cause for anxiety, I am very confident that Father Clive will serve very well at his new assignment. Our staff gathered with him at a cook out last Wednesday 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. We have been blessed by his ministry among us. Please join me in wishing him the very best in this new chapter in his life.
I was very happy to learn that we will continue to have three full-time priests at our parish. The assignment of our new Parochial Vicar, Father Rey Treyes, is also effective this Wednesday, June 20th. Father Rey has previously served as Pastor of Immaculate Conception parish in Gilman and St. Peter parish in Piper City. We will have the opportunity to welcome him to our parish next weekend, June 23/24. We remember in prayer all those priests who are moving to a new parish assignment this month. .
Thank you to all who have pledged to the 2018 Joliet Diocesan Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal. Our pledges support the work of the diocese, our larger church. Thank you to the 879 households who have pledged $169,299 towards our parish goal of $179,200. Your generosity is deeply appreciated. Please continue to make your monthly payments on your pledge. If you haven’t had a chance to respond to the 2018 Joliet Diocesan Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal, please do so as soon as possible. Again, thank you for your support of our larger diocesan church.
While Memorial Day traditionally signals the beginning of summer, the official beginning of summer takes place this Thursday, June 21st at 5:07am 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