FROM THE PASTOR’S CORNER:
A word from Pope Francis ~ “The style of the good God is not to produce a spectacle: God acts in humility.”
Today we continue our celebration of Christmas with the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. This feast is celebrated on the church calendar in our country on the Sunday following January 1st. The traditional date for this feast is the 12th day of Christmas, January 6th – tomorrow. The feast of the Magi or the Three Kings commemorates the Lord’s first manifestation to people outside of the Jewish people. The Magi were foreigners, Persians and astrologers. And as foreigners, they were not included in God’s original covenant with Abraham and the Jewish people. Their presence at Jesus’ birth hints at one aspect of his ultimate mission of bringing salvation to all peoples. Fortunately, that also includes us.
We also celebrate today the first Sunday of the New Year, 2020, and the first Sunday of the new decade. This new beginning gives us a fresh, new start with many new opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. It seemed that many of the recent “2019 Year in Pictures” segments in the newspapers and periodicals featured images of human suffering and pain, especially the violence related to gun violence and mass shootings in our country. These images seem to call us back to the basics, to the things that really matter. Family and faith are at the head of that list of things that really matter. Also high on the list are the relationships that sustain us and give us life. These past few weeks of the Christmas season have given us many different opportunities to reconnect with those who are important in our lives. We realize that our faith, which gives us direction and purpose, and our relationships, which give us life, do matter the most. I hope that these truly important aspects of life influence our New Year’s resolutions this year.
We have had our 2020 parish calendars available in the Narthex since the beginning of Advent when we began the new Church Year. We still have copies available in both English and Spanish. I want to thank the Salerno family and the Salerno’s Rosedale Chapels for their generosity in providing our parish calendars again this year.
Next Sunday is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Jesus’ Baptism was the inauguration of his mission in our world, his acceptance of his vocation. This is a good opportunity for us to focus on church vocations – those that arise from Baptism as well as those that are lived in the diaconate, priesthood and religious life. We now have the new 2019-2020 Joliet Seminarian poster displayed in our church, chapel and school. The poster highlights the fact that our diocesan seminarians come from parishes much like our own.
This Friday, January 10th, is the 38th anniversary of the death of Bishop Romeo Blanchette, the second Bishop of our Diocese of Jolliet. Sunday, December 22nd marked the fourth anniversary of the death of Bishop Joseph L. Imesch, the third Bishop of Joliet. These anniversaries of the deaths of bishops who have served our diocese and who many of us may remember invite us to likewise prayerfully remember the priests and deacons of our Diocese who died during 2019. We prayerfully remember Bishops Blanchette and Imesch on their anniversaries as well as each of the priests and deacons who have died this past year.
Finally, I want to thank all of you, the members of our St. Isidore parish family for your continued support of our many, many parish ministries and activities. I also want to thank you for your faithful financial support. You were very generous in your Christmas offerings to your parish. Thank you for being so faithful in your weekly support of the parish through your regular Sunday offerings. Without your continued support, we could not provide all of the ministries, activities and programs that make us such an alive and active parish community.
I also want to thank you for the volunteer services you provide. Our liturgies, our spiritual ministries to the homebound and infirm, our social outreach ministries, our parish social functions, and our religious and educational activities could not be provided without the many volunteers who provide their time, service and talents to accomplish these tasks.
Now that we have said goodbye to 2019 and begun the New Year, 2020, we look to the future with hope. We pray that God continue to bless us with everything that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy