This Sunday’s liturgy will be marked by a Mother’s Day blessing and a special surprise at the homily. It’s not a saints’ feastday on the Church’s calendar, but maybe it should be!  We hardly need the articles in the press about pandemic stress to tell us what we have witnessed ourselves – namely, that this past year has been incredibly stressful for mothers with children at home, as they struggle to meet many responsibilities, often in great isolation.  Mothers are certainly among the heroes the pandemic has brought to light.  I’ve never felt such esteem for the mothers in our midst.  Let’s really pray for them this year on Mother’s Day, that they may find the endurance and graces they need to carry on their labor of love in these difficult times.  And let us pray in thanksgiving for our own mothers for the love we have received through them.



For some reason I find myself very drawn to the request by Pope Francis for the entire church to pray every day this month to Mary, the mother of Jesus, for an end to the pandemic. I myself have joined in and I invite you to join as well, even if it’s just for a brief moment of prayer each day. A different Marian shrine around the world will lead the Rosary and other prayers at 12:00 noon (EST) each day.  You can watch the daily livestream HERE, or find the list of sites to watch past days HERE.  You can get a glimpse of the many different cultures within our Catholic universal church through these services.



The national Jesuit social justice organization, Ignatian Solidarity Network, is conducting a Race, Justice, and Equity Survey to help guide its long-range planning to better serve Jesuit schools and parishes. All parishioners in Jesuit parishes are invited to complete the survey. The next ISN “Solidarity on Tap,” on Tuesday, May 18 at 9:00PM, will feature Midwest Jesuit Patrick Saint-Jean, SJ, PsyD, author of The Spiritual Work of Racial Justice: A Month of Meditation with Ignatius of Loyola.



The Jesuits will begin a special “Ignatian Year” on May 20, celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the conversion of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order. His life was transformed as he began to turn to God during his long recovery from a cannonball injury he suffered as a soldier. We are all invited to join in a world-wide virtual prayer service on Pentecost Sunday, May 23, 8:00 PM. More on this topic will be communicated in the coming months.