If The Lord Does Not Build the House…

If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do the builders labor. Ps 127 Dear Friends in Christ: Well, here we are, all of us are in a rebuilding project. Whether we lost everything or nothing, we are all in this effort together to re-build not just the homes that have been destroyed but also the neighborhoods, the community and our own sense of self and the life we lead. Do we just go back and pretend like nothing has happened? Do we sit angry in the mold and the muck? Do we despair and wait for someone to take...

With Our Eyes and Hearts Fixed on The Lord

Dear Friends in Christ: We give thanks to the Lord for his mercy, his constant love and for his many blessings. While we mourn for those lives lost and for the families that grieve them, we thank God that so many more were spared and are safe. While we have broken hearts for all those who lost homes and suffered such great loss and damage due to the hurricane and flood, we are grateful that we are safe and that the recovery has begun so swiftly. We thank God for the incredible spirit of so many willing to help their neighbors...

The Ministry of Peter

Today’s gospel should be one that every Catholic knows by heart. Mt 16:18 “You are Peter (Tu est Petrus) and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it!” This is the biblical foundation of the papacy where Christ establishes His Church on the rock of Peter. For two millennia, the Church has been blessed with the gift of the “ministry of Peter”. Now of course, not every moment of the papacy has been “peaches and cream”. There were those infamous Renaissance popes renowned for their personal immorality and worldliness. Think of the...

Go and Make Disciples

Dear Friends in Christ: This summer I had the privilege to participate in two very interesting programs. The first was at the beautiful campus of the University of Notre Dame. The program was one of priestly renewal for diocesan priests. Pastors from around the country were nominated by their dioceses and ten were selected by the McGrath Institute to participate in a week-long program which consisted of presentations by faculty members of the Theology Department. Needless to say, it has been a long time since I sat in a college classroom! The week was wonderful. The university staff could not have...

Experiencing God’s Goodness

Dear Friends in Christ: The psalmist asks, “How can I repay the Lord all the good He has done for me?”  ~ Ps 116:12 God is good and He truly does things for us! St. John Vianney, our patron, frequently used the phrase Mon Bon Dieu (my Good God) or Le Bon Dieu (The Good God). In his writings, one can easily see St. John Vianney’s love for God and his sense of being overwhelmed by the infinite goodness of the Lord. Like Sts. Paul, Augustine and Therese (along with the Cure’ in The Diary of a Country Priest), we too can...

The Transfiguration of the Lord

Dear Friends in Christ: Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration, where prior to the events of the Resurrection and Ascension, the Lord’s heavenly glory was revealed to Sts. Peter, James and John on Mount Tabor. As the scriptures relate, “Jesus was transfigured before them.” Here the apostles could see the glory of the Son of God. They could see beyond what their eyes could capture. They could perceive more than their minds could hold. In seeing Moses and Elijah in conversation with Jesus, they in a way themselves transcend their own limitations and history. With Moses (The Law)...

Share the Beauty and Joy of Your Faith

Dear Friends in Christ: Over the years I have found myself reading more and more sociology. I recently read a study on “Former Young Catholics.” While most of the time I find the results interesting, at other times (like this one), I scratch my head and wonder why the results are a surprise to anyone. Among the findings in the report that I read concerning young adults who leave the practice of the Catholic faith were: 1) that they were far less likely to have attended Church regularly while growing up; 2) Religion and matters of faith were seldom spoken of...

St. John Vianney Feast Day

Dear friends in Christ: Living Faith. Changing Lives. Making a Difference! These three statements sum up our mission as St. John Vianney Parish. These statements do not just say what we do, but who we are and who we are called to be. Each and every individual and family as part of this beautiful parish is challenged to make these three statements a reality every day. We do this not merely as members of this parish but as members of the Local Church of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and as members of the Universal Church – The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic...

Prayerful Stewardship

Dear friends in Christ: Although it is summer, there is still a lot happening around the parish.  We continue to wrap things up with our project.  The major items that can be seen (and heard) that still need to be completed are the organ and the bells.  There are however other items which are far less glamorous but very important that are also being worked on – a new fire alarm system, repairs to the roof, foundation and stone work on the original church (chapel), and dozens of items on the punch lists.  Some of these were in the scope of...

The Sacrament of Marriage – Part III

Dear friends in Christ: In our Catholic Faith, the Sacrament of Marriage is not simply a private or familial act, it is also and primarily an ecclesial action.  That is, marriage is an action that is proper to the Church.  It is how most of us as Catholic men and women live our faith in Jesus Christ.  Catholic marriage is Christian discipleship lived publicly and demonstratively.  We show God’s love and we show how we love God by the manner in which we love our spouse and our children.   As Christ’s marriage to his bride, the Church, contains the essential elements...