Reflection on the Readings
A spiritual director ruined one of his directee’s favorite pastimes—judging others and putting them down. He didn’t want to acknowledge that’s what he was doing. He preferred to call it small talk or dishing the dirt. But then his spiritual director cut into his fun, and he did it with just seven words: “If you spot it, you got it.”
His point was that when you see some trait in another person that irritates you, odds are that you have the propensity for that same quality in yourself. Not liking it in you, you attack it in others. The faulty hope underlying this strategy is that you can persuade yourself you’re better than others. All it does, however, is separate you from others—and from God.
Jesus surprised and upset his listeners when he told the parable of the
Pharisee and the tax collector. The Pharisee thanked God he wasn’t like
the tax collector. But in fact, he was like the tax collector. WE ALL ARE.
We all have the capacity to sin; we all have selfish impulses that run counter to our actual best interests. Because the tax collector was willing to acknowledge that and ask forgiveness, he went home justified in the eyes of God. That’s something the Pharisee just couldn’t spot. Friends, we are called to encounter one another with the same mercy God heaps on us.
Parish Staff Update: Michelle Sblendorio, Business Manager and Assistant to the Pastor
One of the many blessings that I have encountered here at St. James is
the parish staff. The staff’s dedication, professionalism and comradery
help to make our service to the St. James community meaningful, fun,
and faith-filled. As a staff member, Michelle Sblendorio has been a significant contributor to the parish’s ability to minister effectively and operate soundly over these last 7 years. Whether it was joyfully greeting a visitor at the rectory office door; diligently managing the parish office’s operations; compassionately facilitating the preparation of a funeral liturgy with a grieving family, and even patiently assisting me as the pastor, Michelle has graciously shared her song of service with this community. For that and for so much more, we wish Michelle good fortune and blessings in her new employment. While we will miss her presence in the rectory office, we are happy to know that she won’t be leaving us totally. Michelle, see you in the cantor’s stand and in the pew!
Saint James Campus Redevelopment Update
The Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for the school and convent properties were sent to over 50 companies. The submission due date for responses to the RFPs is November 17th. At that time, officials from the Archdiocesan Office of Property Management Administration, members of the parish’s Campus Redevelopment Committee, and myself will evaluate the submissions.
My plan is to schedule a parish Townhall meeting shortly thereafter where parishioners will hear a presentation regarding the results of the RFPs and have an opportunity to ask questions. We are eager to review the proposals and present them to you.
Centennial Capital Campaign Feasibility Study
Thank you to everyone who has participated in our feasibility study regarding the potential construction of our parish center. The results have been very positive, and many families and individuals have participated thus far. If you have not yet participated, there is still time to participate. We are working with the Archdiocesan Development Office who will continue to reach out to schedule time to speak with families. We anticipate more updates regarding the study and the parish center in the upcoming weeks. Thank you.
Lease of the Saint James School Building
Temple Sha’arey Shalom
The parish has negotiated a 10-month lease with Temple Sha’arey Shalom for the main floor of the school building. The lease will provide a temporary home for Temple Sha’arey Shalom here in Springfield, in addition to providing us with a tenant as we begin the formal process of soliciting proposals for redevelopment of the school and convent properties.
Quote of the Week
Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating.
By judging others, we blind ourselves . . . to the grace which
others are just as entitled to as are we.