All of Us – #170

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

Believing That God Is With Us

We know that God is with us. When we turn to God in prayer each day, we draw closer to God. We receive the grace and strength needed to persevere in our faith and lead a life that gives glory to God

The opening line of today’s Gospel indicates that Jesus is instructing his disciples on the need to have persistence in prayer. Luke’s audience is largely Gentile and does not have a long tradition of prayer such as the Jewish audience would have. The point of persistence is exemplified by the parable of the persistent widow.

The parable unfolds around a dispute between a widow who constantly pesters an unjust judge for a just decision. The judge is totally unfit for the position he occupies. He is depicted as thoroughly corrupt. He holds all the power of justice which this poor widow seeks. Note that widows were rendered poor, both materially and socially. 

No one would expect the unjust judge to grant the poor widow the favorable and just decision she deserves. Nevertheless, we are shocked to learn that the judge decides to render a just decision in favor of the poor widow. His decision, however, has nothing to do with justice. He simply cannot stand the poor widow’s nagging. Much like the boxer who continues to jab away at the opponent, this widow has been relentless with the unjust judge.

The widow got what she wanted because she was persistent in dealing with the unjust judge. The same is true for those who persistently call upon God in prayer. Our approach to prayer requires faith. 

The Lord raises the question regarding what the Son of Man will find when he comes. Will he find the same kind of faith in us, as shown by the widow? 

Come Join Us

All parishioners are to invited to a special meeting this week to learn more about the To Teach Who Christ Is capital campaign. A campaign reception will take place on Thursday, October 20th and then again on Saturday, October 22nd at Immaculate Conception church. Both gatherings will begin at 6:00 p.m. I hope you can attend either of the two presentations. Come for some fellowship and learn about the great opportunity we have to strengthen the vitality of our parish. We will explain the various ways that you can help.

This is an important time for Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish because we have been given the opportunity to completely eliminate our accumulated debt of $12 million to the Archdiocese of Chicago over the next 5 years. This debt was accumulated over the years from the building of our new school facilities, and the renovations that took place at both churches. 

In this Jubilee Year of Mercy the Archdiocese has extended to us a phenomenal gift of generosity. The Archdiocese will match $11 to every $1 that we raised in the capital campaign. This is an extraordinary act of kindness and understanding as they place their confidence in the future of our parish and school. 

The To Teach Who Christ Is capital campaign will continue to help our school be an excellent place for our children to learn; and our parish community to be a vibrant and active place to grow in our faith.

Beautiful Works of Mercy

In a unique collaboration, the Archdiocese of Chicago has partnered with the Art Institute of Chicago to present a special Art Tour inspired by the Year of Mercy. The Year of Mercy, proclaimed by Pope Francis, began last December. In his announcement, the Pope said, '" have decided to announce an Extraordinary Jubilee which has at its center the mercy of God. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy. We want to live in the light of the word of the Lord: ‘Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful’ (cf. Lk 6:36).”   

The tour that will run from October through December 2016, includes seven works of art which will provide visitors with a customized path through the Art Institute and encompass two millennia of art works. The works chosen for this tour reflect the seven Spiritual Works of Mercy: counsel the doubtful; teach those who lack knowledge; admonish sinners; comfort the afflicted; forgive those who hurt us; bear patiently those who do us ill; and pray for the living and the dead.

All are welcome to take the tour at the Art Institute at any time. Hand cards are available at both entrances of the Art Institute, 111 South Michigan Avenue and 159 East Monroe Street in Chicago, and can be downloaded in English from the Year of Mercy Art Tour website.

Groups of 15 or more can make reservations for a tour directly through the Art Institute. The Art Institute is offering discounted rates for group tours, a guided option, as well as the ability to offer a lunch or other food options.

Additional details about tour pricing, hours and how to book a tour can be found on the Year of Mercy Art Tour website under Tour Details and Instructions. More information about the Art Institute of Chicago can be found on their website.

Joan Dauber, who sings in our Sunday choir

Joan Dauber, who sings in our Sunday choir

A Few Things to Consider

Today’s bulletin contains information about a few upcoming community events to enjoy. One is a “revival” that will take place with our neighbors and friends who are at the Holy Family Lutheran Church, located at the corner of Larrabee and Hobbie. The prayer service and dinner is designed to foster unity and solidarity with our changing community. For more information call 312-337-5443

Also, Joan Dauber, who sings in our Sunday choir, will be offering a concert at St. Vincent De Paul Parish on Webster Avenue. The music will feature Copland’s “Twelve Poems of Emily Dickenson” and related works by other composer. For more information call 773-325-8618. It promises to be a great night out.

HelpingAt The Table Of The Lord

Congratulations to our new altar servers who are being commissioned this Sunday at the 11:00 AM Family Mass. We are proud of these fine young boys and girls who have accepted the call to assist at Mass. They are a great addition to our liturgy. May the Lord reward and bless them in their new ministry.

– Fr. Larry