Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid." Can it really be true? Is our heavenly Father actually so aware of us? Does the Creator of the universe pay that much attention to me? Jesus says yes. God knows us far more intimately than we even know ourselves. And so, we have nothing to fear.
Being Christian isn't guaranteed to be easy. More and more even in our own culture, following the faith is being criticized and discouraged in the public square. Privately, we may struggle with the demands of the commandments or the ability to believe when we face the inevitable trials that come our way. But passages like this one in today's Gospel are a source of tremendous hope and consolation. We are loved beyond measure. We enjoy the care and concern of God in every situation, big and small. Truly we have no need to worry or be anxious because God is in control.READ MORE
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, 'How can this man give us his flesh to eat?'" From the beginning, the Eucharist has been a source of controversy. Some people have always found the teaching difficult to accept. But as Catholics, the Blessed Sacrament is at the heart of our worship and our spirituality; we go to Mass to share in the holy sacrifice of Jesus' body and blood, and we receive spiritual nourishment from partaking of this heavenly food. As Jesus himself tells us in today's Gospel, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him."READ MORE
As you know, I sometimes like to share with you the words of our saints. This time it is from St. Peter Chrysologus, who died around the year 450.
"I appeal to you by the mercy of God." This appeal is made by Paul, or rather, it is made by God through Paul, because of God's desire to be loved rather than feared, to be a father rather than a Lord. God appeals to us in his mercy to avoid having to punish us in his severity.READ MORE
Last Sunday we celebrated the ordination to the transitional diaconate of John Nahrgang. This is the last step on his journey to priesthood. It is at this ordination that John made his commitment to celibacy and promised to be obedient to Bishop Olmsted and his successors. John will be with us as a new deacon at Mass in the coming weeks (actually, as I write this I do not know when he will be scheduled.)
Saturday morning we celebrated the ordination to the priesthood of three men from our diocese. We are truly blessed to have such great young men coming forward and giving their lives to God and to His Church.READ MORE
Next weekend is our annual diocesan Teen Congreso. I know, it sounds like it is in Spanish, but it is bilingual. There will be offerings in both English and Spanish.
Parents of teens, I would remind you that you are still responsible for the faith formation of your children...even your teens. So often I hear from teens that they feel separated or like their faith is not strong enough. Usually, when I ask when they stopped attending faith formation it is in junior high or even earlier. When I celebrate confirmations as a Dean, I always remind the parents that confirmation is not graduation, children must continue to learn as they grow.READ MORE
I have to admit that I am one proud father! Actually, we have many proud fathers and mothers, and grandparents and godparents, too. Over 200 of our young people have been sealed with the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of confirmation, and then they received Holy Communion for the first time. We can all be proud of these young members of our family at Our Lady of Perpetual Help!
Even more (yes, there is more!), Monday evening our 8th graders will graduate and move on to high school. It is always a little sad for me because I enjoy seeing them every day at school, but it is time to send them off and they are well prepared. Again, I am one proud father!READ MORE
Last year I asked you all to consider increasing your Sunday offering by $3 per week. Many of you were able to do that and you saw our Sunday collection increase this past year, not as much as I asked for but it did increase. So what did we do with the money?
Of course we have our regular bills: payroll, utilities, etc. Also this year we repaired the leaking roof at the Capilla, and part of the roof in our church. Remember we have some old buildings that always need repairs: Fr. Mario's bathroom had to be basically re-done because of plumbing problems, also the plumbing/sewer in the Notre Dame Center needed major repair. The compressor in one big A/C unit in the hall had to be replaced, and there are always smaller old A/C units that give us trouble. Those are just the big items.READ MORE
For the next two weekends we celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation with many of our young people. Please remember to pray for all of our confirmandi in the coming weeks.
This is also a good time to reflect on our own confirmation. Our church teaches that the gift of the Holy Spirit is a spiritual seal by which we are conformed to Christ and made more fully members of His Church. Is this true in our lives? Do we reflect this Holy Spirit on all we meet daily? Remember, Christ himself was anointed by this Holy spirit when he was baptized by John, and then He was sent forth for the work of ministry, to pour out on the earth the fire of the same Spirit.READ MORE