Overcoming Challenges

Dear Friends in Christ: Recently, each of the parish departments was surveyed to see how things were going and shaping up for the fall.  Everyone is anxious to get back and get going with the many ministries and activities in the parish.  To do so, as you are aware, takes the efforts and commitment of a lot of people.  St. John Vianney is a BIG parish, and nothing just happens.  It takes a great deal of time, planning and hard work of many dedicated parishioners committed to building the kingdom!  In the survey, we examined how many parish volunteers we had...

Engagement Opportunities

For the next month, we will be hearing in our Sunday Gospel readings from John 6, the beautiful and powerful discourse of Our Lord on the Bread of Life, the Holy Eucharist.  As I mentioned at the Masses last week, it is good for all of us to go back and read this most marvelous chapter on our own and to refer to it in our prayer, study and reflection.  Likewise, it is most advantageous and beneficial to go and refresh ourselves with a reading from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the section of the Holy Eucharist  (par...

Encouraging More Vocations

Dear Friends in Christ, As mentioned in last week’s bulletin, the priest shortage is real and is having a real impact. After consulting with the Pastoral Council, speaking with members of our Hispanic Community and conferring with the Chancery, I have concluded that our parish can no longer provide two Spanish Masses each week. With the transfer of Fr. Richard to the seminary and the appointment of Msgr. James Anderson as pastor in La Marque, there are simply no priests available to offer the evening Spanish Mass. Effective August 8, we will no longer offer Mass at 7:00 p.m. on Sundays....

Pray for Vocations

Dear Friends in Christ, Recently, I announced at Mass that we are again a one-priest parish. This is not new. For the better part of my tenure here at St. John Vianney, it has been this way. We are fortunate and blessed to have had priests helping over the years. Even when we have had priests assigned as a parochial vicar, we have still had to rely on outside priests to help us. The big difference now compared to only a few years ago is that there are far fewer priests available to help! I was recently informed that Msgr. James...

God is First

Dear Friends in Christ: This weekend we celebrate the 245th anniversary of our nation’s independence. We are indeed a nation greatly blessed by God. By divine grace and by the sacrifice of blood, toil and labor, our beloved nation, The United States of America, continues to stand as a beacon of hope to the world and a witness to liberty, justice, equality, peace and progress. Is our nation perfect? Are our citizens above reproach? Is our history without blemish? Of course not. Even with the recent troubles and current divisions our nation continues to be blessed. Our problems, challenges, and failures...

A Challenge Worth Taking

Dear Friends in Christ, It is slowly beginning to feel like normal around here. It is summer and it is hot! But there are also signs of a new normal as well. Back in February with the BIG FREEZE, when the power went out for days, I got a little head start on my regular Lenten fast from TV. With the arrival of Easter, I decided not to turn the TV back on. I have also tried to limit the time I spend on screens – computer and phone. This has been a challenge. As I progressed, an amazing thing happened...

Facts about the Sacraments

Dear Friends in Christ, I catch myself doing this more and more often.  I sit down to do something thinking that I only recently did the same thing a few months ago only to discover that it has been in fact years!  Tempus fugit – time flies!  Here are a few examples.  I wanted to address the importance of having newborn babies baptized without delay.  As with so many things, it is easy to confuse priorities.  Having a reception or a party for the baptism is great but having the baptism and having it promptly is far more important.  Waiting until all...

Now is the Time!

Now is the time! The time for us to praise God! The time to come together!  The time for us to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to all!  Now is the time. In reality, it is always the time for these things.  However, after the last year and a half, the time is now more than ever!  More than a few people have come to me in the last few months suffering from problems that began to show up during the pandemic.  The challenges varied from emotional to spiritual, and others were marital or relational.  The problems came with...

Real Presence, Real Love

Dear Friends in Christ, Over the years, it has been repeatedly reported how few Catholics understand the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist.  Indeed over the last fifty years, there has been a growing confusion among Catholics about this truth and the central teaching of our faith.  Simply put, we believe Jesus when He says “My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink!” (Jn 6) and “This is My Body …This is My Blood.” (Mt 26, Mk 14, Lk 22, 1 Cor 11).  We do NOT believe this to be merely a symbolic gesture or figurative speech.  We believe...

Highlights: Current Developments and Our Plan

Dear Friends in Christ: At long last, Cardinal DiNardo has announced the relaxing of the COVID restrictions for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. This has been a struggle for everyone, and we are all pleased to have reached this point. As we move forward, we must first and foremost give our thanks and praise to God for the graces each of us have received during this time. Likewise, we should continue to pray for those around the world who are struggling with this pandemic and all other maladies. To say that there will be lingering effects from this pandemic is a significant...