Staying Close to Jesus in Prayer

Dear Friends in Christ: This is really new territory for me and I am sure for you as well. I find myself in a most peculiar setting.  It is my fervent hope and prayer that a remedy will soon prevail and that this trial will not find us wanting.  As I am writing this letter, I do so with a broken heart knowing that our parish is not able to come together for Mass.  I ache for those who wish to be at Mass to offer their praise to God and receive the gift of Jesus in the Eucharist.  I pray...

Public Liturgies Suspended Until Further Notice

To the Faithful of St. John Vianney Parish: It is with great sadness that I inform you that  ALL PUBLIC LITURGIES IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF GALVESTON-HOUSTON ARE SUSPENDED. This follows a Guidance Directive issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of the federal government and directed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston given today, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Accordingly, the following parish activities of St. John Vianney parish are also suspended: Adult Formation programs Youth Formation programs Young Children’s Program Young Adult Ministry activities Parish Life Activities Social Services Ministries All meetings, classes and programs These measures will be in effect until further notice. The church will be open for...

Sticking to the Knitting

Dear Friends in Christ, How is your Lent going? To be candid, by the Friday after Ash Wednesday I was already tired! It has been a good Lent but a long one for me and we are not yet halfway through. One of the good things of Lent is that it makes us focus, or at least it should. As we saw in the readings from the first two Sundays of Lent, there is a reason for our current condition (sin) and there is a goal for which we are to strive (heavenly glory). The problem is the in-between. The question...

Conversion Starts Here

Dear Friends in Christ, The Gospel for the Second Sunday of Lent is always an account of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Amazingly, this is one of the very few accounts that occurs twice in the readings of the Liturgical year. We have the account of the Transfiguration today and again on the Feast of the Transfiguration, August 6. I am daily reminded of this great moment when I look at our beautiful tabernacle which has the images of Moses and Elijah. This, of course, is a reminder that Jesus was transfigured before the eyes of his disciples on Mount Tabor,...

Have a Holy Lent!

Dear Friends in Christ, We again embark on our annual spiritual journey to Easter, the Feast of the Resurrection of Jesus, which is part of our life-long journey to heaven. A principle of Catholic life and culture is that we fast before we feast. Prior to celebrating our two greatest feasts, Easter and Christmas, we prepare ourselves spiritually, mentally and physically by periods of penitence marked by fasting, praying and almsgiving. These actions are disciplines that we undertake personally and communally. We discipline our thoughts and our appetites so that we may rid ourselves of sinful habits and tendencies and increase...

Changing our Expectations

Dear Friends in Christ, Recently, the parish conducted a survey of over 2100 women in the parish. Thanks to all who participated and responded. We received some very good feedback. The main purpose of the survey was to attempt to gauge the “temperature” of where folks are at. Overall, the responses were extremely favorable to what we are doing in the parish. Those who responded overwhelmingly found our programs and offerings to be excellent and beneficial. That was very affirming and good to know. There were some insightful observations made that we will study and consider. However, there were two areas...

Preparing for Holy Matrimony

Dear Friends in Christ, This past Friday was ST. Valentine’s Day. (I always emphasize the Saint as so many forget!) No doubt, there were many happy couples blessed to become engaged to be married! At Christmas and New Year’s there are also a lot of engagements which brings great joy to brides and grooms and their families and friends. These engagements can also bring a great deal of stress in planning the nuptials. As Catholics, we have a particular understanding of marriage. We understand marriage to be not only a wonderful event in the life of a young man and woman,...

Change

Dear Friends in Christ, We recently had a presentation to the leaders of our various ministries and organizations in the parish. More than 100 parishioners came and spent a Saturday listening to John Poitevent of Parish Catalyst speak to us about discipleship and growing volunteers. It was a great day! One of the points that John made in his presentation was that for most churches “Change” is a four letter word! In many instances, I think that is certainly true. Without a doubt, there is some of that here at SJV. However, I must honestly say that our parishioners, staff, and...

Our Financial Stewardship

Dear Friends in Christ, This past week nearly 2400 of our 5000 families received their tax letters from the parish.  These letters were sent to all registered households that contributed an average of $5 or more per week by a recordable means (envelopes, checks, electronic).  I want to again thank all who financially support our parish.  Without you and your generosity, we simply could not do any of the things we do here at this parish. Money is one of the touchiest subjects when it comes to the life of the Church.  People have very strong opinions when it comes to money. ...

Discipleship, Leadership

In last week’s bulletin, we began looking at our parish priorities: Outreach - Engagement - Discipleship - Leadership We examined the first two: OUTREACH and ENGAGEMENT. If you missed them, they can be found here. We saw how these priorities are rooted in the mission that our Lord Jesus has given us (Mt 28.19) and that these priorities model how Jesus established and formed the Church. Following our outreach to others and our invitation to others to join us in engaging in the mission of the Church by simple and relatively easy actions, we then advance in our response to the Lord’s...