A word from Pope Francis ~ “The Eucharist is the synthesis of the entire existence of Jesus, which was a single act of love for the Father and his brothers.”
Now that our observance of Lent and celebrations of the Easter season are concluded, and we have celebrated the major Solemnities of Trinity Sunday and the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, we now return to the cycle of Sundays in Ordinary Time – “the green Sundays.” We re-enter this season at the 13th week where we left the season at the beginning of Lent. We will continue reading from Luke’s Gospel, section by section, until we begin the season of Advent on December 1st. Ordinary Time reminds us that we are called to steady and regular growth as we celebrate the ordinary events of Jesus’ life. It is good to be back in this regular cycle of our Church Year.
It doesn’t seem possible that today is the final day of June and that we will be enjoying the 4th of July holiday on Thursday. It is good that the 4th falls mid-week this year and gives us a nice break in the middle of the week, and two different 4th of July weekends – now and next weekend. I hope that your personal celebration of the 4th is just what you need.
As is our custom on the civil holidays, we will celebrate a single Mass on Thursday at 9:00am in the Church. Please join us for Mass as we give thanks to God for all the blessings and freedoms we experience in our country. Our parish offices will be closed on Thursday, July 4th so that our staff may enjoy the day with their families.
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.
In spite of our record setting wet spring, work on our parish Perpetual Adoration Chapel continues.
Last week the roof was put on the building and most of the brick work was completed. A Perpetual Adoration Chapel was one of the needs identified during the needs assessment that was done in the parish during January and February 2013. Following that needs assessment, our “Honoring Our Roots, Cultivating Our Future” Capital Campaign was launched later that year. Funds for the construction of a Perpetual Adoration Chapel were raised during that campaign, which concluded last December. Once the chapel is completed and furnished, we will set a formal opening and dedication date. Until that takes place, we will continue our practice of Eucharistic adoration on First Fridays.
Our next opportunity for First Friday Eucharistic Adoration will be this Friday, July 5th. We normally begin after the 7:00am Mass on Friday and continue through the day and night concluding with Benediction at 8:00am Saturday morning. As Roman Catholics, our primary prayer is the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the Mass. This is our 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.
As we end our fiscal year this weekend, I want to thank you for your regular and faithful support of our parish through your Sunday offerings. The Sunday collection is our primary source of income for our parish. Your generosity makes it possible for us to do all that we do here.
Have a safe and blessed beginning of July and holiday this week. May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy