To this Year’s Graduates

We are in the midst of “Graduation Season”! I am sure that all of the graduates have been getting lots of sage advice and I would be remiss if I did not add my two cents. So here goes. Dear Graduates, you have reached a momentous point in your life. After much work and hopefully much prayer, you are entering a new phase of your life’s journey. This moment, while certainly an achievement and the result of your hard work and effort, is not all due to your efforts alone. You have been extremely gifted and blessed along the way. I...

Hail Mary, full of Grace!

Dear Friends in Christ, May is the month of Mary, Our Blessed Mother!  The subject of devotion, art, song and numerous pious practices, Myriam of Nazareth a.k.a. The Virgin Mary, the Queen of Heaven, Our Lady etc., is the mother of Jesus and our mother too!    Throughout the history of the Church there is a funny little fact; as people move closer to Mary, the closer they become to Jesus.  Similarly, the further they move away from Mary, the further they move away from Jesus and His body, the Church!  One of the best ways to get closer to Jesus and...

Getting By and Making Progress

Hardly a day goes by without someone asking me how things are going here at the parish.  I can sincerely reply that God is being praised, people are praying, the sacraments are being dutifully administered and the grace of God is growing in the souls of His faithful.  That is all absolutely true, but that is not what people are really asking, even though those are the most important things here at St. John Vianney Parish.  Most people, when they inquire about the state of the parish, are really wondering about the temporal aspects of our parish.  The answer is...

Thank you, Fr. Richard!

This week we say thank you and good bye to Fr. Richard as he begins his new assignment as Director of Spiritual Formation at St. Mary’s Seminary.  Like Fr. Chuck, his priestly ministry in forming future priests is one of the most important and vital ministries in the life of the Church.  We can all be proud that he will take some of the experiences and love of St. John Vianney parish with him as he assists the seminarians on their journey of answering God’s call.  If nothing else, he should have a few good “war stories” to tell the...

Hope, Prayer, Service, Gratitude

This is going to be one of those “catch all” letters.  Hopeful signs.  In our area, the COVID numbers continue to move in the right direction.  There are still cases occurring and we have friends and neighbors who are ill due to COVID but we have cause to be optimistic and grateful to God.  Please remember that we are still under certain restrictions set both by the government and the Archdiocese.  You will notice that here at the parish, we are not yet allowed to return to all of our normal practices.  Thank you for your continued understanding and patience. ...

Divine Mercy

Dear Friends in Christ: Christ is risen!  Christ is truly risen!  Alleluia! Today is the Second Sunday of Easter not the 1st Sunday after Easter.  It is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday.  Why “of Easter”?  Simply put, the glories of the Resurrection are simply too great to be limited to one day!  God’s wondrous gift of new life in the Resurrection of Jesus shatters all categories, even such matters as language, space, and time!   Our daily encounter and relationship with the Risen Lord is that which defines and permeates our entire lives.  In those instances when we fail to allow...

Encounter the Risen Christ

Dear Friends in Christ: Christ is risen!  Christ is truly risen!  Alleluia! This message of Christ risen from the dead means everything to us who are the disciples and followers of Jesus.  It is the central tenet of our Christian faith that Jesus Christ, who is both God and Man, was born, lived, was crucified on the cross and died, and after three days rose from the dead.  To those who do not know Jesus it seems like foolishness and utter nonsense!  A man risen from the dead.  Are you kidding me?  Look at and “follow the science and the data!” ...

Followers or Disciples?

We are entering Holy Week and the most sacred time of our Catholic Faith. During these days, we recall and attempt to relive the experiences of Jesus during those fateful days 2000 years ago.  They are fateful for us not in a bad way but in a wonderful way, as through the sufferings and death of Jesus, the gates of paradise were opened to us.  By his sacrifice, we have been saved from the ultimate consequences and pains of sin and death.    There are many supposed followers of Jesus in the world. The number is around 2.4 billion people.  That amounts...

The Key to Holiness is Prayer

Dear Friends in Christ: To have a Happy Easter, we need to have a Holy Lent!  The same can be said about life, the key to happiness is holiness!  But how do we become holy? Well, a couple of pre-requisites help.  First, one has to WANT to become holy.  We have to desire holiness.  Sanctity doesn’t just fall from the sky or sit on a shelf waiting for us to pick it up. Second, we have to work at becoming holy.  It doesn’t happen automatically or magically. There are no special incantations or magic pills to take. If we desire holiness...

Saying Yes to God

Dear Friends in Christ, Last week, I announced that Cardinal DiNardo is transferring Fr. Richard to serve on the faculty of St. Mary’s Seminary. I am hopeful and pray that we will get a replacement but there are no guarantees. To put things in perspective, it is helpful to review a few numbers for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.   2000 2020 Change Number of archdiocesan priests 216 196 -20 Total number of priests in archdiocese 437 418* -19 Parishes 151 146 -5 Catholic Population 908,000 1,804,000 +896,000   As you can see, this is a serious situation.  I would love to tell you that it is temporary and the fix is easy and quick.  We all know better. Likewise, we can all imagine...