St. John Vianney Feast Day
Dear friends in Christ:
Living Faith. Changing Lives. Making a Difference!
These three statements sum up our mission as St. John Vianney Parish. These statements do not just say what we do, but who we are and who we are called to be. Each and every individual and family as part of this beautiful parish is challenged to make these three statements a reality every day. We do this not merely as members of this parish but as members of the Local Church of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and as members of the Universal Church – The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. This August 4th, the Feast day of St. John Vianney, we will celebrate the conclusion of our 50th year as a parish. Last year at this time, we began with a festive Gala at the Omni Hotel and this year we are concluding our celebration here at home, on our parish campus. There will be three parts to our celebration: A novena of prayers for nine days preceding the feast day. We will pray a Novena to St. John Vianney for his intercession for us, our families and our intentions (an increase of faith in our parish, an increase of converts and a return of fallen away Catholics and an increase of priestly and religious vocations). We will also offer 10,000 prayed rosaries and 1,000 hours of Eucharistic Adoration. We will pass out novena cards at church (and have it on the webpage and encourage folks to pray at home), and we will also pray the novena before our daily masses. The second part of the celebration will be our Mass of Thanksgiving offering to the Lord our greatest act of love and praise. We will also ring our new church bells for the first time to the glory of God at the Mass. Afterwards, all are invited to a festive parish dinner in the Activity Center with a sing along and fun and games for the kids. All of it free! For details please check the bulletin and our webpage.
This is the time of year we specifically ask folks to pray for their family members and friends who are not Catholic and invite them to consider becoming Catholic. We should pray and invite people year-round, but as The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults – “convert lessons”) begins soon, we make a special invitation to all who are considering or have thought about becoming Catholic or simply have questions about our faith, especially at this time of year. The RCIA is for anyone who is not baptized or was baptized in a non-Catholic church and would like to be baptized or become Catholic. For information contact our Adult Formation Department.
One of the facts of life that we have to face is that today, there are many people who were baptized or raised as Catholic who no longer practice the faith. Many of these individuals say they do not know if they believe in God or why they should believe. This is increasingly true among young people. Quite frankly, I am convinced based on my experience in talking to many of these folks, that most are not really serious. I do not mean this as an insult, but rather I do not think they have given the question of faith the serious or worthy intellectual consideration that it deserves or is necessary. In today’s world of pseudo-intellectualism and intellectual laziness, it is simply far easier to say “I don’t believe!” without any deep thought, study or questioning. Most of the folks that I have encountered who claim no faith cannot give even the simplest rationale for or against faith. Rather, they tend to parrot clichés and throw out silly and unreasoned arguments or statements that are historically inaccurate or factually false. Most of these individuals have not really studied Catholicism or Christianity. Instead, they can tell you what they heard Bill Maher say on TV or their atheist friend said at a party or something they saw on the internet. They cannot tell you from actually studying the actual sources what they are rejecting and why. In most instances, they are rejecting what they do not know. After 2000 years the Catholic Church has some pretty good, well-reasoned and convincing reasons not only for why we should believe but why someone should be Catholic. This is called apologetics. From the earliest days of the Church and in the New Testament, Christians have been encouraged to be able and ready to give a thoughtful and reasonable explanation for the faith. Can you? If not, I encourage you to perhaps pick up the Catechism of the Catholic Church or read a good book on Catholic apologetics or take an Adult Formation course.
Peter Kreeft, Ph.D., a convert to the Catholic Faith, provides these 7 reasons why everybody should be Catholic:
The Catholic Church is 1.) True 2.) Good 3.) Beautiful 4.) The Facts of History Prove It 5.) It Produces Saints 6.) It Gets You to Heaven 7.) It is Where We Meet Jesus Christ.
Obviously, there is more to each one of these reasons, but I give you these to think about and consider. You may wish to hear Professor Kreeft’s explanations for yourself on YouTube.
During this summer, pick up a good book on Catholic Apologetics (Dr. Kreeft has two books on the subject) and brush up on your own.
In Pace Christi,
Fr. Troy Gately