From the Pastor’s Desk

Now Known as Chardonnay W(h)ines!

July 14, 2019 | 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time

We are delighted to welcome back the University of Iowa Newman Singers to lead us in song at all our Masses next weekend. They will also give a concert next Sunday at 3:00PM, and all are welcome to attend. The Newman Singers were with us last year at this time. Thanks to parishioner Carrie Nadziejko for arranging their return visit. While a student at the University of Iowa, Carrie sang with the Newman Singers and sings in our choir now.

At the beginning of July, we welcomed a new member to our parish staff. After serving as secretary for our Religious Education Program K-5 for 14 years, Cheryl Lohse retired at the end of June. We are pleased to welcome Jean Palasz (pronounced Palace) as our new secretary for our Religious Education Program K-5. Jean previously held a similar position at Ascension of Our Lord parish in Oakbrook Terrace. Jean looks forward to serving our parish families in her new position. Please welcome Jean when you next stop by the RE office! We now have two Jean’s in the RE office! Jean Rehmer who is secretary for Middle School through High School RE, and Jean Palasz who is secretary for K – 5 RE. Maybe to distinguish them apart, we should call Jean Rehmer “J.R.”? Naw, she looks nothing like Larry Hagman who played “J.R.” Ewing on the TV series Dallas. But we’re going to have to come up with some way to distinguish the two when you call.

This coming Saturday, July 20th, 73 of our parish teens and 14 adult chaperones including Deacon Senovio, will be leaving at 10:00AM for their summer mission trip to Charlotte, New York. Please pray for their safe journey to and from New York, as well as a spiritually fulfilling experience as they help others in need.

Have a safe and restful summer!

Fr Don

July 7, 2019 | 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time

This past Thursday, we celebrated the 243rd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence declaring our freedom as a nation and people. We are so very lucky to be living in the United States. Unabashed patriotism is appropriate for this holiday. But while we take pride in being citizens of this nation, we must not forget where our true citizenship is. As Christians, no matter what nation we live in, St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians reminds us that “Our citizenship is in heaven.” (Philippians 3:20) And that is not meant for just after we die. We are to live as citizens of heaven NOW, while we are on this earth! As citizens of heaven, we are to put the teachings of Jesus first in our lives – even when they may be in conflict with laws and policies of a particular government. God’s law is above man’s laws. As disciples of Jesus, we are sent like the 72 in today’s Gospel to bring the Good News and the core message of peace to those who don’t yet know Jesus. Luke in today’s Gospel wants to tell us that the mission of Jesus is not only carried forward by the so called experts like priests and religious, but it is the responsibility of every believer in Jesus. Jesus told his disciples to “Go and baptize all nations….” So again, our citizenship is in heaven regardless of the nation we live in. Throughout human history we have seen the rise and fall of many nations – even the greatest! The empires that once ruled the world no longer exist. So we are reminded not to put out trust in princes, but in God alone.

Let our most patriotic response this holiday be a song of thanksgiving for our opportunity to live in our great nation, not just the one on earth, but the one that will last forever……our citizenship is in heaven!

Have a blessed summer!

Fr Don

June 30, 2019 | 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Well, after the long period of Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Holy Trinity and Corpus Christi, we have returned to “Ordinary Time” in the Church liturgical calendar. The last Sunday we were in Ordinary Time was March 3, 2019. After a dreary month of May and not that great of a summer month of June thus far, it seems we will have a short summer. I guess we can pray for an “Indian Summer” for the fall.

Summer is traditionally a time for relaxation and recreation. Did you know that I was actually a recreation major when I was in college? I graduated in ’74 from Indiana State University with a BS degree in Recreation. My “specialty” was recreational therapy. Thus my first job out of college as the Activity Director at the Bensenville Home Society working with geriatric patients. But I could have been hired to work at a park district and likely become a community’s director of parks and recreation. But, God had a different plan, and here I am today. My college courses back then talked about the importance of recreation in our lives. You’ve heard the expression “all work and no play make Jack a very dull boy.” It’s true! We all need to take time out to be renewed and refreshed – even God took a day off! But so often today, recreation can even seem like work. How many of us have said after coming home from a vacation, that I need a vacation from the vacation! The word recreation means to re-create. Leisure time is good, and it’s perfectly fine to do absolutely nothing. While I like to bike and others like to golf, go to a baseball game or outdoor concerts, I sometimes just sit in one of those zero gravity chairs on the back deck of the rectory and do absolutely nothing but stare at the sky, using my imagination to “see” various things in cloud formations. I enjoy the breeze and listening to the wind-chimes while sipping a soda or glass of wine. We all need time to slow down, chill out, give our overactive brains a rest. This is what it means to recreate. I hope you find some time this summer to re-create your best self!!

With the summer months here, like last year, we experience people, often a family, standing before and after Masses on our sidewalks or in our parking lot, holdings a sign requesting money to help them purchase items they need for their family, tugging at your hearts. And of course, Jesus said “give to those who beg from you.” And you are certainly free to do that, but I would prefer that you tell them to call the parish office and through our St. Vincent de Paul Society, we will help them. I’ve politely asked them not to solicit from our parishioners, and they leave – but come back. So again, if you wish to give them something, you may do so, but I would prefer to help them through our St. Vincent de Paul Society.

As you know summer is a great time to travel. Friends of mine recently returned from France and shared the words on a sign of a church they visited (English translation): “When you enter this church it may be possible that you hear “the call of God”. However, it is unlikely that He will call you on your mobile. Thank you for turning off you phones. If you want to talk to God, enter, choose a quiet place and talk to Him. If you want to see Him, send Him a text while driving.”

Have a Blessed Summer!

Fr Don

June 23, 2019 | Corpus Christi Sunday

Today we celebrate the most central TRUTH of our Catholic Faith. Today we celebrate that the Eucharist IS the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus – no longer just bread and wine, but in essence the very presence of Jesus. It is incredibly important for us to understand what we do when we celebrate the Eucharist. Without this understanding, yes Mass might seem boring or as some complain “I don’t get anything out of it.” From the beginning, believers in Jesus had no doubt as to the wondrousness of the gift they received in the Eucharist. Paul’s faith in this great mystery is clearly evident in today’s second reading. His description of Jesus’ great gift predates the evangelists who wrote the gospels.

So, let us understand that through the gift of himself in bread and wine, Jesus continues to be the food that sustains us, as well as the source of our communion with him and one another. Around the altar-table of the Eucharist, we remember his dying, we celebrate his life and we enter into the mystery of God’s salvific love. Other food we eat is assimilated into our bodies and becomes a part of us. But, when we are nourished by the Eucharist WE are assimilated into Jesus and thereby become a part of HIM!!

We cannot take for granted so great a gift and so profound a UNION. But recall the Israelites in the desert who became weary of the manna and quail and started longing for the food they ate while in captivity in Egypt. Do we, too, ever grow weary of the gift we have come to receive so routinely? Do we just go through the motions at Mass?

Perhaps if we were to cultivate a hunger in our hearts and souls – hunger that arises from the NEED for communion, a hunger prompted by prayer, a hunger that can be satisfied only by Jesus himself – this hunger would drive us to long for our next sacred meal at which we will be fed with the bread of the Word and the bread of Eucharist.

Included in the rite of ordination of priests is the directive: “Understand what you do; imitate that which you handle.” These words affirm the priests’ privilege and responsibility to be so intimately attuned to Jesus in the gift of the Eucharist that they become, in their words and in their works, true witnesses who encourage the faith of others. “Understand what you do.” These words also apply to YOU – the people in the pews whose privilege it is to partake of the Eucharist and whose responsibility it is to tend the hungers of humanity. Jesus’ charge to his own, “Give them some food yourselves,” continues to be the agenda of the Church. Having fed upon the body and blood, soul and divinity of Christ, YOU are to flow forth from the sanctuary to inundate your neighborhoods, workplaces and schools with Christ so as to make an otherwise secular world sacred again. And that my brothers and sisters is what Fr. Mark and I mean when we talk about evangelization – all of us do it, not just the ordained!! May you understand what WE do every time Mass is celebrated! Join us in our Eucharistic procession today that begins at the end of the 12:30PM Mass. Celebrate a wondrous gift!!

Blessings and Peace on the Feast of Corpus Christi,

Fr Don

June 16, 2019 | Trinity Sunday

Happy Father’s Day to all dads and men who have been fatherly figures in our life! And how appropriate that Father’s Day this year falls on the Sunday we celebrate the Most Holy Trinity. The Holy Trinity is a celebration of the relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Father’s Day celebrates the relationship of the father with his family.

Over the years of being a priest, I’ve come to realize that for some, Father’s Day or Mother’s Day evoke painful memories of past or current experience of an abusive or absent parent. For those of you for whom this is true, I pray for the healing of your memories, or if current, I pray for that parent to seek professional help. While we all have our faults and failings, and there is no “perfect” parent, a physically or emotionally abusive parent needs to be lovingly confronted to get help to understand the devastating consequences of their behavior on their spouse and children. Likely something of their own past needs to be healed so that an abusive parent can become a better parent, and model the bond between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

As Jesus speaks about the Spirit that he will send his disciples, the description becomes a mini-discourse on the Trinity. Jesus pledges to the disciples that the Spirit will keep them aware of who he is. Jesus, who had already proclaimed that he is the truth, now promises that the Spirit will guide them to all truth. He says that everything that the Father has is his and promises that the Spirit will give them what belongs to him. If the pronouns have been confusing and you are not sure who “he” is, that is because the three of them are described as one. Jesus taught that he and the Father are one, and that everything that the Father has is his. Now, he says that his work will be carried on through the Spirit, who will share with the disciples what belongs to him – and therefore to the Father. In this Gospel, Jesus promises the Spirit as the energy or bond that will bring his disciples to share his own union with God. So, as God as Father loves the Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, dads are called into that intimate relationship with God and their spouses and children. So, on this Father’s Day, let’s celebrate the BEST in our dad. Let us be grateful for all they have done for us, and let them know of our gratitude. Let us pray for them that they will be faithful to their vocation. And for those of us (including myself) whose fathers are deceased, let us be thankful for good memories and pray they are at home with our Heavenly Father.

Happy Father’s Day!

Father Don