Parish Celebrates 100 Years
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
July 7, 2022
CRYSTAL LAKE—St. Thomas the Apostle parishioners celebrated the parish’s 100th anniversary the evening of July 2 with a Mass and reception at its Oak Street Church.
Bishop David Malloy was joined at the altar by current St. Thomas pastor, Father Robert Jones, former St. Thomas pastors Msgr. Daniel Hermes and Father Geoff Wirth, and several priests who are or were associates at the parish.
In his homily, the bishop sought to hold forth gratitude for “how God has moved in this area” in the formation of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish.
He pointed to the parish’s patron saint, particularly to St. Thomas’ two famous lines. The first phrase was the apostle’s “My Lord and my God” when seeing the risen Jesus, words which the bishop said should be underlying everyone’s faith. “Thomas is a model of that struggle of faith that people have … faith is not easy,” he said, sharing something he learned as a youth — to say, “My Lord and my God” when the host is elevated and becomes the Body of Christ, “as a means of offering ourselves.”
St. Thomas’ other famous words came when Jesus resolutely headed to Jerusalem, Bishop Malloy said, pointing to the moment when Thomas said to the other apostles, “Let us go to die also with Him.”
It is, the bishop said, “a spiritual reminder of why we need the Church, and the sacraments, and moral teaching … (so that) every one of us (can say), ‘Let’s go and die with Him.’”
That quest to die with Christ “is ultimately what the faith is strengthening us to do, is purifying our vision to see that is the best thing that can happen …” to die with Him.
Coming back to the present day, the bishop stressed, “Isn’t it good for us to think of (what is) earthly and what is eternal (at the parish)! … We need to stir up our gratitude and astonishment as what goes on here,” and he encouraged his listeners to ponder the graces given, the sins forgiven and to realize their parish is “a place where holiness and grace is encountered, received, lived out, shared … where the fellowship of all the gatherings you have had … all of those things are moments and times and places in the life of a parish, and they help us to live out our faith … in that personal encounter with Christ and with each other.”
He promoted prayers for priests, religious, donors, and “all who in any way have contributed to the life of this parish … 100 years … what a blessing it is to have a parish where we come, fall on our knees and pray, and know that tabernacle, know that altar, know so many of the people around us, and know that pastor, and know each other.
“Congratulations, and what a great blessing!”
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