Saturday, November 26, 2011

St. Issac Jogues Parish in Niles, Illinois celebrates Thanksgiving Eve service with Muslims

Above: Clip art from the article in the parish bulletin.

Editor: Source info informed us that St. Issac Jogues parish in Niles Illinois announced in it's November 13, 2011 that it would be participating in a "Thanksgiving Eve" service with Muslims. See online bulletin here: We post the article by one of the priests at the parish below.

The following is the parish website:

THANKSGIVING EVE: Interreligious Service

November is the Month of the Holy Souls. It is also a month when Americans celebrate a secular holiday with deep religious roots. While the emphasis has shifted to feasting and football, Thanksgiving still inspires religious feelings. The ritual of bowed heads and table grace may be a nod to nostalgia and tradition, but it is often much more than that!

Thanksgiving is a remembrance of God’s mercy - - an encounter with the Holy. The “pilgrim fathers” were convinced that God had saved them from drought and starvation. That is why they gave thanks, why they feasted, and why they played games. Thanksgiving then was not a celebration of self-satisfied abundance, it was a celebration of God’s bounty. It was an acknowledgement of answered prayers!

Thanksgiving has a “Mayflower” pedigree. There is a distinct Protestant flavor to it’s origins. But, through the centuries and with waves of immigration, Thanksgiving has been adopted and adapted by people of different cultures and religions. In that, Thanksgiving is a most accommodating feast! Thanksgiving stresses the holiness of God and the
blessings of the harvest. Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists as well as Christians instinctively want to thank God. A growing, beautiful custom is celebrating an Ecumenical or Interreligious Service on Thanksgiving Eve. I am happy to say that I have been part of such celebrations since I was ordained in 1970.

This year, local clergy and laity will observe Thanksgiving Eve (Nov. 23rd) at The Morton
Grove Mosque (8601 N. Menard Ave.) at 7:30 PM. All are welcome to participate.

Please consider attending the presentation on Islam next Sunday, November 20th in the Holy Family Room at 3:00 PM. Jason Renken & Azam Nizamuddin will explore “Thanksgiving and Service from the Muslim & Catholic Perspectives”.

Why should you consider attending this presentation and participating in the Interreligious Thanksgiving Service? A scholar of world religions, Leonard J. Biallas, has an excellent answer: “There are spiritual riches buried in the innermost
recesses of our own religions that are only opened up to us when we encounter what is strange and different in other traditions.”

Our first “encounter” with other traditions can be the beginning of better self-understanding and real dialogue. That dialogue can enable us to compare and contrast how human nature and the human condition are perceived. Life, love, compassion, destiny and death … how much do we share in common? How much comes from a different vantage or perspective?

It was Pope Pius XI who once said: “If we are to love each other, we must first know each other.” I would add something commonplace, but essential, to that: “To know each other, we must first meet each other.” The Thanksgiving Eve Service can inaugurate an ongoing dialogue with other religious people. That can contribute much toward peace in our own communities and ultimately in the world.

-Fr. Luczak

1 comment:

  1. What blasphemy! Ecumenism is a disease. Do you notice that in many areas of the Church today the salvation of the soul is not even mentioned while "dialogue" with erroneous religions is encouraged. Father Seraphim Rose was right in seeing Vatican II as the beginning of a new ecumenical super religion with Rome leading the way.