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 San Anslemo (the international Benedictine university dedicated to liturgical and monastic studies). Fr. Richard (amazingly) speaks English, Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese so he should be at home here in West Houston and St. John Vianney!
Welcome, Bienvenue, Bienvenido, Benvenuto, Bem-vindo Fr. Richard!
As summer is definitely here, I would like once again to encourage you and remind you that this is a wonderful time to grow in our faith. Pick up your bible or a good spiritual book during the summer, especially if you can get away on vacation. Do some spiritual reading! Also this is a great time to come to daily mass or Eucharistic Adoration. We are so blessed to have Eucharistic Adoration 24/7 here at SJV. If you get a chance bring the kids, especially if they have never made or seldom made a visit to the Blessed Sacrament. Show them and teach them that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist and he is always there waiting for us to join him with our hearts in prayer. Speaking of prayer, did you know that we have the Liturgy of the Hours (Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer) each weekday? The Liturgy of the Hours is the official prayer of the Church where the Church offers praise to God by the praying of psalms and canticles throughout the day. The Liturgy of the Hours is prayed in the Adoration Chapel Monday through Friday at 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
It is not too late (or too early) to register your children for our Youth Formation classes. Some people wonder why this is needed or even necessary. My answer is, “Look at the state of the world today! Don’t you want your kids to have all the help they can get?” Sadly, researchers are discovering that the age that people walk away from faith, religion and God is at 13 years old! This is not what it was a generation or two ago. This is a new phenomenon and it is not good. In past times, it was not uncommon for people to drop religious practice for a while and then come back. The situation is now very different. Society had more and stronger structures to assist people to live good, healthy, holy and fulfilling lives. Today’s society is awash in isolationism, anger, depression, despair and loneliness. Belief in God and our Catholic Faith give hope and meaning to life. It connects us to God and to one another and equips us with God’s love and grace to handle what life throws at us. Our Catholic Faith enables us to live rich, happy, meaningful and fulfilling lives. The problem is that if we don’t form our kids in the faith, the world will form them in the ways of the world. Give your child every chance at the happiness God desires for them! That means too that parents and family have to live the faith at home as well as at church. It is not either/or, it is both/and. Catholic Schools and parish religious formation are not a substitute for the family living a life of faith and holiness. They are a help, but they only help if we take advantage of them. Come and be part of the solution in making a new generation of saints! I would encourage every family, but especially those of kids in Jr. High and High School.
It is easy to register and you can even do it online:
Have a great summer and see you at Mass!
In pace Christi,
Fr. Troy Gately