The Pastor's Column


Fr. Lara's Lines


Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Follow Me
In this weekend’s gospel, Jesus invites us to follow him. To follow Jesus means to be his disciples. A disciple is a learner, the one who strives to imitate the master. Being a follower of Jesus is difficult when the world tells us to follow other things. So many distractions in the world obstruct our ability to follow Jesus. Nevertheless, he knows that we are able of completing the task he has for us. This is why Jesus sets the bar high in terms of what he expects from us. He wants us to give our complete devotion to him. This is not a selfish request; rather it is for our own good.

“As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” And to another he said, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” And another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.” To him Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9: 57-62).

You and I are called to be followers of Jesus. We are to fix our eyes on Jesus; by learning from the master we can achieve our potential. Who do you follow? Who do you listen to? Who do you have at the center of your life? Nothing in this world will fulfill our lives. It is only Jesus who will lead us into eternal life. We are invited to follow him every day by what we say and do.

Parish Leadership
Following Jesus empowers us to lead others to him. It is not only the role of ordained ministers to be leaders in the Church; parishioners are also encouraged to take part in that leadership. Throughout the history of the Church, many lay men and women have been excellent and saintly Church leaders. We are called to share the blessings we have received from God with others. All of us have the talents and energy to lead others to Christ.

In every parish, there are many leadership teams that make parish life possible. For instance, the parish staff makes sure the day-to-day operations run smoothly; the School Board collaborates with the school administration for the success of the parish school; the Liturgy Committee ensures the parish liturgical events are well-planned. Parish Council and Finance Council are two key groups that help and advise the pastor and other leaders with parish operations.

Parish Council
The parish is to provide for the pastoral care of the Christian faithful. This care is entrusted to the leaders of the Church who are to teach, sanctify, and govern according to God’s commandments and Church law. The Church encourages the laity to collaborate with the ordained ministers so that together the faithful might have the necessary tools to come closer to God. The parish Pastoral Council helps the pastor to fulfill the mission of the Church regarding stewardship and evangelization.

According to Canon Law and diocesan norms, each parish is to have a Pastoral Council. This council, over which the pastor presides, assists in fostering pastoral activity. A Pastoral Council possesses a consultative vote and is governed by the norms established by the diocesan bishop (Canon 536). In collaboration with the pastor, the Pastoral Council is entrusted with the leadership role to reflect, pray, innovate, and engage the faithful in the life of the Parish.

Some of the tasks of the Pastoral Council are:

  • To engage the parish community at large for the development of a vibrant and faith-filled parish.
  • To be present to the parish community, supporting the work of ministries and fostering Christian values.
  • To assist the Pastor when informing the parish about plans and activities.
  • To empower parishioners to be stewards of everything God has given us as intentionally mission-focused disciples
  • To identify issues and concerns that need to be addressed within the parish and with the Archdiocese of Chicago.

God might be calling you to this noble task of serving on our parish Pastoral Council. Please see page 6 for more information. I am more than happy to answer any questions. If you have questions or if you are interested in joining the parish Pastoral Council, contact me at pastor@stcatherinelaboure.com .

Peace
Fr. Lara

Live the Liturgy
God calls us in the midst of ordinary things. Often only looking for God in the dramatic, spectacular, the ritual or the sacred places, we miss that He is walking beside us. Every moment of every day, in every circumstance and experience, God is calling to us, “Follow me.” Sometimes, we are too distracted to hear this call. Other times, we would rather ignore it or pretend it wasn’t heard. God, however, is very persistent. Whether we fine tune our hearing to receive this invitation now or when we close our eyes in death, we need to make a choice. The choice involves leaving some things behind and moving forward, taking risks. Choosing to keep focused and single-minded, the lens we then use to see our world and one another is God’s, not our own. Life is no longer about what is important or matters to me but what matters to God. We acquire a new filter and are asked to use that filter to make choices, establish priorities, and determine what direction we will take, and how to love. Once we accept God’s invitation, we cannot keep looking back to what was left behind, only forward to the surprises yet to come.

Honor Our Military

Please take time to give thanks for those who have served and are serving in our military and to pray for the safety of those who may currently be in harm’s way. In a special way, we thank and pray for these parishioners and relatives of parishioners.

He Who Sacrificed His Life
†CHRISTOPHER ZIMNY

Those Still Serving
JAY MARTIN, Nephew of Becky and Tom Brennan
JESSICA CAMERON, Niece of the Cameron Family
JOHN PODCZASKI, Grandson of Genevieve Podczaski
STEVEN TUMBARELLO, Son of Sylvia & Vince Tumbarello
CRAIG BEHRENDT, Grand-nephew of Sister Mary Helen
DANIEL BELZER, Nephew of Dave & Bev Belzer
MICHAEL KELLY, Nephew of Kevin and Kathy Kelly
EUGENE WALL, Nephew of Suzanne Lessner
NAILL SWIDER, Grand-nephew of Alice Swider
BRYAN DUFF, Son of Julie Duff
RYAN BLOCHBERGER, Nephew of Mae Grady
TIMOTHY DWORKIN, Grandson of Barbara Bouska
ALEXIS GONZALES, Great-niece of Eden & Lyle Gonzales-Nemzin
JACK MAHON, JR., Son of Jack, Sr. & Eileen Mahon
MICHAEL FOLEY
JOHN FOLEY
PETER MULLER
DANIEL FRAYNA
JOSEPH GULLO
SANG HOON LEE
ANTHONY PALMERO
MORRIS COREY MCMAHON, SON OF CHRIS & JULIE MCMAHON
RYAN FONTILLAS

To add or remove someone, please send the person’s name and relationship (optional) to sclbulletin@mail.com

Please Pray for Ukraine

For our sisters and brothers involved in or affected by the war and devastation in Ukraine-- the deceased, the injured, the frightened, the displaced, the fighters, the protesters, the leaders. May God give them solace, healing, comfort, and hearts and minds directed toward peace.
Donations can be made here:

Knights of Columbus: https://www.kofc.org/secure/en/donate/ukraine.html

Caritas: https://www.caritas.org/

Ukrainian Catholic Archdiocese of Philidelphia: https://ukrarcheparchy.us

"May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war" - Pope Francis