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Mt. Pulaski , Illinois
November 5, 2011     Times
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November 5, 2011

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Health Small Engine Repairs Lawn Mowers-Weed Eaters Snow Blowers & more General Auto Maintenance oil Changes Brake Belt/Hose Replacement Hours: Mon. & Fri. 9am - 4pm Tues. & Thurs. 6pm - 9pm 523 S. Spring St. -Mt. Pulaski 217-414-2271 e-mail - better water, pure and simple. Culligan Water Products Water Softeners Iron Filters Bottled Water Joel & Deanna Jacobs Eddie Combs 318 N. Chicago St. - Lincoln 735-4450 10 St. Thomas Aquinas Sesquicentennial Celebration By Phil Bertoni The Mt. Pulaski St. Thomas Aquinas Sesquicentennial Cel- ebration was highlighted by the enthusiastic participation St. Thomas has kept alive the Catholic teachings and liturgy in this southern-most area of the diocese for all these years and, at the same time, provid- of Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria. The Knights of Columbus from nearby Lincoln led the procession of the faithful from the courthouse square to the church. Bishop Jenky was accompanied by most- recent former St. Thomas Aquinas Pastor, Rev. Thomas Shaw (now pastor of St. John the Evangelist, Walnut, and Immaculate Conception, ing and engaging in various community services through- out these years. Bishop Jenky then pro- ceeded with the celebration of Mass, concelebrated by Reverends Shaw, Laible, Fon- tana and Taabu. Throughout the service, music filled the air. Beautiful music was arranged and played by organist, Mrs. Rita Scanavino, accompanied by the St. Thomas Aqui- nas Choir, with assistance Ohio), and three Lincoln Holy Family priests: Pastor Rev. Jef- frey Laible, Rev. Glenn Fon- tana, and Rev. Simon Taabu. The Bishop congratu- lated current and former St. Thomas Aquinas parishio- ners and their ancestors for their continuous 150 years of service to Mt. Pulaski and its nearby-surrounding commu- nities. He marveled over how from parishioner voices and superbly punctuated by trum- peter, Eric Wattleworth, the instrumental and vocal music instructor at Sangamon Valley School District. During Bishop Jenky's homily, comparisons were made between our modern meals and those of the ancients - with emphasis on how the ancients, our ances- Mt. Pulaski Times tors and, sadly, only some of our present-day families prop- erly conduct meals. "Meals should be a special occasion", insisted the Bishop: "How we share food in some ways defines our culture ... what we eat, the way we eat, where we eat ... our meal conversations, our rituals of the table and our customs of hospitality ... all help to define and reinforce our sense of identity." Bishop Jenky went on to interestingly relate, "Jesus was always watched closely" as to how he behaved during meals. Those about Him believed that Jesus should conform to the norms and customs of the host, "...when in fact He would do the opposite ... being totally unconcerned about human pride or public opinion by demonstrating and recommending humility ... as in His own words in today's Gospel (Luke 14, 1:7- l 1): 'Whoever exults himself will be humbled, but who- ever humbles himself will be exulted'." Bishop Jenky additionally pointed out that "Jesus goes on to give a further teaching which must have sounded absolutely ridiculous and even scandalous to those who heard it ... that when you are having a banquet, do not invite your own family and friends, the rich and famous - only those you might be able to return your hospitality ... instead, invite the poor and the crippled, the lame and the blind - those who are in no position to repay your gener- osity." Finally, the Bishop reminded us, "Jesus taught everyone who belongs to God should always be attentive to the needs of the poor and the sick." "Yet", cautioned Bishop Jenky, "Jesus is not forbidding the enjoyment of a good meal with our nearest and dear- est families and friends, but rather He is challenging us to broaden our vision about who is our family and to radically expand our generosity." Bishop Jenky brought all of this home to those in atten- dance today by emphasizing that "the Mass is the Supper of the Lord and the Sacrament of God's steadfast desire that we share our table fellowship with Him and with one another ... that Mass has been celebrated here in this St. Thomas parish for 150 years ... in a com- munity made up of all sorts of folks ... rich, middle-class and poor ... truly approach- ing Jesus's meal of fellowship extended to all regardless of background or status in life .:. that here today as during the past 150 years the table is richly set ... the invitation goes out to all." Bishop Jenky concluded with the remarks: "so let us all respond to God's generous invitation, and eat and be satisfied ... now and forever." A few minutes later, Bishop Jenky led his concelebrating priests in the consecration and distribution of Holy Com- munion, which was provided under both species: bread and wine for our Savior's body and blood as Jesus so commanded and instituted during His Last Supper. Following Mass, all were invited to the Mt. Pulaski American Legion Hall for a wonderfiflly prepared Polish Oktoberfest meal of bratwurst, sauerkraut, German potato salad, red cabbage, spaetzle, apple strudel, black forest cake, freshly brewed iced tea, lemonade, lemon water and freshly brewed coffee. The meal was deliciously pre- pared- and expertly served by Mike and Jennifer Richner's Hilltop Catering. Many local parishioners participated in the planning, preparation and execution of the celebration, too numerous to mention. Mrs. Madonna Boyle pre- pared and showed a keepsake DVD of hundreds of old and more recent St. Thomas Aquinas parish photos, which she provided for purchase. Bob McCue wrote and read a Mr. Pulaski St. Thomas Aquinas historical prayer in poetic verse. The Tom Romer Vinegar Hill Brass provided music throughout the dinner. Rev. Jeffrey Laible assisted in the preparations and conduct of the celebration, including the writing and reading of a most appropriate list of Inter- cessions as well as the meal grace. Nov. 5, 2011