A word from Pope Francis ~ “The more Jesus occupies the center of our lives, the more He allows us to come out of ourselves and the more He brings us closer to others.”
It doesn’t seem possible that we are now in the first week of July and are in the midst of a long July 4th holiday weekend. With the actual holiday falling on a Monday this year, many people have a mid-summer holiday weekend to enjoy some summer activities. I know that for many, it is a time for them to reconnect with their families and friends after the pandemic. I hope that your personal celebration of the 4th is just what you need.
As is our custom on civil holidays, we will celebrate a single Mass on Monday, July 4, at 9:00 am in the Church. Please join us, if you are able, for this special Independence Day Mass, as we give thanks to God for all the blessings and freedoms we experience in our country. It is a great way to begin the day. Our parish offices will be closed on Monday, July 4, so that our staff may enjoy the day with their families. We will reopen on Tuesday, July 5, with regular hours from 9-5.
For our Sunday gatherings, we are celebrating the Fourteenth Sunday in the Ordinary Time of the Year. We continue our reading of Luke’s Gospel. Week by week, we are seeing Luke’s portrayal of Jesus’ ministry unfold before us. This week, we hear of the commissioning of the disciples and Jesus’ sending seventy-two followers ahead of him to the places he plans to visit. There will be some successes and there will be some failures. Not all are ready to hear the Good News of the kingdom. Following Jesus is certainly an interesting journey.
July is a very welcome month in the life of a parish. It is a chance for many of us to catch our breath. It has felt like we ran a marathon from Ash Wednesday to the last day of school and even over the past few weeks until now. Committees, boards and councils normally do not meet during July. The Administrative staff of our parish school is off during July and the school office is closed. Parish staff people have an opportunity to get away for some well-earned vacation time. It is also a good time for us to catch up on things that may have worked their way to the bottom of the pile or been pushed to the back burner. It is a good opportunity to step back and take a look at the “big picture.” So often we surround ourselves with constant activity, that we can easily lose sight of the forest for the trees. It is time to catch our breath and get back in touch with our roots.
Now that the summer months have arrived, our parish staff normally shifts into our summer hours. We are continuing our practice of closing the parish offices on Fridays during July. One of our staff will be on duty for telephone calls and deliveries. This practice gives our staff some additional time for family activities.
Have a safe and blessed holiday weekend. May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy