FROM THE PASTOR’S CORNER:
A word from Pope Francis ~ “We are impatient, anxious to see the whole picture, but God lets us see things slowly, quietly.”
This is a full weekend. Besides our celebration of the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, we have Sunday evening’s Super Bowl LIV game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. Even though our hometown Bears ended their season with their last regular season game, most of us will find ourselves gathering with family and friends for the traditional Super Bowl parties. It is good to see new faces in the spotlight this year with the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. It is a great time to gather with each other in the middle of winter.
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. We celebrate this Feast every year on February 2nd, the 40th day following Christmas. When it falls on a Sunday, it replaces the normal celebration of a Sunday in Ordinary Time. According to the Law of Moses (Exodus 13:12-16), firstborn males were to be dedicated to the Lord. At the time of Jesus, this was done by a ceremony in the Temple, forty days after birth. Today’s Gospel reading gives us the details of Jesus’ presentation. Since the Mass can begin with the blessing of candles, the Feast is also known as “Candlemas Day.” Blessed candles for home use will be available following each Mass this weekend.
Our 2020 celebration of Catholic Schools Week got off to an excellent start last Sunday. We have a long and proud history of Catholic education here at our parish. The St. Isidore Catholic School community did a wonderful job in providing the music for last Sunday’s 8:30am Mass. It was great to have our young people lead us in prayer at that Mass and serve the parish in different liturgical ministries. There was a lot of energy in the air from the moment our students greeted us as we arrived for Mass. Our principal, Mrs. Corie Alimento extended a genuine thank you to the parish community for our support of the school. The Knights of Columbus sponsored their largest pancake breakfast thus far. The Grade School Open House unveiled our plans to incorporate STEM principles into our curriculum. It was an awesome kick-off for our annual celebration of Catholic Schools Week.
The celebrations continued throughout the week. Special Guests led the school community in morning prayer each day, including myself on Monday, Bloomingdale Village Manager and parishioner Peter Scalera on Tuesday, Bloomingdale Police Officer and school alumnus Sean Noonan on Wednesday, Joliet Diocesan Superintendent of Schools Father John Belmonte, S.J. on Thursday, and Bloomingdale Village Mayor Franco Coladipietro on Friday. The St. Francis High School Jazz Band visited us on Tuesday morning. Various additional activities were planned for each day throughout the week. Thank you to all who helped make these various celebrations so memorable. It was a good week to celebrate our mission of passing on our faith tradition from one generation to the next.
When I celebrated the Grade School Mass last Wednesday, I had the chance to thank the men and women who serve on our Grade School faculty and staff. It was interesting to tally the combined years of service given to the St. Isidore parish community by our school faculty and staff – 343 years of service in Catholic education at our school and a total of 552 years of service in education overall. This is an astounding number of years of service to our parish through our school, especially when we remember that our country will be 244 years old this July! We offer our prayers and thanks for our teachers, administrators, staff and all who share in the ministry of Catholic education.
Monday, February 3rd is the memorial of St. Blaise. He was a bishop in Armenia and believed to have been martyred in the persecutions in the early 4th century. He is associated with the healing of throats. Traditionally, we celebrate this memorial with the blessing of throats. We will be happy to offer this blessing at the end of our regular daily Masses on Monday.
Looking ahead, we have a wonderful opportunity for coming together during the cold winter months. Our St. Isidore Gala, “Viva Las Vegas!” will be held on Saturday, February 22nd at Belvedere Banquets in Elk Grove Village. It promises to be a wonderful mid-winter evening spent with fellow parishioners. Additional information is available at the school office and elsewhere in the bulletin.
Happy Chinese New Year to our parishioners of Asian decent. The Year of the Rat began on Saturday, January 25th.
For many of us, the winter has been a long one thus far. It seems to have snowed over each of the past 3 weekends. Grey days and heavy winter coats have taken their toll. Lent will begin at the end of the month, 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