God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Think Of Others

July 12, 1919 – The day the Lord brought to life a person who love Him, dedicated his life to Him, and in doing so, had a tremendous impact on me and countless others through his ministry as a Son, a Brother, an Uncle, a Priest, a Teacher, a Missionary, a Friend, an Airport Chaplain, an Author, and in the end – in my mind – a Saint.

Happy Birthday Fr. McKenna – 102 – now enjoying your Heavenly Years.

This passage is one that came across my desk as I was cleaning my office – it was written during his time at Our Lady of the Snows Parish by Midway Airport and I think that it paints one of the clearest portraits of Uncle George that I can think of. Again his words never grow old, and are relevant throughout the ages.

Peace, and God’s love to all. Joe.

Oftentimes, when I notice all my prayers centering on myself and my own fulfillment, I purposely think of others, the sick, the weary and the downhearted. Someone said recently “Jesus enters your life when you begin to think of others”. Evidently, this statement is exaggerated, but it does hold much truth.

In Jerusalem, I came to know the Hospital of St. Louis, a 4 storied building staffed by French nuns. It was a residence for people with incurable diseases. As many times as I passed this Hospital, I never saw any visitors entering or leaving. In there were suffering people no man came to see. In my weary moments, when self pity and the monotony of life would tend to hold sway in my thoughts, I would walk to the front of this House of Mercy. There, on the busy boulevard, with my arms outstretched, I would pray for those who would die that day, for those in excruciating pain and for those who could not sleep.

When I did this, I came away refreshed, free from nagging fears and worries. The Lord felt much closer to me because I had proven that I was interested in all His people, especially His needy ones. Even now, in Chicago, especially when I can’t sleep at night and life seems dark and gloomy, I go back in SPIRIT to this Hospital of St. Louis. Peace comes along quickly and peaceful sleep follows.

In our neighborhood of Our Lady of the Snows, many of our brothers and sisters suffer in body and mind. Many lead meaningless lives, which is the greatest pain of all. Young people struggle to live in a frightful world of sensuality, self-indulgences and violence. When you notice that your prayers are taken up completely with yourself and your own interests, go in SPIRIT to the homes of these suffering people and leave your blessings there in the form of your prayers. You need not know the exact address or the names of the needy. The One you are praying to knows these things. You will experience a deep peace and a satisfaction that the Lord of the Suffering has entered your life.

Fr. George P. McKenna

July 11, 2021 Posted by | Bulletins | 7 Comments

Begin A New Way Of Living

Reviewing Uncle George’s writings – journal notes, homilies and correspondence – he always seemed to have an upbeat perspective about the New Year, and the use of this time of year to review and assess his life, and then set resolutions to become a better person the following year – and in his mind, that meant getting closer to Jesus Christ, his Savior.  The entry below is from his journal on January 1, 1994. The picture is from 1939 when Uncle George was a mere 20 year old seminarian. Where ever you are on this journey we call life, Fr. McKenna always seems to find the right words at the right time.  Happy New Year, may 2021 bring you peace, joy and health!  Peace, Joe

July 1939 – St. Mary of the Lake
P. Franzen, S. Przylybowicz, George McKenna, W. Kriegsman

We have a custom of assessing our lives on New Year’s Day.  The gift of life takes on a new splendor and glory.  We know the possibilities of letting life, with its few years, slip away from us, never to come back again.  We desire to make good use of the year ahead.

We stand on a hill and look down at the 12 months that face us.  How did the last 12 go?  To plan ahead, to recognize moments in our life where changes should take place is a sign of great wisdom!  With confidence and courage, we take stock of our weaknesses and strengths.

Life about us abounds in violence.  Violence always violates the rights of others through angry words, and hateful actions.  Fear and anguish seem to follow in the face of violence.  What can we do to harness this violence and bring peace to the troubled world around us?

We can plan to take this resolution:  I wish to be a loving person!  YES!  One person’s efforts to be a more loving person in the year ahead can push back the darkness of violence.  When we love, we walk in the Light of Christ!  “I love you!”  How seldom we say these powerful words!

When I have taken this resolution in the past, much good entered my life.  I had a clear-cut picture of what I wanted to accomplish.  My thoughts, words and actions came under the scrutiny of my resolution.  Are these loving thoughts, words, actions?

Last week we celebrated True Love coming down from heaven, when the Infant Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  If Jesus lives in our hearts, we have an unlimited supply of love available to us.  There are many chances each day to live out this resolution. 

  • Start by saying “I love you” more often to your family and friends
  • Be considerate of others – Please, thank you, say hello when passing strangers
  • Let someone go ahead of you in line at the store
  • Be generous, with your time, your talents, your resources
  • Share what you have with others – drop off a dinner to someone stuck at home
  • Smile more

No matter what your age, this resolution can turn your life around!  I want to be a loving person: Kind, Gentle, Forgiving, Encouraging.  All you need to do is look for the opportunity to spread a little love, then go ahead and do it.  Your love, then will spread to another, and then another, and then another . . .

                                                                                                   Fr. George McKenna

December 31, 2020 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , | 7 Comments