Dear People of Saint Anne,
Every year, the people of Israel commemorate the Passover. They begin the Passover with the Seder meal. They regard this commemoration as a very important action. Being a Jewish person – a member of the Chosen people of God, requires that one share in the Seder and celebrate the Passover.
According to the biblical idea of memory, when believers, the Israelites, in this instance, remember how God delivered their fathers and mothers from slavery in Egypt, those very events become present again. The Israelites of today become present to those events which happened thousands of years ago. So, if one remembers the Passover in the present, it is as real today as if Jewish believers were amongst the people thousands of years ago. Memory – sacred memory, of what God has done in the past, allows the believer to be present and participate in those saving events.
Participating in the sacred events of this coming Holy Week and remembering them allows us to passover from our slavery to sin and death to the new life of God’s children in Christ. This Holy Week, as we remember the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and we recall Jesus washing the feet of his disciples and instituting the Eucharist, reflect upon his death on the cross, his sleeping in the tomb and his resurrection from the dead – Jesusreally will enter Jerusalem, will wash our feet, give us his body and blood, will be present to us on Calvary, and we will have a share in his victory and resurrection from the dead.
When we remember these events in this Holy Week, we become truly present to them. In the same way, as being a member of Israel today means remembering what God had done for their fathers and mothers and celebrating the Passover, so being a disciple of Jesus and a Catholic means participating through sacred memory in the events which we celebrate during this Holy Week.
So, I would like to urge and invite all parishioners, if at all possible, to participate in the upcoming events and celebrations of Holy Week. For in the remembering of these events and being present to them, it makes us members of his holy people and empowers us to passover from death to the new life and glory of God’s Chosen people in Christ.
This coming Tuesday of Holy Week, before the Chrism Mass at Saint John Brebeuf in Niles, and after a Day of Renewal for Chicago priests, Father Joji Thanugundla will participate in the Rite of Incardination and be welcomed into the Archdiocese of Chicago. Incardination will make him an official priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Father Joji will no longer be an extern priest but a full member of the Chicago Presbyterate. We offer Father Joji our congratulations and joyfully welcome him into the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Archbishop Wilton Gregory appointed as Archbishop of Washington, DC: With great pride, the Church in Chicago rejoices in the appointment of Archbishop Wilton Gregory as the new Archbishop of Washington, DC. Archbishop Gregory was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1973 and is currently the Archbishop of Atlanta, Georgia. Known to his brother priests here in the Archdiocese as a proven pastor and a former Vicar here in Chicago, we offer Archbishop Wilton Gregory our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes as he begins his new ministry in our nation’s capital.
Every year, there is an annual audit of all parishes by the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth. The audit reviews our parish child protection policies and protocols. Every year, Saint Anne has been in conformity. Given the myriad of youth activities, this is quite an undertaking as we oversee a process in which any adult who is involved with our youth has had a background check and has participated in an educational process called Virtus. I appreciate the willingness of adults to cooperate with these procedures to ensure the safety of our children. Your involvement on all levels is essential to a safe environment for all of our young people.
Have a blessed Holy Week,
Father Bernie Pietrzak