Come Holy Spirit
We hold in our prayer our teens who are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in March. This Sunday they are making a retreat at the Mother Cabrini Retreat Center, which gives them the opportunity to pray and reflect on their call to a life-time of discipleship and service in the name of Jesus
As part of the celebration of St. Valentine's Day, we will acknowledge and offer a blessing for married couples on Saturday, February 14th, at the 5:00 PM Mass. Couples will also be invited to renew their vows. Please bring your spouse to the Mass.
The First Step
I came across an interesting quote from the theologian Paul Tillich (1886– 1965), who wrote “The first duty of love is to listen.” When our relationships get stuck, that may be the first step to getting them going again.
“A Time of Grace”
Ash Wednesday (February 18th) is about a week and a half away. Our parishes will offer several opportunities for prayer, reflection, reconciliation and service. I hope that you and your family will be able to participate in them as a way of fostering our Catholic faith.
Pope Francis, in a recent Vatican message, shared this perspective about Lent and our relationship with God. “Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each community of believers. Above all it is a 'time of grace' (2 Cor 6:2). God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. 'We love because he first has loved us' (Jn:4:19). God is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in God's heart. God knows us by name; he cares for us and God seeks us out whenever we turn away from God. God is interested in each of us; his love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us.” Mindful of how God feels for us, let us prepare to embrace all that the season of Lent will offer us. Our upcoming bulletins will contain a complete list of all our Lenten activities.
2015 Catholic Appeal - “Entrusted with Responsibility”
Next Sunday, we will begin the Annual Catholic Appeal for 2015 with a recorded presentation by Archbishop Cupich. The Annual Catholic Appeal involves a request for our financial support to sustain the many good works of the Archdiocese and of our parish.
This year, the theme of the Appeal is “Entrusted with Responsibility.” God provides each of us with many gifts. We have a responsibility not only to recognize these gifts but to nurture them.
As we contemplate His gifts to us, we should also reflect on our gratitude for these gifts. Your financial support for the work of our parish, our Archdiocese and the Church throughout the world is, in fact, one way to express this gratitude.
The Annual Appeal, however, is more than a request for financial support. Each year it offers us the opportunity to reconsider who we are as disciples of Jesus Christ, gathered in his body, the Church. As we reflect on who we are, we must also consider how we live out our identity as followers of Jesus. Next Sunday, the Archbishop will echo and explain St. Paul's self-understanding, how he realizes that he is entrusted with great responsibility especially for continuing the mission of Jesus in the world.
Many have already responded to the Annual Catholic Appeal mailing from Archbishop Cupich. On behalf of those served by the ministries and services funded by the ACA, I thank you for your gifts. If you received the mailing and have not yet responded, please do so as soon as possible.
Remember that when our parishes reach their set goal in paid pledges, 100% of the additional funds received will be returned directly for the use of our parish. Last year, St. Joseph parish exceeded its goal by $19,773. Immaculate Conception exceeded its goal by $61,013. The rebates to the parish were put directly into our parish operations which helped to pay our monthly bills.
This year the Annual Catholic Appeal goal for St. Joseph is $8,844. The goal for Immaculate Conception is $28,926.
“Time To Sparkle”
“Sparkle,” the major fundraiser for our parish school, will take place on Saturday, February 28th. Raffle tickets for the event can be purchased after our weekend Masses over the next several weeks. Thank you for your support towards Catholic education.