Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Jerome,

Pax Christi semper vobiscum!

We have seen a big commotion of people along the streets of Chicago and in other parts of the world after the election of the 46th president of the United States last Saturday. It was a challenging race for the presidency between the two parties. We heard a lot of commentaries prior to the election regarding the platform of both parties and I am certain that there were many who found it challenging to make a choice that would truly benefit the common good. On the other hand, I am certain that God was present throughout the entire process when the rest of the world was waiting for the outcome of the U.S. election. Now that we have new leaders, the work continues. The statement of Archbishop Gomez (current president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) about the recent election affirmed the mission vested upon our current leaders today. He said, “We are here to follow Jesus Christ, to bear witness to His love in our lives, and to build His Kingdom on earth. I believe that at this moment in American history, Catholics have a special duty to be peacemakers, to promote fraternity and mutual trust, and to pray for a renewed spirit of true patriotism in our country.”

We also printed the statement of the Cardinal of Chicago as our reference and guide as we continue to build this country with our given gifts and talents. The Gospel reading this weekend is more than enough to exhort us as the Word challenges us to be efficient stewards of God’s given talents to build His Kingdom in our midst. Our participation and cooperation with our current leaders in terms of the achievement of the common good is far more important than just using our political views for its own sake. We talk about politics because it is an important aspect of our daily social existence. Yet, we do not politicize everything because we simply want to push our agendas and interests for our sole satisfaction of separating political views by using labels such as liberals and conservatives. I am convinced that the core of our profession of faith is founded on the unity of God’s people while there is a plurality of opinions, political beliefs, imaginations, and expected results of leadership. Simply, when our vision is identified with the Divine, then it is expected that the same vision would bring us together as one.

On another note, the days of festivities are coming soon. It is a bittersweet reality that while we are anticipating for the upcoming joyful feasts and celebrations, we are also facing various restrictions. Our reality has changed and the best way to handle these changes is to have an attitude of patience and flexibility. We know that fact. So, I propose that in order for us to have great success in the upcoming celebrations and to prevent any contagion of Covid-19, our conscious cooperation with the directives and guidelines during our celebrations in the church must be followed. In addition, we also need parishioners who are willing to join our group of volunteers to sanitize the church after each event. We are challenged to cope with the demands of cleaning and sanitation because of the size of our worship space. On the other hand, we are blessed to have a space that can accommodate more people per the state guidelines during our worship. Know that the upcoming Novenas would be a great opportunity for all of us to spread out the celebrations where we could involve more parishioners rather than planning on having one-day event that would restrict us with the amount of people attending.

The Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be incorporated during our evening weekday Masses. The family sponsorship is encouraged to bring back our family members to the church after the long months of being in quarantine. The sponsorship donations that we would raise would be added to the restoration fund of our bell tower. Our goal is to hear once more the ringing of the chimes to remind us of the presence of the Lord amid uncertain and trying times during this new reality. Surely, we prioritize our health and safety; and this could only happen whenever we opt to follow what the medical professionals ask us to do.

We shall begin the sales of our raffle tickets soon. Once again, our goal is to raise $40,000 for the upcoming projects that are pending this year. There is plenty of maintenance that ought to be accomplished during the season. The success of these endeavors relies on our willingness to work together. Be mindful that we work for God and He alone is the one we serve. Our cooperation is a strong manifestation of our involvement in God’s life who continue to journey with us each day. You will hear from the announcements when our raffle tickets are ready for sales and distribution.

Finally, I would like to encourage our young people to consecrate themselves to the Immaculate Mother. The Blessed Mother is our model of discipleship. To follow her lead is an assurance that we are sharing God’s life eternal. In the coming days, Fr. Joel will assist those who would like to deepen their relationship with the Blessed Mother in a form of commitment to Consecration to the Immaculate Conception. The details are printed also in this bulletin issue. I am certain that our consciousness to God’s call to discipleship would bring to fruition if we are assisted by the Blessed Mother who responded to her call diligently and unreservedly.

Thank you for your consistent financial assistance to the daily operations of our parish ministries.

Sincerely in Christ and Mary,