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On the Journey - Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Each year, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reminds us the importance of defending our religious freedom. From June 21st to July 4th Catholics are called to take part in the Fortnight for Freedom. Resources on How to Talk About Religious Freedom are available online at www.usccb.org where you can also find ways to get involved.

The U.S. Bishops encourage all citizens to keep in mind that "if religious liberty is not respected, all people suffer and are deprived of the essential contribution to the common good, be it in education, health care, feeding the hungry, civil rights, and social services that the Church and other people of faith make every day, both here at home and overseas".

"Religion cannot be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without influence on societal and national life". -Pope Francis, Evangelii Gudiium, 183

Below are a few excerpts from the Religious Freedom guide which you can download from: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/how-to-talk-about-religious-freedom.cfm

"Many religious freedom skeptics have plausible concerns. For example, they are concerned that all people should be treated with equal dignity. Indeed, the dignity of all people is the foundation for Catholic teaching on religious liberty. It is important that we not dismiss skeptics, but rather, that we listen to their concerns and take them seriously".

"Religious freedom is a fundamental right. It means that the government cannot coerce people into acting against their consciences".

"People of faith need religious freedom to have the space to serve others. Oftentimes, religious liberty disputes arise when religious organizations are expected to sacrifice aspects of their faith in order to continue to serve the surrounding community. But it is our faith that inspires us to serve. Take the Little Sisters of the Poor, who live out their Christian faith by serving the elderly poor".

On the journey,
Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

4th Sunday of Ordinary Time

National Catholic Schools Week starts today! Catholic Schools all over the country are hosting open houses and other activities for their students and families throughout this week. All Saints Catholic Academy (ASCA) started early.

Last Sunday, ASCA students from our parish hosted the 9:30 AM Mass followed by a light brunch in the parish Gathering Place. I enjoyed joining the young students and their families for some fellowship after Mass. I wish to acknowledge the great work of the ASCA faculty, staff, and parents. Thank you for providing our children with faith-filled guidance and an excellent education in an academically rich environment.

Though not all families choose Catholic education for their children, more so, when they have some of best ranking public schools in the state, as we do in the Naperville area. The U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops asks all Catholics to support Catholic education through prayer and action at the school, parish and national levels.

Catholic education addresses the development of the whole person through spiritual and academic formation based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The mission of Catholic education is to provide an environment that deepens faith, belief in the Gospel message and inspires students to go forth to spread the faith by word and example.

Catholic schools serve both the faith community and society by educating children, young people and adults to contribute to the common good by becoming active and caring members of the communities, cities, and nation in which they live, and our world sure needs more caring communities.

On the journey,
Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski