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Fr. Ron's Blog


Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,
This weekend is Pledge Weekend throughout the Archdiocese – Pledge Weekend for the Annual Appeal, now called Sharing God’s Blessings. Pledge Weekend, everywhere but here at OLMC, because we did it last weekend. (If you didn’t guess why we did it last weekend, you might have guessed by now that it was because I am away this weekend, enjoying, I hope, what looks like Spring Skiing in Vermont.  But I want to write again about the Appeal because many seemed to be away last weekend because of the start of the winter break in the schools.

Dear Friends,
As you entered the church today, you saw a familiar scene. Actually it’s been three years since we used the TV monitors to show the video for Sharing God’s Blessings. And the delivery method is not all that’s changed. Sharing God’s Blessings used to be called the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal. Maybe one day it will be renamed, “The Cardinal’s Annual Appeal.” It used to be done on Super Bowl Weekend and I could joke about the TV’s as being an attraction for those who wanted to pray for their favorite team at the Sunday night, 6:30 Mass. But this year, it has been delayed to re-do the video to account for the presence of our new Archbishop, Cardinal Joseph Tobin. And finally, we’re doing the Appeal here at OLMC a week early because I will be skiing in Vermont the weekend (2/25-26) when it’s being done in the rest of the Archdiocese. Nothing is ever simple, without complications.

Dear Friends,
With so much of our daily news filled with hopelessness, I quote from Pope Francis’ General Audience of January 18th.
"Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In Sacred Scripture, among the prophets of Israel, a rather anomalous figure stands out, a prophet who attempted to avoid the Lord’s call by refusing to place himself at the service of the divine plan of salvation. It is the prophet Jonah…

Jonah is a prophet “going out” and also a prophet in flight! He is an “out-going” prophet whom God sends “to the periphery,” to Nineveh, in order to convert the people of that great city. But Nineveh, to an Israelite like Jonah, was a threatening reality, the enemy which placed Jerusalem itself in peril, and therefore was to be destroyed, certainly not saved. Therefore, when God sent Jonah to preach in that city, the prophet, who knows the Lord’s goodness and his desire to forgive, seeks to avoid the task and flees.

Dear Friends,
“Who are you”? A short question that opens to a great number of answers. The first response of most people would be to simply give your name. But what comes after that. “But who are you”? The next responses could be as varied as the people answering the question. Some might continue by giving details about their life. Married, five children, a physician, a plumber, a financial analyst. Some might say where they live, where they went to school, their ethnic background. And did you ever attend a workshop where you were asked to introduce yourself? Without guidelines, the answers given by the first responder tend to set the pattern for all the responses that follow.

Interesting thing, that question – “who are you”? Now, before you go on, stop for a minute and answer it for yourself.

Dear Friends,
Today concludes Cardinal Tobin’s Homily on the occasion of his Installation as Archbishop of Newark. In these anxious days, we should take to heart his message.

Dear Friends,
In light of the tumultuous celebrations (demonstrations) of the last few days, I thought I would reproduce the Homily of Cardinal Joseph Tobin at the Mass of his Installation as the 6th Archbishop of Newark. It shows us a path in these conflicted times. I present it in two parts, beginning this week and concluding next week.

Dear Friends,
On September 24th, 2013, a little known Bishop from Gaylord, Michigan, came to the Archdiocese of Newark as Coadjutor Archbishop. Archbishop Hebda became a familiar face at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. He celebrated Mass for the 100th Anniversary of the Knights of Columbus Council in June of 2014, and attended the celebration under the tent afterward. He returned in March of 2015 to lead the Palm Sunday procession from Vet’s Field and celebrate the 12:30 Mass that day. He returned again in June of that same year to celebrate our three celebrations for the Sacrament of Confirmation. So, it was with great sadness that we saw him leave our Archdiocese to become the Archbishop of St. Paul-Minneapolis in March of 2016. It was a sadness felt throughout the Archdiocese because people in the parishes developed a great affection and respect for him. What could God possibly have in mind that He would tease us with this new leader and then take him away.

Dear Friends,
As I have been saying in some of my homilies over this Christmas Season, when Advent is the longest it can be, the full four weeks, as it was this year, then the Christmas Season (liturgically speaking), is the shortest it can be, as it will be this year. So, for instance, we didn’t have Holy Family Sunday because there were no Sundays between Christmas and New Year’s Day. This also means that the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, normally celebrated the Sunday after the Epiphany, will be celebrated tomorrow, Monday, January 9th, and the Christmas Season will come to an end tomorrow. This also means that if you fancy yourself as having a green thumb, you are invited to take home a poinsettia plant from anywhere in the church, after Mass today.

Dear Friends,
The flip of a calendar doesn’t necessarily mark anything special, but it does afford the opportunity to stop and “take stock” of what’s going on. That change of calendars is happening today, and so it is a good time to take that stock.

Firstly, to recognize blessings and say thanks. The first reading of today’ Mass for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, New Year’s Day, begins “Say to them (the Israelites): ‘The Lord bless you and keep you.” We here at OLMC are so blessed in so many ways. One of those blessings is the people who are so good to us, sharing their time and talents.

In this time of national anxiety and division, I repeat a Christmas column I wrote several years ago. At one time, the Advent Little Blue Book did a reflection on the word “merry.” I quote. “Merry did not originally convey a sense of jolly, mirthful. It meant something more along the lines of ‘blessed, peaceful’ – a deep inner joy rather than revelry. One gets a sense of its original meaning in the well-known carol, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen. As can be seen from the comma, the word is not used to describe jolly gentlemen, but rather a blessing from God invoked upon them.”
I wrote a homily several years ago, based on that hymn. Believing the message is even more important now, I offer it again.


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