Fr. Daniel Gifford
MEMBERS OF THE HOLY FAMILY
Dear St. Louis Parishioners,
The first covenant began with one married couple. The New Covenant began in a
humble carpenter's home in Nazareth. The model of the Holy Family (front cover) remains a mystery at which believers wonder. United in the love of God and the universal conviction to seek to do the will of the Father in all things, they are drawn ever more into deeper love of one another. None of us can live up to the lofty model they present. And yet, the mystery of grace is precisely that as members of the Body of Christ, and adopted sons and daughters of the Father in Him, we are truly members of the Holy Family. The imperfection of our families should not cause us to shy away from striving after the lofty ideal of holiness, which always unites us more deeply to another. In our homes, in our parish family, and even in the depths of our hearts, may we always rely with great hope upon the faithful intercession of the Holy Family that the love of God may continue to grow within.
FAMILY LIFE AT SAINT LOUIS: As members of the Holy Family, we all work to keep the House of God a healthy, strong and welcoming home, where the weak and weary come to find rest and gain strength, in order to grow and thrive. Already, over the course of this past year, we have taken steps forward toward one of our key goals, which is to be a place where parents and children, striving amidst the many challenges of daily life to become a true “domestic church,” find support as members of the larger parish family. I want to share with you now a few ideas we have planned to continue in this direction.
1. Seasonal Parish Family Fellowship Events - We are very excited about having seasonal fellowship events for the whole parish family, but especially designed to be engaging for our younger families, with children still in the home. Already this year, we had a wonderful turnout at the Fish Fry in the late Winter, an excellent and vibrant celebration at the Easter Celebration on Divine Mercy Sunday, and now are gearing up for our Summer event: Faith and Family Night at the Peoria Chiefs.
2. Second Sunday Stay and Play - Beginning in the fall, we are going to designate the Second Sunday (mostly because it has a nice ring to it) after the 10:30 Mass every month, as a time of fellowship for the whole parish family. Children are encouraged to stay and play on the playground (or in the gym in colder months), while adults are welcome to visit over coffee and donuts.
3. Faith and Fellowship Events for Families - This is a part of the ongoing improvements to Family Faith Formation. More to come on those plans, but one exciting element will be hosting monthly events for families, which will be both formative and fun, some of which will be open to the broader parish family.
TOTUS TUUS POTLUCK: I elaborated last weekend in the announcements after Mass that our plans to make the Totus Tuus potluck (Wednesday at 5 PM) more engaging for adults not already involved with Totus Tuus or VBS is to provide a little adult formation, which parallels that of the kids. Any adults (ages 18-115) who are interested are welcome to come over after the potluck itself (which is open to all) for a viewing and some lite discussion of the Mary episode of Bishop Robert Barron’s Catholicism Series. Besides the potluck, all are welcome to attend Mass daily at 11:15, in order to help provide the children an experience of being at Mass with their parish family. May this week be a true time of renewal for the whole parish family!
In Christ through Mary,
St. Louis, pray for us!
Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!