With All His Heart…

Dear Friends in Christ: What a blessing it is for us to welcome back Fr. Patrice from the Shrine of Ars Sur Formans, France, the parish where our beloved patron saint, Jean-Marie Vianney, served and ministered. What an incredible honor we have in not only welcoming our friend, Fr. Patrice, but also the Administrative Director of the Shrine, Alain Splettstoesser. Together, they bring to us the incredible gift of the relic of the incorruptible heart of St. John Vianney. For many of us, as Americans, we fail to understand the power of such a relic of the saint’s body. Many today...

God’s Mercy is Everlasting!

Dear Friends in Christ: The Sunday after Easter – technically the Second Sunday OF Easter, is referred to as Divine Mercy Sunday. In the Opening Prayer for Mass (the Collect), we pray: God of Everlasting Mercy, Who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast Kindle the faith of the people you have made your own, Increase, we pray, the grace you have bestowed, That all may grasp and rightly understand In what font they have been washed, By whose Spirit they have been reborn, By whose Blood they have been redeemed. In what font they have been washed – In whose Spirit they have been reborn – by whose...

He is Risen!

Dear Friends in Christ: He is risen! He is truly risen! Alleluia! What do these words really mean? For many of us, it is a simple statement of faith and truth. We are so accustomed to the teaching that Jesus Christ has risen from the grave, conquering sin and death for all eternity and bringing salvation to all, that these words are just an ordinary part of our ‘everyday’ reality. Because this claim is so familiar to us, we hardly recognize the power of these words. Yet for many people, these words are gibberish, crazy talk, irrational, nonsense. What silliness! How utterly...

Question, Reflect, Renew!

Dear Friends in Christ: Here we are at another at Holy Week. In the Passover Seder, the youngest child asks (in Hebrew) “Ma nishtanah halaylah hazeh mikol halyot?” Why is this night different from all other nights? The child is then told what makes the Passover different: the eating of only unleavened bread, the bitter herbs, the dipping of vegetables in salt water and reclining to eat at the table. Each of these elements comes with an explanation of what it means in the telling of the story of God freeing the Hebrews from their slavery in Egypt. These questions, the...

Say “Yes”

Dear Friends in Christ: It is hard to believe but next week is Holy Week!  Have you been to confession yet?  Now of course, confession is not just for Advent and Lent.  We should be going regularly and often.  However, if you have not been to confession this Lent or in a while, please come.  The Lord wishes to forgive your sins and give you His grace.  Let go of the burden and the guilt that sin causes.  We have additional times for the next two weeks in addition to the confession times before each weekday mass and the regular Saturday...

On Different Matters

Dear Friends in Christ: This is going to be one of those “catch all” letters with a little bit of this and a little bit of that! For some time to come, we will be dealing with the reconstruction of the CenterPoint Energy Memorial Substation. As you recall, the substation was flooded last year and must be rebuilt. This substation provides power to 40,000 customers in our area. When the parish purchased the adjoining land from HL&P in the 1990’s, there was a covenanted right of way. CenterPoint has discovered that their trunk lines have deteriorated and must be replaced. At first,...

The Greatest Good

Dear Friends in Christ: On the 1st Sunday of Lent, I spoke about the Gospel as being Good News that Jesus desires for us. This Good News requires change and trust. The Gospel is good news of Truth, Hope, Immortality, Salvation and Joy. Another way in which the Gospel is also good news for us is that it is a Gospel of Promise. In my homily, I did not spend much time on this aspect of the Good News because quite frankly, I do not think that many of us, including myself, really reflect on the promise of the gospel. Why...

How are we doing as a Parish?

A few weeks ago, more than 120 parish leaders gathered for a presentation on the State of the Parish. This presentation was originally scheduled for the fall but had to be re-scheduled due to Hurricane Harvey. As pastor, I believe it is important that the parishioners know how we are doing as a parish. ...

Overcoming the Seven Deadly Sins

Dear Friends in Christ: One of the great things about Lent for me is that I unplug my TV. Among the other Lenten practices that I usually take up, going on a fast from television gives me more time to read, to pray, to sit and to be quiet. Most years, it takes several weeks after Easter before I am even tempted to turn it back on. Having the TV off reminds me of how much our world is filled with noise and distraction. It also reminds me of how much nicer things are when the negativity that spews forth from...

Living Faith, Changing Lives, Making a Difference!

Dear Friends in Christ: The penitential season of Lent begins this Wednesday, Ash Wednesday. This season of praying, fasting and almsgiving is one of the two major penitential seasons in the Church year. The way to have a happy Easter is to have a holy Lent! This is a wonderful time for all of us, but especially for families to begin new spiritual practices. Attend a weekday mass, come to confession during the week, pray the rosary together with the whole family at home, come to Friday Stations of the Cross and/or pray them at home, stop by for a visit...