Friday, December 25, 2015

Holy Family Sunday

Dear Parishioners,

We are all children of God and members of God’s holy family, the church. We rightly celebrate Christmas in our culture as a time to gather family close, make memories, and to exchange gifts. Perhaps God is inviting us today, this Holy Family Sunday, to see ourselves as members of God’s family now and forever. Look around you and see in the faces and lives of those who worship with you, the family God calls holy. Such a gift has Christmas written all over it!

- Deacon Robert

“In the morning we should behave towards God like an
infant in its cradle. As soon as it opens its eyes, it looks
quickly through the room to see its mother. When it
sees her, it begins to smile. When it cannot see her, it cries.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, December 18, 2015

Mary, Pure and Fruitful

Dear Parishioners,

As the season of Advent comes to an end and we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, it is only fitting that the gospel focuses on our Lord’s mother Mary (Luke 1:39-45). She is the woman God chose before all ages to give birth to His son. Although she was lowly in the eyes of the world, her humility, faith, and obedience make her great in the eyes of God and a fitting mother for Jesus. She is a role model for all Christians and the image of the Church—pure and fruitful.

May we try to imitate her virtues of humility, purity, fidelity, and obedience so as to welcome Jesus into our hearts, so that we may be faithful disciples and bring him into the world by our thoughts, words, and deeds.

- Fr. Carl

“Humility is like a pair of scales: the lower one side falls,
the higher rises the other. Let us humble ourselves like
the Blessed Virgin and we shall be exalted.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, December 11, 2015


Dear Parishioners,

John the Baptist calls people in the first century and us today to repentance (Luke 3:10-18). But what is repentance? John told his listeners to be generous, honest, and content. What would it be like if we practiced repentance like this… becoming more generous, more honest and more content? Wouldn’t that be a sign to the world that something out of this world was beginning? And maybe, just maybe the Kingdom will come a step closer to our world because we took a step closer to the Kingdom with our actions. Repentance is not necessarily a penance, it is a practice. The world is waiting.

- Deacon Robert

“Offer your temptations for the conversion of sinners.
When the Devil sees you doing this he is beside himself
with rage and makes off, because then the temptation is
turned against himself.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, December 4, 2015

Prepare the Way of the Lord

Dear Parishioners,

Every year on the second Sunday of Advent, our old friend John the Baptist comes to remind us it’s time again to repent (Luke 3:1-6). His message is just as timely today as it was 2,000 years ago. We have a continuing need to level the mountains of pride, arrogance, and selfishness that crop up in our hearts like the weeds appearing on a well-kept lawn. At the same time, we need to fill in the valleys of our spiritual laziness and indifference to God’s call to holiness. If we prepare, then God can “come” into our hearts. The best preparation is the sacrament of reconciliation or penance or confession. Confession is available [at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church] each Saturday from 3:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. or by calling the parish office for an appointment. If you prepare in this way, the Lord will surely bless your Christmas celebration.

- Fr. Carl

Confession Links:

“The saints love everyone… Their hearts, inflamed with
Divine love, are dilated in proportion to the number of
souls that God puts in their way.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, November 27, 2015

Slow Down And Wait

Dear Parishioners,

Advent is a time of waiting. We wait to celebrate our Lord’s coming among us 2,000 years ago. And we await Jesus’ coming at the end of time (3:Jeremiah 33:14-16; Thessalonians 3:12-4:2; Luke 21:25-28,34-36). Waiting is not something modern man does very well. Thanks to modern technology we get what we want almost right away. For information, we simply google our questions. We can have products and mail shipped over-night. Fast food restaurants are everywhere. We can take pictures and selfies without having to have rolls of film developed. And we can text messages immediately and post our activities on Facebook for everyone to see.

So why not use this season of Advent to slow down and wait for God to come into your lives? A little more time in the evening praying, reading the Bible, or relaxing with your family in a shared activity would do wonders for the stress so many of you are facing. I know it would be a challenge for you, but I know the good Lord would be there for you. Be generous with your time with God and your family, for I know God will bless you in return. God loves a generous giver as St. Paul says. And God will not be outdone in generosity.

God bless,
Fr. Carl

“Love for God here consists in loving him more than
any created thing — loving him better than our own life.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, November 20, 2015

Our Loving and Forgiving King

Dear Parishioners,

Several months ago, our nation was shocked when nine people were murdered at Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Within a few days, the accused was arraigned for those murders in a courtroom fill with the family members of those whose lives he ended.

To a person those family members spoke words of forgiveness, saying to the accused that God loved him and longed for him to find the mercy and grace only God can give. Those moments and what followed in the city of Charleston and our nation took our breath away as we watched persons who are citizens of God’s kingdom live and act in ways that witness God’s liberating and loving ways.

How could that be? Such acts of mercy, speaking love to hate and offering forgiveness in the face of murder is God’s work through human life. Such work, such acts of grace are more powerful than any army or arsenal known to the human family. Live in God’s kingdom, liberated and loving, showing a still broken world that the way of love is the way of life. As you do, know that our King has no end and shall reign forever and ever.

- Deacon Robert

“Happier than those who lived during his mortal life,
when he was only in one place, we find Jesus Christ
today in every corner of the world, in the Blessed
- Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, November 13, 2015

The End of Time

Dear Parishioners,

As we come to the end of the church year (next Sunday, Nov. 22 is the final one), the readings direct us to the end of time (158:Daniel 12:1-3; Hebrews 10:11-14,18; Mark 13:24-32). The Son of Man, Jesus, will come in power and glory. Wise men and women will be ready, but no one knows exactly when that will happen. However, the solution is to be ready always and to live each day as if it were the last day. Then, we will be ready and can look forward to our Lord’s coming with hope and confidence. One of the best ways to prepare ourselves is the regular reception of the Sacrament of Penance. It’s also a good way to prepare for Christmas. I would encourage you to go sooner rather than later as the lines for Penance grow longer as Christmas approaches.

God bless,
Fr. Carl

“When our Lord sees pure souls coming eagerly
to visit him in the Blessed Sacrament, he smiles
upon them. They come with that simplicity
which pleases him so much”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, November 6, 2015

Absolute Trust

Dear Parishioners,

The widow in today’s Gospel (Mark 12:38-44) is not an example or a parable or an illustration of something as much as she is a voice, a person longing to come to life in all of us. Like Bartimaeus of Jericho, this woman lives in you and me at the deepest level of meaning I know. We have seen her eyes in our dreams, and in our best moments, know how much we long for that kind of faith that we could give it all away and follow Jesus. Absolute trust. Impossible? A dream? Maybe. But then, maybe such trust is not a dream at all but a gift. Let this widow live in you. Give generously. Love unconditionally. Trust in Jesus absolutely, now and always.

- Deacon Robert

“One ought always to be ready to give up one’s
own will to do what God wants…”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Feast Day!

Dear Parishioners,

Happy Feast Day! This greeting is often given to people on the feast of the saint after whom they have been named. For example, if your name were Patrick, people might say to you on March 17th, “Happy Feast Day.” Likewise, those named Lucy would hear that greeting on December 13th, as would a Joseph on March 19th, or a Monica on August 27th. Of course not everybody is named after a saint, so November 1st—the Feast of All Saints—is everybody’s “Feast Day.” After all, as the first reading reminds us, there is a multitude of saints in heaven (Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14). Hopefully, there is a multitude down here on earth. It’s very nice to be recognized here after your death as a saint, but it’s just as important to be an unrecognized saint when we die. That’s why we were all born into this world. When we die, it’s nice to leave behind a sense of accomplishments more so than our failures. However, as Mother Theresa said, “The only real failure in life is not to have become a saint.” Let us pray that we will cooperate with God’s grace so as to be admitted into the company of the saints.

- Fr. Carl

“Life is given us that we may learn to die well, and we
never think of it! To die well we must live well.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, October 23, 2015

Stop the Parade

Dear Parishioners,

Who doesn’t love a parade? Marching bands, floats, men and women in costume, and crowds waving flags. It was parade day in Jericho when Jesus came to town. Word was passed south from Galilee to the oasis resort of Jericho just north of the Dead Sea. A man calls out, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:46-52)

Jesus stopped the parade and asked that someone bring the man to him. Helped to his feet, Bartimaeus was brought to Jesus who asked him, “what do you want me to do for you?” “My teacher, let me see again.” Go with me as we imagine that the Jericho parade that day might be a metaphor for our life.

The blind man in the story is a permanent resident along the parade route of our life. His blindness is not incidental to our reflection. We have a whole vocabulary for this phenomenon: blindsided, ignorance, and asking “Who could have known?” These are a few reminders of how blind we can be to the most important need in our life, which is… to see.

All of us are immersed into the parade of our lives. But along the way, off to the side, perhaps sitting in dust of our own making, is Bartimaeus. Let Jesus stop your parade today, let the blind man stand to his feet in your soul and receive the gift of sight only Jesus can give.

- Deacon Robert

“If when we are ill, our recovery will contribute to the
glory of God and the good of our soul, He who healed so
many when He was on earth, will certainly heal us. If, on
the contrary, the illness is more advantageous to us, He
will instead give us the strength to suffer.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, October 16, 2015

A Light Brightly Visible

Dear Parishioners,

Several months ago, Archbishop Lori wrote a pastoral letter entitled A Light Brightly Visible which he released this past Pentecost. It deals with the new evangelization and parish planning. Inspired by the thoughts of Pope Francis, Vatican Council II, and all the popes in between, it is an invitation to all of us to look at the Church today and what must be done for the Church of tomorrow in carrying out her mission. The pastoral letter is a good read and can be found here: A Light Brightly Visible. I encourage you to read it.

As part of the archdiocese’s planning for the future, the Archbishop would like to know your thoughts. As such, the Archbishop has asked us to take part in a survey about our experiences with our parishes. This can be done either on-line at or by paper. The on-line survey can be done now; paper survey will be made available at a later date.

Thank you for taking the time to help.

- Fr. Carl

“O My God, I desire to love you more than all the angels
and all the saints put together. I adore you with them,
and unite my love with that which your Blessed Mother
had for you, when she was on earth.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, October 9, 2015


Dear Parishioners,

Ours is not an entitled existence but rather a gift that understands birth itself as a gift. Entitled? Not in the least. We are temporary, soon forgotten in the long reach of time and history, centuries and millennia. But there’s more to consider, isn’t there?

In the end, we have to face the troubling fact that only God can give us what God alone gives. This gift, call it grace, salvation, eternal life is ours not by right but by God’s generosity.

Some still believe and live as if we are entitled. “Come follow me” may be the most powerful words ever uttered on this earth. God offers us a gift. Receive the gift that God gives, follow the teachings of Jesus.

- Deacon Robert

“We are permitted to love our relations, our possessions,
our health, our reputation; but this love must be subordinate
to the love we should have for God, so that we may be
ready to make the sacrifice of it if He should require it.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, October 2, 2015

Proud To Be Catholic!

Dear Parishioners,

What a great week it was to be a Catholic! Pope Francis was magnificent as the love of Jesus seemed to radiate from his very being. While I did not get to see the pope personally, I remember being in the presence of Pope St. John Paul II several times. Whether you were up close or far away in the crowd, you could feel something in the air that you never felt anywhere else. God was there in a very special way in the person of his vicar, the pope.

Each of the last three popes with whom the Church has been blessed has brought something unique to the papacy. St. John Paul II brought energy, charisma, and a dynamic yet prayerful personality. He was a great philosopher. Benedict XVI, a great theologian, brought a continuity of his predecessor’s missions along with a more reserved and shy manner. Pope Francis brings a wonderfully gentle humility along with a real concern for the poor around the globe. He speaks the truth with love on the important issues of the times: religious freedom, the sanctity of life, the environment, immigration, and the family. While he voices his concerns over these issues, he does so with encouragement, humility, gentleness, and confidence that people of good will can work together for solutions.

Let us pray for an end to the strident debates going on in our country, that different viewpoints will be aired with civility, and that solutions to our problems can be reached through negotiations and compromise that truly benefits our nation.

- Fr. Carl

“He who does not pray is like a hen or a turkey that cannot
rise into the air. He who prays is like an intrepid eagle!”
~Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, September 25, 2015

Who’s With Us?

Dear Parishioners,

Jesus offers us a more inclusive way to view the world. He says, “Whoever is not against us is for us.” (Mark 9:38-43,45,47-48) What difference this perspective makes on the way we see the world and the way we interact with those around us! All of a sudden the world is filled with companions, friends, and actual or potential allies.

Who needs to belong to an exclusive club or circle of friends when we could have a great family of friends and companions to share our journey and our mission? Ask yourself, how much more optimistic and less judgmental is this way of life and service to our Lord?

- Deacon Robert

We ought to say to God: “I can do nothing of myself.
I can only give you my desire to love you. Here it is!
O my god, uphold me and do all yourself.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, September 18, 2015

A Word From Our Pastor

Dear Parishioners,

About a month ago, our music director and organist, Mia Coyne, suffered a hemorrhage to the brain and taken to the Washington Medical Center where she underwent treatment for a number of days. She has been home for several weeks, but the recovery process will take some time. So she will not be returning to St. Jane’s. She has been a dedicated, hard-working, and knowledgeable worker in the parish, and she will be missed. I ask for your prayers so that she will have a full and complete recovery. It was fortunate that I found the organist from my previous parish taking a several year break from parish music, and she agreed to come here to replace Mia. Her name is Marianne Gregory, and she has been a parish music director/organist with over 30 years of experience. She has an upbeat, enthusiastic attitude and should be a blessing here at St. Jane’s. I look forward to working with her in the coming years.

- Fr. Carl

“Nothing afflicts the Heart of Jesus so much as to see all
his sufferings of no avail to so many… Pray then for the
conversion of sinners.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, September 11, 2015

Redemptive Suffering

Dear Parishioners,

Jesus commanded those who would follow him to take up their cross, to love God more than life itself (Mark 8:27-35). It is an open palm that a fisted world needs to see. It is acceptance and forgiveness that provokes repentance. It is mercy in the face of mercilessness that trumps justice and beaks the cycle of revenge and violence. God redeems the world through the suffering and sacrifice of the cross. But God also calls each of us to bear witness to Christ’s redemptive suffering, to be “Christians.”

- Deacon Robert

“When God sees us coming to Him in prayer, He leans His
heart down very low to his little creature, like a father who
bends down to listen to his child when it speaks to him.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, September 4, 2015

It’s Sunday… Take A Break!

Dear Parishioners,

“Every worthwhile gift, every genuine benefit comes from above, descending from the Father…” These words we heard last week from the letter of James (James 2:14-18). This week, the readings deal with those lacking some of the gifts we often take for granted (Isaiah 50:5-9a; James 2:14-18; Mark 8:27-35). The gifts of sight, hearing, speech, and society’s approval. The sign of the Messiah’s arrival would be the healing of eyes of the blind, the ears of the deaf, and the legs of the lame. The disadvantaged will be made whole and restored to health. Jesus, in healing the deaf man’s hearing and speech impediment, serves notice that the Messiah has arrived.

It is a hardship for a person lacking hearing and the ability to be understood. However, the greater tragedy is the inability to hear the word of God and to give praise, glory, adoration, and Thanksgiving to the Trinity. And that is our disability when we shut God out of our lives because of our busy schedules.

This weekend is Labor Day, a holiday during which we can rest from our work, spend leisure time with our families, and recharge our emotional and physical batteries. Come to think of it, isn’t that the purpose of each Sunday, worshiping God and resting from unnecessary work? If we make God a priority over the weekend, God will help us through the week.

May you and your families have a blessed Labor Day weekend.

- Fr. Carl

“One serves God better by doing things in which one
takes neither pleasure or delight.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, August 28, 2015

Signs of Good Things to Come

Dear Parishioners,

Summer is over, and school has begun. I was pleased to hear that St. Jane Frances School reached her targeted enrollment for this year. We have welcomed over 40 new students into our classrooms which is a good, healthy sign. It should be a wonderful year as we get back into the academic mode.

Several years ago we participated in the Capital Campaign for the benefit of the parish and archdiocese. So far over the last two years, we have received rebates of over $90,000. Part of that was used to refurbish the roof gutters of the church. The remainder is going to refurbish the hall kitchen which needs a good do over. Our kitchen renovation committee has met several times, and we are making plans to fix-up the kitchen next summer.

This summer, our part-time maintenance man, Karl Kammer, retired, and we just hired a new one, Ward Giddings, one of our parishioners. We are glad to have him as he is quite knowledgeable about vegetation. If you look in front of the rectory, you can see how he has already lowered the bushes which had grown much too high.

Finally, we welcome back our main maintenance man, Marty Karopchinsky, who was out for a while in the spring and early summer for some surgery. We really missed him and are very happy to have him back.

I am looking forward—as I hope you are—to another good year at St. Jane’s. May you have a happy and relaxing Labor Day weekend.

- Fr. Carl

“That which above all should inspire us with veneration
for the holy angels is their unswerving loyalty to God.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, August 21, 2015

Life's Choices

The Road Not Taken
… I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
– Robert Frost

Dear Parishioners,

Perhaps you have heard the quote, “Our lives are the sum of the choices we make.” So here is the thing about choices. Our lives turn on all of them, even the little, seemingly insignificant ones. Our choices, once made, cannot be unmade. We have to own them, take responsibility for them, perhaps even ask forgiveness for them. They are irrevocable.

But the good news is, even when we make the wrong choice, we can still make the next choice. We get to do something powerful and redemptive… make the next choice the right one. Choose this day to choose well and wise. As Robert Frost’s poem puts it, “that will make all the difference.”

- Deacon Robert

“We must honour God as he requires us to
honour him, or we shall be asked why.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, August 14, 2015

Feast of St. Jane Frances de Chantal

Dear Parishioners,

Last Sunday, we had our 1st annual picnic in honor of our patron, St. Jane Frances. Her feast day is August 12th. At each Mass, I mention her in the Eucharistic Prayer. It is a reminder that we have a friend in a very high place, and we should invoke her intercession on behalf of the parish and we parishioners.

The picnic was a very nice affair with a good attendance, good food, a bouncy house, some games, snowballs, and a nice relaxing time that helped people get to know one another. I appreciate all our parishioners who worked to make the picnic such a success. It was a big hit with all who attended, and we are already making plans for next year.

- Fr. Carl

“I often think that even if there were no other
life then this one, it would be enough happiness
just to love God here and to do something for
his glory.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, August 7, 2015

When God Weeps

Dear Parishioners,

When you hold your broken heart in your hands because something or someone intentionally or unintentionally put a knife in your soul, only you as broken as you are can say, “I forgive you.” What you did hurt me more than you will ever know, but I refuse to let my pain continue to wound me and through me, you and others. I choose to let it go and pray we can find a new place to go forward in faith and love. But when we fail to practice forgiveness and seek reconciliation, God weeps with us and for us.

- Deacon Robert

“A Good Christian mounts a chariot in this world—
borne by angels and conducted by our Lord. ”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, July 31, 2015

Health Food

Dear Parishioners,

A good father knows what his children need, and he provides it. Our heavenly Father is no different. He saw his children, Israel, and their hunger for food in the Sinai desert. So he sent them bread from heaven (manna) to fill their stomachs (Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15). Jesus knows that there is a more important food than material food (John 6:24-35). It is Jesus himself because, as St. Augustine wrote 1400 years ago, “You have made us for yourself O, Lord and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” So Jesus feeds us with the Eucharist, his body and blood, his soul and divinity to keep us healthy. This food is the most important health food of all because it gives us a share in God’s very own life. Let us be ever grateful to Jesus for this precious gift and faithfully partake of the Eucharist each weekend, for only with it are we fully alive.

- Fr. Carl

“The Kingdom of God is within us when we
love him and are in a state of grace. ”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, July 24, 2015

Feeding the Multitudes

Dear Parishioners,

It was probably mid-day on a windy hillside in Galilee when Jesus turned to his disciple Phillip and asked, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” Incredulous, Philip blurted out, “Six months wages wouldn’t buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” At that moment, the miracle starts to happen. Andrew pipes up: “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” In full control of the moment, Jesus orders the people to sit down on the grass beneath their feet. He takes the loaves and fish, gives thanks to God, and passes them out to all who are there. The food kept multiplying so much so that “all were satisfied,” and still, there were 12 baskets of leftovers… one for each of the skeptical disciples. (John 6:1-15)

The boy could have kept his lunch to himself. I have no idea how Andrew learned the boy had it, but knowing children, my guess is the boy saw the problem and in his naïveté, believed he could solve the problem. We can debate at length exactly how this miracle happened, and all roads eventually take us to Jesus… but the first factor in the formula was a boy with some loaves and fishes and childlike generosity on a hillside a long, long time ago.

- Deacon Robert

“The saints did not become saints without
many a sacrifice and many of struggle.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, July 17, 2015

Change Is Inevitable

Dear Parishioners,

The summer is not only a time for vacation but also a time for changes. In the Catholic Review, new assignments for priests and deacons have been announced. Here at St. Jane’s, some changes in our staff are happening as well. Our wonderful administrative assistant, Lori Reinecke, is retiring and moving to Florida to be close to family members and friends. She has been a great help to me and a real blessing to the parish. I will miss her loyalty, dedication, efficiency, and her upbeat friendly attitude at all times. I wish her all the best.

Fortunately, we have found an able replacement in Genevieve (Gina) Bujanowski. She is no stranger to St. Jane’s having worked in the Religious Education Office for 4 years. She comes to us from St. Athanasius where her duties were much the same as Lori’s. She, too, comes with a good attitude and should readily adapt to our parish, and we are pleased to welcome her back. For the next several weeks while she and Lori hold a turnover of responsibilities, please be patient. It will be necessary to close the office on Wednesdays to facilitate the transition.

Today I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into the sacristy of the church. There I saw a dozen members of our Youth Group down on their hands and knees cleaning and scrubbing the floor, wiping the shelves of closets, and cleaning the grime from the radiator vents. We are so blessed with our youth and the leadership of Miss Claire.

I also want to thank our Sodality for their generous donation for the AED (Automated External Defibrillator). Hopefully, it won’t be needed, but it can save a life in an emergency situation. So it is good to finally get one.

- Fr. Carl

“Wherever we are, and whatever we do,
we shall always meet with spiritual difficulties. ”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, July 10, 2015

Live For God’s Glory

Dear Parishioners,

In Christ, we are called to live to the praise of God’s glory, to think and act, to believe and serve, to understand and give. How do we live to the praise of God’s glory? We do so following Jesus who loved the unlovely, healed the broken, sat with sinners, and forgave those believed to be unforgivable. We all long for glory, for wonder, for that feeling deep within our souls that what we believe really matters to us, to God, and to others. When we live as God’s children, when we act as God’s people, when we take up the hard work of putting holy words into holy actions, we live for God’s glory.

- Deacon Robert

“Our Lord wishes nothing but your happiness.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, July 3, 2015

Freedom of Religion?

Dear Parishioners,

This weekend as we celebrate the Fourth or July, we relish the liberty for which our forefathers fought and sacrificed. We are the land of liberty, freedom, and opportunity. And while freedom is a great blessing, it is not enjoyed by all people around the world. Freedom is not an end in itself. Otherwise, it becomes a false idol; it takes the place of God, the only one we should adore. Freedom has limits and boundaries which, if not respected, lead to chaos, violence, and self destruction. St. Peter, in the New Testament, tells us, “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cloak for vice.” (1 Pet 2:16) And Pope St. John Paul II teaches us that, “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.” (Homily at Camden Yards Mass, Baltimore, 1995)

One of the blessings that God bestowed upon the human race was free will or freedom. We know from the story of Adam and Eve what happened when they abused that gift. Satan entered into human history, and we have had problems ever since. (Gen 3:1-24)

Today, our religious liberty and freedom is being threatened by the courts, legislature, and executive branch of the government which wants to restrict freedom of religion to the four walls of our church buildings. Some of the teachings of the Bible and our moral beliefs are being labeled as hate speech and bigotry, because they contradict the views of modern culture. The late Cardinal George of Chicago opined that while he expected to die in his home, his successor would die in prison, and his successor would die as a martyr. Perhaps that insight is a bit far-fetched. However, many years ago when Margaret Sanger was told that legal contraception would lead to abortion, she said that would never happen. Well it did. What will happen to freedom of religion if we do nothing?

- Father Carl

“The saints did not all begin well,
but they all ended well.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, June 26, 2015

God Never Gives Up On Us

Dear Parishioners,

Those who don’t believe in God, atheists, sometimes use death, suffering, and evil to justify their lack of belief. They say, “A good God wouldn’t allow all this suffering and pain, especially in the tragic death of a young innocent child.” However, the first reading teaches us differently (Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24). As we hear Wisdom say, “God does not make death nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living… But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world.”

Adam and Eve lived in a beautiful garden where all their needs were met, and they did not have to work, suffer, or die. Furthermore, they had a personal and intimate friendship with God who regularly moved around in the garden in the “breezy part of the day.” Since the devil no longer had this kind of relationship, he was envious. His successful temptation led to the sin of Adam and Eve which brought about the sin and evil we see all around us. Still, we know God didn’t give up on the human race. He sent Jesus. In today’s gospel (Mark 5:21-43), we see our Lord restoring health and life to those suffering physical evil in this world. He wants to do the same to us, curing the spiritual evil (sins) in our life and leading us to eternal life.

Let us pray for the grace to remain faithful to God in resisting the devil’s temptations and turn back through the sacrament of Confession when we fail. For Jesus will never fail us.

- Father Carl

“Do your work, not in order to grow rich or to
win the approval of men, but for God’s sake.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, June 19, 2015

In The Eye Of The Storm

Dear Parishioners,

Jesus calmed the storm, talking to the wind and sea as if they were rambunctious children playing too loudly in the living room. He simply called out to the weather and said, “Calm down.” Immediately the wind stopped, the sea returned to placid, and the clouds parted. Then Jesus turned to the disciples and seized this teachable moment to address the storm that had been raging inside each of them. “Why were you afraid? Calm your fear by your faith.”

And there it is: the reason Jesus could sleep in the middle of a storm, the reason he could keep his head even though everyone else around him was losing theirs. He lived, worked, and rested by faith. That connection with his heavenly Father kept him balanced, focused and centered… no matter the storm. Couldn’t that work for us too?

- Deacon Robert

“If we loved our Lord, we should have the Tabernacle,
that dwelling place of God, always before the eyes of our mind.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Parable of the Seeds

Dear Parishioners,

What might be the meaning of these parables about seeds? (Mark 4:26-34) In all of these agricultural parables that open this teaching sequence in Mark’s Gospel, we are struck with the hope and power of seeds. Certainly a farmer is necessary to sow the seeds, work the fields and gather the harvest, but it is the power of seeds and soil that perform the magic, transforming scarcity into abundance and turning ridiculously small beginnings into transforming and powerful ends. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is much like this. Its beginning is not impressive… just an itinerant preacher talking with peasants in a small country on the backside of the Roman Empire. This is the mustard seed phase of the Kingdom. But somehow, hidden from the sight and input of humankind, God transforms such humble beginnings into the greatest power ever unleashed upon human history. God’s small, germinating kingdom seeds have begun to sprout!

- Deacon Robert

“Virtue demands courage, constant effort, and
above all, help from on high.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, June 5, 2015

This Is My Body, This Is My Blood

Dear Parishioners,

Our Lord performed many miracles during his time on earth. He turned water into wine, gave sight to the blind, cured lepers, healed the lame, the deaf and the mute. He even raised Lazarus from the dead. But the greatest of all miracles took place at the Last Supper when he instituted the Eucharist. He gave his disciples his body and blood under the appearance of bread and wine. While all his other miracles took place only during Our Lord’s time on earth, this miracle continues to take place every time Mass is celebrated. What is more astonishing is the fact that this miracle can’t be seen by the human eye. The bread and wine doesn’t seem to change. It looks like, smells like, and tastes like bread and wine, but it is not. It’s Jesus. How do we know? Because Jesus tells us so in the gospels (Mark 14:12-16, 22-26). Still, people have had their doubts. So there have been a number of miracles seen throughout the ages where hosts have literally turned into bleeding flesh or hosts have not disintegrated even after several hundred years. You can read about these miracles in several books: “This Is My Body, This Is My Blood; Miracles of the Eucharist” by Bob and Penny Lord, and “The Eucharistic Miracles of the World” by Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association.

However, the greatest miracle is what the Eucharist does for us. It unites us to Jesus every time we receive it, provided we are in the state of grace, and gives us the grace and energy to be authentic disciples of Jesus. What an amazing miracle!

- Father Carl

Friday, May 29, 2015

Charity and Sacrifice

Dear Parishioners,

This past weekend, as we remembered our service men and women who sacrificed their lives to preserve our freedoms, we gave thanks for their noble service. Of course the greatest sacrifice, by far, was that of our Lord on Mount Calvary which is why we don’t thank him just one Memorial Day a year, but every weekend when we celebrate the Eucharist (thanksgiving). Because of Jesus and Good Friday, we are able to have an intimate and personal relationship with God as well as a corporate or community connection to Him. Part of our thanksgiving is expressed through prayer; but charity is also important through service to the church, our neighbors, and the wider community.

Finally, in Tuesday’s reading from the Book of Sirach (Sir 35:1-12), we heard, “In generous spirit pay homage to the Lord. With each contribution show a cheerful countenance and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy. Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously, according to your means. For the Lord is one who always repays, and he will give back to you sevenfold.”

- Father Carl

“With a humble person, whether he is laughed at or esteemed,
praised or blamed, honored or despised, whether people pay
attention to him or pass him by, it is all the same to him.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, May 22, 2015


Dear Parishioners,

Christian witness is not just a memorized speech, or a set of secret words and rituals to recite. When the Church is filled with the Spirit of God, the witness is persuasive without resorting to bullying or manipulation. It is inspired without having to be loud or coerced. When the Spirit comes upon the Church, our tongues are set on fire, released to tell the Good News in a way that actually sounds good and we are inspired to spread the Good News to the world. (Acts 2:1-11)

- Deacon Robert

“You can pray by putting yourself quite simply in touch
with God. When one finds nothing more to say to Him
but just knows He is there—that in itself is the best of prayers.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, May 15, 2015

Heaven on Earth

Dear Parishioners,

This weekend, as we celebrate the Ascension, our thoughts are raised to heaven (Acts 1:15-17, 20c-26, 20a). Where Jesus lives now, we hope to be. We might wonder what it will be like, but it will be beyond our wildest dreams. And if things aren’t going so well in our lives, we might hope to get there sooner rather than later. However, we don’t have to wait until death to experience heaven. Through faith, hope, and love (the three theological virtues), we are united with Jesus now, and if our hearts are open, we can find peace and joy amidst the trials of life.

Let us seek a closer relationship with Jesus through prayer, the sacraments, and charitable works. Jesus will not be outdone in generosity.

- Fr. Carl

“When we are before the Blessed Sacrament,
let us open our heart; our good God will open His.
We shall go to Him; He will come to us;
the one to ask, the other to receive.
It will be like a breath from one to the other.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, May 8, 2015

Window of Wonder and Humility

Dear Parishioners,

Peter opens the window of wonder and humility and reminds us that connecting with friends, neighbors, co-workers and even strangers in caring, compassionate ways begins when we admit we do not have all the answers (Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48).

Why is it that we who guard the faith, hold in our hands the Holy Scriptures and genuinely love the Lord have such a problem with wonder? “While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The Jewish believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.”

Our own story can open a window of wonder for us to stare through for a long, long time. What we may see if we look through wonder’s window, is God working in so many way in our lives and in the world surpasses even our own understanding.

So be a faithful loving Christian presence to all with whom you live, work, play and serve. Wear the Christian faith with a humility that knows God is always at work and loves all persons everywhere.

- 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.”
~ Notre-Dame d’Ars

Friday, May 1, 2015

Sour Grapes

Dear Parishioners,

In the past year, I have taken to eating fruit at least three times a day. I feel healthier and have even lost a little weight. One of my favorites is grapes. Every day at lunch, I will eat a dozen or two. But I always pull the clusters from out of the bag to see if any have fallen off, and eat them first. I do that because they are more likely to spoil than those attached to the stalk or little branch. Those grapes still clinging to the vine are healthy and juicy. In today’s gospel (John 15:1-8), Jesus says, “I am the true vine.” He means that as long as we are connected to Him, we will be healthy and fully alive. Other attractions in life may seem tempting and desirable, but they don’t deliver what Jesus promises—life to the full.

May you find peace, joy, and happiness in your connection to the Lord.

- Father Carl

“I often think that when we come to adore our Lord in the
Blessed Sacrament, we should obtain everything we
want, if we would ask for it with a very lively faith
and a very pure heart.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Good Shepherd

Dear Parishioners,

Jesus tells us, “I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me.” God’s gift to us to be able to recognize God’s presence in our lives empowers us to make decisions aware that choosing mercy over judgment, love over selfishness, grace over punishment, others over self, and reconciliation over hatred all bear witness to God who loves us into loving others. No other creature on this planet has the choosing capacity God has given us.

- Deacon Robert

“The person who gossips is a terrorist
who drops a bomb… They destroy others.”
~ Words of Wisdom from Pope Francis

Friday, April 17, 2015

Still Talking About Sin?

Dear Parishioners,

Here we are in early spring and early Easter. We are celebrating new life in nature and risen life in Jesus. To get here, we underwent a harsh winter and 40 days of penance. Yet, here we are again talking about penance for the forgiveness of sin (Acts 3:13-15, 17-19; 1 John 2:1-5a; Luke 24:35-48). Why? The answer is simple. Penance is not just a 40 day retreat during Lent. It’s a continual way of life for the committed Christian. We never reach perfection in this life. As the bible tells us, “Even the just man falls seven times a day.” (Proverbs 24:16) So there is a constant need for us to do penance. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, knows that which is why he goes to confession every other week. And his two predecessors, Pope Benedict and Pope St. John Paul II, went every week. If we are wise, we will learn from these holy men and receive the Sacrament of Confession on a frequent and regular basis.

- Father Carl

“Work for Peace. We are living in a time of
many wars, and the call for peace must be shouted.
Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet,
but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive
and dynamic.”
~ Pope Francis’ “Secrets to Happiness” (#10 of 10)

Friday, April 10, 2015

How Do We Come To Believe?

Dear Parishioners,

No weight of evidence, no nail-scarred proof of death, or glorious risen light can compel you or me to believe. We come to believe, we move into the realm of faith, as an act or personal daring acceptance. We accept our Lord’s death and resurrection for us, we experience his presence within and about us, we celebrate his love among us as gifts received in faith—nothing more, nothing less. Thomas walks around in all of us (John 20:19-31), because our coming to believe in Jesus, our faith in Jesus, is a journey of awareness that takes us from absence to presence. This coming to believe journey was the experience of all the first followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

- Deacon Robert

“Don’t proselytize; respect others’ beliefs. We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating.
But the worse thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes:
‘I am talking to you in order to persuade you.’ No. Each person dialogues,
starting with his and her own identity. The Church grows by attraction,
not proselytizing.”
~ Pope Francis’ “Secrets to Happiness” (#9 of 10

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

Dear Parishioners,

Today, Jesus is raised up, and we celebrate his triumph over evil, sin, and death (John 20:1-9). But his victory is not just his alone; it is ours as well. We are members of his team, the Body of Christ, the Church. Most frequently, we think about sharing in our Lord’s victory when we leave this world. And, yes, that is where and when the joy will be most complete. However, some of that joy is for here and now. We have periods of darkness in our lives. We have our own personal Good Fridays when things go wrong and we feel alone and abandoned and without hope. But Jesus wants to raise us up to share in his risen glory, to share our burdens, lift up our hearts, and enable us to see the light at the end of the tunnel—the Light of the World—Jesus Christ.

May you and your families come to share in the Resurrection not just today on Easter but throughout the year.

God Bless and Happy Easter!
Father Carl

“Stop being negative. Needing to talk badly about others indicates
low self-esteem. That means, ‘I feel so low that instead of picking myself up, I have to cut others down.’ Letting go of negative things quickly is health.”
~ Pope Francis’ “Secrets to Happiness” (#8 of 10)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Raise Your Spirits from the Doldrums of Winter

Dear Parishioners,

I’m not sure spring is coming to us this year. I just heard that we might have some snow showers today, and the temperature is only 35 degrees. However, Easter will definitely come, and along with it, a renewed faith and hope in God. The Resurrection of Jesus is a sure sign of God’s triumph over sin and evil. Death and the devil don’t have the last word about the world in which we live.

If you want to raise your spirits from the doldrums of this severe winter, come to our Holy Week services, Tenebrae on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m., but especially Holy Thursday at 7:00 p.m., Good Friday at 3:00 p.m., and the Easter Vigil at 8:00 p.m. On Easter Sunday, the Masses will be at 8:00, 10:00 and 11:30 a.m. May this Holy Week be one of spiritual enrichment and joy for you and your family.

God Bless,
Father Carl

“Respect and take care of nature. Environmental
degradation is one of the biggest challenges we have. I
think a question that we’re not asking ourselves is: ‘Isn’t
humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate
and tyrannical use of nature?’”
~ Pope Francis’ “Secrets to Happiness” (#7 of 10)

Friday, March 20, 2015

A New Covenant

Dear Parishioners,

According to Jeremiah, God says, “I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God and they shall be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

When Ezekiel describes God creating a new Covenant, the prophet speaks of the Creator tracing that promise and commitment over and over on the hearts of the people. What an image of God in action, tenderly and carefully and repeatedly tracing the admonition to love God and neighbor over and over in our own hearts.

- Deacon Robert

“Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for
young people. We need to be creative with young people.
If they have no opportunities, they will get into
drugs and be more vulnerable to suicide. It’s not enough
to give them food. Dignity is given to you when you can
bring food home from one’s own labor.”
~ Pope Francis’ “Secrets to Happiness” (#6 of 10)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Rejoice Jerusalem

Dear Parishioners,

This Fourth Sunday of Lent is called Laetare Sunday, because the entrance antiphon in Latin begins, “Laetare Jerusalem” — Rejoice Jerusalem. The people of Jerusalem had suffered some hard times having been conquered by the Babylonians in 587 B.C. and would see more hard times when Rome would destroy the temple in 70 A.D. (2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23) So the people needed encouragement for future times. So, too, do we. With the harsh winter we have experienced so far, our hearts could use a lift. That’s what is going to happen in a few weeks. As Jesus is lifted up on his throne (the Cross) to offer the perfect sacrifice for mankind, and as he lifts himself up out of the tomb on Easter Sunday, so too will he raise our hearts and spirits. All we have to do is continue our Lenten journey with prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

- Fr. Carl

Sundays should be holidays. Workers should have
Sundays off because “Sunday is for family.”
~ Pope Francis’ “Secrets to Happiness” (#5 of 10)

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Power and Wisdom of God

Dear Parishioners,

Paul’s words to the church in Corinth and to the Church today, “Some demand miraculous signs, and others look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to some and foolishness to others, but to those whom God has called, Christ is the very power and wisdom of God.” (1Corinthians 1:22-25) It all comes down to trust and faith in the power of God to work even through our weakness, to bring the contagious and transforming power of the Gospel to work in the world.

- Deacon Robert

“The pleasures of art, literature and playing together
with children have been lost. Consumerism has brought
us anxiety and stress, causing people to lose a healthy
culture of leisure. People’s time is swallowed up so people
can’t share it with anyone. Even though many parents
work long hours, they must set aside time to play
with their children; work schedules make it complicated,
but you must do it. Families must also turn off the TV
when they sit down to eat, because even though television
is useful for keeping up with the news, having it on
during mealtime doesn’t let you communicate with each
~ Pope Francis’ “Secrets to Happiness” (#4 of 10)

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Dear Parishioners,

When you set out on a trip, it’s always encouraging to visualize what awaits you at the end. For high school students, it is graduation and either acceptance at college or joining the work force; for vacations, it is the ocean or the mountains; for Christians, it is eternal life with God. No matter how long the journey may take or how difficult the obstacles along the way, as long as we can see what awaits us at the end, we proceed with hope and longing. Jesus knew that, and that is why He gave the disciples the privilege of observing the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-10). He knew the journey on the road for the disciples would be long and dusty with stormy weather and all sorts of hardships to overcome. He knew the danger of discouragement and wanted the disciples to see a beacon of hope at the end of the tunnel. So He allowed them to see His glorified body and at the same time a glimpse of what they, too, would share, if they persevered.

As we begin our Lenten journey, the Transfiguration is there for you and me to do the same. So let us shoulder our packs as we march off with prayer, fasting, and almsgiving toward the glorious feast of Easter.

- Father Carl

“Proceed calmly in life.” The Pope, who used to teach high school literature, used an image from an Argentine novel by Ricardo Guiraldes, in which the protagonist—gaucho
Don Segundo Sombra— looks back on how he lived his life. “He says that in his youth he was a stream full of rocks that he carried with him; as an adult, a rushing river; and in old age, he was still moving, but slowly, like a pool” of water, the Pope said. He said he likes this image of a pool of water—to have “the ability to move with kindness and humility, a calmness in life.”
~ Pope Francis’ “Secrets to Happiness” (#3 of 10)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Covenants and Lent

Dear Parishioners,

This year, there is a constant theme throughout the Sunday readings. It is that of the covenant—which is an agreement between two parties whereby certain promises are made. A covenant is much more binding than a contract. A contract can be broken or voided, although some penalty would be incurred. A covenant is much more binding and involves harsh consequences to the breaker of the covenant. The covenants about which we will be hearing are between God and his people. This weekend we hear about the first of the Old Testament covenants—the one between God and Noah (Genesis 9:8-15; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:12-15). Because sin and evil had grown so widespread, God sent a terrible rain which flooded the land and destroyed all the evil doers. Noah, because he was faithful to God, was spared along with his family. Afterwards, God establishes a covenant with Noah promising never to flood the whole earth again.

This past Sunday when we celebrated a baptism, the blessing of the water reminded the congregation of Noah and the flood. The flood served as a symbol of what one of the purposes of the sacrament is, namely to wash away original sin and any actual sins that may have been committed by an older catechumen. Yet even after baptism, there is still the attraction of sin, and we succumb to temptations. That is why this season of Lent is so important. It reminds us of our past sins and offers us the opportunity to repent and to build up resistance to future sins as we strengthen our spiritual muscles.

See page 4 of the 2/22/2015 bulletin for a list of available activities, and may you have a blessed Lent.

- Father Carl

“Be giving of yourself to others. People need
to be open and generous toward others because if
you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming
egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid.”

Pope Francis’ “Secrets to Happiness” (#2 of 10)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Restoring Beauty

Dear Parishioners,

Cosmetics is an enormous industry all around the world, but especially in the United States. Advertisements for numerous kinds of skin care products flood the media. Everyone wants to look good so much so that people are horrified to see an unsightly blemish on their skin. In our Lord’s time, not only were skin diseases repulsive, they were highly contagious and all were lumped into the category—leprosy. Therefore, there were strict rules to prevent anyone with a skin disease from any contact with other people. We hear about them in today’s first reading where the leper lived as an outcast from the community.

In today’s gospel, Jesus does several amazing things (Mark 1:40-45). He allows the leper to come close, heals him by touching him, and goes to the priest who must declare him cleansed. Nobody would ever touch a leper, but Jesus did. Nobody would ever allow a leper to come near, but Jesus did.

Leprosy was a symbol of sin which cuts the sinner off from the community. When Jesus touched the leper, it was a sign of his loving, healing kindness. While sin makes us ugly in the light of God, Jesus wants to restore our beauty by touching us through his infinite mercy. As the old hymn says, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”

- Father Carl

“Live and let live.” Everyone should be guided
by this principle. There is a similar saying in Rome expressed
as, “Move forward and let others do the same.”
Pope Francis’ “Secrets to Happiness ” (#1 of 10)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Sufferings and Drudgery

Dear Parishioners ,

Job had it all—500 yoke of oxen, 500 she-asses, 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, and 7 sons and 3 daughters. But one day tragedy struck. First, his 500 yoke of oxen and 500 she-asses were stolen. Then his sheep were killed by lightning. And then his camels were stolen. Finally, his sons and daughters were all killed when the roof collapsed while they were eating together. Nevertheless, Job remained faithful to God. The next day Job was covered from head to foot with painful boils, and still he remained faithful to God.

None of us ever went through anything like Job experienced. Still most of us have suffered disappointments, frustrations, and setbacks in life. Perhaps we have felt like echoing the words of Job in today’s first reading, “Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery?” (Job 7:1-4, 6-7) And if we are not careful, those feelings can lead to discouragement and depression. However, if we have faith and hope in Jesus, we realize our sufferings can’t compare with Job or Jesus. We can use our sufferings as a prayerful offering to God in imitation of St. Paul who said, “I rejoice in my sufferings, for I fill up in my body what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the good of his body, the Church.” (Col 1:24) When looked at it in this way, our difficulties and discouragements lose their intensity and fade into the background as we recall the glorious resurrection of Jesus and Job’s restoration of blessings at the end of his book.

Father Carl

“We have nothing of our own but our will.
  It is the only thing which God has so placed in
  our own power that we can make an offering of it to him.”
  ~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Broken Among Us

Dear Parishioners,

What if in our midst right now, there are more broken lives around us than we might imagine? And what if your life and my life and our lives collectively have more than a few unhealed broken places? Like a hairline crack in poured concrete brought on by the settlement of time and the continuous shifting of the ground, our lives develop stress fractures, small creeping lines that tell us life shifts and brokenness shows up unexpected. Only in moments when we are silent, when we recognize Jesus in our midst are we able to face the brokenness within us.

When we do, when we find the courage to let our Lord be among us in deep and revealing ways, we see what may have been there a long time. We see the brokenness within us and then recognize the brokenness among us. It is then that we cry out asking God to heal us and make us new. When such awareness awakens within us, we might be able once again to hear good news and receive God’s healing gift through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

- Deacon Robert

“We ought to pray like little children   of four years old, who have no guile.   They tell their Mother everything…”
  ~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, January 23, 2015

Good News

Dear Parishioners,

Mark begins his story of Jesus as “good news,” because God is at work in Jesus of Nazareth, showing us God’s life, speaking God’s love, demonstrating God’s mercy and living God’s promise. The Gospel of our Lord is the story of God who refuses to leave us to our own designs, who knows we are laden with so much bad news it would crush us, and yet who never gives up on us, loving us back to God’s heart.

We can find assurance in the promise that Jesus will be with us all the way. Today’s story (Mark 1:14-20) tells us of fishermen who dropped their nets and immediately followed Jesus. What they will come to learn as disciples is that the One who called them will never abandon them to their fears or their own confusions. And so it is with us. What God calls “good news” is the promise that Jesus who calls us to follow will take us on a journey and never let us go. Such a promise is nothing less than good news… then, now and always. Such is the story Mark begins to tell and the good news we are invited to believe.

- Deacon Robert

“Let them say all they have to say. When
they have said all they have to say, there will
be no more to be said and they will be silent.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, January 16, 2015

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Dear Parishioners,

“Eat, drink, and be merry.” That’s an old saying I heard many years ago. It’s the philosophy of those seeking pleasure and an escape from the sometimes harsh reality of living a meaningful, productive life. As Catholics, we believe in the goodness of creation and the things of life. However, we believe in moderation as the Old Latin phrase wisely reminds us, “Omnia in moderatio”—all things in moderation. The created world is not the end, but rather a means to the end—namely God. Today’s second reading (1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20) points this out when St. Paul tells us, “The body is not for immorality; it is for the Lord.” St. Paul goes on to warn the Corinthians, who were known to have rather low morals with regard to sex, that sins against chastity are particularly offensive to Christ. The Holy Spirit inhabits our bodies as a Temple. Therefore, we should not desecrate our bodies through sexual sins, nor by immoderation of food, drink, and drugs. The Lord wants what is best for our souls, of course, but he also wants what is best for our bodily health as well.

- Father Carl

Friday, January 9, 2015

Baptism of the Lord

Dear Parishioners,

This second Sunday in the season of Epiphany always finds us coming to the water as we remember and celebrate the baptism of the Lord (Mark 1:7-11). All four gospels tell us that Jesus came to John the Baptist at the Jordan River. And though John’s Gospel does not tell us of his baptism, we know from all the gospels that the Spirit descended on our Lord empowering him for his mission. It is the water, however, that seems to have some spiritually magnetic pull on our Lord and all of us. Jesus comes to the Jordan, drawn there by John’s preaching, to identify fully with our humanity. What if God is inviting us again to come to the water and rediscover the very basic realities of our faith? To come to the water, following our Lord, is to come again to who we are, born of God’s Spirit and made a child of God.

- Deacon Robert

“If we could only see the joy of our guardian angel
when he sees us fighting our temptations!”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars

Friday, January 2, 2015

A Star Is Born

Dear Parishioners,

“A Star Is Born” was a movie with Judy Garland and James Mason that came out in 1954. It was the story of a young girl getting into show business who was befriended and mentored by an aging star who was declining. He was tired, worn out, and had a drinking problem. At the end, the young girl became very popular and became a star as the aging actor faded away. Today, we have a celebration of the birth of another star 2,000 years ago (Matthew 2:1-12). The star that led the Magi to Bethlehem is no longer to be seen. However, the new star, Jesus Christ, looms as bright as ever, and he will never fade out of the picture. He may become dimmer in our hearts as the year and its happenings draw our attention to themselves. However, every year that star returns shining brilliantly as our hearts and souls are led by the story of the Wise Men and the star to Bethlehem. May the star of Jesus continue to burn in our hearts during the coming year. He will bring joy to our lives even in the midst of whatever dark problems come our way. God bless and Happy New Year!

- Father Carl

“What happiness do we not feel in the
Presence of God, when we are alone at His
feet before the Sacred Tabernacle!…
Redouble your fervour; you are alone to adore
your God; His eyes rest upon you alone.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars