The Gift of New Life – Part II

Dear Friends in Christ: Last week, I wrote concerning the baptism and reception into the Church by adults. However, the most common way people become Catholic is still by baptism as infants. For children over the age of 7, the initiation rites for adults are adapted and the children go through a formation process of the catechumenate. For infants and children under age 7, the Church has a special Rite of Baptism which still retains some of the liturgical rites for adults, but very much abbreviated to a single liturgical ceremony. Today, there is confusion among some Catholics concerning the appropriate...

The Gift of New Life – Part I

Dear Friends in Christ: One of the most important days in my life is September 17th. It is the day I was baptized and was reborn in Jesus Christ! What is the day of your baptism? For the next few weeks, the bulletin letter will be devoted to the topic of Baptism. For more information see The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) #1213-1284. Baptism is the beginning of our new life in Christ. In the waters of baptism we are “born again”; original sin is washed away and we become the adopted children of God and members of the Church. It...

Making a Difference this Summer

Dear Friends in Christ: For a time when things are supposed to slow down, we have a lot going on. Recently, our parish had two ACTS retreats, one for women in Spanish and another for men in English. Both retreats were wonderful for all of those who attended. The retreatants came back with enthusiasm and a renewed sense of faith, purpose and joy in life. If you have never been on a retreat, it is a marvelous opportunity and a special grace to do so. We also have other retreats and days of prayer throughout the year. This coming March, Fr....

St. John the Baptist

Dear Friends in Christ: This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. As such, it takes precedence in the liturgical calendar over the Sunday in Ordinary Time. You will notice that the bulletin cover has a photo of our new statue of St. John Baptist. You may also note that the feast day of the birth of St. John the Baptist (June 24) is exactly six months and one day before the celebration of the birth of Jesus! Now, was Jesus actually born on December 25 or John the Baptist on June 24? Probably not....

Ministry to the Sick

Dear Friends in Christ: An important part of the pastoral care and ministry of the Church is our care for the sick and dying. We care for the sick and suffering because Jesus did. The gospels tell us of the love and care Jesus showed the infirm and how the sick came to Jesus for healing and comfort. The apostle St. James exhorts us “if there are any sick among you, send for the priest of the church and the priest will pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” (Jas 5.14) This is the...

Stewardship and Sacrifice

Dear Friends in Christ: There are some topics that will almost always get a response from people. Understanding, confusion, irritation, agreement, insight and disagreement are among the most common. Then there is the question of timing. To some, there is never a good time. For others, no matter the frequency, it is either too often or not often enough. Then there are people who simply don’t care or see the importance. And what is that subject that causes such a response? Church finances, of course. A few remarks to give a baseline understanding. Our parish is greatly blessed in every way. For...

We are Invited to a Wonderful Feast!

Dear Friends in Christ: I was recently at a friend’s house the other day for dinner. Others were invited as well. My friend was most generous in the invitation and the meal was incredible! But there were some guests (actually more than one or two) who came late, then there were some others who would not even smile or greet the others at the dinner. There was a couple who was so rude that they paid no attention while someone else was speaking. Another couple, as soon as they finished eating, got up and walked out the door before the end...

Are Prayers Not Enough?

Dear Friends in Christ: I have been thinking and praying in the wake of the tragic shootings in Santa Fe last week. It has been difficult because of the emotional intensity and great sadness. In some ways, it is similar to what we experienced with the flooding after Harvey. By that, I mean it is overwhelming. Life goes on but it is hard. People want understanding. We want the hurt to stop and the clock to turn back to before. We want the anger to go away and the numbness lifted. Somehow or other, we want simple answers to make sense...

Gather! Be Inspired! Act!

Dear Friends in Christ: Here we are at the Feast of Pentecost when we remember the descent of the Holy Spirit upon our Blessed Mother and the Apostles. As we look at this great moment in the life of the Church we can reduce it to a few essential elements: 1) The disciples gather together; 2) The Holy Spirit descends on each one; 3) The Spirit-filled disciples respond (Acts 2). Notice how the subsequent actions are dependent upon the first. The gifting of the Holy Spirit and the response of the disciples follow the first act of the disciples gathering together....

Showing Our Commitment

Dear Friends in Christ: A blessed and Happy Mothers’ Day to all of our moms! Mothers’ Day, which is not a liturgical observance, fits in so well with our Catholic faith. Of course, it occurs in the month of May which is dedicated to Our Blessed Mother, Mary, and it highlights the great vocation of motherhood and the beauty and dignity of life which is a gift from God. While it is absolutely wonderful for us to celebrate and honor our mothers on this day we should all strive to make every day “Mother’s Day” by the love, respect, and honor,...