Together in Prayer

Dear Friends in Christ, "I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began the good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right that I should think this way about all of you, because I hold you in my heart, you who are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in...

Jesus is with us: Solemnity of the Annunciation

Dear Friends in Christ: Laudetur Jesus Christus! Nunc et aeternum! Praised be Jesus Christ! Now and forever! Today, March 25 is the Solemnity of the Annunciation. It is now exactly nine months before Christmas Day! Today, we recall and remember the visit and the message of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary in Nazareth (Lk 1:26-38). On that inconspicuous day in that hidden away place, the life of that young Jewish woman changed. On that day, the entire world and all of history changed too. In announcing to Mary that she was to conceive and bear a son as the prophets had...

Staying Close to Jesus in Prayer

Dear Friends in Christ: This is really new territory for me and I am sure for you as well. I find myself in a most peculiar setting.  It is my fervent hope and prayer that a remedy will soon prevail and that this trial will not find us wanting.  As I am writing this letter, I do so with a broken heart knowing that our parish is not able to come together for Mass.  I ache for those who wish to be at Mass to offer their praise to God and receive the gift of Jesus in the Eucharist.  I pray...

Public Liturgies Suspended Until Further Notice

To the Faithful of St. John Vianney Parish: It is with great sadness that I inform you that  ALL PUBLIC LITURGIES IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF GALVESTON-HOUSTON ARE SUSPENDED. This follows a Guidance Directive issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of the federal government and directed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston given today, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Accordingly, the following parish activities of St. John Vianney parish are also suspended: Adult Formation programs Youth Formation programs Young Children’s Program Young Adult Ministry activities Parish Life Activities Social Services Ministries All meetings, classes and programs These measures will be in effect until further notice. The church will be open for...

Sticking to the Knitting

Dear Friends in Christ, How is your Lent going? To be candid, by the Friday after Ash Wednesday I was already tired! It has been a good Lent but a long one for me and we are not yet halfway through. One of the good things of Lent is that it makes us focus, or at least it should. As we saw in the readings from the first two Sundays of Lent, there is a reason for our current condition (sin) and there is a goal for which we are to strive (heavenly glory). The problem is the in-between. The question...

Conversion Starts Here

Dear Friends in Christ, The Gospel for the Second Sunday of Lent is always an account of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Amazingly, this is one of the very few accounts that occurs twice in the readings of the Liturgical year. We have the account of the Transfiguration today and again on the Feast of the Transfiguration, August 6. I am daily reminded of this great moment when I look at our beautiful tabernacle which has the images of Moses and Elijah. This, of course, is a reminder that Jesus was transfigured before the eyes of his disciples on Mount Tabor,...

Have a Holy Lent!

Dear Friends in Christ, We again embark on our annual spiritual journey to Easter, the Feast of the Resurrection of Jesus, which is part of our life-long journey to heaven. A principle of Catholic life and culture is that we fast before we feast. Prior to celebrating our two greatest feasts, Easter and Christmas, we prepare ourselves spiritually, mentally and physically by periods of penitence marked by fasting, praying and almsgiving. These actions are disciplines that we undertake personally and communally. We discipline our thoughts and our appetites so that we may rid ourselves of sinful habits and tendencies and increase...

Changing our Expectations

Dear Friends in Christ, Recently, the parish conducted a survey of over 2100 women in the parish. Thanks to all who participated and responded. We received some very good feedback. The main purpose of the survey was to attempt to gauge the “temperature” of where folks are at. Overall, the responses were extremely favorable to what we are doing in the parish. Those who responded overwhelmingly found our programs and offerings to be excellent and beneficial. That was very affirming and good to know. There were some insightful observations made that we will study and consider. However, there were two areas...

Preparing for Holy Matrimony

Dear Friends in Christ, This past Friday was ST. Valentine’s Day. (I always emphasize the Saint as so many forget!) No doubt, there were many happy couples blessed to become engaged to be married! At Christmas and New Year’s there are also a lot of engagements which brings great joy to brides and grooms and their families and friends. These engagements can also bring a great deal of stress in planning the nuptials. As Catholics, we have a particular understanding of marriage. We understand marriage to be not only a wonderful event in the life of a young man and woman,...

Change

Dear Friends in Christ, We recently had a presentation to the leaders of our various ministries and organizations in the parish. More than 100 parishioners came and spent a Saturday listening to John Poitevent of Parish Catalyst speak to us about discipleship and growing volunteers. It was a great day! One of the points that John made in his presentation was that for most churches “Change” is a four letter word! In many instances, I think that is certainly true. Without a doubt, there is some of that here at SJV. However, I must honestly say that our parishioners, staff, and...