All of Us – #205

Long Hair David

After getting his driver’s license, David visited home during vacation and asked his dad for the family car. His dad agreed, but put forward three conditions - good grades in school, a neat room and a decent haircut. After several months, David came home again. He had followed the things that he had promised his dad, except getting his hair cut. When the father saw that his son had disobeyed him, he asked for an explanation. David smartly said, "Hey dad, even Jesus had long hair." His Father was not someone to be taken for a ride and smilingly replied, "Yes, son, you're absolutely right. And Jesus also walked everywhere he went."

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, a few new ties; and most of all, 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. Let us pray for our dads today, and for the love and support they give to their family. 

Being the Body of Christ

A parishioner once asked me, “Father, what do you like to do the most as a priest?” 

Without hesitation I said, “Celebrate the Mass.” That’s probably a good answer for a guy in my line of work. It’s true. 

The highlight of my week is when we gather as the Body of Christ to receive the Body of Christ. I treasure our time together in prayer around the Table of the Lord. When I stand at the altar, and look at the faces of those in the pews before me, I feel humble knowing that God has called me to preach God’s Word and feed God’s people with the Bread of Life. I guess you can call it a real “tabernacle moment” because we know and feel the real presence of Christ that touches our hearts. 

I pray that the graces we receive at Mass, through the Word and Sacrament, help all of us to live out our faith as disciples of Jesus until we meet again for this sacred meal. 

I sincerely thank you for being with us every weekend for our prayer and worship. Your presence is a gift to me.  

Priesthood makes no sense without people. Imagine how weird it would be if no one showed up for Sunday Mass. 

Today we celebrate the feast of “Corpus Christi,” also known as the “Body and Blood of Christ. We remember the gift that Jesus gave us at the Last Supper; one that will always allow us to be in communion with him and God’s love and mercy.  My hope and prayer is that those who share our faith with always treasure the Eucharist, and that it will continue to be an important part of our spiritual life. May it strengthen us and guide us.  

Today, and every Sunday, let’s us proudly and loudly say, “AMEN” when we are offered the Body of Christ. “Amen” means “I believe!” I believe that Jesus is here! Right now! Right here! In communion with me! 

Yes, it doesn’t get any better than this. 

Truly Blessed

In my private prayer this week, I spent some time reminiscing about all the good things that have happened in our parish within the last year. Our accomplishments are due to the fact that many parishioners were willing to offer their time, talents and treasures. Here are some of the highlights that I am proud of.

  • Our Anointing of the Sick Mass in the Fall of 2016.
  • Having parishioners volunteer at our Ministry Fair.
  • Having Cardinal Cupich visit our parish in December. It was great to worship with him and share a Sunday breakfast.
  • Our Christmas Pageant celebration on Christmas Eve.
  • The recent adoption of two refugee families.
  • Having our Sharing Parish, Assumption BVM, come and pray with us.
  • The launching of our capital campaign, To Teach Who Christ Is, that will be used to eliminate our parish debt.
  • Our hosting of a “Welcoming Dinner” for those who are new to our parish and have called Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph their spiritual home.
  • The recruitment and training of our Liturgical Ministers.
  • Our Advent and Easter retreats presented and directed by Fr. Larry McBrady.
  • Our St. Joseph Table Feast in March.
  • The growth and beauty of our Parish Choir that has truly enhanced our worship and prayer. Thank you, Kate Ryan! (Our Director of Music).
  • The celebration of our children’s First Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Thank you Kim Rak! (Our Director of Religious Education).
  • Helping Deacon Jin prepare for his ordination to the priesthood. He will be a great priest serving in Mozambique, Africa.
  • Our Catholic School Week celebration and our monthly Family Masses.
  • Our celebration of Sparkle for the school that is a huge support to our Parish School.
  • The Christifidelis Award given to John Siebert by Cardinal Cupich at Holy Name Cathedral. John is our talented local graphic artist. John has also created our website and has updated the look of our bulletin.
  • Celebrating the Children’s Liturgy of the Word at the 9:30 Mass.
  • Hosting our spaghetti dinner in April where parishioners had the opportunity get to know one another after Mass.
  • Our Saturday Morning Scripture Study.
  • Collecting food for our Parish Food Pantry and Sharing Parish.
  • The start of a SPRED program.
  • The beginning of our Young Adult Group.
  • The end of the school year Mass

This list is certainly incomplete. However, I am grateful for all the ways, big and small, that our parishioners bring life to our parish every week.  I thank God for your stewardship, and for those sacred moments that have invited us to be “A Family of Families.” I treasure these memories.

Thank you for all the times you have said “Yes” to Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph. You make my job easy and a lot of fun.

– Fr. Larry