All of Us – #204

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

Grow Your Faith This Summer

What are your plans for the summer? Do you have a couple of good novels that you plan to dive into? Have you targeted a new place on the map to spend some vacation time? Or, are you just going to hang around Chicago, and enjoy all that the city has to offer?

Summer is a great time to take a breath and reorient our hearts and minds to the mission and message of Jesus Christ.

Here are a few suggestions to help grow our Catholic faith during these days.

  • Make Mass a Priority – Resist the temptation to skip Mass during the summer months or when you are on vacation. Stick to a “spiritual routine.” Gathering together with the Church to receive Christ is essential to our faith.
  • Do Some Spiritual Reading – Set aside some special time for reflection on a spiritual topic such as the lives of the saints. The stories of these reallife people, who lived out their faith in courageous and inspiring ways, help us on our path of discipleship.
  • Visit A Holy Place – Take a day trip to a monastery, a shrine or a famous church, and experience some of the different types of spirituality that are all part of the Catholic faith. Chicago has a treasure of churches. Some churches even have special tours to help you appreciate their edifice.
  • Simplify Your Life – Summer is a great time to sort through clothing, toys, sports equipment and other possessions. Are there clothes that you haven’t worn in years that are just taking up room in your closet? How many winter coats do we really need? Remember to clean out your office as well! Have a garage sale and donate the proceeds to a local food pantry or your favorite charity.
  • Do Something For Someone Else – Make a point this summer to reach out to people in need. Bring some flowers to a local nursing home or to an elderly neighbor. It will brighten their day. Offer to babysit for new parents.

Summer is a time for resting, reaching out and growing—mind, body and spirit.

We Need Each Other Now

Next Sunday, June 18th, the annual collection for the Retired Priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago will take place. Please take the time to carefully read the Cardinal’s letter in today’s bulletin.

The Cardinal mentions that in May of 2016, he ordained five men to the priesthood. This May he ordained another five men. Thirteen priests retired at the end of June 2016. By the end of this June, an additional twenty priests will retire.

These retirements will bring our total of retired priests to 230. This means that close to 30% of our clergy will have reached retirement status. Twenty-five of our retired priests are either in nursing homes or are receiving home care.

We are fortunate to have many retired priests who are able to continue to share their priestly ministry in our parishes. Many parishes depend upon their service for daily and Sunday Masses, baptisms, weddings, funerals, and a variety of other good works for the Church. Without the help of our retired priests many parishes would have to reduce Mass schedules and other sacramental services.

The Priests’ Retirement and Mutual Aid Association (PRMAA) cares for our retired priests. For the past 5 years, I have served on their Executive Board for the PRMAA. We face the challenge of the rising costs for health care, prescription drugs and nursing home care.

Thank you for your generosity to this collection. Please keep our retired priests in your prayers. Without them we would truly be lost.

A Little Pulpit Humor

I came across a few jokes about preaching that you can enjoy.

The pastor was greeting folks at the door after the service. A woman said, "Pastor, that was a very good sermon." The pastor says, "Oh, I have to give the credit to the Holy Spirit." "It wasn't THAT good!" she says.

The definition of a good sermon: It should have a good beginning. It should have a good ending. And they should be as close together as possible.

One beautiful Sunday morning, a pastor announced to his congregation: "My good people, I have here in my hands three sermons...a $1000 sermon that lasts five minutes, a $500 sermon that lasts fifteen minutes, and a $100 sermon that lasts a full hour. Now, we'll take the collection and see which one I'll deliver.”

A preacher preached a vigorous sermon and a lady in the congregation praised him highly and suggested that he should publish his sermons. The preacher told her he was planning they be published posthumously. To which she replied, "Well good, the sooner the better."

Out For the Summer!

Our children in our Early Childhood classes enjoyed the End of the Year Prayer Service at Immaculate Conception Church on Tuesday morning with their teachers and parents. I told our students to make sure that over the summer the “P.L.A.Y.” a lot and “P.R.A.Y” a lot. We are proud of our children who have grown so much this year!

– Fr. Larry