A Time of Preparation

Dear Friends in Christ: We continue our Advent journey. Next weekend, we continue our parish tradition of Gift Giving Sunday. This tradition which goes back to the early years of our parish, is where each of our parish families is asked to bring a wrapped gift for a needy child for Christmas. These gifts are then brought forward after the proclamation of the gospel and placed before the altar. At the end of the day, the gifts, expressions of our faith in Jesus, the Savior of the World, and love for our neighbor, are distributed throughout the Houston area through various...

New Beginings

Dear Friends in Christ: New beginnings can be exhilarating or frightening and sometimes both. We are now in a time of new beginnings as we enter the season of Advent. Advent of course is the penitential season of preparation for the coming of the Lord. The first three weeks of Advent are to help us focus and prepare for the 2nd coming of Jesus at the end of time. The Fourth Week of Advent is to help us prepare to celebrate the 1st coming of the Messiah by his incarnation and nativity. What is your disposition about Jesus’ Second Coming? Are...

Solemnity of Christ the King

Dear Friends in Christ: The Lord be with you! And with your spirit. Lift up your hearts! We lift them up to the Lord! Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right and just! This weekend, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King. We do so just a few days after we observe Thanksgiving Day. Now, of course, Christ the King is a Catholic liturgical feast and Thanksgiving is a secular/national holiday but they do have something in common. Both Christ the King and Thanksgiving point to someone other than ourselves. While for many, Thanksgiving has been...

Dealing with Grief

Dear Friends in Christ: Many are familiar with the Five Stages of Grief of Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s renowned book On Death and Dying.  She posits that people dealing with a great loss experience five different stages in dealing with grief:  1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression and 5. Acceptance.  As many, including Kubler-Ross, subsequently have pointed out, these stages do not always occur rapidly nor must they occur in a particular order.  Further, a person can fall back into an earlier stage they have already gone through and there is no set duration of the stage; the stages can...

Evangelization: The Mission of the Church

Dear Friends in Christ: In the next few weeks we will be publishing our Annual Report which contains information concerning the previous fiscal year. This year’s report has been delayed due to Hurricane Harvey and our efforts to offer relief and assist in the recovery. The Annual Report provides a summary of our pastoral activities (numbers of registered households, baptisms, marriages, sacraments and reports on events and ministries of the parish) and our financial situation (income, expenses and budget). Without going into all the details of the report, our parish family has been impacted like many of the families who comprise...

An Act of Devotion

Dear Friends in Christ: Today is our Annual Parish Bazaar! This year we had to move the bazaar back a month due to the floods and Hurricane Harvey. As usual, there have been more than a thousand people involved in making today’s festival possible. Please make an effort to come and enjoy the day with us. The bazaar is the biggest one-day event in the parish where people from every mass and from all segments of the community; young and old, longtime parishioners and newcomers, singles and marrieds all come together. There are other times where we come together (Parish Dinners,...

Catholic’s Frequently Asked Questions – Part I

Dear Friends in Christ: I am often struck when good people ask questions that I think I have already answered 10,000 times. The truth is that I have addressed the questions before, just not to these particular individuals. So this means that indeed the questions are sincere and honest and I am getting older! What are some of the topics that people most often ask about? Well, let’s see! Baptisms: Infants should be baptized at the earliest possible time and baptism should never be needlessly delayed. In case of an extreme emergency and danger of death, baptism of infants, children or adults,...

Many Hands Make For Light Work

Dear Friends in Christ: A lot is happening around the parish. We still have the FEMA offices and the power sub-station on campus. Our Social Service Ministries continue to be extremely busy assisting families dealing with the aftermath of the floods. Most all of the regular activities of the parish: classes, dinners, Masses, meetings, weddings, funerals, baptisms, prayer groups, social activities, are up and running. Some have had to be curtailed a bit, or postponed, due to the impact of the floods and our budget issues, but we still have a lot going on. The BIG thing on the calendar is...

“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...