Keeping Our Relationships Healthy
The Holy Trinity that we celebrate this Sunday is a model for our relationships with one another and the Church. When we come to church, we prayerfully gather in the presence of the Holy Spirit, at the Father’s invitation. We are encouraged to emulate the love and joy of the Trinity in all our relationships.
Our Trinitarian God is a unity of persons. Three persons, Father, Son, and Spirit; all are lovingly in a relationship with each other; with no beginning or end. We find our Trinitarian God in our community and in our relationships with one another, and in the ordinary give-and-take of life.
Trinity Sunday invites us to look at our relationships. What relationships give us life? Which ones do not? What relationships bring us one joy and are a blessing in our life? Are there some that are a true challenge; ones that try our patience? Which relationships, even our one with God, are on the “up-slope” or “down-slope”?
I recently came across a helpful article written by Ann Hartlage, PhD, in the Summer edition of Discover Rush magazine, published by Rush hospital here in Chicago. Hartlage teaches a Relationship Check-up Course to help people make good relationships even better. She writes,
“How well do you and your partner communicate when things get heated?
Most couples have heated arguments and say hurtful things at times. But in healthy and lasting relationships, those arguments don’t happen as often and may be less intense.
Healthy couples are also able to repair the rift afterward and work through any lingering painful feelings.
There are common signs that arguments with your partner are taking a turn for the worse and may cause your relationship to crash and burn.
1. There is a cascade of criticisms.
No one likes to be criticized. “When you criticize, you’re characterizing the other person rather than talking about your feelings.
2. One of you stops listening.
A discussion fueled by anger can quickly escalate, causing an abrupt end to meaningful communication. At a certain point, someone who’s being criticized is going to just shut down, whether it’s in the course of one conversation or a consistent communication pattern. All they want to do is get out of that conversation immediately.
3. Anger turns to name-calling.
Name-calling or mocking the other person can foreshadow the end of the relationship. Contempt is like a nuclear level of criticism in which one person puts down the other to a truly damaging degree.
The good news is that “It ain’t over till it’s over,” as Yogi Berra would say.
Learning key communication skills, building friendship and intimacy, and developing the ability to manage conflict can turn a challenging relationship to a positive one.”
Let’s Go On A Road Trip
Fr. Arturo Perez and our good friends from our Sharing Parish, Assumption BVM, have invited us to pray and celebrate with them at their 5:00 p.m. Mass on Saturday, June 11th. A reception will follow afterwards so that we can share some food and fellowship.
Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph will provide transportation to and from Assumption parish, located at 26th street and California. The bus will depart from the Hill Street school parking lot at 4:00 p.m. and will return around 8:00 p.m. Please call either Parish Office to reserve a seat on the bus.
As part of our trip to our Sharing Parish, we will be collecting food for their food pantry. You can take a brown bag home with you from church today. Please return your donation by June 10th so that we can pack the bus.
Your Time And Talents Make Our Parish Better
Thank you to all you responded to our appeal for offering your time and talents as we embrace the initiatives created by the Parish Transformation Program. If you have not done so yet, you can go to our parish website to indicate how you can support the initiatives and Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph parish. There are a variety of areas of parish life to choose from, and we are in need of volunteers who can serve in specific ministries.
So far 42 “Time and Talent” reply cards have been returned to the parish. They are being reviewed by the members of the Parish Council and Finance Council and each parishioner that respond will be personally contacted as we follow-up to the appeal for volunteers.
The donation of your time and talent can be big or small. Whatever ways you can support the parish will make a huge difference as we plan for the future. We hope that everyone will at least do “one” thing to support the mission of our church.
Wearing The Blue and White
On Wednesday I presided at the “Ribbon Mass” for our 37 students who will soon graduate from Immaculate Conception-St. Joseph School. They were given their blue and white graduation ribbons that represent loyalty, honor and faith. Ribbons symbolically remind us of the ties that bind us together. Our graduates will wear these ribbons proudly in the coming weeks as they approach their Graduation Mass that will be celebrated at St. Joseph Church on Friday, June 3rd. Please keep our graduates in your prayers as they celebrate their years of Catholic education and now transition into high school.
Committed, Dedicated and United in Faith
I am happy to announce that the Presbyteral Council for the Archdiocese, under the leadership of Archbishop Blasé Cupich; and with consultation with Bishop Francis Kane our Vicar, unanimously voted on Tuesday, May 10th to “suppress” the individual parishes of Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph. The Presbyteral Council then unanimously voted to canonically reestablish one community of faith, to be named "Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish.”
This initiative, that surfaced from the Parish Transformation Program, assures the long-term viability for our one parish, that will continue with two places of worship. How appropriate that this approval falls right in-line with the Feast of the Holy Trinity that highlights the love of God that has the power to unify.
We will have the opportunity to celebrate the combining of our two parishes in September when Bishop Francis Kane will come to celebrate Sunday Mass with our community in September.