June 17, 2018
It’s time once again to celebrate Father’s Day, something that not always gets sufficient attention in the busyness of summer activities and various jobs that need to get done around the house such as cutting the grass, trimming the shrubs, washing the car, paying the bills, etc. Dads are often seen as the “go to” persons for making sure that things get done, especially on the weekends. They are the ones who are “supposed” to have the money to make things happen according to what their children want to happen.
One of my favorite memories of my dad goes back to my young years. My dad worked as a trust officer at Fletcher Trust Bank at its main office which was in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. Monday through Friday mornings he would walk several blocks from our house to catch a bus to ride to his work so that mom would have the car to run errands at home during the day. At the end of the business day he would then ride the same bus home and walk through St. Roch’s school yard as a short cut to our house. Even before I could tell time, I would have a sense of about when he was due home, and I’d ask my mom whether I could run and greet him as he got to our street. She was usually concerned about me not looking closely enough for the cars possibly coming up our hill, but I would always say I’d watch carefully, and she would tell me, “Okay, but be careful!” Out the door I would go, anxious to see him coming across the field, and I would jump into his arms. Somehow I think it was not only because I was so glad to see him, but it was also because his presence brought a real sense of security.
Dad was not that mechanical, so he usually called a plumber, an electrician, a furnace expert, etc., if something went wrong around the house. He loved the outdoors and took great pride in planting and nurturing a large garden each year and furnishing mom with all kinds of vegetables both fresh for the table and tons to be canned. He took great pride in having our yard look as good as or even better than our neighbors. I learned from him to love summer so much better than winter, and I treasure that love to the present day.
He valued his own education and was convinced that if you studied diligently and learned your lessons, you would have all the tools you would need to make a living and to succeed in whatever vocation or occupation you might choose. We had Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondolet who taught in our school, and it did not take me too long to learn that I would ever win a fight if I felt one of them had wronged me; dad always presumed they were correct and therefore don’t even bother to criticize or try to win a battle. He also believed in the principle that afternoons after school were for play and time after supper was for homework!
One of the things that I value most about my dad is that he wanted to open my eyes to more than what was immediately around me. As a result, we went to baseball games, local museums, cultural events held periodically around the city, and travelling for vacations. He had grown up on a farm in central Illinois near a town of only 300 people. When he moved to Indianapolis to finish his high school, he became acclimatized to much more car traffic on the streets, but nothing like that in large metropolitan cities. Therefore I came to realize what a stretch it was for him to drive in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Boston and Montreal, but that he did so that we could partake of all the wonderful advantages these cities held. I think it was the “roundabouts” in Washington that almost did him in, but he and we survived. He truly was a good sport throughout. I owe so much to my dad and how he went far beyond his comfort place to provide for our family.
Happy Father’s Day! Allow me to salute all our fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, and fathers-to-be with this poem entitled “Dad” by Karen K. Boyer:
He never looks for praise,
He’s never one to boast,
He just goes on quietly working
For those he loves the most.
His dreams are seldom spoken,
His wants are very few,
And most of the time his worries
Will go unspoken too.
He’s there…A firm foundation
Through all our storms of life,
A sturdy hand to hold to
In times of stress and strife.
A true friend we can turn to,
When times are good or bad,
One of our greatest blessings,
The man we call our Dad.
ELEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Today’s Word reminds us that the Lord is at work in the world, in us, and in spreading God’s Kingdom. The prophet Ezekiel addresses the people of Israel encouraging them never to lose hope. As God’s people, they are assured that their fortunes will be reversed. The prophet offers a beautiful image: God takes a shoot from a cedar tree and plants it in the ground, where it grows into a majestic tree. In like manner, this loving God whose power makes mighty trees grow, will restore the people of Israel.
“We walk by faith, and not by sight” is a call Paul addresses to his friends in Corinth: Remember that life is a journey to the Lord. No matter what happens, Christ journeys with us. Our faith in Christ offers the confidence that we can face every challenge. Consequently, we are called to act in a way that pleases the Lord.
The Gospel presents two parables that focus on God’s work within us and in the spread of God’s Kingdom. In the first parable, Jesus compares the growth of God’s Kingdom on earth to God’s creative power working mysteriously in the world of nature. In the second parable, Jesus compares the growth of the Kingdom to a small mustard seed planted in the ground that becomes the largest of plants.
All these readings challenge us to remember that the work we do is ultimately not ours, but the Lord’s. God works in mysterious ways within our lives and within the world in the growth of God’s Kingdom. The future that lies ahead is mysterious, but it is rooted in God’s love for his people, beginning with the people of Israel and culminating with Jesus and the growth of the Christian Church.
Jesus used various means to help people understand the Kingdom of God. In The Joy of the Gospel, #237, Pope Francis explains that the Gospel is for everyone, and that throughout time, each culture receives the Gospel in its own way. The Holy Father states, “The Gospel has an intrinsic principle of totality: it will always remain good news until it has been proclaimed to all people, until it has healed and strengthened every aspect of humanity, until it has brought all men and women together at table in God’s Kingdom.”
The reading from the Second Letter to the Corinthians notes that the community seeks to please God. As we please God, we make the Kingdom of God known. In Fulfilled in Your Hearing, the United States bishops state, “Believers witness to the presence and word of Jesus in the world and are a continuing sign of the Kingdom of God, which is present both in and through Jesus, and still to come to its fullness through the power of the Holy Spirit” (p. 6).
St. Paul wrote encouragingly to communities of faith. He wanted them to continue to be inspired to grow in their love of God and to spread the faith by how they lived. Lumen gentium states that Jesus gave the Church the mission of spreading the word of the Kingdom of God. Lumen gentium, #5, states, “Jesus poured out on his disciples the Spirit promised by the Father. From this source the Church receives the mission of proclaiming and establishing among all peoples the kingdom of Christ and of God, and is, on earth, the seed and the beginning of that kingdom.”
For Your Reflection: Do you pause in your day to give thanks to God? How have you walked by faith when troubled? To what do you compare the Kingdom of God?
FRIAR PERSONNEL CHANGES
Our two friar deacons will be in transition this week as they continue their deacon internships. Br. Dat Hoang, O.F.M. will be moving to Saint Anthony of Padua Friary and Parish in Saint Louis, Missouri. There he will serve the people of the parish in a variety of ways, getting used to preaching on a more regular basis, visiting the sick, preparing people for the sacraments of Baptism and Marriage, working with the parish pastoral council and finance council, etc. He will also have a relationship with the neighboring parish of the Resurrection where the faith community is primarily Vietnamese in background.
Br. Edward Tverdek, O.F.M. will continue living here at St. Peter’s, but he will divide his diaconal ministry between our parish and that of Our Lady of Pompei. At Pompei he will also have the opportunity of being involved in ministries such as Br. Dat above, while here he will preach on both weekdays and on some Sundays. At the beginning of September he will also return to being an adjunct professor of philosophy at Catholic Theological Union in Hyde Park.
We are hoping that both of these friars will be ordained to the priesthood on one of the Saturdays during the month of November. We are waiting to see when the bishop will be available. Please keep both Br. Dat and Br. Ed in your prayers as they continue their journeys.
- PETER’S GALA
Don’t forget that St. Peter’s is holding its annual Gala on Thursday, July 19, 2018, from 5:30-8:30 P.M. at the Union League Club, 65 West Jackson Boulevard. It’s an evening of great fun and food, along with meeting both old and new friends while sipping a cool drink. We also have some magnificent items for you to purchase and to bid on during the silent and live auctions. The profits from this event go totally to reducing our budget deficit. Last year we netted c. $125,000; this year our goal is to top that amount by a significant margin. Tickets @ $175.00 apiece are still on sale after some of the Masses on weekends and weekdays, or at other times when the front office is open. We hope to see you there. If you won’t be in Chicago at the time of the Gala and therefore don’t see yourself purchasing a ticket, we would be honored if you would still make a donation to help address our deficit.
ADORATION OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT
One of the marvelous gifts we have in the Catholic Church is the fact that we always have the presence of the Lord in our churches due to the reservation of the Body of Christ reserved in the tabernacle. But that presence is even more manifest when the Consecrated Host is placed in the monstrance and then publicly displayed for the veneration of the faithful in what we call the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Here at St. Peter’s we have the opportunity to visit Our Lord in this special way every Monday-Friday for the three hours between 1:45 and 4:45 in the afternoon. I hope you try to take advantage of this devotion at least once or twice a week. You need not stay for a longer period of time; even a short visit allows you to focus, to thank the Lord for blessings received, to acknowledge that you owe everything to His goodness and love, and to praise Him for all he has done and continues to do for you. It also gives you a bit of quiet time to just be in His presence and to give Him a chance to speak with you as He sees fit.
SAINT PETER’S MEN’S GROUP
You may not be aware that every Monday evening at 5:00 P.M. we have a meeting down in the auditorium called “Saint Peter’s Men’s Group.” You will find it listed every week in the bulletin in the Activities section. This group has been meeting for many years and has played a great part in the lives of many men who have been coming together for support and assistance as they grow and mature. The primary reason for the group’s existence is for men who are dealing with some aspect of sexual addiction: it could be pornography, masturbation, marital infidelity, visiting adult book stores, seeking massage for something other than relief of sore muscles, feeling sexual temptations to be too much to handle, etc.
At a meeting you will find you are not alone in what you are dealing with; others have been struggling with the same problems. You will also find individuals who can testify that there is hope because they are now free of their subjection to addiction. There will also be persons who are willing to be your sponsor, and you will find all this done in an atmosphere of confidentiality, spirituality and Christian love of neighbor. We invite anyone to try this Men’s Group who wants to get better. That’s Mondays at 5:00 P.M. in the St. Clare Auditorium. Spending this hour a week could very well save your life and save your marriage.
A SUMMERTIME CHUCKLE
On a flight to Florida, I was preparing my notes for one of the parent seminars I conduct as an educational psychologist. The elderly woman sitting next to me explained that she was returning to Miami after having spent two weeks visiting her six children, 18 grandchildren, and ten great grandchildren in Boston.
Then she inquired what I did for a living. I told her, fully expecting her to question me for free professional advice.
Instead, she sat back and said, “If there’s anything you want to know, just ask me.”