God is always good to us even in the most trying of times. As we see COVID coming back for this season, it is comforting to rely on our Lord Jesus in all things. Yet we still have to do our part to maintain the safety and health of those we come in contact with, while respecting the decisions others have made. As always, everything in the balance. Our faith is there to help us keep that balance.

Last weekend we announced the implementation of the new Illinois mask mandate as given by our bishop, David Malloy. All are to wear masks, vaccinated or not, whenever at a church event, or on the premises of a church facility and within the six-foot social distancing requirement. One may remove the mask while eating or drinking. However, in Mass all will be required to wear the mask except when reading or speaking at the Ambo. Those singing will depend on social distancing ability.

Notice Please Wear a Face Mask Sign | HC Brands

I appreciate all the bishop’s efforts as he guides us all in these matters. I cannot imagine all the pressure he has in keeping the bark of Peter in this diocese united. We are the universal Church that Jesus founded. Not only do we come from different cultures and families, we come with different needs, experiences and physical attributes. Catholics come in all shapes and sizes. We come tall and short. Some have big feet, others have small feet. The list could go on. Yet we are a people of the one faith.

We have been united by the love of Jesus. Our attributes did not make Jesus love us. He loves us because He is good and loveable. God continues to bring us all good things. Chocolate, coffee, a good steak, burger or a nice slab of ribs is just a tiny part of Jesus’ goodness. God created smiles, hugs, friends and family. He gives us all the things that give us meaning in this life that make it worth living. With so much detail He loves us. It really is a testament to God and how much He cares for each of us. Thank you, Jesus.

The goodness of God is so important to remember as we go through another cycle of COVID. We need not despair or be upset. We have been here before and came out of it, we will do it again, with the grace of God. I thank each and every one of you for all the support you have shown this past year and a half. So many people have volunteered to sanitize and help organize the Mass as well as update for the streaming ability we have. Without all this help, we would not be able to reach so many people.

As we continue to do this together, I look forward to getting to know some of you even better. Family grows when they work together and help each other through such times.

In the end love prevails.

Father Barr