Father James Wallace

Put your finger here.

Dear Parishioners,

Thomas was so close. His sainthood teetered on the edge. If our Lord had not been merciful and returned to show his wounds, Thomas might never have believed in the Resurrection and might not have remained a follower of Christ. He would not be a saint and would be grouped instead with Judas. Thomas was so close to forsakenness. He could have fallen away. But Jesus catered to Thomas' need for proof and kept him secure. “Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.’ Thomas answered and said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’“ (Jn 20:27-28).

Maybe you've been close to the edge, close to falling astray and away from Christ. Or maybe even you did fall and were away for a while. Thomas is your saint then.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
Continue...

With God all things are possible.

Dear Parishioners,

Happy Easter! Christ is risen from the dead, alleluia!

The Resurrection is like a code that has been programmed into the software of the earth. Dying and rising is everywhere. Think about it. Moving on to a high school or college is a resurrection experience. A student "dies" to his grammar school and is reborn in high school. Flowers are blooming. A new Cubs season is underway. People are marrying.

People are dying and being reborn to eternal life.

Companies, like Apple, have experienced the resurrection too, as have industries and brands: bourbon, neon sunglasses, the Volkswagen Beetle, the Twinkie, leggings and striped tube socks. All of these things existed at one point, began to diminish, and then returned.

Saint Juliana Parish is no different. The Resurrection is in our DNA.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
Continue...

One Nation, Under God

America was deeply torn after the Civil War. The fighting may have ended, but divisions had not been healed. Reconstruction, if anything, made matters worse. Policies did not quite appease the southerners, while northerners felt betrayed. And blacks in the south were not in a tremendously improved situation.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
Continue...

Dawn of a Red Day

Imagine the United States of America is invaded by China. Think of the movie Red Dawn, if you've seen it. We have been conquered and most of our American culture has been banned. One day—remaining in our hypothetical scenario—an individual comes along and claims to be the leader who will free us from our oppressors. We believe him. We follow him. When it comes time to implement the plan to overthrow the invaders, our savior drops a bomb. The problem is with us, not them. We, he says, need to convert. We are shocked. We are offended. And so when the Chinese arrest our leader and sentence him to death, not only do we not object, we approve of his killing.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
Continue...

On the importance of the Resurrection

Dear Parishioners,

I teach 7th grade religion once a week in our school. Recently I asked them on a quiz to write a short-answer essay on why the resurrection is important. Here are some snippets of responses from the quizzes:

The Resurrection is important because when Jesus resurrected he opened the gates of heaven so we could live forever.

The Resurrection showed that Jesus was true to his word and also foreshadowed his coming again to judge all.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
Continue...
Stephen Lilly

Advance Directives for Health Care

  • 16 February 2017 |
  • Published in Blogs

I saw an ad in a recent bulletin (January 8, 2017) about a booklet published by the Catholic Conference of Illinois which focuses on advance directives. What is that all about?

The Illinois Bishops Conference recently released updated information about designating a Power of Attorney for Health Care. A Power of Attorney for Health Care is an individual that one can appoint in order to make health care decisions in the event that one is not able to make those decisions for oneself. The document is not about giving another person power to make decisions while you are able to do so (unless you stipulate that). Rather, it is about giving you power to stipulate how you would like to be treated in the event that you are not able to make those decisions yourself due to some incapacitation. You can appoint the person that you trust, and you can provide general instructions about how you would like to be cared for. Therefore, the document is about empowering you. It is not about taking power away. Also, it should be noted that this is not the same as a Power of Attorney for finances. A Power of Attorney for Health Care only applies to health care decisions.

What makes the booklet that was recently published by the Catholic Conference of Illinois unique is that it provides a simple way for you to stipulate that you would like to be cared for in accordance with Catholic ethics. The document allows you to easily limit how your Power of Attorney for Health Care may act in order to ensure that he/she acts in accordance with Catholic teaching. This can take some of the burden off of loved ones because they know your wishes.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
Continue...

Day in the Life of a Seminarian

  • 06 January 2017 |
  • Published in Blogs

What is a typical day like at the seminary?

This is a great question. Thank you for asking. Formation at every Catholic seminary is built upon four important “pillars,” and these provide the foundation for the typical seminary day. Namely, formation should target the Human, Spiritual, Intellectual, and Pastoral components of the candidate for priesthood. Not every day at the seminary looks the same, but regular activities center around strengthening these areas.

Human

The human personality of a priest should ideally act as a bridge by which others may encounter Christ. Therefore, seminary formation includes the fostering of an environment in which one may grow as a human person. Students spend time together, grow in relationship with one another, take time to eat and play together, and confide in one another. Thus, a significant portion of the day is spent doing very “human” things. They play basketball and soccer together, spend time talking about events or beliefs, and joke around. Growth happens because these things occur in a supportive Christian environment.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
Continue...

Spirits and Ghosts

  • 19 November 2016 |
  • Published in Blogs

What is the Church’s perspective on spirits and ghosts?

GhostThank you for your question. These are subjects about which we might not often think. We live in an era where focus is most often on the material realities of the world. However, the Church has always maintained that there are spiritual realities. God’s creation is not just limited to the world that we can see. In fact, we maintain that human beings are themselves composites of the material and spiritual.

If we look at the diverse creatures of the world, it’s not a stretch to surmise that there might be a diversity of spiritual beings as well. The most common spiritual creatures, angels, are mentioned numerous times in the Bible. A quick search of the Bible brings up 295 instances of angels being mentioned. Rafael, Gabriel, and Michael would be the three identified by name. The Bible also affirms the existence of spiritual beings that are opposed to God. Jesus frequently expelled demons, demonstrating the power of God over the spiritual powers of darkness opposed to Him.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
Continue...

A Presumption of Permanence

  • 25 October 2016 |
  • Published in Blogs

When did you first know that you were called to the priesthood?

Thank you for your question. Honestly, in some ways, I don’t believe that I will really know whether I am called to be a priest until the act of ordination. At that moment there will be no doubt about God’s will. Before ordination there is always some degree of uncertainty. Every candidate for the priesthood is called to do one’s best to listen for God’s will in his life, and, further, the Church as a whole is called to do its best to listen as well. Both the candidate and the Church need to make a "yes" for ordination to take place.

Nevertheless, as a man considers the priesthood and enters into and progresses through the seminary, there is the expectation that he will grow in what is known as the "presumption of permanence." He should increasingly grow in commitment to the priestly vocation, turning himself over to Christ to be formed in what is necessary for the priesthood. Like most other men considering the priesthood, this is something with which I wrestle and in which I am continuing to grow.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
Continue...

Missionary travels and a changed perspective.

  • 14 October 2016 |
  • Published in Blogs

Having done mission work in other parts of the world, what have you learned that you can share with us?

Thank you for the question. Over the last few years I have had the chance to make extended stays in Ethiopia, Senegal, and El Salvador, and they have all taught me much. In each of these places I grew as an individual and as a Christian, but I also grew in appreciation for the Church and in knowledge the current state of the world. Here are a few thoughts:

We are a global church. The Church extends far beyond the borders of our community, and in the midst of the diverse places in which it has taken root, there are diverse expressions of the one Catholic faith. I believe that that is a sign of our strength. I have had the opportunity to celebrate mass in dusty cinder-block chapels, in simple mud houses, in beautiful colonial-era cathedrals, and even on top of mountains. During such celebrations I have heard ancient chants, bellowing drum lines, simple hymns, and vibrant community choirs. Yet, in the midst of all these places and worship styles, we all come to worship and renew our relationship with the triune God. We are all part of the body of Christ. These are our brothers and sisters in Christ. We have a family larger than we might have ever imagined.

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
Continue...