Dear friends,

During these days of Easter I continue to reflect back on Holy Week and the participation of so many people in the celebration of the Holy Days. The foot washing of Holy Thursday was meaningful to me as we invited those preparing for parish leadership to have their feet washed by a team of those who are now themselves training new leaders with weekly sessions. The Way of the Cross involved many, many youth in the neighborhood and the memories of the passion for many of our families was touching. I remember one photo which depicted a father, who has suffered the threat of deportation, helping his 10 year old son carry the cross. I also remember the station when Jesus fell, and there was the symbol of the now closed Back of the Yards library. The crowd had to reflect on how we accompany such difficult needs of our community. And then on Saturday evening, the stories of those adults who were baptized, confirmed and received their first communion transformed the life of anyone who participated and listened during the time of the Easter Vigil and Easter day.

The transforming power of the stories of people in the midst of these celebrations perhaps cannot be shared with enough of our people, but the spirit of the celebrations will affect our parish for a long time to come. With the transition to a new Pastor in the coming months, it might be important to review and evaluate these celebrations so that he can continue to support the people in these experiences. Whether you were a minister, a choir member or musician, helped clean or decorate the environment, or simply participated and reflected on the moment, your voice would be welcome in reviewing the experience of our Lent-Holy Week- Easter preparations. 

This Wednesday, May 9th, in IHM Hall, I invite you to a special review of and reflection on the recent Holy Week and Easter celebrations, as we look at how we celebrated and what recommendations we might make for the next year. And, as always, I am grateful for your thoughtful participation and planning. What wonderful servant-leaders you are, concerned with knowing and proclaiming the story of Christ lived in the experience of our people. Thank you! God bless you! Aleluya!

Fr. Bruce Wellems, CMF