Pastors Corner

April 22, 2018

The Fourth Sunday of Easter is traditionally known as Good Shepherd Sunday. Over a three year cycle we read progressively from chapter ten of John’s gospel, on this day, hearing the Shepherd’s voice, followers recognize and know it is their God. Safe in the knowledge that they cannot be taken from the hand of the Shepherd, those who hear his voice follow as faithful believers willing o go where God tells and sends them. When all the clamor of false voices and seductive distractions threaten to overwhelm, we have only to listen carefully to be led to do the work of the Father. Please plan to attend our Parish Mission ‘Mystagogia’ with Dan Schutte.

Sessions will be held Monday—Wednesday, April 23-25,
10-10:30 am (mini session) and 7-8:30 pm.

April 8, 2018

Today is known as Divine Mercy Sunday. It was established by Pope John Paul II as “a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face with confidence in divine benevolence the difficulties and trials that humankind will experience in the years to come.”

This is not a new solemnity or feast nor does it celebrate a new or separate mystery of redemption, but rather, it leads into the continuing celebration of God’s mercy during Easter Time.

 

April 1, 2018

Alleluia! He has risen even as he said! These past forty days of Lent have led us to the bright promise that just has Jesus has been raised from the dead so too we will have our bodies raised up on the last day. How important it is for us to act as if we are truly Easter people, filled with joy. If we aren’t there yet may we be open to grow into that spirit which breathes new life into our minds and hearts. On behalf of our parish staff I pray that you and your family experience the joy that comes from our Risen Lord.

March 25, 2018

Branches of palm, olive, or some times even budding willow are ancient symbols of victory and hope, as well as of new life. The procession celebrating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem overflowed with praise and excitement, as onlookers waved these triumphant branches and proclaimed their blessings. Yet in a few days, they will cry, “Crucify him!” the crowds change of heart illustrates the problem of holding God to our expectations. The crowd expected a liberating leader, the Messiah to free them from Roman oppressions. Jesus instead takes up his Cross and invites us to do the same. Through his Death and Resurrection he is indeed a liberator, but from death and sin, not from Rome. But unable to see past their need, the crowd’s disappointment turns into anger and a death order. As we enter Holy Week, Palm Sunday teaches us to let God be God, and to trust in God’s wisdom not only to meet but shatter and exceed our expectations.

Confessions will be heard at 7 pm this Monday, March 26th. No confessions are scheduled for Holy Saturday.

March 18, 2018

A book that I recently read and very much enjoyed was Barking to the Choir by Fr. Greg Boyle. He founded Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention enterprise in the world. I preached about it last weekend at the Masses (except 11:30 am). So often we feel that we must fix something about a person instead of accepting a person, warts and all. Fr. Greg puts it this way, “We always seem to be faced with this choice: to save the world or savor it.” In delighting in someone such as a gangster the young person begins to change because of the belief that someone expresses in him or her. For example, we do not visit our sister parish in Guatemala to teach them something. We travel there in order to walk with them and to be a part of their faith journey. May we walk hand in hand the rest of this Lenten season, especially with the poor. They may very well have something to teach us.

March 11, 2018

 I hope you’ve been taking the time to follow the Lenten calendar that is in your Operation Rice Bowl kit. This week we focus on Haiti. Andrise has been teaching at the same elementary school she graduated from in northern Haiti for eleven years. Catholic Relief Services has partnered with the Catholic Education commission to provide new teaching techniques and resources for students. “We use poems, dances, songs-all sorts of activities to help the students improve their literacy”, Andrise says. And unlike before, every student has books of their own.

Be sure to share in this good news by contributing to Operation Rice Bowl as well as the CRS collection this weekend.

 

March 4th, 2018

The primary ritual for the elect (those preparing for Baptism) during this Lenten season is the celebration of the three Scrutinies. Each Scrutiny is designed to “uncover, then heal all that is weak, defective, or sinful...and to bring out, then strengthen all that is upright, strong, and good.” Celebrated on the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays, the Church assigns the readings from Year A of the Lectionary because they help to highlight the process of conversion  and enlightenment. We will be celebrating the Scrutinies at the 11:30 am Mass. Our prayers go with the elect. May we grow in holiness along with them.

February 25, 2018

Mountain top experiences don’t happen all that often. They can’t be manufactured.  They just happen. It’s almost as if God wants to give us a preview of coming attractions of his glory just as he allowed Peter, James, and John to witness on Mount Tabor when Jesus was transfigured before their sight. No wonder that Peter wanted to camp up there holding on to that experience forever. But there comes a time when we must make our descent and continue on with life. But after those mountain top experiences life will never be the same. When life gets difficult we need but remember that God’s glory in the person of Jesus will one day be ours.

February 11, 2018

Often times we make Lenten resolutions. I know I have done so with mixed results. And yet a resolution I made six years ago on Ash Wednesday has stuck. And that is time spent in prayer every day for twenty minutes. Early on in my priesthood I discovered the merits of centering prayer. Then for one reason or another I got away from it. I noticed I became more fragmented, lacked focus, and settled for the more comfortable and easier path of life. Since my decision to return to the practice I have found a new spirit and vivacity in my life. Yes, there seem to be more distractions than silent prayer at times but I do believe that my humble attempts are pleasing to God. I would invite you to make time for prayer this Lenten season. After all we are now focusing on stewardship of time, this is, time spent with God.

February 11, 2018

It is hard to believe that Ash Wednesday is upon us already. In fact it falls on Valentine’s Day. Lent is our season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, ancient practices dating back to the Israelites. Mentioned in a number of places in the Old testament-particularly the Books of Job, Jeremiah, & Daniel-the sprinkling of ashes, wearing of sachcloth, and practices of fasting were the central gestures of sorrow and repentance for the chosen people. May this Lenten season be one in which you continue to repent and believe in the Gospel. With our Baptism comes the responsibility to live our lives for the Lord

February 4, 2018

As I enter my seventieth year this week ( I will be 69) I can’t help but be grateful for the wonderful life God has granted me. I would be arrogant if I thought that I had carved this life myself. Hopefully it has been more the case that God has been the guiding factor in my life. The great family that I have, the parish communities I have served, personal friends, the faith handed down to me –these are all gifts, to name but a few. Thank you for being a part of my journey. With God’s permission I have a few good years left in the tank.

January 28, 2018

In next weekend’s Gospel we hear about Jesus searching out a deserted place to pray. He had spent much of the day healing people and he was exhausted. He realized he needed to recharge his batteries. I will be doing the same thing this week while taking a personal retreat at Seaside, Oregon. My praying will not have the depth of Jesus’ prayer but hopefully will be received by God. I’ll also be reading the book by Allen Hunt we gave to  you a few weeks ago. You also can be assured of my prayers. May the Lord bless you in every way.

January 21, 2018

As the March for Life takes place tomorrow we are asked to reflect on the right to life for the unborn. Although I do not preach that much on this important topic I do believe that we as the followers of Christ should do all we can to make sure that young women (and young men) have all the resources they need to make life-giving decisions for their unborn children. It is easy to condemn. It is far more difficult but vital to provide the counseling and positive example of parenthood for young people. For those who have been involved in an abortion there is Project Rachel which holds a weekend experience for healing. May the Lord hold all our young ones in his loving hands.

January 14, 2018

The winter portion of Ordinary Time is but five weeks. We may think that this time is ordinary in the sense of “run of the mill.” However, the term ordinary derives from the word “ordinal,” or numbered, as the Sundays in Ordinary time are numerically ordered. The time between the close of Christmas Time with the Baptism of the Lord and Ash Wednesday’s introduction to Lent does not have to be fallow; it can be a time in which our faith can flourish and grow, “greening” in the spirit of this season’s liturgical color. Perhaps one of the great opportunities of Ordinary time-whether in winter or summer is to make our discipleship visible not only through our words but also through our deeds. In this way, Ordinary Time becomes anything but ordinary. 

January 7, 2018

Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. The child who is born in the darkness of night in a lowly manger is revealed as the manifestation (the meaning of epiphany) of God. Christ is revealed in many ways: as Lord, as King, as the one in whom God is present and acts. All of these manifestations are “lights” that shine on Christ revealing a deeper understanding of who he is. This weekend we also celebrate the twenty seventh anniversary of our parish community. I like to think that we are that light on a hill that manifests the saving actions for God in the person of Christ. May the Lord continue to bless us especially as we continue to reflect on “Who is my neighbor?” May we “do something” to bring Christ’s lift into the world today.

 

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