Haven of Love and Peace
I wish you could see what I see as I stand by the altar and look out at the community of St. Dominic who come to worship in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Seeing the faces of the young and the old—the occasional child who wanders out of the pews to get a better look at the altar—is a gift I wish everyone could share. St. Dominic Catholic Parish is a family parish and everyone who steps through our doors is a member of that family. In the hectic nature of this season, as well as the divisiveness of our culture, our church is a haven of love and peace.
This parish culture of family, present before I arrived, is the strength and the “who we are” in our community. What is my evidence that we have a caring community? In the north narthex, we have pictures of all the past pastors of St. Dominic Catholic Parish. I am only the fifth pastor since we became a parish in 1956. Many churches have had more pastors than the Chicago Bears have had quarterbacks. The people here welcome and make welcome all who enter. Priests love this parish.
Christmas is a time for family. First, to recall the family in which we all belong. We are all God’s children, and we are loved beyond our comprehension. At Christmas, we recall the gift of Jesus, God with us, as the best gift the world has ever received. We also reconnect with our family. We offer the love we feel from God to those who we have as fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, children and grandchildren. Finally, we have our parish family, the ones we come to worship with and give thanks. The ones we sit next to and draw strength from their courage, and offer consolation in their suffering. If you are reading this, you are a part of our St. Dominic family. If you are away, we livestream our 9:00 AM Sunday Mass from our website. If you are just a visitor, know that now, you are family. If you have been coming to this parish for years, know that you are the reason that priests, and families, young and old, love St. Dominic Catholic Parish.
A church is not a building, it is a people. On behalf of all of us, the staff that servesyou, the volunteers who are the life of this parish, and all those who offer a welcoming smile to a stranger, have a blessed Christmas.