A word from Pope Francis ~ “God is the God of surprises, that God is always new: he never contradicts himself, never says that what he had said was wrong, ever, but he always surprises us.”
On this first Sunday in June, we celebrate the feast of “The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.” Now that we have completed the Lent/ Easter cycle of our church year, we celebrate a few additional Solemnities of the Lord before we return to the steady cycle of Sundays in Ordinary Time. Last Sunday we celebrated the Feast of the Holy Trinity. Now we celebrate the second of our two special feasts – “The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ” (traditionally known as “Corpus Christi”). Apart from the dark themes of Holy Thursday night, we are able to celebrate and appreciate the tremendous gift of Christ’s presence among us through the gift of the Eucharist. Next Sunday we resume our Sunday celebrations in Ordinary Time, returning to the season at the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time. We will be in this “green season” of the Church Year from then until November 28th, the First Sunday of Advent.
Since the first Mass celebrated in our original church, now chapel, was on Easter Sunday, March 27, 1921, the Eucharistic presence of the Lord has remained on our parish campus for 100 years. From the time of that first Mass celebrated in our original church, the presence of the Lord has remained on our campus through the Eucharist. We are reminded of the Lord’s words in last Sunday’s Gospel, “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
We are also grateful for the two opportunities we have on our campus to pray in the presence of the Eucharistic Lord. Two years ago we were in the process of building the Perpetual Adoration Chapel as an addition to our church. That chapel was dedicated on November 2, 2019. Even though we had to close it in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has since reopened and is available for personal prayer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many have found it to be an oasis in the midst of a very busy world. If you haven’t had a chance to stop in there, please consider this an invitation to experience a moment of quiet, personal prayer in the presence of our Eucharistic Lord.
The other opportunity we have to pray on our campus in the presence of the Eucharistic Lord is at our “drive up chapel” in the southwest parking lot at the corner of Army Trail Road and Gary Avenue. During the time our Perpetual Adoration Chapel was closed during the pandemic, we heard many expressing the desire to find a way to pray in the presence of the Eucharist. One thing led to another and we realized that we could offer that opportunity by displaying the Eucharist in a monstrance in a window of the school library facing that corner parking lot. People were able to pray in safety without getting out of their cars in that lot. It is common to see cars parked there at all hours as people stop for as long as they are able for a time of prayer. Once the Perpetual Adoration Chapel was reopened, we considered closing our “drive up chapel,” but received many requests to keep it open. We will do so for as long as we are able during this extraordinary time of the pandemic.
Thank you to our Father John Guiney Knights of Columbus Council who provided the American flags lining our sidewalks last weekend. They were a perfect reminder for us of the true meaning of last Monday’s Memorial Day holiday. The flags will return for our 4th of July celebration.
We have some special feasts on our church calendar this week before we return to the regular cycle of Sundays in Ordinary Time. This Friday is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. We celebrate the tremendous love of the Lord for us. From his wounded side on the cross flowed blood and water, the fountain of salvation for all who believe. And then on Saturday, the following day, we celebrate the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As Mary witnessed the unfolding of our salvation through her son, Jesus, she kept all these things in her heart.
Last Wednesday we celebrated the final day of the 2020-2021 school year for our St. Isidore Catholic School. We held our final school Mass at 8:15am before dismissing our students for the summer. Congratulations to our Grade School faculty and staff for such an exceptional job well done. Through the dedication and extra hours put in last summer by our principal, Mrs. Corie Alimento and her staff, we were able to open our school in mid-August to full time in-person and/or virtual learning. And now we have made it through a year unlike any other year. Our final school Mass was truly a celebration of the wonderful things God has done for us.
The additional good news for many of us is that the protected school cross walk leading from the Popeye’s Chicken parking lot next door to the Ministry Center doors is down and will not be up again until school resumes in August. We now have full and clear access to our parking lot from both Army Trail Road. Gary Avenue and the Popeye’s lot next door. Thank you for your understanding when the school was in session and we needed to provided that protected cross walk during the school day.
And some final good news – beginning this weekend we are able to resume having printed copies of our weekly bulletin available at church. Since required safety practices during the pandemic made it not possible for us to provide any paper items in the church, our weekly parish bulletin was available only in digital form on our parish website. That may have worked for some, but for parishioners who didn’t have access to the internet, it has been a constant frustration. We will still need to distribute the bulletin in a safe way after Mass, but hard copies are returning this weekend.
Please see our weekly bulletin (either hard copy or posted on the parish website) for additional news, the additional notices posted on Flocknote and other notices on our parish social media. We try to use as many 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