The 45th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Dear Friends in Christ: This week, Monday, January 22, marks the 45th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion in the United States. With these very words, some who were reading this letter stopped. They or maybe even you are thinking “Oh! Not that again!” Yes, THAT again. Please hear me out. Without a doubt, abortion has been one of the most divisive issues in American history and remains so today. Much will be said and many will celebrate while others lament that there has been a small shift in public opinion showing that more...

Looking back on our Christmas Season

Dear Friends in Christ: What a beautiful Christmas season we have had. The crowds, the liturgies, the beautiful music, Gift Giving Sunday, the Children’s Advent Concert all contributed to making this Christmas just wonderful. The opportunity to come to church and celebrate the birth of our Savior as a parish family was especially important as so many of our families are still very much in recovery mode from the floods. So a word of thanks to all of our parishioners and staff who worked so hard to make our Christmas liturgies and events so beautiful. On a personal note, Frs. Clark,...

Be a Star in 2018!

Dear Friends in Christ: In the hymnal that I use at Mass, I keep a few little “sticky” bookmarks to help me quickly find the readings and the hymns. I also have a post-it from the Solemnity of Epiphany from a few years ago in the inside cover of the book. It was in essence my homily notes for that Sunday – or more accurately, a homily note. It simply says “Be a star!” What did I mean? Well, we are familiar with the star in the story of Epiphany (Mt 2). We recall how the wise men followed a star and...

The Holy Family

From an Angelus Address of Pope Benedict XVI 2012: Today is the feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth. In the liturgy, the passage from Luke’s Gospel presents the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph who, faithful to tradition, go to Jerusalem for the Passover with the 12-year-old Jesus. The first time Jesus had entered the Temple of the Lord was 40 days a?er his birth, when his parents had offered “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24) on his behalf, which is the sacrifice of the poor. “Luke, whose Gospel is filled with a whole theology of the poor...

It’s All About Jesus

Dear Friends in Christ: It is always fascinating to watch and observe the gyrations surrounding Christmas. Each year, there are countless media advertising campaigns, made for TV movies and other offerings that try to influence and convince us of the “real meaning of Christmas”. Almost always, the proposed “real meaning” has nothing to do with the actual real meaning. More often than not, what is proposed as the real meaning of Christmas is some kind of sentimental, feel good, idea that is miles off and light years away from any real connection to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ....

Sharing the Message of Peace and Joy

Dear Friends in Christ: I hope that you are having a holy Advent. This coming week we will have three evenings for Confessions in addition to the regular Confessions on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and the Confessions twenty minutes before the weekday Masses. Please be merciful to your poor priests and do not wait until the Saturday before Christmas. We will have Confessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the chapel and we will hear Confessions until all are heard. As Christmas is on a Monday this year, we need to remember that Sunday...

A Time of Preparation

Dear Friends in Christ: We continue our Advent journey. Next weekend, we continue our parish tradition of Gift Giving Sunday. This tradition which goes back to the early years of our parish, is where each of our parish families is asked to bring a wrapped gift for a needy child for Christmas. These gifts are then brought forward after the proclamation of the gospel and placed before the altar. At the end of the day, the gifts, expressions of our faith in Jesus, the Savior of the World, and love for our neighbor, are distributed throughout the Houston area through various...

New Beginings

Dear Friends in Christ: New beginnings can be exhilarating or frightening and sometimes both. We are now in a time of new beginnings as we enter the season of Advent. Advent of course is the penitential season of preparation for the coming of the Lord. The first three weeks of Advent are to help us focus and prepare for the 2nd coming of Jesus at the end of time. The Fourth Week of Advent is to help us prepare to celebrate the 1st coming of the Messiah by his incarnation and nativity. What is your disposition about Jesus’ Second Coming? Are...

Solemnity of Christ the King

Dear Friends in Christ: The Lord be with you! And with your spirit. Lift up your hearts! We lift them up to the Lord! Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right and just! This weekend, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. We do so just a few days after we observe Thanksgiving Day. Now, of course, Christ the King is a Catholic liturgical feast and Thanksgiving is a secular/national holiday but they do have something in common. Both Christ the King and Thanksgiving point to someone other than ourselves. While for many, Thanksgiving has been...

Dealing with Grief

Dear Friends in Christ: Many are familiar with the Five Stages of Grief of Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s renowned book On Death and Dying.  She posits that people dealing with a great loss experience five different stages in dealing with grief:  1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression and 5. Acceptance.  As many, including Kubler-Ross, subsequently have pointed out, these stages do not always occur rapidly nor must they occur in a particular order.  Further, a person can fall back into an earlier stage they have already gone through and there is no set duration of the stage; the stages can...