Father John Chrzan Saint Gilbert Weekly Pastor Message (847) 223-4731
Fr. John at Saint Gilbert

Dear Parishioners,

Today's Solemnity of Christ the King celebrates the culmination of the Year of Grace 2014, and heralds the imminent arrival of the new liturgical year next weekend on the First Sunday of Advent.  During the upcoming week we observe the Federal and public holiday of Thanksgiving, an annual feast instituted more than two centuries ago as a national gesture of humble gratitude to God for innumerable blessings and favors graciously granted to us collectively and personally through the great abundance of His Divine Providence.

Being a spare-time student of history, I discovered that President George Washington initiated the first national Thanksgiving Day celebration by signing the following official proclamation on October 3, 1789, in New York City, the nation's capital at the time.

"Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me 'to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.'

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country, for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of his providence which we have experienced, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have enjoyed, and for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed.

To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the (increase) of science among us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best."

Honoring such a noble tradition of national thanksgiving established by the Father of our Country in the earliest years of its independence, let's join together for Mass in the Church at 9:00am on Thanksgiving Day.  In the stirring words of one of my favorite liturgical songs, "Blessed are we who, from (the Lord's Table), live our lives in gratitude."  Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

                                                                           Peace,

                               Fr.  John