Deacon’s Beacon: Living the Beatitudes

Posted on January 30, 2023 by Published by

Much of the news lately has been very depressing – focusing on mass shootings, killings, acts of violence and revenge.  All of these acts show a depression, anger and paranoia that is too prevalent in our world.

My article today focuses on the opposite – it focuses on the presence of love and kindness that we can see when we follow the message of Jesus Christ and focus on His living presence in our community and our world.

Last Sunday Jesus teaches the Beatitudes.

We’re familiar with the Beatitudes, but we frequently have a problem putting them to action in our life.  They are much different than society values.  They are a radical call to action.  The Beatitudes are not meant to just be looked at, they are meant to be lived. 

Responding to the Beatitudes’ message

St. Mark’s – Food Pantry

The contributions to the FP were especially generous during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.  Our monthly food contributions have provided needed relief for many in that community.  Also, several parishioners provided cash donations that gave the community access to fresh produce and meats.  Don Piergalski and his team did a wonderful job throughout the year.

St. Mark’s – Christmas Giving Tree

Our “Giving Tree” ministry also had a very successful season as many parishioners donated to provide Christmas gifts to people of all ages. Patty Haase and her team did an outstanding job as usual.

Thanksgiving & Christmas Turkey Dinners

Also, through a friend of mine in the Rockford St. Vincent DePaul diocese, we were able to receive donations of full turkey dinners for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  There were three separate donations totaling over 60 dinners, enough to provide over 300 meals.  These were delivered to the St. Mark’s community by Don Piergalski and, with the help of Sadie Kelly, to the Little Sisters of the Poor at the St. Joseph Home for the Elderly.

Shawl Ministry

The Shawl Ministry is one of the less visible, yet important ministries at OLW.   Kit Simon and the members of this group knit shawls, and pray over them with a priest or deacon, then distribute them to the seriously ill or dying members of the parish.

The CFM community donated cash that was collected at their recent “Chili Cook-Off” to the Shawl Ministry.  CFM is open to all and is a great way to meet other parishioners.

Today’s Gospel – the salt of the earth

In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus tells His disciples that they, and us, are the salt of the earth.  He says that we are called to be the light of the world.  Our light must shine before others to glorify our Heavenly Father.  The OLW parishioners are the “salt of the earth” through their generous support and participation of our ministries.  But, we can always use more volunteers.

Lent – The Time to Refocus Our Priorities

Ash Wednesday is February 22.  Based on these two gospels, this would be a good time for us to examine our relationship with God.  There are many opportunities to improve our spiritual life and help people in need.  To become involved, please check the bulletin, OLW Facebook, or call the parish office.

For additional information on these and other Outreach ministries, please contact Deacon Tom Corcoran at or 847-253-2082.

Deacon Tom Corcoran

“You are the light of the world.  Do not light a lamp then put it under a bushel basket…. your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Heavenly Father.”  Matthew 5:5-16

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