All of Us – #117

Fr. Larry Lisowski Immaculate Conception St. Joseph Parishes Catholic Church Chicago

You Made It!

If you are holding a hard copy of the bulletin right now and reading my weekly column, I want to congratulate and thank you. Why? Well… you made it to church during the Chicago Marathon. This is no easy task. It is a real challenge trying to get to either parish, given the fact that many of the streets to the east of us are closed for the race. The race puts a huge dent in our October Mass attendance count.

I am grateful for your effort, dedication and presence at Mass this Sunday. Today we realize how blessed we are to be gathered around the table of the Lord. I’m glad you’re here and that we can worship together. Let us hold in our prayer those who could not make it this Sunday, but we know that they are with us in Spirit.

Things You Can Do

I try to keep a running list of things to do each day. It has helped me to remember and organize the small stuff and even keep me focused on the big picture. With age, I’ve noticed the list gets longer and longer.

This is a busy time for our parish. You can tell by the announcements made at the end of Mass, and by all the ads in today’s bulletin. I thought it would be helpful to create a simple “To Do List” for parishioners this week. These are little ways that you can support our parish. (Note that today’s bulletin contains detailed information for what’s on the list.)

An Opportunity to Serve

We are in need of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who can assist at our Masses. Training will be provided and we will guide you. As such, one should be 16 years of age or older and be:

  • A Catholic of good standing
  • A registered parishioner (required to register if not.)
  • Have received the Sacraments of Initiation
  • Have a love for the Sacrament of the Eucharist
  • Have accepted the call to this ministry as a gift and an opportunity to be of service

If you are discerning and interested please call the Parish Office.

One Way To Live

I came across the following reflection about today’s gospel from the magazine, Word Among Us (October, 2015). Can a rich person go to heaven? Of course they can. But as the Book of Proverbs says, “Those who trust in their riches will fall” (Proverbs 11:28). Not because money is inherently evil, but because of how easily we can become attached to it and let it rule us. The rich man in today’s Gospel reading followed God’s commandments. Yet, according to Jesus, he was too attached to his wealth, and it was holding him back.

The founder of the Methodist faith, John Wesley, presented a simple yet profound sermon that was titled “The Use of Money.” What he wrote might help us as we try to deal with the issue of money.

In his sermon called “The Use of Money,” Wesley made three simple points: “Make all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can.”

  • Make all you can. Wesley believed that Christians should be industrious, clever, and hardworking. As he saw it, nothing is wrong with making money, as long as it is legal, ethical,  and doesn’t hurt anyone.
  • Save all you can. Wesley urged his people to be frugal. They should live simply and avoid extravagance. But why should we live simply and save? So that we can fulfill the third point.
  • Give all you can. If we work hard and save frugally, we will have more to share with the people around us. Of course, generosity begins in our homes, but it should also extend to the Church and to the hungry and needy among us.
Blessing of the Pets Immaculate Conception St. Joseph Parishes Catholic Church Chicago

According to some calculations, in one year John Wesley earned the equivalent of $1.4 million in today’s money. But he lived on only 2 percent of his income and gave away the rest. Over his entire lifetime, he earned the equivalent of $30 million. But when he died, he had given away all of it. That’s the way to live!

Blessing of Pets

I enjoyed the Blessing of Pets that took place last Saturday morning in honor of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. I noticed that this year all the animals were dogs. Not one cat showed up.

Before I sprinkled the barking pooches, I said, “Okay, nobody bites the priest.”

– Fr. Larry