EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
In Isaiah, the Lord invites the hungry and the thirsty to eat and drink, even “you who have no money.” God is inviting them to a banquet, anticipating the messianic banquet at the end of time. This concern for the people is an aspect of the “everlasting covenant” God made with David. This covenant extends God’s love and mercy to all peoples. Isaiah calls his people to be the means through which others will come to share in the covenant of God’s blessings.
Paul tells the Romans that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.” Because of this he is able to experience all sorts of trials, including imprisonment, knowing that “in all these things we conquer through him who loved us.” Even the spiritual powers—angels and principalities—are powerless over us because God is with us.
The story of the multiplication of loaves, found in all four versions of the Gospels, foreshadows the Eucharist. Matthew tells us that Jesus “withdrew in a boat to a deserted place,” but even then he cannot avoid the crowds. This undefined deserted place is reminiscent of the wilderness in Exodus, where Moses and the people received the gift of manna. The disciples’ concern for the crowd’s hunger is illustrated in their request that Jesus “dismiss the crowds so that they can go and buy food.” But Jesus has other ideas: “give them some food yourselves.” He intends to involve them in the miraculous feeding of the crowd. And so after blessing and breaking the loaves and fish, he gives them to the disciples, “who in turn gave them to the crowds.” This is a reminder that sometimes God’s work requires our hands and feet to reach others.
For Reflection: How is God calling me to share in the work of feeding those who hunger for God’s presence? How can I use my hands and feet to advance God’s work in the world? Is it something ordinary, or do I have to look for the extraordinary?
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF THE ANGELS
THE PORTIUNCULA INDULGENCE
Saturday, August 2, 2014, is the Feast of the Portiuncula or Our Lady of the Angels. This name is derived from a little church in Assisi known as St. Mary of the Angels. This chapel, later called the “Little Portion” or Portiuncula, became the “cradle” of the Franciscan Order. It was one of the churches rebuilt by St. Francis when he first began his public ministry.
One night Francis went to this chapel and was graced with a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary, surrounded by a multitude of angels. Then, the Lord spoke and asked Francis to seek some special favor of Him. After pondering this request, Francis asked that a full pardon of their sins would be granted to anyone who visited this little chapel and met the proper conditions. This grace, called a plenary indulgence, can only be obtained on August 2.
The conditions for gaining this indulgence, either for yourself or for a deceased loved one, include going to confession and Holy Communion within a period of eight days before or after this feast. In addition, one must pray the Our Father as well as the Creed for the Holy Father’s intentions and pray some additional prayer, e.g., the Peace Prayer of St. Francis, while in church. This plenary indulgence was later extended to include any Franciscan church throughout the world. We invite you, therefore, to visit St. Peter’s on Saturday, August 2, for Mass at noon and to fulfill the requirements for the plenary indulgence. The church will be open from 11:00 A.M. until 7:00 P.M. on Saturday as usual.
THEOLOGY ON TAP
The St. Peter’s Young Adults (SPYA) invite you to join us once again this year for Theology on Tap. The Theology on Tap begins at 5:30 and will run until approximately 7:00 P.M. Refreshments and snacks will also be served. This program is designed primarily for adults 20-40 years of age, but you are welcome even if you are a bit older.
This series concludes this Monday evening, August 4th. Dave and Martha Meus, a young , Catholic married couple, will speak on “Living the New Evangelization,” in which they will help us to understand and then live this call to be Gospel people in the world.
For those who are interested, our St. Peter’s Young Adults meets every Monday evening from 5:30-7:00 P.M. except on holidays and on the final three weeks of August. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call Fr. Ed Shea at 773-892-4134.
ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT – ST. PETER’S CHURCH
Fiscal Year 2013-2014
The Archdiocese of Chicago requires all pastors to publish in the bulletin a summary financial report at the end of each fiscal year. Even though such a report does not go into detail about individual receipts and expenses, it does give parishioners a good idea of where income has come from and where monies were spent.
Donations to Franciscans 433,766
Parish Offertory Collections 338,248
Christmas and Easter Appeal Collections 95,518
Lease and Rental 22,350
Donations by Mail 224,183
Wills and Estates 357,000
Friars Legion 120,000
Total Income 1,591,065
Beginning Cash 11,402
Franciscan Stipends, Housing and Food 433,766
Lay Salaries and Benefits 592,463
Maintenance and Repair 203,173
Liturgical Expenses 94,608
Archdiocesan Assessment 56,832
Miscellaneous Expenses 2,489
Speakers and Education 25,556
Total Expenses 1,625,637
Ending Cash -23,170
We want to thank everyone who has contributed in any way to make this past fiscal year possible. We absolutely depend on you to keep the doors open, the programs going, the friars fed and housed, and the liturgies alive and available. You are the mainstay of our existence, and we appreciate your generosity and your continued support.
Please note in the figures above that our regular weekend and weekday collections only cover a small percentage of our expenses. Our Christmas and Easter Appeals, those who have remembered us in their wills (the total of $357,000 this year we had to transfer in order to pay our regular bills), the many people from near and far who send us occasional donations through the mail (one person this past year sent us $60,000 as a gift for what he had received at St. Peter’s over the years), and those who contribute monthly through the Friars Legion—all these are sources without which we could not exist. If you have not yet remembered us in your will, please do so in a generous way so that those who come after you will benefit from what St. Peter’s has to offer for the Loop community and the thousands of visitors who come to our city yearly and join us for Mass and confession.
On the expense side, our main outlay is for the support of the friars and for the salaries, health insurance, retirement, and social security of our dedicated lay staff who contribute so much to making our ministry what it is. Our building is now sixty plus years old, so maintenance and repair is an ongoing issue. We value the quality of our liturgical celebrations and make every effort to make them beautiful, sacred and timely. This also means that art and environment must be well done as well. We are required to pay all archdiocesan assessments like every other parish (a percentage of the ordinary income). However, St. Peter’s has never been subsidized by the archdiocese in any way. We will continue to do all we can to lower our expenses and to expand our income while maintaining the quality of our ministry in every way.
During the current 2014-15 fiscal year we have several special financial issues which we have to address in the parish. I plan to outline these on one weekend and at all the Masses on one day shortly after Labor Day. Would that financial considerations were not something we had to deal with in the midst of our sacramental ministry, but it is a reality that cannot be overlooked. In the meantime, I ask you to seriously consider increasing your regular contribution at the offertory to assist us in paying our bills and honoring all our commitments.
A SPECIAL MASS THIS SUNDAY
The Claretian Missionaries will celebrate an outdoor Mass at Fiesta del Sol in honor of DREAMers, immigrants, and the 47,000 children in detention centers in the United States. The Mass will be held on Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 1:00 P.M. on the Fiesta del Sol’s main stage. Priests, deacons, religious, parishes, Hispanic leaders, DREAMers, immigrants and the public are invited to attend the Eucharistic celebration that begins with a procession of flags at 12:00 noon along Cermak Avenue in Chicago. DREAMers will participate in the Liturgy as lectors, in the offertory, Communion, and more. Their stories will be portrayed in the form of posters placed near the stage and altar.
Fiesta del Sol is the largest Hispanic festival in the Midwest that is both alcohol and tobacco free. Revenues generated by the festival are invested in scholarships for local youth, resources to support education, defense of the civil rights of immigrants, and workforce development.
SECOND COLLECTION NEXT WEEKEND
Every year the Archdiocese of Chicago asks each parish to host a missionary for a weekend. The program is called Mission Co-Op. The purpose is twofold: to help all of us learn more about the Church in various parts of the world, most importantly in developing countries, and to take up a second collection to assist this religious community and/or diocese to address the needs of the people there. Next weekend we will host the Society of the Divine Word (S.V.D.), who will speak to us about their work in the Catholic Diocese of Yendi in Ghana-West Africa. Please come prepared to listen to their message and to offer your financial support in this second collection.
WORLDWIDE MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER
This could be the Weekend for the two of you to Restore, Rekindle and Renew. Worldwide Marriage Encounter is a weekend getaway that helps married couples rediscover themselves as individuals and as a couple. The weekend is God-centered and comes out of the roots of the Christian faith.
The Weekends are presented in the Roman Catholic Faith Expression, but they welcome couples of all faiths. Guided by a team of volunteer couples and a priest, each participant explores their relationship with each other, their spouse, and their family. The Weekend format helps couples communicate openly and honestly, without any group sharing, therapy or marriage counseling.
All marriages need attention, effort and nurturing. The Encounter provides an opportunity for you to explore your relationship together and to find ways to make it more fulfilling and stronger for a lifetime. Although your conversations are private between you and your spouse, seeing other couples striving for a better relationship makes it easier for you also to be open to your spouse.
The next Weekends for the Chicago-Joliet area are October 10-12, 2014 and December 5-7, 2014, both in Burr Ridge, Illinois. For further information or to register, please contact Jim and Kris McCulloch at 630-577-0778 or you can go to www.wwmejoliet.org. Don’t delay; you’ll be glad you made that call or checked out the internet.
YEAR OF THE SACRAMENTS
One Word at a Time
We do not go to God one by one. God has decided to gather us as his holy people in the Church, which is the Body of Christ. When we celebrate the sacraments, we do so as God’s Church. Even though our experience may be deeply, deeply personal, for example, when we confess our sins and receive forgiveness or feel the presence of Jesus in Holy Communion, our experience is never just ours alone. We are all part of the Body of Christ, joined and built up together.
If God has decided to gather us as his people in the Church, then we are called to join that gathering. When we come together, for example, to celebrate the sacraments and worship God, we do so with generous and willing hearts. We support each other, pray for each other, and encourage each other. We also accept in faith the sacramental rituals and prayers entrusted to the Church.
A SUMMERTIME CHUCKLE
Mr. Johnson was overweight, so his doctor put him on a diet. He said, “I want you to eat regularly for two days, then skip a day, and repeat this procedure for two weeks. The next time I see you, you should have lost at least five pounds.” When Mr. Johnson returned, he shocked the doctor by having dropped almost twenty pounds. “Why, that’s amazing,” the doctor told him. “You did this just by following my instructions?” The slimmed down Mr. Johnson nodded. “I’ll tell you, though, I thought I was going to drop dead on that third day!” “From hunger, you mean?” “No,” replied Mr. Johnson, “from skipping.”