Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Parish Pastoral Council Members

Today is the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.  In today’s Gospel, Jesus calls Simon and Andrew, and James and John, the sons of Zebedee, to follow him.  They respond immediately.  I would like to share a reflection written by Stephen S. Wilbricht, CSC, STD with you.  Stephen is a Holy Cross priest who earned an MDIV degree from the University of Notre Dame and a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Catholic University of America. He has written many articles on liturgy and ritual.  He writes the following short reflection on today’s Gospel:      

Jesus appears like a magnet to Simon, Andrew, James and John who are drawn to him, without question.  This Gospel scene ought to make us ponder our attraction to the Lord. When he calls us to the mission, maybe in the silent presence of the poor and the sick among us, do we drop what we are doing and follow, or do we ask questions first? Do we give ourselves without reservation, or do we place conditions upon our participation in the mission to which Christ invites us?

As we meditate further on today’s Gospel passage, let us ask ourselves how the Lord has called us to follow him or share in his mission this past week.  Have we said “yes” without reservations?  Have we been enthusiastic and willing to place ourselves and our gifts at the service of Christ and his people?

This past Tuesday, the Parish Pastoral Council had their regular monthly meeting, and in the course of discussing one of the agenda items, requested that Father Jim Bessert do a teaching Mass for us.  Now that we are nearly seventh months into our merger, the Pastoral Council members thought it would be most appropriate to invite Father Jim, who is both our Sacramental Minister and the Director of the Office of Liturgy, to provide some formation for us so that we might deepen our understanding and appreciation for the sacrament of the Eucharist. Beginning next weekend, January 31/February 1, and continuing February 7/8, Father Jim has agreed to do a teaching Mass in two parts (in other words,  a teaching covering two consecutive weekends) at both the 4:00 PM and 9:30 AM Masses.  We are most grateful that he is willing to provide this spiritual enrichment for us.  

For several weeks now, the winter weather policy has been published in the bulletin.  If you have not read it carefully, please note that it does say that when Carrollton Public Schools are closed, Wednesday and Friday morning Mass will be celebrated (unless there is an ice storm or a significant amount of snowfall in which city plows are unable to clear roads).   Basically, all other prayer, events and activities are canceled.  Though the office is technically closed when Carrollton Public Schools are closed, the parish staff reports and are present at a time when they are able to arrive on those days.  Should you need assistance on those days, please feel free to call the parish office.

I would like to thank those who have been so conscientious about returning their parish registration forms.  I know that some of you have forgotten about your form or misplaced it, including some who are present week after week and who are involved in various ministries.  There are extra forms at each of the parish entrances and at the Parish Office Center.  You may also find a registration form on the parish website (click on Connect) which you can print, fill out, and return.  I ask that, if possible, you return your form this week.  It would really be helpful to the office staff in finalizing the compilation of the data and in giving them the opportunity to give the parish an up-to-date report.  [You can either mail registration forms to the Parish Office Center or, if more convenient, drop them in the Rectory mailbox].  Special thanks to all who offered your stewardship of time and talent by signing up to take part in the various ministries within the parish.  Your gifts are greatly appreciated.   

Please note that the K of C Breakfast scheduled for Sunday, March 8 benefits Saint John Paul II Parish, so mark your calendars now and plan on inviting your family and friends to attend that breakfast with you.  The next K of C breakfast is Sunday, February 1 and the proceeds will go to Holy Family Parish.  The K of C is very generous in their support of our parishes.  Please affirm them and offer some words of appreciation when you attend those breakfasts.

Sign-up sheets are posted at each of the church entrances for the paczki sale.  I encourage you to help out in any way you are able, even if only for a couple of hours.  It takes many hands to make this a successful undertaking and fundraiser.  Our neighbors in the community really look forward to the paczki sale.   Please see the article in today’s bulletin for further information as to ways in which you may be able to help out with this project.   

I would like to extend a special thank you for all your prayers during my time of illness and continued recovery.  I was present for the Masses last weekend without being involved in any ministry, and noted that I was still in the recovery mode.  I intend to do the same this weekend and get some subs for my ministry at Mass.  Again, please don’t be offended if I don’t shake hands or hug.  It is not that I am contagious, but my immune system is weak presently.  (Some of the meds don’t help it).  I have been seeing my doctor each week as she is monitoring me closely to make sure that this respiratory flu hasn’t gone into pneumonia.  This past Tuesday, she had me take a pulmonary functioning test and to my surprise, I flunked it.  My lungs are only operating at 60% capacity right now.  The flu has triggered some asthmatic symptoms and bronchial spasms so my doctor prescribed a new course of medication.  I see her again this Tuesday to repeat the same test (to see if there is any improvement) in order to determine how long I need to be on these meds.  So, I have to pace myself, am able to work on and off at my computer at home, and do only any meetings that are absolutely necessary.  Besides your prayers, I want to thank those who sent “Get-well” wishes, who prepared and brought over a lunch or a dinner, who ran errands for me, including getting groceries for me and driving me to and from the doctor’s office.  And thanks to anyone who pitched in behind the scenes for prayer and liturgy and the general operations of the parish.    I do hope all of you are keeping warm and well.  If you do get a touch of the flu, may it be a mild case; and may you recover quickly.   

Have a Blessed Week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ