Happy Easter! Celebrate t\he octave of Easter and enjoy.
This Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday - Jesus I trust in You.
May we grow in our love of God and each other.
Seventeen years ago today, my father died. Fourteen years ago today, his sister Ann Mary died. May they rest in peace.
We prepare for Palm Sunday, Holy Week.
As St. Thomas the Apostle said this past Sunday,"Let us also go to die with him." May we die with Jesus so that we can rise with him.
On this inauguration day - we remember the great hymn:
To Jesus Christ our sovereign king who is the world's salvation
All praise and homage do we bring and thanks and adoration
Christ Jesus Victor,
Christ Jesus Ruler
Christ Jesus Lord and Redeemer.
Happy New Year! May 2017 be a blessed year for all!
May we be faithful discipiles of Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church.
Merry Christmas! Many thanks to all the priests and deacons who helped us celebrate Christmas and also to the many parishioners who volunteered in so many ways! Parish staff also did so much. Christmas is a special time of the year. May the grace of Christmas help us to fall in love with Jesus more and more.
Thanks for all the Birthday greetings. Now have left the 50s and entering the 60s. No turning back. Make the best of it. St. John of the Cross, pray for me.
During this Season of Advent, this Season of Grace, we pause to honor Mary under title of the Immaculate Conception. So today is a special day. Many many years ago, St. Ambrose wrote a beautiful piece.on Mary, In part he wrote, "God is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world. Gos is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Saviour of the world. Without God's Son, nothing could exist, without Mary's Son, nothing could be redeemed.
An important teaching of hte Immaculate Conception is that Mary gave Jesus what no other woman in alll of time could do, a sinless body. Mary was Immaculately conceived as pure gift from God through the merits of her Son Jesus Chirst, and therefore gave her son the gift of a pure spotless body, free from all stain of sin. Mary still suffered in life as we know, but never sinned. She said 'yes' to God all her life, she cooperated with God all her life. We will never be sinless like Mary, but we can try our best to live a holy life. The best way to live.
Returned from a retreat at St. Meinrad. You never know what God has in mind when you are mostly alone and out of the normal routine and everyday distractions.
"The task of Christians is not "directly to change the face of the earth, resolving its problems," but "to bring Christ, that is, to sow in the world the seed of the solution" of these problems."
St. Paul wrote to the Philippians "Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." Extremely important words to remember especially this election year.
God bless our Fortieth Anniversary Committee and the great beginning of a yearlong celebration of our anniversary.
This past week we celebrated and remembered St. Francis of Assisi, St. Bruno, and Our Lady of the Rosary. May we thank God for the inspiring lives of all the saints, and may we live our lives in a saintly way, as best we can. It is the best way to live.
All praise be to Jesus Christ.
So much has happened in the last two months. Too much to list.
May our faith, hope and love grow every day as disciples of Jesus Christ.
God bless and enjoy the wonderful month of July.
Today is the last day of school. May all our students, families, teachers and staff have a great summer vacation, It has been a great school year. Many thanks to all!!
This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day. May we remember our deceased loved ones, especially those who died in the service of our country.
May they rest in peace.
God bless you
We celebrate Christmas for 8 days
we celebrate Easter for 8 days
These are known as the OCTAVE of Christmas and Easter.
Before 1970, Pentecost was celebrated for 8 days, but was dropped by Pope Paul VI. May one day soon may we celebrate again Pentecost for 8 days - the Octave of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church.
Mark Wilburn will be principal of SASEAS beginning July 1. We are very happy to announce this. He and his wife Christine and three children are members of IHM parish in Anderson Twnshp. Mark looks forward to meeting school teachers, staff and parishioners. We look forward to getting to know him and working together to grow our school, continuing our efforts to make it passionately Catholic and academically excellent.
May is the month of Mary. We honor Mary who is the Mother of God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We honor her because she is our Blessed Mother. Our Lord gave her to us from his cross. Fr. Dwight Longnecker has a wonderful article called "Why the Immaculata Matters." I have it linked as Mary the Immaculata. It is well worth a few moments of your time.
With First Holy Communion coming up for our second grade boys and girls, may their parents and all families grow to love Jesus present in the Eucharist. To receive our Lord in the Eucharist with faith is life changing. To receive our Lord in the Eucharist with faith is to respond to God's infinite love for us with our own limited love for Him. To receive our Lord in the Eucharist with faith will help us live life best, to live life abundantly. To receive our Lord in the Eucharist with faith helps us know that we need God, we depend upon God, that God has a plan for us, God will walk with us in our joys and our sorrows. We are so blessed to be Catholic, and to live our faith. May we share this love of the Eucharist with our children and with our families and friends.
April 17th - Good Shepherd Sunday
From Partners in Faith - Why do Catholics need priests? A priest manifests the love Christ has for the Church by his life of self-sacrifice. Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, a priest is a spiritual father who is responsible for all the souls in his parish. Priests are needed to celebrate Mass and consecrate the Eucharist. They also administer other sacraments through whcih we receive many graces. Therefore, "the ministerial priesthood is a means by which Christ unceasingly builds up and leads his Church" (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1547).
God our Father, move the hearts of men and please send us more priests.
With First Holy Communion meetings and retreat coming up, the following is something to keep in mind:
"The new evangelization is not simply a reaction or a means of being relevant, but it is a relationship that communicates Christ to others through our living in communion with Christ. Truth is not an abstract opinion, but a divine Person Jesus Christ. The world tells the modern person that we must acquire pleasure quickly; the opposite is the truth: to be a person we must not acquire but give, we must not acquire pleasure, but give beauty, we must not acquire pleasure quickly but give beauty slowly." From "The Human Person according to John Paul II"
Our Parish Mission was very blessed. Thanks to all who came and many thanks to Fr. Tony Stephens.
Holy Week and Easter were a great blessing for our parishes.
Divine Mercy Sunday holy hour was well attended. May all of us continue to repent and receive God's infinite mercy.
Please pray for our Fr. Tony Stephens - as he begins our Parish Mission. May our parishes be abundantly blessed at this time! May hearts be converted!
Come Holy Spirit - fill our hearts!
This Sunday is Laetare (rejoice) Sunday. We are half way through Lent. I hope it has been fruitful. May we continue to pray, fast and give alms, to help us repent and turn away from sin. By doing so we will be filled with the graces and blessings of our Lord! There is nothing better!
We adore you O Christ and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Prayer for Persecuted Christians
O God of all the nations,
the One God who is and was and always will be,
in your providence you willed that your Church
be united to the suffering of your Son.
Look with mercy on your servants
who are persecuted for their faith in you.
Grant them perseverance and courage
to be worthy imitators of Christ.
Bring your wisdom upon leaders of nations
to work for peace among all peoples.
May your Spirit open conversion
for those who contradict your will,
that we may live in harmony.
Give us the grace to be united in truth and freedom,
and to always seek your will in our lives,
through Christ our Lord amen.
Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us.
First Sunday of Lent
Let us go into the desert and face our demons, not alone but with the Lord. The demons may be outside of us, but maybe the most powerful are those inside of us. Let us call upon the name of the Lord and with the help of the Lord, we are assured of victory. Let us believe and live what we believe.
A priest spoke about frequent examination of conscience, principle faults, confession of sins in kind and number, and making plans to deal with them. He explained that temptations and struggles are not sins. You sin when you give in to the temptation. Temptations can be moments of grace. We have to have a plan for when we are struck by our temptations towards principle faults. We have to be willing to suffer during the temptation.
George Weigel writes:
Lent divides rather readily into two parts. Ash Wednesday, the days immediately following, and the first two weeks of the season have a penitential character and invite us to a daily examination of conscience: Am I living as a witness to the Kingdom of God now among us? How well have I fulfilled the commission as a missionary disciple that I received at my baptism? What needs purification within me, if I am to deepen what Pope Benedict XVI always insisted was the essence of Christianity – friendship with Jesus Christ?
The third, four, and fifth weeks of Lent have a baptismal character: they’re a kind of annual catechumenate, in which all Christians are called to live more fully in the imitation of Christ. The three great Johannine gospel passages of this period – Jesus and the women at the well, Jesus and the man born blind, Jesus and the raising of Lazarus – all summon us to live today, now, in the new life of the Kingdom, through prayer, mission and service, and confidence in Christ’s power to conquer sin and death.
And thus we are prepared to enter the drama of Holy Week and fully experience the joy of Easter, which extends throughout its octave until Divine Mercy Sunday.
A season of grace. Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.
May we all grow in humility, grace, peace and joy.
Catholic Schools Week is coming up!
Holy Family - pray for us!
St. Andrew and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton - pray for us!.
Following is a favorite quote from Pope Benedict XVI Emeritus in his talk to U.S. Catholic Educational Leaders in 2008: Education is integral to the mission of the Church to proclaim the Good News. First and foremost every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth. This relationship elicits a desire to grow in the knowledge and understanding of Christ and his teaching. In this way those who meet him are drawn by the very power of the Gospel to lead a new life characterized by all that is beautiful, good, and true; a life of Christian witness nurtured and strengthened within the community of our Lord's disciples, the Church.
Christmas seems a distant memory
Now Sundays are in what the Church calls ordinary time.But the readings tell us that the joy of Christmas lives on, in fact, the unlimited joy of Christmas spills over into this time. It is as if Christmas joy cannot be contained. We hear Isaiah again speak of the joy and generosity of God
In the Gospel we hear of the joy of a marriage – a new beginning for a man and woman, the beginning of a family. God makes his superabundant blessings available for the family, if we tap into them, if we ask, if we ask Mary to intercede for us.And St. Paul speaks of the Spirit who has so many different and variety of gifts that are given to build up the Church, the Body of Christ.
What is troubling, indeed very troubling, is that so many people seemingly do not invite Christ into their lives, into their marriages, into their families. It is as if God is to be avoided, God is an obstacle, or God doesn’t really care, or maybe that God is not real.
It is as if God is an obstacle to living life to the full, as if celebrating God in the midst of a community of faith is an obstacle to living life to the full. In reality, only having God deeply in our lives and at the center of our lives, in the midst of a community of believers, do we live life to the full. There is seemingly a quite apostasy occurring in our land, among our own people. In fact, this apostasy has been going on for several generations. And when we neglect or reject God, lives suffer, families suffer, communities suffer, nations suffer, the world suffers. When will we learn?
Did Christmas change our hearts? Read Pope Francis midnight Mass homily found below. We pray for the conversion of all of us.
This week we pray for the unity of Christians
This week we pray for those who will travel to Washington DC and together with hundreds of thousands of others, will March for Life.
There will be other marches in other cities throughout our country.
May God bless all of them as we pray for the conversion of our country to hold and believe in the sacredness of human life.
Homily of Pope Francis - Christmas Midnight Mass 2015
Tonight “a great light” shines forth (Is 9:1); the light of Jesus’ birth shines all about us. How true and timely are the words of the prophet Isaiah which we have just heard: “You have brought abundant joy and great rejoicing” (9:2)! Our heart was already joyful in awaiting this moment; now that joy abounds and overflows, for the promise has been at last fulfilled. Joy and gladness are a sure sign that the message contained in the mystery of this night is truly from God. There is no room for doubt; let us leave that to the sceptics who, by looking to reason alone, never find the truth. There is no room for the indifference which reigns in the hearts of those unable to love for fear of losing something. All sadness has been banished, for the Child Jesus brings true comfort to every heart.
Today, the Son of God is born, and everything changes. The Saviour of the world comes to partake of our human nature; no longer are we alone and forsaken. The Virgin offers us her Son as the beginning of a new life. The true light has come to illumine our lives so often beset by the darkness of sin. Today we once more discover who we are! Tonight we have been shown the way to reach the journey’s end. Now must we put away all fear and dread, for the light shows us the path to Bethlehem. We must not be laggards; we are not permitted to stand idle. We must set out to see our Saviour lying in a manger. This is the reason for our joy and gladness: this Child has been “born to us”; he was “given to us”, as Isaiah proclaims (cf. 9:5). The people who for two thousand years has traversed all the pathways of the world in order to allow every man and woman to share in this joy is now given the mission of making known “the Prince of peace” and becoming his effective servant in the midst of the nations.
So when we hear tell of the birth of Christ, let us be silent and let the Child speak. Let us take his words to heart in rapt contemplation of his face. If we take him in our arms and let ourselves be embraced by him, he will bring us unending peace of heart. This Child teaches us what is truly essential in our lives. He was born into the poverty of this world; there was no room in the inn for him and his family. He found shelter and support in a stable and was laid in a manger for animals. And yet, from this nothingness, the light of God’s glory shines forth. From now on, the way of authentic liberation and perennial redemption is open to every man and woman who is simple of heart. This Child, whose face radiates the goodness, mercy and love of God the Father, trains us, his disciples, as Saint Paul says, “to reject godless ways” and the richness of the world, in order to live “temperately, justly and devoutly” (Tit 2:12).
In a society so often intoxicated by consumerism and hedonism, wealth and extravagance, appearances and narcissism, this Child calls us to act soberly, in other words, in a way that is simple, balanced, consistent, capable of seeing and doing what is essential. In a world which all too often is merciless to the sinner and lenient to the sin, we need to cultivate a strong sense of justice, to discern and to do God’s will. Amid a culture of indifference which not infrequently turns ruthless, our style of life should instead be devout, filled with empathy, compassion and mercy, drawn daily from the wellspring of prayer.
Like the shepherds of Bethlehem, may we too, with eyes full of amazement and wonder, gaze upon the Child Jesus, the Son of God. And in his presence may our hearts burst forth in prayer: “Show us, Lord, your mercy, and grant us your salvation” (Ps 85:8). Amen
Christmas is near. May the celebration of the birth of Jesus bring joy to our hearts and to our world. May we grow in our love of our Lord, putting him at the center of our lives. Then we will live Christmas throughout the year. Mary - pray for us.
I received a Newsletter from Maria Stein, the Shrine of the Holy Relics, in Maria Stein Ohio. The director's article mentioned how he talked to a visitor who was giving thanks for a healing that had happened, the visitor said, from a visit to the Shrine. If you or a loved one is in need of healing, make a pilgrimage and visit the Shrine. Pray to one of the saints for their intercession. Miracles still happen.
A very special day: in the early afternoon, I went to the bedside of a dying woman, and had the privilege of administering the Sacrament of the Sick to her. She was semi- conscious, probably in a deep morphine haze, yet when I anointed her, she stirred, her eyes opened, and then when we prayed the Our Father and Hail Mary, it was very evident that she was following and trying to pray. I also granted her the Apostolic Pardon. Later in In the evening I received a phone call that she had died. She is now in eternal life with the benefit of having recieved the powerful graces and blessings from the Sacrament. May she rest in peace.
In the afternoon I went and watched the movie - The Peanuts Movie. It was wonderful innocent simple entertainment, with many memories, and it had a happy ending.
It was great to have lunch with a wonderful staff and shared laughs and cards. Today was my birthday - thanks Mom and Dad! May you rest in peace.
Fourth grade Christmas play tonight - On the Way to Bethlehem - reminds me that this is a story that warms the heart, it is a story that never changes, it is a story that changed the world, it is a story that changes our hearts and lives, if we let it, if we believe.
I surrender. That is all I can say before the Almighty God. After this week, and the weeks before, I must surrender. I give everything to God, at least I try. If I don't, I will fail. Dear Lord, and Holy Mary, our Blessed Mother, help me surrender.
The widows in the readings today teach us about generosity and trust, a reckless generosity and trust in God. This kind of trust is seemingly rare. It is not built overnight, it comes with time. A great example in modern times was Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Many books speak give many examples of her reckless trust in God, and how God worked miracles, many miracles in her life.
God is reckless, he loves us so much that he sent his Son to die for us. Imagine that, the Creator came to die for his creature. That is reckless love.
May we grow in our generosity, trust and love of God, and maybe sometimes in a reckless way.
God's mercy is effective, not just affective. God's mercy doesn't just make us feel good, it changes us. It makes us realize we are sinners and that we have to repent, as Jesus repeatedly and consistently said in the Gospels. We have to change our lives to be more like Christ. That is to become holy, humble, charitable, seeking the truth, living the truth, and loving the Truth. Jesus said, "If you want to be my disciple, deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow me." To be a disciple of Chist is not easy, but with the help of God's grace, all things are possible.
Please Lord, write straight with our crooked lines!
Thoughts on the previous Sunday's Gospels - Heaven is not attained through earthly wealth or power, but through love and humility.
Mary, Queen of Heaven and earth, St. Andrew and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton,
ask our Lord to move the hearts of parishioners to return to Sunday Mass.
Yesterday was the feast day of the Archangels Michael Raphael and Gabriel. I thank my father and mother for naming me after St. Michael. My parents see him now, hopefully I have a few more years.
This Sunday is a great day for our parishes as our ninth graders will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. May all of them be abundantly blessed.
My confirmation name is Peter. I love St. Peter, many of us are so like him in many ways. It iwll be interesting to see the saints our young men and women have chosen.
God bless Pope Francis as he has returned to Rome and now prepares for the Synod of Bishops on the Family aloing with all the other duties he has..
May all of us open our hearts to recieve the Holy Spirit!
May our Blessed Mother pray for all of us, especially as we enter October, the month of the rosary.
I am sorry to note that I missed the 40th anniversary of Mother Seton's canonization. She was canonized on Sept 14, 1975 by Pope Paul VI.
Well, maybe we will celebrate it a few days late. So do something good and offer it up as a joyful celebration for our patroness - St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
Happy Birthday - Blessed Virgin Mary
A paragraph from an article on J R Tolkien and C S Lewis I found interesting:
Tolkien's and Lewis's reaction to these horrors of war (WWI) was to hold onto the possibility of goodness amidst them - goodness and greatness. As authors, they sought to recover the romantic and mythic traditions based on the struggle between good and evil. And yet, their mythic imagination only partly accounts for their influence... It is their moral imagination that exerts a unique power: the proposition that every person is caught up in an epic contest between Light and Darkness. In the worlds of Tolkien and Lewis, the choices of the weak matter as much as those of the mighty. Here we are not left as orphans, for a force of Goodness stand ready to help.
In the magazine "Spirit of Carmel" I find this:
"Let nothing upset you,
let nothing startle you.
God does not change.
all it seeks
God Alone is Enough."
- Saint Teresa's bookmark
With all the violence we have seen recently, seeminly more than usual, one priest remembers Mother Terea saying: "I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is 'abortion', because it is a war against the child... a direct killing of the innocent child, 'murder' by the mother herself... and if we can accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love... And we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts..."
Many thanks to Almighty God for a safe festival with good weather and good crowds. Many thanks to all our volunteers, who spent many hours planning, setting up and tearing down. And many thanks to all who supported through their financial donations. It will help build community, and spread the Gospel in our community.
Today is the first day of school. We welcome all the returning students, teachers and staff and especially new students. We hope and pray that this will be a good year. May God bless our school and make it spiritually fruitful. May we be faithful disciples, ready to deny ourselves, pick up our crosses and follow our Lord. May our Lord help us to turn our crosses into blessings, now and forever.
I see that on the parish home page there are pictures of my vacation out west. I visited Lee and Tracy Luiso and family several times, they live in Pasadena, near where I was staying with the Carmelite sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Alhambra, a suburb of LA. Several pictures of me with the sisters and on the retreat house grounds. The Luiso family and I went downtown LA and took pictures of an old mission, and the beautiful wall in the sanctuary. Also there is a picture of me in front of the LA cathedral - Our Lady of the Angels - see the angel above the doors. And serveral other pictures are of parishes named after St. Elizabeth Ann Seton - which I visited in Las Vegas and Phoenix.
Festival is coming - pray for safe crowds and good weather - for all parish festivals. God please give us what we need, according to your divine will. .
Today we celebrate the Feast of St. John Marie Vianney - patron saint of parish priests. St. John - pray for us!
I saw on a blog a video clip portraying the martyrdom of the 16 Carmelite Sisters of Compiegne France. Their blood ended the Reign of Terror in 1793. Reading their story is sobering. Their witness and heroism is inspiring.
Let us pray for our country.
My year as administrator of St. Andrew while continuing as pastor of Seton begins. Come Holy Spirit. God bless Fr. Rob Waller as he begins his retirement from active ministry.
July 4 is coming - in the wake of the Supreme Court decision on marriage, the truth is that this decision denies the reality written in the human person, that is, male and female complement one another, and their union opens the possibility of procreation of new life, the future of society, and this will never change, it will never evolve to something else. This decision also denies Divine Revelation.
I quote St. John Payul II from his The Gospel of Life encyclical: Freedom negates and destroys itself and others when it no longer recognizes or respects its essential relationship with the truth.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life
True freedom is obedience to God and his laws.
Today is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We have a beautiful statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in church. It is a powerful reminder of the love of God, manifested in the Heart of our Lord. May we grow in our desire to let that divine love enter into our hearts, and transform us, and then return that love.
Tomorrow we celebrate The Immaculate Heart of Mary. Through Mary's intercession, may she lead us to her Son Jesus and may Jesus lead us to His mother Mary.
As we approach Pentecost, following are some words of wisdom from St. Padre Pio: Peace is the simplicity of spirit, the serenity of conscience, the tranquility of the soul and the bond of love. Peace is order, it is the harmony in each one of us, it is a continual joy that is born in witnessing a clear conscience, it is the holy joy of a heart wherein God reigns. Peace is the way to perfection, or, even better, in peace dwells perfection.
And the devil, who knows all this very well, does everything possible to cause us to lose our peace. The soul need be saddened by only one thing: an offense against God. But even on this point one must be very prudent. One must certainly regret one's failures, but with a peaceful sorrow and always trusting in Divine Mercy. One must beware of certain reproaches and remorse against oneself which most of the time come from our enemy who wants to disturb our peace in God.
If such reproaches and remorse humble us and make us quick to do the right thing, without taking away our confidence in God, we may be assured that they come from God. However, if they confuse us and make us fearful, distrustful, lazy or slow to do the right thing, we may be sure that they come from the devil and we should consequently push them aside, finding our refuge in confidence in God.
First Communion have been received by our second grade boys ans girls. It was a joyous time for all - a life changing event. May all open their hearts and minds to the Holy Spirit and know how much God loves them, and wants to be united with them especially through weekly reception of the Eucharist at Sunday Mass.
The celebration of the Ascension of our Lord is coming, followed by Pentecost. Come Holy Spirit!!!
Watching and listening to what is happening in our country and culture, one priest talks about living as a Christian in a post Christian society and quotes St. John Paul II who wrote in the encyclical "The Gospel of Life" the following at the end of section 19. ...Freedom negates and destroys itself, and becomes a factor leading to the destruction of others, when it no longer recognizes and respects its essential link with the truth. When freedom, out of a desire to emancipate itself from all forms of tradition and authority, shuts out even the most obvious evidence of an objective and universal truth, which is the foundation of personal and social life, then the person ends up by no longer taking as the sole and indisputable point of reference for his own choices the truth about good and evil, but only his subjective and changeable opinion or, his selfish interests and whim.
20. This view of freedom leads to a serious distortion of life in society. If the promotion of the self is understood in terms of absolute autonomy, people inevitably reach the point of rejecting one another. Everyone else is considered an enemy from whom one has to defend oneself. Thus society becomes a mass of individuals placed side by side, but without any mutual bonds. ..
Jesus, Mary and Joseph Holy Family, pray for us
First Communion Retreat today - Sat. All the boys and girls were interested in the tour of the church. I enjoy telling them the story of the Passover and how that becomes the basis for Mass. We share stories and food, God's stories and God's food.
Listened to homily given at Cardinal George's funeral - summarized by "The only thing we take with us when we die is what we have given away." Powerful lesson.
Wed I said prayers at a funeral home and the cemetery for an 80 year old woman who died over the weekend. Surrounded by loved ones, I am always amazed at how prayerful people become in the presence of death. I struggle to say the right words, words of consolation, but also of faith. I think that the Holy Spirit has to work overtime with me. Recently I heard a priest quote St. Bernadette, who when being interrogated by the authorities, replied that it was not her responsibility to convince them of the apparitions, it was only her responsibility to tell them. Amen.
Our 40 days of Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving will come to an end in a matter of hours. I hope and pray they will bear great fruit - as the Lord desires to bless us. Now it is time to celebrate - 50 days of Easter joy. May the world be changed by our witness of joy, love and charity.
God bless all of you - Christ is Risen - Alleluia!
The Shroud of Turin - visit website www.shroud.com
This June, Pope Francis will be making a pilgrimage to Turin, Italy, home of the famous Shroud of Turin, which many believe is the 2,000-year-old burial cloth of Jesus Christ. The pope’s June 21-22 visit will include time venerating the Shroud at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. Francis will then visit the tomb of Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, buried in a nearby altar. The trip will also include a commemoration of St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesians and patron saint of youth who worked in Turin; this year marks the 200th anniversary of his birth. The papal visit will take advantage of April 19-June 24 exposition of the Shroud, which was last displayed in public in 2010.
The Shroud, which is a 14.5’ by 3.5’ linen cloth bearing the image of the front and back of a man who has been scourged and crucified, has been kept in Turin since 1578
The Shroud is literally a document of the Passion and the torture Jesus suffered. His face was severely beaten, and was particularly swollen around the eyes. The facial image on the Shroud reminds one of a boxer who’s just lost a match.
The man has been severely scourged. Not only do we observe the wounds on the back, but the thongs wrapped around the body and hit the front as well. Forensically speaking, the image on the Shroud is more accurate than common depictions we see in art.
He has a spear wound on his side. His legs are not broken, as was typically the case with men who are crucified. His head and scalp are covered in wounds. Again, in art, we often see the Crown of Thorns depicted as a small circle resembling laurel leaves around Christ’s head. But that is not realistic. The soldiers actually took a thorn bush and smashed it down on his head.
We see the back of one hand, which indicates that the nails were driven not through the center of the palm, but an inch closer to the wrist. For a Roman soldier crucifying 20 or more people at a time, that makes sense. It’s the perfect place to drive a nail that will hold, and then you can move on to your next victim.
Regarding the feet, it’s impossible for us to judge if a single nail held both feet, or if nails were driven in each one. We have the actual remains of two crucifixion victims, and two nails were used in their feet.
Excerpts taken from article on March 28 2015 Catholic World Report:
" The Scroud: not a painting, not a scorch, not a photograph."
One Faith One Hope One Love
Why give? There are many reasons, but one that may not be talked about much is that scripture says that almsgiving atones for sins. If that is the case, then it would be good for me to give a lot. One pastor says that almsgiving is different that tithing. In tithing, we are called to give 10 percent to back to God - and generally that is 5 percent to the parish and 5 percent to other charities. Almsgiving is whatever we give over and above the 10 percent.
Jesus radically says that we are called to give everything to God, it all came from him to begin with, it is all gift. Recognizing that, and believing that, trusting in that, then we can give what we can, whatever amount it might be. And we will be blessed in some way, maybe not what we expect, but in God's mysterious way, which is always the best.
Lent Begins Feb 18th.
Pray, Fast and give Alms so that at the end of Lent, we may know Jesus better and be more like him when we celebrate His death and resurrection.
Mesage of His Holiness Pope Francis for Lent 2015 (first and last paragraph)
Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each community and every believer. Above all, it is a time of grace. God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. We love because he first loved us. He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in his heart. He knows us by name, he cares for us and he seeks us out whenever we turn away from him. He is interested in each of us; his love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us. Usually, when we are healthy and comfortable, we forget about others (something God the Father never does): we are unconcerned with their problems, their sufferings and the injustices they endure.... Our heart grows cold.
As a way of overcoming indifference and our pretensions to self-sufficeiency, I would invite everyone to live this Lent as an opportunity for engaging in what Benedict XVI called a formation of the heart. A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters. And, ultimately, a poor heart, one which realizes its own poverty and gives itself for others. During this Lent, then brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: Make our hearts like yours. In this way, we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference. It is my prayerful hope that this Lent will prove spiritually fruitful for each believer and every ecclesial community. I ask all of you to pray for me. May the Lord bless you and Our Lady keep you.
Something I read that bears remembering:
"Christ is Lord of History, when the Church appears strong then it is weak, when it stands before the Cross then it is strong. Huge numbers lead to complacency and self referentialism, the barren Cross is our only hope."
March for Life trip was a success. Thanks to all who made the journey, and supported us with prayers. Best moment was praying with the group in front of the Supreme Court. The crowd seemed very large, the street was filled with people from start to finish, and also looking ahead and behind. I am not exactly sure how many times I have done this now, 7 or 8 maybe, each has been special, each trip is well worth the discomforts experienced. The weather was the best ever, partly sunny and above 50 degrees, which will spoil us forever.
We pray for an end to legalized abortion, healing for those who have suffered an abortion, and conversion of those thinking of an abortion. With our help, may God change the hearts and minds of those who support legalized abortion, especially our leaders and our laws..
On January 1, the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, Pope Francis celebrated Solemn Mass in the Basilica of Saint Peter. Following is his homily.
Today we are reminded of the words of blessing which Elizabeth spoke to the Virgin Mary: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?” (Lk 1:42-43).
This blessing is in continuity with the priestly blessing which God had given to Moses to be passed on to Aaron and to all the people: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace” (Num 6:24-26). In celebrating the Solemnity of Mary the Most Holy Mother of God, the Church reminds us that Mary, more than anyone else, received this blessing. In her the blessing finds fulfilment, for no other creature has ever seen God’s face shine upon it as did Mary. She gave a human face to the eternal Word, so that all of us can contemplate him.
In addition to contemplating God’s face, we can also praise him and glorify him, like the shepherds who came away from Bethlehem with a song of thanksgiving after seeing the Child and his young mother (cf. Lk 2:16). The two were together, just as they were together at Calvary, because Christ and his mother are inseparable: there is a very close relationship between them, as there is between every child and his or her mother. The flesh (caro) of Christ – which, as Tertullian says, is the hinge (cardo) of our salvation – was knit together in the womb of Mary (cf. Ps 139:13). This inseparability is also clear from the fact that Mary, chosen beforehand to be the Mother of the Redeemer, shared intimately in his entire mission, remaining at her Son’s side to the end on Calvary.
Mary is so closely united to Jesus because she received from him the knowledge of the heart, the knowledge of faith, nourished by her experience as a mother and by her close relationship with her Son. The Blessed Virgin is the woman of faith who made room for God in her heart and in her plans; she is the believer capable of perceiving in the gift of her Son the coming of that “fullness of time”(Gal 4:4) in which God, by choosing the humble path of human existence, entered personally into the history of salvation. That is why Jesus cannot be understood without his Mother.
Likewise inseparable are Christ and the Church; the salvation accomplished by Jesus cannot be understood without appreciating the motherhood of the Church. To separate Jesus from the Church would introduce an “absurd dichotomy”, as Blessed Paul VI wrote (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 16). It is not possible “to love Christ but without the Church, to listen to Christ but not the Church, to belong to Christ but outside the Church” (ibid.). For the Church is herself God’s great family, which brings Christ to us. Our faith is not an abstract doctrine or philosophy, but a vital and full relationship with a person: Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God who became man, was put to death, rose from the dead to save us, and is now living in our midst. Where can we encounter him? We encounter him in the Church. It is the Church which says today: “Behold the Lamb of God”; it is the Church, which proclaims him; it is in the Church that Jesus continues to accomplish his acts of grace which are the sacraments.
This, the Church’s activity and mission, is an expression of her motherhood. For she is like a mother who tenderly holds Jesus and gives him to everyone with joy and generosity. No manifestation of Christ, even the most mystical, can ever be detached from the flesh and blood of the Church, from the historical concreteness of the Body of Christ. Without the Church, Jesus Christ ends up as an idea, a moral teaching, a feeling. Without the Church, our relationship with Christ would be at the mercy of our imagination, our interpretations, our moods.
Dear brothers and sisters! Jesus Christ is the blessing for every man and woman, and for all of humanity. The Church, in giving us Jesus, offers us the fullness of the Lord’s blessing. This is precisely the mission of the people of God: to spread to all peoples God’s blessing made flesh in Jesus Christ. And Mary, the first and most perfect disciple of Jesus, the model of the pilgrim Church, is the one who opens the way to the Church’s motherhood and constantly sustains her maternal mission to all mankind. Mary’s tactful maternal witness has accompanied the Church from the beginning. She, the Mother of God, is also the Mother of the Church, and through the Church, the mother of all men and women, and of every people.
May this gentle and loving Mother obtain for us the Lord’s blessing upon the entire human family. On this, the World Day of Peace, we especially implore her intercession that the Lord may grant peace in our day; peace in hearts, peace in families, peace among the nations. The message for the Day of Peace this year is “No Longer Slaves, but Brothers and Sisters”. All of us are called to be free, all are called to be sons and daughters, and each, according to his or her own responsibilities, is called to combat modern forms of enslavement. From every people, culture and religion, let us join our forces. May he guide and sustain us, who, in order to make us all brothers and sisters, became our servant.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
God bless all of you. Safe travels to all.
Many gifts will be given and many received over the next few days, but none will completely satisfy. The only gift that will is God - Jesus, born on Chirstmas day, and now today given to us most especially in the Eucharist. In the Mass, he comes to us, he gives himself to us - he is love incarnate. Become like a child and see the miracle of Christmas - that is for all time.
My birthday has come and gone. Now 58 years old. Hard to believe! Twelve and a half years as a priest. It has been a busy couple of weeks. And then I don't know what I would do without our great parish staff. They do so much! I can't thank them enough. And also all our parish volunteers. We can't thank them enough. May God bless all of them and all of you for a good year - 2014.
As we get closer to Christmas, in the final days of Advent, I pray we all grow in our wonder and awe of what God has done for us. May Mary our Blessed Mother help us. May the Christ child be born ever anew in our hearts. And may we join with the heavenly angels as they sing their praises to God.
Sunday Nov 30
I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. May God bless our country, we are so blessed to live in this country. We pray that one day soon, it would return to its Christian roots, and once again allow prayer in all schools, display the 10 Commandments on public and govt grounds, and teach children Christian morality. We either choose life and a blessing, or death and a curse.
Advent begins this weekend.
Come Lord Jesus Come!
Friday Nov 21
The Presentation of Mary in the Temple.
At Mass this morning, we celebrated this memorial of Mary. I am always delighted to celebrate a Marian day, even if there is not a whole lot to say. Just thinking of Mary and her care for us brings joy. Thinking of Mary seems to take our thoughts away from things that weigh us down and helps lift us up to heavenly and delightful things, if only briefly.
I missed 'That Man is You' meeting this morning. Next week will be Friday after Thanksgiving, I don't think they are meeting then. I will have to make sure I make the next meeting.
Pray for our parish family. There are a number of people who need special prayers. God bless
Sunday Nov 9
Today we celebrated a great feast of the Church - St. John Lateran - home of Popes for 1000 years. It was interesting reading about the history of this church. It broght back memories of my brief time in Rome, and my visit to this church with my good friend Fr. Earl Fernandes.
Lots of news in the Catholic world - many are stil wondering about the recently completed Synod of Bishops. This week - Bishops of the US are meeting in Baltimore. May they open their hearts to guidance and wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
Today I drove to ST. X HS and arrived in time to watch the 4th quarter of the Pony championship football game. SASEAS had boys on the team. Alas, they lost by 6 points. Then I drove to Hospice, a neighbor two doors from my parents home in Rossmoyne was dying. I prayed with her and her family. God bless her. She is the last of the 'old'' neighbors.
I also attended the holy hour for voacations at the seminary. It was very peaceful, so much so that I was half asleep during some of it. They were serveral seminarian who sang several chants during the holy hour - they were very good!!. I am going to send Fr. Ben an email saying as much.
Sunday Nov 2
Feast of All Souls
Today I visited my parents and maternal grandparents graves. The cemetery seemed mostly empty, except for the large flock of geese. Well - my parents loved bird watching. I said a few things that were on my heart - and then some prayers. I hope and pray that they are enjoying eternal life.
I also went to hospice at 5mile and Beechmont. Yesterday early afternoon, I went there to visit a parishioner, but he had died in the morning. When I was leaving a man and women stopped me and asked me if I was a priest. I said 'yes' could I help them. The woman did most of the talking - her sister, and the man's wife - was dying. She did not have long to live, and the woman was distraught that her sister was refusing to see a priest. Yes - they were Catholic. The dying woman told her sister that she was afraid that if she received the sacrament of the sick - then that would be the end. She would die soon thereafter. I gave them my phone number and told them to call me anytime. I would pray for them. I came home and prayed the chaplet of divine mercy in front of the Blessed Sacrament that evening for the dying woman. Sunday after the last Mass, I was ready to sit down with my family for afternoon breakfast/lunch, and the woman called. The dying woman wanted to see a priest and asked that I come. I left immediately and talked to the dying woman. She was barely conscious - but said - yes - that she wanted to receive the sacraments. She did. She had been away from the Church for a time. Then we prayed, with her and for her - her sister and her husband. She will be in Eternal Life soon. I never saw them before, and probably wont again in this life. I am - again - amazed at Divine Providence. But I must add - God answers our prayers - in HIS own way, not mine. I am grateful that I was able to participate in and serve God's plan. May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace - Amen. Jesus I love you.
Pope Francis had a nice insight on the Gospel Sunday - " In fact, the visible sign that a Christian can show to give witness to the world, to others, to their family, of the love of God is the love of the brethren. The commandment of love to God and neighbor is the first not because it is the first in the list of commandment. Jesus does not place it in the top, but at the center because it is the heart from which everything has to start and from which everyone must return to and reference."
I also attended the graduation ceremony at the Athenaeum Sunday afternoon, congratulations to our CRE Margaret Bergh, and Fr. Jim Walsh, pastor of St. Dominic and past rector of the seminary gave a nice speech to all present. One of the things he said was that once during a retreat - he had a brief conversation with God, and in their conversation, God reminded him that "what is important is to remain faithful, not necessarily successful" and God said 'yes' - he was quoting Mother Teresa. It was good to hear that other priests/pastors feel the same way and hear the same message.
Following is from Fr. Robert Barron' reecnt article where he comments on the fact that 10,000,000 people have viewed his youtube commentaires: "As to my general approach, I have tended toward what Cardinal Dolan of New York calls “affirmative orthodoxy,” which is to say, emphasizing what the Church is for rather than what it is against. I have also adopted the patristic method of seeking out semina verbi (seeds of the Word), hints and echoes of the Gospel that can be found, often in distorted form, in the high and low contemporary culture. Accordingly I have argued that Spiderman, Superman, “True Grit’s” Rooster Cogburn, “Gran Torino’s” cranky Walt Kowalski, “The Shawshank Redemption’s” Andy Dufresne, and Frodo the Hobbit all convey some dimension of Jesus Christ; and I have maintained that both Christopher Hitchens’s essays and the “Twilight” films speak inchoately but surely of the longing of the human heart for God."
I just returned from a short retreat at St. Meinrad, in St. Meinrad Indiana. It is a Benedictine monastery, that also has a seminary and a school for lay people, and a wonderful guesthose. I heard that there are about 100 monks. And about 130 semionarians for many different dioceses. There is daily Mass and prayers throughout the day. St. Meinrad is in the countryside, with lots of places to visit. I love to walk about a mile to their Marian Shrine called Monte Casino - at the top of a hill. It is a small chapel, realtively old, and houses a beautiful statue of Mary holding the child Jesus. On the walls there are two murals and various titles of Mary. For the first time, I was really struck by one of the sayings under one of the murals.One mural is of the annunciation, and it has 'Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee." The other mural is of Jesus carrying his cross and meeting Mary, with the saying "Holy Mother, pierce me through, in my heart each wound renew, my Savior crucified." This last one impressed me, because I dont' remember hearing it before. Something to ponder, epsecially in the month of October. God bless our parish.
So much has happened in our parish these past couple of weeks. New ministries such as That Man Is You & True Devotion to Mary have begun. RCIA has begun with a good number of people seeking to join the Catholic faith. PRP has begun, with a large group of 2nd grade boys and girls. Several couples have been married and a handful of babies have been baptized.This Sunday, many young men and women will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation!
Sadly several longtime parishioners have also died and been buried. We have set up the symbolic cemetery of the Innocents - 4000 crosses - and these will stay up for almost 2 weeks.
Thank you for all you do for our parish!
Please join us during the first weekend of October for 40 hours of Eucharistic Adoration and Devotion, closing with a holy hour on Sunday Oct 5th at 3pm.
God bless you.
Our festival has come and gone. Thanks for all your support!!
Now many parish ministries and activities have begun again. May God bless all of them.
Pray for our parish, country and world. There are so many problems, so many people are suffering.. When people turn away from God, the world suffers. Pray that people would again turn and put God first in their lives. Pray that people would come again to worship God at Sunday Mass. If you want to change the world, come to Sunday Mass.
Mary's destiny(her Assumption) is the sign of our destiny. As she is the icon of the Church, so she is the Model Disciple who shows not only how to follow Christ, but the reward awaiting those who do. The Triune God wills to grant us, as he has already granted her, the ecstatic crowned glory of complete union—body, soul, and spirit—with himself in eternity. The Church, in pointing to Mary, is simply underscoring that fact. She is the great sign of Hope for all believers in Christ.
Holy Days are a day of joy ..... and a day of sorrow - in our world today.
If we keep our eyes on our Lord, all things are possible:
Prayer In Defense Of Marriage
God our Father, we give you thanks
for the gift of marriage: the bond of life and love,
and the font of the family.
The love of husband and wife enriches your Church with children,
fills the world with a multitude of spiritual fruitfulness and service,
and is the sign of the love of your Son, Jesus Christ, for his Church.
The grace of Jesus flowed forth at Cana at the
request of the Blessed Mother. May your Son,
through the intercession of Mary, pour out upon us
a new measure of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
as we join with all people of good will
to promote and protect the unique beauty of marriage.
May your Holy Spirit enlighten our society
to treasure the heroic love of husband and wife,
and guide our leaders to sustain and protect
the singular place of mothers and fathers
in the lives of their children.
Father, we ask that our prayers
be joined to those of the Virgin Mary,
that your Word may transform our service
so as to safeguard the incomparable splendor of marriage.
We ask all these things through Christ our Lord,
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Pray for the conversion of our country to uphold the dignity of every human person, that life begins at conception, that marriage is betweeen a man and a woman, and for religious freedom that comes from the Judeo Christian tradition and religions.
Also pray that we would be generous in helping the poor, and in being generous to our parish. We are to give not just from our surplus, but also from our want. This is what our Lord did for us. He gave up everything for us.
In giving, we will receive. Amen
"those who are just must be kind" Wisdom 12:17
justice without mercy is cruelty
mercy without justice leads to dissolution (everything will break down)
Following is an excerpt from an article from the 'catholicworldreport' website called 'The World and the Church.'
The influence exerted by the secular world is very strong, and it’s difficult to harness to higher purposes. That world is not simply waiting to hear our message, because it already has a message of its own based on its own sense of what’s real. It has nothing it calls a religion, but it has something that functions as such, because it has a way of understanding the world that it believes to be true and morally obligatory.
To make matters worse, that refusal to be led beyond this-worldly concerns has come to be publicly identified with all that is good. The highest values publicly recognized today are autonomy, man determining his course and even his nature by his own choice, and equality, the equal standing of all choices that are consistent with equal treatment for the choices of others. Those principles are considered requirements of reason and viewed as the only possible basis of a civilization of peace, progress, and human dignity.
St. Paul's solutiuon - he sometimes had to preach the word out of season, and insist on points that were a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles.