Jesus is our Lord and King!

Dear Friends in Christ: This weekend we come to the Feast of Christ the King and the close of the liturgical year. What a year it has been! Soon we will be changing with our secular calendar to a new year on January 1. Most, if not all of us, will be glad to put 2020 behind us. Without a doubt, 2020 has presented us with pains and struggles in abundance but there is more to this year than that. Today’s Feast reminds us that even in the midst of struggle and pain there is cause for rejoicing. And what is...

Moving Forward

Dear Friends in Christ: With everything going on, it is difficult to know how to navigate from one day to the next. Just to bring you up to date on where we are here at the parish, we are attempting to chart a course that is prudent and moderate. While a middle road aimed at the common good is a good approach, there is a problem with it.  There are always some who are dissatisfied.  Unlike with Goldilocks’, there is no porridge that is “just right” for everyone. Because what we are doing is not perfect for everyone at all times,...

Challenges Ahead

Dear Friends in Christ, Blessed be God forever! Last month I informed you that with the cancellation of the bazaar and the other impacts of the pandemic, St. John Vianney parish is currently looking at a shortfall of more than $500,000 in income.  These are challenging and difficult times for all of us.  Some of our parishioners are out of work and others in our community are in serious need.  While we indeed have our needs at the parish, we are not suffering as some.  That being said, I am asking those who are able and have not already done so, to...

Called to be Saints

Dear Friends in Christ, On November 1, the Universal Church celebrates All Saints Day. This Holy Day takes precedence over our regular Sunday celebration on the liturgical calendar. All Saints Day is also a Holy Day of Obligation, even when it is not on a Sunday – although this year, we are dispensed due to the pandemic. That the Church sees this wonderful feast as important is obvious, but the question is why? The answer is twofold. Firstly, because we praise and honor God for the lives and examples of all the holy women and men of every age who faithfully...

Headlines

Dear Friends in Christ, Here we go again! Pope Francis is in the headlines for a radical departure and changing of Catholic doctrine! It’s true because Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon and CNN all say so! Not so fast. I have lost count of all of the landmark changes of Catholic doctrine that are based on comments by Pope Francis that weren’t. That’s right, No Change. Despite seven and half years of headlines, Pope Francis has not changed Catholic doctrine or dogma one time! So be upset, be disappointed, be relieved or be confused. Or perhaps take a breath and try to...

Finding Peace for your Heart and Mind

Dear Friends in Christ, Last Sunday, I made an appeal that during these times all of us should commit ourselves to pray for one another, stay calm and be positive. I would like to repeat that plea again. Several weeks ago, one of our long time and very dedicated parishioner passed away. I was blessed to be able to visit her shortly before her death. In our visit she told me how she and another neighbor, who was also a parishioner and now deceased, would pray for everyone on their street. These two wonderful women covered their neighborhood in prayer! They...

Your Help is Needed!

Dear Friends in Christ, This Sunday was originally scheduled to be our annual parish bazaar. Sadly, the bazaar had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This is a great disappointment to the nearly 1500 volunteers who dedicate themselves each year to make the bazaar such a wonderful success. It is also disappointment for the thousands who come and enjoy themselves in this fun event in which we celebrate and strengthen our community. Due to the bazaar’s cancellation, we will have to find ways to compensate for the $300,000 loss that the bazaar normally raises for our SJV Charities. The...

The Danger of Forgetfulness

Dear Friends in Christ, We continue to move forward in these trying times. It is not easy and the path is not smooth but with God’s continued grace and blessings we keep moving forward. Recently someone came to me, concerned with everything that is going on right now, and sincerely inquired if the world has ever seen anything like this before. I assured them that the world has seen all of this before! Recently in our readings for weekday Mass we read from the Book of Ecclesiastes, “there is nothing new under the sun” (Eccl 1.9). Our main problem isn’t the...

The Holy Rosary

Dear Friends in Christ, The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary.  The special association of the rosary and October goes back to 1571.  At that time, the world had seen three centuries of the rise and expansion of the Ottoman Empire.  A key part of this imperial expansion was the forced conversion of the conquered peoples to Islam and the enslavement of the captured and conquered forces.  The control of the Ottoman Empire covered Southeastern Europe, Central Europe, Western Asia, parts of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Northern Africa, and the Horn of Africa. In 1570, Ottoman forces conquered the Christians in Cyprus in the...

Weekly Mass is not Enough

Dear Friends in Christ: One of the great fears expressed by many ministers and pastors of all religious backgrounds concerns people returning to worship after so many months away due to the pandemic.  This is not an unfounded fear, as religious practice and adherence have been declining for decades and the decline was accelerating even before the COVID crisis.  The rise of secularism and relativism has been extremely detrimental to religious practice and adherence.  All of the recent popes over the last half century have commented on this.  The decline has been exacerbated during the current pandemic.  The current crisis has...