O you of little faith

Dear Parishioners,

Do you worry? If you do—if you are a "worrier"—then listen particularly to Jesus this weekend. “Do not worry about your life,” he says. “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?” (Matt 6:24-34)

Planning and being intentional is one thing, worrying is another. Worrying does us no good. It is wasted energy and makes life much less enjoyable. Jesus wants us to be happy, which is why he tells us to stop worrying. Our Savior will provide for us, just like he provides for the birds of the sky and the wildflowers.

Praying is an antidote to worrying. Look at the opening line from our psalm today: “Only in God is my soul at rest” (Ps 62:2). When we worry, our mind and, fundamentally, our soul dart around. Conversely, when we pray we are put at ease. God relaxes us. Sit with Jesus and even express to him some of your worries, and he will settle you.

I want to take a moment to recognize Ms. Pam Francisco for all her years of service and dedication to our parish and especially to our Religious Education program. She has touched the lives of so many people—catechists, students, and parents. When I arrived as a new pastor last summer, Pam generously agreed to stay on another year. I was very grateful for this and am grateful for everything she has done for our parish. I ask you to pray for us as we search for a new Coordinator of Religious Education and to pray for and thank Pam. God bless you, Pam!

Speaking of searches, our school principal search continues to progress. The search committee met last Monday and will continue to meet Mondays until we have our new principal hired. I'm excited about the energy around this search, and around our school in general, and am hopeful for our future.

Thank you to all who helped put together the St. Juliana St. Patrick's Day Party this past Saturday night,

particularly Joe and Patti McDonagh, Bob and Nancy Ryan, and Jason and Laurie Martin. It was a fun time and good to see many of you there. I am giving up alcohol for Lent (pray for me), so this opportunity to have a last drink with you all was especially appreciated. I'll look forward to our Knights of Columbus St. Patrick's Day Party at St. John Brebeuf next Saturday night.

I'll be holding a little palm burning ceremony with our school children on Tuesday at 9am in the parking lot. Feel free to stop over and bring your old palms from Palm Suday to burn. The Liturgy Team will then be decorating in the church that same Tuesday evening for Lent. Thank you, Liturgy Team members, for again making our church beautiful.

Our Missionary Spirit Team will be meeting this Tuesday evening. On Saturday, March 4th the group will head down to Our Lady of the Angels Mission on the west side for the food pantry. This is a great opportunity for service and I highly recommend it. Also, as you will see in the bulletin, the Missionary Spirit Team is hosting a one-day retreat open to all parishioners on April 1st from 9am-4pm. It will be held at Marytown in Libertyville, and I will be leading the retreat. The talks will be on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as seen in the lives of the some saints and holy men and women.

Finally, next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. We will have a 7am Mass, an 8:30am Mass, a 1:15 prayer service with distribution of ashes, and a 7pm Mass. Fridays in Lent we will have Eucharistic Adoration in the church from 9am until 5:30pm. Stations of the Cross will still follow in the church after the 8:30am Mass, and we will have them again at 5:30pm. Please consider stopping into the church at some point throughout the day to spend some quiet time with the Lord in prayer. In fact, 20-30 minutes in church could be your act of kindness (or sacrifice) for Lent. Maybe some of your worries will cease. Either way, you'll notice a difference in your life.

Yours in Christ,
Father James

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