Fr. John's Letter Archives

Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.


Beyond Thunderdome

12-09-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

The passing of President George H.W. Bush reminded me that there was a time before we all entered “Trump World”, a day before “Obama-in-the-Highest” worship took hold, even a period before Bush 2.0 and war-without-end, amen! became the norm, a world without the “blue dress” and Clinton & Clinton and Clinton redux. As I accurately foresaw in my March 6, 2016 pre-election prophecy, we have entered the world of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. A place where “two men enter, one man leaves”. You remember November 2016, Dr. Dealgood won, Aunty Entity lost. Still, Aunty Entity cries ceaselessly: “You think I don't know the law? Wasn't it me who wrote it? And I say that this man has broken the law. Right or wrong, we had a deal”. The 24-hour cable news, social media cycles demands nothing less than the death of your political opponent and even then, the corpse must be dragged through the streets.

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Still, He Comes

12-02-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Not everyone always agrees with my writings, imagine that. Actually, if they did that would be rather boring. And so, some did take issue with my assessment in my letter, “An Unexpected Journey”, as being too loud, not speaking softly and rather acerbic. I accept that criticism. At the same time after putting in over 30yrs of serving and building up the Church I love, I find it hard not to come to its defense. It’s not just that the Church is a force for good in the world that I want to see continue as such but the salvation of souls hangs in the balance. Each priest, each bishop will be heldaccountable for the souls lost due to scandal and confusion. Therefore, speaking up so that people know that the ecclesiastical bureaucracy is not the Church nor is it a way to determine the veracity of the teachings of Catholicism appears to me to be a necessary action.

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Giving

11-25-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Coming into the Holiday season, I know we’ve all been a bit stretched with giving and I thank you for your sacrificial giving in the Together Let Us Go Forth Capital Campaign, (if you haven’t yet pledged, I eagerly await your pledge!) so I want to remind you of ways you can still give but at no cost to your budget.

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America & the Hand of Providence

11-18-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Pope Paul III, not Paul VI of Humanae Vitae fame, now St. Pope Paul VI, but Pope Paul III of Sublimus Deus fame, is who we should thank on this Thanksgiving Day holiday. Sublimus Deus (The Sublime God), an encyclical letter issued in 1537, some 45 years after Columbus came to America, stated that, “Indians and all other people who may later be discovered by Christians, are by no means to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside the faith of Jesus Christ; and that they may and should, freely and legitimately, enjoy their liberty and the possession of their property; nor should they be in any way enslaved…” It also called for the evangelization of the native Americans who wished to receive the Christian faith.

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An Unexpected Journey

11-14-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

The scheduled meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops started off with a sniper attack from the Vatican. As you may have read, the Vatican insisted the US Bishops NOT vote on their proposals to deal with Bishop Accountability and the Investigation of the McCarrick Affair. Some have said that the Vatican pulled the rug out from under the Bishops. But that is way too kind. The Vatican bureaucratically castrated the US Bishops, at least those who still had some. And amazingly it seemed like many Bishops were ready to plow full steam ahead until the Vatican pulled a trump card. But was it really?

The US Bishops, or any country’s Bishops Conference does have its own jurisdiction and the right to make particular law. Obviously, an individual Bishop’s Conference can’t make universal law. But the Vatican insisted it wanted to wait until the February meeting of all the world’s head of Bishop’s Conferences to deal with the issue of clerical sexual abuse in a uniform way. But if the Vatican was concerned that what the US Bishops were legislating would conflict with universal norms or law they could easily have sent the Vatican’s top Canon Lawyers to advise the Bishops and make sure there would be no conflict or after the February Meeting they could always amend what the US enacted. What’s even more cynical is that the Vatican waited until Sunday afternoon to let Cardinal DiNardo, the USCCB President know of this directive.

Strange how in 2002 when the US Bishops legislated the Dallas Charter which deals with priests who abuse, the Vatican went right along and even was amenable to changes in the Code of Canon Law based on what the US Bishops had done. But when it came to the accountability of Bishops the Vatican clearly put the brakes on. At least now we know that the source of corruption is the Vatican officials. It seems like they have a lot to hide when it comes to protecting the malfeasance of Bishops and the appointment of McCarrick’s partners in crime who are currently Bishops of Dioceses.

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Do you inspire others to give?

11-11-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

On a visit to the city of Rome, some years ago, a person I was with had never been before and upon seeing the hundreds of churches, he remarked, “these people must really love God.” So many generations of believers gave of their time, talent and treasure to build some of the most magnificent Catholic Churches in the world. I often wonder when people visit our country what impression are they left with? Obviously, the buildings that stand out the most are the tallest skyscrapers and most of them are used to house financial institutions, banks, investment firms, and insurance providers. I guess someone could walk away, after seeing all that and conclude that we really love our financial security. It raises the question, that ironically is found on our currency, In God We Trust, do we really?

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Together, Let Us Go Forth

11-04-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Our records indicate that the first baptisms at our parish took place in July of 1870. Ever since then the Catholic community in Tempe has been alive and well. The first Church, a small adobe building, built by hand by the parishioners was located where now stands the ASU Sun Devil Stadium ticket office. By 1912 the parish moved to roomier space at College and University avenues, the current location of the All Saints Catholic Newman Center. By 1957, through the stewardship of the Hughes family, the ten-acre campus on Rural Road had its beginnings.

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