A word from Pope Francis ~ “Whenever people listen to one another humbly and openly, their shared values and aspirations become all the more apparent.”
Today, we celebrate the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time – our last Sunday in the season of summer. Autumn officially begins on Thursday, September 22 at 8:03 pm CDT. A season filled with tremendous beauty awaits us. New opportunities are all around us.
It was a very moving sight to see all of the fire department, police department and first responder vehicles in our parking lot last Sunday morning. They were all here for the “Blue Mass,” which we celebrated at our 10:00 am Mass last Sunday. The sky was overcast and rain was threatening, but it held off until the Mass was celebrated, and we were able to move to the Ministry Center for a reception honoring our first responders. Unfortunately, a group of Bloomingdale Fire Fighters who were with us needed to leave just as Mass was beginning – they received a call and responded just as they always do. Those who were able to remain appreciated the prayers and thanks we offered for them and were especially grateful for the blessings we prayed over them at the end of the homily. It was an emotional day for both our first responders and for us who honored them. Thank you to our Father John Guiney Council of the Knights of Columbus for sponsoring our 8th Annual Blue Mass. Special thanks to Bill Gorsline, who spearheaded this special event with the Knights. As last Sunday was also the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our country, it was something we needed to do.
Today, we begin the familiar steps of initiating new adults into our Catholic faith. This past year, our United States Conference of Catholic Bishops adopted a change to the name of this process in order to adhere more closely to a traditional translation. Previously known as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), the process will be known going forward as the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults (OCIA). Although renamed, it remains a journey that will lead this year’s group to the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil on Saturday, April 8, 2023. Do you know someone who is searching for that something deeper in life that our faith can offer? Do you know someone who is looking for a church home where they are welcome and can belong? Do you know someone who may be coming to Mass already but has not taken any steps to become part of the Church? Perhaps all that these people need is an invitation to consider the Catholic faith. God can work through the invitation. Our series of inquiry meetings begins today at 11:00 am in the Father Guiney Room in the main church. It is not too late to join this group. There are no costs or additional obligations. If you know someone who may be searching, please invite them to our Sunday morning meetings. If you would like additional information, please call Leonor Carvajal in our Adult Faith Formation Office at (630) 295-8351.
New beginnings and opportunities are certainly happening all around us. Many of our parish programs are either launching or are now in full swing. Our parish Grade School began classes on August 17. Faith Formation classes for grades K-6 began last week. Our Junior High (grades 7-8) and Confirmation programs will celebrate the first Teen Mass on Sunday, October 16, and classes will be beginning the week of October 23. Thank you to all of our catechists, office helpers and volunteers, who make all of this possible. Our various Prayer Groups continue to meet. Adult Faith Formation groups began meeting last week, both in English and Spanish. Our Council of Catholic Women (CCW) held their kick-off dinner last Thursday, and the Knights of Columbus have been on the neighborhood corners all weekend with their Tootsie Roll Drive. New opportunities are all around us. This autumn season of the year is a wonderful time to take the next steps in our faith. Please check out and consider all of the additional opportunities printed each week in the bulletin.
As we move into autumn, let us make it a point to notice the beauty of the new season all around us. It is the Lord’s gift to us in this present moment. As always, we pray that God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy