A Faith Community

Second Homily

Dear Parish Family of St. Thomas of Villanova,

Did you watch the hockey game when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup? I was hoping to also watch it. However, I was not happy because I was committed to attending a fundraising banquet honoring Archbishop Blaise Cupich which was occurring at the same time. However, my disappointment subsided when the Archbishop began his acceptance speech by announcing that he was given tickets to the hockey game but could not attend because of this banquet. And, right after the banquet ended, we all watched the third period, and the Hawks won. I would like to share with you the write up which was in the program booklet. It tells us more about our new Chief Shepherd.  

The new archbishop is one of nine children. He remembers that his family and parish played a prominent role in his upbringing. Archbishop Cupich recalls his dad saying, “ Don’t take service of the Church off the table too quickly.” Indeed, seeds were being planted into the child’s garden.  

When Archbishop Cupich’s appointment to Chicago was announced, a reporter asked him, “What do you make of the flurry of press coverage over your appointment?” He calmly responded, “It is tough to get use to. I was a big nobody before all of this and I still consider myself to be that. One of my family members, having seen all the press coverage and watching the internet videos on me said, “ I don’t really get it. You are not that interesting.” So that keeps me humble. You can always count on family to do that for you.”  

He was ordained to the priesthood on August 16, 1975. Even at a young age he had a clear vision of what a priest should be. Recently, talking to a group of seminarians, he said, “We always want to make sure that we breakdown any sense of entitlement on the part of the people who are going to be servants. One who is going to be ordained is not coming to an entitled position; they are really servants of God. Always remember that Jesus said, “I come among you to serve, not to be served.” Archbishop Cupich finds a kindred spirit in Pope Francis. He often quotes Pope Francis in saying, “ Realities are greater than ideas. Ideas can help us sort through a situation, but realities tether us to real life.” For the past sixteen years, serving as a bishop in two mission dioceses, Rapid City, South Dakota and Spokane, Washington, he has taken the time to learn about the realities.  

Last November, Archbishop Cupich said from the pulpit, “We face the formidable task of passing on our faith to the next generation. Parents and grandparents wonder if they are going to be the last of the Catholics in their family.” Archbishop Cupich believes that young people have always been attracted to authenticity, where words match deeds. Let’s not be afraid to let our young people know about our life with God; how it began and how it can ignite their lives. He also believes that we must invest in our young people because they are the future of the church.  

This weekend we welcome our new Associate—Father Marcin Zasada—here at St. Thomas of Villanova Parish. (His name is pronounced—”MARCH-IN”.) You can read up on him in today’s bulletin. He is also talking after Communion at all of this weekend’s Masses. Father Marcin was ordained by Cardinal George in 2012 and then served one year at St. Ladislaus Parish. He comes to us now after spending the last two years at St. Ferdinand’s Parish in Chicago. Give him our usual very warm Villanovan welcome after Mass.  Your Pastor,


Rev. Thomas R. Rzepiela 

P.S. Yes, I have put in our St. Thomas request to host the “Stanley Cup.” I am waiting for an answer from Goalie Scott Darling and his Mom!



Pastor Fr. Tom

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