FROM THE PASTOR’S CORNER:A word from Pope Francis ~ “The Church is or should go back to being a community of God’s people, and priests, pastors and bishops, who have the care of souls, are at the service of the people of God.”
During these middle Sundays in May we continue our celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection with the Fifth Sunday of Easter. We move into the final part of the Easter season and turn our attention upon Jesus’ parting gift of the Holy Spirit. Last Thursday in the weekday cycle of Scripture readings, we began reading from the Farewell Discourse of John’s Gospel (John 13:16-17:26). This discourse covers five chapters in John’s Gospel and is situated at the Last Supper. It gives us a glimpse into the heart and mind of the Lord on the night before he died. In some respects it can be viewed as Jesus’ Last Will and Testament – his departing wish for the community of his disciples, the church. From now until the end of the Easter Season on Pentecost Sunday, we will be reading from the Farewell Discourse.
As the Lord promises to remain with us by sending another advocate, the gift of the Spirit, we have the opportunity to reflect upon the third of the three Sacraments of Initiation we celebrated at the Easter Vigil – the Sacrament of Confirmation. Prior to our yearly celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet with a number of our young people during their Confirmation interview. I discussed with them the heart of the Sacrament of Confirmation – our call to be disciples of the Lord Jesus. As we explored what being a “disciple” really means – taking what was important to the Lord and making it important to us – we quickly realized that being a disciple in our day is not an easy path. Since the Lord also knew that, he promised to send us “another advocate” to be our helper and our guide. That advocate was none other than the Holy Spirit – sent to the early disciples and to us to be our strength. One of the ways that the Lord continues to be with us is through the gift of the Spirit, of which we have all received, beginning at our Baptism and deepened at our Confirmation. Becoming aware of the Spirit’s presence among us is a wonderful way for us to conclude our celebration of the Easter season. Let’s listen carefully during the next three weeks and appreciate the gift of the Spirit that has been given to us.
Since Easter is the primary season of initiation into the church community, we intentionally schedule our special celebrations of the Sacraments of Initiation (Confirmation and First Communion) during the Easter Season. Yesterday we celebrated two Confirmation Masses during which 154 candidates from our parish were confirmed. As we have not received a new Auxiliary Bishop since Bishop Siegel was transferred to the Diocese of Evansville, IN over a year ago, Bishop Conlon delegated me to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation at our parish again this year. It was a special honor for me to celebrate this Sacrament with our young people and to complete their Christian initiation journey with them. Congratulations to all of our teens and young adults who were confirmed this year. We are very happy to see you take the next step in your lives as disciples of the Lord Jesus.
Have you noticed the work taking place on the Perpetual Adoration Chapel on our campus? It is located on the north end of the church and will be connected to the church. The frame is already up. Next is the insulation and the brick work on the exterior. The wet spring has put us a bit behind schedule, but not in a serious way. Drawings of the finished project are in the Narthex. The St. Isidore Perpetual Adoration Chapel will soon be a permanent addition to our parish.
The annual Joliet Diocesan Priesthood Ordination Mass will also take place this Saturday on May 25th at St. Raymond’s Cathedral in Joliet. Three transitional deacons will be ordained as priests for our diocese this year. We promise them the support of our prayers as they prepare for their ordination and the beginning of their priestly ministry among us.
It seemed like every Midwestern College and University held their Commencement Ceremonies last weekend. Welcome home to our college students who are gradually making their way home following their Spring Semester Exams. Some still have exams to take. Know that you were remembered in prayer here at your parish. It is great to see you back in the neighborhood. Thank you for joining with us again at our Sunday Mass celebrations.
Thank you to all who have already pledged to the 2019 Joliet Diocesan Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal, and especially to those who responded during our in-pew “Commitment Weekends.” Our pledges support the work of the diocese, our larger church. Our CMAA goal this year is $180,100. Thank you to the 814 households who have pledged $163,842 towards our 2019 goal. We reached our goal in paid pledges last year through the participation of 978 households. The diocese is moving into the next follow-up phase of the appeal. If you haven’t had a chance to respond to the 2019 Joliet Diocesan Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal, please join me and make your pledge as soon as possible. Your generosity is deeply appreciated and helps us meet our obligations to the larger Diocesan church.
Is it safe to say that spring has finally arrived and is here to stay. This is a wonderful season of new life. As always, I pray that God continue to bless us with everything that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy