A word from Pope Francis ~ “Peace is about receiving the Holy Spirit. The peace bestowed on the apostles, the peace that does not bring freedom from problems, but in problems, is offered to each of us.”
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.
Last Sunday’s celebration of the Feast of Pentecost was a wonderful, spirit-filled celebration. And it brought our 50-day celebration of the Easter season to a great conclusion. Traditionally, our adult choir concludes their time of regular service at our Sunday Masses on Pentecost Sunday, as they served at both the 8:30 and 10:00am Masses. With the July 1st retirement of our parish Music Minister, Karen Stefanic, last Sunday’s Masses were her final time directing the choir. Without a doubt, the choir rose to the occasion and did an outstanding job in leading our community in prayer at both Masses. They have certainly had an awesome year being with us each week and at each of our special celebrations. Thank you to our choir and all of our music ministers who served our parish so well in leading us in prayer over the past year. Their presence will be missed as they enjoy their “sabbatical” during the summer months. We will have an opportunity at the end of the month to say thank you to Karen Stefanic for her 30 years of service as our parish Director of Music. On a positive note, we are in the final stages of hiring a new parish Director of Music.
Now that we have completed the Lent/Easter cycle of our church year, we have a few additional weekend feasts of the Lord before we return to the steady cycle of Sundays in Ordinary Time. Today we celebrate the first of those feasts — the Feast of the Holy Trinity.
The first mention of a feast of the Trinity appeared in 1030 and was celebrated on the Sunday after Pentecost. Pope John XXII made it a feast of the universal church in 1334, and chose the first Sunday after Pentecost (today) for the celebration of the new feast.
Next Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Apart from the dark themes of Holy Thursday night, we have the opportunity to appreciate the presence of the Lord Jesus among us in the sacrament of the Eucharist. As we mark the 99th anniversary of our parish this year (founded on March 5, 1920), that also means 98 years of continued Eucharistic presence of the Lord on our parish campus. From the time of the first Mass celebrated in our church on March 27, 1921, now chapel, the presence of the Lord has remained on our campus through the Eucharist. In order to celebrate next Sunday’s Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, and the 98 years of continuous presence of the Eucharist in our parish, we will have an outdoor procession with the Eucharist immediately following the 1:00pm Mass. We will pause for prayer at different stations around our parish campus. All are welcome to join us as we honor the Eucharist next weekend. If you attend an earlier Mass next Sunday, you can join in the procession as we exit the main church.
Bishop Conlon has asked us to take up a “Father’s Day Special Collection for Diocesan Priests’ Care & Support.” This is a special collection to care for our infirm and retired priests. The Fund for Diocesan Infirmed and Elderly Priests is a special way for us to express our concern for the welfare of those who have dedicated their lives in service to our pastoral care. The money in this fund goes toward priests who need help with the extraordinary medical expenses or suffer a catastrophic illness. It also provides for the care of the St. John Vianney Villa in Naperville, home to several retired priests in the Diocese of Joliet. Envelopes for this collection have been included in the May-June packets mailed to our homes. If you do not receive collection envelopes in the mail, please use one of the white envelopes in the racks in the pews and mark it “Retired Priests.” If you give online, you can login to your account and select this fund for a one time donation. As always, thank you for your generosity in responding to the support of this fund.
While Memorial Day traditionally signals the beginning of summer, the official beginning of summer takes place this Friday, June 21st at 10:54am 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