Dear brothers and sisters,
This weekend, we celebrate the 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time. The Catholic Church in the United Sates has declared this weekend to be “Catechetical Sunday.” It is an opportunity to pray for and recognized the hard work of all those who are part of this important ministry. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt thanks, on behalf of the community, to our catechists and assistants who offer their time and knowledge to the noble ministry of catechesis through Religious Education, Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, and Adult Formation. Only through your dedicated service is St. Patrick Parish able to accomplish its mission. Thank you for all you do for St. Patrick Parish.
The week ahead of us is also special because the Vicar of Christ on earth will visit our country. Pope Francis will arrive in Washington D.C. on Tuesday evening. His main reason for visiting the US is to pray and to close the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. His visit is indeed an occasion to rejoice.
Pope Francis is a great advocate of the Church’s new evangelization, based on the values of family life. He has made an open call to the world’s leaders to make a greater effort in the assistance of the poor. The Pope encourages us to grow in the spirit of compassion and empathy for those who face challenges such as marriage outside of the Church, immigration and homosexual attractions. We need to find ways to help and to make them feel they are part of our Church.
Finally, I just want to say, let us not be distracted by the secular media which will try to displace the core of the Pope’s message. Let us listen directly to his message. Let us make an effort to understand his words and make them relevant in our lives and community. May the presence of Pope Francis in our land be an occasion to renew our commitment with God and our Church.
God bless you all.
Rev. Johnson Lopez
Father Lopez is Pastor of Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Rochelle, IL.