Notice the demon in today's Gospel refers to himself in the plural. “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?” (Mk 1:24).
When we are not in union with Jesus Christ—when we are separated from him—we are divided internally. We eventually disintegrate.
Practicing our Catholic faith unites us. Our faith makes us whole, or holy. Saint Paul writes in our second reading, “I should like you to be free of anxieties” (1 Cor 7:32). What's one way to be combat anxiety? Pray and have a relationship with God!
This Sunday begins Catholic Schools Week. We will have a special celebration at the 11am Mass, followed by an open house and bake sale in the Ahearn Activity Center, to which all are invited. At the Mass we will honor Michele Gallagher, this year's recipient of the Sister Remy Schaul Service Award, as well as Will Lewan, winner of the new St. Juliana School Distinguished Alumnus Award. Michele has been very involved with St. Juliana over the years, helping in a special way with our Fine Arts program, and, along with her husband John, raising her two fine children. Will, a 2013 SJS graduate, is currently a senior at Montini High School. He won gold at the Cadet World Wrestling Championship in Greece last fall and will be attending the University of Michigan on a scholarship. We are proud of you both.
It will be a busy week! I will celebrate Mass Monday at Resurrection College Prep. Tuesday I will participate in the SJS Faculty-Students Volleyball Game (go faculty!) and Wednesday speak to our pre-K 4 children about baptism. We do not have school on Friday, but we will still have the 8:30am Mass in church, as we have All Day First Friday Eucharistic Adoration. Please feel free to stop in the church and pray, and perhaps sign up for a half-hour time slot to keep watch over the Blessed Sacrament. Benediction will occur at 8:45pm.
Many of you have received a letter from Cardinal Cupich about the 2018 Annual Catholic Appeal, and you will find brochures about the ACA in the pews this weekend. Once again, the theme this year is "Come, Follow Me." The funds raised by the ACA, which benefit not only us, but all parishes across the Archdiocese, allow us to answer Jesus' call to come and follow him. When our parish has reached its goal of $53,018, we will receive 100% of additional funds raised to continue supporting our mission and helping make us a dynamic parish. If you received your pledge form in the mail, please complete it and mail it back or bring it to Mass next weekend. For those of you that did not receive a mailing or have not had time to respond to it, we will conduct our in-pew pledge process at all Masses next weekend. Thank you again so much for your generosity.
Again, we are starting the process of renovating the back of the church. In order to begin the process, we needed to abate the floors in the cry room, ushers room, and closets, as well as the balcony and musicians sacristy. You may have noticed the pews and some furniture have been removed. We are still meeting with architects for a design of the space, with new restroom facilities and a large meeting room. Once we have a proposal and images, I will be sure to let you know!
Likewise we are in a similar stage with the school courtyard. As I mentioned, we did a massive cleaning a few weekends ago and are in the process of creating a design. The area will be multi-purpose, including a playground and sports area for our children, and a prayer garden and patio for socials for the rest of our parish. An elevator will also be installed as part of this project. Hopefully all this will help us experience Jesus even more.
Yours in Christ,