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...

How is your Lent going?

Dear Friends in Christ, Well, I knew the day would come only it is sooner than I thought. I have received notification from the chancery that Cardinal DiNardo has appointed Fr. Richard to serve as the Director of Spiritual Formation at St. Mary’s Seminary. I must confess that I am little bit ambivalent about this. While I hate to see Fr. Richard leave our parish, I am very pleased for him and the seminary. I know that he will do a great job in forming future priests to serve the Church. Fr. Richard is an extremely talented man and I know...

Thank you for your Support!

Dear Friends in Christ, In addition to everything else, this past year has been a roller coaster ride for our parish financially.  Beginning in March, our parish saw a catastrophic drop in income with the onset of the CVOID-19 crisis.  The number of parish households financially supporting the parish decreased by more than 50%. While it has improved over the last 12 months, we have yet to recover. At the onset of the pandemic and with the closure of the parish last March, emergency measures were set in place and immediately implemented.  At that time, all of our part-time and seasonal staff...

Church Goer vs. Jesus Follower

Dear Friends in Christ, We have now begun our Lenten journey. As I have mentioned before, this pandemic is a crisis in the true sense of the word. Our English word is derived from the Greek and means “to choose, decide or judge”. COVID-19, whether we like it or not, is forcing us to make tough and revealing decisions. For a year now, we have been making decisions and judgements. We have been making choices in our words, actions and attitudes. This time of crisis – choice, judgement and decision - has not only impacted our daily lives, it has also...

Be the Difference!

LENT.  This Wednesday, February 17, is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.  Last year, we were just getting into Lent when the pandemic hit.  At that time, public Masses and activities were suspended and we suddenly found ourselves on this year-long odyssey.  While we all wish we were further along, we have made tremendous headway in defeating the virus and returning to normal.  Unfortunately, we are not there yet.  While we can all be thankful for the vaccines and other progress, this Lent too will be impacted by COVID-19.  So what is the plan?  Our beautiful Catholic Faith cannot be...

What is the Mass? – Part II

Dear Friends in Christ, In last week’s letter I began by commenting on the Letter to the Hebrews which has, as its main theme, the priesthood and sacrifice of Jesus. Then, we briefly examined the nature of the Mass by first considering what the Mass is NOT. I ended with the question, “So what exactly is the Mass and what makes the Mass unique and special?” In this letter we turn our attention to what the Catholic Church actually believes the Mass to be. For when we more clearly know and understand what the Mass is, then we can more fully...

What is The Mass? – Part I

Dear Friends in Christ: For the last few weeks in weekday Mass we have been reading and listening to the Letter to the Hebrews. This is a unique and fascinating book of the New Testament.  Although often attributed to St. Paul, the actual author is unknown.  As the title suggests, this work has as its intended audience Jewish converts to Christianity. The purpose of the work according to the unknown author is to be “a message of encouragement”. This is a designation given to a synagogue homily and is therefore believed to be the written text of a sermon that was...