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  • Writer's pictureFr. Daniel Gifford

Communion of Love

Dear St. Louis Parishioners,

This weekend, we conclude our brief preaching series on vocations by reflecting on the vocation to marriage and family life. This is doubly-fitting as we celebrate Father’s Day and Trinity Sunday. Not only does Trinity Sunday point us to God, the Father, but it also invites us to reflect more deeply on the image in which the family is created. God is indeed truly a Communion of Persons, who is perfectly One. The earliest image that God Himself gave us of this mystery is in fact the family, in which the lover and his beloved unite in an embrace of love, which brings forth a third. Marriage and Family Life are indeed the primordial image of the Holy Trinity! Some of the richest theology, that invites us to reflect deeply on this great mystery of the Trinity, can be found in the pages of the Gospel of John. As we return to Ordinary Time, this special Trinity Sunday will be the last weekend of the year in which we will have a Gospel reading from John, instead

of Luke. So, it’s fitting to feature the image that represents the Gospel of John, in the rose window above the choir loft: The Eagle (front cover). John’s heavy focus on how Jesus communicates to us deep, theological truths about the Trinity, about the very inner life of God, is the inspiration for representing his gospel as an eagle - one who soars above and has an elevated view. In every chapter of John’s Gospel, it is abundantly clear that Jesus came from the Father, is one with Him and intends to bring us back to Him. As He prepares to go to the cross, He begins to speak to us more of the Advocate (Holy Spirit), who will guide us into all truth and bring us into communion with and in Him, precisely so that He can bring us home to the Father. John’s Gospel is filled with revelations of the Holy Trinity. As we consider this, on Father’s Day, and we thank and honor our fathers, let us ponder how our homes too are meant to be revelations of the Holy Trinity. We are called together to live in communion, in order to better reflect the Love of that Divine Communion of Persons who is God Himself. May we seek to reflect His Love, Goodness and Truth to one another more each day!

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS MASS: Also, this weekend, our 4:00 Mass on Saturday, June 15th. is a special one, in honor of the living and deceased members of the Knights of Columbus. At this Mass, they are present and visible serving in the various ministries. This tradition is quite fitting for Father’s Day, both because many of the Knights are fathers, but also because they are all Men of God, called to image Christ and thus point to the Father!

CORPUS CHRISTI AFTERNOON ADORATION: If this weekend is Trinity Sunday, that means next weekend is already Corpus Christi! In this Sunday designed to celebrate the gift and mystery of the Eucharist with even greater solemnity and intentionality, we are going to continue the practice of last year, of concluding the 10:30 Mass with a short Eucharistic Procession out to the pavilion, to begin an afternoon of outdoor Adoration (weather permitting, of course; in the event of rain, adoration will still take place in the Church)! The Afternoon Adoration in the Pavilion will be a time when all parishioners or guests are invited to have peaceful quiet time of prayer in a serene, outdoor atmosphere, with (hopefully) beautiful June weather! Anyone is welcome and encouraged to come at any time and may stay past the designated time for whatever group(s) of which you may be a part. But, like last year, we will have a schedule designating specific times in which specific groups are invited to watch and pray with Our Lord. As Corpus Christi falls a bit later in the summer and as we have had a number of extra celebrations lately, you may notice that the schedule is a bit simplified and shortened from last year. It is as follows:

11:30 - Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (children, families, & catechists)*

12:00 - CCW & Word of God Prayer Group

12:30 - Holy Hour for Life and Respect Life Committee**

1:00 - Knights of Columbus & Men’s Study

1:30 - Households, Electives, & Adult Bible Study Groups

2:00 - Belonging & Young Adult Ministry

2:30 - Jr. High & High School Youth Ministry

3:00 - Conclusion with Daytime Prayer and Benediction

* a special presentation will take place shortly after Mass to help lead the children

in a short time of prayer with Our Lord.

**this will serve as the June Holy Hour for Life, so may extend a full hour and include prayers for life offered together in common.

ONE-TIME SCHEDULE CHANGES: This summer, I have a number of different periods of time when I will be away. I want to share this with you now so that you don’t worry that a) something’s wrong or b) I’m just out there gallivanting around :). I do have one vacation built in, but I also have a mandatory retreat, a mission trip with our high school youth ministry group, and a training conference for spiritual directors for TEC. Most of these times, a priest will cover for me. However, there are a few weekdays when I was unable to find coverage for daily Mass (all Sundays are covered), when Deacon John has generously agreed to offer a Communion Service at the usual Mass time. The first is this coming Thursday, June 20th. This is the annual Jubilarian Mass. Since Father Ed is one of the Jubilarians being honored, I am looking forward to bringing him. Also, all priests in the diocese are encouraged to attend (so I’m not comfortable asking anyone to cover the parish). Deacon John will offer the Holy Hour and Benediction (NO Confessions) at 4 PM, as usual, and then a Communion Service afterward at 5:15, instead of Mass. If you would like to attend the Jubilarian Mass to support Father Ed and the other jubilarians, it will be at 1PM at the Cathedral in Peoria. Then, during my vacation, again Deacon John will offer Communion Services, in place of Mass, on Thursday, June 27th (again, preceded by Holy Hour and Benediction, but NO Confessions), Friday, June 28th, and Friday, July 5th. I want to thank Deacon John for his generosity in offering these Communion Services and in all that he does for Saint Louis Parish!

In Christ through Mary,

Fr. Gifford

St. Louis, pray for us!

Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!

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