A word from Pope Francis: “Communication has the power to build bridges, to enable encounter and inclusion, and this to enrich society. How beautiful it is when people select their words and actions with care, in the effort to avoid misunderstandings, to heal wounded memories and to build peace and harmony.”
Today we celebrate the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. With our Easter celebration coming very late this year on April 21st, Ash Wednesday is not observed until March 6th. This gives us a longer period of Ordinary Time during the January/February months of this year. We have a chance to hear some of the key introductory sessions of Luke’s Gospel – our primary Gospel for this year.
Thank you for your understanding and patience as we dealt with and survived the 2019 Chicago Polar Vortex. I doubt that we had ever had to totally shut down our parish campus prior to this. Fortunately we survived the -23° low air temperature on both Wednesday and Thursday mornings with minimal damage. We had a pipe break in the bathroom in the altar sacristy of the church that flooded a good portion of the choir section behind the altar and two fire sprinkler heads burst in the walk way connecting the school with the parish center. These mishaps will be covered by our insurance less our deductible. And the Catholic School’s Week celebrations that were cancelled were rescheduled for last week. What a dramatic ending to the first month of 2019.
Mrs. Cyndi Collins, Principal of St. Isidore Catholic School for the past 15 years, informed me a few weeks ago that she will be retiring at the end of this school year. While I wasn’t happy to hear this news, I wished Cyndi well as she joins her recently retired husband in a new season of their marriage. She will be greatly missed.
Elsewhere in this weekend’s bulletin is a letter explaining the steps that we will take to find a new principal for St. Isidore Grade School and to ensure a seamless leadership transition. One very important step is to elicit the ideas of faculty and staff members, parents and parishioners regarding the leadership qualities that are necessary to address the present and future needs of our school. The Catholic Schools Office has designed a brief online survey that will help us identify the necessary qualities we need in our new principal. Please refer to this letter for instructions on how to access the on-line community survey and provide your input as we begin this important task of finding a new principal to lead our parish grade school. In the mean time, I will be forming a Search Committee to assist us in the task before us. Your continued prayers for all are greatly appreciated.
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 respond with a generous contribution. The good news is that I just received word that we surpassed our 2018 CMAA Parish goal with an anonymous last minute donation of $5000. I am very happy that we are able to meet our responsibilities to the Diocesan church. Now, we focus our attention on doing everything possible to reach our 2019 CMAA goal of $180,100. This can be possible with the participation of each family in our parish. Response forms may be returned to the Parish Office. We have already received a number of responses. 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.
We are now less than two weeks away from our St. Isidore Dinner Dance and Silent Auction – “The Greatest Show.” It 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 while supporting the educational ministries of our St. Isidore Parish Grade School. Additional information is available at the school office and elsewhere in the bulletin.
A lot is happening and will be happening all around us. Even in the midst of winter, there are signs of hope and of life. May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy