Friday, May 19, 2023

From Fr. Frank

As I mentioned in my homily last weekend,
St. Teresa’s received an award from Ranch Triangle, our Lincoln Park community association. The award highlights our many ministries of social outreach that assist the homeless, refugee, prisoner and those struggling to make ends meet. Ranch Triangle wanted to highlight all many ways  the people of St. Teresa’s make our neighborhood a welcoming place for those on the margins. Thank you all for making Matthew 25 a lived reality.

The Feast of Pentecost reminds us that the Holy Spirit gave birth to the Church, a Community of disciples rooted in Baptism. As Christ ascended, he left us with the mission to continue in our humanity what He began in His. As St. Teresa teaches, our hands must become the hands of Christ, our feet, His feet, our hands, His hands and our eyes, His eyes. The Church is universal, “catholic”,  in that we are called to evangelize and live the gospel in every culture and nation.

As baptized disciples, our baptism becomes the engine of our lives, guiding us, directing us, inspiring us. Baptism is a Sacrament that unites all disciples on a mission to transform the world. All Christians, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant, are united in Baptism. What a powerhouse of goodness and beauty we have the potential of being. The Spirit frees us, just as it did those Apostles locked in the Upper Room, to live the Good News, speaking the gospel in a language all can understand: the language rooted in love and the dignity of each human being.

Our Church must be living and dynamic, allowing itself to be transformed and reformed from old patterns of organization to new expressions of institution. The Spirit “blows where it will,” and when we follow the leanings of the Spirit, the expression of our Catholic faith expands in new directions we never could have dreamed of.

I believe we were given an award by a secular association because it sees in us a community moved by this expansive Spirit, even if it wouldn’t use these words. At the heart of our identity in this little corner of Chicago and Lincoln Park is to embody a community of welcome to those human beings pushed away and forgotten. At the heart of our ministries and parish life is the celebration of the Eucharist, the Food that nourishes us to do what we do in a way that makes Christ present in all human beings, but especially the Poor.