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In his Notes last week Fr Bob referring to writings in the Acts of the Apostles – wrote about how the early disciples were conflicted about what they should do in the face of misunderstanding and even hostility AND what their identity should be.
Should they more open and spread the good news or close ranks, and keep the good news to themselves – a much safer option.
Should they go outside their own communities and if so how should they interact.
Well this week in the first reading we hear their decision and the initial response from the gentile communities of Antioch Syria and Cilicia. They didn’t like Mosaic law being forced upon them, especially the requirement for circumcision.
As a result the disciples compromised for the church’s sake, prescribed a few laws which were acceptable and as we are here to testify the Christian church in the gentile world continued to grow for 2 millenia.
Not without its trials and tribulations, schisms, reformation, scandals etc.
So it has continued to grow as it adapted, the last major adaptation was Vatican 2 – an initiative to reflect the changing times and values, particularly post WW2 with the world having won the battle over the evil of fascism.
What came with that was prosperity, and greater opportunities for the working and middle classes in the areas of Education, Healthcare, Housing, travel and personal freedom and lifestyle choices.
The baby boomer generation were out to change the the world they inherited – with their clothes, music, relationships etc
Those who met to craft Vatican 2 less than a decade earlier could not have imagined how the 70’s would unfold.
How Traditional religions would be discarded by vast numbers of subsequent generations.
Why have all these people defected from traditional religions and more particularly from our Church?
Because they no longer share our values and beliefs.
Values – One of the non negotiables for the disciples was that the gentiles could not offer sacrifices to false gods- sadly today in the western world many worship wealth, status, power and position – false gods.
Beliefs – They have no tolerance for our beliefs:
For example forcing the Little sisters of the poor to provide birth control for their employees
Or the baker in Colorado to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.
Or forcing doctors and nurses to attend at abortions against their beliefs.
Or victimizing Karen Pence for wanting to teach Art at a Christian school.
Its a NO TOLERANCE policy in an intolerant society.
Free Speech !! only if you speak freely in line with those who dismiss our traditional Christian values.
While I was pondering all this and today’s scripture readings I read “Chicago Flashback” in last weeks Sunday Tribune. –
The headline was “The Crash of Flight 191” at O’Hare airport – 40 years ago this weekend when 272 people died in what was and still is the deadliest accident in US aviation history.
What is striking about this – the darkest day in US Aviation history is that from the ashes arose an understanding that the industry needed better protocols and oversight for building and maintaining aircraft and training pilots.
The safety record since is due to the enactment of such protocols.
The learning from this the darkest of days resulted in an incredibly safe and successful industry. – notwithstanding the recent tragedies with the Boeing 737 max .
In 2018 – 4 billion passengers traveled by air worldwide.
The reason I mention this is that it kinda feels like the darkest day for our church in the modern era, certainly since Vatican 2.
To rebuild, renew, revitalize our church we need to listen to the voices of reason who in the best interests of the church propose :
ordain women as permanent deacons,
allow the remarried and divorced Catholics to receive communion.
And a recent study showed that about 50% of US Catholics believe we should welcome Gay Catholics into our communities.
I ask you this – What would Christ want for his church today ?
He guided his disciples with the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, He still is guiding us and as a church we should listen to this Spirit.
Speaking of welcoming – A few weeks ago Marlene & I attended Parkview Christian Church in Tinley Park for the experience, – it was not an unpleasant or uncomfortable experience and the preacher was surprisingly fair and well balanced in his comments about our church.
It’s a very large church, often more than 75 % filled at all of the 5 weekend masses AND of the registered parishioners more than 80% are lapsed Catholics FURTHER the majority are are in age range 20 – 50
Why is that? I asked the pastor after introducing myself .
He said “So many of these Catholics don’t go to mass any more because of our exclusivity – they feel unwelcome!!!”
That’s because they are – they are divorced, or remarried or gay or lesbian or enjoy contemporary music and singing.
And because of this often their parents, siblings and friends also leave our church and join them.
We are so unlike the early church who addressed differences and became inclusive – following the model of Christ himself with tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers, adulterers etc.
Sadly I suspect I won’t see any of these changes i mentioned before in my lifetime but we must adapt to a changing world as we did in the 1960’s with Vatican 2.
Is it time for Vatican 3 Pope Francis?
In the Gospel we heard Jesus offer his “Peace” to all, not the enforced peace over the defeated seen after a victorious war
BUT the genuine peace of tolerance –
religious tolerance, lifestyle tolerance, political tolerance.
How far we as a society have moved from that model!!
God has never abandoned his church and he will not now BUT he expects us to do our part.
Unlike the early Christians we’re sure of our identity but like them we still face misunderstanding and hostility – as does the global Christian community as we saw as recently as Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka.
Offer Christ’s peace to all, be tolerant of all – even as they are not of you, be a force for change within our church.
Discussing Married priests, women deacons and inviting back to the table of Our Lord those who have been disinvited or even feel so, isn’t heresy – it’s a healthy debate that needs to happen – just as did the early Christians – The reading from Acts says:
“…there arose no little dissension and debate..”
Such is what needs to happen as The Lord calls us to adapt to circumstances to continue to Build His church.
A Challenge – for sure
Necessary – Absolutely
May the Lord’s Peace be with us all as we commit to moving Our Church through these dark days.
Monday, July 15th – Saturday, July 20th
St. Cletus Youth Ministry
Current 8th Graders through Current High School Seniors:
Join us this summer for a Week of Service here in the Chicagoland area! Each day, we will attend 8:00am mass at St. Cletus, then depart to one of the six ministries we will be learning about and serving that week. Those ministries include:
Greater Chicago Food Depository, Just Roots Chicago, Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation, St. James Food Pantry, Su Casa Catholic Worker, and our very own St. Cletus Parish and Food Pantry!
Adults of St. Cletus Parish:
Looking to give back this summer? Consider being a chaperone during our Week of Service! Volunteer with us for one day, two, or all six!
*Must be VIRTUS trained to be an adult chaperone*
REGISTER TODAY! 2019 Week of Service Application
Contact MaryClaire Zurowski, email@example.com, with any questions.
February 23rd we saw God’s love and spirit abound at our Confirmation celebration, where 118 teens were confirmed by Bishop Manz. It was a Spirit-filled and moving celebration for the Confirmandi, Sponsors, Parents and Catechists. We are very proud of our young adults who celebrated this Sacramental moment, and welcome them to embrace new roles in our Church as they look to join different liturgical ministries. If you did not have the opportunity to see your child’s Confirmation photo at the Bishop’s Reception, you can go to Killoran Photography at https://killoranphotography.smugmug.com/2019-Confirmations to review and purchase a photo.
St Cletus is starting a new ministry, to pray for healing in the church – healing from the wounds resulting from the sexual abuse scandal.
The ministry is open to all, and all are encouraged to join. There will be no meetings, no committee. There is no commitment, other than a desire to offer prayer to the Lord for healing in His church – for wisdom, guidance and grace to be bestowed upon our church leaders at all levels.
You will receive an email once or twice a month, encouraging you to prayer. Each email will contain a suitable prayer for those of us who find words harder to come by.
Please join us ! We are the church, Christ is our King ! The church needs to heal, and healing will come from within – from the everyday folk sat in the pews. Christ said He would never abandon us – it is time to trust in that and ask that He walk with us now and bring healing, forgiveness and dignity to His church.
Complete the Online Form to join.
Are you interested in joining one of the parish ministries? Not sure what’s available?
Be sure to check out our updated Ministry Booklet by clicking the button below:
The Holy Name Society promotes respect for the most Holy Name of God, faith in the Catholic Church and its teaching authority, and loyal respect to both our civil and religious responsibilities.
Our chapter of Holy Name Society began when the parish was established in October 1951. Our chapter is a branch of a world-wide fraternity of the church, which began more than 700 years ago. In its first seven centuries, the Society has helped to foster the salvation of souls. Membership in the Society can offer faith-filled men a chance to serve with an organization that has become the voice of Catholic men, — and potentially, enrich their lives.
HNS sponsors a Thanksgiving turkey raffle, a Christmas dinner party, a Pancake Breakfast in springtime, and a Past Presidents’ Dinner in May. The HNS group often helps support other activities of the parish such as the Fourth of July veteran’s Mass and Food Pantry programs, as well as other organizations such as the Mission Ladies and the Ministry of Care.
The Compassionate Care Ministry helps to cope with the lost of a loved on. Hear how the ministry touches those in their time of need:
“During a time like this we realize how much our family and friends really mean to us. Your expression of sympathy will always be remembered. Dear Jerry: Thank you so much for your very nice compassionate service at Hallowell & James for our family. We really appreciated it.”
“Dear St. Cletus Compassionate Care Ministry, I write this note with great appreciation for your lovely sympathy card and beautiful basket you prepared for myself and my little ones. I feel truly humbled and greatly blessed by all the support and generosity. Please know that your prayers and warm thoughts are carrying me day by day.”
If you had a chance to visit the Ministry Fair in February, you no doubt saw how many different ministries make up our parish.
Did you know?
Ministers of Care visits about 40 home bound every week.
Annual LaGrange Hospital Visits
Minsters of Care visit between 900-1000 patients at LaGrange Hospital per month.
If you would like to learn more about the Ministry of Care or become a volunteer visit their web page.