Prayerful Stewardship

Dear friends in Christ: Although it is summer, there is still a lot happening around the parish.  We continue to wrap things up with our project.  The major items that can be seen (and heard) that still need to be completed are the organ and the bells.  There are however other items which are far less glamorous but very important that are also being worked on – a new fire alarm system, repairs to the roof, foundation and stone work on the original church (chapel), and dozens of items on the punch lists.  Some of these were in the scope of...

The Sacrament of Marriage – Part III

Dear friends in Christ: In our Catholic Faith, the Sacrament of Marriage is not simply a private or familial act, it is also and primarily an ecclesial action.  That is, marriage is an action that is proper to the Church.  It is how most of us as Catholic men and women live our faith in Jesus Christ.  Catholic marriage is Christian discipleship lived publicly and demonstratively.  We show God’s love and we show how we love God by the manner in which we love our spouse and our children.   As Christ’s marriage to his bride, the Church, contains the essential elements...

The Sacrament of Marriage – Part II

Dear friends in Christ: Marriage and weddings for us as Catholics, are different from those around us, both religious and secular. While there are some similarities between the Catholic teaching and understanding of marriage and how others see and understand marriage, there are also significant differences. This is because Catholics understand marriage to be a Sacrament of the Church. The significant distinctions and differences in how marriage is celebrated and lived by Catholics are not merely cosmetic, superficial, accidental or unimportant. The distinctions and differences go to the very core of marriage, they are essential to the sacrament of marriage. One...

The Sacrament of Marriage – Part I

Dear friends in Christ: Although it no longer holds firmly as it once did, June is still the month of weddings so, to all who are celebrating wedding anniversaries this month, Happy Anniversary! While many couples traditionally celebrated nuptials in June, today weddings occur year round. So again, to all of our married couples, whatever month your special day falls in, Happy Anniversary! Marriage is indeed a wonderful gift to the human family. Marriage was so esteemed by Jesus that it was at the celebration of a wedding that he performed his first miracle. Moreover, Jesus elevated marriage to the dignity of...

The Feast of Corpus Christi

Dear friends in Christ: This weekend we celebrate the wonderful Feast of Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ). The history of this feast is quite remarkable. This great feast is due to the great love of Jesus by two women by names of Juliana and Eve. They lived in the early 1200’s in Liege, Belgium. Juliana had been an orphan, but was educated by the Augustinian nuns of Mount Cornillon. From her early childhood, Juliana had a strong devotion to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Eventually, Juliana entered the convent and would become the Mother Superior. Throughout her life, Juliana...

God First

Dear friends in Christ: This is a wonderful time of year on the church’s liturgical calendar – The Ascension, Pentecost, Holy Trinity, Corpus Christi, and The Feast of the Sacred Heart! These are all wonderful feasts. Unfortunately, they also coincide with summer vacations, graduations, First Communions, weddings, baseball, bar-b-ques, the beach, camping, etc. These are also good things, but we should not let them push these holy feasts out of our consciousness. Recently, I was reading Last Testament by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. In the foreword by Peter Seewald is a quote of Pope Benedict writing to the bishops of the...

Come Creator Spirit, Come!

Dear friends in Christ: Throughout the Church year we celebrate our great feasts with music. We all know and love the wonderful and beautiful Christmas carols that we sing from heart and memory. What is Easter without the majesty of the great hymns proclaiming the resurrection and the joyful strains of Alleluia? The great feast of Pentecost, which we celebrate today, is also marked by its own music. Today we will sing the sequence of the Veni Sancte Spiritus (Come Holy Spirit) immediately before the gospel which echoes the sequences of Easter Sunday (Praise the Paschal Victim – Victimae Paschali) and...

Will you Serve?

Dear friends in Christ: First, a word of thanks to everyone for continuing to handle the construction with such patience, grace and understanding. There is only a little left to go, so we keep praying and thanking the Lord for this opportunity to build something beautiful to give Him glory! The last two major items are progressing along: the bells and the organ. Although we had a problem with one of the subcontractors falling behind with the fabricating of the rack for the bells, we were able to move the work from Ohio to Texas and it is now being completed...

“…The Laborers are Few”

Dear friends in Christ: This weekend (Saturday) marks my 28th anniversary of priestly ordination! It has been a wonderful 28 years. I have not done everything perfectly and have a long list of mistakes, but I have also learned a lot, grown a lot and have received more blessings than I can count. Since my ordination I was an Assistant Pastor here and at St. Martha’s in Kingwood, Administrator at Queen of Peace, Vice Chancellor for the Archdiocese for 12 years and served as pastor at the Co-Cathedral and for the last nine years here at SJV. Each assignment has brought...

Receiving Grace

Dear friends in Christ: In so many ways, spiritually speaking, this a beautiful time of the year!  Baptisms of adults and Professions of Faith at Easter, First Communions, Confirmations, weddings and ordinations.  That is just a tremendous amount of God’s wonderful grace (notice I avoided saying amazing!).  Indeed, as when any member of the Church grows in God’s grace it is beneficial to all in the Church.  Likewise, when grace is diminished or sin occurs it negatively impacts all in the Body of Christ.  As so many are receiving sacraments and the graces they bestow, we should all seek to grow...