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Academy of Our Lady

Fr. Ron's Blog


Dear Friends,
I write this on the 2nd day of my pastoral visit to the Mission in the Turks and Caicos Islands, even though by the time you read it, I will be home. I have just returned from one of my favorite stops – Holy Family Academy. I renewed my acquaintance with so many students who I have watched grow over these years, academically, spiritually and even physically. There were three young men who graduated last year (the school operates under the British system of 11 years), who have come back to do “viritual” 12th grade work to get into colleges in the US and Canada which require 12 years before college).

Physically, these three guys now tower over me but to have been a part of their lives, even in the smallest way, is really heartening for me. The Academy, now in its 10th year, and begun with only 26 children, now enrolls 120, in grades 1-11, with a pre-K and kindergarten, with a staff/faculty of twenty, almost all of whom are Missionaries from all over the US/world. God is truly good, and so are all of you and others who have been his instruments in helping this growth. (and if anyone wishes to help them build much-needed classroom space, please contact me.

At the same time that I am out of the country, a vey special visitor is about to arrive. As I write this, Pope Francis is already in US airspace and about an hour and a half from landing at Joint Base Andrews (what ever happened to Andrews Air Force Base?). I’ve been speaking at the opening of all our Religious Ed. Programs, and I’ve been saying that the country and the world have been treating the Holy Father as a celebrity, and I guess he is. After all, what rock group, what politician, what Hollywood star or starlette can attract a crowd of a quarter, half or a million people? So he does quality as a “celebrity.”

But my message has been, and continues to be – don’t give in, as Catholics, to the mindset (though it’s hard not to take some pride in it). Rather – let your mindset be that we are welcoming, greeting, and listening to our spiritual leader – our spiritual guide to the presence of God, of Jesus Christ, in our lives. The Holy Father will have much to say, to the President, to the Congress, to the United Nations. Certainly pay attention to all of those words. But listen with equal attention (if not more) to the words he speaks in those religious moments, the Mass at the National Shrine, at Madison Square Garden, in Philadelphia, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It is in these words he reveals himself as our Holy Father, concerned about the individual spiritual health. Consider some of his words during his homilies in Cuba.

Speaking on the Feast of St. Matthew (Sept. 21), Pope Francis said, “Jesus looked at him (Matthew). How strong was the love in that look of Jesus…He looked at Matthew calmly, peacefully. He looked at him with eyes of mercy; he looked at him as no one had ever looked at him before. And that look unlocked Matthew’s heart; it set him free, it healed him, it gave him hope, a new life… Even if we dare not raise our eyes to the Lord, he always looks at us first. This is our story, and it is like that of so many others. Each of us can say: ‘I too am a sinner, whom Jesus has looked upon.’” I ask you today, in your homes or at your church, when you are alone and at peace, to take a moment to recall with gratitude and happiness those situations, that moment, when the merciful gaze of God was felt in our lives.”

Isn’t that all of us. Jesus looks at us, with a gaze of love – at everyone of us, with that same gaze, and he invites us into His life, into God’s life, to heal, to set us free, to give us hope and new life. If only we would answer.

The Holy Father continued. “Jesus’ love goes before us, his look anticipates our needs. He can see beyond appearances, beyond sin, beyond failures and unworthiness. He sees beyond our rank in society. He sees beyond all of this. He sees our dignity as sons and daughters, a dignity at times sullied by sin, but one which endures in the depth of our soul. It is our dignity as sons and daughters. Let us allow Jesus to look at us. Let us allow his gaze to run over our streets. Let us allow that look to become our joy, our hope, pour happiness in life.“

Acknowledge the celebrity in Pope Francis, but listen to his words if you are looking for a guide to a happier, more joy-filled, more spiritual life.

God Bless,
Fr. Ron


Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 




Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish