Holy Family Catholic Church
We are a marriage and family building parish living the New Evangelization of Pope Benedict XVI.
4401 Highcrest Road, Rockford, Illinois 61107
We recently conducted a Parish Vision Meeting to discuss our next 50 years. The Parish Council and Building and Grounds Committee seeks your input. We invite you to fill out this survey. Please discuss your ideas with your group or organization. Return them to Fr. Edward.
1. What is the greatest need for Holy Family right now?
2. How is the spiritual life of the parish? (Rate 1-10, 10 being excellent) My rating is _______________________
What do we do well?
Where can we grow?
3. Should Holy Family retain present number of Masses and current Mass schedule?
Which are the most important Mass times?
Devotions: Rate importance (1-10)
____ Stations of the Cross (Lent)____ Adoration Chapel 24/7____ Divine Mercy (Easter)
_____ Morning Rosary before Mass_____ Family Rosary/Benediction_____ First Friday/Sacred Heart Devotions
_____ Our Lady Rosary/Saturday mornings
What other devotions do we need or would you like to see?
4. Are confession times convenient? Do we need more or less?
_____ Wednesdays at 4:45 PM_____ Fridays at 4:45 PM_____ Saturdays at 9:00 AM_____ Saturdays at 3:15 PM
5. How should Holy Family improve our physical facilities?
6. Do we need additional or new buildings?
a) New office complex
b) Parish Center with banquet seating for 500-600
c) Family Center – Multi purpose building/youth center
e) Remodel front area of church
f) Remodel sanctuary of church
g) Add pre-school area in school
h) New parking lot
i) Expand Adoration Chapel
j) Other ___________________________
7. How do we welcome parishioners?
How do we welcome back those who do not attend?
Are there any other ministries we need?
8. Is our parish: Going backward Stuck in neutral Moving forward
9. In what ways do we communicate well?
How can we improve?
When Jesus began His public ministry, He encountered the crowds who had been following the Baptist. After John’s arrest, He asked those same crowds, “What did you go out to see?” (Mt. 11:7) A rhetorical question, pointing out that man searches for truth. Then at Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am.” In the Garden of Gethsemane, as He is arrested, Jesus asks, “Whom are you looking for?” (John 18) On Easter Sunday, the Gospel account poses the same question, “What are you looking for?”
Early in the morning after the Passover Sabbath, Mary of Magdala goes to the tomb at the first speck of daylight. What did she hope to do? Like most of us, who have visited a cemetery at one time or another, she must have been seeking comfort. If she could just be near the Body of Jesus, if she could just weep and pray, perhaps she could make some sense out of what happened. Like anytime we have lost a loved one, Mary Magdalene is in shock, numb and distraught. Her mourning is raw and her thoughts give her no rest. Hopefully being near the Body of Jesus in the Garden Tomb will help. She seeks and answer to what has happened..
Instead of comfort and help, Mary Magdalene is presented with a problem. Where is the Body of Jesus? The tomb is empty; there is no comfort. She is alone.
Setting out at sunrise, the holy women from Galilee arrive at the tomb, carrying their spices, and find the stone rolled away. The tomb was empty and the women encounter angels. The angels are dazzling in appearance and the women bow their heads in humility and fear. The angels ask, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but He has been raised. Remember what He said to you while He was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day. And they remembered His words. Then they returned from the tomb and announced all these things to the eleven and to all the others.” (Luke 24) The holy women hoped to understand. By their task with the spices, they had work to do. In grief, work is good. It helps to be doing something. But instead of finding closure at the grave, an unimaginable event awaited them. Not being able to get over their shock at the death of Jesus, this new event brings confusion and uncertainty.
The Apostles hear the news but do not believe. They are not ready to move. They fear the world and they fear the authorities. They doubt the story they heard and dismiss it as the imagination of a bunch of grief stricken women. Two Apostles do move. Peter gets up and heads toward the tomb, but John, the beloved disciple, runs ahead and waits outside for Peter. Peter arrives and marches right into the tomb. Peter sees the empty tomb, but he also sees a problem. Where is Jesus’ body? Where are the soldiers who set the guard? Why did the religious authorities take His Body away? For Peter, at first, the tomb is just another problem which he, the leader, must solve. The Apostles and Disciples will expect an answer from him. What does he say?
John waits outside, falls to his knees and then looks inside. He gets up, sees the burial cloths lying there and believes. For John, there is hope, there is love, there is mystery. John seeks understanding. He will soon come to know, “that He had to rise from the dead.” (John 20)
This same question, which confronted the first witnesses to the Resurrection, confronts us. Why are you here today? What are you looking for this Easter? There are many reasons for our presence here today. Some of us are present because we are here every Sunday. Some of us are here because of duty or obligation. Some may have made a promise. Perhaps you are here to make your parents happy or to keep peace in the family. Maybe you are here because you are afraid not to be. You may think how will God look upon me with favor if I do not even go to Church on Easter? You may be here today because you are searching or need a new start.
Today, of all days, it does not matter why you are here. What is essential is that you ARE here today! The Risen Jesus has called you here. Jesus loves you and offers you a new life with Him that is better than the life you brought here today. Whatever the earthly reason for your presence, there is a deeper, hidden drive that brings you here. Deep inside yourself, you search for the real meaning of life, the reason for your being. You know your life has purpose and meaning, but to find it, you have to look beyond your day to day existence. Easter calls us to look into what is empty in our life, to get below the surface and find what is real. On Good Friday, Pilate asked the question, “What is truth?” The answer to this question is the answer to what is real, what is true and what fills the emptiness in your life. Jesus answered this question for us. “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father (heaven) except through Me.” The Truth is a person, Jesus Christ. It is in Him and Him alone that you can find the true meaning and purpose for your life. Only He can fill the emptiness and provide what is missing.
The first witnesses to the Resurrection were drawn to the tomb because they were seeking to understand the Truth. We come to church today seeking the same understanding. There was one person who was not at the tomb on Easter morn. The Blessed Virgin Mary knew the Truth. She was filled with the virtues of Faith, Hope and Love. God had fulfilled in her every promise He had made. She said “yes” to every promise. Why wouldn’t she believe that what God had promised He would fulfill. She knew that Jesus had to be raised from the dead. She did not need to go to the tomb. She knew in her heart that it was empty. (Jn 20:9)
Jesus makes this same promise to you. He is the Truth. He is the fulfillment and joy. Only He can bring true meaning and purpose to your life. Look into the empty tomb today. Do not be unbelieving but believe.