Thanksgiving 2017

Some time ago I was in the car with another driver and she was driving. At one point, some other car wanted to get in from one of the side roads. The traffic was heavy and everyone was trying to get ahead. The driver in my car, out of the goodness of her heart, let the car in. After the other driver pulled ahead she just kept going. My friend in the car was quite upset because the other person did not even acknowledge the gesture.


That one incident made me think. We are so busy with our lives, so caught up with everything we need to get done, that we do not have time to be grateful. We take the goodness and kindness of strangers for granted. In the process we are slowly becoming an insensitive society. This can happen even within families. We are so preoccupied with taking care of what is in our plate that we forget to acknowledge and appreciate each other. We can easily take our families and friends for granted. The Feast of Thanksgiving invites us all to thank those who do so much for us. Let us take some time to express our gratitude to everyone. As we gather around the Thanksgiving dinner table, let us thank one another heartily.

Especially in our country we have so much to be grateful for. Back in India the Feast of Thanksgiving occurs in January when farmers gather their harvest. The Hindus celebrate for three days during which time they offer thanks to their gods, their neighbors and even to the animals that work with them on the farm. The Feast of Thanksgiving that we hold in the US every year has a very important role in the life of the nation and our families. It is imperative that we set aside time to count our blessings and recognize how much God has blessed our country.

As we approach Thanksgiving I would like to give thanks for each and every one of you, for all that you contribute to our parish – your time, your gifts, your treasure, your presence and your faith. In a special way I am deeply grateful to those who participated in our capital campaign. I am grateful to all our donors who have fulfilled their pledges already and those who are still fulfilling them. As a parish let us give thanks for this faith community and for the many ways it nurtures our faith and draws us closer to God. Let us thank God for our families and all the gifts they pour into our lives. Let us thank God for the many parishioners who have gone before us and have built up an edifice of living stones to our God. In a special way I would like to thank our parish staff for their dedication and their generous ministry. I consider myself fortunate to minister with a team of competent and committed women and men who love what they do and love this parish community. I am also grateful to our numerous volunteers who give of themselves to make our parish a vibrant, life-giving haven.

In a particular way, I want to remember those who have made generous donations to St Paul’s over the last several years. This year the parish received a substantial gift from a deceased couple. During my time with you as pastor, the parish has received many unsolicited gifts from the estates of parishioners. We are grateful to all of them. But for their gifts, the parish could not carry out many construction and maintenance projects. I invite all of you to keep our benefactors in your prayers. These unsung individuals represent so many others who plant trees whose fruits they will never taste. They contribute to society and Church without counting the cost and without expecting any personal gain. Most of them remain anonymous. Yet, thanks to their selfless generosity many lives are constantly enriched.

Their acts of generosity also remind us that we are challenged to follow their example. In our celebrity-obsessed culture everyone wants recognition for everything they give or do. It would seem that everyone wants fifteen minutes under the spotlight. These facilities that we maintain so well will hopefully last another hundred years and future generations will thank us. Let us remember that what we give to our parish community will bless not only present parishioners but also many who will not know our names.

In recent years a group of psychologists has been developing what is called “positive psychology.” Instead of focusing their attention on psychological illnesses, they have invested their energy in investigating ways to keep people psychologically healthy and fulfilled. They concur that being grateful is one of the sure-fire ways of finding happiness in one’s life. They maintain that keeping a “gratitude journal” wherein we record all our blessings contribute to people’s psychological health. Professor Seligman invited his students to write a letter thanking those who had made significant impact on their lives. Then the students were asked to read the letter to the persons concerned. They reported a significant increase in their subjective well-being as they completed the project. Being grateful is the sure key to happiness and good health. Let us take time to thank personally our families, our friends and our neighbors. Let this annual celebration be more than sharing a meal together.

Have a heart-warming Thanksgiving holiday! Do enjoy your family and friends. May God bless you today and everyday

Mission Statement: As children of God, living in a Catholic community of faith, we are united by the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Aware that all we have is gift and grace from our Heavenly Father, we strive to give of our time, talent and treasure to build His kingdom on earth. We live this mission, challenged by the Word, nurtured by the Sacraments, and enlivened by the Spirit, to serve our brothers and sisters in peace, justice and dignity. All are welcome on this journey.

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Contact Information

St. Paul of the Cross

320 South Washington Street
Park Ridge, IL 60068

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Phone: (847) 825-7605
Fax: (847) 825-5186

Mass Schedule

Monday - Friday

8:30 am - Upper Church


4:30 pm (vigil) - Upper Church


7:30 am - Upper Church

9:00 am - Holy Family Chapel

10:30 am - Upper Church

12:00 pm - Gym