A Faith Community

Second Homily

Dear Parish Family of St. Thomas,

Recently, I had the opportunity and the blessing of celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage for our parishioners. The wedding took place at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Campus of Notre Dame University. It is a most beautiful and sacred place. As soon as you enter the Basilica, you see this sign in the entrance—“Welcome to all who enter this Basilica. Bear in mind it is the House of God. Silence is requested. Visitors are requested to conduct themselves in a manner in keeping with the sacred character of this place. To preserve an atmosphere of reverence—men cannot wear hats or caps; shirts and shoes must be worn; smoking, food and beverages prohibited.” It is a welcoming and thought provoking sign which makes you think of the sacredness of where you are!

Your generosity to St. Thomas of Villanova is always amazing and self-evident. We are able to offer all of the Ministries and the faith experiences because of your gift-giving to our parish. And in addition to your Sunday contribution to St. Thomas of Villanova Parish, you are so generous to all of the other causes which we pre-sent to you whether they are locally or world-wide. Thank you for all who have or will contribute to “Friends of St. Thomas of Villanova School.” If you took one of their appeal envelopes, you can mail it directly or you
can still put it in today’s collection basket (if you are reading this bulletin during today’s homily) or you can drop it off at the Parish Office. The “Friends of St. Thomas of Villanova School” are truly that—great friends! Thank you for your support of our children through their organization. Also, many of you also supported our good friends and neighbors at Mission San Juan Diego by purchasing a ticket for their grand raffle of a car. Hopefully, you will win the car! And we will be happy to bless it for you! (the car—not the raffle ticket!)

The Summer Board Meeting of the National Office of the Christian Family Movement is happening this weekend. As the National Spiritual Director for this organization, I need to attend this meeting which is being hosted by the Parish Family of St. Clement’s in Chicago. Bishop George Rassas, who is the Episcopal Moderator of this group, will also be in attendance. As you may know, Pope Francis’ first Extraordinary Synod of the Bishops will take place in Rome in October to discuss the topic—”The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.” The Synod will provide a substantive reflection on the major challenges and issues facing the family today throughout the world. CFM has already been consulted and has submitted its discussions through Cardinal George and the American Bishops.

Prayer by Pope Francis
“Holy Family of Nazareth, may the approaching Synod of Bishops make us more mindful of the sacredness and inviolability of the family, and its beauty in God’s plan.”

Also, the Pontifical Council of the Family in Rome has also called a “World Meeting of Families” in September 2015 in Philadelphia. The theme of that meeting is “Love is our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.” Both meetings are on our agenda this weekend to provide the necessary input. So please keep our CFM Board and this weekend’s deliberations in your prayers. Your Pastor,

Rev. Thomas R. Rzepiela


Pastor Fr. Tom