FROM THE PASTOR’S CORNER:
A word from St. John Paul II ~ “Love of Christ does not distract us from interest in others, but rather invites us to responsibility for them, to the exclusion of no one….”
As we move into the second half of the month of October, we are quickly making our way through the Season of Ordinary Time and are already observing the 29th Sunday of the season. Our Gospel reading from St. Matthew follows immediately upon last Sunday’s Gospel. Today’s account is the first of four controversies in which Jesus’ adversaries question him about topics of Law, belief and behavior. After Jesus finishes his teaching in parables to some of his harshest opponents, the Pharisees initiate their plotting against him. Their plan is to entrap him. They cleverly decide to bring in the Herodians, those who supported the Roman occupation and system of taxation, which the Pharisees themselves disputed. Jesus would be sure to offend one side or the other when the question of paying taxes to Caesar was at issue. Better yet, he could be seen in opposition to Rome, getting himself in trouble as a rebel.
Their plan is to disarm Jesus with flattery so that he must either answer their question or appear untruthful and acting contrary to his own teaching. Jesus’ immediate response turns the tables. He knows their malice, which motivates them to put on a show. Jesus calls them “hypocrites,” since they are playing a part in the drama they set up, pretending to ask a genuine question. When Jesus asks them to show him the coin, he forces them to acknowledge that the coin has the inscription of Caesar on it. Caesar’s name on the coin means that the coin must belong to Caesar. Paying the tax simply means giving back to him what already belongs to him. Although Jesus doesn’t ask them, “Which things belong to God?” we can almost hear it as an unspoken question. How would we answer that most fundamental question – “Which things belong to God?”
I mentioned in last Wednesday’s Mid-Week Pastor’s Corner that we reached another key date in our year-long celebration of our parish centennial. Following the establishment of our parish on March 5, 1920 and the groundbreaking of our first church (now Chapel), Archbishop George Mundelein of Chicago visited the site on October 10, 1920 to bless and lay the corner stone of St. Isidore Church. The basement and deck of the church were completed to the point that the square corner stone was set in place at the southeast corner of the building. Construction continued on the walls and roof of the building. Archbishop Mundelein would later return to Cloverdale to officially bless and dedicate St. Isidore Church. We have photos of both events on display in the Narthex of our current church. The faith and commitment of our founding families is truly an inspiration to us today.
It was our privilege last week to welcome our new Bishop Ron Hicks to our parish for the three Masses celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation on October 9th, 13th and 14th. We were very happy to have him join us for our COVID-19 postponed celebrations of Confirmation. These celebrations were long overdue, but worth the wait. Thank you to our Connect Youth Ministry team and Faith Formation staff who helped us put all of the COVID-19 safety features in place. We continue to pray for our newly-Confirmed as they seek to live their lives as “Missionary Disciples” of the Lord Jesus.
It is very important for us to maintain the parish outreach ministries that have become important to us. In most cases, things look very different from what we had been used to. With October being Respect Life Month, one of our major Respect Life ministries is the Baby Bottles for Life, sponsored by our Knights of Columbus council. Following the successful virtual Cookie Sale sponsored by the Council of Catholic Women and the very successful collection for Thanksgiving Meal boxes, the Knights have opted to do a “virtual Baby Bottles for Life” drive. This option will help them avoid any contact with potential contaminated materials, including cash. Please look for the Baby Bottles for Life button on our parish website to assist in your donations. As always, thank you for your generosity in supporting this Respect Life effort.
Another parish ministry expressing our Respect Life values has been our sponsoring a site for PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter). While the COVID-19 precautions make it very difficult to welcome the homeless on Monday evenings, we want to maintain our commitment to this ministry. Currently, DuPage PADS shelters the area homeless in local motels. They still need dinner in the evenings and breakfast in the mornings. We have an opportunity to continue providing meals that are supplied by local restaurants and packaged with everyone’s safety in mind. We have committed to sponsor dinner on the 3rd Thursday of the month. Rosemary and Bob Smylie, our parish PADS coordinators have been negotiating meals with local restaurants. We may not be able to do the home cooking as we have in the past, but we can make contributions to provide these meals. There will be a PADS contribution button on the parish website for donations for PADS meals or you can mail/drop off a check payable to St. Isidore with PADS in the memo. Thank you for your support in finding different ways to continue our ministry with PADS.
In preparation for the Feast of All Souls on November 2nd, our parish Book of the Dead is now in the Narthex of the Church. You are welcome to add the names of your personal beloved dead. They will be remembered on All Soul’s Day, at our Parish Memorial Mass on Monday, November 2nd and throughout the month of November. If you are unable to do this in person, please call or email the parish office and we will add the names of your personal beloved dead for you.
Please see our weekly bulletin posted on the parish website for additional news, the additional notices posted on Flocknote and other notices on our parish Facebook page. We try to use as many social media vehicles as possible to keep everyone up-to-date with all that is happening here. May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy