While I was preparing for the bulletin article this week, I was longing for my old computer. As it aged and became problematic, I never took the time to save old files. Now, however, I was tempted to look back at some of my former Easter messages and simply reprint one for 2016. Also, looking back at some of my messages helps put things into perspective as we approach these major liturgical celebrations. On the other hand, there is so much fresh about Easter that reusing something seemed like a bit of a copout. Further, there is perspective from both pastoral and life experience which make this like any other Easter in history; for both you and I.READ MORE
I've fielded several comments about my homily last weekend when I reference 66.66% of the parishes in our cluster will be discussing volunteerism. Now, its seems, is as good a time as any to offer a few remarks about volunteerism on the parish level and on a personal level. For some of us, our first inclination is to provide explanations as to why some people are not volunteering within our parish context. We might cite things like: busy lives, different priorities, other volunteers were too critical, don't feel qualified, too long of a commitment, someone else will do it; and the list goes on and on. I'm sure you've heard your share of excuses. On another angle, there might be some effect of cultural influences. Consider your family of origin and how its members did or did not volunteer at your church.READ MORE
Sure, we are now working our way toward the conclusion of Lent. How are you doing on your Lenten commitments? There is still ample time to enhance your prayer, fasting and almsgiving in preparation for a good mindset for the celebration of Easter. As for your action during this Lent during the Year of Mercy. Have you made a good confession or preparing to find your way to the Sacrament of Penance soon? Further, there are a lot of other conclusions or ends to work toward. The end of winter or the end of a school year; and other more significant ends like the end of life or the end of time.READ MORE
At the outset here, I'm going to ask you to think beyond your current Pastor. Think about what priests want in a very general way. Priests who you know and those you don't. Old priests and young priests. Priests in our diocese and those outside our diocese. Priests of the United States and international priests. And, the comparisons can go on and on. Continue to ask yourself the question about what priests want. Now that the question is planted in your thoughts, you need to know my inspiration.
Residents of our area of the country, and in particular, our area of the state, have the benefit of being quite familiar with small-town existence. Along with that familiarity comes a tremendous amount of benefits and, unfortunately, some drawbacks. And, since we are unable to enjoy the fullness of heaven on earth, there are drawbacks to wherever we choose to live. So, for some people, they weigh out the benefits and drawbacks to wherever they choose to reside. Some of those people realize the benefits of living in a small town outweigh the drawbacks and so they establish roots and call their place their home.READ MORE
Having been born in March of 1973, my life becomes what it is according to God’s master plan. Part of His plan is the formation I’ve received, whether directly or indirectly, from my family, my education, my experiences and a whole lot of other things which continue to make me who I am. Now that we have embarked on the observance of Lent, I continue to remember, as a cradle Catholic, the time-tested disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. And, I remember each year, including the present one, praying about and pondering the choices I’ll make to have a good observance of Lent in preparation of the Easter season.READ MORE
“Go in peace, honoring God by your life.” “Thanks be to God.”
The words “Go in peace” are not just nice words to nod our heads to because we agree with them in theory. To literally “go in peace” is an incredible challenge. As we reflect on what these words mean, we begin to realize just how transforming our liturgies are supposed to be. We begin to see that, because of our baptism as Christians, we are called to be different. We are called to be holy—a people “set apart.” We begin to realize that to “go in peace” means much more than to leave with a good feeling. It means that we leave church; after attending Mass, a prayer service or Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, with the intention of making peace happen in our personal lives and in what happens around us.READ MORE
You may know that every now and again each of us needs to get away from our regular pattern of life. We take advantage of these holidays by vacationing somewhere, taking a trip of some kind, visiting relatives and the like. Sometimes, some of you admitted to me, that you take time away for spiritual purposes and make a weekend or longer retreat. Well, like most of you, priests regularly participate in similar patterns. All of this is to ask your prayer for me and my retreat master. We will be together Sunday through Saturday as I make a personal, private and guided retreat. And, to prevent your presumption that I’m going somewhere comfy and quiet, I’ll admit to you that I’m traveling several miles to the west and will spend the days in his Rectory. While there, I’ll do my best to avoid the distractions of his daily parish life including a Catholic pre-school through high school on his campus. I hope to find some quiet time in the perpetual adoration chapel in his parish church along with some quality prayer time in the private chapel in his Rectory residence area. Anyway, no need for you to act as a detective and figure out where I’ll be, I’ll just ask again for your prayers that these upcoming days will be quality time with the Lord.READ MORE
Each year we hear various amounts of news regarding the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. on 21 & 22 January. The concept has taken on an interesting progression as seen in Pro-Life marches which take place in local, state and regional government facilities throughout the nation. Many people, of all ages, religions, social status and the like come together on these days to stand for LIFE. The marches typically take on a very peaceful and prayerful demonstration to heighten awareness that life matters. We are talking about ALL lives matter!READ MORE
We are quickly coming to the conclusion of the Christmas season as we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. Once again we are most grateful to those who offered support for our celebrations during the Christmas season. There were volunteers who decorated the church, people involved in ministries during the Masses and the like. On behalf of those who were blessed to have prayed in our church during these past holy days, thank you.
Then there are parish members among us who provide the prayerful support which aids our parish to keep growing in faith. You are one of those members who offered prayers for the mission of our parish, thank you for your past and continued prayerful support.READ MORE
We know there is an element of Catholic confusion this time of year as we celebrate Christmas, then finding Jesus teaching in the temple, then Epiphany, then the Baptism of the Lord. Each of those is intermixed with the secular observance of the holiday season including shopping, partying, New Year celebrations, school holiday and then back to school time. As if that isn’t enough occupying our time, we then toss in a dandy snowfall to help limber our backs and hone our winter driving skills. In the midst of all of this, we are continually encouraged to keep focused on matters of faith.READ MORE