2003 Hassert Blvd, Naperville, Illinois 60564 • (630) 922-0081

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

Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time

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.

Deacon Carlos brings many years of experience in teaching the faith, counseling couples and preparing parishioners for the Sacraments. He also has an extensive business background, a BS in Civil Engineering, a MS's in Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering; and a MS's in Theology from Loyola University. In addition to serving as a deacon in the diocese of El Paso, Carlos also served there as the Associate Chancellor. I asked Deacon Carlos to share a little bit about his discernment process with us and this is what he said:

"The diaconate program in El Paso had been suspended for many years before I started this path. I had not thought about becoming a Deacon until my fellow parishioners nominated me to the program. I believe it is important to help people understand the significance of a Catholic life and to help them come closer to God. This is something we are all called to do. Right? I realized I could do more than what I had been doing. Since I became a deacon, sharing the significance of our faith and helping people come closer to God is not just something I do, it's who I am called to be".
—Carlos E. Rubio

We are pleased to have Deacon Carlos in our parish community. I ask that you pray for him and his wife, Cecilia, and I trust that you will give them a warm welcome.

On the journey,
Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski