From Fr. David’s Desk
Dear Friends in Christ,
In the past month or so St. Mary and the larger McHenry communities have been put through the crucible of loss and grief. While death is an everyday part of our human experience, it can be exceptionally painful when it hits close to home, and when it strikes repeatedly over a brief period of time (which strangely it sometimes does, and has recently done in our area.) I don’t have the space here to pay respect to all of our beloved ones – old and young, sick and relatively healthy, St. Mary parishioners and McHenry community members – that collectively we have said goodbye to during just the past several weeks, nor could I in all fairness possibly recall all of them, so I won’t futilely try to do that. Instead I will simply say that along with so many of your hearts, mine too has been broken. Whether it is because I knew the folks personally, or because of my pastoral connection to those of you who are grieving, or both, my heart aches with you and the McHenry community. I feel like right now the best thing I as a pastor can do in all of this, besides pray of course, is to be like the Good Samaritan in the Gospel today and simply try to bring some comfort, presence, and basic assistance to those among you and in our larger community weighed down by grief. Perhaps that is what all of us are being asked to do in this moment, to seize these opportunities to extend a kind hand to so many of our hurting neighbors.
As I speak of death, I must also draw attention to the fact that here at St. Mary we have been celebrating life and new beginnings as well. Over the past few months we have welcomed several little ones into God’s family through the saving grace of Baptism. While baptisms come and go, it seems I have been busier than usual lately with baptismal preparations and celebrations. This is a good thing!! And you have noticed. One of you made the comment to me just this past Sunday that it would appear our parish is growing. Whatever the actual numbers are to that point, these celebrations I do believe are indicative of a kindling of the Spirit among us. In any case, God loves life and children, and so do we! Not to mention that to extend the grace of salvation to these precious little ones is one of my greatest joys as a pastor, and I tend to think of God’s as well. Let’s keep the children coming!!
St. Mary has also celebrated a couple of weddings in the past month. This should also be a tremendous source of joy and encouragement for all of us! I always thank the couples who come to us for desiring to consecrate their marriages before the Lord in his holy temple, as this choice is such a beautiful witness to the rest of us of their faith and devotion. Each sacramental marriage enriches the Church, and itself becomes a domestic church for building Christ’s kingdom in the home. Pray for more of these holy sacramental marriages!
Finally, with such intense experiences of life and death before us, I am reminded of the devout words of Job spoken immediately after he loses everything:
“The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; as it has pleased the Lord, so it is done: blessed be the name of the Lord.” – Job 1:21
Sincerely in Christ,
Here’s something to SMILE about! 🙂
St. Mary’s Church is now connected with AMAZON.SMILE! What is Amazon.Smile? Amazon is dedicated to giving back to charitable organizations like our parish. When you buy online at Amazon, you have the opportunity to have .05% of your purchases donated to St. Mary’s by Amazon. When you sign up for AmazonSmile, you’ll be asked to select from over a million of charities to support. But you can skip this step and click on our unique link. Then you’ll be taken to smile.amazon.com and then automatically asked if you want to support St Mary Church. Our unique charity link: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/36-2182123
Don’t forget to sign up for St. Mary’s MyParish App today!
Just text App to phone number 88202 or visit myparishapp.com to download. St. Mary’s will not automatically beone of your choices because we are a national parish which means we have no boundaries. Just type in St. Mary 1407 and the site will be available for you to click on and join. Keep yourself up to date on parish events, daily readings, messages, Pope Francis messages, and programs to enhance your faith journey.