April 25, 2021 – Fourth Sunday of Easter
“Jesus said “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life
for his sheep.”
The Gospel according to St. John, ch. 10
On this Good Shepherd Sunday, we see the protection of the dignity and rights of the human person, so important to our church’s teaching and practice, as rooted in a God who cares so much for us that Jesus comes not to judge us, but to protect us and to save us.
This month of April, Child Abuse Prevention Month, amplified by our church’s call to Safeguard and Protect all God’s children, as well as our continued efforts to protect all human persons from conception to natural death, the cornerstone of what is called Catholic Social Teaching—all reflect our deepest desire to be like our Good Shepherd, who tells us that whatsoever we do to the most vulnerable amongst us, we do to Him.
May our efforts to be a truly just and respectful and protecting force for the dignity of all be blessed and guided by the Good Shepherd!
Sincerely, with love.
April 18, 2021 – Third Sunday of Easter
“The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of bread.” Luke 24:35
Peace of Christ. I hope this note finds you well in these days of Easter. We had a long Lent – 40 days, or the last 14 months, depending on how you count it! This season of Easter is a beautiful invitation to receive the light and life of the risen Christ as our world around us slowly comes alive in the beauty of springtime.
Our Gospel this Sunday begins with the two disciples recounting how on their walk to Emmaus, Jesus drew near to them. Unable to recognize Him at first, as they walked, Jesus shared the Word and their eyes were finally opened in the breaking of the Bread (the celebration of Holy Eucharist). In this next month, we will have our beautiful celebrations of First Communion, High School Confirmation and Adult Confirmation in our parishes. For all those receiving these Sacraments, be assured of prayers!
Something always on the mind of Fr. Tim and me is how we can be with Christ’s presence in the poor and those most in need. Our weekly Friday morning Hospitality Center at St. Hedwig’s re-opened this past week. Thanks to the many efforts that continued “behind the scenes” this last year in our Social Justice Ministries: St. Vincent de Paul Conferences, St. Ben’s, All Saints and Guest House Meal Programs, Habitat for Humanity and the Riverwest Food Pantry.
As each of us continue on our respective “way” this week, know that you are not alone! Christ, your priests and parish staff, and our beloved parish community want to humbly accompany your walk with the Lord.
Sincerely, with love,
April 11, 2021 – Divine Mercy Sunday
“The quality of mercy is not strained: It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.” (William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice)
When Jesus appears after the Resurrection, the first word is PEACE and and the first action is pointing to his wounds. On this Divine Mercy Sunday, both word and action give wonderful witness that the divine plan for broken humanity is mercy.
How can we not acknowledge after the kind of year we have had that healing mercy is absolutely necessary, not only in the many ways we need to be healed, but also in the may ways we are called to be healers. The great spiritual writer Henri Nouwen wrote a powerful book called The Wounded Healer, a wonderful challenge to all of us, wounded each in our own way, but empowered by Christ to bring amazing healing.
Have a blessed healing week—both in word and action. Blessed be the Wounded Healer!
Sincerely, with love,
April 4, 2021 – Easter Sunday
“Speak, Mary, declaring what you saw wayfaring […] Yes, Christ my hope is arisen; to Galilee He goes before you” (Easter Sequence)
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, alleluia! On behalf of Fr. Tim and the Pastoral Staff of our Family of Four Parishes, I would like to wish you and your loved ones a very blessed Easter. We celebrate with joy this weekend the great “hope” of our faith – that God is always greater than any sickness, darkness, or even death.
The season of Easter in the church is always a celebration of “new things” and “new beginnings”. On Easter Vigil, we welcomed our elect and candidates into full communion with the Catholic Church – a powerful gift of new faith for this wonderful group. We celebrate First Communions, Confirmation for our High School students, Baptisms, Weddings, and ordinations of new priests. The forty days of our Lenten journey now open up to these forty days of “new beginnings”, where God reminds us that He will always provide.
I pray that in these Easter days, the words of Cardinal Van Thuan might become our own:
“I have traveled along life’s road,
Where I have experienced both joys and sorrows;
but always I have been overflowing with hope
because I have our Lord and his mother Mary by my side”
Happy Easter and blessings in these beautiful new days of Christ our hope!
Sincerely, with love,