The Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1. As Catholics, we are all called to renew our baptismal commitment and asked to dedicate ourselves to spiritual and corporal acts of mercy.
Give Up, Take Up, Lift Up! is the Lenten theme for 2017 presented by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. I wish to echo the bishops' invitation to take inspiration for your Lenten journey from the words of St. Paul (2 Cor 8:9), and to consider his invitation to live a life of evangelical poverty. Embrace the Lord's call to being the blessed poor by "giving up" material things, "taking up" charitable actions to help and care for others; and by "lifting up" people in need through giving alms.READ MORE
Sometimes the simplest words and teachings are the hardest to understand and live by.
Today's first reading comes from The Book of Leviticus in the Old Testament and offers several rules of conduct rooted in the Ten Commandments. Just as God is holy so too must his chosen people be holy. "You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart...Take no revenge and cherish no grudge...You shall love your neighbor as yourself".
In the second reading, Saint Paul speaks of the true wisdom of God and how that wisdom is seen as foolishness by the world. We belong to Christ and as "temples of God" we are called to embrace the wisdom of God and not the "wisdom" of the world.READ MORE
Pope Francis' Lenten message -The Word is a gift. Other persons are a gift, was recently released by the Vatican. The message centers on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31) and highlights this meaningful story as an inspiring call to conversion. The Holy Father reminds us that "Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ's victory over death." He invites all of us to listen to the word of God and ponder it more deeply and to approach the season of Lent as a unique opportunity to strengthen our spiritual lives. I hope all of you will take a few minutes to visit this link and read his message.
Some people worry about choosing the right thing to give up for Lent, mainly because they want to make sure they can keep their commitment. If you are looking for ways to follow the Holy Father's lead, I encourage you to approach Lent as if you are planning a very special trip to a wonderful destination. Think about what you need to bring on your trip and what you should leave behind.READ MORE
Today, it pleases me to welcome Deacon Carlos Rubio and his wife Cecilia to our parish community. Carlos and Cecilia moved to Naperville a couple of years ago, so they could be close to their son and grandchildren. They moved here from El Paso, Texas, where they were active parishioners of Our Lady of the Valley for many years, and both served as liturgical ministers. Carlos' example in parish life, pastoral leadership, and his dedication to God and Church were recognized by his fellow parishioners who nominated him for the diaconate program in his diocese. Carlos was ordained in 2008 and was assigned to his parish where he served for several years.READ MORE
February has been titled “Heart Month” by the American Heart Association. The recent deaths of Florence Henderson and George Michael from (suspected) heart failure, Alan Thicke of an aortic rupture and Carrie Fisher from a heart attack, are reminders of how important our heart health is. While our hearts are not meant to last forever, and some heart conditions are out of our control, there are steps you can take to help your heart last longer, so you can live longer.