Sacred Heart of Jesus Church - Serving the Communities of South Bend and Lakeville, Indiana
How many pray (at Mass or the Rosary, or otherwise) in such a way that it sounds to others (and maybe to God) like just rattling off words?  We’ve all sat at a dining table and heard someone pray the meal prayer faster than we knew possible, with no thought or meaning to it at all.  I think the Pope makes the point that prayers should be “prayerful” not just empty words repeated in a sing-song way (as often we hear in a public recitation of the Rosary, sadly).  I think this is similar to a point that Fr. Julius once made when asking people to pray prayers more slowly.  The Holy Father’s words are simple and clear: In his general audience address on October 21, he said:

The worst service someone can give God, and others as well, is to pray tiredly, by rote. To pray like parrots. No, one prays with the heart. Prayer is the center of life.” ~Fr. John
In a recent article from the Vatican, it was told how Pope Francis thanked his version of the local police for the area immediately surrounding St. Peter’s Square. One part of his praise of their work was so well-stated in the following:

"Even if your superiors do not see these hidden acts, you know well that God sees them and does not forget them!"

We are equally blessed here in the parish with staff, aides, parents helping in the school, ushers, a few greeters still near the entrances, and others, who are all helping to make this (please, God, temporary new normal) palatable in some way, and I want to echo what Pope Francis said by way of thanking everyone who has gone out of their way in little ways to keep the parish the welcoming home it has always been.  

It is kind of like the person who stops to pick up the paper on the parking lot instead of stepping over it, putting it in the proper receptacle for trash:  God sees and thanks you even if no one else notices!

The New Handicap-ramp is getting close to finished.  We are waiting for the manufacturing and installing of railings, then it can be opened for use.  

Yet this Fall, we hope to see the completion of a walking Rosary path near the gazebo, donated in memory of Annette Macnick.  Details are being worked out with Kubiak Landscaping to make it happen.  It will reuse the stones put in place by one of our former parishioner’s son as an Eagle Scout project, that growing grass had too soon hidden from view and use.  A great idea but one that later clearly proved to need more than just the stones put in place, a pea-gravel pathway with edging, etc., was also needed and will become a part of the new walking-Rosary path.  

We’ve noticed too that the gazebo itself seems to be sinking a little; actually, a lot!  If there is still someone around who had something to do with the gazebo’s initial placement, a lovely addition to the campus, and would like to help with cost of repairs, it would be most welcomed.

Pray for some more days warm enough to finish the crack-filling, sealing and striping of the parking lots.  We got a late start due to the men working on the ramp, and the remaining work can only be done on days warm enough to allow the use of the sealant.  If not, it becomes a Spring project to complete!  At least the many areas in need of patching has taken place and that in itself is a great improvement.  A good part of the crumbling pavement on the west lot was done by the heavy equipment parked there by INDOT when working on the bridges nearby (without our permission and with no sense of responsibility for the damage when told about it). Tax dollars at work!  Granted, it is an old lot when it comes to blacktop, but nonetheless, it didn’t help the matter any to have heavy equipment on it, or large semi-trucks turning around on it who (due to lack of good signage) were misdirected into the small backstreets of the neighborhood.  A problem too that was brought to the attention of INDOT, but to little avail.  Other neighbors were not happy with the matter either as the corners of their lawns were being torn up by the wide-turns.  It seems that GPS finally caught up with the situation and we see less large trucks coming through these days.  I’m not whining, but just explaining why we had some of the problems we did. ~Fr. John
Another reminder of what may have been a confusing series of communications regarding weekend Mass times, but when we thought we would need three Sunday Masses, we thought school being open would bring many more families back to Mass.  It IS becoming more crowded, but not when we consider all three Masses. 
 
We also didn’t know at the time of the letter to homes that we would have a new AV system in place in church, which will allow us to do a live-feed in the Keller Room as an overflow, should any one Mass become too crowded for present distancing.  We are not sure how much longer that will be needed/required, given that the Governor of the State has now opened restaurants and other venues to full capacity.  Awaiting word from Bishops on that matter.  Masks are still being required and likely will continue to be needed in most settings for some time, but again, who knows. 
Back to Mass time reminder:  we are RETURNING to our former 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Mass times for Sunday’s as of this reading (October 4).  Please pass the word around to any friends you know who are coming to St. Jude for Mass on weekends.
       
The Keller Room will not be opened for overflow until it is clear (to ushers) that it is NECESSARY since it will also require someone to prepare the AV feed and sound. 
There will be either a Eucharistic Minister prepared to bring Communion into the Keller Room for those in there or, if only a small number, an usher will direct you into the church for the regular Communion line.  If numbers do not increase significantly, there will not be a need for overflow at present.
       
Three Sunday Masses would have likely required us to find a CSC to help us weekly since priests are generally not supposed to do more than two Masses daily.  There are exceptions from time to time, but it should not be a weekly situation. ~Fr. John
Ticket sales, box/case fish donations and  
overabundance sales:       
$ 10,700.00
$3,683.65 Expenses (Tyner, Ludwig, Gordon’s, Martin’s Sam’s Club, Kroger):                                          
$7, 016.35 Overall profit                                                                                                          
            
It was a sell-out!  Thank you all for being part of this major fundraiser!

Parishioners donated boxes or cases of fish, all the desserts, and, of course, time, talent, treasure and prayers!  
Thank you for a job well done! 

Special kudos to Roger Mathia, Jr., our interim overseer, 
for keeping us all sane...and on task for this event
* Many who are unable to come to Mass these days and whom we’ve determined are older and often home you might anticipate a phone call from a member of the parish—a team that has been put together of caring members—just to see how you are doing, if you are in need of anything for which we might be able to help out, and just taking the time to check on you and provide a little friendly conversation. I hope you will welcome their call with the same spirit with which it is intended. We have many caring people in our parish, as you know so well. After all, you are one of them.

* Don’t forget that as of the first weekend in October, St. Jude will be offering three Sunday morning Masses [7:30, 9:00, & 10:30]. We will give it a try to see if in fact more will be attending, and if three are needed. If the numbers attending do not seem to warrant the need, we will return to 8 and 10.

* Soon we will be having video equipment installed. This will allow us to live-stream the Mass and not just record it. (We will also be able to use it for a funerals, weddings, or any special liturgy) It will also provide an overflow opportunity in the lower level for Sunday Mass, which may eliminate our need of an additional Mass. Of course, Communion would be brought down to the people so not to worry.

* Incidentally, much of the cost of the equipment we are purchasing to allow for continued live-stream and screens in church which will allow for videos such as the Annual Bishop’s Appeal video, or power-points for those providing Parish Missions, or a host of possibilities, is coming from a grant that we received from the Lilly Foundation along with a very generous gift of another member of our parish.

* Many of you will soon notice a new handicap ramp and greatly improved access to the West Church door. This too was made possible from a very generous gift from one individual as well as several smaller but very kind donations from a few others—all wishing to remain anonymous—to cover the entire cost.

* Before the Fall weather takes full hold, we also will be making much-needed repairs and crack-filling on the parking lots as well as sealing, re-striping. This will be part of responsible ongoing maintenance of the property. Letting things go too long, as you know from your own homes, only means a greater cost down the road. Kind of like going to the doctor or having your teeth cleaned regularly. Prophylactic care makes good sense and saves money in the long run. Same for the buildings and grounds maintenance.

* The Annual Bishop’s Appeal is just around the corner. We hope ALL members of the parish will do their part and give as generously as possible to this worthy collection. One of the many very good things the Appeal does is providing for the education of our Seminarians. As you know, we are blessed to have a current vocation-in-the-making in Bobby Krisch, and we have been so blessed this past summer with the presence of Sam Anderson, also studying and in his second year of Theology. The Diocese overall is more blessed than many in the number of vocations we have presently studying. Much of this, I am sure is because of your faithfulness in praying for more vocations, and maybe even the encouragement you give to young people you know or from within your own family. Vocations are a call from God, but they come in great part from good Catholic homes and encouragement from parents and dear friends who let them know they feel they would make a fine priest or religious.~Fr. John

Each year our Diocese is asked to host a Mission Appeal. Next weekend, September 26 and 27, Fr. Cyril Fernandes, Pastor of St. Patrick and St. Hedwig church in South Bend will be here to ask your help for the Damien Social Welfare Center (DSWC), leprosy hospital in India. Damien Social Welfare Center is named after St. Damien, the Leper Priest of Molokai. Fr. Damien served the lepers of Molokai from 1864 to his death in 1889. At the age of 49, Fr. Damien had become a victim of the dreaded disease in the course of serving the lepers. DSWC is located in Dhanbad district of north India. If you wish to know more details about Leprosy Hospital (DSWC) see: damiensocialwelfarecentre.com. Please do what you can next weekend as we welcome Fr. Cyril Fernandes to our parish.