GREETINGS FROM THE PASTOR
GREETINGS FROM THE PASTOR
Lead Us, Great Teacher Paul . . ., are the words sung by the Paulist Fathers as our “community hymn.” Makes sense, Paul “ist” Fathers, patron St. Paul, right?
As you enter the website of Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church, I want you to know that the parish began in 1833 and is oldest parish in Chicago. The Paulist Fathers, the first religious order founded in the United States arrived in 1903 and have been shepherding the parish ever since.
Where this all comes together, as we enter the 2nd half of January, is these two powerful patrons, Mary and Paul are asking us to do the work of Christ. And if Christmas was the call to celebrate Christ (God becoming human and entering our world), the end of January is our chance to celebrate bringing that message to others in so many different ways. How do we live as disciples? Here are three ways. They aren’t the only ways, but they are big deals here at Old St. Mary’s this month.
First, from January 18 to January 25, we celebrate the octave of Prayer for Christian Unity. This is the week when Christians everywhere are especially encouraged to reach out to, pray for, and have conversations with Christians of different backgrounds than their own. If you are here in the South Loop – what Churches are you visiting or familiar with? Do you have ideas we can work together on? Let us have prayer and conversation.
And it’s no coincidence that the octave ends on the Feast of St. Paul the Apostle, January 25. Paul is the great preacher of Christianity following the life of Christ. It is the preaching and living of Christ’s message that does unite all Christians. It is also the Paulist Feast Day.
On the weekend of the 27th, Paulist Deacon, Evan Cummings, joins us in Chicago to preach the Paulist Appeal https://www.paulist.org/apa/. Evan is slated to be ordained a priest this May. He will share with us part of his journey, the Mission of the Paulist Fathers, and the call we all have to participate in this life of Christ to change our world.
And speaking of changing the world – this same weekend we begin Catholic School’s week across the country. Our very own, Old St. Mary’s School https://www.osmschool.com/will celebrate with many special events and activities. Catholic Schools are Christian living centers focused on well-rounded education for the kids, their families and the community. Beyond that, the statement of Catholic Schools – let us prepare in the best way possible for the future of all people spurs us on in our Mission to proclaim Christ who reshaped our world.
St. Paul is the great example of someone on fire proclaiming Christ, and we ask his and your prayers that we will continue to succeed. Mary is the great example of someone pondering on the mysteries of Christ in her heart and then living out a life in her unique way and in a way that leads us to Christ. We ask her prayers that we will all be open to our tremendous potential to proclaim Christ in our own unique ways.