A Faith Community

Second Homily

Dear Parish Family of St. Thomas of Villanova,

Even as October flies by, we need to remember to Respect Life in all of its stages from birth to illness to death. Pope John Paul II, in his 1995 encyclical, “The Gospel of Life,” quotes the Council Fathers of Vatican II in their “Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World” with words that ring passionate and true: “Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or willful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions , arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where people are treated as mere instruments of gain rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others like them are infamies indeed.”

And as we continue to Respect Life in October, we are happy to welcome to our Parish Liturgy this week- end—The Little Sisters of the Poor—who operate and staff St. Joseph’s Home for the Elderly right here in Palatine. We welcome Sister Pauline, Sister Paul, Sister Andrew, Sister Mary Paschal and Sister Mary Alphonsus. These are holy women who prayerfully and lovingly care for the elderly sick and elderly poor. Their mission and value statements say it all: “ Continuing the work of St. Jeanne Jugan, our Mission is to offer the neediest elderly of every race and religion a home where they will be welcomed as Christ, cared for as a family and companied with dignity until God calls them to Himself. Our vision is to contribute to the Culture of Life by nurturing communities where each person is valued, the solidarity of the human family and the wisdom of age are celebrated, and the compassionate love of Christ is shared with all. Our core value is reverence for the sacredness of human life and for the uniqueness of each person, especially those who are poorest and/or weakest. This is reflected in care that is holistic and person-centered.”

Next weekend, we begin the Fall month of November and, as always, the Church begins this solemn month with two special Feast Days. Saturday, November 1st, is the Solemnity of All Saints. Because it is a Satur- day this year, it is not a Holy Day of Obligation. However, it still should be a day of prayer and remembrance for us. On that day, we should honor all the Saints—not just the great saints of the Sacred Scriptures, and not just those formally canonized by our Church—the most recent being St. Pope John Paul II and St. Pope John XXIII—but all those good, holy people who are a part of our life and who have showed us God’s love through their own faithfulness—like our families and our friends.

3:18 PM 10/22/2014And then, next Sunday, we celebrate “All Souls’ Day” - the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed. It is that solemn day of prayer in which we remember all of our dearly departed relatives and friends. We remember, we celebrate and we believe—that they lived their life in anticipation of the mystery of our Lord’s Resurrection! Because this year All Souls' Day falls on a Sunday, we will be celebrating our special Liturgy—Mass of Remembrance—at the 11:15am Mass. At that Liturgy, we will remember all of our departed loved ones and, also, a mention of those parishioners whose funeral s were celebrated here since last All Souls’ Day.  Your Pastor,  

Rev. Thomas R. Rzepiela

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