FROM THE PASTOR’S CORNER:
A word from Pope Francis ~ “The Lord tells us: ‘the first task in life is this: prayer.’ But not the prayer of words, like a parrot; but the prayer, the heart: gazing on the Lord, hearing the Lord, asking the Lord.”
It is not very exciting to debate when the Church Year should begin or end. Maybe it doesn’t, especially since ending and beginning themes seem to sound alike and to flow into each other. But there is a Sunday when we come to the end of one year’s reading of a specific Gospel and turn our attention to another. That Sunday happens to be today as we celebrate the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
Today we conclude our reading from the Gospel of Luke, which we began last Advent. Week after week we have been journeying through this Gospel and have heard it proclaimed in almost its entirety. Next week, on the First Sunday of Advent, we begin a new Church Year. We will change cycles in our Sunday Scripture readings and begin reading from the Gospel of Matthew for a year. Matthew’s picture of the person of Jesus will unfold before us.
We are welcoming new members to our faith. Yesterday we celebrated the “Call to Continuing Conversion” at the 5:00pm Mass and prayed for our Candidates for Full Communion and send them to the Cathedral today Sunday where they were formally recognized by Bishop Daniel Conlon. We promise our Candidates and our Catechumen the support of our prayers as they make this special journey of faith.
Thank you to all who donated to our Thanksgiving food baskets for families in need. The truck delivering the turkeys and family food boxes arrived last Friday morning. I was able to bless the food before it was distributed to our local families in need for their Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. Thank you for your generosity in caring for the needs of the poor among us.
On Tuesday evening at 7:00pm, we are among five local churches inviting all Carol Stream and Bloomingdale area churches to an ecumenical Thanksgiving Prayer Service. I will be joining the pastors from those five churches in leading this prayer of unity at Lutheran Church of the Master in Carol Stream (580 Kuhn Rd). I hope you can attend and experience what we have in common with our sisters and brothers of other Christian traditions.
This Thursday – Thanksgiving Day! A wonderful way to begin the day is by celebrating Eucharist with our parish family. We gather as a faith community to give thanks to our God for the many gifts with which we have been blessed. As is our custom on civil holidays, we will celebrate a single Mass on Thanksgiving morning at 9:00am in the church. Please join us.
With the season of Advent beginning next Sunday, we have Bishop Ken Untener’s “The Little Blue Book” for the Advent and Christmas Seasons 2019-2020 available this weekend. These “Little Books” give us a wonderful guide in our personal, individual daily prayer throughout the major seasons of the Church Year. This year’s book for Advent and Christmas gives us six-minute daily reflections on the Sunday Gospels of Year A (our new Sunday cycle of Scripture readings). The six-minute program begins on December 1st, the First Sunday of Advent. These books – in both English and Spanish – are available in the Narthex. We also have additional resources to assist our personal prayer during the upcoming Advent/Christmas seasons.
This weekend we have the opportunity to participate in the annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). Funds collected through the CCHD support self-help projects for poor and low-income people working together to improve their lives and their communities. Thank you for your generosity in supporting this important project.
All through the month of November we have kept a prayerful remembrance of those who have gone before us in faith. Our parish Book of Remembrance at the front of the Church near the Baptistery and the Easter Candle reminded us of our commitment to pray for the dead.
During this month of November, we continue our prayerful remembrance of those who have gone before us in faith. You are welcome to add additional names of your beloved dead in the Book of Remembrance during this final week of the month. May God welcome them into his glory.
We complete another Church Liturgical Year in fine form. As we celebrate the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe this weekend and Thanksgiving later this week, we thank God for all of the blessings that we have experienced this past year and look forward to what lies ahead. We pray that God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy