This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - July 19, 2019


This Week – July 19, 2019

Dear All:

Welcome back to the standard format of “This Week.” The last two editions – both special editions – remind us of how grateful we are to God for the great accomplishments of our recent graduates and how greatly blessed we are to have this physical setting and to be able to take good care of it. And now for the regular reporting of our exceptional blessings . . . .


  • HOLYDAY MASS TIMES: THE RESULTS ARE IN – Thanks to the parishioners who raised the issue of Mass times for holydays and thanks to those who registered an opinion in the ballot box. (I’m not sure what to wish for the three people who signed my name to their ballots – which were actually quite humorous!). Ninety-five people voted. For both the vigil and the day itself, about 50% voted for 5 pm, 35% voted for 7 pm, and the remaining 15% voted for 7:30 pm. There were also several comments about the need to have different times for the vigil and the day itself. So... starting with the Feast of the Assumption (August 15), we will have the vigil Mass at 5 pm, and the Masses on the holyday itself will be at 8:35 am and 7:00 pm. I hope we get this change in the bulletin, on the cover of the bulletin, on our webpage and in the announcements. Let’s see how it works for a year and we can always tweak it again. What matters most is that we make it as easy as possible for parishioners to participate in Mass on the holydays.

  • REMEMBERING OUR DECEASED – Starting right after Labor Day, we will be gathering the names of your beloved deceased. For the last few years, the leaves on the trees (with the names of the deceased on the leaves) have been a great consolation for many parishioners. The challenge is that we are running out of tree space. The process will be very clear and a little more focused – and promises to be pretty impressive. Stay tuned.

Sunday's Homily

July 14, 2019 — Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Interior Freedom, Part III: “The freedom to listen WAY up.”

To listen to Sunday’s homily, click here.

To read a summary of it, go to the bottom of this page.


SUMMER SERVICE TRIPS – The big news about service is the big news about our young people.

  • Young Adults. God bless our seventeen college students and their four chaperones who returned Friday from their week on the Texas/Mexico border. Despite the awful plane delays – 12 hours of waiting in airports – they returned with great gratitude for the profound experiences they had. They worked mostly at the Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center and at a nearby church that was hustling to get ready for its grand opening. They worked their tails off and did not count the cost. Many encountered physical trials but all came home with rejuvenated abilities and desires to be the priests, the prophets and the kings God calls them to be. God bless our returned travelers.

  • High School Students – Twenty-six high school students and five chaperones leave on Sunday morning for Oil City, Pennsylvania. Catholic Charities will also play a major role in this trip, deploying students throughout the area. Many will be working on home repairs for low-income senior citizens. Several others will be sprucing up day care centers where children from low-income families spend their days.

Extra-special blessings for the chaperones on both trips – many of whom are using their vacation time to make these work trips. And as always, greatest thanks to Bob Ferretti for putting it all together. God works powerfully through all of you.

We can all derive great happiness from the truth that we are part of a parish with so many wonderful young people. The students’ participation in these work trips is only one indicator of how terrific our young parishioners are. So many students are doing such great work this summer. God bless them all – those on the service trips and all the rest.


  • NEW OFFICERS FOR OUR KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS AND OUR COLUMBIETTES – Monday night marked the installation of the new officers for our parish’s Knights and Columbiettes. Blessings and thanks to Bryan DeLisi, the new head of the Knights. And more of the same for Lisa Rossi, the new head of the Colombiettes. We are greatly blessed to have these two organizations doing all they do for our parish and we pray for even greater results under Bryan’s and Lisa’s leadership.

Your Pastor’s Brag


The Hillsborough Senior Rockettes and Rockets – Hats off to Carol Wetzel (9:30 S4) and Charlotte Politi (9:30 S2) who are part of the Hillsborough Rockettes and Rockets – a traveling dance troupe that brings great delight to all sorts of people. Charlotte, Carol and their troupe-mates perform in many local facilities for people who cannot easily get out to enjoy live entertainment. May your music never stop!

Tapping in the Windy City! – Alison Calamoneri – former altar server, recent graduate of Muhlenberg College, and daughter of John and Sue Calamoneri (9:30 S3) – moved to Chicago early this summer, after graduating with a degree in dance and a specialization in tap. Alison was recently offered an apprenticeship with the Chicago Tap Theater. This marks the start of her professional career! God bless Alison.


May God continue to bless you and your loved ones with a wonderful summer. And for those of you experiencing difficulties this summer, may your time in Mass and your time with parishioners make the challenges less onerous.

Fr Hank

July 14, 2019 — Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Interior Freedom, Part III: “The freedom to listen WAY up.”

Sometimes we do not listen. Who among us has not been called out for zoning out? Sometimes we listen. It is our ordinary mode for taking in the voices and sounds that surround us. Sometimes we “listen up,” usually at the urging of someone who requests our heightened attention. And sometimes we “listen WAY up” to the voice of God that speaks from our scriptures, from our tradition, from the experience of Eucharist, from other sacraments and from our hearts. Sunday’s readings encourage us to listen WAY up, to pay heightened attention to God’s voice, to filter out the noises and the voices that distract us from honoring God’s invitations, and to act on what we hear.

Moses longed for his people to listen WAY up. He had traveled with them for 40 years and knew quite well how easily they tuned out God’s voice. Sometimes their own passions deafened them to God’s voice. Sometimes they let the allure of false gods drown out Yahweh’s voice. Hence, Sunday’s first reading (Dt 30) begins with Moses urging the people to “heed the voice of the Lord your God.” He is begging his people to listen WAY up when, without him, they enter the Promised Land. He wants them to listen WAY up to Yahweh and not to listen to their passions or their new neighbors’ passions. Moses also reminds his people that they are, at every moment, able to listen WAY up. They have what it takes. Listening WAY up does not require extreme measures. They do not need to “go up in the sky” or to “cross the sea.” His message is simple” you can and you should do all you can to listen WAY up; doing so will lead you to peace.

Jesus conveys a similar message in Sunday’s story of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10). The story identifies two types of people – those who listen WAY up and those who do not. The Samaritan, the story’s hero, listens WAY up. He sees the robbers’ victim on the side of the road, feels pity for him and, according to God’s hopes, rescues him. Not so with the priest and the Levite. They saw the man, listened to voices other than God’s, and forfeited the opportunity to satisfy God’s hope for the victim. They listened to the voices of tradition and the voices of self-interest and to who knows what other voices, but they did not listen WAY up to God’s request for charity.

What about you? You frequently listen WAY up. You sort through competing voices, identify the inspired and inspiring one that comes from God, and you act on that voice. You do it in 101 ways. Given the gospel’s focus on charity – maybe start with that as an indicator of your determination to listen WAY up. When have you gone out of your way to be kind – on a long-term basis or just for a few moments – when cultural norms or voices you respect urged you to do otherwise? Was it when you committed yourself to care for someone in need? Was it when you included an otherwise lonely kid in your circle of friends? Was it when you decided not to charge one of your needy clients? Was it when you figured out how to help a charity that assists people you will never meet? All of those options place demands on your time, money, reputation and self-understanding. Every act of kindness comes at a bit of a cost and you paid the cost, lovingly and without grumbling because you knew, at some level, that doing so aligned with God’s hope. When have you strained to listen WAY up, gotten it right, and felt the peace? And maybe, just maybe, is God asking you to do that now?