Join us for our Live Stream Sunday Mass at 9am

September 18th, 2022

     I believe that we celebrate who we are as a vibrant community of faith every week in so many ways here at Holy Family. The celebration includes, but is not limited to, Mass. We proclaim, “The Mass never ends,” and although not perfectly, but certainly intentionally, we show our vibrant spirit in many ways. This weekend and next we will celebrate who we are here at Holy Family and mark a significant aspect of our history.

     We resume our FM Mass this Sunday at 9:00am. This particularly vibrant and inclusive Mass has brought great energy, enthusiasm and participation for several generations. These unique Masses will be offered once a month throughout the year.

     This weekend after all Masses we will be hosting special Welcome Gatherings in the rectory. They are opportunities to meet other new parishioners and to register as a parishioner if you have not done so yet. Covid caused us to cancel any such gatherings, and we are excited to resume and expand them because almost 300 new families have registered in the past year and a half.

     Next Sunday, September 25, we celebrate Fall Fest. This has been a relatively recent tradition and we have had several variations of this event. This year’s version includes music, inflatables, Kona Ice, train and wagon rides, a petting zoo, crafts, games and lots of fall photo ops. The event will begin with a Knights of Columbus pancake breakfast from 8:30am-12:30pm. We encourage you to attend either 9:00am or 11:00am Mass and the festivities will conclude at 3:00pm. Raffle tickets will be available following the 9am and 11am Masses this weekend. Please see more details on our website.

     The above are three relatively new additions to our community. One that has been with us for 25 years is our beautiful Cross of New Life. Next weekend we mark the anniversary of installation of the Cross.

     Fr. Med Laz and a group of very dedicated founding parishioners worked very hard on making the Cross a reality. Our church was constructed in 1988 without a large cross or crucifix. Fr. Laz had a vision in the spirit of a great Chicagoan Daniel Burnham who espoused, “Make no small plans.” I think we all would agree that the Cross is anything but small. Fr. Laz wanted not only a cross but a statement, and no small statement. The Cross of New Life is very large in size (the largest piece of acrylic art in the world), but it is even bigger in impact and symbolism. It has become the cornerstone for the opening of our mission statement, “Inviting all to new life in Christ…”

     The artist that Fr. Laz selected to make his big statement a reality is Ernest Caballero (see the history of the Cross on our website or in the handout available at the front desk). I had the privilege of visiting with him and his wife in 2012 when I was doing a Mission at a parish near where he lives in Northern California. A model of the cross is the center piece of Ernest’s studio, so he is obviously very proud of it.

     In September of 1997 the Cross was carefully transported here. The tree on the East side of the church was pulled to the side and the large windows near it were removed so the Cross could be brought into and hung above our sanctuary where it continually gives an invitation for new life from Jesus Christ.

     There are so many feelings that the Cross elicits in me. For example, the outstretched hand of Christ is a symbol of our welcoming spirit. As one young parishioner said upon looking at the Cross, “Look Grandma, Jesus wants to hold my hand.”

     Countless people have relayed to me and others that they feel welcome here at Holy Family and the Cross of New Life is a concrete sign that we extend Christ’s welcome to all.

     Often when I look at our Cross I see Christ extending a hand above our altar as if to say, “Look what beautiful things take place here in my name.”

     We have altered our brand a bit recently with an image of the Cross from the side. I believe that this has given a fresh perspective on the new life that Christ is inviting us to. When we look at the Cross straight on we can be invited to see Jesus literally coming off of the Cross. I often say that it infers that his other hand is still nailed to the cross, so he is coming out of his suffering to give us new life. That is a simple and yet very powerful example of the Paschal Mystery— through suffering and death comes new life.

     As we look at the Cross from the side the extended hand can be viewed as reaching out to others as well as to us personally. The side view even invites us to reach out with Christ to others offering new life.

     I know that the Cross has a particularly powerful invitation to those who gather beneath it during the funeral of a loved one. At those moments people feel consoled with the invitation to take Christ’s hand as they commend their loved one into new and eternal life.

     What does the Cross of New Life say to you?

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