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...

Lent: A Time of Spiritual Renewal

Dear Friends in Christ: Warning! Warning! St. Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday fall on the same day this year! What does that mean? It means that Ash Wednesday has precedence! Ash Wednesday of course is a day of fasting, abstinence and sacrifice. Those are not necessarily the primary ingredients for a nice romantic dinner. For all of you love birds out there, you may wish to have your romantic dinner before Lent begins. If your friends (or the waiter at the restaurant) ask you why you are celebrating St. Valentine’s Day early, that can be a wonderful opportunity to offer witness...

Liturgical Ministries: “Come and See!”

Dear Friends in Christ: Of the many nice things that people say about our parish, two of the most common remarks are how beautiful the liturgies are and how friendly the people are. That is especially pleasing in that it exemplifies our core values as a parish, the love of God and the love of our neighbor. It is also pleasing when one considers that it takes a lot of effort and coordination to offer so many liturgies to the glory of God for so many people. Every weekend, more than 10,000 people attend Holy Mass here at SJV! Yes, we...

The 45th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Dear Friends in Christ: This week, Monday, January 22, marks the 45th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion in the United States. With these very words, some who were reading this letter stopped. They or maybe even you are thinking “Oh! Not that again!” Yes, THAT again. Please hear me out. Without a doubt, abortion has been one of the most divisive issues in American history and remains so today. Much will be said and many will celebrate while others lament that there has been a small shift in public opinion showing that more...

Looking back on our Christmas Season

Dear Friends in Christ: What a beautiful Christmas season we have had. The crowds, the liturgies, the beautiful music, Gift Giving Sunday, the Children’s Advent Concert all contributed to making this Christmas just wonderful. The opportunity to come to church and celebrate the birth of our Savior as a parish family was especially important as so many of our families are still very much in recovery mode from the floods. So a word of thanks to all of our parishioners and staff who worked so hard to make our Christmas liturgies and events so beautiful. On a personal note, Frs. Clark,...

Be a Star in 2018!

Dear Friends in Christ: In the hymnal that I use at Mass, I keep a few little “sticky” bookmarks to help me quickly find the readings and the hymns. I also have a post-it from the Solemnity of Epiphany from a few years ago in the inside cover of the book. It was in essence my homily notes for that Sunday – or more accurately, a homily note. It simply says “Be a star!” What did I mean? Well, we are familiar with the star in the story of Epiphany (Mt 2). We recall how the wise men followed a star and...

The Holy Family

From an Angelus Address of Pope Benedict XVI 2012: Today is the feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth. In the liturgy, the passage from Luke’s Gospel presents the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph who, faithful to tradition, go to Jerusalem for the Passover with the 12-year-old Jesus. The first time Jesus had entered the Temple of the Lord was 40 days a?er his birth, when his parents had offered “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24) on his behalf, which is the sacrifice of the poor. “Luke, whose Gospel is filled with a whole theology of the poor...

It’s All About Jesus

Dear Friends in Christ: It is always fascinating to watch and observe the gyrations surrounding Christmas. Each year, there are countless media advertising campaigns, made for TV movies and other offerings that try to influence and convince us of the “real meaning of Christmas”. Almost always, the proposed “real meaning” has nothing to do with the actual real meaning. More often than not, what is proposed as the real meaning of Christmas is some kind of sentimental, feel good, idea that is miles off and light years away from any real connection to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ....

Sharing the Message of Peace and Joy

Dear Friends in Christ: I hope that you are having a holy Advent. This coming week we will have three evenings for Confessions in addition to the regular Confessions on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and the Confessions twenty minutes before the weekday Masses. Please be merciful to your poor priests and do not wait until the Saturday before Christmas. We will have Confessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the chapel and we will hear Confessions until all are heard. As Christmas is on a Monday this year, we need to remember that Sunday...

A Time of Preparation

Dear Friends in Christ: We continue our Advent journey. Next weekend, we continue our parish tradition of Gift Giving Sunday. This tradition which goes back to the early years of our parish, is where each of our parish families is asked to bring a wrapped gift for a needy child for Christmas. These gifts are then brought forward after the proclamation of the gospel and placed before the altar. At the end of the day, the gifts, expressions of our faith in Jesus, the Savior of the World, and love for our neighbor, are distributed throughout the Houston area through various...