Today is a day on which we focus on the beauty and meaning of the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ. As Catholics, we believe that Jesus is present to us always in the Eucharist. Therefore, much of our prayer is giving reverence to the gift that Jesus gave us at the Last Supper. The Eucharist allows us to give thanksgiving to God as a community of believers.
The liturgical documents of the Church state, “the Eucharist is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed, and the source from which all its’ power flows.” This is why the Eucharist is so central to the life of the Church.
The Eucharist also has a social dimension. It is always an encounter of the Church, the people of God, with the powerful presence of Jesus in the new covenant of his blood.
Of all the things I do as a priest, celebrating the Mass is the most rewarding experience for me in my ministry. Often I feel humble and privileged to be the one who leads people in prayer and spiritually feed those longing for the Body and Blood of Christ. I will look out from the altar upon the congregation and recognize the many hungers in their hearts. I will feel a sense of peace and reassurance confident that Jesus is there to comfort and sustain us with his life and love.
Something for the Summer
Our parish will be hosting a Summer Scripture Study during June and July. Feel free to attend one or all of the six sessions that will be offered on Saturday mornings at Immaculate Conception church. We will be using the video series featuring Fr. Don Senior, a well-known and highly respected scripture professor who teaches at the Catholic Theological Union here in Chicago.
I have attended Fr. Don Senior’s presentations. He is very good. I found him to be insightful and humorous. You will certainly enjoy his message and gain a deeper appreciation for the Word of God we hear proclaimed every Sunday. Details about the summer program are included in today’s bulletin. Check it out. Give it a try.
In Our Thoughts and Prayers
For the past several weeks we have been praying for Mrs. Pat Rodgers, who is a long-time parishioner and Lector at Immaculate Conception church. Pat has recently faced a number of health challenges and has not been able to join us for our Sunday worship.
If you would like to send her a Get Well card or personally contact her, she can be reached at:
Imperial of Lincoln Park
1366 W. Fullerton Ave.
Chicago, Il. 60614
I am sure she would love to hear from her friends from the parish. Please keep Pat in your prayers.
Retired Priests of Chicago
Next weekend, June 13-14, we will take up the annual collection for the Retired Priests of the Archdiocese. Currently there are 204 retired priests who continue to share their priestly ministry in our parishes. They continue to do great work and are beloved by parishioners who admired their dedication, commitment and service to God’s people.
Many parishes depend upon their services for daily and Sunday Masses and for numerous funerals. Without the help of our retired priests, many parishes would have to reduce Mass schedules and other services.
Our retired priests rely upon us for help now. The Priests’ Retirement and Mutual Aid Association (PRMAA) cares for our retired priests. As you know, the costs for health care, prescription drugs, and nursing-home care continues to increase. In addition, the priests’ pension fund remains seriously impacted by the economic downturn.
Please be as generous as you can to the PRMAA collection this year. Your donations, prayers and good wishes are needed and will be a huge support for our retired priest. Please feel free to take home an envelope from Church for the collection next week. Let us also pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood.
Heading into the Final Stretch
The last day of school for the children in our parish grammar school is on Wednesday, June 10th. We will finish the year with an All School Mass on Wednesday at 9:30 AM at St. Joseph’s church. It is our opportunity to thank God for all the blessings we have received in the last school year.
My favorite part of the Mass comes at the end when I get to yell out to the kids, “The Mass is over. School is out! Go and enjoy the summer!” Alleluia! Alleluia!