The Source and Summit

Dear Friends in Christ: Vatican II, in the Apostolic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium (A light to the nations) declares the Eucharist to be “the source and summit of the Christian life” (LG 11). Over the last five decades this has been a most popular description for many. My question is “Is it really?” Is the Holy Eucharist truly the source and summit of Christian life for most Catholics? I know it should be and can be, but for many it simply is not. Not because there is something lacking in the Eucharist, but for many Catholics, we simply fail...

A Few Changes in the Parish

Dear Friends in Christ: You will see a few changes around the parish in the next few months. While we are still experiencing the negative impacts from the flooding of two years ago in regards to decreases in Mass attendance, participation in programs and income, there has been one area where we are experiencing and increase and a happy one at that – babies!!!! The growth in infants and young children in the parish has been wonderful. Infant baptisms have increased over 20% in one year! What a sign of faith, hope and love! This however has...

Gift of the Holy Spirit

Dear Friends in Christ: Have you received the gift of the Holy Spirit? The answer is “yes!” So what are you doing with the gift of the Holy Spirit in your life? For too many of us, the answer is “not as much as we should.” The Holy Spirit is our advocate and helper. The Spirit is here to aid us in growing closer to God AND in bringing others to God and God to others. Who did you bring to God this week? Who did you try to bring? Who did...

Moving into Summer

Dear Friends in Christ: Congratulations to all of our graduates. To all of graduates from high school, college and graduate school, know of our prayers and best wishes as you enter into a new phase of your life. Go with confidence, but most importantly, go with God! Always stay close to the Lord and stay strong in your Catholic Faith. Know that God is always there for you and the Catholic Church is always your home. Your graduation is a wonderful achievement and while it is the product of your hard work, it was even more a...

New Priests for our Archdiocese

Dear Friends in Christ: Next Saturday, June 1, we will not have morning confessions. The reason is a wonderful one. Next Saturday Fr. Clark and I will be at the Co-Cathedral for the ordination of seven new priests for our archdiocese, two of whom are from St. John Vianney Parish! Yes, next week Rick Arriola and Justin Cormie of our parish will be ordained to the priesthood of Jesus Christ! Along with five of their classmates, they will begin a new and wonderful life of service to Christ and his church. Beginning next Saturday, Frs. Justin and Rick and their classmates will...

Renew Our Focus

Dear Friends in Christ: We are in the midst of finalizing the budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2019-2020. As we look ahead, it is a mixed story. We have many blessings and we have some real challenges. As those parishioners who were directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey can attest, the effects of the floods are long-lasting. Approximately 20% of our parishioners lost their homes or had their homes damaged by the flood waters. This continues to impact the parish as well. We had hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses and to date have not received a cent from insurance....

Happy Mothers Day!

Dear Friends in Christ: Happy Mother’s Day to all of our moms. This holiday is always a little bit tricky as it is not a religious commemoration but is closely entwined to so many of our religious teachings and values. Further complicating the matter is that this observance is not celebrated in all parts of the world and it is celebrated on different days in the different parts of the world where it is observed. For us here in the U.S., Mother’s Day almost always falls during Easter time. This means that the liturgical calendar always has precedence in the Catholic...

Reverence and Praise

Dear Friends in Christ: God is so good to us! He is so wonderful that it is challenging for us to adequately express our appreciation. As the Psalmist exclaims, “How can I repay the Lord for all the good he has done for me?” (Ps 116). Yet despite our human inadequacy, it is absolutely necessary for us to try and to never give up. Don’t you agree? I hope so. Because God is so good and generous and our need to thank Him so great, the opportunities to offer our love and gratitude are also plentiful. We should praise and thank...

Easter People Live in joy

Dear Friends in Christ: Happy Easter! Yes, we are still very much in the Easter season. The joy of the resurrection is so immense we cannot contain it to a mere day. In fact, St. Augustine stated: We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song! How true! Nothing in this life can take away from our great joy and hope that comes from Jesus’ resurrection and the hope in his promise that we too shall rise with him to a new and eternal life. The suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus has changed the course of history and continues to do...

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...