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On the Journey - Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

The McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame partners with Catholic dioceses and parishes to address pastoral challenges with young adults.

The ECHO program exists as one of the leading initiatives within the institute. It is a two-year service-learning program which offers participants the opportunity to earn an MA in Theology from the University of Notre Dame and to serve the Church by working in a parish in a leadership role.

The ECHO apprentices engage in leadership in a variety of parish ministries. Each apprentice is formally matched with a parish mentor to help guide their ministry experiences and assess their professional development.

Three years ago, our parish was part of bringing this program to the Joliet Diocese along with three other parishes in the diocese. Tricia McCarthy, served in our parish community for two years. She graduated from Notre Dame on July 29th and will begin her professional life at Elon University as a Campus Minister, this fall.

Holy Spirit Catholic Community has again been matched with an ECHO apprentice who will begin the two-year service program at our parish later this month. We look forward to welcoming our next young, catechetical leader. More information will be provided in next week's bulletin.

On the journey,
Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Today is the Sunday of the Third Scrutiny for those in our community who are preparing to enter the Catholic faith. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program (RCIA), designates three Scrutiny Rites as a major component of the Lenten journey for the catechumen (the elect) and candidates.

What are the scrutinies?

The scrutinies are described as an opportunity to examine (scrutinize) how we are tempted, how we fail in what we do and in what we fail to do (sin), and to strengthen all that is strong and good in us. The scrutinies are meant to uncover, then heal all that is weak, defective, or sinful in the hearts of the elect; to bring out, then strengthen all that is upright, strong and good. “These rites are celebrated to deliver the elect from the power of sin and Satan, to protect them against temptation, and to give them strength in Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life” (Scrutinies #141)

We celebrate these rites for the elect, in community, during the Third, Fourth and Fifth Sundays of Lent to affirm God’s grace in the elect. As Catholics, we are called to walk with the catechumen and candidates on their journey of spiritual cleansing and growth, to complete the conversion of our hearts and to deepen our resolve to love God above all.

As we arrive to the Fifth Sunday of Lent we are all called to search our own hearts and souls for any areas of darkness still in need of God’s bountiful mercy and healing. Let us pray that our sins and weaknesses be removed to embrace the life of faith. May we all prepare to stand renewed in the waters and promises of baptism for our salvation and the salvation of the whole world.

  • On the journey,
  • Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski