All of Us – #153

Fr. Larry Lisowski Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish Catholic Church in Chicago

“Pop Vs. Pup”

Karla Kapser submitted the following Father’s Day Joke to Reader’s Digest magazine. It is entitled, “Pop Vs. Pup.”  She writes,

“While flying from Denver to Kansas City, my mother was sitting across the aisle from a woman and her eight-year-old son. Mom couldn’t help laughing as they neared their destination and heard the mother say to her boy, ‘Now remember – run to Dad first, then the dog.’”

We wish a happy Father’s Day to all who have embraced the vocation of fatherhood. May your day be filled with hugs and kisses, homemade greeting cards, new ties, and quality time with your family. 

Children today need the positive presence of a father who is a role model and constant source of support. We see the struggles and challenges that a family faces when there is an absence of a father.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America – one out of every three – live in a biological father-absent home. Nine in ten American parents agree this is a crisis. Consequently, there is a “father factor” in nearly all of the social issues facing America today; e.g. education, childhood obesity, drug and alcohol abuse, crime. The fact is that children with involved fathers do better across every measure of child well being than their peers in father-absent homes.

Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Catholic Church Chicago

On The Road to Assumption, BVM

Over a dozen Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph parishioners were able to attend Mass at our Sharing Parish last weekend. We joined Fr. Arturo Perez, at Assumption BVM parish, located at 24th Street and California Avenue for their Saturday, 5:00 p.m. Mass. We loaded up our school bus with the donations of food that were collected over the past month for their parish food pantry. It was great to pray and worship with our friends at Assumption, BVM, and be able todeepen our relationship.

Fr. Arturo will be retiring at the end of June. (The retirement age for archdiocesan priests is 70.) Fr. Arturo will be replaced by Fr. Mark Bartosic; who will be the new pastor of Assumption BVM parish, as well as the Director of the Kolbie House ministry. Besides his parish duties, Fr. Mark will serve as a chaplain for the Cook Country Jail.

I am grateful for the warmth, kindness and hospitality that Fr. Arturo has extended to me and the parishioners of Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph parish. We wish him well as he enters his retirement. May the days ahead of him be filled with joy and peace. 

Out For Summer –

Our Parish Grammar School students are out for summer. I celebrated the “End of School Year Mass” on Friday last week. My favorite part of the Mass came after communion when we all faced the choir loft for a picture. Then, after the final blessing I raised my hands and shouted out, “ MY FRIENDS… SCHOOL IS OUT FOR SUMMER!” The whole place went nuts. I looked over to Kate Ryan, our Music Director and saw a look of panic on her face as she wondered how will we ever be able to “re-group” and sing the final hymn after such a loud outburst of joy. We did, and the Mass was a huge success because the Holy Spirit stirred the hearts of many to praise and worship God. 

At Mass I encouraged the children to do two things well over the summer months; to “play well” and “pray well.” I told them not to be idol “summer slugs.” I challenged them to actively pursue new adventures: jump into a lake; read a new book, travel, read another book, check out all the things that Chicago has to offer. Don’t be bored! See what God puts before you each day to enjoy.

I also encouraged our students to pray well during the summer months. Pray every day, like you do every day in school. Start the morning with a simple prayer of gratitude. Do the same at night before going to bed. Be present on Sunday for Mass with your family. Stay close to Jesus. Don’t become a “spiritual slug” by switching your relationship with God into a lazy and sleepy “vacation mode.”

Many Catholic families will be searching for a church to attend for Sunday Mass when traveling out of town during the summer. A great resource is to find the nearest parish in your location and their Mass times. I always enjoy the opportunity of checking out another church when out of town. I usually walk away with a few good ideas to take home with me.  

Celiac Disease and Holy Communion:
A Medical and Spiritual Dilemma

The Catholic Church has historically recognized the intimate relationship of wheat hosts and wine as matter for the Eucharist. However, if you have Celiac Sprue Disease, or a family member is gluten intolerant, or if you are alcohol intolerant, receiving the Eucharist is a serious challenge. 

First, according to Canon Law, the proper matter for the sacrament of the Eucharist is wheat bread, stating that the Eucharistic species must include unleavened wheat. Low-gluten hosts (partially gluten-free) are valid matter, provided that they contain sufficient amount of gluten to obtain the confection of bread without the addition of foreign materials and without the use of procedures that would alter the nature of bread.

Low-gluten hosts have been approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Permission was given to use low –gluten matter for Holy Communion as long as it contained sufficient matter for bread. The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, Missouri developed a true low-gluten host. The total gluten content is 0.01 percent. This low-gluten content is still enough for the bread to be valid matter for the Eucharist, and many people who are gluten- intolerant are able to consume it, or at least some portion of it. 

However, individuals suffering from celiac disease are strongly advised to consult with their physician before receiving a low-gluten host. Even with this reduced amount of gluten, some individuals are still unable to receive the Body of Christ in the form of the consecrated host. 

A layperson affected by celiac disease, who is not able to receive Communion under the species of bread, including low-gluten hosts, may receive Communion under the species of wine only. Moreover, if a layperson because of health reasons is unable to receive both species, the bread and the wine for Holy Communion, I recommend that they still come forward during the distribution of communion for a special blessing from the priest or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. This is a sign of the spiritual bond we still share with Christ and one another.  Our parish now provides consecrated “low-gluten” hosts at each Mass. Please notify the celebrant before Mass so that arrangements can be made ahead of time with our ministers at the Mass.

Will It Be Longer Than The Cubs?

Hopefully our new parish signs will be installed before the Cubs win the World Series this October. I was wondering if it will take us over 100 years to get them erected and in place. 

The good news is that we are in the 9th inning of the ballgame. We are waiting for the City of Chicago to approve the permit for their installation. I thank you for your patience and understanding.

Thank You For Your Care

Thank you to all who were able to contribute to the Priest Retirement collection last weekend. The second collection totaled $1,104.00.  May this be a sign of our appreciation and support for the “good and faithful” servants of our Church.

– Fr. Larry