30 Jul

Kathleen Barton

Christ in Chicago
Reflections from St. Juliana Parishioners

July 30, 2017


We sing “Go Make a Difference” often at Saint Juliana Parish at the end of Mass. Sometimes I wonder
what those words really mean and what are we supposed to do about them.

Being a longtime member of the Parish, I think about all the people from Saint Juliana who have
impacted my faith life along my own journey. Some have been memorable, others not as much, but all
have made a difference in my life.

I believe that God speaks to us and is present to us through others. Certainly my family, those
who taught and inspired me toward a career in teaching, those friends who provided a helping hand or
prayed for me when I needed a prayer – all those have given me a clearer look at God’s face. Reflecting
on all these people has made me grateful for those experiences of meeting God through those around me.

So, I think when we sing “Go Make a Difference”, maybe the difference we make is not
necessarily something big or grandiose, or even planned. But often we can make a difference in small
ways and sometimes without even knowing we may have done so.

Making a difference can mean ordinary kind and loving acts. It may also be just our quiet
presence or being a listening ear. We need to be open to all the possibilities. The encounters we share
with one another can help us strengthen our own faith and help us to recognize our blessing and gifts from
God.

Anyone of any age or circumstance can make a difference. Let us ask God for the grace to
experience Jesus and make a difference in the world. Pray and be open to your own possibilities.

Kathleen Barton is the retired principal of St. Juliana School and a life-long member of St. Juliana
Parish.

23 Jul

John Bridges

Christ in Chicago
Reflections from St. Juliana Parishioners

July 23, 2017


I’m a lucky guy. My father, Myles Bridges, met my mother, Patricia Healy, and the two set up
shop in Rogers Park. All seven of us attended St. Margaret Mary School. Dad was a sheet metal
worker and Mom ended up working at St. George High School to help keep her oldest 3 boys in
school. Education was expected by Mom and Dad. I really don't know how they did it. Mom was
real Catholic. Dad was one of those not comfortable in church. Still, all our friends loved my
parents.


Loyola University was next for me. It was affordable as long as I had a job. Thankfully
in those days if you couldn’t find a job in Chicago you did not want to find a job. I had a great
career helping people use technology to improve their productivity. God was there for the whole
ride. He picked me up every time I fell.


God next gave me work at our nearby grouping parish, St. Mary of the Woods. I love the
children, so full of life and possibilities. The children start and end the day with prayer. I am
also continually impressed and inspired by the teachers and staff. They receive very little pay,
but you would never know. The teachers are so dedicated and passionate about what they do.
Most importantly, they really care about and love the children. It is easy to see Jesus in their
actions.


Even more amazing is the commitment of the parents to their children's Catholic
formation. As I look out at the parents waiting to pick up their children after school, I see love at
the basic level. Reminds me of my parents. Reminds me of Jesus.
Let's all pray for strong families and for Catholic schools. Both are essential for our
future. Maybe it’s not luck, after all, to which I should attribute my feeling blessed.


John Bridges is a retired salesman presently in maintenance, and has been at St. Juliana for over
30 years.

16 Jul

Anastasia Jakubow-Raschtchian

Christ in Chicago
Reflections from St. Juliana Parishioners

July 16, 2017
It was the 33rd Day to Morning Glory. As a group, we were to meet in the chapel to publicly consecrate to
Mary, Our Mother. A glorious day indeed.
Shortly thereafter I was asked to write a column for July 16th , a very significant date for me. It is the
anniversary of my brother’s passing. To God be the glory.
I submit to you the poem I wrote, published and presented to my brother’s students, family and friends in
hopes to console, motivate and inspire. My brother was a beloved high school history teacher and his
daughter was one of his students. May these words from my heart to yours help in whatever way you
may need.

~ Dearest Ones ~
He is home now, in God’s arms -

In his everlasting light, his perfect joy, his perfect happiness
His pain and suffering is finally over, his restless tossing passed

God wanted him now, so he set him free
It is only for a little while that you’ll be apart.
When you need him, just call him…he’ll be there
You won’t be able to see him or touch him…but he’ll be there

Listen with your heart

You’ll feel his love and passion all around you,

So, soft…so dear.
But, we have work to do now,
So, open your eyes and dry your tears.
We must not idly stand by.

We must keep his dreams alive and live the dreams he inspired in us.
We must keep his hopes alive and nurture the hopes he unleashed in us.

And, then, when our work is done
It will be our turn to go
He will be there to greet us,
With his beautiful smile...his outstretched arms,
Singing “Welcome Home”

Anastasia Jakubow-Rashtchian is a college professor, mother of one son, and has been a parishioner of
St. Juliana for 24 years.

09 Jul

Allen E. Dorsey

Christ in Chicago
Reflections from St. Juliana Parishioners

July 9, 2017
THE SURPRISE: Fr. Jim was the celebrant for that evening’s Adult Religious
Education Mass. One of us rang the sacristy bells to signal start. I hadn’t put two
feet into the sanctuary when the voice behind me said, “You do the reading. The
book is open to the place.” (“Huh? I‘m not a Lector! My job is to introduce you
after Mass.”) After being gestured to approach the lectern, I was greeted with
Daniel chapter 3: the fiery furnace story with the names Shadrach, Meshach,
Abednego, and the Babylon King Nebuchadnezzar. These are the kind of names
that just roll off the tongue, right? No, but for some reason and by the grace of
God, I nailed this reading without stumbling.


THE INVITATION: Fr. Jim Dovick, associate pastor at SJP (1974-1981) was a
person of many talents. One hidden talent was his razor sharp insight into a
person’s own skills, talents, and abilities. He would do his utmost to get one to use
one’s gifts not only for the benefit of others but for the benefit of oneself. He
encouraged me to join this ministry and after three months I was a
Commentator/Lector.


THE IMPACT: This ministry has been part of my life for 39 years now. Four
personal principles guide me:
1) When my voice seems very loud because it comes back at me, I ignore it, for
it is never louder than I believe;
2) Taking ownership of the scripture being proclaimed, or the comment and
prayers being spoken, sounding as if they were my words;
3) Always lifting up Jesus in his majesty, magnificence, and mystery
wherever possible;
4) Establishing an unbroken bond with the Holy Spirit so that the first three can
be accomplished always.
It is by the Holy Spirit in my life that I can always say, “Jesus is Lord!”

 

Allen E. Dorsey is a 60 year resident of Edison Park, retired, and a parishioner of
St. Juliana for 50 years.

02 Jul

Tom Dombai

July 2, 2017

Have you “opened” your Christmas present yet from Fr. James? You remember, that little yellow book
with the unusual “smiley face” on the cover called Resisting Happiness. Resistance is the sluggish feeling
of not wanting to do something that you know is good for you. Resistance stands between you and the
person God created you to be (the-best-version-of-yourself). Resistance stands between you and
happiness.

One of the most important things we can do to combat resistance is to establish some simple habits. For
our lives change when we have positive habits. One habit, which is crucial in my life, is spending some
time each day with God in prayer. It can be difficult to pray daily, but the more the habit of daily prayer is
ingrained in our lives, the clearer we hear the voice of God. The clearer we hear God’s voice in our lives,
the more likely we are to follow him and experience the peace and happiness he desires for us.

Additional crucial habits that can help fight resistance include: frequently attending and actively
participating in Mass, reading the Bible and being a life-long learner in general, practicing self-control
and self-denial, exercising, and taking care of your health. Another essential lesson in our quest for
happiness is that we ultimately find it, not by seeking gratification for ourselves, but by serving others.

Happiness is a matter of choice. We can succeed in the battle against resistance when we consciously
place God at the center of our lives. This book rings true to my life experience. God is happiness. I have
experienced God and he has helped me be happy. Thank you for the Christmas gift.</p>

Tom Dombai is an attorney for the City of Chicago, father of six children, and a lifelong parishioner of
St. Juliana (57 years).