FROM THE PASTOR’S CORNER:
A word from Pope Francis ~ “Thanks be to God, throughout the history of the church it has always been clear that a person’s perfection is measured not by the information or knowledge they may possess, but by the depth of their charity.”
On this first weekend in May, we continue our unprecedented Odyssey through the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. We continue to observe day by day (or hour by hour) the shelter-at-home restrictions mandated by our national and state leaders. Our Bishop also mandates restrictions based on what is required by the state. We comply and wait patiently for the day when we can safely gather together as a community.
We also continue our celebration of Easter with the Fourth Sunday of Easter this weekend. Again, our Masses are being live streamed at 10:00am in English and 11:30am in Spanish. This Sunday is traditionally known as “Good Shepherd Sunday.” This came to be because in all three cycles of the Lectionary, the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday of Easter gives us one of the Good Shepherd sayings from John’s Gospel. “The sheep hear his voice, as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them, out.” “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Besides being a very comforting and reassuring saying, it also helps us to continue our Easter reflection on the gift of the Eucharist – one of the Sacraments of Initiation normally celebrated at the Easter Vigil.
With the shelter-at-home restrictions extended now until May 31st, our spring sacramental celebrations have been postponed until a later date. First Communion celebrations were scheduled to take place last Saturday and yesterday. Confirmation was scheduled to be celebrated on May 30th. We will re-schedule our First Communion Masses once we have an idea of when we can gather again. The diocese will let us know when the Bishop is able to join us for Confirmation – my guess is sometime in the Fall.
We were very sorry last to hear the news of the death of Father Peter Jarosz (1962-2020). He served as a Parochial Vicar at our parish from 1999-2002. He died last Sunday morning at a hospital in Morris, IL following an extended stay in critical condition. We were assured that his death was not a result of the Covid-19 pandemic as he had been tested twice with negative results both times. While funeral arrangements are still pending at the time of our bulletin deadline, we remember him and his family in prayer.
Last Monday we had the wonderful opportunity to hold a St. Isidore Catholic Grade School Class of 2020 Tour of Recognition. With so many of our traditional 8th Grade Class celebrations being cancelled, we know we had to do something to honor our Grade School graduates. Two individual tours – one headed east and one headed west – left our parking lot at 10:00am and visited each of our graduate’s homes. Horns were honking as the 2020 Tour of Recognition approached each student’s home. Teachers and school staff presented each student with a Class of 2020 yard sign and gifts including a cross, photo of the class and additional treats. I was blessed to have traveled with the eastern tour and Father Juan José traveled with the western tour. Thank you to Corie Alimento, our principal, and her staff for planning this and recognizing each of our Class of 2020 graduates.
Another traditional 8th Grade Class of 2020 celebration that was cancelled was the May Crowning. Each year at the first School Mass in May, the 8th grade class (dressed in their finest) would lead us in crowning Mary and then guide us in a Rededication to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. No wanting to lose this tradition, we are planning on having an adjusted ceremony next Sunday, Mother’s Day, at the beginning of the live streamed parish Mass. Mrs. Alimento and her staff are working out a way to select representatives of the Class of 2020 who will join us for this ceremony. The music and Rededication prayer will be included in next Sunday’s worship aide. Please join us for the 10:00am Mass next Sunday, Mother’s Day.
Another Coronavirus casualty is the opening of our 100th Anniversary of our Parish celebration. It was originally scheduled for Saturday, May 16th at the 5:00pm Mass. While our parish was founded on March 5, 1920, we intended to launch our Centennial Year celebrations on the weekend closest to the Feast of St. Isidore (May 15th). In its place, we will hold a “soft opening” of our Centennial Year celebrations on Sunday, May 17th at the live streamed 10:00am Mass. We will hold a more fitting full blown opening later in the summer when we can all be together to honor our parish. Date – TBA.
Signs of life are all around us. As we take our walks through our neighborhoods, lets be sure to notice God’s reminders of new life all around us. May God continue to bless us with everything that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy