30 Jul

Kathleen Barton

Christ in Chicago
Reflections from St. Juliana Parishioners

July 30, 2017


We sing “Go Make a Difference” often at Saint Juliana Parish at the end of Mass. Sometimes I wonder
what those words really mean and what are we supposed to do about them.

Being a longtime member of the Parish, I think about all the people from Saint Juliana who have
impacted my faith life along my own journey. Some have been memorable, others not as much, but all
have made a difference in my life.

I believe that God speaks to us and is present to us through others. Certainly my family, those
who taught and inspired me toward a career in teaching, those friends who provided a helping hand or
prayed for me when I needed a prayer – all those have given me a clearer look at God’s face. Reflecting
on all these people has made me grateful for those experiences of meeting God through those around me.

So, I think when we sing “Go Make a Difference”, maybe the difference we make is not
necessarily something big or grandiose, or even planned. But often we can make a difference in small
ways and sometimes without even knowing we may have done so.

Making a difference can mean ordinary kind and loving acts. It may also be just our quiet
presence or being a listening ear. We need to be open to all the possibilities. The encounters we share
with one another can help us strengthen our own faith and help us to recognize our blessing and gifts from
God.

Anyone of any age or circumstance can make a difference. Let us ask God for the grace to
experience Jesus and make a difference in the world. Pray and be open to your own possibilities.

Kathleen Barton is the retired principal of St. Juliana School and a life-long member of St. Juliana
Parish.

29 Jul

Twinning

Dear Parishioners,

The twin parables of the Kingdom of Heaven this Sunday (the treasure buried in the field and the pearl of great price) are ones, I surmise, to be easily dismissed. We are currently living in the Kingdom of God—do we see it as a treasure or a pearl? No. Our lives of faith and our activity in the Church seem rather ordinary, anything but a treasure or a pearl. So, how can we relate to these parables from Matthew on the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time?

29 Jul

Missing Pieces

Ah Love, could'st thou and I with fate conspire
To smash this sorry scheme of things entire,
Would we not shatter it to bits—and then
Remold it nearer the heart's desire?

Those are the lines of Omar Khayyam, a Persian scientist from the early middle ages. His beautiful poetry makes me think of a part of the Mass known as the "Fraction Rite." This is when the priest, during the Lamb of God, breaks the large host into three pieces. One of these pieces is small and he drops it into the chalice, saying quietly, “May the mingling of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to all who receive it.”

23 Jul

John Bridges

Christ in Chicago
Reflections from St. Juliana Parishioners

July 23, 2017


I’m a lucky guy. My father, Myles Bridges, met my mother, Patricia Healy, and the two set up
shop in Rogers Park. All seven of us attended St. Margaret Mary School. Dad was a sheet metal
worker and Mom ended up working at St. George High School to help keep her oldest 3 boys in
school. Education was expected by Mom and Dad. I really don't know how they did it. Mom was
real Catholic. Dad was one of those not comfortable in church. Still, all our friends loved my
parents.


Loyola University was next for me. It was affordable as long as I had a job. Thankfully
in those days if you couldn’t find a job in Chicago you did not want to find a job. I had a great
career helping people use technology to improve their productivity. God was there for the whole
ride. He picked me up every time I fell.


God next gave me work at our nearby grouping parish, St. Mary of the Woods. I love the
children, so full of life and possibilities. The children start and end the day with prayer. I am
also continually impressed and inspired by the teachers and staff. They receive very little pay,
but you would never know. The teachers are so dedicated and passionate about what they do.
Most importantly, they really care about and love the children. It is easy to see Jesus in their
actions.


Even more amazing is the commitment of the parents to their children's Catholic
formation. As I look out at the parents waiting to pick up their children after school, I see love at
the basic level. Reminds me of my parents. Reminds me of Jesus.
Let's all pray for strong families and for Catholic schools. Both are essential for our
future. Maybe it’s not luck, after all, to which I should attribute my feeling blessed.


John Bridges is a retired salesman presently in maintenance, and has been at St. Juliana for over
30 years.

22 Jul

Vice or Virtue

Because you have a particular negative trait or habit doesn't mean you have to be defined that way. There's always an opposite virtue to your vice. Look at Moses. This supreme prophet was regarded as perhaps the meekest man who ever walked the earth (cf. Num 12:3). He was calm in the face of Pharaoh's obstinacy, patient with the complaining Israelites in the desert, and obedient to the Lord's decision to not let him enter the Promised Land. But Moses wasn't always this way. He had an extreme temper. He killed an Egyptian in his youth and literally smashed the two tables upon which the Ten Commandments were written. Moses recognized his temper and countered it with meekness, so much so that he became known as a meek, and not a hot-headed, man.

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22 Jul

In the Weeds

Dear Parishioners,

Our Lord's parables can be applied not just to the Kingdom of God at large, but to us individually. When we hear about the wheat and the weeds in the Gospel this Sunday (cf. Matt 13:24-30) there is a very personal message.

In the parable, the master tells the slave not to pull up the weeds. “Let them grow together until harvest,” he instructs. Sure, the parable informs us about the nature of the Church. The Church has “weeds”—flaws, sinners, and so forth. No field is perfect, and we should not grow too frustrated when confronted with this imperfection. The Church, though holy, will never be perfect.

22 Jul

Chapter Four

Allow me to provide a brief "buildings and grounds" update. The main message to take away from this fourth installment is that nothing has changed or been definitely decided. A small group of parishioners and myself—an "exploratory building committee" of sorts—is looking into the back of the church and the ministry center projects. We have contacted a number of architects who will provide us with an idea of what we can do to improve our buildings.

16 Jul

Anastasia Jakubow-Raschtchian

Christ in Chicago
Reflections from St. Juliana Parishioners

July 16, 2017
It was the 33rd Day to Morning Glory. As a group, we were to meet in the chapel to publicly consecrate to
Mary, Our Mother. A glorious day indeed.
Shortly thereafter I was asked to write a column for July 16th , a very significant date for me. It is the
anniversary of my brother’s passing. To God be the glory.
I submit to you the poem I wrote, published and presented to my brother’s students, family and friends in
hopes to console, motivate and inspire. My brother was a beloved high school history teacher and his
daughter was one of his students. May these words from my heart to yours help in whatever way you
may need.

~ Dearest Ones ~
He is home now, in God’s arms -

In his everlasting light, his perfect joy, his perfect happiness
His pain and suffering is finally over, his restless tossing passed

God wanted him now, so he set him free
It is only for a little while that you’ll be apart.
When you need him, just call him…he’ll be there
You won’t be able to see him or touch him…but he’ll be there

Listen with your heart

You’ll feel his love and passion all around you,

So, soft…so dear.
But, we have work to do now,
So, open your eyes and dry your tears.
We must not idly stand by.

We must keep his dreams alive and live the dreams he inspired in us.
We must keep his hopes alive and nurture the hopes he unleashed in us.

And, then, when our work is done
It will be our turn to go
He will be there to greet us,
With his beautiful smile...his outstretched arms,
Singing “Welcome Home”

Anastasia Jakubow-Rashtchian is a college professor, mother of one son, and has been a parishioner of
St. Juliana for 24 years.

15 Jul

Parables and Divine Mysteries

Dear Parishioners,

“A sower went out to sow...” Our Lord tells us, in arguably his most well-known parable, there are four different types of landing spots for a seed: a path, rocky soil, a thorn bush, and rich soil. The seed, of course, stands for the Word of God and the landing spot is the person. Some of us are rocky soil, where Christ's message and his grace does not take root, while others of us are rich soil, where it does.

15 Jul

MacArthur the Anti-Christ

“We heard God speak here today!” shouted Senator Dewey Short above the din on the floor of Congress. “God in the flesh! The voice of God!”

There was pandemonium in the room, as people jumped over one another to touch the man. Others were literally prostrating themselves before him. It was April 17, 1951, and General Douglas MacArthur had just given his farewell address to a joint session of Congress. Afterwards, Herbert Hoover said he was a “reincarnation of St. Paul,” while a woman from New Jersey was a little more praiseworthy, claiming, “he has the attributes of God: he is kind and merciful and firm and just.”