Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.
Soon it will be the year that was. But was it a year to remember, or your favorite year? Was it the Best Year Ever, maybe a Year in the Life of a Fool? Or was it more the Days of Wine and Roses or a time we’d rather forget? However, those 525,600 minutes of those 365 days or those 31,536,000 seconds of the 52weeks plus one day of 2019 passed by I hope you can "nd many reasons for gratitude and thankfulness.
As 2020 dawns we have a new day and a new opportunity for sanctity. What kind of day will it be: a Holy Day, Ground Hog Day, or Independence Day or maybe Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Might it be a Dog Day Afternoon, or the Day of the Jackal or a Day of Reckoning? Or will it just be the Longest Day or the End of Days, the Day of Wrath or just a Long Day’s Journey into Night? It possibly could be a Hard Days Night or just One Fine Day. For some it might be Training Day, D-Day, Judgment Day or the Last Day. Unlikely you’ll get a Snow Day but maybe a Fathers Day or Valentines Day and hopefully a Pay Day. One thing for sure it will be the First Day of the Rest of Your Life.READ MORE
At this time of year, I always remember a dear friend of mine, long since gone to God, and how she decorated her Christmas tree. She was as blue collar as they come, worked in a Factory and pretty much lived paycheck to paycheck. Though she always had a little stashed away, just in case. And those just in case times were usually for someone else who hit a hard time.
She would put up her Christmas tree and put the lights on but no decorations. Instead she would make, and I mean make, anyone who came over to her house, decorate the tree with money from their wallet. And everyone in the neighborhood knew that at some point between Christmas and Epiphany you’d better get to her house and pin something on the tree. And if she saw you on the street or on the bus or in the Grocery store, she would let you know that her Christmas tree was waiting to see you.READ MORE
A few months back Gallup reported the results of a survey among US Catholics about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. And the results were not good: only 30% responded that they believe in the Real Presence. I’m not sure how accurate that is but even if it were 50% or 60% that would still be depressingly low. But even if only 30% of US Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, I can tell you that 100% of Satanists believe in it.
In November, the Satanic Temple held a Black Mass in Houston and afterwards tweeted: The Catholics and their fat mama Mary did not stop our Black Mass. The consecrated host was defiled, destroyed, and swept into the trash where it belongs. Thank you…READ MORE
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, (and don't forget to redeem your Pledge) so I want to remind you of ways you can still give but at no cost to your budget.
Shea Grant. As you know the Shea Family Charities awarded our School a grant to help upgrade the Campus. As of today, they have completed $3million in work to improve our Campus and School Infrastructure. Our part in the Grant is to raise 20% and currently we are still shy about $100,000. This spring we will apply for an additional Grant from Shea for work on the School that still needs upgrading. So, your support in helping us reach our 20% will help demonstrate our commitment to the project. Please contact Deacon Jim at the Parish Office to arrange for your gift or your multi-year pledge.READ MORE
Happy Advent. Another year to discover what the year of Grace 2020 may bring us in God’s providential plan.
Three years ago, our Parish changed in a very significant way with the arrival of five Sisters from the Servants of the Plan of God. As it often happens in the history of the Church, whenever the Church moves forward in some significant way, it is likely because of faithful women. While both men and women are often visionary, men tend to concern themselves too much with the how and women tend to concern themselves with the what. Men think, “How are we going to do that?” while women tend to concern themselves with “What God wants of us?”. I think the lesson is: don't worry about the how, God will provide that but do your best to figure out what God wants of us.READ MORE
Twenty years ago, on a Sunday when the Eagles defeated the Cardinals, I arrived at Mt. Carmel. I was not sure of what kind of welcome that would inspire but here I am still. At that point the Country was still trying to figure out who should be President or not, because of hanging chads, Bush or Gore. And here we are now with Impeach-a-palozza trying to figure out who should be President or not. I guess some things change and still remain the same.
From my end and I hope from yours there is much to be grateful for:
Those who find a home in the land of the giant cactus
Palm trees that look like cell phone towers or maybe it’s the other way
That keep us connected to one another
And the Church, the Mass that keep us connected
To the Lord
Two News headlines caught my eye recently, they both deal with the same subject matter but you wouldn't know it from the way the headlines were written. One read, “Federal Judge overturns Obamacare transgender protections” (The Hill). Sounds very broad and like a major loss for transgenders. But then the other headline read, “Judge Rules Doctors Can Decline To Perform Transgender Surgery On Religious Grounds” (Religion Unplugged). Again, both articles dealt with the same Court ruling, so which is more accurate? I would say the latter since there are still plenty of physicians who are willing to provide hormonal and surgical treatments to transgenders. The Court ruling allowed a small subset of medical professionals to opt out on religious or conscience grounds but didn’t prevent other medical workers from offering transgenders medical interventions but you would think otherwise from the first headline.READ MORE
Canon 915, in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Pope St. John Paul II states that “those who obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion”. This was the basis on which a Pastor in South Carolina denied Presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden Holy Communion at Sunday Mass a few weeks ago. Many have asked, “can he do that” and “should he do that”. To the first, yes. A priest especially a Pastor is responsible for custody and care of the Eucharist and proper administration of the sacraments. To the second, well that is where all the debate surrounds.READ MORE
Many of you have asked me about my thoughts, impressions or indigestion on the recently completed Vatican Synod on Amazonia. Well to start with, I thought it was a bit peculiar to hold a Synod for such a small subset of a much larger population. Why not have a Synod for Brazil, where most Amazonians live? Or even all of Latin America as the Church there is experiencing its share of challenges. That being said, still the people of the Amazon deserve to hear the Gospel and have the sacraments made available to them. But since the focus was so small it seemed the Synod might be used to push things that have to do with climate change for the rest of us to implement but nothing to do with evangelizing the Amazon. Though climate issues were definitely part of the final recommendations of the Synod to the Holy Father they were overshadowed by other issues.READ MORE
It looks like we have hit “Peak Pot Production”. Good. Since nine US states and the entire country of Canada legalized cannabis for ‘recreational use’ there has been a huge increase in growers of the product. So much so that there is a glut of the product causing Growers to dump their product at well below market prices. As the legalization wave swept across the US and Canada many of the largest Pot Producers experienced a huge boom in their stock prices. But since the spring their stocks have suffered a 50%+ decline. Simply put supply has outstripped demand. This also means that the projected tax revenue that states and Canada were anticipating have fallen short of projections.READ MORE
“U.S. officials recently announced visa restrictions on Chinese officials accused of being involved in "detention and abuse" of its Muslim minority population. The visa restrictions are targeting those complicit in China's "highly repressive campaign" against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other Muslim minority groups in the northwestern Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.” (UPI Oct.8) But why should we care how China treats its Muslims?
Recently 22 Western nations sent a letter to the UN Council on Human Rights complaining about the mistreatment of the Uighur Muslims in China. But missing from the signatures were any Muslim majority nations. In turn, China produced a letter signed by 37 countries, including: Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Syria, and Kuwait. Pakistan, (the world’s second largest Muslim country) which stated “China's remarkable achievements in the field of human rights.” Instead of condemning China for its detention and re-education camps, these majority Muslim nations praised China’s efforts for “de-radicalizing” the Uighurs.READ MORE
A different angle for once from Sky News,
A woman who detransitioned in 2018 says there are many people who have had gender reassignment surgery who wish they hadn't. Charlie Evans, 28, was born female but identified as male for nearly 10 years before detransitioning… Charlie detransitioned and went public with her story last year - and said she was stunned by the number of people she discovered in a similar position. "I'm in communication with 19 and 20-year-olds who have had full gender reassignment surgery who wish they hadn't, and their dysphoria hasn't been relieved, they don't feel better for it," she says. "They don't know what their options are now"… Charlie is now launching a charity called The Detransition Advocacy Network, with their first meeting set to be held in Manchester at the end of the month.READ MORE
People Raiser XV is on its way next weekend: What Return Shall I make to the Lord? This is an invitation to put your gifts at the service of the Lord. “And why should I do that”, you ask, “I have enough to do already”? Well simply put, whatever you have belongs to the Lord. And if you are a follower of Jesus you know that He has told us again and again that we will be asked how we have leveraged our gifts for the Kingdom of God.
Remember our new Parish motto that we unveiled last year: Pray, Serve, Give, Connect. Well this is the Serve part. The People Raiser provides you with an opportunity to find ways to serve, to match your gifts with a ministry that needs what you have and what you can do. I have never met anyone who regretted serving. I have never met anyone who at the end of their days on earth said: I am angry that I volunteered so much or that I donated so much or I spent so much time helping other. No, it is usually the other way around: “I wish I had…”READ MORE