Father Don's Weekly Message
May 19, 2013
"[I]n one Spirit we were all baptized into one body." — 1 Corinthians 12:13a
From the Pastor's Desk...
Today we celebrate Pentecost. In Greek, the word “Pentecost” is translated “the fiftieth day”. Fifty days after Easter, the descent of the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles. The Holy Spirit gifted them in many different ways (1 Corinthians 12) to birth the Church to the whole world, and we’ve been celebrating that birthday ever since, as we today continue to proclaim the message of the Risen Lord and continue to build the Church.
Our parish churches today cannot flourish without its members using their gifts of the spirit as our ancestors did in the past, by offering their time, talents, and treasure. This weekend, the parish of St. Thomas conducts its annual Ministry Sign-Up giving you the opportunity to offer your gifts of time and talent. At baptism, you first received the gifts of the Holy Spirit. At Confirmation, you were given a “wake up” call to use those gifts. We at St. Thomas need you if we are going to continue being a thriving spirit-filled faith community. Please consider offering your time and talent in some way to build the Church of today!
One of the most important ministries of the parish is the Parish Pastoral Council, known here at St. Thomas as Parish Leadership Community. During my first year here as pastor, I met with the PLC several times and listened to their input. Two themes emerged… the PLC felt as though they were “spinning their wheels”, not fully understanding and empowered for their role; and secondly, that membership in the PLC needs to be expanded. And so, having consulted the guidelines of the Diocese of Joliet Parish Pastoral Councils, we are undertaking a re-structuring of the PLC at St. Thomas. I will appoint an interim PLC to serve for one year beginning July 1, 2013. Currently, the PLC does not have representation from every Commission. Each Commission is to select one representative from among themselves to serve on this interim PLC. There will be four “at large” members, three of whom already currently serve on the PLC. I will appoint a fourth “at large” member soon.
In the future, the four “at large” members will be parishioners who indicate an interest in serving on the PLC and go through a discernment process for membership. This interim council will work at revising and re-writing the PLC Constitution to meet the guidelines of the Diocese. Additionally, the interim council will begin a process of collecting demographic information for our area and developing a method to gather information from parish members about their needs and perceived needs of the parish so that the current parish mission statement can be evaluated in light of all the information gathered. One of the primary tasks of the PLC is to work with the entire parish community to create a vision for the future and to identify a clear mission to develop long and short term goals. It’s easy to get in an “automatic” mode and just assume the parish is continuing to meet the needs of its parishioners and lose a sense of mission.
It is my hope that this process of restructuring the PLC will give all of us the opportunity to affirm and celebrate what has been, as well as create vision for the future of St. Thomas the Apostle parish. Once all the Commissions have appointed their representatives, I will publish the names of those serving on the interim PLC and I will keep you posted on our progress!
First Reading - Filled with the Holy Spirit, the apostles begin to speak in tongues (Acts 2:1-11).
Psalm - Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth (Psalm 104).
Second Reading — In one Spirit we are baptized into one body (1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13) or Romans 8:8-17.
Gospel — Jesus Christ appears to the disciples and sends them on their mission (John 20:19-23) or John 14:15-16, 23b-26.
Mon: Sir 1:1-10; Ps 93:1-2, 5; Mk 9:14-29
Tues: Sir 2:1-11; Ps 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40; Mk 9:30-37
Wed: Sir 4:11-19; Ps 119:165, 168, 171-172, 174-175; Mk 10:38-45
Thurs: Sir 5:1-8; Ps 1:1-4, 6; Mk 9:41-50
Fri: Sir 6:5-17; Ps 119:12, 16, 18, 27, 34-35; Mk 10:1-12
Sat: Sir 17:1-15; Ps 103:13-18; Mk 10:13-16
Sun: Prv 8:22-31; Ps 8:4-9; Rom 5:1-5; Jn 16:12-15
Click here to find the daily readings on the USCCB website