Traveling Through Sacred Time
Even though many of the holiday decorations have been packed away for next year, and only a few hearty poinsettias still survive, on the Church’s liturgical calendar the Christmas season technically stretches to today’s feast of the Baptism of the Lord. We continue to prayerfully ponder the mystery of the Incarnation. Yes, the secular world has quickly moved onto the next Hallmark holiday; but we remember how close God has come to us through the gift of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Today’s feast marks the First Sunday in “Ordinary Time” that will take us to the beginning of Lent. Be prepared, Ash Wednesday is only a month away! Easter comes early this year; it falls on Sunday, March 27th.
It’s A Way Of Life
As we end the Christmas season today, as we start a new year, it seems appropriate to take stock of our relationship with God. How can we “the baptized” live out our Baptism call to be disciples of Christ today?
When I baptize a young infant, I tell the parents that through the sacrament of Baptism their child enters into a lifelong relationship with Christ. Baptism is not just a one-day event in church. Rather, it is a sacrament to be lived as we give witness to the Holy Spirit working in our life. To embrace baptism is to embrace the call to be followers of Christ.
We live out our faith by following the example of the saints. Mother Theresa’s personal motto was, “Do little things with much love.” St. Francis’ rule of thumb for being a follower of Jesus was, “Preach the Gospel always. If necessary, use words.”
The Archdiocese of Chicago has established an award, called the Christifideles, which is to be given to a layperson (or couple) in each parish that demonstrates faithfulness and dedication in ministry.
I am happy to announce that our parish recipients this year are Toni Gamble from St. Joseph’s parish; and George and Donna Miles from Immaculate Conception Parish. They have served in various parish ministries such as Lectors, Extra-Ordinary Eucharistic Ministers, Ministers of Care, Sacristans and members of the Liturgy Committee. They also have helped to organize several of our social events that offer welcome and hospitality to our parishioners. Toni, George and Donna have recently participated in the Parish Transformation Program to help establish a strategic plan for the future.
Our parish is blessed by the gifts of their time and talents. What a proud moment for them and for us. Congratulations, Toni, George and Donna! You have been good and faithful servants of the Lord, truly giving witness for your love for the Lord and the Church.
Archbishop Blasé Cupich will confer the award at the Archdiocesan Awards ceremony at Holy Name Cathedral this Sunday, January 10th at 2:30 p.m.
Marching for Life
“Each of us is Willed, each of us is Loved, each of us is Necessary” ~ Pope Benedict XVI
One of the great hallmarks of the Catholic Church is the courageous way that it tries to promote the dignity and respect for all human life. Our Church is a voice that clearly reminds us to be mindful of God’s creation, and to treasure the gifts that God has given us. We ask the Lord to transform our culture of death to a culture of life.
This year marks the 43rd anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. The Archdiocese of Chicago will sponsor a “March for Life” on Sunday, January 17th at 2:00 p.m. The march will begin at the Federal Plaza, 230 S. Dearborn Street.
Assumption Church, (our neighbors to the south at 323 W. Illinois Street) will also be hosting a Mass for Life at 12:15p.m. next Sunday. The celebrant and homilist will be Fr. Joe Chamblain O.S.M., the pastor. The Theme: “The Healing Needed for Today for Health Care Professionals and the Faithful.”
Say One For Me?
I ask for your prayers. For the past several months I have been dealing with some nagging and nasty back issues that have caused chronic pain. It’s has been a long and frustrating struggle and a real distraction in my life. I have been working with various doctors trying conservative treatments with the hope for relief and healing.
I believe in the power of prayer. Please add me to your prayer list. Thanks. Know that you will be in my prayers as well.
Thank you to all who were able to pray with us during the Christmas season. I know that many of our parishioners travel out of town during the holidays to be with their family and friends; and that they worship with them at other parish communities.
Thank you to all who have remembered our parish in your Christmas Gift-Giving. So far our Christmas collection has totaled $95,134 Last year we received $105,210 for our Christmas collection, which is a difference of $10,076.
There still is an opportunity to make a Christmas donation for those families that were unable to worship with us during the holidays. Your donation will help to eliminate our current operating deficit. I thank you for your generosity and financial support.
Blessings For The New Year
One of the Christmas cards that I received this year clearly stood out from all the rest. I was inspired by the inscription on the inside. It’s a good prayer for New Year.
May your days be filled with sunshine, and your nights with bright stars.
May there be peace in your world and love in your heart.
May you always have faith to calm your fears and the courage to face them.
May you have joy to share this Christmas and happiness to fill the New Year.