Evangelization: The Mission of the Church

Dear Friends in Christ: In the next few weeks we will be publishing our Annual Report which contains information concerning the previous fiscal year. This year’s report has been delayed due to Hurricane Harvey and our efforts to offer relief and assist in the recovery. The Annual Report provides a summary of our pastoral activities (numbers of registered households, baptisms, marriages, sacraments and reports on events and ministries of the parish) and our financial situation (income, expenses and budget). Without going into all the details of the report, our parish family has been impacted like many of the families who comprise...

An Act of Devotion

Dear Friends in Christ: Today is our Annual Parish Bazaar! This year we had to move the bazaar back a month due to the floods and Hurricane Harvey. As usual, there have been more than a thousand people involved in making today’s festival possible. Please make an effort to come and enjoy the day with us. The bazaar is the biggest one-day event in the parish where people from every mass and from all segments of the community; young and old, longtime parishioners and newcomers, singles and marrieds all come together. There are other times where we come together (Parish Dinners,...

Catholic’s Frequently Asked Questions – Part I

Dear Friends in Christ: I am often struck when good people ask questions that I think I have already answered 10,000 times. The truth is that I have addressed the questions before, just not to these particular individuals. So this means that indeed the questions are sincere and honest and I am getting older! What are some of the topics that people most often ask about? Well, let’s see! Baptisms: Infants should be baptized at the earliest possible time and baptism should never be needlessly delayed. In case of an extreme emergency and danger of death, baptism of infants, children or adults,...

Many Hands Make For Light Work

Dear Friends in Christ: A lot is happening around the parish. We still have the FEMA offices and the power sub-station on campus. Our Social Service Ministries continue to be extremely busy assisting families dealing with the aftermath of the floods. Most all of the regular activities of the parish: classes, dinners, Masses, meetings, weddings, funerals, baptisms, prayer groups, social activities, are up and running. Some have had to be curtailed a bit, or postponed, due to the impact of the floods and our budget issues, but we still have a lot going on. The BIG thing on the calendar is...

“Be not afraid for the Lord is with you!”

Dear Friends in Christ: Not to the extent that so many of our parishioners have suffered, our parish has also suffered due to the recent floods. We were greatly blessed in that we did not have major flooding in our buildings. We literally missed it by an inch, twice! Yet, there were still damages. The final cost estimates have not yet come in, but we are anticipating our damages to run between $250-300,000. Most of this will NOT be covered by insurance. Another casualty of the storm and floods has been our income. We lost two Sundays of collections. Our normal...

In Times Like These…

Dear Friends in Christ: One of the minor trials of recuperating after surgery has been the total lack of energy to do anything.  It is difficult to move and it is hard to concentrate or think.  As with last year’s recovery period, I find myself unwittingly taking lots of naps.  Between naps the TV has been on, and the news has been exceedingly sad.  As though it was not enough for us here locally to be going through the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the floods, every day brings more sadness and tragedy.  Hurricanes in Florida and Puerto Rico, earthquakes in...

October: Month of the Most Holy Rosary

Dear Friends in Christ: October is the month of the Most Holy Rosary. During this month, I invite everyone to pray your rosary. I especially encourage families to pray the rosary together as a family. If you do not already pray the rosary regularly, it can take getting used to. However, the more you pray the rosary, the more comfortable and comforting this beautiful prayer will become. In families and among couples, share the prayers of the rosary, take turns leading the decades and mysteries. Sometimes the rosary can become like a race to the finish line. Slow it down a...

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

Dear Friends in Christ: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” so begins Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities (See, I really do remember something from high school!). So also does it describe the situation that many of us find ourselves in following Hurricane Harvey. I am grateful beyond words to all those who have so generously responded to assist our fellow parishioners and neighbors during this “worst of times”. Unless you have personally lived through losing your home and all of your possessions, it remains a theoretical exercise. It is sad to say, but nonetheless true,...

If The Lord Does Not Build the House…

If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do the builders labor. Ps 127 Dear Friends in Christ: Well, here we are, all of us are in a rebuilding project. Whether we lost everything or nothing, we are all in this effort together to re-build not just the homes that have been destroyed but also the neighborhoods, the community and our own sense of self and the life we lead. Do we just go back and pretend like nothing has happened? Do we sit angry in the mold and the muck? Do we despair and wait for someone to take...

With Our Eyes and Hearts Fixed on The Lord

Dear Friends in Christ: We give thanks to the Lord for his mercy, his constant love and for his many blessings. While we mourn for those lives lost and for the families that grieve them, we thank God that so many more were spared and are safe. While we have broken hearts for all those who lost homes and suffered such great loss and damage due to the hurricane and flood, we are grateful that we are safe and that the recovery has begun so swiftly. We thank God for the incredible spirit of so many willing to help their neighbors...