Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

2018 Running of the Bulldogs 5K

You can now register for the Saint Andrew Parish Running of the Bulldogs 5K & Kids Fun Run! Sunday, November 4, 2018

Purchase your race registration, sign up to volunteer, and become a sponsor here.

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The Cornerstone of Our Church

JUST DO IT!

The Cornerstone of Saint Andrew!

From the point of view of marketing, Nike has dominated in their branding with success after success for decades. Sure, there have been some side steps and some blips in their strategy from time to time and the current controversy over their recent spokesman will either pay off or it won’t. I don’t know. But overall Nike has had a clear and penetrating brand with a clear message. Just do it.

It speaks to us. Our culture and our thirst for success can simply summed up in a short imperative command. Just do it. Don’t hesitate, mess around, or falter. Just do it. If you think you’re the champion (and don’t we all), then get off the couch and make it happen. Just do it.

The marketers hope that you’ll think “If you buy our brand, you’ll be successful because you’ll have the power to achieve.” It’s a good product association tactic that is rich in empowerment marketing.

It’s also a cornerstone of who we are as disciples of Jesus Christ at Saint Andrew Parish. No literally, it is actually, physically, and in reality our cornerstone. On the south west corner of Addison and Paulina you can see the square rock at the the corner of the church building of Saint Andrew which reads “Faith without works is dead.” James 2:17 (don’t be thrown off because the numbers are in Latin).
This little quote is also found in the Second Reading today at Mass and it is at the heart of one of the critical distinctions of Catholic doctrine. Protestant theology after the Reformation rightly restored the very important understanding of Christian doctrine that God’s grace is the key to salvation. The correction was made because an error in Catholic theology throughout Europe during the middle of the second millennium led many to believe that they could “earn” salvation by doing enough good works. If they tried hard enough, then and only then would God love them. This is a false narrative. God’s salvation is a free gift, unearned, and arrives to us through faith. That’s what the Protestant leaders helped remind the church. (Thanks be to God!)

But the Catholic Church retained the important distinction (inspired by today’s second reading from the book of James) that if we truly have salvation through the gift of faith, it will lead us into action. It will cause us to do something. We don’t feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and strive for a more just society so that we will earn God’s favor. It’s the other way around. Because God loves us, we put our faith into action by the work we do. Why? Because faith without works is dead. Faith and works are symbiotic manifestations of God’s grace.

No one said that being Christian, especially in today’s world, would be easy, but it is important to remember that it is a full contact activity. Being a Christian is not something where you can sit on the bench (or a pew) and just watch the game. You need to get involved. You need to be the champion, who inspired by God’s love, can love in return with overwhelming generosity.

The call to put our faith into action is as simple and clear as the Nike tag line. Just do it. Nothing is holding you back and God needs you to get in the game.

-David Heimann, Pastoral Associate

Reboot – Upgrade Your Spiritual Software

 

What: A six week class on Adult Spirituality
When: Tuesday evenings from October 16 to November 27, 2018. 7:00 – 8:30pm
Where: Saint Andrew Social Hall. 3557 N. Hermitage Ave, down the stairs.
Who: Adults who are have come to realize that the world has changed since their last religion class in 8th grade, high school, or college. Its time to update one’s understandings of Christianity and the Catholic Church. REBOOT:Update Your Spiritual Software is a great way to connect with other adults and have the space you need to ask, explore, and find faith. Led by the pastoral staff of Saint Andrew Parish.
Register: Complete this online form.

 

Date at the Lake 2018 Reminder

Date at the Lake 2018

Registration is now open for the Date at the Lake fundraiser on Saturday, September 22, 2018 including our Golf Outing at Sydney Marovitz Golf Course, Clubhouse Mingle, and Party.  For more information and to register visit https://tinyurl.com/DateattheLake2018. (more…)

Protecting Children – September 2018

What We Do to Keep Children Safe 

The scandalous reports about Church officials which have occurred over the last few weeks have had a paralyzing effect on me as well as many Catholics across the county. When I look at the corruption reported at the highest levels of leadership within the Church and the harm suffered by the victims, I despair. Dumbfounded, I have asked myself, “How can this happen?”

For 19 years I have served as a minister to families and children in parish communities eventually coming to hold the responsibility of being a “Lay Ecclesial Minister.” During that time, I have been replete with joy over the tender privilege of witnessing Baptisms, Confirmations, Weddings, conversions, family reconciliations, and outpourings of support to those most in need help. Most of my experience with the church have been extraordinarily positive and I know many of you share positive memories about the church as well.

I have been able to keep these experiences at the forefront of my memory because during those 19 years, the parish communities and schools in which I have served have been safe places, free from the threat of abuse and harm, not only for children, but for adults as well. There is a reason for this. It didn’t just happen that these communities were safe and secure. It was an intentional set of planned actions that clergy and lay people have been expected to follow.

What I realized during this recent set of scandals is that the framework of accountability that is in place for parishes and schools to keep them safe is not in place for bishops and Cardinals. That needs to change and it needs to change now. I am encouraged by the words the Pope has given accepting the plea for bishop accountability and I await eagerly for him to make good on this request.

I also realized during this recent scandal that just because I am familiar with the procedures and protocols that keep kids safe in our community, not everyone is aware of what we do at Saint Andrew to foster a healthy environment. I hope I can help to spread awareness about this important matter.

After painful study into the matter, we now know that abuse can only take place when a community allows past perpetrators to have continued access to children, when warning signs are ignored, when a culture of privacy exists, and when a culture of secrecy is maintained. Instead, we can and do prevent abuse by ensuring that all church personnel (from priests to employees, school faculty, and volunteers) have had a criminal background check to ensure no one with a prior conviction or credible accusation serves in our ministries. We require that all activities have proper supervision and we prohibit adults from ever meeting privately with children. We also talk openly about the warning signs of abuse, encourage communication about any suspicious behavior, and teach adults and children how to identify situation that make them feel uncomfortable and how to communicate their feelings to trusted adults.

These procedures began enforcement in local parishes and schools starting in 2002 and have undergone several clarifying and strengthening revisions. The commitment is known as the “Dallas Charter” and it is part of a promise made to victims of abuse and to all the faithful that we will not tolerate any form of abuse. When you hear Church personnel talk about the “Virtus Program” and the 3 hour training program known as “Protecting God’s Children” or the monthly online reviews we are required to complete for ongoing training, it is the Dallas Charter which mandates our participation and vigilance.

Saint Andrew works year after year to ensure that we are a compliant parish and school for the protection of young people under the Dallas Charter and we do so for one reason. Children deserve the ability to flourish within safe institutions.

I believe in the steps that we take to keep children safe at Saint Andrew. I am confident in them because I have seen their effectiveness both here and in other parishes where I have worked. Parents and adults have every right to be concerned about the safety of children and I would encourage anyone interested to join us in the fundamental responsibility we have of maintaining a healthy environment. If you would like to learn more about our procedures, I would invite you to contact me at the rectory, or to explore the tab “Child Protection” on the website www.archchicago.org.  I am also available to discuss any questions or concerns. You may reach me at the rectory at 773-525-3016 or at davidheimann@saintandrewchicago.com

Most importantly, if you see or know of any child who is in danger of being abused, please call the police immediately. Your actions can save immeasurable harm from happening. It is our call as Christians to speak up for the vulnerable. This is when we are the best of who we are called and created to be.

-David Heimann, Pastoral Associate

 

Helpful Links –

Archdiocesan Resources – https://protect.archchicago.org/about-us/mission

Take the VIRTUS: Protecting God’s Children Safe Environment Training – VIRTUS TRAINING

 

 

 

 

 

Why Don’t You Understand What I Mean?

Why Don’t You Understand What I Mean? 

I’m sure you’ve had the same difficulty that I have had. You say something with as much care and credibility as you possess and someone misinterprets what you said. In your mind it was clear what you intended to say but somehow those who received the message heard something else. It can be frustrating.

I find this weekend’s Gospel the epicenter of religious-miscommunication. It is one of the hardest passages to explain and often leads to misinterpretation. Even as I approach writing about it for this article, I spent time reviewing the Catechism on the Catholic Church and a number of my favorite scholarly commentaries on the subject and still I find it vain hubris to even attempt to write anything.

Which is a shame because the words from Jesus are pretty straightforward. In John 6:53 he says, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” But the interpretations that proceed from that single line of scripture are dizzying.

Does that imply Jesus was promoting cannibalism? (Hint: No!)  Then is it something metaphoric? (Hint: Also no!) Well is it meant literally? (Hint: Well kind of. Yes, but not really the same kind of “literally” as other things which are literal.) But does that mean the Eucharist bread consecrated on Sunday is physically Jesus? (Hint: Well yes, but no, but yes.) *Insert sign of desperation.*

In the history of Christianity, through both dim ages and reformations, there has been a constant struggle to articulate with accuracy this core experience of Christianity. No one seems to be able to articulate it with satisfying precision without someone misinterpreting what was said. If you research deeper into the conversation you’ll develop refined definitions of words like “Presence,” “Real Presence,” and “Transubstantiation.” Exploring what Jesus meant in John 6:53 invites a linguist’s knowledge of Greek words such as “Soma” (body) and “Sarx” (flesh) and “Trogon” (to gnaw). For all of you still reading, this paragraph can lead to mental wooziness but I assure you, it is only a snippet of the academic work that is involved in trying to understand John 6:53.

More than scholarly arguments, I would invite you to center on your own experience. Time and time again, I hear people who come back to the Church, sometimes after years apart and they say, “I’m here because I missed the Eucharist. There is something about it that is important to me.” I know that to be true myself. I hope you know it to be true as well. I find the words of Fr. Richard Rohr to be some of the most helpful and consoling words in this regard. On Tuesday, July 24, 2018 he wrote the following:

“We spent much of our history arguing about the “how” and the “if” and “who” could do what Catholics called the “transubstantiation” of the bread and wine instead of simply learning how to be present. We made the Eucharist into a magic act to be believed instead of a personal transformation to be experienced. We changed bread more than people, it seems to me. We emphasized the priest as the “transformer” instead of the people as the transformed. We made “Real Presence” into a doctrine (which has its very good meaning!), but we seldom taught people how to be really present (which is contemplation).

When you are really present, you will experience the Real Presence for yourself.

The Eucharist is an encounter of the heart, knowing Presence through our available presence. In the Eucharist, we move beyond mere words or rational thought and go to that place where we don’t talk about the Mystery; we begin to chew on it.

We must move our knowing to the bodily, cellular, participative, and unitive level. Then we keep eating and drinking the Mystery until one day it dawns on us, in an undefended moment, “My God, I really am what I eat!” Henceforth we can trust and allow what has been true since the first moment of our existence: We are the very Body of Christ. We have dignity and power flowing through us in our naked existence—and everybody else does too, even though most of us do not know it. This is enough to guide and empower our entire faith journey.”

I pray that you will be renewed in your prayer of receiving the Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist. I pray that you will receive the “Flesh of the Son of Man,” realize that it is Jesus, and that his presence makes you aware that Jesus is with you, in your very flesh, sending you into the world to be the presence of God’s love to those in need. I ask for you to make the same prayer for me and for all the Church.

-David Heimann, Pastoral Associate

Date at the Lake 2018

Date at the Lake 2018

Registration is now open for the Date at the Lake fundraiser on Saturday, September 22, 2018 including our Golf Outing at Sydney Marovitz Golf Course, Clubhouse Mingle, and Party.  For more information and to register visit https://tinyurl.com/DateattheLake2018. (more…)

First Fruits 2018

First Fruits 2018869016-FB

Donate $5 to support our local food pantry with fresh picked corn!

While our pantries do a great deal to support those who are food insecure, often times recipients only get canned food. Fresh food is often forgotten.

Parishioners from Saint Andrew are lining the shelves of Saint Mary of the Lake Pantry with fresh corn gown by friends of parishioners in Mendota, IL.

Drop off the coupon below with your donation to the rectory by Wednesday, August 8. Parishioners are picking up the corn at the Mendoza Sweet Corn Festival on August 12 and bringing carloads back to the Saint Mary of the Lake Pantry. Thank you for your generous support!

Make a donation by printing out the form below and returning with cash or check to Saint Andrew rectory or by making a donation directly through Give Central by clicking here. 

 

 

Parish Pilgrimage August 2018

Join with your parish family for an afternoon pilgrimage to the Shrine of Christ’s Passion, Saint John IN on Sunday, August 26, 2018 after the 10am Mass. The pilgrimage will be from 11:15am to 5:00pm. To learn more and to register… (more…)

It’s Your Decision

It’s Your Decision.

We see the world not as it is, but as we are. So, if the world seems troubled, what does that tell us about ourselves?
Although it isn’t in this Sunday’s scriptures, one of my favorite quotes from Jesus is “The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.” (Matt 6:22-23)

Generally speaking, when Jesus preaches, he tends to dwell on practical ways to sustain a relationship with God and not on philosophy, but this little quote reveals something illusively important about Jesus’ philosophy. He isn’t talking literally about your eye or eyesight. Jesus is using a metaphor to teach us that our philosophical lens will determine how we see the world and consequently what the world will become. We see the world not as it is, but as we are…

A fact that I assume is lost on most of us is that before a priest is allowed to study theology, he must first study philosophy. He must work through the foggy dispositions in which we are raised and find clarity of thought. His viewpoint for thinking about things must be purified. Then and only then is he ready to study and preach on the Word of God. I have found that a minister’s success or failure (and all of us for that matter) is usually determined during his ability to ground himself in good patterns of thought and in particular the ability to move from “either/or thinking” to “both/and thinking” — Dualistic thinking vs. non-dualistic thinking.

The difference between the two modes of thinking is where we intersect with today’s scripture readings. In today’s Second Reading, the author of the Letter to the Ephesians provides an important insight that may go unnoticed if we don’t highlight it. He wrote “For [Christ] is our peace, he who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity.” (Eph 2:14) To be sure, not only does this statement reveal practical advice about our relationship to God, but it also emphasizes Jesus’ philosophical view of “non-dualistic thinking.”
In the passage from Ephesians, the author was writing about a debate that occurred in the year 50 AD amongst the Apostles as to whether Jesus came for the salvation of the Jews or the non-Jews. At first, their thinking wasn’t clear and they were imbued with divisiveness. To them there was a group of “insiders” and “outsiders” but in the end, they came to know that Jesus came to “make both one,” the opposite of the devil, the diabolical (which literally means “to split, to throw across.”).

The more we study Jesus, the values he presented and even the way he thought, he constantly dismantled dualistic modes of thought. Jesus didn’t think in “either/or terms.” He preached about unity, bringing all creation into one (Colossians 1:17). He said if you want to see the Father (Creator), look to him (Jesus) for he and the Father are one (John 10:30). These are a few of the numerous examples in scripture of Jesus opposing dualistic thinking.

To be honest, the typical reflection on this Sunday’s scripture is usually about leadership. The First Reading and Gospel Reading are all about finding good leaders and not following bad ones. That is good advice and something to which we are particularly sensitive in this day and age but I think it is important first to reflect upon the non-dualism of Jesus’ message because to Jesus, the world isn’t divided into “leaders” and “non-leaders.” You are the leader. Your decisions impact the world. The mystical eye that is the “lamp” to your body (or put another way “the way you metaphorically see”) is one that either fills your soul with light or encourages the darkness.

It is not God who proposed the idea of “blue states” and “red states,” it is us. We divide people into categories of “legal” and “not legal,” people “with rights” and people “without rights.” We project into the world ideas of inequalities between race and gender. It is our perceptions of the world that divides us. It isn’t God or Christ who creates these divisions. If we begin to clear our minds and let the light in, we’ll find ourselves thinking much more like Jesus did. We’ll be much less consumed about either/or propositions and believe more fully in Christ who… makes both one. (Eph 2:14)

-David Heimann, Pastoral Associate