How is your Lent going?

Dear Friends in Christ, Well, I knew the day would come only it is sooner than I thought. I have received notification from the chancery that Cardinal DiNardo has appointed Fr. Richard to serve as the Director of Spiritual Formation at St. Mary’s Seminary. I must confess that I am little bit ambivalent about this. While I hate to see Fr. Richard leave our parish, I am very pleased for him and the seminary. I know that he will do a great job in forming future priests to serve the Church. Fr. Richard is an extremely talented man and I know...

Thank you for your Support!

Dear Friends in Christ, In addition to everything else, this past year has been a roller coaster ride for our parish financially.  Beginning in March, our parish saw a catastrophic drop in income with the onset of the CVOID-19 crisis.  The number of parish households financially supporting the parish decreased by more than 50%. While it has improved over the last 12 months, we have yet to recover. At the onset of the pandemic and with the closure of the parish last March, emergency measures were set in place and immediately implemented.  At that time, all of our part-time and seasonal staff...

Church Goer vs. Jesus Follower

Dear Friends in Christ, We have now begun our Lenten journey. As I have mentioned before, this pandemic is a crisis in the true sense of the word. Our English word is derived from the Greek and means “to choose, decide or judge”. COVID-19, whether we like it or not, is forcing us to make tough and revealing decisions. For a year now, we have been making decisions and judgements. We have been making choices in our words, actions and attitudes. This time of crisis – choice, judgement and decision - has not only impacted our daily lives, it has also...

Be the Difference!

LENT.  This Wednesday, February 17, is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.  Last year, we were just getting into Lent when the pandemic hit.  At that time, public Masses and activities were suspended and we suddenly found ourselves on this year-long odyssey.  While we all wish we were further along, we have made tremendous headway in defeating the virus and returning to normal.  Unfortunately, we are not there yet.  While we can all be thankful for the vaccines and other progress, this Lent too will be impacted by COVID-19.  So what is the plan?  Our beautiful Catholic Faith cannot be...

What is the Mass? – Part II

Dear Friends in Christ, In last week’s letter I began by commenting on the Letter to the Hebrews which has, as its main theme, the priesthood and sacrifice of Jesus. Then, we briefly examined the nature of the Mass by first considering what the Mass is NOT. I ended with the question, “So what exactly is the Mass and what makes the Mass unique and special?” In this letter we turn our attention to what the Catholic Church actually believes the Mass to be. For when we more clearly know and understand what the Mass is, then we can more fully...

What is The Mass? – Part I

Dear Friends in Christ: For the last few weeks in weekday Mass we have been reading and listening to the Letter to the Hebrews. This is a unique and fascinating book of the New Testament.  Although often attributed to St. Paul, the actual author is unknown.  As the title suggests, this work has as its intended audience Jewish converts to Christianity. The purpose of the work according to the unknown author is to be “a message of encouragement”. This is a designation given to a synagogue homily and is therefore believed to be the written text of a sermon that was...

Pray, Think, and Get Ready!

It is hard to believe, but Lent is just around the corner. Ash Wednesday is February 17th this year. I must admit, I am not quite over Advent and Christmas yet. Things are still in a bit of a blur. Celebrating twenty four Masses in four days will do that to you! Since May and in order to help provide opportunities for more people to come to Mass and confession while keeping social distancing during the pandemic, we added additional Masses and confession times. For most of this time we have had three Masses a day, Monday-Friday. Since Christmas, we...

A Year of Grace and Blessings

Dear Friends in Christ: As you can tell by the green vestments, we are back to “Ordinary Time” at least on the liturgical calendar! When we can get back to ordinary and normal elsewhere in our lives is still unknown and is a cause for us to continue to take to prayer. Because of the holidays and everything else, I have had to write my bulletin letters far in advance. This letter is being written more than a week before you will read it. There is a lot happening and things seem to change by the day. In some of my...

Not Yet a Registered Parishioner?

Dear Friends in Christ, Are you registered as a parishioner in the parish? This is an important question. In some parts of the world, parish registration is not a common practice. Here in the United States and especially here in Houston it is very important. Many Catholics remember when it was unheard of that a Catholic would venture outside their territorial parish, be it their village church or the parish that served the neighborhood. In many places it remains this way. Every parish and diocese has a territory and boundaries unless it is a personal or national entity. For example, here...

A New “New Normal”

Dear Friends in Christ: A Holy Christmas, Joyous Epiphany and Happy New Year!  May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, bless you and all your loved ones!  May the love of Jesus shine in your homes throughout this New Year! A year ago on the Feast of the Epiphany, we blessed pieces of chalk for parishioners to take home and mark the doors of their homes.  With the ‘chalking of the doors’, we prayed that Christ, our Lord would bless our homes in 2020.  Little did we know how much we would be needing those blessings.  We prayed and...