A word from Pope St. John Paul II: “It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness. He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.”
We have multiple celebrations on this first Sunday of February. Besides our celebration of the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, we have Sunday evening’s Super Bowl LIII game at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Even though our hometown Bears ended their season with their first-round loss in the playoffs, most of us will find ourselves gathering with family and friends for the traditional Super Bowl parties. It is a great time to gather with each other in the middle of winter.
Our 2019 celebration of Catholic Schools Week got off to a good start last Sunday. The St. Isidore School community did a wonderful job in providing the music for last Sunday’s 8:30am Mass. It was great to have our young people lead us in prayer at that Mass. And student representatives joined with our principal, Mrs. Cyndi Collins, in thanking the parish community for our support of the school. But then the heavy snow overnight on Sunday/Monday closed all of our area schools and the parish office as well. Fortunately we were able to celebrate both daily Masses and open the Ministry Center for PADS on Monday night. Everything else was cancelled. As I write this, we are making arrangements to cancel all activities for Tuesday evening and Wednesday and Thursday as well. January in Chicago….
Many of us have already received Bishop Conlon’s invitation to participate in the 2019 Joliet Diocesan Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal. The theme for this year’s appeal is Signs of Hope. Appeal materials were mailed to our homes over the past two weeks. Please take some time to prayerfully review the Appeal materials and make a generous contribution. Response forms may be returned to the Parish Office. We have received a number of responses already. Our In-Pew Commitment Weekend will take place on March 2-3. Thank you in advance for your generosity in supporting the ministries of our Diocese.
February 3rd is normally the memorial of St. Blasé. He was a bishop in Armenia and believed to have been martyred in the persecutions in the early 4th century. He is associated with the healing of throats. Traditionally, we celebrate this memorial with the blessing of throats. Since February 3rd falls on a Sunday this year, the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time replaces this memorial. We will be happy to offer the blessing of throats to the community at the end of our regular Sunday Masses.
Looking ahead, we have a wonderful opportunity for coming together during the cold winter months. Our St. Isidore Dinner Dance and Silent Auction – “The Greatest Show” – will be held on Saturday, February 23rd at The Empress Banquets on Lake Street in Addison. It promises to be a wonderful mid-winter evening spent with fellow parishioners. Additional information is available at the school office and elsewhere in the bulletin.
Happy Chinese New Year to our parishioners of Asian decent. The Year of the Pig begins this Tuesday, February 5th.
Some final thoughts – our weekly bulletin for the following Sunday is sent to the printers on Tuesday afternoon. My personal deadline for my Pastor’s Corner can be pushed back to 11:00am on Tuesday if I need it. As I write this at 11:00am on Tuesday, January 29th, we have just made a decision to close our parish campus for the next two days, January 30 & 31st, including our two daily Masses. Severe temperature forecasts for our area can’t be ignored. Wednesday has a forecast of a high of -11° and a low of -22°. Thursday’s high is predicted to be 1° with a low of
-26°. We use super treated salt in our parking lot and on our sidewalks which works only to -10°. Surfaces treated with that salt freeze up below -10°. Cars freezing up in our parking lot and refusing to start can lead to a fatality. Cancelling weekday Masses is never an easy decision. Mass intentions scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday have been rescheduled for next Wednesday and Thursday. Hopefully we will reopen on Friday. I thank you in advance for your understanding.
For many of us, the winter has been a long one thus far. Ice and snow, record cold temperatures and grey skies have taken their toll. Still, the days are getting longer. Lent will begin in another few weeks, followed by Easter and spring. Notice the signs of new life all around us and take hope. As always, may God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy