It is Thanksgiving, which means many of us are running around like mad trying to make sure the turkey is defrosted and the pumpkin pie is just right. Meanwhile, we are being besieged with ads for Black Friday sales. And yet, every year, out of the chaos of the season comes a reminder: remember what this holiday is really about! Give thanks! Don't get caught up in the rush to find the best deals or eat the most food; just be thankful for the presence and company of family!

And every year, we are thankful. And every year we promise that this will be the year that we stop and give thanks and remember how truly blessed we are to have all the opportunities, people, and material things that are in our lives. And then the day after Thanksgiving, we see the ads for Christmas sales and we start panicking again--will the tree be perfect? Are the Christmas cards going to go out on time? What on earth does my nephew want? And all that thankfulness for our blessings we felt so strongly at Thanksgiving has retreated to the backs of our minds. 

This isn't entirely our fault. Our society is not designed around being happy with or thankful for the blessings we have--it encourages consuming ever-greater quantities of material goods and not appreciating them.  Society does not foster taking time to stop, reflect, and be thankful for important things like friends or family. If Thanksgiving is just a holiday we celebrate once a year, that isn't enough. Thanksgiving must be a mindset. If we want to be truly thankful for the blessings we have, we have to give thanks every day of the year--not just at certain times--not just when we're reminded to.  
And that is what being a Catholic is all about. Every time we celebrate Mass, we are giving thanks to Jesus for his sacrifice for us, and to God for all he has done for us. But even if we go to Mass every week and remember why we are there, that is not enough. If we want to be truly thankful, we have to give thanks every time we realize that we are blessed.

This is not easy. It is not something that can happen overnight. It takes mindfulness and commitment. But when we do this--when we are truly thankful--we notice our desires slowly fade away. When we are truly thankful--truly grateful for the blessings we have--we are not only happier than we ever could be otherwise, but also far closer to God. Now isn't that something to strive for, and once we get there, something to be thankful for?

Jonathon Marek 
Weekend Parish Staff
Parish Office: Closed 
Thursday & Friday, November 26 & 27
We reopen on Saturday, November 28!
Advent Wreath Making!
Sunday, November 29, 6 - 7 pm

All Parish families are invited to join this event! Come to the church and create your own family Advent wreath and share cookies and cider.

We supply the materials AND clean up the mess! The entire experience lasts approximately 1 hour. We are asking for a donation of $20.00 per wreath to help defray costs. Contact the parish office, 773-327-8955, to RSVP!
Breakfast With Santa
Special Request:
Advent Reconciliation Service
Sunday, December 20, 3 pm
Parish Christmas Concert
Sunday, December 20, 5 pm
Breakfast With Santa