A Continual Story of Resurrection

Dear Friends in Christ: This week, the world watched with shock and sadness as the ravaging flames engulfed the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. Besides the awful video of the spire crashing into the roof of this beloved edifice and symbol of French pride and culture, I was struck by two media reports. One was a video of a group of young adults kneeling with rosaries in their hands, praying and singing a hymn in honor of the Blessed Mother. The other was a French commentator reacting to an American journalist on NPR. The American journalist, ignorant of history, suggested...

Victory is ours in Christ alone!

Today we journey again with the Lord Jesus as we recall his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, his celebration of Passover, his agony in the garden, his betrayal by Judas, his arrest and torture by the centurions and his bloody way to Calvary and to his execution. We remember the horrors of that momentous week. We deliberately recall and renew the memories of his tremendous pain and suffering. We meditate on his bloody wounds. We contemplate Jesus’ physical, mental and spiritual anguish. We do so to remind ourselves of the depth of his love for each and every one of us....

Contrition, Confession, Absolution and Penance

Lent is one of the two major penitential seasons of the Church year, the other being Advent.  Confession and penance are central to our Lenten practices.  Confession is a mystery to many, feared, ridiculed, misunderstood and ignored by others.  It is also deeply appreciated by those who approach the sacrament and experience God’s love, mercy and grace.  Through the centuries the sacrament has undergone changes in how it has been celebrated.  Because this sacrament was established and given to us by our Lord, it has always been an instrument of grace and forgiveness.  This sacrament is known by different names,...

Giving Back to God

Tax Day, April 15, is only a few weeks away. This year it happens to fall on Monday of Holy Week. The reason I mention this is because I would like for us to consider money and faith. Obviously, or at least I hope that it is obvious, faith is more important on every level and in every respect than money. That being said, that does not mean that money is unimportant or has nothing to do with faith. Jesus actually talks a lot about money in the gospels. In fact, he speaks more about money than he does sex!...

a Walk through our Church – Part I

March 25 (Monday), the Solemnity of the Annunciation, marks the second anniversary of the dedication of our altar and the blessing of the renovations to our Church. It seems like so long ago. As we are so blessed with such a beautiful Church, we can easily overlook the significance and meaning of the various elements, adornments, and artwork. Our altar, along with the ambo and tabernacle throne, were carved in Italy from stone that was quarried just outside of Jerusalem. This is significant in that we literally have some of the Holy Land present in our Church. What a beautiful...

The Feast of St. Patrick

Dear Friends in Christ: This weekend we remember the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick. Because his feast day falls on a Sunday, the liturgical commemoration is superseded by the Second Sunday of Lent. One cannot think of St. Patrick and not think about the Irish. However, St. Patrick himself would probably think that we are all wrong. While there is no doubt of his great love for the Irish people, they were not his first love. God was and is. Being of Irish ancestry myself, I take great pride in my heritage. Irish pride was instilled in me from an...

Called to Holiness

Dear Friends in Christ: Our Lenten journey has begun. We are to spend these forty days in prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Or at least that is the idea. But do we? Is our Lent really a season of penance and sacrifice? So much in our busy, hectic world is geared and directed to making things easy and convenient that we can easily lose sight of the notion and the importance and necessity of penance and sacrifice. In fact, a great deal of our culture is aimed at eradicating inconvenience, hardship, penance and sacrifice. Back in the 70’s, Eric Segal wrote in...

Finding True Happiness

Dear Friends in Christ: Last week I wrote about the characteristics of a dynamic disciple: Believing, Gathering, Growing, Loving and Leading, and how, as part of our mission as Catholics is not only to grow in these characteristics ourselves, but to help form others to become dynamic disciples as well. A dynamic disciple is different than a follower or a member or a fan or casual observer. A dynamic disciple Believes that Jesus Christ is true God and true man and that he came to earth, lived, died and rose from the dead to save all people from sin and eternal death;...

Are you a Dynamic Disciple?

Dear Friends in Christ: For the last two years some of our staff members and I have participated in a program for parish leaders sponsored by a group called Parish Catalyst. We have been part of a learning group who have been studying and working together on a given topic. Our topic was The Next Generation. We looked specifically at millennials and the groups that are following. We listened and engaged scholars and experts in various fields to see how the changing culture and environment are impacting churches, believers, religious practice, and strategies on how to engage people in this new...

Pray for Vocations

Dear Friends in Christ: There were three recent events here at the parish that made an impression on me. Recently our Young Adult Ministry hosted a gathering that addressed various matters. I was able to listen to these 20 and 30 somethings. It was most fascinating, helpful and inspiring to hear from these committed young adult Catholics. Then I was able to be with hundreds of our parishioners for the Listening Session who gathered at the Activity Center on Monday, Feb 4 to address the issue of sexual misconduct with minors by members of the clergy. While this was a difficult...