Making Texas History

Dear Friends in Christ, Have you ever read about the history of the Catholic Church in Texas? It is a fascinating story and one that can give all of us hope and inspiration. The story of Catholicism in Texas is a story of struggle and daring. It is a story of sacrifice and trial. In short, it is a story of faith, hope and love. There are several excellent works on the history of the Church in Texas. Fr. James Moore’s Through Fire and Flood is a fascinating read, and of course there is the seven-volume work by Professor Carlos Castaneda,...

Answer Yes

Dear Friends in Christ, Almost every week there is at least one kind person who will express appreciation for the number of Masses that we are able to offer here at St. John Vianney Parish. I know that I speak on behalf of Fathers Richard and Chuck when I say that it is truly our honor and privilege. That being said, I also know that the future is not so secure. Currently, we offer 6 weekend masses in English and 2 in Spanish. During the week, we are offering 12 masses and in Advent and Lent we offer 15 weekday masses...

Welcomes and Farewells

Dear Friends in Christ, Thanks be to God we were spared from both storms this past week. We know how fortunate we are to have not been hit by Hurricane Laura or Tropical Storm Marco! We pray for a quick recovery of all of those who were in the path of these storms. A number of the priests from the Diocese of Beaumont came to Houston seeking refuge. Fr. Jim McClintock, pastor of St. Mary’s in Fannett stayed with us. His parish has been flooded three times in recent storms. He had just moved into the rectory a few weeks ago...

Why are we Catholic?

Dear Friends in Christ: Have you ever questioned what your Catholic Faith means to you? During this time of fear and uncertainty, we are all being asked that very question in one way or another. What does being Catholic offer us? How does it enhance our lives? What are we willing to do to live our Catholic Faith? In the last couple of months, I have had two very good friends die. One friend died very unexpectedly and the other died after a long and full life. One was a husband and father and the other was a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and...

The Truth and Beauty of the Catholic Faith

Dear Friends in Christ, As you probably know, I did not grow up in a Catholic household.  My mother was Baptist and my step–father was Jewish. Most of my Catholic education came from attending Catholic school, the terrific priests at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Galveston with the wonderful Dominican Sisters and friends who were exemplary Catholics and truly devout in the faith.  I was blessed.  I still am.  It was from my mother and maternal grandmother, both good Baptists, that I have a strong love for Holy Scripture.  They loved the Bible.  It was because of my Jewish step-father that I...

What is your Choice?

Dear Friends in Christ, We are in the process of closing out the financial books for the fiscal year and completing our report on our pastoral activities for the Archdiocese.  While the close of the fiscal year was June 30, there is always a lag time to collect and assemble all the data.  The full report will be published for the parish in the Annual Report in September.  As we gather the figures for this year, it is looking like a mixed bag.  This should not be a surprise to anyone.  On the pastoral side, all of our numbers are down. ...

Remember God’s Goodness

Dear friends in Christ: This week, we celebrate the Feast Day of St. John Vianney, our patron saint, on August 4.  Usually, we mark this day with a parish celebration.  Unfortunately this year due to the Coronavirus, we will not be able to gather as we have in the past.  We will however celebrate and thank God for the life and intercession of the holy priest of Ars.  We will have three masses on the Feast Day, August 4 at 9:00 am, 12:10 pm and 7:00 pm. We are asking that parishioners consider coming to Mass or adoration anytime from August 4...

Choose Happiness

Dear Friends in Christ, During this pandemic when we have had months without being allowed to offer public Masses and then months more of restrictions (capacity limits, required face covers etc.), and general fear and anxiety, there has also been some amazing things occurring. Because Mass attendance on the weekend is only a fraction (<25%) of what is normal, we have increased the number of daily Masses and that attendance is higher than normal! Another amazing and remarkable occurrence is that the number of people coming to Adoration and making visits to the Blessed Sacrament has also increased. Even more amazing...

Pray for Vocations

Dear friends in Christ: In the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, we have 1.7 million Catholics who are served by 446 priests. Of these, 196 are diocesan priests. 147 are active and 49 are retired. So far this year, three diocesan priests have died, five others retired and one man has withdrawn from the active priesthood. We also have two priests currently serving past the retirement age of 75. If we had the priests, we could easily open 15 new parishes today and not adversely affect any of our existing parishes. That does not include all the large parishes that are understaffed. The...

A Message from Fr. Troy

In the media, notably the Associated Press, The New York Times and The Houston Chronicle, there have been several biased and misleading articles concerning churches and the PPP loan program.  The following is an excerpt of a letter that I sent to the Finance and Pastoral Councils in March. I am aware and understand that the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) Loans are being made available to churches and non-profits by the federal government through the CARES Act as part of the economic relief in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.  While many would consider the securing of one of these loans as...