All were amazed. . . "He commands even the unclean
spirits and they obey him." Mark1:27
All were amazed. . . "He commands even the unclean
spirits and they obey him." Mark1:27
January 27, 2012 | Permalink
Learning how to do things right
MY DAD WAS IN CHARGE of forestry merit-badge training because he worked for a company that made high voltage electrical equipment. High voltage equipment hangs from the top of utility poles that are made from trees—hence, forestry. Following the same logic Billy Powers’ dad was in charge of the firstaid merit badge because Mr. Powers was a State Farm agent: think insurance, health care, emergency room, first aid … again, obvious. As best they could, Mr. Powers, dad, and a bunch of other fathers divided up the adult duties and responsibilities of our Boy Scout troop at St. Felicitas Parish.
Every spring the Chicago Fire Department held a competition at CVS High School for dozens of South Side Scout troops as a final test of their firstaid skills. The first year our troop competed Mr. Powers must have taken our abysmal performance personally because the next year he recruited a young neighborhood doctor to do the training. The doc was very cool. He had been a combat medic in WWII and gone on to medical school after the war. He showed us photos from his medical books on everything from snake bite to plague. For weeks he gave us hands-on practice, from immobilizing broken bones to stopping arterial bleeding. After class doc told us amazing stories about the heroic things medics had done on battlefields and ships during the war. By our last training session the team was totally psyched for the upcoming Fire Department first-aid competition.
That Saturday at CVS’s gym we diagnosed the first victim as a broken collar bone and easily made a sling for his arm-no problem. Next came a bee sting—a snap. Then a burned hand, a hatchet wound, and a drowning— all diagnosed and handled without a hitch. The final case was a fireman lying on the floor holding his stomach and moaning. Our team conferred; could be indigestion or maybe food poisoning. We questioned and poked and conferred some more and decided our victim must have appendicitis. Recalling one of the doc’s stories about a sailor with appendicitis on board a submarine, we assembled our equipment—one Boy Scout pocket knife, shoelaces to tie off arteries, needle and thread from a sewing kit, and spoons from a mess kit to hold open the incision.
After all the teams had finished, the results along with the team evaluations were announced by the fire chief. Our troop took first place by a mile but in his evaluation of our performance the fire chief qualified his praise by noting that we were the most terrifying bunch of kids he’d ever seen. We were, he said, not only the only team to correctly identify acute appendicitis at that day’s competition but also the only team in the entire history of the Boy Scouts who were willing to do an appendectomy right there on the gym floor – and all without benefit of anesthesia. As I recall he politely but firmly suggested that we curb our level of enthusiasm just a touch.
I guess what the chief was telling us is that a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing and a little bit more knowledge could be bloody fatal.
OVER THE PAST couple of years I’ve learned that there are a whole lot of things that need to be done around here and limited resources to do them--sometimes very limited-- from bad wiring and busted boilers to a booming demand for truly outstanding Catholic education and the selection of a new principal. We have brilliant teams of folks working hard on myriad, complex projects but when possible they’re taking the time to learn all they can so we can do it right. Recently we’ve started to phase into a few big programs such as gradually renovating the church and finalizing plans to expand and enhance the school. None of this can be done with old shoelaces and bent spoons (but anesthesia sometimes looks appealing).
Please join with your fellow parishioners and help us make these and all kinds of other worthy projects and programs happen the best ways possible. Our pace may be frustratingly “deliberate” at times, but we may only get one chance to do it right.
FEBRUARY 25, 6:30 PM
The 125th Gala at Misericordia kicks off with a cocktail hour with an open bar; followed by a three-course dinner, a dessert table, a small silent auction, the dance music of Late Night Band, and the great conversation that happens when wonderful people gather to tell many years worth of stories. We are still looking for alumni and old friends of St. Matthias who would like to come out and celebrate at our Gala. Please send along addresses, and we’ll send an invite; or just include them as part of your party. The price is $100 per person.
FEBUARY 25: DINNER DANCE
St. Matthias will begin celebrating 125 years of service in 2012. We’ll kickoff with a dinner dance at Misericordia/ Heart of Mercy.
AVAILABLE ONLINE UNTIL FEBRUARY 6
Survey for all parents of children in preschool through 8th grade. The archdiocese would like to understand how parents in our parish make elementary school decisions for their children, and we would greatly appreciate your input through a brief online survey. Understanding your views will help us improve our local Catholic school program and will also enable us to understand the perspectives and needs of those who have not chosen Catholic school. We would greatly appreciate your help with our survey whether your children attend Catholic school or not. To access the survey, please go to the following link: English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SchoolSurveyEnglish, Spanish: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SchoolSurveySpanish
JANUARY 29 & FEBRUARY 5
As part of Catholic Schools Week the Student Council along with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul are putting faith and Catholic values into action by hosting a Diaper and Baby Formula Drive to benefit low -income mothers and babies in need. The goal is to collect 300 packs of new diapers and containers of formula. Please help our school students reach their goal. Donations should be deposited in the collection box in the back of the church or at the school.
Grand Slam tickets for the St. Matthias School are now on sale. Team captains will be recruiting members from both the school and the parish for this very successful school fundraiser. Last year the school grossed $26,000 and netted $16,000. This year the goal is to gross over $40,000. All parish members are invited to join a team.
FEBRUARY. 14, NOON
St. Matthias Senior Friendship Club will meet on Valentine’s Day in the Parish Center. The group will meet and then enjoy a lovely lunch and some great conversation. If you are interested in joining the club please call the rectory.
Special thank yous to the McIntee, Moran, and Comes families, who have generously donated to the fund for the restoration of the church floors. Work on the sanctuary floor begins Monday, January 30. We are hoping to have it completed by February 3. We will then begin the west side aisle. Additional thanks to the Men’s Club for their labor in moving, tearing down, and tearing out some very old items in the church.
The parish online giving has hit and surpassed the goal of 100 parishioners giving electronically. We are at 108. So naturally in our 125th year, the parish would love to have 125 families/members giving through Give Central. If you have not signed up for automatic electronic giving, please visit Give Central’s website: givecentral.com .
JANUARY 29-FEBRUARY 5
Catholic Schools Week kicks off today with the Children’s Mass at 10:30 and an Open House to follow at the school. In keeping with this year’s theme, “Catholic Schools: Faith, Academics, Service,” the highlights of the week include: a “Saintly Wax Museum,” put on by the 4th grade students; the 6th-8th grade Science Fair (see below); and a Student Council-led, school-wide service project to benefit the families that are served by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, specifically single or low-income mothers. The week will conclude VIP day on Friday, February 3rd, where students invite a special guest to attend Mass and visit their classroom. Donuts and coffee will be served in the convent while the children eat an early lunch before 11:30 Dismissal. We hope to see you at Sunday’s open house! All are welcome to attend, so please spread the word about our wonderful community to friends, family, and neighbors. Applications will be accepted for all grade levels.
FEBRUARY 10, 7-10PM
Stop in at the convent for drinks & snacks. Veteran school moms want to meet and talk about the many events/activities for the remainder of the school year. All are welcome. Babysitting is offered by the Girl Scouts.
FEBRUARY 10, 6-10 PM
Enjoy a night out while the kids are treated to pizza and a movie with the St. Matthias Girl Scouts in the school gym. The cost is $25 for one child and $5 for each additional child. Please stop by the school office for a response form, or you can find one in the weekly school e-mail.
Invest just five minutes a day, and your faith will deepen and grow - a day at a time.
Look up the daily passages from the New American Bible online at www.usccb.org/nab/bible.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 29, 2012
FOURTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME; CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK BEGINS
Get a complete education
Catholic schools in the United States had a rough start. Partly in response to the religious bias (not to mention anti-Catholicism) in the public schools, the first Plenary Council of Baltimore (1852) mandated that every Catholic parish establish a school. The campaign was so successful that riots ensued, incited by groups such as the Know-Nothing Society, which was committed to eliminating “foreign influence, popery, Jesuitism, and Catholicism” in all aspects of American life. We have come a long way. This year’s theme for Catholic Schools Week, “Faith, Academics, Service,” highlights the three pillars of Catholic education. How can you promote these values?
"A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you."
MONDAY, JANUARY 30
Bring hurts to heal
The expression “inner demons” captures something of the helplessness that those in the grip of negative behaviors feel. The ancients took that phrase literally, believing that illness was due to divine punishment for sin or demons taking up temporary residence in a person. The remedy was to seek forgiveness or a healer who could rid you of the bad spirits. While most people nowadays don’t believe that sicknesses and personality problems come from evil spirits or God’s wrath, there is still the need for reaching out to others for help when you cannot help yourself. Medical and other professionals, counselors, family, friends, and especially Jesus the Healer in prayer provide that assistance.
“Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.”
TUESDAY, JANUARY 31
FEAST OF JOHN BOSCO, PRIEST
Love and support your local child
Saint John Bosco was born in Italy in 1815 into a family of farm workers. He became a priest and a teacher, devoting his life to the care and education of abandoned and neglected children. His approach was considered novel at the time: He used love instead of the threat of punishment to shape the behavior of his students. John embraced the spirituality of Saint Francis de Sales and dedicated his work to him when he founded the Society of St. Francis de Sales (also known as the Salesians of Don Bosco). How can you support teachers and those who care for children? What are some ways you, in the spirit of John Bosco, can extend love, compassion, and respect to children, especially those most in need?
“Jesus took the child by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum,’ which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise!’ ”
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1
Would you ever consider stopping all you are doing and going in an entirely different direction? With obligations to family and jobs it’s unlikely you would suddenly turn your back on your responsibilities to pursue something else, but in a way that’s what the first apostles did. Their recognition of Jesus to be the savior was immediate and their decision to literally drop everything was just as abrupt. They saw something so compelling and necessary for their lives that they had no hesitation in following him on the spot. You might not imitate their footloose example to the letter, but their actions do show how quick disciples of Jesus should be, whatever their situation, to respond without hesitation!
“They left everything and followed him.”
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2
FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD; WORLD DAY OF CONSECRATED LIFE
Vow to live in service to others
In announcing the first World Day of Consecrated Life in 1997, Pope John Paul II remarked that February 2, the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, was selected because it is “an eloquent icon of the total offering of one’s life for all those who are called to show forth in the church and in the world . . . ‘the characteristic features of Jesus—the chaste, poor, and obedient one.’ ” Today we honor and cherish those who have taken vows to religious life, and we can also reflect on how all of us are called to consecrate our lives in service to God and humanity. How will you serve?
“The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.”
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3
FEAST OF BLASE, BISHOP, MARTYR
One of the most popular traditional devotions in the church is the blessing of throats on this day, invoking the intercession of Saint Blase, whose feast we celebrate. Blase was arrested in 316 A.D. during a persecution of Christians, and on the way to prison tradition has it that he miraculously healed a young child who was choking. After his death the story of the cure spread throughout the region of present-day Armenia, and through the centuries the devotion grew. Blase was also a physician, and today is a good day to give thanks for the many miracles that modern medicine also makes possible. Thanks to modern medicine, many are alive and well today (perhaps including you or a loved one) who would not have been so in centuries past.
“Mighty powers are at work in him.”
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4
FEAST OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Solitude is not always confining
The monk and author Thomas Merton wrote: “There is no true solitude except interior solitude.” Solitude does not have to be a physical place, though it can be, nor does it have to involve silence, though it might. Rather, as Merton said, solitude is an inner space where you can rest quietly and alone in God’s presence—with no expectations and perhaps no words either—and experience the grace of God for what it is: a freely given gift you do not have to earn. Today, a Saturday and the traditional day for remembering Mary, join her in solitude to keep “all these things in your heart.”
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”
©2012 by TrueQuest Communications, L.L.C. PHONE: 800-942-2811; E-MAIL: email@example.com; WEBSITE: www.takefiveforfaith.com. Licensed for noncommercial use. All rights reserved. Scripture quotes come from the New American Bible.
Contributors: Alice Camille, Daniel Grippo, Caroline Hopkinson, Father Larry Janowski, O.F.M., Ann O'Connor, Joel Schorn, Patrice J. Tuohy, and Sister Julie Vieira, I.H.M.