God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

In The House Of Mary

St. Bernadette
Our Lady of Lourdes has always held a special place in my prayer life. During my recent illness my prayers and the prayers of my family, friends and followers are being answered. I continue to improve. Thank you for your love.

September 8, 1975, the Birthday of Mary . . . I take off from O’Hare Airport on an Aer Lingus flight to Dublin Ireland for a three-month Ministry Course in that City. I was excited at this prospect of putting aside parish duties and studying the latest trends in Church Ministry. The next day I landed in Dublin and proceeded to the Redemptorists’ House of Studies, called Marianella, on the south side of the City.

My heart beats fast as I looked up at the four-story building and thought of the possibilities of growth in my mind and spirit within the confines of this holy place. I would have the company of 35 other priests from English speaking countries.

The next day, as part of my plan to make this sojourn a dedication to Mary, I took a short, quick flight to Lourdes France to the Shrine of Our Lady for three days of prayer. Back in Dublin, the dream of a lifetime began in this House on 75 Orwell Road, with the finding of new friends among my fellow priest-students, all so kind and friendly.

Over the next three months, some 32 lecturers came to speak to us about Church teachings, our personal relationship with God and about God’s precious gift to us, the Priesthood. We had tea and cookies at 3:00 every afternoon, so called “high tea”. At Noon each weekday, we priests concelebrated Mass, taking turns as Chief Celebrant. Some of the homilies given have stayed with me all these years.

The Chapel, on the ground floor, with large windows on the entire perimeter, still holds warm memories for me. The Redemptorists have a special devotion to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. In my time at Marianella, a large oil painting of Mary hung on the side wall.

In the dark, sometimes stormy evenings, I prayed best by walking around the Chapel, oftentimes stopping at this icon of our Lady of Perpetual Help. Mary would look down on me with a touch of seriousness, but with a face filled with compassion and understanding. Her eyes showed interest and love for me, as I stood before her, encouraging me every evening to trust her with my fears.

I came home to Chicago in December that year, with a renewed interest in my Priesthood and a new zeal to tell my parishioners the joy that can be found in the Mysteries of our Catholic Church.

Fr. George McKenna

September 16, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 8 Comments

Three Cheers For God

My Grandniece’s husband went on a hike with his brothers and father to Isle Royale National Park. They had an opportunity to spend time together awed by God’s Beauty

Over the past 74 years, I have given thousands upon thousands homilies, for better or for worse, on the subject of God. Someone might say, “You have exhausted the material on God!” Though my life is in its twilight, our God is a living God, and as such, material on Him would be inexhaustible. Back in the 1960s, writers were saying, “God is dead”. God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit still lives! Three cheers for God! We need to be elated about our God and jealous about the honor due to the Supreme Deity.

Some thoughts keep coming back to my mind again and again. How can we overlook the amazing attractiveness of the Three Persons? Some misguided people say religion is dull, lifeless. God the Father, the Creator of the world, has brought a breathtaking beauty to all created things. While I was at Midway Airport, each weekend a man and his wife would bring a new bouquet of flowers for Mary’s Shrine at the Chapel. Their gift of flowers was so enchanting and beautiful, that at times it was hard to keep your eyes off of them.

All creation, with its indescribable charm, gives us a faint reflection of the Glory of God’s Being. In love for us, the Father, at the moment of our conception in our mothers’ wombs, breathed a bit of His Own Divinity into our beings. Yes, He made us in His Own Image!

In revealing the mystery of the Father to us in the New Testament, Jesus mentioned two ideas which never leave my mind. Jesus said, “The Father and I are One.” In other words, the Father has all the qualities we see in Jesus: His kindness, compassion, forgiveness and gentleness. I thrilled at these words of the Son for all the years of my Priesthood. The second insight concerning His Father came from Jesus’ lips: “When a sparrow falls to the ground, My Father knows of it.” So then, my Heavenly Father has me, His human sparrow, always in mind!

God, the Son, lives as the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Central Person of the New Testament. In His Coming, He brought light to the world. To live without Him is to walk in darkness. I will not dead-end my prayers in Jesus, but rather, include the Father and the Spirit in them.

I picture the Holy Spirit as a young person, intensely interested in my well-being, in my striving for holiness. What sensational powers the Spirit has to help me in my struggles against demons. Prayer makes it possible for us to communicate with the Holy Trinity. In recent years I have discovered intense joy in living by being more conscious of the Presence of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in my life. I pray to all Three Persons each day.

Fr. George McKenna

September 9, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , | 3 Comments