To God, the Best, the Greatest

Dear friends in Christ: What a beehive of activity! This past Monday morning when many of us were yet to have our first cup of coffee, our campus was under siege by heavy equipment, tractor trailers and craftsmen. We had cement trucks, boom lifts, fork lifts and cranes. There were carpenters, electricians, masons, bricklayers, steel workers, plumbers, welders, landscapers, painters, organ tuners and the Lord alone knows who else was on site. The kid in me was excited to see all the different pieces of equipment and the adult was fascinated by the skills and talents of the tradesmen. One of...

Advent Reflection

Dear friends in Christ: This weekend we begin a new liturgical year with the Season of Advent. As we all know, it is customary for many people to make New Year’s resolutions with the beginning of the calendar year. This usually requires an examination and reflection of some sort. May I suggest that we do the same with the beginning of this new liturgical year? Specifically, I would ask that we look and see how we use technology and social media. There are many wonderful and positive aspects of this new technology, but there are also some concerns. On the positive side,...

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Dear friends in Christ: For all the talk in recent decades about “imperial presidencies”, we as Americans do not really appreciate what it means to live under an absolute ruler. Democratic principles are deeply ingrained in our national DNA. In speaking of types of governance, Winston Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the other forms of government.” Indeed, democracy takes work, is messy and is not perfect, but it is the best that human beings have been able to achieve. We have the tendency to take some of our experiences of democracy (and other forms...

Our Catholic Faith’s Teachings about Death – Part III

Dear friends in Christ: In the revision of the liturgy after Vatican II (1962-65), one of the more beautiful revisions were the Funerals Rites. The funerals rites of the Council of Trent, what we call today the Extraordinary Form or Tridentine Rite, were beautiful and meaningful, but the revised liturgy has its own beauty and theological richness. One of the extraordinary aspects and characteristics of our current funeral rites is the ritual connection to the Rites of Baptism. While the funeral rite does provide a number of options, there is a strong resonance between the rituals of these two pivotal life...

On the Feast of St. Leo the Great

Christmas Sermon of Pope Leo The Great (c.400 – 461) Our Savior, was born today: let us be glad. For there is no proper place for sadness, when we keep the birthday of the Life, which destroys the fear of mortality and brings to us the joy of promised eternity. No one is kept from sharing in this happiness. There is for all one common measure of joy, because as our Lord the destroyer of sin and death finds none free from charge, so is He come to free us all. Let the saint exult in that he draws near to victory....

Our Catholic Faith’s Teachings about Death – Part II

Dear friends in Christ: The death of a loved one is something all of us will have to face.  At the time of death of a loved one, there are numerous practical issues that must be dealt with and decisions to be made.  Pre-need planning is a prudent thing to do, not only in regards to a will and financial arrangements but also with a funeral director and the parish.  It is important that all family members know, understand and respect the teachings of our Catholic faith in regards to the death of a loved one.  At the time of death,...

Our Catholic Faith’s Teachings about Death – Part I

Dear friends in Christ: We are all going to die! (How is that for an opening sentence?) It is in the presence of this reality that our Catholic Faith makes great sense. God offers salvation and eternal life to every man, woman and child. God wills that all be saved. The reason that Jesus came into the world is that we might not perish but have eternal life with God in heaven. Yet that does not change the reality of death or exempt us from it! Death is a part of life and also a part of our Catholic faith. We...

Vocations are Everybody’s Business

Dear friends in Christ: Years ago in The Texas Catholic Herald there was a little filler box that said “Vocations are everybody’s business!” How true! It should not be news that we are facing a severe shortage of priests today. The number of religious sisters has dropped even more. Parishes in many parts of our country and in other parts of the world are closing. At the same time, areas like ours are seeing an explosive growth of Catholics with parishes getting larger and larger and being served by fewer and fewer priests. I wish I had a magic wand to...

Stewardship

Dear friends in Christ: What a fantastic bazaar! Thank you to our more than 1500 volunteers, our generous underwriters and sponsors, our wonderful and dedicated staff and especially to Richard Fairly, the Bazaar Committee and the Parish Life Staff. What a great job! During these economically challenging times for the energy industry, which directly affects so many of our parishioners, we are grateful that so many continue to be so supportive of our efforts which aid so many people outside our parish who are less fortunate. There is not a week that goes by that I do not receive numerous requests...

Our Annual Bazaar is Here!

Dear Friends in Christ: This is it!  This is the weekend of our annual parish bazaar.  For several hours, thousands of parishioners, neighbors and friends will all enjoy a wonderful day of fun, fellowship and of course, food!  I sincerely hope that you will be part of the festivities and enjoy a fantastic day.  A word of warning:  Watch out for the long lines at the funnel cake booth and the pupusas booth!  They are two of the perennial favorites and worth the wait, but all of our food booths have delectable offerings for every taste.  Officially, the bazaar is only...