Monday, January 25, 2010

Ministers of Care and Fifty Days of Joy

Happy Monday to you all.

I had a great experience on Saturday morning at Addolorata Villa in Wheeling Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Approximately 100 ministers of care from the Northwest Deanery here in the Archdiocese of Chicago met for a morning of reflection. I spoke with them about developing a deeper sacramental spirituality. They were a great group of dedicated ministers. We took some time to recall our own baptisms and we were able to experience a baptism remembrance ritual in the beautiful chapel, pictured here:

By now you know that every once in a while, I do a little plug on this blog for a resource we publish here at World Library Publications. Lent is right around the corner. If your parish has catechumens and candidates who will be receiving the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil this year, please consider giving them a gift that will help them extend their sacramental experience well into the Easter Season. The Fifty Days of Joy by Fr. Dennis Chriszt, C. P.P. S., is a book that will help the newly initiated reflect more deeply on the celebration of the sacraments at the Vigil.

Using scripture (all texts included in the book), stories, and reflections, Fr. Dennis leads the newly initiated through each day of the Easter Octave, as well as each Sunday of the Easter Season. There is a place in the front of the book to inscribe the name of the person who has been initiated. This is also a helpful resource for RCIA ministers who are called upon to lead sessions during the period of mystagogy. Thanks for listening to this brief commercial.

At yesterday's Mass at my parish, St. James on the near south side of Chicago, the lector who proclaimed the second reading was terrific. He read the long version of the reading and had us all at the edge of our seats as we listened to Saint Paul's theology of the Body of Christ unfold. When he reached the line about one member of the Body suffering—and the fact that we all suffer with that person—I couldn't help but think of the outpouring of prayers and resources for our brothers and sisters in Haiti. This has been a great example of the Body of Christ in action.

As you know, it has been almost a year since our beautiful church building was closed. Engineers continue to do the work of inspecting the structure to determine its viability for the future. I found a great photo of the interior of Saint James Church, taken from the choir loft during Mass a few years ago. Here you go:

I hope you have a great week.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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