Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them O Lord, and May the Perpetual Light Shine Upon Them
It has been a busy week here in the parish. Besides Bishop Kane coming to Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish to celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation on Friday evening, we also had two funerals this week for two great women of faith who were life-long active parishioners.
On Tuesday, we celebrated the life, faith and love of Betsy Wheeler. She was a resident of the Sandberg Village Community for over 30 years and regularly attended Mass at Immaculate Conception Church, either on Saturday night at 5:00 p.m., or at the 9:30 p.m. Mass on Sunday.
Betsy grew up in Shawnee, Kansas and after years of Catholic education and graduating from Benedictine College, she served as a legal court record reporter in Chicago. She was inspired to go back to school and she studied to be a lawyer. Betsy had a love for English literature, poetry and music.
Daisy Smith was a life-long parishioner of St. Joseph’s Church. This spiritual relationship dates back for more than 70 years. Daisy was married to Willy Weed Smith, their children, and even grandchildren, were raised in our parish and some even went to the old St. Joseph Grammar School on Hill Street. She worked at Margaret Manor as a way of providing for her family. Her husband Willy was also buried at St. Joseph Church on January 29, 2011. Daisy was generous and kind to many of the families that lived in the Cabrini Green homes.
Please keep Betsy’s and Daisy’s family in your prayers. They are part of the long history of believers who have blessed our parish over the years.
Committing to American Values
There has been a lot of news this past week about the effects of the executive order implemented by President Trump that has had a profound affect upon the refugees who are fleeing violence, oppression and persecution in their native land. Please take the time to read the letter by Cardinal Cupich which offers a perspective that stresses the need for our society to show dignity and respect for those most vulnerable in the world.
I have started to read a book written by Pope Francis entitled, Men of Mercy. It is a collection of messages and homilies that calls his priests to respond with humility, empathy, and warmth. He invites people to dialogue openly and honestly in a way that opens up new perspectives.
Pope Francis writes:
"May mercy guide our steps, inspire our reforms, and enlighten our decisions. May it be the basis of all our efforts. May it teach us when to move forward and when to step back. May it also enable us to understand the littleness of all that we do in God’s greater plan of salvation and his majestic and mysterious working."
Why We Do What We Do Every Sunday?
Next Sunday, February 12th, the 11:00 a.m. Mass at St. Joseph’s Church will be a “Teaching Mass.” For the past several years we have designated a particular Sunday to help parishioners learn more about our Catholic liturgy.
As I celebrate the Eucharist, I will stop at various moments during the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist to explain parts of the Mass. Why do we use certain prayers and gestures? How are the readings and music selected for each Sunday? What should we be aware of when we pray and sing? How can we best participate to make the Mass the best expression of our faith?
I remember after last year’s Teaching Mass, that many adults came up to me and said how grateful they were for hearing why we do some of the things we do at Mass. Learning how the liturgy has been developed over the years has deepened their appreciation and enhanced their prayer.