Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus
1909 S. Ashland
Chicago, IL 60608

July 2000

Dear Friend,

July often reminds me of barbecue suppers on the patio, children sauntering home from the swimming pool nicely bronzed from the sun, and, of course, the 4th of July picnics. Independence Day celebration is a time for family and relatives to get together for a reunion. The 4th of July reminds us of our strong American heritage and prompts a wave of patriotism among us. We probably feel more American on the 4th of July than at any other time of the year.

In the Eucharistic celebration, the Mass, and the time of our personal prayer we find ourselves experiencing our Catholic heritage. We probably feel more Christian at these times. And yet we are very much aware that it is equally important to see our faith expressed in our service to our needy brothers and sisters. We know that if we minister to them it is like ministering to Christ. "As long as you did it to the least of my brothers you did it to me!"

As we prepare to celebrate our Solemn Novena to St. Jude we know that we will increase our prayer and remember especially those who pray the novena with us from afar. How wonderful it is that we can join our prayers to theirs so that each of us might be lifted up to the Lord. How wonderful it would be if during this Solemn Novena we are able to meet the physical or spiritual need of a sister or brother. Let us try to do so. We will join our prayers with yours as we celebrate once again this Solemn Novena to St. Jude.

In Jesus' name,
    Rev. Bede Jagoe, O.P., Director


Many years ago I was fortunate to attend a wonderful seminar on "prayerĒ at St. Johnís University in Collegeville, Minnesota. One speaker made a statement that has always stayed with me: "There is a big difference between saying prayers and praying."

Saying prayers can be a very automatic activity where we do not really open ourselves to the presence of God but just recite words thinking something is going to magically happen.

Praying is a personal sharing with God. It is a relationship with the living Lord in which there always is some kind of transformation. We can not meet God and not be changed! Prayer is not a formula, it is an encounter. We may use a formula, like the Lordís Prayer or the Hail Mary, but we do not just recite it. We mean what we say!

Jesus stressed this point when he said: "In your prayers do not rattle on like the pagans. They think they will win a hearing by the sheer multiplication of words. Do not imitate them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him." Mt. 6: 7-8.

In a way, the difference between saying prayers and praying is like the difference between talking and communicating. Often when people talk there is no self-disclosure. In fact many times the purpose of talking is to just fill up time. Not so when people are communicating. Then there is a sharing of ideas, feelings, hope and concerns. When people communicate they come to know each other better and are changed.

Prayer is a wonderful thing. It is an opening of our hearts to the Divine Presence. Prayer is like being with a loving physician who is giving us an examination. In prayer we place ourselves with trust into the hands of the Divine Healer. Together the two of us look at the state of our lives. His examination of us is done only with love for us.

An issue that often arises when considering prayer is the question of distractions. We want to share with God and suddenly we are thinking about something else. It is important to remember that what makes prayer, prayer is not the content in our minds but our intention to share whatever the content is with God. So if we are having a distracting thought, we might say to God, "Now look what my mind is thinking about!" Remember that God is our friend, and with a friend we can share everything.

In Christ's love,
Fr. Richard de Ranitz

Father de Ranitz is a member of the Shrine of St. Jude Staff. He also gives retreats and workshops on physical, mental and spiritual health.

Jubilee 2000

Dear Friend,

July is that warm summer month in the midst of the year. Somehow we have settled nicely into the new millennium, while reminding ourselves that this is a very special year. It is the JUBILEE YEAR 2000 as the Church swings wide its doors to receive the enfolding embrace of our Lord.

A jubilee is a special time of being called to reflect on the mystery of Godís love for us. It is a time of spiritual renewal and a time to meet Christ once again in a more intimate and personal way. The jubilee year is a year of grace for us. It leads to a genuine conversion of heart and a turning away from sin. It is a time of deeper Eucharistic devotion, honoring Jesus in the precious food of His Body and Blood given for our nourishment on the journey of life. It is also a time of pilgrimage, a time to visit shrines in the area. We are linked intimately to the Shrine of St. Jude and bring our prayer and the prayer of others to that shrine. But beyond visiting churches we are to be given to charitable works of mercy by looking after those who are sick, those in prison, the elderly and the lonely, the abandoned, young people who may be in trouble, and anyone in need.

We are called to open wide the doors of our hearts to receive all of creation and all Godís creatures. We are called to receive especially those who are in need of our ministry in any way. Let us make that the intention of our Solemn Novena in July to celebrate the Jubilee of our Lord in our own lives as friends of St. Jude.

Tom Condon, O.P., joined the novitiate for the Province of St. Martin de Porres in 1981 and was ordained in 1988. He has a master's in psychology and a Master of Divinity from Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley. He also received Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from Aquinas Institute in 1998. He worked in campus ministry at Vanderbilt and Tulane Universities, and he will become Director of The Shrine of St. Martin de Porres in Memphis in September 2000.


    My wife and I have had many problems over our 20 year marriage. She has put me in deep debt several times. A little over a year ago I had found out she withheld a large sum of money from me and when I found out had already spent it all. I was struggling so to make ends meet. I finally got her to talk to me about a week after she admitted to me what she had done. She was mad at me. I asked her to seek counseling with me or I was going to leave. She agreed that at some time she would but she wasnít ready now.
    Many, many years ago my dad had a nervous breakdown. He struggled with my mom for help and after a few years went to St. Jude. This pulled him out of his depression and God granted him the strength to move on and enjoy the rest of his life. At that time he gave to me a holy card with a picture of St. Jude and the St. Jude prayer and said to me...hang on to this...this works. With that I put the card in my wallet and it has been the most precious thing to me in times of trouble. So last year when all this happened with my wife and I was so alone I decided to go to St. Jude and ask him to ask God to help me. On the eighth day of the novena my wife came home from work and told me she had found a doctor she would be willing to go to with me. We went and it is a true blessing.

Many people write asking us to publish their thanks. So, please tell us your story of how St. Jude has helped you. We cannot publish all those letters that just say "thank you" without giving details. (Also, we do not publish anonymous stories.) It's your story that gives others hope!

St. Jude Legacy Club

The St. Jude Legacy Club is our special way of recognizing those people who have remembered us in their will. These are our new members:

Sharma Lee Pieramico

If you have remembered us in your will and we have not listed you as a member of the St. Jude Legacy Club, please let us know. If you have not yet remembered us in your will but would like to do so, please contact us for details. Our legal title is:

Dominican Fathers
Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus

1909 S. Ashland Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60608-2994
(312) 226-0020

Shrine Services
Rosary, Novena Prayer, Mass

Daily Services
Monday - Friday
Saturday 10 A.M.
(No services on Sunday)

Perpetual Novena
6:30 p.m.

Solemn Novena
Monday - Friday
6:30 p.m.

Noon Only

11:00 a.m. only

Come if you can --
or join in the
prayers in your home!

| St. Jude Home Page |