A word from Pope Francis ~ “Situations can change; people can change. Be the first to seek to bring good. Do not grow accustomed to evil, but defeat it with good.”
On this middle Sunday in May, we continue our celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection with the Fifth Sunday of Easter. We move into the final part of the Easter season and turn our attention upon Jesus’ parting gift of the Holy Spirit. Last Thursday in the weekday cycle of Scripture readings, we began reading from the Farewell Discourse of John’s Gospel (John 13:16-17:26). This discourse covers five chapters in John’s Gospel and is situated at the Last Supper. It gives us a glimpse into the heart and mind of the Lord on the night before he died. In some respects, it can be viewed as Jesus’ Last Will and Testament – his departing wish for the community of his disciples, the church. From now until the end of the Easter Season on Pentecost Sunday, we will be reading from the Farewell Discourse.
As the Lord promises to remain with us by sending the gift of the Spirit, we have the opportunity to reflect upon the third of the three Sacraments of Initiation we celebrated at the Easter Vigil – the Sacrament of Confirmation. During the recent interviews with our Confirmation candidates, I discussed with them the heart of the Sacrament of Confirmation – our call to be disciples of the Lord Jesus. As we explored what being a “disciple” really means – taking what was important to the Lord and making it important to us – we quickly realized that being a disciple in our day is not an easy path. Since the Lord also knew that, he promised to send us “another advocate” to be our helper and our guide. That advocate was none other than the Holy Spirit – sent to the early disciples and to us to be our strength. One of the ways that the Lord continues to be with us is through the gift of the Spirit, which we have all received, beginning at our Baptism and deepened at our Confirmation. Becoming aware of the Spirit’s presence among us is a wonderful way for us to conclude our celebration of the Easter season. Let’s listen carefully during the next three weeks and appreciate the gift of the Spirit that has been given to us.
Normally, May 15 is the Feast of St. Isidore the Farmer. Since it falls on a Sunday during the Easter Season, the feast would not be celebrated. Here in our parish, since this is our patronal feast day, we will celebrate it on Monday, May 16. Both daily Masses on Monday will honor the Feast of St. Isidore the Farmer – our patron.
This Wednesday, May 18, we will have the opportunity to welcome Bishop Emeritus R. Daniel Conlon to our parish. He is the retired bishop of our diocese, and he will be with us to celebrate the 100th anniversary of St. Isidore Catholic School at our school Mass at 8:15 am. Our School opened in September 1921 and was formally dedicated on September 18 of that year, when Archbishop George Mundelein dedicated our original church, now Chapel. Our parish celebrated its 100th Anniversary last year, and the school has been celebrating its 100th Anniversary throughout this entire school year. Our school has been operating continuously as a ministry of our parish for 100 years now. Our ancestors in faith committed themselves to providing a Catholic education for the parish’s young people, and they opened the school within a year of the founding of our parish. It began with just two classrooms in the west wing attached to the original church. Two School Sisters of St. Francis from Milwaukee, WI served as the first teachers. We are blessed to have Bishop Conlon with us for this special Mass. Everyone is welcome to join the school community as we celebrate the first 100 years of St. Isidore Catholic School.
May God continue to bless us with all that we need and more.
Father Jim Murphy