Happy Birthday, St. Juliana

Dear Parishioners,

If you could ask God any question, what would you ask him? Why is there war? Why did my husband die so young? Why did Jesus not make life, and especially the faith, less complicated? Why do I have this debility? Why am I a Bears fan? Maybe those last two are related.

Jesus says in the Gospel on this 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, “nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known” (Matt 10:26). We will ultimately receive the answers to these questions when we are with God in heaven. But it's still worth asking them now, and reflecting on the very nature of the inquiry.

There is an underlying presupposition, when we ask a question of God, that he does not know what he is doing. We ask why there is war because, in our estimation, war makes no sense. War is not of God. Therefore, how could God allow war?

But this does not make theological sense. God, of course, knows what he is doing and has a plan and purpose for everything. If he did not—if something was beyond his power or control—he would not be God. Jesus continues, “are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matt 10: 29-31).

It is good to ask questions, and it is okay to be confused with the transpiration of events. Hopefully, though, the clarity we receive at the end of the day is not so much the specific answer to the why, but rather the knowledge that God is in control.

Thanks again to the Boy Scouts for holding their car wash fundraiser this past Saturday. The Scouts are a tremendous organization, and I'm grateful to John Pelrine, the Scout Master, for leading them so well. The Scouts have helped in several ways around the parish and the rectory. If you know of any young man who would be interested in joining the organization to learn life-long skills, please contact John.

Last Monday, June 19th was the feast day of our patroness, St. Juliana Falconieri. Juliana died on that day in 1341. Juliana's mother died when she was very young and the future saint was raised by another saint, her uncle Alexis Falconieri. Saint Alexis founded the Order of the Servites. Juliana followed in her uncle's footsteps and founded the Servite nuns, a religious congregation devoted to the care of the sick and works of mercy. I'm sure many of us are familiar with the miraculous occurrence at Juliana's death. Unable to swallow, Juliana asked the priest to lay a consecrated host on her chest. The Eucharist miraculously was absorbed into her body and the saint expired, having received Viaticum. This is why we see, in our stained glass window of Saint Juliana above the choir loft, the woman pointing to the Eucharist in her chest. Because the Eucharist was such a central part of Juliana's story, it's the main artistic theme throughout our church, as the tall stained glass windows are all referenced to the Eucharist. By the way, our parish's anniversary is around this time. It's our 90th! Congratulations Saint Juliana Parish!

Vacation Bible School begins tomorrow, Monday June 26th and runs throughout the week. Thank you to all our volunteers and to Joyce Browne for leading the camp. We are grateful to Mary Petrash who will be taking over VBS next year.

The Missionary Spirit Team will have an end of the year party on Tuesday. As I've mentioned before, the MST is a terrific ministry in our parish. Their monthly service projects, from trips to Our Lady of the Angels Mission to Feed My Starving Children, and much more, allow our parish to bring Christ's mercy to those who are most in need.

Yours in Christ,
Father James

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