Counting blessings: a diocesan starter list for Thanksgiving

Around tables prepared for a feast next Thursday — as well as around the Table of the Lord — families across the Diocese of Peoria will call to mind their blessings. As Thanksgiving Day approaches, we offer the following list as a starter for the many reasons Catholics throughout Central Illinois have to thank God every day.

We are grateful for:

Pope Francis. Bishop Jenky. Our priests. Seminarians. Consecrated men and women. Permanent deacons. Lay leaders.

Our parishes. Jesus truly present in the Eucharist. Jesus present in our community of faith. Jesus’ victory over death. Jesus’ love for us. The beauty of our churches and other facilities. The sacrifices of our ancestors in the faith. Those whose musical gifts add to our worship.

Our Catholic and public schools. The teachers and catechists who care for and educate our children. Our schools’ many generous benefactors.

Our health. And the hospitals, senior residences, and hospices that recognize the importance of faith in times of health emergencies. The dedicated physicians, nurses, and others who staff them.

Our Newman Centers and campus ministries. Those who serve the needy among us through Catholic Charities, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the Knights of Columbus, the Christ Child Society, food pantries, and so many other groups.

Our diocese’s champions promoting the sanctity of all human life.

Our parents, grandparents, and other relatives and friends who have served as models of holiness and passed on the gift of faith to us. Our own precious children and grandchildren. Technological advances that keep us linked even though physically separated.

Our safety while traveling. Our protection during storms and bitter cold weather. Our last breath. Our next breath.

The above list, obviously, is far from comprehensive, but perhaps it will serve as a starter for your own prayers of gratitude next week. Spend time compiling your own list. It will be time much better spent than watching football, parades, or getting a headstart on shopping.

We end our list of blessings by thanking you, our readers, for your continued interest in and support of The Catholic Post. What a privilege it is to serve you, and what a blessing to travel to our parishes, schools, and communities to meet you and others in our family of faith. What an honor to share your stories. Our hope is that every issue gives you plentiful reasons to give thanks to our good and generous God. — Thomas J. Dermody

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