Saturday, December 31, 2011

Our Heart’s Treasure

Dear Parishioners,

Mary, the Mother of God. What is her manner, her witness to the miracle that is Christmas? Mary is quietly, simply, beautifully treasuring in her heart all the words that tell the story of Jesus. She knows what all of us must know if we are ever to fully know the power of the Gospel, the truth about God who loves us so much and wanted to give Himself to us so much that He became one of us in Jesus. Jesus teaches us that God has always been with us and is with us still to this very day. Christianity is a simple faith about who Jesus is, not who we are or what we think or how important we think any tradition or theology may be. Our heart’s treasure, if our hearts have a treasure, are the sacred stories of Mary and Jesus and their love for us, even until the end of time.

- Deacon Robert

“Although Mary knew that God had
raised her to the most supreme of all
honors – that of being the Mother of
God – nevertheless she regarded
herself as the least of all creatures.”
- The Cure D’Ars

Friday, December 23, 2011

Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas!

Dear Parishioners,

As the days grow shorter and the nights longer, darkness surrounds us for a greater portion of time each day. There is a tendency, therefore, for our spirits to do the same. That is especially true in the northern part of the world. I remember that so vividly during the two years I served with the U.S. Navy at the Submarine Base in Holy Loch. Each day I went to work in the dark and came home in the dark. It was not an upbeat time.

But one thing made it bearable and raised our spirits. That was the coming of Christmas. In the midst of long dark nights, the anticipation of the celebration of our Lord’s birth lifted up our morale and lit up our hearts. In continues to happen here in Pasadena, and Jesus wants it that way.

After all, in John’s gospel (John 1:1-18), Jesus is referred to as the “light of the world; the light shines in darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5). However, Jesus doesn’t want to come into our hearts at Christmas only. He wants to be with us each and every day to brighten our lives. We simply have to make some room through daily prayer and weekly worship.

On behalf of the entire staff at St. Jane’s, may you and your families have a Blessed Christmas and New Year!

-  Fr. Carl

“Do you know why our Lord persists in remaining day and night
in our churches?. . . He stays there so that every time we want to go
and see him, we may be able to find Him.”
- The Cure d’Ars

Friday, December 16, 2011

Making God Laugh

Dear Parishioners,

There’s an old saying that “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” In other words, life doesn’t always go as we plan. In today’s first reading (2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16), David planned to build God a more suitable dwelling for the “ark of the covenant.” He thought the tent wasn’t good enough. However, God had other plans. David’s son, Solomon, would build a temple for God, and God would build a house for David, a spiritual kingdom that would stand firm forever.

In the gospel (Luke 1:26-38), Mary planned on having a virginal marriage with Joseph, but when God asked her to change her plans, she readily agreed to be the mother of our Lord. Thank goodness for Mary’s flexibility and openness to God’s plan.

There is a lesson in that for us. When problems, difficulties, or different situations arise, they are often invitations from God to change our plans and follow His plan instead. May we be as open as Mary.

- Fr. Carl

Friday, December 9, 2011

Make straight the way of the Lord

Dear Parishioners,

The Pharisees learned that John was Baptizing large numbers of people at the Jordan River (John 1:6-8, 19-28). They decided to make a fact-finding trip to see him. “What are you doing out here? Why are you baptizing people? Who are you? What’s your role in the plans of God?”

Imagine the Church authorities are forming a commission to investigate you. They call to make an appointment. “We’d like to ask you what you are doing and who you are. We want to know what role you think God has given you in his work in the world today.”

I guess I’m happy that we don’t actually have investigative commissions these days, not that we all would like to know your answer, or that you even have an answer. But it is important that you know your answer, or are working hard to discover it. Today’s Gospel story tells us that John was sent from God. We were, too, and all of us are called to discover what it is that God sent us to do… and then doing it.

- Deacon Robert

“HUMILITY is to the various virtues
what the chain is to the Rosary; take
away the chain and the beads are
scattered, remove Humility and all
virtues vanish.”
- The Cure D’Ars

Friday, December 2, 2011

Preparing the way of the Lord

Dear Parishioners,

We all have good days and bad days—days when everything is right and days when all is wrong. When we are having those bad times, we desperately seek comfort and consolation. The setting for the first reading (Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11) is Babylon, where the Jews had been held captive after the fall of Jerusalem. But their captivity would soon be coming to an end. God would comfort His people at long last and deliver them. They looked forward to their deliverance by the Messiah.

However, they needed to be ready for the Messiah’s coming and prepare the way for his arrival. As we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ coming into the world and into our hearts, we need to level the mountains of our pride and arrogance and fill in the valleys of our spiritual laziness and weak wills to overcome our sins. There’s no better way than the sacrament of penance. Take advantage by coming Saturday afternoons from 3:30–4:30 p.m, or attending one of the services at one of the surrounding parishes like Our Lady of the Chesapeake on Thursday, December 15 at 7:30 p.m. The Sacrament of Penance provides the greatest comfort and consolation available here on earth.

- Fr. Carl

Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas is coming…

Dear Parishioners,

In just a few weeks, we will celebrate the birth of our Lord. Some may already have a Christmas list with things others may not even want, much less need. Truth be told, if you would really like to make somebody’s Christmas this year, maybe the place to start is with yourself. When you see injustice, be an advocate for justice. When you see hatred, be the presence of love. When someone ignores you and treats you as if you did not exist, pray for them. And yes, especially with those closest to you, see in them what God sees. Be God’s presence in these waiting days we call Advent. If you will, you might be surprised how the waiting will be transformed into the joy of Christmas.

- Deacon Robert

“We must say many prayers for the
souls of the Faithful Departed, for one must
be so pure to enter Heaven!”
- The Saint Cure D’Ars

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Parishioners,

It’s hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is here already. And while we all have some problems and concerns in our life, Thanksgiving is a time to “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.” For no matter what we don’t have, as long as we have God, we have everything we need. As St. Augustine said, “He who has everything but has not God, has nothing, and he who has nothing but has God, has everything.”

As I look back on my life, I am most grateful for a loving family (mother, father, sister), the faith in which I was raised and saw lived by a devout father, the civilian and military parishes in which I served, some outstanding priests with whom I worked, and some loyal friends. Today I am especially thankful to serve as your pastor. When I was first ordained, I wanted two things in a parish – a nice church building that looked like a church inside and out, and a school. We are blessed to have both. The church is very attractive, well lit, has an excellent sound system, and good acoustics. The school is outstanding with wonderful teachers, an excellent staff, superb academics which partners with the U.S. Naval Academy in its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Program. Also, and perhaps most importantly, our school is blessed with awesome children; it’s where I go to get reenergized as I share my faith with the children. Finally, I am very thankful for the wonderful parish staff who give so much of themselves to the parish and so much support to me.

And I bet if you sat down as I have done, you could come up with a similar list in your situation.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Fr. Carl

Friday, November 11, 2011

Investing Wisely

Dear Parishioners,

What is the real story of the three servants in today’s Gospel (Matthew 25:14-30) and the story of our own lives? We are called to “take risk” with the gifts entrusted to us by God. We are expected to wisely invest our gifts from God of time, talent and treasure. Don’t bury your gifts… invest them in others. That is the only way to gain “interest” for the Kingdom of God, and the life of the world to come.

- Deacon Robert

Friday, November 4, 2011

Planning a Catholic Funeral

Dear Parishioners,

This past week we remembered and prayed for the dead. This month, we will continue to offer Masses for our deceased relatives and friends who might be in purgatory. This is an opportune time to think about our own funeral arrangements and not burden our loved ones with decisions and problems after we are gone.

A Catholic funeral consists of three parts: a wake service at the funeral home, a Mass of Christian burial in church, and prayers at the cemetery or mausoleum. The most important part is Mass, for the fruits of the Mass are infinitely more pleasing to God and effective in relieving any remaining temporal punishment due to sin. That is, [celebration of the Holy Eucharist at Mass] will help the deceased get out of purgatory much more quickly than a prayer service at a funeral home. Unfortunately, more and more often, the surviving family members are opting for a service at a funeral home; it’s quicker and easier. So if you want a full Catholic funeral, it would be wise to make specific arrangements well in advance.

Today the Catholic Church allows for cremation of the body, but prefers the cremation to take place after the funeral Mass in church. It also has some specific instructions on the disposition of the cremains afterwards. The U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship says the following:

“Any catechesis on the subject of cremation should emphasize that the cremated remains of a body should be treated with the same respect given to the corporeal remains of a human body. This includes the use of a worthy vessel to contain the ashes, the manner in which they are carried, the care and attention to appropriate placement and transport, and the final disposition.

While cremated remains may be buried in a grave, entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium, or even buried at sea, the practice of scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or keeping cremated remains in the home of a relative or friend of the deceased are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires. The cremated remains of the body may be properly buried at sea in the urn, coffin, or other container in which they have been carried to the place of committal. (‘Cremation and Burial at Sea’) See”

- Fr. Carl

Friday, October 28, 2011

Calling all Fathers

Dear Parishioners,

“Call no man on earth your father.” This verse from today’s Gospel (Matthew 23:1-12), is sometimes used by a few of our Protestant brothers to criticize our custom of calling our priests “Father.” However, that text should be read in the proper way. Otherwise, what do we call our paternal parent? It certainly would not be respectful to call him by his first name. What Jesus is talking about is pride and trying to impress others through position, knowledge, and acting as a person of importance or holiness by assuming a title. We also might remember that St. Paul in his letters referred to himself as a father to some of the churches he visited (1 Cor. 4:14–15). It is hardly likely that he would have gone against the will of Jesus by calling himself “father.” When we call our priests, “Father,” we acknowledge the roles they have in the church—to be good fathers leading, teaching, protecting, and feeding their spiritual children with the Word of God and the Eucharist.

In recent years, some have betrayed their trust and hurt their children. It is a terrible tragedy. Still the vast majority have served their spiritual children well. Let us pray that more young men will respond to our Heavenly Father’s call to the priesthood and serve as spiritual fathers to his family on earth.

- Fr. Carl

Friday, October 21, 2011

What is the greatest commandment?

Dear Parishioners,

What is the greatest commandment? Is it really something we believe or think or defend as if our life depended on it? Does our world really need another verbal defense of the Christian faith? The greatest commandment as our Lord taught (Matthew 22:34-40) and lived is always waiting to be awakened in the likes of you and me. All our professed love for God is empty rhetoric without actions, labors of love that say the God we love is the One who changed, and is changing our lives. This week, let’s labor in love together. Let’s refuse the fist and choose reconciliation. Let’s walk away from defending our faith and walk toward living it. Let’s love as Jesus loved, define ourselves, and perhaps others, what it means to follow Jesus.

- Deacon Robert

“Make a note of the difference there is
between believing in the existence of
God and believing in Him.”
- The Cure D’Ars

Friday, October 14, 2011

Where does your loyalty lie?

Dear Parishioners,

In today’s gospel (Matthew 22: 15-21), Jesus is put in an impossible situation by two opposing groups, both of whom are against Him. The question is whether it is lawful to pay taxes to the emperor or not. An affirmative answer will alienate Jesus from the Jews; a negative answer will alienate Jesus from the Romans. Jesus masterfully evades the trap by saying, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but give to God what is God’s.” However, sometimes there is no way to avoid trouble as St. Thomas More discovered. He was the chancellor of England when Henry VIII divorced his wife and remarried, even though the Church would not grant him an annulment. Loyal to the king, he never condemned Henry; but loyal to the Church, he never gave his approval. Even though he was pressured and all the other bishops except St. John Fisher caved in and gave their approval, St. Thomas remained steadfastly loyal to the Church. Because of this, he was sentenced to death. As he stood on the scaffold awaiting execution, his last words were, “I die the King’s good servant, but God’s first.” He was loyal to his King as long as possible, but his ultimate loyalty was with God. May we always be the same, and may our Catholic politicians look to God for guidance on moral issues rather than party loyalty or voter support and approval.

Friday, October 7, 2011

You’re Invited!

Dear Parishioners,

God is hosting a wedding for His Beloved Son. We can never earn our place on God’s invitation list; it’s just that God is generous. For it is a profound truth of the gospel, that God is continually extending an invitation to the event of a lifetime and beyond. It is an offer that no one in their right mind should refuse or put off. But it is an invitation that waits for a response. We, all of us, are invited. Please RSVP… and remember, wear white.

- Deacon Robert

“Since we are only in the world for God
himself, we shall never be happy if we do not
serve him with zeal and love.”
- The Saint Cure D’Ars

Friday, September 30, 2011

Now it’s up to you

Dear Parishioners,

Our heavenly Father is like a good, hard working Father, and we are the crop he hopes to harvest. He has spared no effort or expense to make us fruitful and good. He has planted the seed of faith in our hearts, watered us in Baptism, nourished us in the Eucharist, and spaded the earth around us in the sacrament of Penance. He has spared no effort or expense and can do no more. The rest is up to us. Let us pray for the grace to use these gifts wisely so as to bear good fruit by living holy lives.

- Fr. Carl

“We are each of us like a small mirror in which
God searches for his reflection.”
- The Saint Cure D’Ars

Friday, September 23, 2011

Learn more about your faith

Dear Parishioners,

Last week when I celebrated Mass on Catechetical Sunday and blessed our religion teachers (Catechists), I reminded everyone of the words of Blessed John Paul II. He said “No one, not even priests or religious, should feel excused from studying and learning more about the faith.” This year more than ever is it essential that we take those words seriously, since there will be a new translation to some of the prayers at Mass beginning November 26/27. This is a wonderful opportunity as there will be articles in the bulletin, some long and others short. Also, beginning October 8th at 9:00 a.m., there will be a series of five 30-minute videos held in the church on the changes as well as the biblical roots of the Mass. These videos were extremely well received by all the members of our Parish Council at their retreat last weekend. For those who cannot come on Saturday mornings, the same videos will be shown on Thursday evenings beginning on October 13 at 7:00 p.m., also in the church. Please call the parish office to register no later than October 3rd.

By the way, I’ve seen the video series three times and learned something new each time. I know you will find it worthwhile.

- Fr. Carl

Friday, September 16, 2011

The End of the Line

Dear Parishioners,

What are we to make of today’s Gospel message from Matthew? (Matthew 20:1-16a) Simply put, Jesus uses a parable to teach his disciples that God is not fair. Those who were hired at the end of the day were paid first and received the same wage promised to those who toiled all day. It seems to us that those who worked all day should expect to be paid more, but all the workers received the same pay. Jesus teaches us that God is not fair, God is generous. God plays by a higher set of standards, where the least powerful get extra protection, where the strong serve the weak, where the pious receive the same grace as the sinner. This may sound troubling depending on where you are in this line-up of workers at the end of the toilsome day.

But what if we are not really at the front of the line, the early risers? What if we are really at the end of the line, Gentiles who arrive centuries late to the family of God after the Jewish people have worked for centuries as God’s chosen people? Could it be that we are the 5:00 workers after all? From the back of the line, this parable sounds quite different. That said, it means that all of us are being invited to dance to the tune of Amazing Grace. Personally I’m glad that God is not fair, but that God is generous instead.

- Deacon Robert

Friday, September 9, 2011

Roman Missal, Third Edition coming soon to a church near you!

Dear Parishioners,

By now, many of you have heard that there will be some changes in the Mass starting the First Sunday of Advent. It’s nothing to get concerned about as the changes will be relatively minor, affecting some of the responses and prayers. The format will remain the same – Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, and Concluding Rites. Why is the Church doing this now? Actually the Church has been making changes in the Mass since the beginning. (See page 2 of the Sept. 11 bulletin). Early on, the Mass was prayed in Greek (Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison), then in Latin, and forty years ago in the local language of the people. From the fourth through the eighth century, there were different forms of the Mass in France, Spain, and Italy before the Roman rite became more the norm in Europe. However, it was not until after the Council of Trent (1545-1563) that the Roman Missal was mandated by the Church in 1570. Still some areas in Europe didn’t conform to the changes for over 300 years. That won’t happen here in the USA.

Now that the summer is over and Advent approaches, it’s a good time to prepare by reading the short articles and inserts in the bulletin. There will also be a series of five 30 minute videos on the biblical basis of the Mass on Saturday mornings from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. in the Muth Room starting October 8th. Contact the Parish Office if you would like to attend.

Why not begin by reading the insert today from the United States Catholic Conference?

- Fr. Carl

For more information, see

Friday, September 2, 2011

What a week it’s been!

Dear Parishioners,

What a week it’s been! First there was an earthquake, then a hurricane, and now the news that Archbishop O’Brien will be taking a new assignment in Rome as head of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. While it is a sign of Pope Benedict XVI’s appreciation for the Archbishop’s long and distinguished service to the Church, it is disappointing to see him depart after only four years here in Baltimore. He has had some difficult decisions to make with the declining enrollment in Catholic schools, and is in the midst of dealing with a significant priest shortage and the changing demographics in parishes.

A Brother Who Sins

Today’s gospel (Matthew 18:15-20) deals with fraternal correction in the Christian manner. All too often we go about it in the wrong way with negative results. We might bottle up wrongs committed against us, or lash out in anger, gossip about the perpetrator, or publicize it on a website. Jesus advises us to go to the offending person and correct him/her in private. In the Navy, we were told to praise in public and rebuke in private so as to spare the culprit unnecessary embarrassment. If that were to fail, then get several witnesses to again privately address the offender. Only if that were to fail, should the matter to be made public. That’s what our bishops have been doing with our so-called Catholic politicians who come out in favor of positions contrary to the Catholic faith. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked here on earth. Still our bishops must continue to correct the sinner and the saint, the proud and the humble, the self-assured and the docile, trusting that God will sort it out when He judges the wicked and the righteous.

- Fr. Carl

Friday, August 26, 2011

“Do not conform yourselves to this age...”

Dear Parishioners,

Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.

We are expected to conform to scriptural teachings, just laws, and appropriate ways of conducting ourselves. But there are many other types of conduct where we are supposed to be nonconformists. Paul taught the Roman Christians (Romans 12:1-2) to avoid conformity to pagan practices and false values. They were to value the spiritual over the material and use the mind to guide the body. Good advice for all of us!

There are many ways of thinking and behaving today that lead us in the wrong direction. Our religious beliefs challenge us to be transformed daily into spiritual people in the midst of a materialistic world. Transformation is a call to conversion… a change of mind and heart to live a more excellent, higher and holier life.

- Deacon Robert

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chips off the old block

Dear Parishioners,

Jesus uses a play on words when speaking to Peter (Matthew 16:13-20). “You are Peter (petros), and upon this rock (petra) I will build my church.” Petros means “pebble,” or little stone; and “petra” means boulder, or a great big stone. Jesus goes on to entrust Peter and all those who would follow him with the “Keys to the Kingdom.”

Because of Peter’s faith as well as his failings, it is easy for us to connect with him. One day each of us will appear at the gates of heaven, and there holding the keys will be Peter. Since people like you and me will at times speak out with confidence about our beliefs in Jesus, but like Peter have a checkered history backing up our confession with our actual practice, it is comforting to know that it is Peter we will face with those keys. Peter, of all the disciples, is someone who understands that our lives are not defined by our moments of failure, however colossal or public, but by whether we at least tried to give voice and action to our faith, and by God’s mercy got up one more time than we fell. When we do, we too are chips off the old block, God’s little rocks, and the gates of the kingdom will swing wide open with grace for such little pebbles as these.

- Deacon Robert

Friday, August 5, 2011

Never Take God for Granted

Dear Parishioners,

Our God is one of surprises who reveals himself in different ways. To Moses, he first appears in the “burning bush” which wasn’t consumed by the fire. Later, at Mount Sinai, he reveals himself in thunder and lightning. In today’s readings (1 Kings 19:9-12), he comes to Elijah not as a strong heavy wind, earthquake, or even fire. Instead, he comes as a tiny whispering sound. Perhaps it is a warning to us that we can never totally figure out God. For just when we think we have, we discover another aspect or another feature in his nature and activity we never before realized. And that’s not a bad thing. It keeps us off balance; we can never take God for granted; we can never presume we have all the answers.

That’s a lesson our world needs to learn where so many, in their pride and arrogance, think that they do, especially our political and government leaders who leave God and morality out of the discussion as we see with so many of our Catholic politicians. They use their Catholic faith when it suits them only to cast the faith overboard when it is politically advantageous to do so. Let us pray that we may look to Christ and his Church for guidance and wisdom in our personal decisions and those of our government leaders.

- Fr. Carl

Friday, July 29, 2011

Food for the Soul

Dear Parishioners,

From time to time, we see in the media starving children in poor countries around the world. Our hearts go out to these unfortunate little ones. It is a tragedy that while we send shuttles and satellites into outer space, we haven’t solved the problem of world hunger. Today in the gospel (Matthew 14:13-21), Jesus solves a minor hunger problem by the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. He does such a good job that there are twelve baskets of leftovers. Jesus fed their hunger and then some. It is a sign that he can fill our deepest hunger if only we go to him. Today people not only hunger for food, but they hunger for money, power, fame, popularity, and material possessions. However, these things can never satisfy our deepest hunger - that of the soul. As St. Augustine said, “You have made us for yourself O Lord, and our souls are restless until they rest in You.”

- Fr. Carl

Friday, July 22, 2011

Seeking the Kingdom of Heaven

Dear Parishioners,

If you seek knowledge about God’s Kingdom of Heaven, you need not look for it in a cathedral, or by taking a pilgrimage to a holy place or by attending a seminary. Of course God is to be found in these places, but you can also find the Kingdom of Heaven breaking through into this world in the laughter of children, the knowing glance of an elderly couple who still hold hands after many years of marriage, the beauty of a sunrise or a sunset, the forgiving embrace of a friend, the hospitality of a stranger, or the generosity of people caring for those less fortunate than themselves. To seek the Kingdom of God, we must use the language found here on earth…words like joy, sacrifice, surprise and abundance. Here is where we find the treasure buried in a field, where the proverbial “X” marks the spot for us to begin digging for the treasure of heaven.

- Deacon Robert

“Do not allow yourselves to be
overly saddened by the unfortunate
accidents of this world. You are not
aware of the benefits they bring and by
what secret judgment of God they are
arranged for the eternal joy of the elect.”
- St. John of the Cross

Friday, July 15, 2011

Saints and Sinners

Dear Parishioners,

The Catholic Church has always been a mix of saints and sinners. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference. Some who appear to be saints have hidden vices, while others who seem to be sinners have hidden virtues. So it is good to follow our Lord’s advice elsewhere in the gospel, “Judge not lest you be judged.”

Furthermore, the gospel is a reminder of God’s patience in allowing the weeds to remain in the wheat field. What may appear to be weeds may turn out to be wheat and vice versa.

If we examine our lives, we will see that there were times when we seemed to be wheat in God’s field and times when we were wicked weeds. All the while, God is patient with us. However, unlike weeds and wheat, we have free will and can choose how we want to turn out. We can root the weeds out of our hearts only through prayer, penance, and the sacraments. If we do, we need have no fear when the master of the harvest comes.

- Fr. Carl

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Message From Our Deacon

Dear Parishioners,

Jesus provides us with an explanation of the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-9). He compared the various soils to different receptions of the gospel message: sometimes rejected, other times off to a good start but poor follow-through, other times choked by too many competing interests, and thankfully sometimes received to produce an amazing fruitful life. We want to be the good soil that is receptive to God’s word. But notice that all of the soils mentioned are in the same field, and each of us has experienced having all four types of this soil within us. We have all had times when God’s message bounced right off of us, or took root quickly, then withered soon after, or got choked by the weeds of our competing interests. But then we have also had those moments when the message of God found us at just the right time, when our minds and hearts were ready to hear, when the insights bore fruit and an amazing harvest for God’s glory and our delight.

- Deacon Robert

“Those who are led by the Holy
Spirit experience all sorts of happiness
in themselves.”
- The Saint Cure D’Ars

Friday, July 1, 2011

The best “pick-me-up” ever!

Dear Parishioners,

Whenever you walk into a church, it’s easy to tell if it’s a Catholic Church by the red lamp hanging over, or nearby, the tabernacle to signify that Jesus is there in the Blessed Sacrament. We keep extra hosts there for three reasons. First, we keep hosts to bring Jesus to the sick and the dying. Second, sometimes a person may be prevented from attending Mass when scheduled, but could come at another time. Third, we keep the Blessed Sacrament there in order for people to come and pray in the presence of our Lord.

In days gone by, most churches were left open so that the faithful might stop in and pray for a bit before the tabernacle. And many people did just that. Sometimes we might go for a cup of coffee, a soda, or a candy bar for a pick-me-up. There can be no better pick-me-up in our hectic schedules than a short or long visit with Jesus. In case you don’t know it, our Blessed Sacrament Chapel is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. And on Mondays and First Fridays, we have exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on the altar there. So give yourselves a break and stop in for a visit with Jesus. You will be glad you did.

- Fr. Carl

Friday, June 24, 2011

One bread, one body

Dear Parishioners,
One bread, one body, one Lord of all,
the cup of blessing which we bless.
Those words are from a hymn we learned as children, but have we given serious reflection to what those words mean in our lives? Our risen Lord, Jesus Christ, is the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation. Because there is one bread, we are part of one body. And because we drink from one cup, we are members of this holy fellowship. His body and his blood are not only given sacrificially for us, they are given generously for the Church. This consecrated bread and wine, this most Holy Eucharist, spiritually nourishes every follower of Christ and sustains the Church as faithful witnesses to Christ.

- Deacon Robert

“HAPPY is he that lives to love,
receive and serve God!”
- The Saint Cure D’Ars

Friday, June 17, 2011

Living Miracles

Dear Parishioners,

It was only three weeks ago that I found myself in Prague, the Czech Republic. Known as the “Paris of Eastern Europe” and the “City of a Thousand Spires,” it has three hundred churches. Unfortunately, they are not very well attended. Still, with the Vltava River running through it, and the old town (over 300 years old) untouched by the ravages of World War II, and the beautiful cathedral palace and churches, it is well worth the effort of crossing the Atlantic.

St. Vitas Cathedral contains the remains of Prague’s patron, Saint Wenceslaus, who helped establish the Catholic faith in the early 10th century. He was murdered by his brother right outside of church after Mass; his mother, St. Ludmilla, was murdered earlier as well. The Cathedral also contains the body of St. John Nepomucene in a 2000 pound silver sarcophagus. He, too, was murdered. However, the biggest thrill of Prague was the day I celebrated Mass at the Carmelite Church, Our Lady of Victory, and saw a miracle. That church contains the famous Infant of Prague Image. Just before Mass, I was chatting with a lady from Venezuela who had come on a pilgrimage. She had an incurable form of cancer several years before, and her prayers to the Infant of Prague resulted in her cure. What a blessing it was to meet a living miracle! However, we get to see a miracle every time we gather for Mass. When we do, we see ordinary bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus. And when we worthily receive Holy Communion, Jesus cures us of our venial sins. That’s a miracle we have right here. We don’t have to cross the Atlantic Ocean to have our own special miracle.

- Fr. Carl

Friday, June 10, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Dear Parishioners,

Everybody loves a birthday. It’s a joyful opportunity to celebrate our love for the person being honored. Today we celebrate the birthday of the Church on this Pentecost Sunday. The descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles (Acts 2:1-11) that Sunday turned a small, timid, fearful group into a bold and courageous, faith-filled band. From that moment on, the Church began to proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth.

Since we are part of the Church, and since we too have received the Holy Spirit in Baptism and Confirmation, our mission is the same. We do it by the way we live our lives. Let us not forget that and become more aware of the many opportunities we have in all our dealings with those around us.

- Fr. Carl

The more we know of men, the
less we love them. It is the contrary
with God; the more we know of Him,
the more we love Him.
- The Saint Cure D’Ars

Friday, June 3, 2011

Wait a minute

Dear Parishioners,

Jesus gave his apostles a difficult assignment. He told them not to go out to spread the good news to the world until the Holy Spirit descended upon them. But how long would they have to wait before the Holy Spirit would come?

Waiting, like for the apostles, is just as difficult for us today. Do you remember waiting for college grades to be posted? Have you ever had to wait as days passed by to learn the results of a lab test? Will our teenager arrive home safely after going out with his or her friends? When will the package arrive in the mail? If I didn’t accomplish all the things on my “to do” list today will I find the time tomorrow?

Jesus knew how difficult it would be for the apostles to wait. And Jesus knows how difficult it is for us today. The Holy Spirit is always there to remind us that our Heavenly Father cares about our daily needs, calls us to learn patience, and trust God. And so we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

- Deacon Robert

Friday, May 27, 2011

You are not alone

Dear Parishioners,

Jesus knew we would face different challenges as Church in our world over the centuries. His commandments give us broad outlines, value statements that guide us. He also promised that he would not leave us orphaned and that he would always be with us. He sent us the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete to guide and inspire us, calling us to intimacy with the Father and sustaining the purity of the witness of the Church. And in the current day, with the challenges we as church face today, aren’t you glad Jesus did not leave us to face those challenges on our own?

- Deacon Robert

“Let us pray to the Blessed Virgin, and she
will go with us on the road to Heaven.”
- The Saint Cure D’Ars

Friday, May 20, 2011

“The weed patch is history.”

Dear Parishioners,

“The weed patch is history.” These words were written by an appreciative parishioner about the landscaping and hardscaping done around the front of the church. The entrance really needed the facelift it received just in time for Mother’s Day, and it would not have happened without your support of the monthly “Building and Maintenance” collection. Thanks for your generosity.

Last Sunday, Good Shepherd Sunday, marked the beginning of “Vocations Awareness Week.” Hopefully, you have been praying at home, as we do at each Sunday Mass, for an increase to priestly vocations.

We also inserted Archbishop O’Brien’s April letter on the shortage of priests and the plans to deal with an even greater shortage looming in the immediate future. With fewer priests, the number of Masses and schedule of Masses will need to be examined. Already parishes are reducing the number of weekend Masses. As a matter of fact, Our Lady of the Chesapeake will eliminate one Mass beginning this June. St. Jane Frances will be looking at its Mass schedule in the coming year to see how many Masses are actually needed. I foresee no changes in the next 6 months, and probably not until next summer. Of course, the parish will be consulted beforehand. However, if you were to bring all your Catholic family, friends, and neighbors, and fill all the pews (that’s called evangelization), I would be forced to retain the current Mass schedule. Nothing would make me more pleased that that!

- Fr. Carl

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Message From Our Deacon

Dear Parishioners,

In our reading today from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:14a, 36-41), Peter tells us that we who follow our Lord have choices to make. Those choices define who we are and just importantly who we believe Jesus is. When faced with the problems and difficulties of life, Christians make choices that define not only who we are but whose we are.

- Deacon Robert

“Prayer makes time seem to pass
quickly, and so pleasantly, that one
fails to notice how long it is.”
- The Saint Cure D’Ars

Friday, May 6, 2011

Who is your role model?

Dear Parishioners,

Last weekend contained two beautiful ceremonial spectacles. The first, broadcast on just about every television station available, was the royal wedding from London. The second was the beatification Mass of John Paul II from Rome. It was televised on only a few channels. So the weekend revolved around a tale of two cities – London and Rome. By far, the more elaborate and colorful event was the one in London. But the more important one was in Rome. After all, that was the official pronouncement that John Paul II lived a blessed life and will one day be a saint. Whereas, London was merely legitimatizing a formerly immoral, co-habitational relationship. It was nice that the royal couple finally did the right thing, but it would have been better had they, like Princess Diana, done the right thing and lived a chaste and moral life before the wedding. John Paul II proved to be a role model throughout his life. May our young people choose good role models for their imitation, and may all of us try to become good Catholic role models for young and old alike.

- Fr. Carl

Friday, April 29, 2011

Easter thanks!

Dear Parishioners,

Holy Week has come and gone but the services will not be forgotten. Those who attended were very much moved by the beauty and the spirituality of these special services. While the priests receive most of the accolades, the services could not have come out so well without the help of many dedicated volunteers from the parish. I thank them for all their hard work.

As we continue our Easter journey, today’s first reading (Acts 2:42-47) focuses on the early church and the close knit community of its early members who shared their possessions, prayed constantly, and worked together in harmony. They were good stewards sharing their time, talent, and treasures out of gratitude for God. During this Easter season and throughout the coming year, let us pray for the grace and strength to follow their good example.

- Fr. Carl

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Alleluia! He is risen!

Dear Parishioners,

Alleluia! He is risen. Today we rejoice as we celebrate our Lord’s resurrection. Good defeats evil! That’s so good to remember as we see so much bad in the world. We are often tempted to embrace the words of the old manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants, Leo Durocher, who said, “Nice guys finish last.” It may have seemed like that on Good Friday, but Easter wins out at the end.

Last Saturday, we had our annual spring parish clean-up. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t very nice. However, we did have a few hardy souls show up. The Wisemans (Lawrence, Karen, Paul, Amanda, Samuel, and Karl), Mike Wist (Buildings and Maintenance Committee), and Don Kerr (Knights of Columbus) all braved the elements and did a wonderful job of sprucing up the grounds and church entrance. Speaking about the church entrance, I had a priest friend of mine, a former landscaper, give some advice about improving the grounds around our church entrance. I called a landscaper and presented his ideas to the Parish Council last week. The members voted to get an estimate and have some work done. So in the not too distant future, some of the dead trees, bushes, flowers, and grass will be replaced to make our entrance more appealing and welcoming.

On behalf of the entire staff here at St. Jane Frances, I wish you and your families a Blessed and Happy Easter.

- Fr. Carl

Friday, April 15, 2011

Making a difference

Dear Parishioners,

If you’ve been observant, you might have noticed some differences here in the parish. First of all, the area around Mary’s statue outside has been beautified. Thanks to our Girl Scout Troop 2373, the flower bed has been weeded, mulch has been put down, and some lovely flowers were planted. Thanks, girls!

The second difference you might have noticed are the crosses and statues covered in purple. Why? According to Greg Dues in Catholic Customs and Traditions, it began around 900 A.D. where in some places, a purple cloth (symbol of sadness and mourning) was hung between the people and the altar from the beginning of Lent. It symbolized the exclusion of sinners from the altar (during a period of penitence), and hid the glory represented by the images of the saints. “By the 1600’s the practice of veiling statues and crucifixes from Passion Sunday (what the 5th Sunday of Lent was then called), marked the entry into the solemn preparation for the Sacred Triduum”, wrote Colin Donovan from EWTN.

This week, Holy Week, is the holiest week of the year. If you want to see a difference in your life for the better, come to the special services on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday / Sunday. The Lord will make a difference in you.

- Fr. Carl

Friday, April 8, 2011

Be the person God created you to be

Dear Parishioners,

Our Lord’s raising of Lazarus from death (John 11:1-45) shows us, like no other miracle Jesus performed, that God is the giver of life. On our spiritual journey through Lent, we are wise to remember that the journey we make is one that doesn’t end on that lonely hill of Calvary but at the garden’s empty tomb. We receive ashes on our forehead on a Wednesday to remind us of our mortality, only to wake up on a Sunday, transformed by God’s triumph of life over death.

It’s the answer to the age old question we face: “If we die will we live again?” Let’s make these last days of Lent days full of good choices and life-changing decisions. Be the person God created you to be. Let God’s life-giving Spirit so bless your life that all things are new for you through Christ Jesus our Lord.

- Deacon Robert

“A HOUSE founded on the Cross will
fear neither wind, nor rain, nor storm.”
- The Saint Cure D’Ars

Friday, April 1, 2011

Use it or lose it!

Dear Parishioners,

I’ve heard that people deprived of one sense often develop keener abilities in their other senses. For example, those who are deaf learn to read lips and how to feel the beat of music. Beethoven for example, wrote some of his best music after he lost his sense of hearing. In today’s gospel (John 9:1-41), the man born blind develops the gift of insight that allows him to see who Jesus really is. He develops the gift of faith in Jesus as the Son of Man. On the other hand, the Pharisees who had sight and faith in the Torah (the law of God), were satisfied with themselves and saw no need to further their sense of faith. Their spiritual blindness cost them a marvelous opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with God.

Lent is a season in which we are reminded that our sense of faith requires further development. The saying “use it or lose it” sums up our reason to fast, pray, and give alms to the poor. These penitential practices, carried out in humility, will give us greater insight into our human limitations as well as the greatness and mercy of God.

- Fr. Carl

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Samaritan Woman and The Sacrament of Reconciliation

Dear Parishioners,

Today’s Gospel (John 4:5-42) gives us a glimpse into God’s unconditional mercy, love and forgiveness. When Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a well, he brings up her past, but he doesn’t bring it up to condemn her or make her feel guilty. She had been married five times and was now living with yet another man, this time out of wedlock. She was the village sinner… an outcast. The woman, like all of us, was thirsting for understanding and acceptance. Jesus offers her the cleansing water of the truth of her life experience. There is no harsh, judgmental condemnation.

What a beautiful image of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This woman comes to Jesus not even knowing how burdened, thirsty and alone she is, but leaves excited and fulfilled. She knows her sins are forgiven and her guilt removed. She doesn’t keep this good news to herself. She goes back to her village and tells everyone of her experience.

This is what the Sacrament of Reconciliation is all about. It’s coming to Jesus and letting him set us free. It’s about letting Jesus gently probe us and bring our sins into the light so they can be washed away. It’s about experiencing a mercy that goes far beyond our expectation and being so transformed by it that we want to share it with everyone around us.

We all have a need for the grace of Reconciliation. We all have a need to meet Jesus and his limitless mercy. So no matter how serious your sin, whether it be adultery, abortion or simply turning away from God, know that Jesus is waiting for you by the well, ready to give you living water.

- Deacon Robert

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's time for March Madness!

Dear Parishioners,

“March Madness” has begun, and basketball fans all around the country will spend countless hours at the games or watching them on television. I watched many of those games in the past and was always impressed with the teams of UCLA’s John Wooden. His teams won an amazing ten championships in a twelve year span, a record that will never be tied or broken. But more important than his victories were the life lessons and advice he imparted to his players. As we begin our Lenten journey, I would like to share some of his lessons and give them a Catholic perspective.

“Failure is not fatal. Failure to change might be.” Lent is a time for us to acknowledge our failure to love God and neighbor. We acknowledge our sins and try to make up for them by disciplining our minds and bodies through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. This will certainly help us succeed in our relationships with God and neighbor, and prevent us from failing to inherit heaven.

“I have always tried to make it clear that basketball is not the ultimate. It is of small importance in comparison to the total life we live.” During Lent, we meet God’s saving plan and are reminded of our final destiny. While few of us have the talent to consider basketball our destiny, still other things such as materialism, consumerism, work, power, and even leisure can obscure the ultimate – God and the kingdom of heaven. Lent helps us refocus.

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are while your reputation is what people think you are.” Lent is that special time during which we reflect on our character and see the flaws which need correction. The sacrament of Penance is the best beginning to eliminate those faults. This season is a stark reminder that God is not impressed by our reputation and will judge us by our character.

Finally, “Adversity is the state in which man easily becomes acquainted with himself being especially free of admirers then.” Nobody can avoid adversity in life – not even Jesus or Mary. Therefore, we need to prepare for it as best we can. Lent gives us the time to build up our spiritual energy to withstand whatever difficulties come our way. Hopefully we will face them as courageously as did our Lord, our Blessed Mother, and all the saints.

Our Lenten penances may not help us to win a national basketball championship, but they can help us win the kingdom of God.

- Fr. Carl

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Message from our Deacon

Dear Parishioners,

New Year’s Eve with many well intentioned resolutions is long gone and mostly forgotten. But Lent provides us with another opportunity to look at where we are in life and make some necessary changes. A simple way is to make time to pray. Find that private space, that quiet time, where you can be alone with your thoughts and alone with God. It can be when you go for a walk, when you are working on a hobby or perhaps when you turn the television and the lights off just before going to bed. Make the time for yourself, it isn’t being selfish, it’s simply about making room in your life to nurture your relationship with God.

- Deacon Robert

"We must take great care never to do
anything before having said our
Morning Prayers… The Devil once
declared… that if he could have the
first moment of the day, he was sure
of all the rest."
- The Saint Cure D’Ars

Friday, March 4, 2011


Dear Parishioners,

In view of all the discussion on marriage, I thought it opportune to reprint what our American bishops recently wrote:

US Bishops Decry Rejection of Marriage Defense

WASHINGTON, D.C., FEB. 24, 2011 – The U.S. bishops are denouncing President Barak Obama’s instruction to the nation’s justice department to cease its defense of marriage.

On Wednesday the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement from its Office of General Counsel noting, “Today, the president has instructed the Department of Justice to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act.”

“Marriage has been understood for millennia and across cultures as the union of one man and one woman,” the statement affirmed.

It noted that the act, “a federal law reiterating that definition of marriage,” was “passed by a Republican congress and signed by a Democratic president just fifteen years ago.”

“The principal basis for today’s decision is that the president considers the law a form of impermissible sexual orientation discrimination,” the general counsel noted.

It asserted, “This decision represents as abdication of the responsibility of the executive branch to carry out its constitutional obligation to ensure that the laws of the United States are faithfully executed.”

The statement asserted, “It is also a grave affront to the millions of Americans who both reject unjust discrimination and affirm the unique and inestimable value of marriage as between one man and one woman.”

“Support for actual marriage is not bigotry, but instead an eminently reasonable, common judgment affirming the foundational institution of civil society,” it added.

The statement concluded, “Any suggestion by the government that such a judgment represents ‘discrimination’ is a serious threat to the religious liberty of marriage supporters nationwide.”

- Fr. Carl

Friday, February 25, 2011

Don't sweat the small stuff

Dear Parishioners,

When I was a young Navy Chaplain serving with the Marines at Camp Lejeune, a gruff, older priest who served a number of tours with the Marines, gave me some good advice. He said, “Just remember two things. First, don’t sweat the small stuff… Second, it’s all small stuff.” How often do we worry and worry about some problem or difficulty looming on the horizon only to discover afterwards that it wasn’t nearly as bad as we thought. Mark Twain once said, “I’ve had thousands of worries in my life, but just a few real problems.” In the gospel (Matthew 6:24-34), Jesus tells us not to worry so much. He’s with us, wants what is best for us, and will look out for our welfare. As long as we are with Him, everything will turn out just fine in the end, because heaven is the end. All the problems and difficulties, no matter how serious or worrisome, are just “small stuff” in comparison to the end.

- Fr. Carl

Friday, February 18, 2011

Are you a second miler?

Dear Parishioners,

Those people who go that second mile have within them a drive, a tenacity, a devotion to not only doing what is right, but what they believe is required. Second mile employees show up earlier in the morning and often work late. Second mile students put in those extra hours of study, not to curry the favor of a professor, but because learning is so rewarding. Second mile neighbors show up first to pick up tree limbs blown into the street from the storm or are quick to bring a meal when tragedy comes to a family down the street. Second mile church members have a deep and refreshing desire to serve the Lord and others. Who doesn’t admire the second milers among us?

- Deacon Robert

One is often carried away over the
sins and shortcomings of others. It
would be far better to talk
less about
them and pray
- The Saint Cure D’Ars

Friday, February 11, 2011

Loving both God and neighbor

Dear Parishioners,

Jesus tells us not only to do good, but to think good. In short, he is telling us that to be good and to become perfect, which is our job description, we must not only avoid evil deeds, we must also reach down to the depths of our hearts and root out the evil thoughts of lust and hatred. Only by eliminating evil thoughts and desires, is it possible to love both God and neighbor.

- Fr. Carl

The sermons of saints are
their examples.
- The Saint Cure D’Ars

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lift up the values of our Lord

Dear Parishioners,

The lack of leadership in our common, social life may be the most pressing need we face as members of the human community. It seems that everywhere we turn, we find those in positions of leadership mistaking their responsibility for authority.

Jesus calls us to a higher standard, but his summons is not that we charge into the public arena, waving the “Christian” banner as if we were self-appointed messiahs. To the contrary, he calls us to be a presence in society that lifts up the values he taught.

Here is a call to action, a summons to be persons of integrity, humility and grace. What He is teaching is not easy, but it is the hope that we will take up the challenge. For those who deeply believe that our Lord’s way of love is the way of life, there is no other option. More than ever before, we of faith must stand with Jesus in being the people of grace and truth that he calls us to be.

- Deacon Robert

In Heaven, God will place us as an architect
places the stones in a building – each in the
place fitted for it.
- The Saint Cure D’Ars

Friday, January 28, 2011

Chasing happiness

Dear Parishioners,

With the exception of the first and last Beatitudes, all of these sayings by Jesus are marked by a common stylistic feature. They promise a “blessing,” which means happiness and a profound sense of well-being. To be blessed, a person must learn to live with the patience of waiting; with hope for the “not yet.”

Want to be blessed, truly happy? Slow down, learn to listen. Learn to travel lighter. Focus on others. Simply open your heart, your hand, yourself, to our generous and gracious God. Perhaps happiness is more like a butterfly that flies away when chased by a grasping hand, but lands lightly upon the outstretched hand that is still and patient.

- Deacon Robert

He who, when tempted, makes the Sign
of the Cross with devotion, makes Hell
tremble and Heaven rejoice.
- The Saint Cure D’Ars

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Message from Our Deacon

Dear Parishioners,

Being Catholic is easy. Most of us were presented to the church by our parents as infants. Becoming Christian is another matter. Becoming Christian requires that we grow and mature in our Catholic beliefs. When Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James, and John to leave their nets and become his disciples, He was inviting them to experience their lives and religious beliefs in a new and exciting way. We as disciples have received that same invitation. As we follow Jesus’ teaching and continue in His ministry, we become Christ-like, Christian-centered… Christian.

- Deacon Robert

This is real faith, when we speak to God
as we would converse with a man.
- The Saint Cure D’Ars

Friday, January 14, 2011

Blessings and Grace, at your service

Dear Parishioners,

The New Year brings many new opportunities for spiritual growth for individuals and families in our parish community as we continue support and care for God’s work at St. Jane Frances. I am confident that the support so many of you pledged in our Parish Care Campaign will continue throughout the year and into the future. It is already making a positive difference. Thank you for responding to the needs of our parish.

This spring we will be asking for support in our ministries and volunteer activities that are so vital to our day to day operations and weekly liturgical celebrations. Perhaps you are being called to join our music ministry, lectors, ushers, servers or some other volunteer activity. Please pray about how you can better serve God’s work or even lead some new ministry that you have been thinking about.

The reason for this letter is to let you know that I am very grateful for your support and to remind you of our upcoming ministry fair in the Spring. More than 550 people made a pledge of financial support with an average increase of $8.43 over previous support levels. If you have not made a pledge and would like to do so, simply fill out your name and weekly pledge amount on the form at the bottom of this letter and drop it in the basket. You will receive a confirmation from us as to your pledge amount.

What is most important is that members of our parish family understand that our Catholic Faith is full of opportunities to serve. Serving brings back blessings and graces that create joyful, fulfilled hearts.

I am very thankful that I have been called to serve you and this wonderful parish of St. Jane Frances. I pray that each of you will have a blessed New Year filled with opportunities to serve God and others. I also ask you to pray daily for our parish and for the Church throughout the world.

Yours in Christ,
Msgr. Carl F. Cummings

Friday, January 7, 2011

Calling all apostles

Dear Parishioners,

Today as we celebrate our Lord’s baptism, we might reflect on our baptism and its bearing on our current living situation. When most of us were baptized, our parents made promises to God that they would reject Satan, his works, and empty promises, and that they believed all that is taught in the Apostles Creed. As we grew, we took that faith and commitment for our own. We promised to be God’s apostles (those sent to proclaim the good news), disciples (followers of Jesus in thought, word, and deed), and stewards (responsible managers of God’s gifts on earth – time, talent, and treasure).

As we begin the New Year, let us be ever mindful of God’s blessings in this past year, hopeful for additional blessings and character building challenges for the coming year, and faithful in living out our call to be modern-day apostles, disciples, and stewards.

- Fr. Carl

Those who love riches or
pleasures offer God nothing but the
languid remains of a heart worn out in
the service of the world.
- The Saint Cure D’Ars

Saturday, January 1, 2011

God has an anti-discrimination policy. So should we!

Dear Parishioners,

The Christmas services were beautiful, as always, thanks to the efforts of the Liturgy Committee, the Sanctuary Society, the volunteers who decorated the worship area, the Ushers, the Sacristans, the Altar Servers, the Lectors, the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, the Greeters, the Parish Choir, Cantors and our Music Director/Organist, Diane Kinsley.

At Christmas Jesus, the Messiah, was revealed to Israel through the witness of the shepherds. Today on the Epiphany (it means manifestation), Jesus is revealed to the gentiles (non Jews) through the witness of the Magi. That’s good news to those of us who aren’t Jews. In other words, Jesus came to save all peoples. He doesn’t discriminate. Perhaps that should be our challenge for the coming year. Most of us discriminate in one way or another. It could be by nationality, race, gender, intelligence, athletic ability, social status, etc. Let us, in the coming year, resolve to see each person we meet as one of Jesus’ special friends. It would be a gift to Our Lord more precious than gold, frankincense, or myrrh.

- Fr. Carl