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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

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Today’s readings call for reflection on the basics of our faith: the revelation of God’s love made present in Jesus, and the Word made flesh. With Christ as our model, we are reminded to face sufferings with hope and always to be prepared to explain our hope. “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to provide an explanation to anyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” -1 Peter 3:15

Many people find it difficult to talk about hope with those who might have different beliefs or those who they simply do not know. So today, I wish to share a few excerpts from a message Pope Francis shared with people of all faiths during a TED Conference, in April 2017. The name of the conference was “The Future is You, ” and the Holy Father’s message was: Why the Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone.

Today’s readings call for reflection on the basics of our faith: the revelation of God’s love made present in Jesus, and the Word made flesh. With Christ as our model, we are reminded to face sufferings with hope and always to be prepared to explain our hope. “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to provide an explanation to anyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” -1 Peter 3:15

Many people find it difficult to talk about hope with those who might have different beliefs or those who they simply do not know. So today, I wish to share a few excerpts from a message Pope Francis shared with people of all faiths during a TED Conference, in April 2017. The name of the conference was “The Future is You, ” and the Holy Father’s message was: Why the Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone.

Following are the excerpts:
“First and foremost, I would love it if this meeting could help to remind us that we all need each other, none of us is an island, an autonomous and independent "I," separated from the other, and we can only build the future by standing together, including everyone. We don’t think about it often, but everything is connected, and we need to restore our connections to a healthy state…”

“Solidarity is a term that many wish to erase from the dictionary…. It is a free response born from the heart of each and every one. Yes, a free response! When one realizes that life, even in the middle of so many contradictions, is a gift, that love is the source and the meaning of life, how can they withhold their urge to do good to another fellow being?”

“To Christians, the future does have a name, and its name is Hope… Hope is the virtue of a heart that doesn't lock itself into darkness, that doesn't dwell on the past, does not simply get by in the present, but can see a tomorrow. Hope is the door that opens onto the future. Hope is a humble, hidden seed of life that, with time, will develop into a large tree.”

“A single individual is enough for hope to exist, and that individual can be you. And then there will be another "you," and another "you," and it turns into an "us." And so, does hope begin when we have an "us?" No. Hope began with one "you."”

I encourage you to listen to or read the entire message by visiting the link provided below:

https://www.ted.com/speakers/pope_francis 

On the journey,

Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski