The Pastor's Column

Fr. Lara's Lines

The End of Times

Everything that has a beginning comes to an end. We are experiencing the end of the fall season and the beginning of winter. It is clear in the cold and snowy days we have had. We are also coming to the end of the calendar year but, even sooner, the end of the liturgical year. As you know, we begin our liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent. But before we start a new year, we come to the end of this current year. During these last Sundays of Ordinary Time, we are reminded of the end of times and the second and definite coming of the Lord.

There is a progression in our faith journey every year. We go from the birth of Jesus, to his resurrection, to his ascension into heaven, to the promised second coming. The second and final coming brings us to the end and fulfillment of the world. The end of the world sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, but what is revealed in the gospel is the full significance of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus transformed our understanding of the end of times. This Sunday’s gospel helps us to reflect on what the end of time means for a believer. We need to know that Jesus is the Lord and in him we will secure our lives.

Jesus is the Lord
The temple of Jerusalem was the symbol of God to the Jewish people, the center of their lives. But even the most magnificent and powerful temple will be destroyed at the end of he world. Destruction is necessary for the creation of something new. The physical temple will be destroyed but the real temple will not be destroyed. Jesus remains at the end because he is the true temple. So let us come to him and we will find eternal life.

In Jesus we will secure our lives
The spiritual life goes beyond this world. After physical death, the soul of the person goes to a place of rest in heaven or purification in purgatory. If we remain faithful to the commandments of God, we can be sure that we will share in his resurrection. At the end of times we will need to hold on to Jesus because through him we can attain salvation. So let us place our trust in him who will give us eternal life.

Parish Life
The Cursillo movement is a form of evangelization. During the weekend Cursillo retreat, participants encounter Christ in a more personal way. It is a time to reflect on the mysteries of our faith, how they relate to our daily lives, and how we can live out our Baptismal promises. Last week, two of our parishioners participated in the Cursillo retreat. They came back truly filled with the Holy Spirit and ready to bring Jesus to others. The Cursillo leaders in our parish have done a wonderful job bringing others to Christ.

Golden Rose Award
The Vicariate II Board of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women hosted the second annual Golden Rose Leadership Award breakfast. This award honors spiritual and dynamic young women of high school age from each parish in the vicariate. This year the award went to Janine Dias, who, in the youth ministry, has shown leadership and a deep sense of spirituality. Janine has gone above and beyond with service projects, attends Mass regularly, and is truly a Christian example to her peers and the children in the parish.

Annual Report
At the core of Saint Catherine Labouré Parish’s mission is to bring the good news of Jesus to the world. This mission is accomplished through the work of the many ministries of our parish. During the past five months, I have witnessed the desire we all have to deepen our relationship with God. It is with your help that we are able to make a difference in the lives of so many people.

As pastor of St. Catherine Labouré parish and school, one of my primary functions is make sure we are good stewards of the resources that have been entrusted to the parish. In this year’s annual report, you will find general parish data and the parish financial report presented on a modified accrual basis. It is my responsibility to keep you informed about the finances of our parish and to make sure best practices are followed as provided by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Our parish has a rich history of generous supporters. This is the reason we have a strong and faithful parish community but, as you know, much more needs to be accomplished. Thank you for your generous support. It is so powerful to see all that happens everyday at the parish. Your time, talents, and treasure are making the difference for future generations.

I am blessed to be your pastor.

Fr. Lara