September 26 – Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
An interesting phenomenon of our times is the emergence of social media. Through websites and mobile applications, we can access Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Tumblr, Forsquare, and Pinterest, to name only a few. It’s hard to know how many of these sites there actually are, but it would be safe to say they are in the hundreds. Some of these sites have redefined the very meaning of friendship. It’s possible now to have “friends” whom we’ve never met and might never meet in person. While the ability to “connect” with others during the COVID pandemic through this technology has been helpful, the one thing I hear the most that people have missed is in person contact with other family and friends. Our faith is a community effort requiring “real presence.” Just as Jesus is really present in the Eucharist, we are community of “real presence” to one another. We need to worship with one another. With our safety protocols in place, I encourage those who have not yet returned to Mass to join us. Facemasks are required, there are hand sanitizing stations, and an air filtration system was installed in the church last year and runs continuously. We long to see your face!
I ask your prayers for the success of the radioactive iodine ablation treatment for my thyroid cancer I began last Monday. This past Wednesday, I was given the radioactive iodine pill and have been in isolation since. That’s why you don’t see me this weekend as I am in isolation at the rectory until Thursday, September 30.
I also ask your prayers for the priests of the Joliet Diocese who will be on a convocation with the bishop September 27 – 30. The Joliet priest convocation is held every other year, and this will be the first time with our new bishop. Due to being in isolation, I will not be able to attend.
On the cover Sunday’s bulletin on September 12th was an invite to all Our Lady of Mercy parishioners to celebrate my 40th anniversary of ordination on Sunday, October 10. I will be preaching all Masses that weekend. I was ordained a priest on October 10, 1981. There will be coffee and donuts after all the Masses. I will celebrate a special Mass of Thanksgiving at 2:00pm followed by a reception in the PLC and outdoors weather permitting. You are welcome to attend this Mass and reception at 2:00pm. If you plan to attend this Mass, please RSVP to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we have an accurate count when we order food for the reception. If you are attending one of the regular scheduled Sunday Masses, there is no need to RSVP. I look forward to celebrating this milestone with my Our Lady of Mercy parish family!
Have a blessed week!