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,...

Devotion to Mary

Dear Friends in Christ: This weekend we have the crowing of the image of our Blessed Mother at all of our weekend masses. For some of us, this devotional practice brings back wonderful memories of childhood while it may be totally unknown or not mean much to others. Devotion to Mary has always been one of the beautiful hallmarks of our Catholic Faith. In the wake of Vatican II (1962-65) and with the rise of secularism, Marian devotion, like many other aspects of the faith, has declined. While never intended by the Council, many people (clergy, religious, theologians and parents) erroneously...

Sharing our Faith

Dear Friends in Christ: God is so good!  What a privilege, honor, blessing and gift it was for us to have Fr. Patrice bring to us the wonderful relic of the heart of St. John Vianney.  More impressive than even the relic itself, was the beautiful faith of so many people as they came to pray.  This was an experience that I will never forget and I know that through the intercession of St. John Vianney, that many of you will never forget it either. I was amazed at the stamina of Fr. Patrice.  From Friday when he arrived until his departure...

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...