Sacred Heart of Jesus Church - Serving the Communities of South Bend and Lakeville, Indiana
Blessing of Farms:  the blessing of farms is one of the many ways the Church can express her closeness with the rural community.    It is also a way in which Father can get a free meal at your house in the process! (LOL).

Sts. Isidore and Maria.  St. Isidore was born in 1070 near Madrid, Spain.  He was a day laborer who worked on the farm of John de Vergas at Torrelaguna. Isidore married a poor girl named Maria Torriba, and they had a son who died in infancy. The couple took a vow of continence to serve God.

Isidore prayed as he worked and was a model of simple Christian charity and faith. He shared his meals with the poor and was known to give them more than he had for himself.    He would attend morning Mass before going out into the field.  It is said that two angels appeared and joined Isidore in plowing the fields to help him catch up on his chores.

Maria always kept a pot of stew on the stove because her husband would bring home anyone hungry. One day, Isidore brought home a larger number of the hungry than usual, and Maria ran out of stew.  She told Isidore that the pot was empty. Isidore told her to look again and there was enough stew to feed them all.

Isidore died in 1130, and Maria then became a hermit.  She too was known for miracles and for bringing rain from heaven for an afflicted dry countryside .~Fr. John
First Holy Communion Sunday: while this may be a week late, I want to say thanks to all on staff who helped make our St. Jude First Communion Mass very special in every way.  So many commented afterwards how beautiful it was.  What I noticed too, was how many were present among family and friends.  The church was filled to the brim! Everyone was very prayerful and so many sang, the joyful song to Our Lord was resounding!

I certainly want to thank all the parents (and grands) who have helped bring these children to this point in their faith journey.  Your fidelity to attending weekly Holy Mass as a family does so much to help the children come to know and love their Church, their religion, and their faith in the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Sad for the children whose parents do not bring them to church or pray as a family weekly with the faith community.  It is very confusing to children (in a Catholic School or in Religious Education classes) when the faith is not lived in the home. Thank you parents for your fidelity to our Faith and our parish family. So true too for both parishes. Sacred Heart is blessed with a number of larger families who are most faithful to attending Holy Mass each week.  “Little voices” even during Mass are a sign of growth in the parish and a joy to all who care about the life of the parish family.

Lighting on Sacred Heart of Jesus’ parking lot:  we can all be grateful to Evan Horner for making huge improvements to the lighting on the parking lot at Sacred Heart.  Not only does it offer much greater safety when getting in and out of the car and walking to the buildings, but it is a deterrence to people being on the lot who do not belong there at night. Good too for Father coming and going later in the evening, or guests to the rectory. Thanks, Evan!~Fr. John
Dr. Frieden on Travel Safety advice (on the morning news a bit ago) made the point that with regard to one-way masking, that the average medical or paper mask is worthless to the wearer, and the best protection would be from an    N-95 mask—for those still feeling the need to be masked in church or grocery or wherever. Just passing along what  I heard.
First Communion Sunday this weekend and, around the corner, Mother’s Day. Two very lovely and special days for all of us to share with family, being with loved ones at Holy Mass. Of course, every Sunday is such a day to share with loved ones!
Diaconate Ordination Mass on Saturday, May 21, 11 a.m., at St. Matthew Cathedral. Our own seminarian, Bobby Krisch will be one of those Ordained (to the transitional diaconate) as he continues his studies for holy Priesthood to take place, please God, next June, 2023. Please support him with your presence at the Diaconate Ordination or by your continued prayers. Congratulations to Bobby, soon to be Deacon Bobby Krisch! Our diocese is so very blessed with the number of vocations we have at this time; your prayers are being heard.
I told Bobby that our parish would be pleased to buy the alb he will be wearing (the men being ordained will be wearing matching albs for the Mass). A little parish gift to him.
Speaking of seminarians, unless something would change due to some unforeseen necessity, we will again this summer have a seminarian with us in the parish. I know who it will be but must wait to tell others until after Bishop formally tells all of them where they will be assigned this summer.
We will have most all of our seminarians on this side of the diocese this summer, helping/living in parishes, since most all will be taking a special formation program at ND this summer. Sounds like I may be hosting the group at some time for a cookout and fun evening—or several!  I will also arrange a time for Sam Anderson to come visit for an evening or two as well. He will be home from Rome (North American College) for the summer, returning in late August for his own September Ordination in St. Peter’s Basilica.  I will be attending that Ordination, again, please God. What a special blessing and opportunity that will be! That precise date will be September 29, a Thursday.  I will make sure the address for Sam is in the bulletin well ahead for those who wish to send cards. (Rome/Italy is slow on mail, don’t forget.)
Do you have a favorite title of the Blessed Virgin Mary? As we approach this month of May, I’d be glad to provide space in the bulletin for any who may have a favorite title for Mary, and the reason why, and maybe a short witness story as to why Mary, under this title, helped you at some time.  It would have to be no longer than a paragraph or two—if there is anyone able to say it “in a few words” like they want to always tell the priest to do!
Submit your story to our bulletin editor, Mary Ann Padberg, on a Monday of May, or maybe to be saved till the month of the Rosary, in October. Do you have a good witness story that might help strengthen the devotion of others to Our Blessed Mother?
Fr. Greg or I can read them over ahead too, to make sure they convey your message and sound good, if that would be a concern for any would-be authors. ~Fr. John
Please support the RIGHT TO LIFE flower sale at all Masses Mother’s Day weekend for both St. Jude and Sacred Heart parishes.  Flowers may be purchased per stem or per dozen. The proceeds go to Right to Life of St. Joseph County. 
Please make a stand to SUPPORT LIFE. 

Thank you for your generosity.
I’M SURE I SPEAK FOR BOTH PARISHES when I say “thank you” to all who made the beautiful liturgies of Holy Week come together in such a prayerful  and meaningful way. From music to decorating, to planning the various movements that are all a part of Holy Week and especially the Triduum, a very grateful thank you!  There is no way it could all come together without the many people involved who are and who take such care in the part they play in making it happen. 
The older I get, the more I realize how much more I should thank people daily for even the seemingly little things they do to keep both parishes operating smoothly; it would not be possible without so many behind-the-scenes people on staff and among the many volunteers who take their sense of stewardship so seriously.  It is not being done for any particular person, priest, or because of friendship, but clearly because of a love for God and gratitude to Him for the many gifts of life God has given to all of us. Giving back, in gratitude, is true Faith in action, whether in doing for His Church or for one another.  Bless all who do so, so generously, and have for many years of their being part of the parish families of Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Jude.
 ALONG those same lines: recently St. Jude participated once again in a program recommended to parishes by Bishop that is done through Our Sunday Visitor.  Each year it is done, it has a name given the program by the parish team, but it is a program that essentially asks each member/family of the parish to once again pledge what their Offertory contribution will be for the year ahead, oftentimes stated in what their weekly support will be.  Again, what anyone chooses to do (or is able to do in these tough economic times) is done in gratitude, first to God, for what they feel God has given to them—Faith in action again. 
We have completed our program and there was, thanks be to God, an increase once again in many of the pledges by many parishioners—and I acknowledge and repeat, “even in these very tough times for many households.”  But it is also an understanding by members that the running of the parish faces all the same challenges to keep bills paid as any household does. Others who are not able to either increase their support or in some cases even maintain the level of support from the past year due to current cost-of-living and the highest increases in four decades, look for ways to give time and talent to the parish, possibly saving the parish an expense—people who clean church regularly, come on their own to do yard work or wash some windows or any one of a number of things they see that need doing. This too is a great sign of how much they care for the parish, the school, and how grateful they are to God, wanting to give back to His Church and ministries.  I am so thankful too, for all who helped make this OSV program a success once again this year.  And, for all those behind-the-scenes people who give of time and talent on various committees or simply doing things on campus they see that need doing.
While Sacred Heart did not participate in this program again this year, their generosity seems to always come forth, even without asking whether in pledge of support financially or through gifts of time and talent, just as is true for many members of St. Jude Parish and School.
It is always good to remind members too (at St. Jude) that we are not “a school” or “a Parish” but both are our Parish and the work we do to serve God and His Church.  There can be no logical separation of Church and School to anyone who understands what the Parish is all about and has been these many years. It is one effort supported by the love of people who care to keep it all happening for the sake of the people we serve.  Again, thank you for your understanding and dedication to our mission. ~Fr. John
Mount Calvary Cemetery, Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, and a very dedicated Sexton for the Cemetery these many years; Mr. John Wegh.
After many years of volunteering his time and expertise as Sexton of the beautifully kept cemetery adjacent to our parish center, John feels it is time to ask for another to take the reins.   It is time for someone younger from the parish to (hopefully) offer their time as John has done so faithfully these many years. 
More than asking for a new volunteer, the purpose of my note for today is to give hearty thanks to John (and surely Josephine too) for his many years of service.  There have been some pretty cold days when John and others who help him with internments have stood by as prayers were said, then to follow with the completion of burials for some of our parish’s beloved members and extended family members. John has also seen to the little details of making sure that maintenance has been kept up, though we do have a professional mowing service for all the grounds, as you know. 
In John’s time and with the assistance of a cemetery committee, improvements have been made over time that include the above ground niches for the internment of ashes, as well as the very beautifully done Stations of the Cross.  John has also kept precise records of all burial plots, purchases, etc.  He would say it has not been a demanding job, as the number of annual burials is not great (which may be a good thing in some ways), but it is still personal time given upon request, sometimes inconveniently, and for which the parish is most grateful. His has been truly a Corporal Work of Mercy.  Thank you, John.
It may be that John helped your family at a time-in-need and you’d like to drop him a note of thanks once again for his being there to help.  That would be a thoughtful gesture. John (and Josephine’s) address is in our parish directory. 
Easter Vigil at St. Jude this year:  while we have traditionally used all readings for the Vigil in my time here, this year we will use the minimum number of readings, since the three coming into the church are very young children—in part, to make it a bit easier for them and their younger siblings/family.  The Vigil will no doubt be long enough for small children.  The three children will be Baptized at the Vigil.
Hoping Spring Break Week was a relaxing time for you and your family, and that Holy Week will be a choice you will make as a family to celebrate with the Church.  It would be wonderful to see as many children present at possible especially for Good Friday’s Passion of Our Lord. Many of our Catholic children have never experienced much of Holy Week’s liturgies. Come please, as a family, and share the prayerful time together. It is nice that this year, Spring Break Week didn’t collide with the most important week of the Church year; Holy Week.  Vacation travel doesn’t keep people away as often the case.
Easter Vigil or Easter Sunday: sometimes people ask, “If I attend the Vigil, does that “count” for Easter Sunday Mass?”  In answering, both would be a wonderful, prayerful experience and a great way to celebrate the liturgies and the Resurrection of Jesus, upon which all else in the Church surrounds itself—if not Easter. . .then. . .  But if one attends the Vigil, one does not need to come Easter Sunday (day) in order to fulfill the obligation to be present for Sunday Mass.  Much the same as weekly Saturday Vigil Mass is different from Sunday Mass.
 It is amazing that there are Catholics who have never celebrated the Easter Vigil; maybe this is the year you will choose to do so. It is the greatest of the Church’s celebrated liturgies. Some make the choice (sadly) based on “how long” the liturgy.~Fr. John