The Pastor's Pen
Today as we celebrate the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, we are grateful for this precious sacrament. The Son of God, Jesus became one with us in his flesh and blood, and he remains with us sacramentally. In the Eucharist, Pope Francis said, “Catholics experience the ‘solidarity of God,’ a solidarity that can never be exhausted and should never stop causing awe. He went on to say, “Once again today, Jesus gives himself to us in the Eucharist, shares our journey and, in fact, makes himself the food that sustains our lives, even when the road gets rough and obstacles slow our steps.” When you come to Sunday Mass here, I want it to be the best hour of your week. I hope I can give an excellent homily, that the lectors are excellent, that the music ministry is excellent, that our greeters, ushers, and servers are excellent, that our audio/visual is excellent. We want to offer our very best back to the Lord. And this is in line with our parish value of Excellence. All of our parish actions and ministries will strive to achieve and maintain the highest of ministry standards that bring glory to God. Now that does not always happen, but we continue to try and strive. There is still grace in the less than perfect. At the same time we should not settle for mediocre liturgy. Out of your 168 hours in the week, when you give one hour to the Lord, I want it to be the best hour of your week. Great parishes, I learned at Parish Catalyst, make their Sunday experience the best they can. That’s what makes us attractive, that our faith is vibrant and our worship is important. May our worthy celebration of the Mass every Lord’s Day strengthen us and lead us to eternal life through the body and blood of the one who shared our human existence. Let us not be casual about Sunday Mass attendance, attire, and etiquette.
The Annual Catholic Services Appeal has concluded. We began last September with a goal of $131,470. The good news is that 254 families contributed $77,378. Thanks to all who participated. The gift average is $305. The not so good news is that we have to pay the diocese the balance of $53,892 from our general fund. Likewise, we have to pay the balance due of $15,289 to the diocese for the Catholic Times since we were short in our collection. Recall that individuals are not billed for the paper, in print or online. Rather all are to contribute to the annual collection in January. Thanks to those who donated. So you can see that to be current on these two bills will require more than three weekend collections. We are able to pay this out of our savings.
I am away this week on retreat with several other diocesan priests and Bishop Paprocki in Belleville. Please keep me in your prayers. I will be back on Friday in time for the Altar Servers and Youth Choir Appreciation Outing at Knights Action Park. In these summer weeks, if you are away over the weekend, be sure to keep up with parish news and events by going to our dynamic website, www.ctkparish.com. Click on the bulletin tab to stay in the know.
Have a good week!