“Be not afraid for the Lord is with you!”

Dear Friends in Christ: Not to the extent that so many of our parishioners have suffered, our parish has also suffered due to the recent floods. We were greatly blessed in that we did not have major flooding in our buildings. We literally missed it by an inch, twice! Yet, there were still damages. The final cost estimates have not yet come in, but we are anticipating our damages to run between $250-300,000. Most of this will NOT be covered by insurance. Another casualty of the storm and floods has been our income. We lost two Sundays of collections. Our normal...

In Times Like These…

Dear Friends in Christ: One of the minor trials of recuperating after surgery has been the total lack of energy to do anything.  It is difficult to move and it is hard to concentrate or think.  As with last year’s recovery period, I find myself unwittingly taking lots of naps.  Between naps the TV has been on, and the news has been exceedingly sad.  As though it was not enough for us here locally to be going through the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the floods, every day brings more sadness and tragedy.  Hurricanes in Florida and Puerto Rico, earthquakes in...

October: Month of the Most Holy Rosary

Dear Friends in Christ: October is the month of the Most Holy Rosary. During this month, I invite everyone to pray your rosary. I especially encourage families to pray the rosary together as a family. If you do not already pray the rosary regularly, it can take getting used to. However, the more you pray the rosary, the more comfortable and comforting this beautiful prayer will become. In families and among couples, share the prayers of the rosary, take turns leading the decades and mysteries. Sometimes the rosary can become like a race to the finish line. Slow it down a...

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

Dear Friends in Christ: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” so begins Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities (See, I really do remember something from high school!). So also does it describe the situation that many of us find ourselves in following Hurricane Harvey. I am grateful beyond words to all those who have so generously responded to assist our fellow parishioners and neighbors during this “worst of times”. Unless you have personally lived through losing your home and all of your possessions, it remains a theoretical exercise. It is sad to say, but nonetheless true,...

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)...