giving thanks and praise for // A safe journey and the company of good friends with my whirlwind trip to Loyola Chicago’s beautiful Madonna della Strada Chapel on their Lake Shore Campus! Consisting of less than 24 hours, this trip was certainly not long enough to see all of Chicago or to visit with everyone that I had wanted to but it was an incredible experience. 🙂
Staying with my former roommate while in Rome, I was welcomed with Chicago deep dish pizza, Italian pizzelle cookies, wine and the best of late night conversations. The next morning at 7:30 am we attended mass led by Fr. Mike Solazzo at St. Tarcissus on Ardmore Avenue. The interior of this beautiful church constructed in 1927 is filled with marble, stained glass, statues and pieta. As graduate pastoral studies students, Paula and I both remarked how engaging and on target Fr. Solazzo’s homily was with what we have been studying.
the brunch that followed with Paula, her daughter Katie and boyfriend, our friend Art and his wife Madeline at Mia Figlia in the Northside of Chicago. Not only was the food scrumptious, a serving of sunny side eggs and polenta, but once again the conversation was a true joy! What a blessing to be able to meet the family of my two close friends and fellow colleagues, putting faces and embraces to the people I have heard so much about.
the whole experience of being nominated and selected for inclusion into Alpha Sigma Nu with such an amazing group of students dedicated to both academic excellence and service. Spanning ethnicities, and continents they embody God’s incredible diversity and gifts of the Spirit at work in the world today. Through them, I experience community and recognize the consequences of my faith to work for peace and justice, trusting in the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. How appreciative I am for those who have continually challenged and inspired me to reach deeper and go further in my faith.
The Church of Mercy by Pope Francis (Loyola Press Publishing) on my flight to and from Chicago. What a truly engaging and motivating “vision for the Church” is presented in this collection of homilies, addresses, and excerpts taken from Evangelii gaudium, Lumen Fidei and Regina Coeli. Led by a deep sense of mission to care for the poor, welcome the lost, and renew the faithful Pope Francis’s message is a humble but passionate invitation to transformation. This renewal and change is to occur within through attentive listening and “abiding in Jesus”.
Yet, there is also the necessity of “leaving ourselves behind and going out to encounter others” in service with courage and creativity.
This is not accomplished alone, but with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we as faithful are called to respond to the “cry of justice” and the need for “harmony in our families, parish and communities”. This mission, however, is not reserved for the clergy but is to be taken up by each one of us in our discipleship. In accepting the unique gifts that God has entrusted to each one of us, we are compelled to also undertake this mission of evangelization and reconciliation in living out the Good News of the Gospel. This is a must read, I believe, for each Christian seeking to understand the path necessary to move forward as a people of God in our world today.
So, in this busy, messy, beautiful world that we live in..how do you Currently, meet and join the Holy Spirit in your own community and journey of faith?
In Peace and Joy,