FROM THE PASTOR’S CORNER:
A word from Pope Francis ~ “God’s love is boundless. We can discover ever new signs that show His attention towards us and, above all, His wish to reach us and to await us.”
On this last Sunday in January, we celebrate the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. We continue to make our way through this brief stretch of this season between the celebrations of Christmas and the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday, February 26th. We begin our year-long reading of Matthew’s Gospel, picking up after Jesus’ baptism and the beginning of his ministry and preaching. Jesus began his preaching calling for repentance, and then began calling disciples to follow him, beginning with the brothers Peter and Andrew, and then James and John. Following their immediate response, Jesus continues to visit the towns of Galilee – preaching, teaching and healing people of various diseases. The Kingdom of God has truly come near!
This final week of January is our annual celebration of Catholic Schools Week. We have a long and proud history of Catholic education here at our parish. This is a good time to celebrate our mission of passing on our faith tradition from one generation to the next. On this kick-off Sunday, the school community will serve the larger parish community by providing the Choir for the 8:30am Mass. It is encouraging to see so many of our young people serving the parish in the different ministries of the Mass. The Knights of Columbus will host a pancake breakfast following the Mass and an Open House will take place in the Grade School. They will continue their celebration of Catholic Schools Week throughout the week and especially at their regular Wednesday School Mass at 8:15am. We offer our prayers and thanks for our teachers, administrators, staff and al who share in the ministry of Catholic education.
Congratulations to our parish 2nd graders who celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time this past week. Services were held on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons and Saturday morning. It was great to celebrate this wonderful Sacrament of God’s healing with them and their parents. Congratulations also go to their parents and teachers who brought them to this special moment in their lives. We look forward to their First Communion celebrations in early May during Easter Season.
We concluded the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity yesterday, January 25th. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity traditionally begins on January 18 – the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter – and concludes on January 25th – the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. These two feasts of St. Peter and St. Paul serve as bookends for our week of prayer. Since 1968 we have joined with other Christians throughout the world in praying as the Lord prayed, “that all may be one” (John 17:21). As we did last year, we joined on Saturday night with other Christian churches in Carol Stream for a single common prayer service, hosted by St. Andrew United Methodist Church. Since so many of our parishioners come from Carol Stream, we were a part of the planning of this service. We focused on the 2020 theme “They Showed Us Unusual Kindness.” Our efforts were coordinated by Rev. Dr. John H. Armstrong, a resident of Carol Stream and the Founder of “The Initiative: A Community for Unity with Jesus and All His Followers.” Thank you to all who were able to join us last night. We have kept the cause of Christian unity before us in our community prayer throughout the past week. .
We join with the other parishes of our dioceses today in responding to the annual appeal for the Church in Latin America. This is one of eleven extra collections taken up over the course of the year for the support of the needs of the larger church community. It is an important way for Catholics in our country to express solidarity with our brothers and sisters to the south whose pastoral and material needs are great. Envelopes were included in the packet mailed to our homes or a contribution on-line will be appreciated.
Looking ahead, we have a wonderful opportunity for coming together during the cold winter months. The St. Isidore Gala, “Viva Las Vegas!” – our annual auction dinner and dance benefiting our parish school will be held on Saturday, February 22nd at Belvedere Banquets in Elk Grove Village. The St. Isidore Gala is a parish-wide event. Everyone is invited! We have many smaller events throughout the year which gather specific groups within the parish, but not a single, unifying event which allows us all to come together and celebrate our St. Isidore Parish community together. Tickets are available for $80 per person. “Viva Las Vegas!” begins at 5:00pm with Silent Auction bidding, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Dinner and the Live Auction items follow. It promises to be a wonderful mid-winter evening spent with fellow parishioners. Please consider joining with us or even gathering a table of your friends. Additional information is available elsewhere in the bulletin.
Once we get past the holidays, January seems to be a very long month. It can seem even longer when the Bears end their season before the playoffs, as they did this year. Last weekend’s snow storm and cold temperatures brought our spirits down. We begin the shortest month of the year next Saturday. The days are getting longer. Lent will begin in a little over five weeks, followed by Easter and spring. Notice the signs of new life all around us and take hope. As always, may God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy