A word from Pope Francis ~ “No one can grow if he does not accept his smallness.”
As we gather on this first Sunday of October, we celebrate the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Following the past few weeks of challenging Gospel readings, Jesus’ disciples realize that they cannot follow him on their own. So they ask him to increase their faith. The Lord responds that even the smallest amount of faith can cause great things to happen! We join with the early disciples in asking the Lord to “increase our faith.”
Forty-nine years ago the Catholic bishops in the United States designated October as Respect Life Month. Throughout October, Catholics are called in a special way to reflect on the gift of human life, the threats against it and how we can protect all persons from conception through natural death. This year’s theme, Called to Serve Moms in Need, is particularly suited for the times in which we live. Our pro-life position is often inaccurately portrayed as being merely anti-abortion, not caring about women and their children past the time of birth. Many people are completely unaware of the countless ministries and agencies in the Church that support women, children and families throughout each of the different stages of life. Our witness to the Gospel of Life is a witness of compassion, support and understanding – from conception through natural death.
We are all called to fully participate in the culture of life that Jesus lived and died for. Through his teachings and the way in which he lived, Jesus taught us that every person has a dignity that comes directly from God. Our human dignity is not based on what we possess, but on who we are as God’s adopted sons and daughters.
Our culture does not believe that human life is sacred from the moment of conception through natural death. Too many events have become commonplace – senseless shootings in our major cities, innocent life taken by terrorists, killings based on ethnic and religious differences, executions sanctioned by the state and abortion facilities opening in our backyard. We can take the first step by making the personal choice to uphold and really witness to the sanctity and dignity of every human life. We offer our prayers throughout this Respect Life Month that our Catholic Christian values promoting a culture of life continue to influence everything that we do in our society and throughout the world.
Last week, I included a word of encouragement in support of our 2022 Joliet Diocesan Catholic Ministries Annual Appeal. Since the CMAA is the primary source of funding for most of the Diocesan ministries and charities, many of our efforts to support our Respect Life values are funded by the CMAA. Supporting the Annual Appeal is a great way of supporting our values in respecting all life from conception through natural death. As of last Monday, we are only $9,418 in paid pledges away from reaching our parish goal. 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. We have extra envelopes in the Narthex, and you can also donate through our website at www.stisidoreparish.org/giving. Again, thank you for your generosity.
We are partnering again this year with the Northern Illinois Food Bank in providing Thanksgiving Dinner food baskets for 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 by mid-October. Donations can be made at our Masses over the next few weeks, online or at the parish office. Thank you in advance for your care for those in need among us.
Cooler temperatures are here, but many things are 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