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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

The Ascension of the Lord

This Sunday we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord into heaven, after his Crucifixion and Resurrection and after the many times he appeared to the disciples. This is the day Jesus leaves the disciples behind. One can feel the uncertainty of the disciples, they still did not understand what it all meant for them, they were struggling with what they should do next.

Today we are reminded that it is was not about the disciples' lives and their world. Jesus explained to them that what they had lived through with him, his life, death and resurrection was far greater than what they could understand. It was never just about the kingdom of Israel; it was and still is about all nations.

When Jesus said to his disciples "go make disciples of all nations", he was commissioning them to go all over the world to share his life and his work with everyone, to go baptize and teach his commandments. Well, today he reminds us that this is also our job and that Jesus will be leading the way until the end of time.

On the journey,
Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski