Happy Mother's Day! To all mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, and any women who embody motherly attributes, thank you for who you are and all you do for us. You make the world a joyful, loving place.
To all the female parishioners at St. Juliana (as well as from my previous parish—Mary, Seat of Wisdom) who are like mothers to me because of the hugs, smiles, affirmation, meals you drop off, and so much more, thank you. I love you. To all the females on my staff who are like mothers to me, thank you. I'm sure you want to strangle me at times, like a son, but I love you. To my two sisters and sister-in-law who are like mothers to me, thank you. I love you. To my grandmother, thank you. I love you. And, of course, to my own mother: thank you. I wouldn't be the man and priest I am without your love and influence in my life. I love you.
Allow me to share some thoughts about Mary and motherhood that are based off a recent homily I gave. I'm sorry to say it was from a funeral homily for a mother, but the Gospel for that funeral Mass was actually the same as this Sunday's Gospel (Jn 14:1-12)—“do not let your hearts be troubled...in my Father's house are many dwelling places.”
If we are called as Catholics to make Jesus Christ incarnate in our lives, by our faith, good actions, and wisdom, we are also called to make the Blessed Mother present. Mary can be alive in each of us. We see this particularly in mothers. Mary is present in mothers.
I'm sure Jesus tripped and hurt himself as an infant. Mary tended to him. She showed compassion and helped him heal. She was also by his side as he carried the cross through Jerusalem. Mothers, likewise, take care of their children; helping them heal and comforting them when hurt.
Mary receives credit for Jesus' first miracle—the Wedding Feast of Cana. She indicated to her son that they had run out of wine, and so our Lord responded. She "drew out" of Jesus his true self. She inspired him to perform a divine action. Our mothers likewise inspire and compel us to good actions that make us the best version of ourselves.
Mary was a character. When your child is the Son of God with immense knowledge and power, you need a sense of humor and level of flexibility! Mothers who can laugh, adapt, and stay calm embody Marian attributes.
Mary is an asset to our faith. We can relate to and know Jesus better because of the Blessed Mother. Our own mothers similarly make Jesus present. God bless you holy ladies!
Several congratulations are in order to our school students for various achievements. From 7th grade: at the State Science, Fair Megan Barney received gold for her paper and Ryan Costello received silver for his poster. From 8th grade: Christian Papachristodoulou, Jacob Lombardi, Ryan McClaughlin, Joshua Guerrero, and Kenny Regnier received scholarships at the Notre Dame Scholar Awards Ceremony. There were 290 test takers and these five St. Juliana 8th graders tested in the top 10%. It is the first time in the history of Notre Dame College Prep that five boys from the same school were awarded scholarships for this academic achievement! We are proud of all of you!
Tomorrow, Monday, May 15th at 6:30pm we will have a Pastoral Council Meeting. We are currently accepting new applications to the council. More details are inside the bulletin. Please consider being part of this very important body. I rely on the PC to help implement the vision of our parish and generate new ideas to make our parish strong and dynamic. Thank you to David Plier, the president of the PC, for his leadership and all the hard work he has put into helping our parish.
I'll look forward to several school events this week: the Student Council inauguration on Wednesday; "chaperoning" a very important field trip for our 8th graders on Thursday—the Cubs game; a special Mass for the kindergarteners and their parents on Friday morning. Our 7th graders depart for Springfield on Friday morning, so please keep them in your prayers.
Finally, welcome back to all of our college students returning home from school! Don't forget about Mother's Day!
Yours in Christ,