God can pour out his grace upon anyone. It is not only committed Catholics or sacred objects that can be instruments of God’s will in the world. Secular authorities, professional athletes or artists, people of different religions can make God known.
This is what we hear in the opening of our first reading from Isaiah today. “Thus says the LORD to his anointed, Cyrus, whose right hand I grasp...” (Is 45:1). Cyrus was the Persian King. He was not Jewish. He could even have been seen as an enemy of Israel. Yet, we hear God not only speaks to Cyrus, but he considers him his anointed! Let me repeat: a pagan, non-Israelite is God's chosen. “I have called you by your name, giving you a title, though you knew me not.”
Why does God in the Old Testament do this? It is to show the people how great and generous he is. God can work his grace in the most unexpected of places, in the least likely of people. Keep an eye out in the world for God's presence!
We pray frequently for vocations. Prayer is powerful and we have here in our community fruit of that prayer. Mr. Tom Dombai, a lifelong parishioner of Saint Juliana, has answered the call to become a permanent deacon in the Catholic Church! Tom and his wife Marie have been participating in the archdiocese diaconate program for over a year now. On October 1st, Tom was officially accepted by the bishop as a candidate for the diaconate in what is known as the ‘Rite of Candidacy.’ This ceremony was held at Mundelein Seminary and he was one of 27 men throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago to be formally enrolled as deacon candidates. Tom must complete three additional years of discernment, education, and field experiences before he is ordained a deacon, which will occur in May of 2020. Please keep Tom and Marie in your prayers as they continue to answer God's call in their lives. This is a blessing for the Dombai family and for the entire St. Juliana parish family. We are proud of you, Tom, and look forward to the day when you will assist us at the altar as a deacon!
Yesterday, October 21st, we celebrated the funeral Mass of Mr. William Schaul. Bill was our parish and school's long-time director of maintenance. Born and raised at St. Juliana, and attending St. Juliana School, Bill loved and was truly dedicated to our parish. He was handy and a genuine craftsman. Our prayers and condolences go out to Bill's family. His memory will live on in the campus of St. Juliana. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.
Also yesterday, at the 5pm Mass, we dedicated two statues, one of Mary and the other of Joseph, that were donated to our parish by Mr. Vito Gargano, in memory of his late wife Teresa Gargano. Thank you to the Gargano family for the beautiful additions to our church.
This weekend is World Mission Sunday. Envelopes for this collection are in the back of the church. Proceeds go to support the Missionary work of the Catholic Church. Thank you for your generosity.
The Tuesday Night Theology session this week, at 7pm in the Ministry Center Chapel, will be on the parables of Jesus. All are invited.
Yours in Christ,