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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,
I write this week on two subjects, one material and one spiritual. I’ll do the material first, so I can end with spiritual thoughts for the week to come.  The material is obviously on the We Are Living Stones campaign. As of this writing, Thursday, May 19th, $1,862,289.17. has been pledged from 438 donors. The great news is that we are almost $400,000. over our goal of $1,471,300. God bless all who have joined in this “push into the future.” The sad news is that this great “Push” is being fueled by only 438 donors.

Dear Friends,
Enough of stones (living as they may be) and of things practical. Today is given to the spirit, the Holy Spirit. We old-timers would remember the days when Pentecost would have been highlighted as the birthdate of the Church. And this is something that can’t be denied. As it is with all birthdays, so it is with the Church, born from the side of her crucified Lord, (as many great spiritual writers have reflected down through the ages), and brought to life by the power of the Holy Spirit. And so, Happy Birthday, Church!

Dear Friends,
SOME MEMORABLE QUOTES ABOUT MOTHERS FROM SOME FAMOUS PEOPLE:
“No man is poor who has had a godly mother.” A. Lincoln
“The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” Balzac
“Youth fades; love droops, the leaves of friendship fall; a mother’s secret hope outlives them all.” Oliver Wendell Holmes
“Motherhood brings as much joy as ever, but it still brings boredom, exhaustion, and sorrow too. Nothing else ever will make you as happy or as sad, as proud or as tired, for nothing is quite as hard as helping a person develop his own individuality especially while you struggle to keep your own.” Marguerite Kelly and Elia Parsons
“A mother understands what a child does not say.” A Jewish Proverb

Dear Friends,
Even though I will be back when you read this, I write it from Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, on my semi-annual visit. I was speaking with the priests yesterday of how, in the early years of our presence on the Islands, I would come down four and sometimes five times a year. In those years, there were so many challenges, so much to do, so many plans to be made, new churches, a school, presence on the out-islands.

Dear Friends,
I want to share with you a true story I told at all the receptions for We Are Living Stones. As I have said, all 220 parishes of the Archdiocese are participating in this campaign. But some parishes have chosen to do a major campaign for parish needs as an “add on” to their campaign effort. I’m talking in the realm of 3 or 4 million dollars for additions to their parish buildings or really major renovations. About two months ago, I was at a meeting with some priests at which the pastor of one of those parishes was present. At one point, he calmly mentioned that he was working at this desk one day and a parishioner came in and handed him a pledge to the campaign for one million dollars – one million dollars.

Dear Friends,
Before I get to our plans for the parish segment of Living Stones, I want to share with you what’s happening today at the 11:00 Mass. You know (or may not know) that the Church prepares adults to enter the Church through an itinerary or process called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, commonly called the RCIA. It is a process over the course of months, but as long as a year or more, basically for those preparing for adult baptism, those who have never been baptized before. This past Easter Vigil, Kimberly Michel was baptized, after walking in this itinerary. Last weekend, Gail Julian was welcomed into this itinerary and, with the help of God, will be baptized at the Easter Vigil, 2017.

Dear Friends,
I continue this week in my presentation on the We Are Living Stones campaign. As I mentioned in my talk at all the Masses last weekend, We Are Living Stones looks to the future, seeking to ensure that the Catholics who come after us will benefit from as vibrant a faith as we received from those who went before us. It is not just about us – it’s about the future. (If you weren’t here last weekend, you can view my talk on the parish website by going to the home page and clicking on the Living Stones icon.

Dear Friends,
First, let me take this opportunity to express my thanks to all those who helped make the Holy Week and Easter services so moving. I want to especially say thanks to Fr. Robert and the liturgical ministers who planned and carried out some unique Masses/services which really happen only once a year. The liturgies so well done and, therefore, so spiritually moving. A thank you to Peter Sicko and the entire music ministry for the beauty of the music and, again, to Peter for the beauty of the Easter decorations, which he organized and arranged. And lastly to the members of the Youth Group for the Living Stations of the Cross on Good Friday evening and for the liturgical ministries in which they served in the auditorium on Easter Sunday.

Dear Friends,
Six years ago, in a newspaper I never mention by name, there was a story of two young children. They were both eight at the time and their names are Orel and Marya. At the time, they had been neighbors for nearly a year. They talked, they watched television together, they shared favorite foods and treats. She liked his mother’s eggplant dish. He liked her father’s rice and lamb. They are best friends. He is wild and impulsive; she is smart, up-beat and strong-willed. But friends put up with that in each other.

Dear Friends,
Below is a repeat of an article I wrote a few years ago. The importance of Holy Week hasn’t changed; neither have my thoughts on the subject. There has been some up-dating to reflect our current circumstances.
With Palm Sunday, the Church begins the remembrance of Jesus’ last days on earth. Of special importance are the days of the Easter Triduum, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday/the Easter Vigil. On these days, the Church looks at the events which have become the center of our salvation.

The single Mass on Holy Thursday, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, remembers the institution of the Eucharist, the source and summit of the Church’s life of grace. It is from the Eucharist that all of us draw our spiritual strength. It is from the Eucharist that we are fed with the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, Himself, as food for the journey. The Eucharist is the pledge of the Pascal Feast of Heaven. In addition, at this celebration of the Lord’s Supper we remember the institution of the ministerial priesthood, a priesthood by which Jesus has chosen to continue His own priestly presence through the ages. Most especially, the ministerial priesthood is entrusted with the sacramental ministry through which grace (the divine life) is offered to the Church from the hands of Christ, Himself. Also, at this Supper, we remember His example of charity and service, in the washing of the feet, a call which Christ speaks to the whole Church, also as a sign of His continued presence in the Church, so that the Church may be a sign of His presence in the world.

On Good Friday, the Church remembers the death of her Lord. The principle worship service is not a Mass but is officially called the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion. It has three principle parts: (1) the Liturgy of the Word, especially the Passion, which recounts the Lord’s suffering and death, (2) the Veneration of the Cross, in which each of us are invited to venerate the Cross as the instrument of our salvation, and (3) the Communion Service, in which Holy Communion, consecrated at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper the previous evening, is distributed to the faithful. Good Friday is the most solemn day on the Church’s calendar. The faithful should make every effort to celebrate it as such. I have mentioned before that in this one, we could learn from our brothers and sisters of Jewish or Moslem adherence. It would be considered a rarity that they would not celebrate their “high holy days,” Yom Kippur or Ramadan. And yet, we Catholics have become so cavalier about the way we commemorate Good Friday, our high holy day. We think nothing of scheduling ball games (coaches, please note) or going to work, or even leaving for vacation & spring break. What kind of message are we giving to our children and our world? Please, make an effort to reverse that, even if it means taking a personal day from work, to witness to your co-workers and your family and your neighbors that Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross means something to you. And if you do take off, honor the day by celebrating with us and by leaving household chores, shopping, the lawn & garden, etc. to another day.

The Easter Vigil is often called the “mother of all vigils,” because it was an ancient custom of early Christians to stay up on the eve of Easter to wait, with the whole Church, for the Resurrection of the Lord. It was a time to remember, through the many readings, the history of salvation, culminating in that final act of God on our behalf, the Resurrection. In addition, all those who wished to join the community were baptized at this Vigil. It is a beautiful celebration of hope and joy. Join us for the special vigil that begins at 8:00 PM Saturday evening. At the Vigil, those who are to be baptized into the Catholic Church and with whom we have shared a journey these weeks of Lent, especially if you attend the weekly 11:00 Mass, will join our Eucharistic community for the first time. This year, Kimberly Michel will join this local Catholic community when she is baptized. It would be a wonderful thing if, as a parish, a large part of our community were there to welcome her. I know Mass will take longer than usual, but when you think of the fact that Kimberly has now found Christ, what a wonderful sign to her that our community truly appreciates her decision for the faith. And what a continuing encouragement to us to rekindle the faith that brought Kimberly to this moment. Please come. You might be inspired to speak an invitation to the faith to someone who is searching for God in their lives.

How has your Lent been? If it has gone well, cap it off by your participation in the liturgies of these special days. If it has not gone well, if your Lenten resolutions have left something to be desired, you can make up for it by your participation in these liturgies. Unlike Christmas, which is a one-day event, Easter comes at the end of a Holy Week, so I encourage everyone to truly make it that – a holy week in your spiritual journey of 2016.

To help, why not try getting your spiritual house in order. Clean out the dust and the cobwebs by celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Join us for our Lenten Penance Service, and individual confessions, on Tuesday evening at 7:30, or confessions on Wednesday evening from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.

As a sign of how important the Church considers the Triduum, in places that have Perpetual Adoration, such Adoration is supposed to end before Holy Thursday. To facilitate the proper cleaning of the church in preparation for the Triduum, everyone is reminded that, once again, Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration will end Palm Sunday evening at 8:00 PM and will resume after the 6:30 AM Mass on Easter Monday.

One last thing. I call your attention to the schedule of Masses for Easter Sunday. You will notice three masses celebrated in the auditorium, at 9:30, 11:00 and 12:30. With the enormous crowds for Easter, we’ve added extra Masses to help alleviate the overcrowding. The Masses in the auditorium will have full ministries and full musical programs and you will hardly know that you are in an auditorium; it will be decorated so well. So please, if you get here and the church is already crowded, you will find a warm celebration in the auditorium.

May Holy Week be, for each of us, a time of renewal in faith, deepening in hope, and growth in charity by the way we walk with the Lord through these saving mysteries.
God Bless,
Fr. Ron

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Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday
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 

 

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Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish

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