A word from Pope Francis ~ “Listening means being able to share questions and doubts, to journey side by side, to banish all claims to absolute power and to put our abilities and gifts at the service of the common good.”
This weekend, we celebrate the 33rd and final Sunday in Ordinary Time. Next weekend, we will celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. We have been reading from Luke’s Gospel for most of this church year, and we will conclude that reading over the next two weeks. This weekend focuses our attention upon our ultimate destiny – the Kingdom of God. Jesus gives us a grim and ominous picture of the future as a strong reminder that this world is not our final home. We are meant for so much more. While each day draws us closer to the end, not even Jesus is privileged to know the exact day of its arrival. Only the Father knows. Whatever we may have to face, the one constant is that he will give us whatever we need. He leaves us with the promise that perseverance brings salvation. Next weekend we will bring the current church year to a close.
One of the traditional aspects of the month of November is our prayerful remembrance of those who have gone before us in faith. We celebrated our annual Parish Memorial Mass on All Souls’ Day, November 2. We remembered, by name, those of our parish who died this past year and included all those entered in our Book of Remembrance. Our parish Book of Remembrance is now at the front of the Church near the Holy Oils, Baptism font and Easter Candle. If you were not able to enter the names of your beloved dead for our All Souls Day Masses, please feel free to add these names to our Book of Remembrance. We continue to remember all of our beloved dead in prayer during this month of November.
Last Tuesday evening, the election campaign commercials thankfully disappeared after another ugly campaign season. What remains for us is our call to pray for our leaders – both in the church and those elected to serve in public office – and to be peacemakers within our communities. It takes very little talent to divide. It takes far greater skill to help people see what we share in common and to bring us together. The Lord calls us to be peacemakers in each of the different areas of our lives, and that is the task that lies before us.
This weekend, we have the opportunity to welcome Joliet seminarian Luis Ron to our parish community. He is currently a Third-Year student in Theology at Mundelein Seminary. He will speak at all Masses, telling us his vocation story and asking for our support for the I Will Give you Shepherds campaign, which is the Diocese of Joliet’s Seminarian Education Endowment Trust. The goal for this endowment is $15 million. $10.1 million has already been raised. Interest earned from this trust will be used to support the costs of educating our seminarians. I thank you in advance for your support of this endowment.
Next weekend, we will participate in the annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Since 1970, CCHD has been our church’s compassionate and effective response to the needs of low-income people in our own diocese and throughout the country. CCHD funds more than 300 projects each year, helping people to work within their own communities to create jobs, provide affordable housing, ensure decent wages and organize for change. CCHD is a practical way for us to respond to Pope Paul VI’s exhortation, “If you want peace, work for justice.” If you are able to make an additional contribution to this cause, please use the envelopes that were included in the packets mailed to our homes or the white envelopes in the pew racks.
This is the last full week before we celebrate Thanksgiving. A lot is happening in our parish as we quickly move towards the holiday season. Please take time to read the rest of the bulletin and become aware of the many different things happening at our parish. As always, may God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy