St. John Vianney Feast Day

Dear Friends in Christ: On Sunday, August 4, our parish will celebrate the annual feast day of our patron saint, St. John Vianney, the Curé (pastor) of Ars. Each year the entire church throughout the world recalls the wonderful life of this extraordinary human being who loved God with such fervor and gave his whole life to being a holy priest. St. John Vianney brought God’s love and mercy to people and he brought people to God. This past spring, I along with a group of our parishioners were able to spend a few days living and praying in the beautiful...

Making a New Generation of Saints

Dear Friends in Christ: As we have said “Thank You” and “Farewell” to Fr. Clark, we now say “Welcome” to Fr. Richard Hinkley. A native Houstonian, Fr. Richard grew up in St. Francis de Sales parish. He attended the University of Notre Dame and then went to law school at UH. It was while in law school that he discerned a call to the priesthood and entered the seminary, first attending Holy Trinity Seminary and then The Pontifical North American College in Rome. Fr. Richard has theological degrees from the Gregorian University and from the Pontifical Antheneum...

The Sacred Heart of Jesus

Dear Friends in Christ: This past Friday, we celebrated the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I did not realize it or pay too much attention to the fact that as a kid, we always had in our home a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (not bad for a Baptist mom and Jewish step-dad). Later, I realized that practically every photo I ever saw of my natural father and his sister as young children was taken in front of a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. My dad was born in 1920! In my room, I have...

The Source and Summit

Dear Friends in Christ: Vatican II, in the Apostolic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium (A light to the nations) declares the Eucharist to be “the source and summit of the Christian life” (LG 11). Over the last five decades this has been a most popular description for many. My question is “Is it really?” Is the Holy Eucharist truly the source and summit of Christian life for most Catholics? I know it should be and can be, but for many it simply is not. Not because there is something lacking in the Eucharist, but for many Catholics, we simply fail...

A Few Changes in the Parish

Dear Friends in Christ: You will see a few changes around the parish in the next few months. While we are still experiencing the negative impacts from the flooding of two years ago in regards to decreases in Mass attendance, participation in programs and income, there has been one area where we are experiencing and increase and a happy one at that – babies!!!! The growth in infants and young children in the parish has been wonderful. Infant baptisms have increased over 20% in one year! What a sign of faith, hope and love! This however has...

Gift of the Holy Spirit

Dear Friends in Christ: Have you received the gift of the Holy Spirit? The answer is “yes!” So what are you doing with the gift of the Holy Spirit in your life? For too many of us, the answer is “not as much as we should.” The Holy Spirit is our advocate and helper. The Spirit is here to aid us in growing closer to God AND in bringing others to God and God to others. Who did you bring to God this week? Who did you try to bring? Who did...

Moving into Summer

Dear Friends in Christ: Congratulations to all of our graduates. To all of graduates from high school, college and graduate school, know of our prayers and best wishes as you enter into a new phase of your life. Go with confidence, but most importantly, go with God! Always stay close to the Lord and stay strong in your Catholic Faith. Know that God is always there for you and the Catholic Church is always your home. Your graduation is a wonderful achievement and while it is the product of your hard work, it was even more a...

New Priests for our Archdiocese

Dear Friends in Christ: Next Saturday, June 1, we will not have morning confessions. The reason is a wonderful one. Next Saturday Fr. Clark and I will be at the Co-Cathedral for the ordination of seven new priests for our archdiocese, two of whom are from St. John Vianney Parish! Yes, next week Rick Arriola and Justin Cormie of our parish will be ordained to the priesthood of Jesus Christ! Along with five of their classmates, they will begin a new and wonderful life of service to Christ and his church. Beginning next Saturday, Frs. Justin and Rick and their classmates will...

Renew Our Focus

Dear Friends in Christ: We are in the midst of finalizing the budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2019-2020. As we look ahead, it is a mixed story. We have many blessings and we have some real challenges. As those parishioners who were directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey can attest, the effects of the floods are long-lasting. Approximately 20% of our parishioners lost their homes or had their homes damaged by the flood waters. This continues to impact the parish as well. We had hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses and to date have not received a cent from insurance....

Happy Mothers Day!

Dear Friends in Christ: Happy Mother’s Day to all of our moms. This holiday is always a little bit tricky as it is not a religious commemoration but is closely entwined to so many of our religious teachings and values. Further complicating the matter is that this observance is not celebrated in all parts of the world and it is celebrated on different days in the different parts of the world where it is observed. For us here in the U.S., Mother’s Day almost always falls during Easter time. This means that the liturgical calendar always has precedence in the Catholic...