Friday, October 21, 2016

Open Letter from Deacon Robert

An open letter to my St. Jane’s family and friends… let me begin by thanking you for your many cards, well wishes, and most of all your prayers… prayer works.

Back in March of this year, I was taken to the hospital in extreme pain, diagnosed with a tumor, and had to have emergency surgery. The doctor successfully removed the tumor, but when I woke up, I found myself completely paralyzed… I couldn’t even move my fingers. My son, Michael, told me that I was slurring my words so badly it was assumed that I had had a stroke. Thankfully, I hadn’t, but that was the extent of the paralysis.

I had no idea how to deal with the problem and was ready to give up on life. However, I found myself in a rehabilitation facility (I don’t know how I got there), and the therapists there had other ideas. A young lady (therapist) lifted me out of the bed while I quite loudly protested for fear of being dropped and put me in a wheelchair. She took me to a gym and my therapy began.

I was to remain a resident in a rehabilitation facility, first in Maryland, then in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, until September. You can only begin to imagine my confusion and the roller coaster ride I was on during those months. I could barely use my fingers or talk but somehow learned to walk with a walker. When my health care insurance ended, I was forced to find a place to live but couldn't go home because I was unable to live alone or take care of myself.

My sister offered to have me stay with her family in New Hampshire, another roller coaster ride. Thanks to you and all the prayers, I somehow found the strength and courage to tackle the problem and soon found myself in out-patient therapy in a hospital in New Hampshire. I have to tell you that the exercises caused me considerable pain and frustration, but I am determined to win this battle.

Today, I am still living with my sister and her family and am able to walk (not very far or very long) without using the walker. I hope to soon be able to care for myself, live alone again, and return home. When that happens, I will return to Saint Jane's, perhaps be able to resume my duties as a Deacon, and return to life as I knew it. Until that happens, please continue to pray for me… prayer works and I still have a long way to go before the therapist here will approve my release.

Thanks again for your prayers and support, I hope to see you soon.

Deacon Robert

“I know sure ways of becoming poor: to work on
Sunday and to take the property of others.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, October 14, 2016

To Whom Much Is Given

Dear Parishioners,

It’s that time of the year when we report our finances from the prior fiscal year. The school did well and the income exceeded the expenses by $46,000. The combination of expert financial management, excellent fund raising efforts, an improved luncheon program, and increased enrollment in day care led to this wonderful result. On the other hand, the parish didn’t so well. For the first time in the past six years, there was a loss (-$55,000). The parish still has ample funds in the bank, but a more positive result is needed to continue the mission of the parish in growing the faith of the people. While expenses have been growing, the offertory collections have been declining as parishioners have been dying, moving into retirement /nursing facilities, or moving to other states.

You, the parishioners, have been very generous, and I thank you. I remember six years ago asking you to make a pledge to increase your donations to the parish which you overwhelmingly did. In subsequent years, I felt no need to do so again. But now it’s time to take a look at our giving history. If you are like me, you may be still giving what you decided upon six years ago. So I encourage you to do two things. Take your gross income and divide it into your contributions to the church. That will show you what percentage you are returning to God the giver of all good gifts. Then take 1% or ½ % (.01 or .005) of your income and add it to your yearly contributions to see if you are able to help a little more than last year. I know some of you are on very tight budgets and I appreciate whatever you can do.

If you are wondering about my commitment to the parish, I try not to ask you anything that I’m not doing. So I put my envelope in the basket every weekend, because I am not just the pastor. I am a registered member of the parish. And while I am not the biggest contributor, I am in the top 10. For as Jesus said, “When much has been given a man much will be required.” (Lk 12:48) God has given me so much that I need to show my gratitude by giving back to him. Besides, St. Paul tells us, “God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor 9:7)

- Fr. Carl

“All difficulties, temptations, sickness and humiliations
become sweet and easy to endure, if one bears them in
union with our Lord.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, October 7, 2016

Introducing Deacon Steve House

Dear Parishioners,

I would like to introduce myself. I am Deacon Steve House. I have been assigned to serve as deacon at St. Jane Frances. My wife, Rochelle, and I moved to Annapolis from Columbus, Indiana this past June. I am a retired psychologist. My wife is a retired high school guidance director. We have been married for 41 years. We have three children. One son’s family lives in Leesburg, Virginia. A second son lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. We live with our daughter here in Annapolis. You can see that our move brings us closer to our children and our 6 granddaughters. That is great for us, I’m not sure how it is for them! Although I grew up in Philly, we lived in Indiana for 35 years. The church has been a big part of our lives, and we had a wonderful parish community there. Our move here was planned but probably hastened by the fact that our daughter has Natalie, a two year old special needs child. She and her husband asked if we would come and live with them to provide support. It was really a no-brainer. I was getting tired of the 10 hour trip anyway! Now we are just down the stairs. I think my job is to color with Amelia, their 4 year old. I have so far avoided dirty diapers!

I was ordained in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in 2012. Unlike the Archdiocese of Baltimore, in Indy, ours was only the second class of deacons ordained. I am very excited about being assigned to St. Jane Frances. I have to admit however, that when I was first aware of the parish, I had to ask what saint is that? But Rochelle and I have been praying for God to lead us, and he has not let us down. We have greatly changed our lives, leaving what we knew and were comfortable with to find a new normal. God has blessed us with opportunities beyond our dreams, and we look for his continued guidance as we seek to live out his will for us. St. Jane Frances will be a part of that. I look forward to meeting you, learning about the parish and how best to be a servant to all of you.

May God bless you,
Deacon Steve

“He who does not see, does not know; he who does not
know, does not love; he who does not love God, loves
himself, and at the same time loves his pleasures.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, September 30, 2016

Guardian Angels

Dear Parishioners,

This Sunday, October 2nd, is the Feast of the Guardian Angels where we celebrate the fact that God gives each of us a guardian angel to watch over, guard, and protect us. We get this idea from Jesus himself who said, in Matthew 18:10 concerning children, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.

Devotion to the angels is an expression of faith in God’s everlasting love and care of each person until the end of our earthly love.

Pope St. John XXIII had a great devotion to his guardian angel and often used him as an intermediary. For whenever he was due to meet a difficult person about a troubling situation, he asked his guardian angel to talk to the other person’s guardian angel before hand. The talks often went well. So it would be good for us to talk to our guardian angel each day. “Angel of God my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard to rule and guide. Amen.”

- Fr. Carl

“Our Guardian Angels are our most faithful friends, because they are with us day and night, always and everywhere. We ought often to invoke them.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, September 23, 2016

Cheerful Giving

Dear Parishioners,

My old boss in the Navy used to say, “The best surprise is no surprise.” Usually that’s true, especially if the surprise isn’t good news. Last Sunday at the 10 o’clock Mass, I was surprised by our Knights of Columbus. I knew they were going to make a donation to the kitchen/hall renovation project, but the check was much more than I expected. It was for $30,000.00! Knights thank you ever so much for your generosity.

In this week’s gospel (Luke 16:19-31), the rich man experienced a very different surprise after he died. Back in those times, wealth was thought to be a sign of God’s favor and that the person had a good relationship with the Lord. The rich man did not, and upon his death, he found himself in Hell because of his greed and insensitivity to poor Lazarus. Had he shown some generosity and concern for Lazarus, he too would have been welcomed by Abraham.

May we be grateful for God’s blessings and share what we can with the poor. As St. Paul tells us, “God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor 9:7)

- Fr. Carl

“People talk about Lazarus who had the joy of
entertaining the Divine Saviour in his home; but
Lazarus only had him by his side, while we, if we will,
may have him in our heart just as often as we wish.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, September 16, 2016


Dear Parishioners,

Halleluia! The hall/kitchen renovation is complete. Those of you who saw it last weekend know how nicely it was done. I appreciate the members of the committee who worked on the planning and over-sight team: Mike Wist, John Sullivan, Mike Little, Carlita Unger, Dave Horvath, and Gerry Rather. They put in many hours and came up with a wonderful plan. I also appreciate the Knights of Columbus who not only cleaned the chairs but also put on the protective chair boots to protect the floor. All we have to do now is treat everything with care.

The gospel this week reminds us that we are God’s stewards (Luke 16:1-13). All we have ultimately comes from him. It comes from his generosity. None of us can match God’s generosity to us. He held nothing back not even his son. However, he does expect us to do what we can in our treatment of others sharing with them our time, talent, and treasure. The psalm response tells us the Lord lifts up the poor. I believe he also lifts up those who are generous to the poor as well. At least that’s what Jesus says about the final judgement about feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, and clothing the naked, etc.

- Fr. Carl

“A MERCHANT does not consider the trouble he undergoes in
his commerce, but the prof it he gains by it.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, September 9, 2016

Mercy and the Prodigal Son

Dear Parishioners,

It’s all about Mercy. In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we finally have a Sunday where all the readings deal with mercy. In the first reading (Exodus 32:7-11,13-14), Moses pleads for the Israelites who have merited God’s wrath by worshiping the golden calf. So in his mercy, God relented. The psalmist also calls not only for God’s mercy but also a clean heart and a steadfast spirit (Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 17, 19). St. Paul, in his letter to Timothy (Timothy 1:12-17), rejoices in the fact that God has treated him mercifully. And finally, we hear the famous parable of the “Prodigal Son” and his merciful father who not only forgives his selfish, wasteful, and inconsiderate son, but holds a great celebration to welcome him home (Luke 15:1-32).

In view of all this mercy in the readings, it would seem that we are all called to receive God’s mercy in the sacrament of Penance as soon as possible, and on a frequent and regular basis as the Church recommends.

- Fr. Carl

P. S. Once we receive God’s mercy, we need to show that same mercy to others. It’s only just.

“To what outrages does our Lord expose himself in the
Blessed Sacrament that he may remain in the midst of us! He
is there to console us, and therefore we ought often to visit him.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars