Our Lenten journey is usually a time of more focused and intensive prayer. Now, however, is the perfect time to pray for our local parishes. I have been administering St. Adalbert and St. Mary parishes for a week. I have had good meetings with staff at the parishes and school. Details are being worked out as needed. Right after Easter, Fr. Ed Shuttleworth has taken some time for health and discernment. In his absence, Fr. Hennes will be administering St. Bronislava. Until pastors are appointed in July for those parishes, please pray for them and whatever healing may be needed.

Recently there have been a streak of funerals. One of the Spiritual Works of Mercy is to pray for the dead. I encourage you to do so when you see a parishioner’s name in the bulletin or obituary. I would also encourage you to attend the Funeral Mass as well. The Mass is a great prayer and that is probably where you saw them each week when they were able to get out. So even if you didn’t know them that well, it would be a beautiful act of charity.

Looking ahead, we have the Deanery Youth Rally on April 17th at St. Brons. It features Aly Aleigha, a musician and motivational speaker. I know I am looking forward to this event. Parents, I surely hope that you encourage your children to be a part of this evening.

Friday the 19th of April I am spending the day in Chicago. I will be at Mundelein Seminary. They are hosting the Jubilee Mass and Dinner. I hope to have some time to visit with classmates; some I have not seen since we were ordained 25 years ago. Here’s my plug for priestly vocations and prayer for our seminarians.

You may have noticed the marriage banns in the bulletin recently. Bishop Callahan has encouraged parishes to publish these so that couples preparing for marriage are kept in prayer. As many know, marriage is a beautiful vocation but not always easy. Our prayers can help foster a strong and resilient union. We have weddings set for spring, late summer and early fall. Watch for those names and remember to pray for them.