Lord, Teach us to Pray

This week’s letter is from a special guest columnist The Mass is prayer; it is prayer par excellence, the loftiest, the most sublime, and at the same time the most “concrete”. In fact it is the loving encounter with God through his Word and the Body and Blood of Jesus. It is an encounter with the Lord. But first we must answer a question. What truly is prayer? It is first of all a dialogue, a personal relationship with God. Man was created as a being in a personal relationship with God who finds his complete fulfillment only in the encounter...

Turn to Jesus this Advent

Dear Friends in Christ, Again we begin another Advent when we prepare and reflect on the Second Coming of Jesus at the end of time and the Judgement we will all face. The last eight days of Advent, beginning on December 17, we prepare for the celebration of the first coming of the Messiah in his Incarnation and birth. Looking at the scripture readings, spiritual reflections, art and music of Advent and Christmas, the emphasis is placed on Jesus as the Messiah and Savior. The name Jesus (Heb: Jeshua) means “God Saves”. The title Messiah (Heb: Messiach, Grk: Christos) means “anointed...

Have a Holy Advent

Dear Friends in Christ: Next Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent, the beginning of the new liturgical year! So here is my annual reminder to slow down and prepare your hearts for Jesus. The way to have a beautiful Christmas is to have a holy Advent. Like Lent, Advent is a penitential season. We are to prepare for the coming of Jesus at the end of time and secondarily we prepare for the celebration of Christmas by first calling to mind and repenting of our sins. Hence the purple vestments. Advent is also a season of joy, but a joy...

Come and See!

Dear Friends in Christ: So much to say and so little space and so little time! We are fast approaching the end of the Liturgical Year. Next Sunday is the Solemnity of Christ the King - the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year - and then we begin a new year with the First Sunday of Advent on December 1. As we approach Advent we should remember that as Catholics we are called to be “salt and light” (Mt 5). During this season of preparation we need to live it as a season of preparation for “the celebration of the birth...

When a Loved one Dies

Dear Friends in Christ: The death of loved one is something all of us will face.  There are numerous practical issues with which we must deal.  Pre-need planning is a prudent thing to do, not only in regards to a will and financial arrangements but with a funeral director and also the parish.  It is important that all family members know, understand and respect the teachings of our Catholic Faith in regards to the death of a loved one.  At the time of death, the parish should be notified.  With the funeral directors, a day and time will be set for...

Life is Changed not Ended

November is the month in which we, as Catholics, traditionally remember and pray for our beloved dead. We offer masses, visit cemeteries and pray for the souls in purgatory. Our prayers for the dead are a spiritual work of mercy and an expression of our faith in Christ’s promise of eternal life. The manner in which we care for our dead is a corporal work of mercy, reflecting the dignity of the human body and the preciousness of the gift of life. As families have become smaller in size and more mobile there are some new changes and challenges that...

Kerygma, Didache and Liturgy

Life is busy and can be very complicated. For too many of us, we can get so busy about so many things that we can easily forget or overlook the essentials. The Great Commission that Jesus gives to the Church is our primary mission statement. We are to “Go, make disciples of all nations!” Frequently, we can forget that this is the essential mission of who we are and what we are supposed to be about. To be a Catholic is to be in the disciple making business! All of us are called to preach and proclaim the saving message...

Marriage, Family and Vocations

This week we welcome Fr. Tim Mouton, C.S.C. to St. John Vianney. Father Tim is Associate Vocation Director for the Congregation of the Holy Cross and is assigned to the University of Notre Dame where he is also the chaplain to the ND baseball team! Fr. Tim is a native Houstonian and was baptized, made his First Holy Communion and was an Altar Server here at SJV! As a matter of full disclosure, I have known Fr. Tim his entire life! His fantastic parents, Paula and Marty and I went to college together. I have known his extended family for...

Bazaar: Bringing Together our Parish Community

Dear Friends in Christ: This Sunday we host our annual Parish Bazaar. The history of bazaars, festivals, feasts, fiestas, etc., is actually quite interesting. While many may consider these types of celebrations as merely fundraisers, the actual history is quite different. The idea of a festival extends back to harvest festivals and they actually predate Christianity. These celebrations were practiced in many ancient religions and cultures. The celebrations in Judaism were eventually absorbed and appropriated by the Church. We see the antecedents of our Christian feasts in the various harvest feasts that evolved into religious feasts celebrated in Judaism. There are...

Your Participation is Needed!

Dear Friends in Christ: As you have read in the bulletin, heard in church and received information in the mail, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is in the midst of the IGNITE Capital Campaign to raise $150 million in needed funds to address current and future needs of our archdiocese. This effort initiated by Cardinal DiNardo was planned and actually begun prior to Hurricane Harvey. But with the hurricane and floods, the campaign was suspended and the priorities of the campaign were realigned. As we all know, many of our archdiocesan parishes, like so many people in our area suffered greatly from...