Dear Parishioners

Fr. Romanus' Letter of June 18th

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

"The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, 'How can this man give us his flesh to eat?'" From the beginning, the Eucharist has been a source of controversy. Some people have always found the teaching difficult to accept. But as Catholics, the Blessed Sacrament is at the heart of our worship and our spirituality; we go to Mass to share in the holy sacrifice of Jesus' body and blood, and we receive spiritual nourishment from partaking of this heavenly food. As Jesus himself tells us in today's Gospel, "

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him." From this passage it is clear that Jesus intended the Eucharist to be a tremendous gift for us, for "whoever eats this bread will live forever." This of course is because the bread is Christ's "flesh for the life of the world." In other words, just as he gave his body on the cross to save us from our sins, so too this same flesh is given for us at every Mass to strengthen our weakness and unite us more deeply to our Savior.

Receiving Communion isn't like taking a magic pill, however. We must beware of reducing this sacrament to an empty ritual or a foolproof guarantee of heaven. No, it is quite possible to receive Communion unworthily and reject its spiritual efficacy. Just like the benefits of a healthy meal can be undone by a habit of binging on junk food, so too we can prevent holy Communion from having its full benefits when we crowd our souls with vices and sins. If, on the other hand, we wish to let this sacrament of divine grace flourish, we should receive it with a sincere spirit of gratitude and reverence, praying that we may be made worthy to receive such a gift.

LPI Liturgical Publications Inc.

Nomination for Trustees:

The term of office for our two trustees has expired. Julia Atkinson has served as our Trustee Treasurer since 2011, while Mark Kuchta has served as Trustee Secretary since 2014. Both trustees have done a good job in their respective positions. On your behalf, I thank them for their services to our parish. They have also both expressed a willingness to continue as parish trustees.

Hence, I am pleased to nominate them to another term as trustees. Normally, trustees serve a two year term. However, to maintain the staggered nature of trustee terms, the Trustee Treasurer will serve a one year term while the Trustee Secretary will serve a two year term.

The nomination process is now open. Archdiocesan trustee guidelines state that after the pastor/administrator makes the initial nominations, additional candidates may be nominated in writing by any parishioner accompanied by signatures from ten or more registered parishioners per candidate. The person to be nominated must be Catholic, registered and practicing member of the parish, and at least 25 years of age.

If there are other nominations, an election will take place. The winners become trustees only after the approval of Archbishop Listecki.

Happy Father’s Day:

As we celebrate Fathers’ Day, we are reminded of the need for gratitude to God the Father from whom all fatherhood take its meaning. Join me in wishing all our fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, foster fathers and godfathers, a Happy Father’s Day. We also pray for all our deceased fathers that they may Rest In Peace.

Have a great week!

 

Fr. Romanus

Fr. Romanus' Letter of June 11th

Dear Parishioners,           Most Holy Trinity:

This Sunday is the celebration of the Most Holy Trinity, which is one of the fundamental beliefs of the Church. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity states that there are three persons in one God (expressed in Greek as hypostasis), namely; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The three co-exist in absolute harmonious relationship and share one nature (essence). The unity of the three persons is often designated in scholarly circles as “hypostatic union.”

    Many have tried to dissect the inner workings of this divine relationship with little success. The failure to fully comprehend the nature of the divine relationship is due to the fact that we are dealing with the mystery of God. Limited human intelligence is incapable of fully grasping the overwhelming mystery of God. Obviously, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not a proposition to be broken down, but a mystery to be lived. The much we know about God is essentially through revelation and the mediation of Jesus Christ.

    Christian faith in the Trinity is often designated as Trinitarianism, in contrast to Unitarianism, a belief in one God and one Person. Unitarianism should not be confused with Monotheism, a belief in one God, which is a fundamental part of our Christian faith. Unitarianism is in contrast to Binitarianism, a belief in one God and two persons. In contrast to Catholic belief, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints views the Trinity as three divine persons with three separate natures as opposed to one nature.

    The harmonious relationship of the Trinity is a model for Christian relationships. Harmonious relationship is more than tolerating others, but a willingness to love everyone unconditionally, understanding that no one is perfect, including you.

 

Congratulations to Blessed Savior graduates:

Last weekend, we had a bulletin insert with the names of the fifty two 8th graders from our Blessed Savior School who graduated on Thursday, June 1st, in a ceremony at the East campus. Please, join me in congratulating the graduating class of 2017. We pray that God will bless and guide them as they move on to further their education in area High Schools and beyond. We are proud of their accomplishment and hope they will be good ambassadors of our parish and school.

 

Combined Collection:

The Church in the United States’ Combined Collections is this weekend. It is an annual collection that supports five essential ministries of the Catholic Church in the United States. These ministries are: 1. Black and Indian Missions; 2. Catholic Campaign for Human Development; 3. Catholic University of America; 4. Catholic Communications Campaign; 5. Retirement Fund for Religious.

     You may have received your commitment form and other materials already from the Archdiocese. There are extra materials in the vestibule for new parishioners, visitors, and those who either cannot find theirs or were omitted in the mailing database. Prayerfully consider making a contribution to this very important appeal. Your generous contributions help to keep these essential ministries alive. Note that our parish benefits specifically from the Black and Indian Missions portion of the appeal.

     See the bulletin insert for more details about the ministries covered by the Combined Collection. The insert is a letter from Archbishop Listecki encouraging your generosity.

 

Have a great week!

                                                                        Fr. Romanus

Fr. Romanus' Letter of June 4th

Dear Parishioners

Pentecost:

The Church celebrates the feast of Pentecost this Sunday. It is recognized and celebrated as the birthday of the Church. It was remarkable that the Holy Spirit transformed a bunch of petrified disciples into courageous and determined evangelists, ready to die for their faith. The sending of the Holy Spirit was the fulfillment of Jesus' promise not to abandon his disciples or leave them as orphans. The Holy Spirit has sustained the Church's mission through the centuries and enables her to navigate treacherous waters.

     The celebration of Pentecost, fifty days after the resurrection, goes back to the early fourth century. It was tied to the celebration of the Jewish festival of “First Fruits,” also known as the "Feast of Weeks," which took place fifty days after the Passover. The separate celebration of Pentecost in the Church took place about the same time the Feast of Ascension was recognized as a separate liturgical celebration, forty days after the resurrection. This was in accordance with biblical presentations in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 1-2).

     Speaking in tongues was one clear evident of the infusion of the Holy Spirit. The inspired and intelligible utterances of the transformed apostles could be contrasted with the unintelligible babble associated with the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9. Notwithstanding that people spoke different languages they were not hindered from understanding the apostles’ message inspired by the Holy Spirit. This was a major improvement compared to the glossolalia or ecstatic and unintelligible pronouncements of Old Testament prophets. It is evidence that the Holy Spirit enables the breaking down of barriers to human unity and solidarity.

     We can hardly speak of Pentecost without mentioning the traditional gifts of the Holy Spirit based on Isaiah 11:2. These celebrated gifts or fruits of the Holy Spirit are: wisdom, understanding, knowledge, fortitude, counsel, piety, and the fear of the Lord.

     The respected theologian, Hans Kung, once stated that before the Holy Spirit can truly take hold of our lives all contrary spirits must be exorcised (Why I Am Still A Christian, Abingdon Press, Nashville TN, 1987). Hence, we pray that all contrary spirits will take flight, so that God's Spirit may dwell secure in us and our community.

 

Nomination for Trustees:

The term of office for our two trustees has expired. Julia Atkinson has served as our Trustee Treasurer since 2011, while Mark Kuchta has served as Trustee Secretary since 2014. Both trustees have done a good job in their respective positions. On your behalf, I thank them for their services to our parish. They have also both expressed a willingness to continue as parish trustees.

    Hence, I am pleased to nominate them to another term as trustees. Normally, trustees serve a two year term. However, to maintain the staggered nature of trustee terms, the Trustee Treasurer will serve a one year term while the Trustee Secretary will serve a two year term.

     The nomination process is now open. Archdiocesan trustee guidelines state that after the pastor/administrator makes the initial nominations, additional candidates may be nominated in writing by any parishioner accompanied by signatures from ten or more registered parishioners per candidate. The person to be nominated must be Catholic, registered and practicing member of the parish, and at least 25 years of age.

     If there are other nominations, an election will take place. The winners become trustees only after the approval of Archbishop Listecki.

Have a great week!

 

Fr. Romanus

 

Fr. Romanus' Letter of May 28th

Dear Parishioners,

 

Feast of the Ascension:

This Sunday is the Feast of the Ascension. Though the actual day of the feast was last Thursday, many ecclesiastical provinces in the United States including ours, have moved the feast to the Sunday following Ascension Thursday. This is in synch with the trend of moving some solemn feasts that fall on weekdays to the weekend in order to encourage greater participation. Many people readily excuse themselves from these celebrations on weekdays due to work schedules, etc. Hence, celebrating them on weekends encourages greater participation.

     The Feast of the Ascension is a celebration of our belief that Jesus ascended to heaven forty days after his resurrection. His ascension underscores the completion of his earthly mission of saving humankind from the clutches of sin and death, and opening for us the gates of heaven. Celebration of the ascension goes back to the 4th century and is attested to by Sts. Augustine, John Chrysostom and Gregory of Nyssa. It is also mentioned by The Apostolic Constitution and the Pilgrim of Egeria.

     Ascension is home-coming for Jesus as he re-unites with the Father in heaven. It also ushers in the era of the Holy Spirit as the fulfilment of Jesus’ promise to his disciples not to leave them orphaned. As with every separation, the ascension created a sort of separation anxiety for the disciples. Jesus quickly comforted them and reassured them that it was for their own good that he returned to the Father. Unlike the limited time the disciples had with their Master, the presence of the Holy Spirit will be for eternity. The Holy Spirit is a mark of continuity as we strive as Church to carry on the mission Christ entrusted to us.

 

Nomination for Trustees:

The term of office for our two trustees has expired. Julia Atkinson has served as our Trustee Treasurer since 2011, while Mark Kuchta has served as Trustee Secretary since 2014. Both trustees have done a good job in their respective positions. On your behalf, I thank them for their services to our parish. They have also both expressed a willingness to continue as parish trustees.

    Hence, I am pleased to nominate them to another term as trustees. Normally, trustees serve a two year term. However, to maintain the staggered nature of trustee terms, the Trustee Treasurer will serve a one year term while the Trustee Secretary will serve a two year term.

     The nomination process is now open. Archdiocesan trustee guidelines state that after the pastor/administrator makes the initial nominations, additional candidates may be nominated in writing by any parishioner accompanied by signatures from ten or more registered parishioners per candidate. The person to be nominated must be Catholic, registered and practicing member of the parish, and at least 25 years of age.

     If there are other nominations, an election will take place. The winners become trustees only after the approval of Archbishop Listecki.

 

Fr. Romanus' Letter of May 21st

Dear Parishioners,

Sunday Reflection:

This Sunday’s gospel is part of what is known as the Last Supper discourse. The gospel is to be understood in the context of next Sunday being the celebration of Ascension, followed by Pentecost Sunday the next week.  Jesus tells his disciples, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth …”

      Keeping the commandments is the irrefutable evidence of the disciples’ love for the Master and a condition for the sending of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit in turn reinforces the love of God and the ability to keep the commandments. It also means that those who do not keep God’s commandments cannot claim to love God. The same could be said of human relationships. One should not claim to love someone while at the same time doing things that hurt the one loved.

     In another passage, Jesus makes clear that the greatest of the commandments is love, that is, love of God and love of neighbor. It means there is no getting around LOVE if we want friendship with God. In essence, Jesus is telling his disciples that his Ascension will not mean the termination of their friendship nor the end of his advocacy on their behalf, as long as they keep the commandments.

     Obviously, keeping the commandments could be a struggle. However, one should never stop trying. Once the habit is cultivated, it becomes a way of life. It is comforting to know that the Holy Spirit compliments our efforts and makes what is difficult easy and the impossible possible. The Church cannot do much without the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can be described as the life-blood of the Church.

    As Jesus prepared to ascend to the Father at the conclusion of his mission, he sensed the fear on the part of his disciples. They had reason to be afraid since those who put him to death were still seeking to destroy whatever is left of his movement. His assurance to the disciples was that he would not leave them alone as orphans. He promised to send them another advocate to protect and guide them.

    To speak of another advocate is an acknowledgement that Jesus is not only the Messiah but also an Advocate. An advocate is one who pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court. As an Advocate, he pleads on behalf of the Church before the Father. In his absence, the Holy Spirit becomes our Advocate. The burden of sin and the weight of guilt make it almost impossible for us to plead our own case. We need an advocate to speak on our behalf.

     The persecution environment under which the apostles functioned necessitated an Advocate to stand on their behalf as they were dragged before tribunals and the Sanhedrin. The Advocate will give them the wisdom to say the right things and the courage to withstand intimidation from their adversary. Similarly, as Church and as individual members of the Church, we need the advocacy of the Holy Spirit to function and to accomplish our mission in the face of opposition. There is only one condition, keeping the commandments. To further assist us, Jesus also gave us the sacrament of reconciliation. When we fail, we have to keep trying until we get it right. Hence, we have to strive to take advantage of this sacrament of mercy.

Have a great week!

Fr. Romanus' Letter of May 14th

Dear Parishioners,

Sunday Reflection:

This Sunday’s gospel from John (14:1-12) is among the most frequently selected gospels for funeral Masses. It is a beautiful passage that underscores God’s comforting presence in our moments of sorrow. It was as though Jesus was comforting his disciples in anticipation of his own death and the grief it would bring. He said to them: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?” Perhaps, the disciples remembered those words during their moments of grief following Jesus’ crucifixion and death.

   As we know, life is so full of tragedies. When we turn on the television or the radio, browse the Internet or flip through newspaper pages, we are bombarded with so many tragedies in our cities, nation, and the world. It is likely that you know someone who is dealing with tragedy. It is also likely that we will experience tragedy sometime in life.

     Jesus’ invitation to not let our hearts be troubled is a reminder that we are people of hope. That hope is rooted in the realization that there is more to life than meets the eye. Jesus’ statement is an invitation to transcend the world by overcoming the anxiety caused by life’s events or uncertainty about the future. It is an invitation to look beyond our sorrows and painful experiences. But, how could our hearts ‘not be troubled’ by some of the tragedies of life? Simply by placing our hope and trust in God, and contemplating a future devoid of pain and suffering. This is the essence of faith. Sometimes, we wonder how people who have no faith deal with life’s tragedies and anxiety-causing experiences.

    Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worries. These disorders affect how we feel and behave, and they can manifest real physical symptoms. Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling, while severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating, having a serious impact on daily life. People often experience a general state of worry or fear before confronting something as simple as a visit to the doctor or dentist, or as challenging as a major surgery, loss of employment, death of a family member or friend, etc. These feelings are easily justified and considered normal. Anxiety becomes a big problem when symptoms interfere with one’s ability to function. Generally speaking, anxiety is manifested when reaction to a given situation is grossly disproportionate with what could be considered normal.

    In the gospel, Jesus provides a spiritual remedy for anxiety, namely, faith in God and in his son, Jesus Christ. Faith is about trusting that God is in charge of life’s events and whatever the future holds. That takes the huge burden of uncertainly off our shoulders. Moreover, worrying about problems is not the same as solving them. Faith is about entrusting our life to our creator and the vanguard of our destiny.

    When it is all said and done, the ultimate tragedy is eternal separation from God. The good news is summed up in Jesus’ response to Thomas: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Equally important is Jesus’ response to Philip: “Believe me that I am in the Father and the father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves.” Bottom line: through faith in God, we will transcend life’s tragedies.

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all our mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers and godmothers!