August 29, 2009 – Just a Few Quickies

The blog this week will be fairly short, as I have been stricken with one of the great “gifts” that Southern Illinois has to offer – the Southern Illinois sinus congestion.  We certainly can’t complain about this beautiful fall-like weather that we have been blessed with, but when it is still August and it was summer-like just a day or two ago, well sometimes the body doesn’t adjust as well as you would like it to.

Staying in this morning allowed me the opportunity to watch the coverage of the funeral Mass for Ted Kennedy.  It was a beautiful and moving service.  His family did a wonderful job in remembering him.  I know myself having delivered several eulogies how difficult it is to put emotions aside and publicly state your feelings about someone.  You want people to be moved by your words but at the same time you do not want to go down the lane of sorrow; you still want the occasion to be a celebration of a life well-lived, and I thought his family did a great job in doing that.

The Kennedys may be the most famous, most public Catholic family in history.  However, it is also no secret that Sen. Kennedy’s liberal stance on issues put him at odds with some of the teachings of the church.  Yet, for at least today, that was all put aside as 1500 people crowded into the church, and many priests as well as Cardinal Sean O’Malley reverently did the rites of the Mass of the Resurrection.  The church that I saw today was the church that I love, the church that I envision for the future.  A church that welcomes everyone, even if not everyone agrees with what the church teaches.  Does the church have the right to attempt to convince us that its teachings when dealing with issues such as abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, etc. are proper?  Absolutely.  However, does the church have the right to turn away people who truly believe that there is one true God, that the Eucharist they receive is truly the Body and Blood of Christ, yet may not totally agree with all that the church teaches?  Would Jesus have turned away these people?  I think our duty as Catholics is to know what the church’s teachings are, to convey them to others as best we can, and to continue to welcome those who even though they may not agree with all that the church teaches, that still have a hunger for Christianity, that hunger for the peace and reconciliation that God can bring. 

Just four weeks and counting until our Mission!  As I have said before and will continue to say for the next few weeks – the more people who attend, the more people who are involved, the greater the mission experience will be.  Have you signed up to be a greeter for one of the services, or to carry a symbol, or perform one of the other ministries?  Please consider doing so.  None of the roles are complicated.  We were talking the other night at Parish Council meeting about how long it had been since we last had a Mission.  Eight years ago, we did the Renew mission, which was done ourselves as a parish.  It probably has been over a decade since we had a mission when a priest from outside our community came to lead the Mission for us.  It is truly a unique and special event.  So again, I hope you can put at least some of the week aside for this experience, I hope you invite anyone you think would enjoy the Mission, and I hope you will be involved in some way.

Finally, I want to thank you for continuing to support our website, www.maryhoc.org.  We have had a lot of traffic on the website this month, more than we have the past several months.  As always, I am open to any suggestions you may have to improve our website or to see something added.  Also, if you have any photos from parish events, etc., I am glad to post them (people love to look at the photos). 

With next week being a holiday weekend, I plan to take a week off from the blog and re-charge the creative batteries.  If there is any newsworthy information to post, I will put it on our Twitter page (www.twitter.com/maryhoc).  Have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend, and I will be back at the keyboard in a couple of weeks.   Peace.

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