Fr. James with the Friendship Club during its Saint Patrick's Day Party (prior to the Coronavirus) in the newly renovated parish center.
Letters from a Pastor to His People- March 22, 2020
As of the submission of this bulletin for publication, the Archdiocesan mandate canceling all Masses and parish activities, including school and religious education, is still in effect.
Once again, there will be no daily Masses and no Sunday Masses this weekend and upcoming week. Because of Governor Pritzker’s shelter-in-place mandate, the church and parish office will be closed. We will not be able to open the Church on Sunday morning for individual prayer, nor will the office be open to receive any calls. In the event of an emergency and you need to contact a priest, such as for Anointing of the Sick, please call the emergency number: 847-507-2585.
You will find online a virtual Mass we recorded for this weekend, for you to prayerfully watch at your convenience. Please consider also praying An Act of Spiritual Communion:
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.
All meetings and events for all groups that were to be held in the school and parish center are also canceled until further notice. There will be no holy hours of Eucharist Adoration on Monday and Friday, and no Stations of the Cross on Friday.
The office in the parish center will, however, be open Monday through Friday from 9am until noon for any emergency issues. I would encourage you, though, to call the office for any questions or business that can be handled remotely.
If anything changes, we will be sure to communicate via e-blast, the website, and Facebook.
This might be overly dramatic, but I've been recalling the opening lines of Crisis by Thomas Paine, which he composed in December 1776:
These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
Many of you are not shrinking from your faith, your belief in the Catholic Church, and your love of and need for the Eucharist. If anything, all these are increasing in you. How many people have commented to me how much they miss having Mass! This taste of a world without the Church I believe has made us appreciate all the more our faith. Perhaps this is one silver-lining in this entire Coronavirus experience.
In this Sunday's readings we see some unlikely figures rise to the top. David, the youngest and least of Jesse's sons—the runt of the litter—becomes the second greatest king this world has ever seen (second to his descendent, Christ the King). The blind, inarticulate beggar stands toe-to-toe with the educated Pharisees in a fierce trial and comes out victorious. He becomes a great disciple of Christ.
These days are humbling. We are all unlikely figures—simpletons—in this great drama. But our faith in Jesus Christ will ensure we do not default to being summer soldiers and sunshine patriots. We will rise to the top, like David and the blind man. The triumph will be glorious. And you will deserve the love and thanks of future Catholic generations. As for the present moment you have mine. Thank you and God love you.
Yours in Christ,