A word from Pope Francis ~ “We are impatient, anxious to see the whole picture, but God lets us see things slowly, quietly.”
Today, we celebrate the final Sunday in September, the first weekend in the new season of autumn, and the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time. As we continue our sequential reading of Luke’s Gospel, today’s Gospel reading follows last Sunday’s account of the dishonest steward. We now hear the account of Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man lived in extravagance; Lazarus lived in total poverty. The rich man’s fault was not his wealth or the blessings he had. His fault was that he did not even notice the poor man, Lazarus, at his door. He didn’t notice those who were around him. His blindness led to indifference and inaction. Only when it was too late did he realize the errors of his ways. Our challenge is to first notice those who are around us. Only then can we respond as the Lord calls us to respond.
We are partnering again this year with the Northern Illinois Food Bank in providing Thanksgiving Dinner food baskets to those in need among us. Your $25 donation will provide a Thanksgiving Dinner basket for a family of 8. We need to place our order with the Northern Illinois Food Bank by mid-October. Donations can be made in the collection baskets at our Masses over the next few weeks (mark any envelope with “Thanksgiving”), online at www.stisidoreparish.org/giving, or in the Parish Office. Thank you in advance for your care of those in need among us.
Our parish Order of Christian Initiation of Adults (OCIA) group continues its initial meetings today. It is not too late to become a part of this group. 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 already be coming to Sunday Mass but has not taken any steps to become part of the Church? Or maybe someone who has a child in 2nd Grade who will be celebrating First Eucharist in the spring and they are beginning to wonder about their own situation? Perhaps all that any of these people need is an invitation to consider the Catholic faith, and you could be the person to extend the invitation! God can work through your invitation.
We continue to inch our way toward our parish’s goal for this year’s Joliet Diocesan Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal. As of last Monday, we have paid $144,169 toward our goal of $154,900. This means that we are only $10,731 away from reaching our 2022 parish goal! The Catholic Ministries Appeal is the major source of funding for most of our Diocesan ministries and charities. Appeal funds educate our future priests and support Catholic Charities, the Family Ministry Office, the Religious Education and Catholic Schools Offices, Hispanic Ministry, and the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal. Thank you to the 665 donors who have already responded. Please be sure to continue making your monthly payments toward your pledge. If you have not had an opportunity to make your personal response to the Annual Appeal, please consider doing so as soon as possible. Again, thank you for your generosity.
This Thursday, September 29, we celebrate the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, the Archangels. It is also the 2nd anniversary of the installation of Bishop Ron Hicks. It seems like yesterday that he was appointed as the sixth bishop of our diocese. Since his installation, he has visited us for multiple celebrations of the Sacrament of Confirmation and celebrated the closing Mass of our centennial year in May 2021. We promise him the support of our prayers as he continues his ministry among us.
Cooler temperatures are coming our way as the autumn season settles upon us. Let us make it a point to notice the beauty of this season – it is the Lord’s gift to us in this present moment. Many things are now happening at our parish. Please check our bulletin for additional news. May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy