The Pastor's Column

Fr. Maina

Of Many Things

The bulletin for this First Sunday of Lent invites you to participate more deeply in the Holy Season of Lent and shares some important information from the Archdiocese worthy of our attention.

Again, I welcome Theo, our intern seminarian as he continues to discern and commit his life to the priesthood of Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church. I want also to apologize for misspelling his name. His last name is McManigal, not MacManigal. Theo has already spent time visiting the sick in the nursing homes and will continue to do so. He has also been teaching our children in both Spanish and English Religious Education programs as well as in our school. Please let us support Theo through our prayers.

I invite each of you to attend our Lenten Mission on Sunday, February 25 beginning at 7:30pm and continuing on Monday, February 26 at 7:00pm. We are privileged to have as our speaker Father Richard Simon, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, currently serving as the Pastor of St. Lambert parish in Skokie. Fr. Simon is popularly known as “Fr. Simon says” through his weekly shows on Relevant Radio where he answers questions pertaining to our Catholic faith. Father will speak on the theme of repentance. Recall that we initiate the Lenten period with the invitation, “Repent and believe in the Gospel.” Father will expound on this calling and how to espouse it in our daily lives. Please invite your family members and friends to this important yearly Mission.

An equally important event is connected with the Cursillo movement. Cursillo is a Spanish word which means “short course.” Our parish has an active Cursillo community that invites people to reflect on a weekly basis about their Christian living. To enter fully into the Cursillo community, a person participates in a three-day retreat of short courses in Christianity. We are happy to report that a few members of St. Catherine will join the Cursillo retreats scheduled for April 12-15 for men and April 26-29 for women. If you are interested in joining the weekend or learning about the Cursillo movement please speak with me or Mike LaTona. You can call him at 847-971-8431.

This week, all priests of the Archdiocese attended a presbyteral day which addressed the ongoing effort of the Renew My Church initiative. The Cardinal and other Archdiocesan personnel gave an update on the process. Various parishes are taking part in the grouping process now. While we are not yet actively involved in the process, St. Catherine Labouré, Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Norbert/Our Lady of the Brook parishes will soon begin to talk about how best to serve the people of Glenview and Northbrook. In the near future, we will enter into a rigorous process that will redefine how we do ministries. In time, all parishes of the Archdiocese will take part in this process. The cardinal hopes that in five years, all parishes will have completed the concerted effort called Renew My Church. As of now, we do collaborate on some ministries with our neighboring parishes. I am particularly grateful to the priests at St. Norbert parish who presided at masses when I was away on vacation. In the same spirit of collaboration, this year’s communal Lenten reconciliation service for all four parishes will take place at Our Lady of Perpetual Help on March 6 at 7:00pm. Please mark your calendar so that you come to celebrate God’s forgiveness with our Catholic neighbors from Glenview and Northbrook.

A final important item of information from the Archdiocese comes from the Catholic cemeteries and deals with cremation. The cardinal has deemed that it is important to circulate information regarding burial rites for faithful Catholics especially those involving cremation. While cremation has been accepted in the Catholic Church, the church holds that burying the body of the deceased person is more consistent with our belief in the resurrection of the body. For economic or pastoral reasons, the church accepts cremation but the ashes must be laid to rest in a sacred place. The church does not allow spreading of ashes in different places such as sporting grounds or in the lake or the ocean. Making jewelry out of the ashes is also inconsistent with our belief in the resurrection. The cremated remains must stay together and not be divided or shared among the family members. The church encourages all the faithful to be buried in a sacred place since it shows that we remain a community of believers even when we die. Also, in the cemetery we pray for each other as a community especially on All Souls Day, a reminder that the deceased person is joined together with all believers and the communion of saints. Staff members of the Catholic cemeteries of the Archdiocese are always willing to help any family members who are dealing with the death of a loved one and they can provide options for the proper disposition of cremated remains. Please call the Catholic cemeteries at 708-449-6100 with any questions. Additional information on this topic is available in pamphlets in the vestibule.

May God bless you and your family.

Fr. Maina
With you a Christian, for you a priest