Sunday, June 22, is the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A, Cycle II) and the final day of the International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec.
EPriest.com offers “Best Practices” for parishes.
Father Michael McGovern, Pastor of the Church of St. Mary in the Archdiocese of Chicago, holds an event that’s a little like a “mini-Eucharistic congress.”
He gets several priests together to offer 24 hours of adoration and confessions for parishioners.
“By doing this, you give them such an incredible opportunity to come back, and it’s hard for them to say No,” he is quoted saying. “It’s encouraging for them to realize that the priests are there all day and all night to hear their confessions.”
From 9 a.m. on Friday to 9 a.m. on Saturday, there is a marathon of confessions and adoration. A team of 12 priests cover the 24 hours in rotating shifts so that there are always two or three priests hearing confessions. Booklets are provided with a simple outline of what happens in the sacrament of confession, an examination of conscience, the act of contrition and other prayers. (A few hundred of these handy booklets go home with people every year.)
The Blessed Sacrament is exposed throughout, with the Knights of Columbus ensuring the adoration continues at all times.
Father McGovern said that 250-350 people usually come for confessions, about 10% to 15% of whom have been away for decades and return to Communion the next day.
Many details, including a promotion plan, can be found on the EPriest website.
We recently watched the Jimmy Stewart movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and found it to be a wonderful parable about integrity, perfect for an election year. It has director Frank Capra’s Norman Rockwellesque excess about it, especially in its depiction of a brigade of boys, but that element just gives smaller children something to enjoy. Especially appropriate to today’s Gospel is Mr. Smith’s piece of Christian folk wisdom: “Dad always used to say that the only causes worth fighting for are the lost causes.”
Jeremiah 20:10-13; Psalm 69:8-10, 14, 17, 33-35; Romans 5:12-15; Matthew 10:26-33
EPriest.com offers free homily packs for priests.
CirclePress.org offers the book The Better Part, in which Legionary Father John Bartunek looks at how each Gospel passage reveals Christ the Lord, Christ the teacher, Christ the friend and Christ in my life.
Today’s readings are astonishing in how they show how low men can be brought, and still trust in God.
The reading from Jeremiah names the fear that Melinda Selmys points out in her series on fear (Part 2 is on page 7) is one of the hardest for us to cope with: fear that our friends will turn against us. The prophet faces these fears and trusts in the Lord despite it all. This was no easy thing for Jeremiah himself to do. He lived in a time when Israelites turned to idolatry, the cruel pagan King Nebuchadnezzar conquered them, the Temple was destroyed and Jeremiah himself was thrown in prison while a false prophet won favor among the people.
Christ in the Gospel shows where this fearlessness comes from. He points out that our most priceless and enduring possession is our soul, and that can’t be taken away from us by force. Father John Bartunek goes through all four Gospels in his book The Better Part (available at CirclePress.org). He points out that Christ says “Be not afraid” three times in this Gospel.
We can pray this weekend for that radical trust in God that is like a child’s trust in his father. He doesn’t understand what is happening in his life, but he knows his father does, and he’ll take care of him.
We may not understand the tragedies of our life, but God knows every sparrow and every hair of our world — and he is looking out for us.
The Hoopeses are
editorial directors of
Faith & Family magazine