Friday, December 26, 2014

A Holy Family

Dear Parishioners,

Mary and Joseph began from the first day to provide for and guide the spiritual direction for Jesus while in their home. Before he could walk or talk, they brought him to the temple (Luke 2:22-40). They brought him there, because they knew to thank God for him and to ask God for help raising him to adulthood. They knew that Jesus was a special child, but I believe they would have done the same for any child, even if that child had not been specially conceived by the Holy Spirit. They are excellent role models for us to this very day. They knew, and we can know, the responsibility and great joys to raise children in the faith. Teaching our children about God in their lives will not only enable them to survive in the world, we will enable them to thrive in the world. How are you doing with your own holy family?

- Deacon Robert

“When we pray with attention and humility of
mind and heart, we quit the earth and rise to Heaven.
We reach the outstretched arms of God. We talk with
the angels and the saints.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, December 19, 2014

What’s The Plan?

Dear Parishioners,

Sometimes life doesn’t go as we plan. Problems, difficulties, and unforeseen situations appear out of nowhere and challenge us. Mary had planned on a virginal marriage to Joseph, but the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary a different divine plan (Luke 1:26-38). God asked her to change her plans, and she readily agreed. There is a lesson in that for us. When problems and difficulties arise, they might be a challenge to persevere in pursuing our objectives in life. However, they might be an invitation from God to change our plans and follow a new plan He has for us. No matter what, we should always bring it to God in prayer to discern His plan in life for us. If we do as Mary did, God will lead us to eternal happiness.

- Father Carl

“God only gave men ten Commandments,
and one of the ten has for its sole object the
reverence due to His name… Yet is there
anything nowadays that is treated with less respect
than the Sacred Name?”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, December 12, 2014

Could It Be That Good?

Dear Parishioners,

God’s kingdom is as good as Isaiah and Paul and John describe (Isaiah 61:1-2a, 10-11;1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28), and even more when it comes alive in the likes of us. How does that happen? What can God call from us today that would take us through the rest of this Advent journey and beyond with renewed joy and deeper faith?

Here is a simple suggestion: Invite God to free you from whatever is oppressing your soul. For some, it could be guilt over something you did or failed to do. Perhaps you let down a friend or disappointed a parent or hurt your spouse. The Kingdom is so good that God longs for every one of his children to know grace that forgives and restores and liberates. Whatever else you think you have to do between now and Christmas, let God set you free to know deep in your soul how very good this Christian life can be.

- Deacon Robert

“NOTHING is so contrary to charity as pride.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, December 5, 2014

Consolation, Reparation and Jubilation

Dear Parishioners,

Consolation, reparation, jubilation. These are the three ideas I see in today’s reading from Isaiah (Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11). The setting is toward the end of the Babylonian exile. Remember God’s people had not been faithful to Him who allowed Jerusalem to be conquered by the Babylonians and the people led into exile and slavery. Now they were being liberated and allowed to return home. God now offers comfort and consolation to an oppressed and weary people. However, they must now make reparation for their sins. They have to lower the mountains of pride in their hearts and fill in the valleys of spiritual laziness (sloth). If they do this, not only will they find consolation, but also joy and jubilation.

God offers us consolation, comfort, and jubilation provided we are willing to undergo reparation (the sacrament of Penance) for our sins.

- Father Carl

“God makes greater speed to pardon a penitent
sinner than a mother to snatch her child out of the fire.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, November 28, 2014

Peace for Mind and Heart

Dear Parishioners,

November is the month that the Church remembers our beloved dead as we pray for our deceased relatives and friends. It is also a good time to think about our own deaths and the help we might need as we approach God’s judgment. The best possible help we can get is a funeral Mass. The merits of one Mass are infinitely more valuable than a simple service at a funeral home. If you want the best help for yourself or loved ones, have a Mass and make sure your family and parish are notified before hand. All too often, surviving family members are choosing a service at a funeral home instead of a Mass because it is more convenient. Not a good reason! I just revised my will today and left money to be used for memorial Masses for my soul. I figure I am going to need all the help I can get. What about you?

As we come to the beginning of Advent on the last day of November, the readings remind us to be vigilant and look to the end (Isaiah 63:19b; 64:2-7; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:33-37). It is a sober reminder, at the start of this joyful season culminating in the celebration of our Lord’s birth at Christmas, that we must be ready to meet Jesus at the Second Coming or at our death. As Isaiah says in the first reading, “Would that you might meet us doing right, that we were mindful of you in our ways.” The best way to start doing right is through confessing what we have been doing wrong in the Sacrament of Penance. As St. Augustine said much more eloquently, “The beginning of good works is the confession of bad works.” So avoid the Christmas rush, and come to Sacrament of Penance sooner rather than later. Confessions are held each Saturday from 3:30—4:30 p.m. If you cannot come then, call the rectory and make an appointment. One of Jesus’ greatest blessings is the peace of mind and heart experienced after this beautiful sacrament of spiritual healing.

- Father Carl

“We listen to a sermon if we happen to like
the preacher… We must not act thus humanly.
It is not the shell we should look at.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, November 21, 2014

Christ The King

Dear Parishioners,

Jesus never called himself a king. To the contrary, he ran from it. During his ministry, he was always deflecting attention away from himself. A man calls him “Good teacher,” and Jesus says, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” This is what qualifies Jesus to be the king the world needs. He had no self-seeking ambition. He was free of infatuation with power. His only business was his Father’s business. Jesus inverted the concept of kingship into servanthood. There has never been such a King. This is why he is our king… the King of Kings… he is for us Christ the King.

- Deacon Robert

“We must watch over our mind, our heart and
our senses, for these are the gates by which the Devil
enters in.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, November 14, 2014

Whose Got Talent?

Dear Parishioners,

After two weeks in the hospital, it is so good to be home. Thanks so much for your prayers and “get well” cards. They helped so much. My experience reminded me just how fragile life can be. One little spider bite led to cellulitis and then a very bad staph infection. Thanks to the doctors and nurses at St. Agnes Hospital, I am on the road to recovery and back home.

Today’s gospel used to be called the parable of the talents, because the original Greek says the master gave his servants five talents, three talents, and one talent respectively (Matthew 25:14-30). It says nothing about silver. A talent was a measure of weight that gradually became a measure of gold exchange and could weigh between 58 and 80 pounds. One talent of silver or gold would have been a very large amount of money. Three or five talents would have been a huge sum and a very generous loan from the man to his servants.

We are God’s servants, and he has been extremely generous to us, giving us many gifts and talents. Very often we take these gifts for granted—good health, food, clothing, shelter, family, friends, money, employment, etc. The question posed to us by the gospel is, “Are we using these talents for the good of God and the world or not?”

- Father Carl

“There is not a single creature which does not
provide us with the means of reaching God.
If any of them become an obstacle, it is only
by our misuse of them.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sacred Places

Dear Parishioners,

There is a beautiful, elegant house of worship in the city of Rome. This church, one of Rome’s four major basilicas is known as the Pope’s church. Tradition says that on the site of the basilica, St. John Lateran, the Roman Emperor Constantine was baptized in the third century. Today, November 9th, we remember the dedication of this great church.

But be sure that as magnificent as the ancient Temple in Jerusalem was, as majestic as St. John Lateran in Rome is, as deeply memorable as any place you would name “sacred” could be, no place on earth is as sacred as the holy place within you and me.

Unsure if his Corinthian Church understood his teaching, Paul then speaks plainly. “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor 3:9c-11, 16-17) We are God’s sacred space in this world, and in this sacred space within us, God chooses to live and do His sacred work.

- Deacon Robert

“When we come from our Communions, if anyone said to us:
‘What are you taking home with you?’ we should be able to reply:
‘I am carrying away Heaven!’”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, October 31, 2014

All Soul’s Day

Dear Parishioners,

More than a celebration of an event, we have good reason to celebrate the presence of Jesus whose faithful and risen life is our first and only hope. All Soul’s Day remembers the faithful departed, our beloved dead, sure. But in addition to that, this is a day to honor and worship our living and loving Christ. The risen Lord, his transforming victory over death, his faithful and abiding presence in life, is the One whose love wins the day.

Because he lives, I can face tomorrow; because he lives, all fear is gone. Because I know he holds the future, and life is worth the living, all because He lives. What a victory! What love! Amen.

- Deacon Robert

Friday, October 24, 2014

Who Do You Love?

Dear Parishioners,

What would it mean if we could love our neighbor as ourselves? (Matthew 22:34-40) Perhaps this calls for us to have a healthier self-love, too. In fact, we probably will love others in similar ways to the ways we accept ourselves. The thief thinks everyone else is a thief. Similarly, the person who has come to see themselves as beloved in the heart of God is more likely to see that same potential in everyone else.

Our love is anchored in God, therefore we love the Lord our God with all our hearts, soul, mind and strength. And who is our neighbor? Our neighbor is anyone and everyone who lives outside our yard. Learn to love your neighbor in a global village where that neighborhood includes the entire world, past, present and yes, the world to come.

- Deacon Robert

“If you really love God, you will greatly desire
to see Him loved by all the world.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, October 17, 2014

Living On Borrowed Time

Dear Parishioners,

“I’ll do it in my own good time.” That’s a phrase we sometimes use to postpone a task, because we are currently occupied with something else. But whose time is it really? Is it our time to do whatever we want to do with it, or is it someone else’s time?

Actually it’s God’s time; it belongs to God along with the rest of creation. Time didn’t exist until God, who lives in eternity, created the world. Time is the measure of change since the world began, and since God created time, time belongs to God. We are simply stewards of God’s time. In short, we are all living on borrowed time.

In today’s gospel (Matthew 22:15-21), we hear the famous saying of Jesus: “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but give to God what is God’s.” We have an obligation to serve both our government and God. However, since all creation including our time, talent, and treasure ultimately belong to God, we cannot give them to our government when it would be contrary to God’s law. We must remember what happened in Germany, Italy, and Japan in the 1930s and 1940s.

Today, we must ask ourselves what more we can do for the good of our government and the good of our church. How can we more generously use our time, talents, and our treasures to serve both God and country.

- Fr. Carl

“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary.
To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas

Friday, October 10, 2014


Dear Parishioners,

Christian faithfulness finds it origins in all our lives when we first embrace the “I” of who God made us to be. It then takes on a life of its own when we finally learn that through Jesus, no matter what life may bring our way, “all things” are possible. Today, you and I have God’s prescription in our hands to discover and live in the place called “contentment.” All we really need is Jesus, his love, his grace, his way of seeing life and our world, his way of living with others. Our Lord has been faithful to us in his life, now we are invited to live faithfully with him.

- Deacon Robert

“No one ought to consider himself a true servant
of God who is not tried by many temptations and trials.”
~ St. Francis of Assisi

Friday, October 3, 2014

Making God Proud of His Vineyard

Dear Parishioners,

The owner of a vineyard must be dedicated, hard-working, and patient. It is truly back-breaking work and a test of love and devotion to produce good grapes. That’s how God was with His vineyard, the people of Israel. However, they rebelled against God and lost their sweetness, turning into wild or dirty rotten grapes. (Isaiah 5:1-7; Philippians 4:6-9; Matthew 21:33-43)

Today, God has a new vineyard—the Church. He has done even more than He did for Israel, cultivating and watering the soil with the blood of His son. He has done everything He can hoping we will absorb what He has put into His vineyard and produce a crop of sweet, juicy Christians. Let us do what we can to prune away our pettiness, arrogance, and self-seeking pleasures so as to make God proud of His vineyard.

- Father Carl

“Christian faith and ethics do not wish to stifle
love, but to make it healthy, strong, and truly free:
this is the exact meaning of the Ten Commandments
which are not a series of “noes” but a great “yes” to
LOVE and to LIFE.”
~ Pope Benedict

Friday, September 26, 2014

How Will You Answer?

Dear Parishioners,

Today’s parable is a story about a man who had two sons (Matthew 21:28-32). One morning, the father asked one of his sons to go and work in the family vineyard. The boy responded with a defiant “I will not.” But later in the day, he reconsidered his father’s request and went to work.

The father asked his second son to go work in the vineyard. The boy responded, “I will, sir,” but then he didn’t. Jesus asked those standing around, “Which of the two did the will of his father?” “The first one,” they answered, and they were right.

So here we are, “Yes” and “No” people before God in whose image we are made. If we listen, we will hear the invitation of the Father who never accepts that “No” is our final answer. In the most negative moment of your life, God believes you have a “yes” that longs not only to be said, but to be lived. So, no matter what may have been your “No,” live into “Yes” and in so doing, become God’s gift in Christ to yourself and others.

- Deacon Robert

“Nothing created has ever been able to fill the
heart of man. God alone can fill it infinitely.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas

Friday, September 19, 2014


Dear Parishioners,

God’s ways are not our ways. Much as we think that God ought to see things the way we do, He doesn’t. Thank God he doesn’t. We believe in forgiveness, especially when we need it, but to forgive others, we can only go so far. There’s a limit to our forgiveness of others. God’s forgiveness, this side of the grave, is without limit. God is so generous and so, too, should we be.

This week Jesus tells us some people will not have to work as long as ourselves to enter God’s kingdom (Matthew 20:1-16a). That may seem unfair, but that’s God’s way and God is generous. After all, it is God’s kingdom and none of us earn it on our own merits. It is a pure gift from God to those who accept his invitation to work in the vineyard of life. Thank God for the opportunity.

- Fr. Carl

“You cannot please both God and the world
at the same time. They are utterly opposed to each
other in their thoughts, their desires, and their actions.”
~ St. John Vianney

Friday, September 12, 2014

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Dear Parishioners,

Today we focus on the exultation of the cross; that rough-hewn, splintered stake on which our Lord suffered and died (Numbers 21:4b-9; Philippians 2:6-11; John 3:13-17). We Christians have that cross in our midst, lifted in reverence in worship, and often worn in love around our necks. The cross has all our names on it, today and every day.

At the end of our lives, when our days are reduced to hours or minutes, the cross lifted high before us will be the reminder that in death we experience life everlasting through our Lord Jesus Christ. “Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim, till all the world,” including you and me and all creation, “adore his holy name.”

- Deacon Robert

Friday, September 5, 2014

Tough Love

Dear Parishioners,

If we truly love somebody, we want what is best for them. If we truly love, we offer our support when encouragement is needed, but we also confront and point out self-destructive behavior when we become aware of it. Ezekiel in today’s first reading (Ezekiel 33:7-9) recognizes his responsibility as a prophet to point out the sins of his people. He hopes they will repent and avoid punishment. But even if the situation seems hopeless, because the people are hard-hearted, he must try. Perhaps they will, and that would be for the best. Ezekiel’s warning wasn’t heeded, and he suffered for his message, but he was saved by God in the end. It is no different with us if we don’t warn our friends when we see them going astray. God will hold us responsible. So let us be good friends and neighbors and give gentle correction when it is needed.

- Fr. Carl

“We become what we love.”
~ St. Claire

Friday, August 29, 2014

Doing the Right Thing

Dear Parishioners,

“How low can you go?” This simple lyric from a 60’s song by Chubby Checker, The Limbo Rock, captures Jesus’ thought about St. Peter in this week’s gospel (Matthew 16:21-27). Last week, St. Peter was riding high after calling Jesus the Messiah; and so Jesus praises him and gives him a new name, Peter (“Rock”) (Matthew 16:13-20). This week Jesus calls him Satan because Peter is discouraging Jesus from the suffering and death awaiting him in Jerusalem. Peter doesn’t want the cross for Jesus. There are crosses for all who wish to follow Jesus. When we encourage others to take the easy way and avoid the cross, we act like Peter in today’s gospel. If we truly love others, we will encourage them to do the right thing instead of the easy thing.

- Father Carl

“It is not enough just to wish well;
we must also do well.”
~ St. Ambrose

Friday, August 22, 2014

Who Do You Say That I Am?

Dear Parishioners,

Saint Peter got the question right, but he needed time to grow into it before he was ready to share it with others (Matthew 16:13-20). He did not yet understand, or approve of, a Messiah that suffers and who calls his followers to bear a cross, too. He did not yet understand that even death does not get the last word, or the last laugh, over those who give up their lives in service to Christ. He did not yet understand how fickle was his own faith, and how easily he could deny knowing the Lord when pressed by a curious little girl around a charcoal fire. He did not know yet, but he would soon. And then, on the far side of his failure, on the far side of Calvary, after the resurrection of Jesus, Peter would be ready, having grown into his confession. And so can we.

- Deacon Robert

“We must not consult our own inclinations,
but endeavor always to do that which
will give the most pleasure to God.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, August 15, 2014

If It’s Good Enough For Jesus…

Dear Parishioners,

Last week’s gospel is primarily remembered for our Lord and St. Peter walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33). But at the beginning of that episode, Jesus had gone up on the mountain to pray after feeding the 5,000 and curing the sick. Humanly speaking, he needed some time to rest and recharge his energy. Last week, I did the same by going on retreat in Larchmont, New York. Prayer, good talks and spiritual direction, some nice walks, and some time for reflection were wonderful. Even after a maddeningly long, slow drive down the New Jersey Turnpike on Friday, I felt renewed.

Later on this past weekend, in talking to a family who had just returned from a vacation trip, I was told by the father that he felt like he needed some time to rest up from his vacation. I suspect many of you have shared that feeling. It’s go, go, go on our fun-filled vacations, but we are exhausted afterwards. Maybe it would be good to add on an extra day at the end to do what I did last week and Jesus did the week before—spend some time in prayer. You don’t have to go to Larchmont or go up a mountain to be with God. You can do it at home. Go to a weekday Mass; crack open the bible; spend some quiet time in church, and I’m sure you will come away refreshed. After all, if it’s good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for you and me.

- Fr. Carl

“God made all the days of the week. He
might have kept them all, but he has given you six
and has reserved to himself only the seventh.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, August 8, 2014

Walking on Water

Dear Parishioners,

Peter trying and failing, part faith and part doubt is a story to which we can all relate (Matthew 14:22-33). For that is our story, each and every one of us. Who among us has not started a great endeavor only to find that the waves are often against us, that the risks of failure are all around us? And suddenly our resolve and confidence begin to wane, our strength and perseverance begins to weaken, and we abandon the course before it is finished, slinking back to the safety of the boat. This is Peter’s story, but it is our story, too.

Our Lord excels where we do not. He is faithful, even when we are not. He walks on water, even when we sink. It is his voice that calls us out of our safety zone and take a risk, and his hand that holds us magnificently while daring great things.

- Deacon Robert

“There is hardly a day when we shall not
be obliged to make some sacrifice for God,
if we do not want to displease him and
if we want to love him.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, August 1, 2014

Facing the Difficulties of Life

Dear Parishioners,

If you are having difficulties in your life and your morale is low and still sinking, the Bible has some reading just for you.

There is a long read and a short read. The long read is the Book of Job which tells how the godly Job is allowed to be tested by Satan. After unbelievable calamities are orchestrated by Satan on this good man, and he is tempted to curse God and die, Job remains peaceful, serene, and faithful to God. At the end of the story, Job receives greater blessings than he had at the beginning.

The short read is Paul’s letter to the Romans, Chapter 8. Over the past 4 weeks, we have heard parts of that chapter. The 1st week taught us that the Spirit of God dwells in us. What an awesome privilege that is, but with the privilege is the responsibility to live according to the Spirit and not the flesh (earthly desires). The 2nd week taught us the insignificance of present sufferings compared to the glory to be revealed in us. The 3rd week taught us that the Spirit in us helps us to pray. Last week, we learned that “God makes all things work together for the good of those who love him.” Even the bad things that happen to us, God will use for our good. This week we hear that nothing can separate us from the love of God. In other words, as long as we have God we have everything we need. We have it all. How awesome is that!

- Fr. Carl

“There is no one who cannot pray—and pray
at all times and in all places; by night or day, when
hard at work or resting; in the country, at home, or
when traveling.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Treasure Hunt

Dear Parishioners,

In today’s Gospel (Matthew 13:44-52), Jesus may be teaching us that with the Kingdom of Heaven there is an element of hiddenness, of mystery, of search and discovery. The Kingdom of Heaven is the reign and realm of God, where God’s rule and will are lived out, where relationships are marked by justice and love, where ego is sacrificed for the greater good, where communion with God and each other is more important than personal gain and accomplishment. That sounds heavenly, but it can happen on earth as well. Remember, Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

- Deacon Robert

“Jesus Christ expressly tells us that it is
impossible to be for God and the World at the
same time, because when we want to please
the one, it means becoming the enemy of the other.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, July 18, 2014

Wheat or Weeds?

Dear Parishioners,

The Catholic English historian and politician said many years ago that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. As we look at the world around us, that often seems to be true. Except that’s not true about God who is absolutely powerful, just, and merciful. He’s also—thank goodness—absolutely patient and forgiving.

In the Gospel (Matthew 13:24-43), we see God planting good seed, and the devil planting bad seed. An impatient god would try and remove the weeds as soon as he noticed them. Quite possibly, some of the wheat would be among those weeds. But at harvest time, there would be no doubt and the weeds, and nothing but the weeds, could be removed, gathered up and burned. The Church is like that wheat field. Some members are good (wheat); others are weeds (bad). Unlike wheat and weeds, people can change. The good can go bad and the bad can turn good. What they will become will emerge at the end of their lives. Most of us are a mixture of wheat and weed. Let us turn to Jesus and ask for grace to weed out the bad from our lives and help us grow into strong, healthy sheaves of wheat.

- Father Carl

“If I were to ask you if you loved God,
you would tell me that you did; but that is not
enough. You must prove it.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, July 11, 2014


Dear Parishioners,

Words express the power of the Gospel (Matthew 13:1-23). Ours is a portable, moving, traveling faith propelled by words. Gospel words like “hope,” “grace,” “forgiveness,” “joy,” and “mercy” lighten our burdens and have in them the power to bless others. But we have to take them with us and use them. These words must be sown, shared, given away knowing that God will bring a harvest in God’s time. What if we carefully selected just a few words and infused them with God’s love? And what if we shared those words with others? Do that this week. Sow those words and watch what God does.

- Deacon Robert

“NOTHING is more unworthy of a
Christian, whose life should be an imitation of
a God who is the soul of Honor and Truth
itself, than to think one thing and say another.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, July 4, 2014

Freedom of Religion

Dear Parishioners,

We just finished celebrating the birthday of our Declaration of Independence which became a reality at the conclusion of the Revolutionary War. This annual celebration reminds us that our independence and the freedoms gained were achieved only after the sacrifices made by many brave men and women. However, that freedom is not absolute. Its freedom to live nobly and do good. As the bible tells us, “Live as free men but do not use your freedom as a cloak for vice.” (1 Peter 2:16) and “My brothers, remember that you have been called to live in freedom—but not a freedom that gives free rein to the flesh.” (Gal 5:13).

One of our most cherished freedoms is the freedom of religion. In more than a few places around the world, Christians dont enjoy that freedom. Christians are persecuted and slaughtered in some places. They are even forbidden to openly practice their faith. Its not that bad here in the U.S. However, freedom of religion is being more narrowly defined than it ever has been in the past. Governmental laws, policies and judicial decisions are stifling the religious freedom of individuals and religious institutions involved in charitable and educational endeavors.

In recognition of these infringements on the freedom of religion, churches throughout the country participated in the Fortnight for Freedom. It was a time of prayer for religious freedom and raising awareness to the challenges eroding this freedom. Let us pray that our country which boasts of tolerance may be tolerant of sincere religious beliefs outside of church buildings as well as inside.

- Fr. Carl

“If something uncharitable is said in your
presence, either speak in favor of the absent, or
withdraw, or if possible, stop the conversation.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, June 27, 2014

Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

Dear Parishioners,

Saints Peter and Paul are both interred in [St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome] and forever linked to each other: Peter who holds the keys to the Kingdom, and Paul, the missionary apostle who wrote half the New Testament. But they are an odd couple. At times, they saw the faith differently and advocated for differing approaches to fulfilling our Lord’s commands. Peter, who would forever feel the weight of those Kingdom keys in his hand, felt a pastoral, protective calling to lead the Church to be Christ’s presence in the world. Paul, on the other hand, was more adventuresome, continually following the vision he saw on the road to Damascus, calling him to be the apostle to the Gentiles. (Acts 12:1-11; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18; Matthew 16:13-19)

Peter and Paul found their strength in God’s love in Christ. Paul said it best to the Corinthians, “Now faith, hope and love abide. But the greatest of these is love.” Today we honor the odd couple of the early Church who led and served, preached and died fully aware that God’s love was the ultimate power in the world. May we go and do likewise.

- Deacon Robert

Friday, June 20, 2014

One Bread, One Cup, One Lord of All

Dear Parishioners,

Our Lord Jesus Christ, The Bread of Life, tells and shows us through one bread and one cup, that we are included in the one body that is the Church (Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; John 6:51-58). There are no strangers here, no outcasts, no one excluded, because the One who calls us to share in this meal sees us all as God’s children, God’s family. Imagine what could happen among us and through us as God’s people when we begin to live fully this great truth… one bread, one cup, one body. We might just change our corner of the world and live in the fullness of life that is eternal. Why not?

- Deacon Robert

“Human life must be respected and
protected absolutely from the moment of
conception. From the first moment of his
existence, a human being must be recognized
as having the rights of a person - among
which is the inviolable right of every innocent
being to life.”
~ Catechism of the Catholic Church 2270

Friday, June 13, 2014


[Due to Fr. Carl’s trip, there was not a “Word's From Our Pastor” in the 6/13/2014 bulletin.]

“That special power of loving that belongs to a woman is seen most clearly when she becomes a mother. Motherhood is the gift of God to women. How grateful we must be to God for this wonderful gift that brings such joy to the whole world, women and men alike! Yet we can destroy this gift of motherhood, especially by the evil of abortion, but also by thinking that other things like jobs or positions are more important than loving, than giving oneself to others. No job, no plans, no possessions, no idea of ‘freedom’ can take the place of love. So anything that destroys God’s gift of motherhood destroys His most precious gift to women – the ability to love as a woman.”

~ Blessed Mother Theresa
  Letter to the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 1995

Friday, June 6, 2014

Pentecost - Our Birthday

Dear Parishioners,

Is there anyone among us who doesn't enjoy a well-planned, festive birthday party? And similarly, is there anything worse than a poorly planned birthday party? Unfortunately, some birthday parties do not go as we would like.

But not today! Today is the birthday of the Church. We call it “Pentecost,” a Jewish festival 50 days following Passover that we Christians have made into this birthday party for the Body of Christ (Acts 2:1-11; 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23).

If God has blessed your family with children, you know how each child has his or her unique strengths, personality, interests, and giftedness. Not every child will express athleticism, or the talent for music. One child will excel in math and another in literature. So it is in our Christian family. We are all gifted by God with gifts that allow us to bless and strengthen God’s family. We are at our best as God’s family when we share the gifts God has given to each of us.

Here at Pentecost, this birthday of the Church, we remember that we are God’s people at our very best when we manifest the person of Jesus Christ by our very lives. Living in this community of faith aware of Christ’s presence among us is the Pentecost gift for us all.

- Deacon Robert

Friday, May 30, 2014


Dear Parishioners,

As we approach the end of the Easter season (next Sunday—Pentecost), today we hear the end of Matthew’s gospel and our Lord’s last words before he ascends into heaven (Matthew 28:16-20). Since he will no longer be with his disciples, he commissions them to teach and baptize delegating his divine authority to do so. In short, he is telling them and us to evangelize. This is part of our Lord’s mission along with redemption, and is our mission in life as all our recent popes from Paul VI up to Francis have been telling us. Our Lord didn’t just live for himself; he lived and died for all of us. We, too, are called in a less dramatic way to do the same. May we respond to God’s grace and do what we can for others. Who knows what effects our Christian living will have in this world? But we will surely find out in the next world.

- Fr. Carl

“I would like to say, humbly, to those who suffer
and to those who struggle and are tempted to turn their
backs on life: turn towards Mary! Within the smile of the
Virgin lies mysteriously hidden the strength to fight against
sickness, in support of life. With her, equally, is found the
grace to accept without fear or bitterness to leave this
world at the hour chosen by God .”
~ Pope Benedict XVI

Friday, May 23, 2014

Aware of God’s Presence Through Prayer

Dear Parishioners,

The awareness of God’s presence, every day and throughout the day, may be the very “thing” most needed in our lives. Prayer offers an oasis in the desert of a crowded calendar. Prayer can intentionally shut out the other voices as we open our hearts to hear the voice of the One who loves us most. Prayer can become God’s punctuation marks in the writing of our life story, pausing for a comma, taking a deep breath with a semicolon, celebrating with an exclamation point, or just coming to a full stop before a tiny dot at the end of the day. Such is the gift and blessing of prayer.

- Deacon Robert

“What does freedom mean? It is certainly not doing whatever you want, allowing yourself to be dominated by the passions, to pass from one experience to another without discernment, to follow the fashions of the day; freedom does not mean, so to speak, throwing everything that you don’t like out the window… Let us not be afraid of life commitments, commitments that take up and concern our entire life! In this way, our life will be fruitful! And this is freedom: to have the courage to make these decisions with generosity.”
~ Pope Francis

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

Dear Parishioners,

There’s a big difference between giving directions and following directions. I’m not just talking about parents and children. As a parent, you know what you want your child to do, but he/she may not want to do it or not understand how to do it. Between two adults, it is not easy, even when one wants to follow the directions of another. It’s very easy to get confused or lost. The best directions I ever received were when I arrived in Munich, Germany. I was looking for a famous restaurant and asked two men for directions. They replied that they had just come from there and then said they would lead me there. That’s what Jesus does when he says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:1-12) He literally leads us to the truth and life (eternal life), because he is also the way. When we get confused or lost in life, we have no one to blame but ourselves, because we have turned away from Jesus, the way. It’s very simple, but it’s difficult because all too often, we want to have it “our way.”

- Fr. Carl

“A humble person, if his opinion is asked, gives it in all simplicity
and then leaves others to give theirs. Whether they are right or
wrong, he says no more.”
~ From “Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars”

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Fullest Experience In Life

Dear Parishioners,

This Sunday is called “Good Shepherd Sunday,” because each year, the gospel comes from John 10 and shows Jesus as that “good shepherd.” (John 10:1-10) However, there is a variation on that theme, because Jesus also refers to himself as a “gate.” When shepherds were out in the country, they would herd the sheep into a walled enclosure that had one entrance but no door or gate. After herding them inside, he would lay across the entrance so that the sheep couldn’t get out and no wolves could enter. Then in the morning, he would lead them out to eat. Thus, the shepherd would protect them by night and feed them by day. That is what Jesus does for us, if we let him. He wants to protect us from the forces of evil and feed us with his grace through the sacraments. Why? Because as Jesus says, “I came that they might have life and have it to the full.” If we want the fullest experience in life, we can’t get it from power, pleasure, money, possessions, or honor. We can only get it through Jesus.

- Fr. Carl

“An undertaking, to be pleasing to God, must have three conditions:
It must be sincere, selfless and persevering.”
~ From “Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars”

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Stranger Traveling With Us

Dear Parishioners,

Could it be that on our way today or tomorrow, the risen Lord might travel with us first as a stranger and then as living Lord? (Luke 24:13-35) Might he come and join us where we are? I think so. In fact, I know so, because he has joined me and you along the road and now nourishes with his very life. We know he travels with us, because we could not have made it this far without his guiding, loving presence. We know he goes with us. May God give us the grace to go with him wherever the road may lead.

- Deacon Robert

“Every time we are able to give up our own
wishes in favor of those of other people, so long as it
is not contrary to the will of God, we acquire great
~from “Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars”

Friday, April 25, 2014

Whom Can You Trust?

Dear Parishioners,

What can we take away from today’s Gospel about Thomas? (John 20:19-31) If we read the story again, we see the risen Lord who meets us where we are. No matter where we are today, whether in depths of doubt or skimming the peaks of joy, the risen Lord meets us where we are.

The longer we live, the more we find our weary souls drifting away from trust. Our childhood naïveté seems forever lost in the rubble of life’s disappointments and betrayals. Like those disciples wilting in fear behind closed doors, we fear many things, chief among them that no one can be trusted anymore. The risen Lord comes to us to show us he is worthy of our trust We can cast all our weary, dreary, even teary fears on him.

Christ is risen! Alleluia!

- Deacon Robert

“Let the greatest sinners place their trust in My
mercy. They have the right before others to trust in
the abyss of My mercy. … Souls that make an appeal
to My mercy delight Me. To such souls I grant even
more graces than they ask.”
~ Jesus’ words to St. Faustina as recorded in her Diary

Sunday, April 20, 2014

ALLELUIA! He Has Risen!

Dear Parishioners,

ALLELUIA! He has risen as he said he would (Acts 10:34a, 37-43; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-9). Today we celebrate our Lord’s victory over Satan, sin, and death. But it is our victory as well, for the ransom has been paid and we have been set free and rise above sin and selfishness. No longer are we slaves to sin; no longer are we subjects to Satan. We are destined for a different kingdom—God’s kingdom of peace, light, joy, and truth. Jesus’ resurrection is a sign that we are once again God’s beloved children bound for eternal glory, if we follow Jesus. ALLELUIA!

- Fr. Carl

“Pay attention, my young friends: to go against the current; this is good for the heart,
but we need courage to swim against the tide…. We Christians were not chosen by the
Lord for little things; push onwards toward the highest principles. Stake you lives on noble ideals, my dear young people!”
~ Pope Francis

Friday, April 11, 2014

Holy Week

Dear Parishioners,

Out of the fifty-two weeks each year, we call this week “holy.” Without what happened during this week (Matthew 26:14-27:66), Christianity might have become just another branch of Judaism, and we might be still waiting for the Messiah. This week becomes holy for us in ways we do not expect. We may not want this, and it may be painful, but it is always important.

We cannot come to Palm Sunday and Holy Week as spectators. The point is not to observe history but to discover the many ways this story is about us. We, too, have lauded Jesus one day as the king of our lives and then proceed to live in ways that deny him and betray him. We are not to stand in judgment on the characters in this drama, but to see ourselves in them.

Let us stay in this week. Don’t deny your presence here or your part in what happened. Stay until the end. Then come close, and hear Jesus say the strange, improbable words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Maybe Jesus prayed these words because he knew that what we thought we had done to him, we had actually done to ourselves.

Even this, however, is not the end of the drama of Holy Week. Do you like surprise endings? Then stay in the story.

- Deacon Robert

“In the life of the body, a man is sometimes sick, and unless he takes medicine, he will die. Even so in the spiritual life, a man is sick on account of sin. For that reason, he needs medicine so that he may be restored to health; and this grace is bestowed in the Sacrament of Penance.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas

Friday, April 4, 2014

Down and Out

Dear Parishioners,

“Down and Out”
Originally this term was used to describe a boxer who had been knocked down and counted out. For him, the fight was over, and he had lost. That phrase is often used today to describe a person in very unfortunate circumstances, like the street people who have no job, no home, no food, no family, and no hope.

Today’s readings (Ezekiel 37:12-14; Romans 8:8-11; John 11:1-45) tell us that while we may be down, we don’t have to be out. Ezekiel prophesied that the defeated and exiled Israelites would be restored to their homeland; “dry bones” would take on muscle, flesh, and life. Also, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Therefore as long as we have a good relationship with the Lord, we will never be counted out.

- Fr. Carl

God is the source of life; thanks to His breath, man has life.
God’s breath sustains the entire journey of our life on earth.”
 ~ Pope Francis, Holy Mass for Evangelium Vitae Day, 2013

Friday, March 28, 2014

Be Vigilant!

Dear Parishioners,

This Sunday is traditionally known as Laetare Sunday from the first word of the Entrance Antiphon—Laetare (“Rejoice”), taken from the Latin translation of Isaiah 66:10-11, and sets a joyful anticipation for Easter.

Nevertheless, we are still in Lent and need to be vigilant. Several weeks ago we saw Jesus being tempted by the devil, and Pope Francis had some thoughts about the devil and evil upon which it would be good to reflect: “Jesus came to destroy the devil, to give us the freedom from the enslavement the devil has over us. And this is not exaggerating… There is a battle and a battle where salvation is at play eternal salvation of us all.”

“Three criteria: Do not confuse the truth, Jesus fights the devil: first criterion. Second criterion: he who is not with Jesus is against Jesus. There are no attitudes in the middle. Third criterion: vigilance over our hearts because the devil is astute. He is never cast out forever. It will only be on the last day.”

So today as we rejoice on Laetare Sunday because Easter draws near, let us be wary of the devil. As the pope said, “Do not relativize; be vigilant! And always with Jesus!”

- Fr. Carl

“Every human life is precious in God’s sight and no effort should be spared in the attempt to promote throughout the world a genuine respect for the inalienable rights and dignity of individuals and peoples everywhere.”

Pope Benedict XVI, Letter to Cardinal Dolan
on the Occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the
Somber Events of September 11, 2001

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spiritual DNA

Dear Parishioners,

The Samaritan woman’s spiritual DNA is in all of us (Jn 4:5-42). To be human is to experience no small amount of failure throughout life’s journey. We try and fail at all kinds of things: hobbies, learning, relationships, and, yes, religious devotions. The story tells us clearly that the greater sin is not the failure at any of these. Failure, like success, is part of the human experience.

Like the Samaritan woman, are you drifting from one experience to another? Who isn’t! In the gift of God, we find the promise of living water without end. Who knows, maybe during these Lenten days, we may come to this well of unending grace and there meet the One who alone can transform our lives and make them new. Are you thirsty? Come and drink.

- Deacon Robert

Friday, March 14, 2014

Pope Francis on Temptation

Dear Parishioners,

Last week, we saw Jesus going into the desert to be tempted by Satan. We, too, are not immune from temptation as we all know. Recently Pope Francis offered some insights worth repeating. He said that temptations stem from our passions and the interior wounds we carry from original sin. He said, “It is curious, temptations have 3 characteristics — it grows, it infects, and it justifies itself. It grows: it begins with tranquility and grows. Jesus himself said this when he spoke about the wheat and the tares (weeds). The wheat grows, but also the tares that were sowed by the enemy. And temptation grows; it grows, it grows… And if somebody doesn’t stop it, it will surround everything.”

“And so when we are in temptation, we do not hear the Word of God. We do not understand it. Temptation closes us in, it cuts every capability of foresight, it closes off every horizon, and brings us to sin.”

“When we are in temptation, only the Word of God, the word of Jesus, saves us. To listen to that Word that opens up for us that horizon. He is always to teach us to flee from temptation. And Jesus is great because he not only makes us flee from temptation, but gives us more confidence.”

And while the devil tries to close us in and enslave us in sin, Christ comes to free us from that prison with his Word. As we continue our Lenten observances and draw closer to the Word (Jesus), may we experience the liberating joy God offers us.

- Fr. Carl

Friday, March 7, 2014


Dear Parishioners,

Today’s Gospel tells us about Jesus being tempted three times by the devil (Matthew 4:1-11). At the end of the day, the score was Jesus 3, Satin 0. Jesus resisted the devil the same way we can. First, he was not ambushed because he knew the tempter would come. And so do we.

Second, Jesus centered his strength in his identity with his heavenly Father, never letting the claims of his baptism fail from his memory. And so it can be with us.

Jesus prepared his heart by storing up knowledge of the scriptures, caring for his soul as well as his mind on God’s word. What do we store up in the pantry of our heads and hearts? What material are we meditating upon and from which we will draw on in the moment of temptation? If all we have to draw upon is sports trivia, the latest gossip, or financial projections, we are in trouble. Those are just junk food to the soul.

But if we follow the way of Jesus, then we too can say, “Away from me, Satin!” And sure enough, defeated, Satin and his temptations will leave us… in a hurry.

- Deacon Robert

“There is an urgent need to recover a correct perspective
on life as a whole. The correct perspective is that of
eternity, for which life at every phase is a meaningful
preparation. Old age too has a proper role to play in this
process of gradual maturing along the path to eternity. And
this process of maturing cannot but benefit the larger
society of which the elderly person is a part.”
~ Blessed John Paul II, Letter to the Elderly, 1999

Friday, February 28, 2014

Let Us Not Worry So Much

Dear Parishioners,

“We have so much; they have so little. Yet we worry so much; they worry so little.”

These were my thoughts after my recent visit to Haiti where I was several weekends ago. I went down to visit a parish to see about partnering with St. Guillaume in the town of Lachapelle in the diocese of Gonaives. This poorest of all the countries in the western hemisphere truly makes a person so appreciative of the many blessings we take for granted in the U. S. Decent public transportation is non-existent. People either walk for miles and miles, get a ride and sit on benches and the rails of pick-up trucks (15–20 passengers), or pile on a motorcycle. I saw a family of 5 on one motorcycle. Water has to be carried to homes, and other supplies are carried in large containers balanced on the heads from the marketplace to the home. Electricity and phone lines are scarce, unemployment is high, and some of the roads are barely drivable. Still the people have great joy, hope, and faith. We can learn a lot from this mostly Catholic country.

When we find life difficult, it would be good to remember today’s words from Isaiah (Isaiah 49:14-15). Even though a mother’s love is strong and persevering, God’s love is even more enduring. He will never forget us. Jesus echoes this sentiment in the gospel (Matthew 6:24-34) when he reminds us while God cares for the birds of the sky and the wild flowers in the field, He cares even more for us and will watch over us. So let us not worry so much.

- Fr. Carl

“Christians know that suffering cannot be eliminated, yet it can
have meaning and become an act of love and entrustment into
the hands of God who does not abandon us; in this way it can
serve as a moment of growth in faith and love.”
~ Pope Francis, Lumen Fidei, 56

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Extra Mile

Dear Parishioners,

I’m not sure where you are today or what the past week, month, or year has done to all your cherished dreams. I do know this… the One who died and rose again walked the first mile to Pilate’s court and the second mile to Calvary to show us the way of love is the way of life. I do know this… first and second mile Christians have gone through the furnace of difficulty, being forced to face all kinds of spiritual, physical, and relational challenges.

What if today you believed you could turn the other cheek, give generously, and go the extra mile? What if today you challenged yourself to follow Jesus, and in so doing, discover the way of love is the way of life? What if today you did just that?

- Deacon Robert

“Society as a whole must defend the conceived child’s
right to life and the true good of the woman who can
never, in any circumstances, find fulfillment in the
decision to abort.”
~ Pope Benedict XVI, address to the Pontifical
Academy for Life, February 26, 2011

Friday, February 14, 2014

True Lasting Happiness and Joy

Dear Parishioners,

In today’s world, we value intelligence, initiative, hard work, talent, appearance, popularity, power, and money. Now these are not bad things as long as we use them for good. However, more important than all these things is wisdom. The Book of Sirach says, “Immense is the wisdom of the Lord.” (Sirach 15:15-20; 1 Corinthians 2:6-10; Matthew 5:17-37)  St. Paul tells us that “God has revealed this wisdom to us through the Spirit.” The wise man or woman knows “what God has prepared for those who love him” even if “eye has not seen, ear has not heard.” Knowing the infinite love, power, and mercy, the wise person realizes that true lasting happiness and joy can be found only in God. Jesus and Sirach both say the key to wisdom is found in God’s commandments. However, Jesus goes further and reminds us that commandments without the spirit behind them is not enough. The Pharisees kept the commandments, but didn’t have the right attitude. That attitude is the attitude of love of neighbor as well as love of God. That will bring us the holiness we need to enter the kingdom of God.

- Fr. Carl

“The future of humanity passes by way of the family.”
~Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 86

Friday, February 7, 2014

You Are The Light Of The World

Dear Parishioners,

Last Sunday, 40 days after Christmas, we celebrated the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. Simeon there referred to Jesus as “a revealing light to the Gentiles…” The feast also used to be known as Candlemas Day as the candles to be used during the year were blessed on that day. So light, as embodied by Jesus, was the prevailing theme of the day.

This week’s gospel (Matthew 5:13-16) continues the theme of light as Jesus tells his disciples, “You are the light of the world.” Jesus is telling his disciples and us that we should reflect him to the surrounding culture. If we are faithful to Jesus, people should see that we are different from others—that Jesus has made a difference in our lives. The first reading from Isaiah (Isaiah 58:7-10) gives some suggestions as to how we can do that. Feed the hungry; shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked. In short, we are to do what we can for those who are in need. Then we can bring some light and joy into a world that badly needs it.

- Fr. Carl

“Give us the grace - When the sacredness of life
before birth is attacked, to stand up and proclaim that
no one ever has the authority to destroy unborn life.”
~ Pope John Paul II, Homily, October 7, 1979

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Presentation Of The Lord

Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate a joyous moment in the early days of our Lord’s earthly life (Malachi 3:1-4; Hebrews 2:14-18; Luke 2:22-40). There is the holy couple, Mary and Joseph, Simeon the sage, and Anna the prophetess of God, all brought together by the presence of the infant Christ. He is in their midst, and because he is touch-ably, beautifully among them, their lives overflow in worship and joy.

That is why we are here today. We gather in this place where the scriptures are read, the word proclaimed, and the sacraments given, to say with one voice that God is among us. In Christ, God is beneath us and over us, behind us and before us, with us and within us. Live in His presence always, and we all will find new joy in living.

- Deacon Robert

“Human life must always be defended from its
beginning in the womb and must be recognized
as a
gift of God that guarantees the future of humanity.”
~ Pope Francis

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Sense of a Beginning

Dear Parishioners,

This sense of a beginning in our Lord’s public ministry felt here in Matthew’s gospel (Isaiah 8:23, 9:3; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17; Matthew 4:12-23) transitions into a movement that gathers followers in places like Bethsaida and Sidon, Gadara and a grassy hillside. The movement makes its way to Jerusalem as one by one, the crowds peel away and disciples scatter until only Jesus is left before a sneering mob and a splintered cross.

And so what is this sense of a beginning for you? How might you make this moment a beginning moment in your life? What if you acknowledged your apprehension with one breath and then took in deeply the oxygen of resolve saying with your lips and lives, “I will follow, too!”

And who knows where this beginning might lead: a changed heart, a more open acceptance of others in their need and longings, and even a new awareness that God’s Spirit in Christ is the very atmosphere in which we live and move and have our being.

- Deacon Robert

“Help one another: This is what Jesus teaches
us, and this is what I am doing—and doing with all
my heart—because it is my duty. As a priest and a
bishop, I must be at your service. But it is a duty that
comes from my heart. I love it.”
~ Pope Francis

Friday, January 17, 2014

Here Am I Lord

Dear Parishioners,

Now that the Advent and Christmas seasons are over, we are back in what is called “Ordinary Time.” However, time is never plain and ordinary. It is a gift from God. Furthermore, ordinary is given the name from the ordinal numbers (1, 2, 3, 4…) as opposed to the special liturgical seasons (Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter). In any event, the color of the vestments is green—the color of life and hope. During this time, we hope that God’s grace will grow in our hearts that we may have life to the fullest.

In the first reading (Isaiah 49:3, 5-6; 1 Corinthians 1:1-3; John 1:29-34), Isaiah is told that Israel is to be God’s servant. The responsorial psalm tells us the motto of a good servant, “Here am I Lord; I come to do your will!” Of course, not everyone wants to serve; many want to be served, instead, forgetting the words of Jesus who came not to be served but to serve. Our Lord taught us many lessons in life but none more important than the greatness of serving God and our neighbor. That’s what the psalmist means when he says, “Here am I Lord, I come to do your will.”

- Fr. Carl

“God thinks like the Samaritan who did not
pass by the unfortunate man, pitying him or looking at
him from the other side of the road, but helped him
without asking for anything in return; without asking
whether he was a Jew, a pagan or a Samaritan,
whether he was rich or poor. He asked for nothing.
He went to help him. God is like this..”
~ Pope Francis

Friday, January 10, 2014

Baptism Of The Lord

Dear Parishioners,

Jesus came from Galilee and submitted to John’s baptism in the Jordan (Matthew 3:13-17). Jesus trusted his whole life to God, his Father. At our Baptism, we became more intimately united with Jesus and God, our Father in heaven. We who hear the story of our Lord’s death and resurrection, entrust our lives to the One who died and rose again. To be a Christian, to take into your life the Christian story, to believe God’s Spirit can work through you is to entrust your life—past, present and future—to Jesus Christ.

- Deacon Robert

“May you also be true evangelizers! May your
initiatives be ‘bridges,’ means of bringing others to Christ,
so as to journey together with him. And in this spirit may
you always be attentive to charity. Each individual
Christian and every community is missionary to the extent
that they bring to others and live the Gospel, and testify to
God’s love for all, especially those experiencing difficulties.”
~ Pope Francis

Friday, January 3, 2014

Feast of the Epiphany

Dear Parishioners,

The word “Epiphany” means manifestation or appearance. It was used to describe the visitation to his people by a king or ruler. There was a display of power as the king paraded through the town. However, King Jesus comes in just the opposite manner; he appears as a weak, helpless baby as the Magi come to him (Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6 Matthew 2:1-12). He has none of the trappings of a king, yet the Wise Men recognize his majesty even robed in swaddling clothes. They see not with earthly eyes, but rather with the eyes of faith. They don’t just kneel, but they prostrate (lie flat on the ground) in adoration. Neither Herod nor the religious leaders in Jerusalem had their kind of spiritual vision (faith), and that was their fatal flaw, their tragedy. They should have known better, for if these gentile outsiders, the Magi, could read the signs of the heavens, even more so should the religious leaders of the times. After all, they had the sacred scriptures to give them a clue.
“I see him, though not now;
I behold him, though not near:
A star shall advance from Jacob,
And a staff shall rise from Israel.”
(Num 24:17)
Let us pray for the same kind of vision as the Magi so that we can be with Jesus and never take our eyes off him as we journey through life.

- Fr. Carl