It's green week!

Dear Parishioners,

The Transfiguration. I see this event as a sister image of the crucifixion. We could even call the Transfiguration a shadow of the Redemption. Or perhaps it is reversed? Either way, there are several comparisons to make.

Jesus ascends two hills in both scenes: Tabor and Calvary. He is elevated with three individuals below him: Peter, James, and John while he is floating in the air; Mary, John, and Mary while he is suspended on the cross. Of course, two individuals are at his side both times: Moses and Elijah, and the two thieves. The Father in heaven above smiles over the Transfiguration; weeps over the crucifixion.

Christ is bathed in white on Tabor. On Calvary he is bathed in red. The colors are painful, each in their own ways. The bright white blinds, while the red is the blood from the lacerations. The colors are also beautiful. And this leads me to my last point.

The Transfiguration and the Redemption are events that are both at once painful and joyful. Jesus is glorified during the Transfiguration (joyful), but Peter blows it (painful). Jesus is rejected and killed during the Crucifixion (painful), but mankind is redeemed as a result (joyful). It is kind of like life, no? Few experiences are purely joyful or painful. Most experiences have mixed emotions. Maybe Calvary/Tabor was a lesson from the Lord, a subtle sermon on the mount.

Our school board met last week and we are now accepting applications for new school board members. Please consider lending your talents for the betterment of our school, whether you have served on the board in the past or would be a first time member, have children currently in the school, children who have graduated, or no children at all! I have created four sub-committees underneath the board: education, finance & fundraising, marketing, and athletics & extracurricular. These sub-committees will meet independently and report back to the board. More information, a job description and links to application forms can be found in my letter on the school blog here. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or invite another individual who could help our school and parish. Our school is at a very critical point in its existence, particularly with a new principal arriving, so your help will be very significant.

Our principal search committee continues to meet regularly on Monday nights. We have been screening candidates and have held interviews for the position. Please continue to keep our committee and our future principal in your prayers.

This is green week! Please join us for the St. Patrick's Day Mass at St. Juliana on Tuesday, March 14th at 7pm. Thank you to Monica McGuane and all who have helped prepare for the Mass. And have a great day St. Patrick's day on Friday!

***Special Announcement*** St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, falls on a Friday this year. Cardinal Cupich has given a general dispensation to Catholics from abstaining from meat on this day. Instead, Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago who choose to make use of this general dispensation are asked to substitute another form of penance for the Lenten Friday abstinence.

We are two weeks into Lent. I hope it has been a prayerful journey for you thus far. Please consider coming on Fridays to Eucharistic Adoration in the church. If you're not familiar with adoration, the church is open all day simply for quiet prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament (Jesus' real body in the Eucharist), which is exposed in a gold device called a monstrance. You can talk with the Lord, pray a rosary, read Scripture or some other spiritual book, or sit in silence. Benediction, which is the ending of adoration with some prayers and a blessing, is at 5:20pm. Stations of the Cross follow immediately afterwards. Adoration and Stations...a good warm-up to your Friday night St. Patrick's Day parties!

Yours in Christ,
Father James

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