God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

A Powerful Cry

Dedication of Midway Chapel

In 1993 an employee of Midway Airport spoke to me, “Would you please visit my sick mother?  Eleven years ago she lived in a parish where you served as Pastor.  She remembers a homily you gave at that time, something about ‘Jesus’.”  At once, I knew the homily his mother was referring to.

To digress for a moment, I will go back to the Second Vatican Council which encouraged priests to give a short homily at all the Masses they celebrated with a congregation present.  So, since 1963, I have rarely missed saying some words about the Scripture of the Mass of the Feast Day at all my Masses.  This adds up to some 10,000 homilies, a fantastic number!

Someone may ask, “Was there any particular homily that you heard about the most?”  Yes, time and time again, people have brought to my attention a homily with one simple idea, a homily that I had repeated to many different assignments of my Priesthood.  In this talk, I encouraged the congregation to use the words, “Jesus of Nazareth” in prayer.

The reader might say, “Is that all”, since a much more profound theme had been expected.  Read on to see how my talk progressed.  I told people that, in preparing my homilies, I never just picked up a book and, parrot like, repeated the words of the book.  Anything that came from my lips had first been digested in my inner spirit and had been tried out in the daily crucible of my life.

This short prayer, “Jesus of Nazareth”, had helped me immensely in my service of the Lord.  In times of trial and darkness of spirit, I would softly say, “Jesus of Nazareth” with much faith, over and over again.  Without fail, a light from above would penetrate the gloom and despair in my mind with a resultant determination on my part not to “give up” in God’s work.

In my opening story, this woman had found great value in my simple prayer and from it took courage to serve God.  When I visited her, in her sickness, she showed much joyfulness of spirit and determination to make good use of her illness for God’s Glory.  “Jesus of Nazareth” played a key role in bringing my friend to this state of mind.

So, now the reader knows my “most talked about homily.”  When I say, “Jesus of Nazareth”, this young Preacher flashes through my mind. . . His gentleness, His movement among the poor and the lowly of His time.  

Fr. George Mc Kenna

Todays photo: On April 14, 2002, Cardinal Francis George dedicated the new Midway Airport Chapel.  Many religious leaders of various faiths were present.  Pictured here: Cardinal George, Fr. Mc Kenna,  and Ms. Erin O’Donnell, Deputy Commissioner of Aviation.

January 28, 2012 - Posted by | Bulletins


  1. Hi Fr. George! What a lucky thing this is to get your words and photos send right to my email! I love reading your stories and your photos from the past! I remember how much my mother loved hearing the Fr. George stories that I would read to her over the phone! She would always say ‘how nice’ at the end of the story.

    I will certainly adopt your idea to say the words to say “Jesus of Nazareth” and let that peaceful feeling enter my spirit. I do think of you every day! Thank you to your friend Joe Tucker, who I think is helping you with this blog, I hope that he reads these notes to you! I pray for you daily, Fr George. I hope that you are well and have peace in your heart!


    Comment by Nancy | January 28, 2012 | Reply

    • Nancy and all. Father George indeed gets every note left on his Blog. His nieces Rose and Joanne bring him the notes each Saturday when they go to lunch and he enjoys getting them and reading them. Joe.

      Comment by Fr. George McKenna | January 28, 2012 | Reply

      • hi fr mc kenna i am so glad i found you on this website i use love listening to you preach at our lady of the snows and went to airport a few times w jeannne alyward until my mom donna passed away i hope we can keep in touch again i am out in dixon il now my name was tina m loszach moms name donna now i m married changed name to tina trevino

        Comment by tina trevino | February 17, 2012

  2. Hi dearest Father George . . . How wonderful to wake up on a dreary cloudy January morning and find your message of sunshine . . . just a touch or two on the keyboard and there you are . . .smiling back at us and bringing a new mesage of faith, hope and love . . . It doesn’t get much better than this!

    Am adding your comforting words “Jesus of Nazareth ” to my favorite little prayers . . . The three little words “Jesus of Nazareth” immediately brings all kinds of gentle thoughts for meditation and comfort.

    Also enjoy re-reading your past messages . . .like “I Accept Whatever Comes” . . . “A Shortage of Love”
    and others . . . Enjoy all the photos over and over again as well . . . especially your grade school picture . . . .
    . . . I think i have found your dear little 8th grade face in the upper rows of the photo . . . (a little smile here).

    Hope to visit you soon . . . A hug to you, and to Joanne and Rose for being such terrific loving nieces . . .

    mary lou wingert

    Comment by Mary Lou Wingert | January 29, 2012 | Reply

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