A word from Pope Francis ~ “The more Jesus occupies the center of our lives, the more He allows us to come out of ourselves and brings us closer to others.”
It doesn’t seem possible that we are now into July and will be enjoying the 4th of July holiday on Wednesday. It is nice that the 4th falls mid-week this year and gives us a nice break in the middle of the week. As is our custom on the civil holidays, we will celebrate a single Mass on Wednesday at 9:00am in the Church. I have asked our new Parochial Vicar, Father Rey Treyes, to be the main celebrant at our Mass on the 4th. Please join us for this special Mass as we give thanks to God for all the blessings and freedoms we experience in our country. It is a great way to begin the day. Our parish offices will be closed on Wednesday, July 4th so that our staff may enjoy the day with their families. We will re-open on Thursday, July 5th.
Thank you for the warm and hospitable welcome that you extended to Father Rey Treyes last weekend. Changing parish assignments and moving is one of the most difficult things we face as priests. Your genuine welcome last weekend was certainly a blessing to Father Rey. Thank you for doing all that you did to help him feel at home among us.
This weekend is the first weekend of our new fiscal year and the second anniversary of the launching of our “5% Plan.” Following several weeks of publicizing this Stewardship change in our parish, we began the practice of tithing 5% of each Sunday’s Offerings to various causes and charities beyond our parish on the first weekend of July 2016. Behind this practice are our intentions to lead by example and to put our stewardship beliefs into practice in our parish. Thank you for your generous response. We will continue to announce our 5% beneficiary at the beginning of each Mass each weekend.
July is a very welcome month in the life of a parish. It is a chance for many of us to catch our breath. It has felt like we ran a marathon from Ash Wednesday to the last day of school and even over the past few weeks until now. Committees, boards and councils normally do not meet during July. The Administrative staff of our parish school is off during July and the school office is closed. Parish staff people have an opportunity to get away for some well-earned vacation time. It is also a good time for us to catch up on things that may have worked their way to the bottom of the pile or been pushed to the back burner. It is a good opportunity to step back and take a look at the “big picture.” So often we surround ourselves with constant activity that we can easily loose sight of the forest for the trees. It is time to catch our breath and get back in touch with our roots.
The slower pace of July also provides a good time to attend to some projects around the parish. The major projects this summer was the seal coating of our parking lots. Two years ago we resurfaced each of our parking lots. A major preventative maintenance step is to seal coat and re-stripe the parking lots. This project was done over the past week. Thank you for your patience in dealing with the staggered parking lot and entrance drive closures to get the work done. Additional preventive maintenance and school projects are on the To Do list. This summer’s projects are not as visible as in past summers when we replaced the lights in the parking lot or resurfaced the lots. But these behind the scenes projects are just as important as the ones which draw a huge notice.
Did you know that we have the practice of offering Eucharistic Adoration at St. Isidore on the First Friday of each month, normally beginning at 7:30am on Friday and concluding with Benediction at 8:00am on Saturday? Our next opportunity for First Friday Eucharistic Adoration will be this Friday, July 6th. Our primary prayer is the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the Mass. This is a community prayer, a “God and us” prayer. Eucharistic Adoration gives us a unique time for individual, “God and me” prayer. In a presentation to teens about Eucharistic Adoration, I once heard it described as “face time with Jesus.” Just as we want to spend time with those we love, Eucharistic Adoration is a great opportunity to spend time with the Lord Jesus. He gave us the gift of the Eucharist because he wants to be with us. Many have found that time spent before the Eucharist is that moment of peace and quiet that we so desperately seek in our lives. It is that time to be quiet and simply be with a good friend. All are welcome to join us to spend some quiet time with the Lord this Friday any time between 7:30am and 8:00am Saturday. Come for as long or as short as you are able.
Now that the summer months have arrived, our parish staff normally shifts into our summer hours. We are continuing our practice of closing the parish offices on Fridays during July. One of our staff will be on duty for telephone calls and deliveries. This practice gives our staff some additional time for family activities.
Have a safe and blessed holiday week. May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy