As you probably have noticed, I really like Rock N’ Roll music. As Chicago radio personality Bob Stroud says, “Rock N’ Roll and popular music is the sound track of my life. I not only sing it, I study it.” Currently I am reading Born to Run, the autobiography of Bruce Springsteen (Simon and Schuster 2016). As much as I thought I knew about this Rock N’ Roll Hall of Famer, I have a new appreciation for his story, his struggles and his passion after reading this candid story. If you have ever seen Bruce Springsteen and the E street Band in a live concert, you know (and hopefully appreciate) the energy and passion that he puts into the show and the time he takes to tell stories that supplement the songs that they perform. He gives his all for every concert, most of which last at least three hours.
As I read through his story there seems to be a theme, or a series of waves, in his personal and professional journey that continually bring more. As he has gone through life he has sought more insight, more creativity, more passion. His entire life seems to be more, more, more, including his brutal honesty about his own weaknesses and his struggle with love, commitment and intimacy. As the title of the book and of one of his best songs indicates, he is clearly running towards more, and it seems that he was born in Freehold, New Jersey to do so.
Bruce Springsteen constantly espouses and is dedicated to the endeavor of holding more. I believe that is one of the critical messages that Jesus Christ gives us in this weekend’s Gospel. He believes that our hearts can hold more. As I have remarked of the recent Gospel parables, Jesus uses this unique, short story telling device to both stimulate our imagination regarding the kingdom and also to criticize religious authorities. The Gospel last week and this week tell us of the religious authorities’ response. They now want to trap him and test him because he has criticized them.
Last week they questioned him concerning paying a tax to the emperor or not. This week they ask, “Which is the greatest commandment?” Jesus gives a message of more in reply. There is not one greatest commandment – there are two: love God with everything you have, and love neighbor as self.
Thank God we have people like Bruce Springsteen who give and seek more on a regular basis. Thank God even more for the spiritual depth of Jesus Christ that constantly urges us to seek more – particularly more love for both God and neighbor.
Because parables are such important tools for the teachings in both the Old and New Testaments (some erroneously think that parables are only found in the New Testament) our Family Faith Ministering Community gathered students and parents this past weekend for a Parable Festival. Activities included arts and crafts, skits, music videos, group sharing, puzzle making and creative writing to assist in the understanding and appreciation of parables.
Holy Family Catholic Academy, in conjunction with other Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago, recently teamed up with the Charles Tillman Foundation in the Stadium Challenge. This challenge had a goal of filling every seat in Soldier Field with food items for the hungry of our area. We are very proud to report that Archdiocesan Catholic Schools filled the stadium twice and donations are still coming in. HFCA alone collected over 3,300 items!
Brian Michalski has been our Director of Liturgical Life and Pastoral Care for the past two years. He has decided to move on to other endeavors effective immediately. Brian has taken much time in discernment recently and we wish him the absolute best as he enters another chapter in his life. His many skills will benefit any organization that he joins, either in church ministry or beyond. Thank you for your service and ministry at Holy Family, Brian! I also wish to thank Deacon Dennis Brown, Mimi Ferlita, Sherry DeLuca and many ministry leads who have stepped up during Brian’s recent leave.
One such example is Peg Hanrahan, our Director of Family and Teen Faith, who stepped up to train new Table & Light Ministers. We have over 100 new Family Faith and Academy students who are now trained and will be serving for the first time at Mass in the coming months. Mimi has also stepped up in the midst of the ever increasing number of funerals that we have, and Sherry has taken on preparing weekend liturgy plans. Dennis has acted as Director without the title, but providing much of the coordination of all worship efforts. Thanks again to you all!!
Each year around this time, several of our high school juniors and seniors participate in a Kairos Retreat. It is also held in the spring and these retreats are truly life changing and engage our teens in significant reflection and bonding. We will be praying for these tees at Mass this weekend. Please take a card with one of their names written on it so you can pray for them more personally.