26 Apr

The Road to Emmaus

Letters from a Pastor to His People- April 26, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

The Road to Emmaus.  This road is one we all travel.  "The path of life" as we hear in the responsorial psalm.  We've been walking on this road our entire lives and will continue to walk it until we arrive at our destination in Heaven.  But even then, some say, the road will not end.  In Heaven we will still be journeying deeper into the heart of God.  

This is also the road for the Church.  We see three significant components are present on the road: discipleship, scripture, and the Eucharist. 

26 Apr

Francois de Montmorency Laval

 

Francois de Montmorency Laval was born to an aristocratic French family in 1623.  Renouncing his family title and estate, Laval became a Catholic priest.  After spending time in prayer and study under the incredible tutelage of Jean-Jacques Olier and future saints Vincent de Paul and John Eudes, Laval was made bishop at age 35 of New France, becoming the first bishop of Canada. 

26 Apr

Gospel April 26, 2020

 

Today’s reading from the Act of the Apostles is a portion of Peter’s discourse on that day, the first of many in Acts, message to the situation of his audience. At the heart of the speeches is the proclamation about Jesus, telling the gathered people about and how God raised Jesus from death, thus fulfilling the Messianic prophecies about the promised descendant of David. During his speech, Peter refers to Israel’s beloved King David, quoting Hebrew Scriptures, Psalm 16, and asserts that David, “foresaw and spoke of the Resurrection of the Christ.” Even though Jesus is able to work signs and wonders, he is rejected by his own people. In this case, Peter is not accusing his fellow Jews but pointing out God’s plan of salvation. Peter’s speech also develops the Kerigma, the foundation of Christian faith, in the light of the Jewish Scripture.  

19 Apr

Interior Social Approaching

Letters from a Pastor to His People- April 19, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

I brought up last week in my Virtual Easter Mass homily the concept of "social distancing."  We are all familiar with this.  A distance of six feet is to be maintained between individuals, and we are not to shake hands or do other activities that put us in physical contact with one another.  We saw the first instance of "social distancing" with Mary Magdalene and Jesus outside the tomb on Easter Sunday.  Mary, upon recognizing Jesus risen from the dead, embraces him.  Jesus tells her, essentially, to let go and maintain social distancing.  "Jesus said to her, 'Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father'" (John 20:17).

19 Apr

Springtime in the Heart

Easter, an old-English word, derives from estre, which was the name of the pagan springtime God.  In German, ‘Easter’ comes from ‘east’—the point being to emphasize hope, as the sun rises in the east at dawn.  Hopefully we can make an opportunity in this ebullient season to experience a “springtime” in our faith.  If we desire it, God will grant it.  “It is always springtime in the heart that loves God,” said Saint John Vianney, the curé of Ars.

19 Apr

Gospel April 19, 2020

In this second Sunday of Easter or Sunday of Divine Mercy, the First Reading is from the Acts of the Apostles. Four characteristics that a community filled with the Spirit should live: the teaching of the apostles, table-fellowship, prayer, and sharing all things in common. The community life of the early Christians expressed their agápe love and mercy by sharing what they had with everyone in need: “All who believed were together and had all things in common.” Some of them even sold their property and entrusted the money to the Church so that the poor might be helped and supported. They were strengthened by their punctual and active participation in the “Breaking of the Bread”– the Eucharistic Liturgy.

12 Apr

On the Way to Emmaus

Caryll Houselander once wrote,

It seems that this is Christ's favorite way of being recognized, that He prefers to be known, not by His own human features, but by the quickening of His own life in the heart, which is the response to His coming. When John recognized Him, he was hidden in his mother's womb. After the Resurrection He was known, not by his familiar features, but by the love in Magdalene's heart, the fire in the hearts of the travelers to Emmaus, and the wound in His own heart handled by Thomas.

Yes, we can know Christ through the meditation of theological truths, the unpacking of Sacred Scripture, and the sacraments, just to name a few.  But when our hearts are moved in a particular way to the good—which is to say, to God—then we are in the midst of knowing Christ. 

12 Apr

Be Recollected like the Wise Little Bee

Letters from a Pastor to His People- April 12, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Do you remember last year what we were mourning during Holy Week?  What the great tragedy of our world was?  It was the burning of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. 

Though It doesn't seem as bad now, since the entire church wasn't destroyed, and particularly in light of our current calamity with the Coronavirus, the burning of Notre Dame is still, in my mind, one of the great calamities of mankind. 

As I preached last year on Good Friday, a church building's fundamental purpose is to worship and glorify God.  Thus, a church—something we produce through our own skills—is humanity's gift to God. 

Notre Dame, the most beautiful church in the world, was humanity's greatest gift to God.  Our gift to God, the best we could do, burned.  It was incredibly sad, both for us and for God.

Interestingly, I read in the subsequent months of that tragedy, as life continued forward, about a small miracle associated with the fire. 

12 Apr

Gospel April 12, 2020

In the celebration of Easter Sunday, the Resurrection of the Lord, the first reading is from the Acts of the Apostles. In this sermon, we hear about the spread of the Gospel. The story of Jesus’ baptism, his public ministry anointed by God with the Holy Spirit, death and Resurrection has been reported all over the land. Peter lists himself as a witness to all these wondrous events, and he believes that all people who have faith and repent now have access to the salvation that Jesus has come to bring.   

05 Apr

A Note From The Pastor of St Juliana

  • 27 September 2020 |
  • Published in Events
A Note From Father James Week Four - April 5, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Well, I think it’s safe to say this will be the most unique Holy Week and Easter of our lives. We can do this!

In case you missed it, please check out our Palm Sunday virtual Mass online, either on our website or on Facebook

Here are the times the other Virtual Holy Week Liturgies will be released:

Holy Thursday
Mass of the Lord’s Supper 4pm

Good Friday
Children Stations of the Cross 10am
Passion of the Lord Service Noon

Holy Saturday
Easter Basket Blessing 11am

Easter Sunday
Easter Mass 5am

Just a reminder, these are not “live,” so you can watch them whenever you want, and not necessarily at the time they are released.

Additionally, I continue to release my daily podcast with the Mass readings and reflection, called “The Daily,” and Deacon Hank Lyon and I have begun a casual podcast called “Chi-Bro.” 

Thank you to all who continue to volunteer to those in need.  We haven’t had many folks reach out who need help, so, please, if you know of anyone who needs assistance, let me know.  Even if it is someone who just needs to talk on the phone, we can arrange for that as well.

Also, please continue to send me your prayer requests, and we will stay united to one another through the Masses we offer privately.

I also want to express my thanks to those who continue their Sunday offering.  God love you. Our collections are still down from our average Sunday intake, but we have increased the number of people who are donating online on GiveCentral. Another donating feature you can use is text-to-give.  Please text Sunday or Easter to 773-358-2471.  This can help us with our Easter collection, which is a significant part of our operating budget.  

Saint Juliana School goes on Easter Break this upcoming Friday.  Sadly, we’ve had to postpone the Sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation.  But, for some good news: we have hired our new principal for the upcoming school year and beyond: Ms. Catherine Scotkovsky!  

I hope you are keeping well.  I am very confident the seed of grace is being planted by Jesus deep into our souls, and when COVID-19 eventually clears, we will be well on our way to the new Garden of Eden.  God bless you during this most sacred time of year.  I remain,

Yours in Christ,
Fr. James Wallace