in Ordinary Time
November 18, 2018
Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not pass away.
— Mark 13:31
Dear Parish Family,
On Friday, November 9, members of our Listening Session Committee (Peggy Goralski, Deacon Larry Kearney, Rev. Dr. Scott Mitchell from SamaraCare, who was also the moderator of our October 2 listening session, Chari Rosales, Anne Schultz and I) met with Bishop Conlon at the diocesan offices in Crest Hill. As I mentioned in my homily at all of the liturgies the weekend of November 3/4, Bishop Conlon responded to our request to meet with him after our October 2 listening session.
We had a very cordial meeting with Bishop Conlon who also expressed his frustration and sorrow with the current sexual abuse crisis in our Church. He mentioned that his first meeting with the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) was in Dallas in 2002 as he helped to formulate the Charter which is in existence today. He thanked us for sharing our parishioners’ input and said that the results of the listening session will be of great help to him when he goes to Baltimore for the USCCB assembly. Bishop Conlon said that he needs to know what his people are thinking and feeling.
While we are all agreed that much more work remains to be done, the diocese has added a staff position of Child Protection Advocate which is tasked with supporting victims of abuse and their families. We at St. Thomas will continue to be vigilant in maintaining a safe environment for all and will continue to advocate on behalf of all who suffer.
The focus of our discussion with Bishop Conlon was the sexual abuse crisis in our Church, but we also included other issues that were brought up in the listening session, i.e., married priests, women clergy and clericalism. We did not speak in depth about those issues, but we did share them with Bishop Conlon who did not shy away from those issues.
Bishop Conlon also said that during the four Fridays of Advent, he will urge fasting and prayer for healing and for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He also said that he joins his prayers with ours.
We are currently planning a service of healing for all who have been affected by the current scandal. A date will be announced soon.
We wish to thank everyone who participated in the October 2 listening session. We also thank everyone who offered their prayers for our meeting with Bishop Conlon. We were greeted with understanding, and will continue to make every effort to support our bishop in his efforts to eliminate further crises.
In the Word,
First Reading — Those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever (Daniel 12:1-3).
Psalm — You are my inheritance, O Lord! (Psalm 16).
Second Reading — Where there is forgiveness, there is no longer offering for sin (Hebrews 10:11-14, 18).
Gospel — Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away (Mark 13:24-32).
Readings for the Week
Mon: Rv 1:1-4; 2:1-5; Ps 1:1-4, 6; Lk 18:35-43
Tues: Rv 3:1-6, 14-22; Ps 15:2-5; Lk 19:1-10
Wed: Rv 4:1-11; Ps 150:1b-6; Lk 19:11-28
Thurs: Rv 5:1-10; Ps 149:1b-6a, 9b; Lk 19:41-44
Thanksgiving Day—Suggested: Sir 50:22-24; 1 Cor 1:3-9; Lk 17:11-19
Fri: Rv 10:8-11; Ps 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131; Lk 19:45-48
Sat: Rv 11:4-12; Ps 144:1b, 2, 9-10; Lk 20:27-40
Sun: Dn 7:13-14; Ps 93:1-2, 5; Rv 1:5-8; Jn 18:33b-37