Fr. John's Letter Archives

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


Walk the Walk

03-25-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

As we enter into the week we call Holy we begin with the crowds who sing “Hosanna’s” to Jesus as he enters Jerusalem but we will end the week with them by shouting “Crucify him”. There are moments when we want a Savior of our own making and moments when we reject the type of Savior that God offers us. How much do we want a God who comes to us on our terms yet spurn the God who comes to us on His terms?

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Choose Wisely

03-18-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

In an episode of The Twilight Zone, entitled “A Nice Place to Visit,” Rod Serling narrates the following story:

After robbing a pawnshop, Henry, aka, “Rocky” Valentine is shot by a police officer as he flees. He wakes up to find himself seemingly unharmed. A genial old man greets him. He explains that he has been instructed to guide Rocky and give him whatever he desires. The two travel to a luxurious apartment. Everything is free. Rocky concludes that he’s dead and believes he’s in Heaven and the gentlemen is his guardian angel.

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Free? or Free and Fair

03-11-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Trade, tariffs and tirades. International trade is definitely not my forte, nor do I pay much attention to it. But my curiosity peaked when, after the President declared he would impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, heads started popping off, editorial writers with hair on fire declared the apocalypse. The reaction was sure and swift. According to some, there is no greater sin that a president can commit than imposing tariffs. But why?

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Pistol Packin' Principals?

03-04-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

There finally seems to be a lot of willingness to come up with strategies to prevent future mass shootings at our schools. But the fact that we even have to discuss the issue at all shows how far our society has come apart at the seams. How did things change from the days of leaving your car unlocked and windows down to having to install alarm systems to prevent theft? Maybe I am just being sentimental and nostalgic but the not too distant past seemed a lot safer and saner.

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Young Killers

02-25-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

After yet another mass murder, we find ourselves grappling to find answers to why this happens and how to prevent it. So far, we have employed a strategy that insulates us from the effects of a would be terrorist, assassin or mass murderer. After 9/11 we came up with the TSA to screen out the less than one percent of travelers bent on using a plane as a weapon. In our schools we have trained staff and students in disaster drills and now how to respond to an active shooter situation. We have also mandated seat belts and airbags in vehicles to protect against among other dangers, drunk drivers. But none of these strategies, while they may reduce harm, get to the heart of the problem.

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Colluding with Dictators?

02-18-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Our beleaguered leader is really taking it on the chin these days. His election was a surprise to many, and many long for the days of his predecessor. The bureaucracy actively works against him and seems to dog him at every step. He is accused of colluding with the worst kind of dictator and even compromising with a foreign power. In fact, he has been accused of being a dictator himself. Grant it, some of the things he says leave people scratching their heads and his administration running to explain what he said. Every major news outlet from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal has recently editorialized against him and questioned his decisions. Does he deserve to be judged so harshly? I think not, which puts me in the minority position.

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Unshocked

02-11-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

The great question to us is whether we are still capable of being truly shocked or whether it is to remain so that we see thousands of things and know that they should not be, and must not be, and that we get hardened to them. How many things have we become used to in the course of the years, of the weeks and months, so that we stand unshocked, unstirred, inwardly unmoved.

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Texting Too Much?

02-04-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

You are probably familiar with the infamous text messages of the two FBI employees that were found, lost, and found again. Reportedly, there were 50,000 messages between November and June. Wow, that’s a lot of texting even for two people having an intramural extra-marital affair. That works out to about 25,000 texts sent and 25,000 responses. That would be, without counting sleep hours, one text and response about every eight or nine minutes, every day for five months.

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Revelations

01-28-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Well, lo and behold, you do learn something new under the sun. The President, apparently, now and then talks like a real estate developer on a construction site in Queens or Brooklyn. Who would have ever guessed? According to some, though he denies saying it, the President referred to some countries as feces pits. Unfortunate choice of words. Lots of outrage ensued. But if you flip it around and it is not the case that some countries are in bad shape, then it should be no problem to have people return to those countries who are here on a temporary visa status. Right? After all, we would be sending them back to economically vibrant, flourishing democracies, or would we?

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Catechism at 25

01-21-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

This past October was the 25th Anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, commissioned by Pope St. John Paul II and the Bishops at the 1985 Synod. At the time, few people thought they would live to see its completion, but on October 11, 1992, it was officially promulgated by Pope John Paul II.

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We Shall Not Rest

01-14-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

One of the arguments that’s made in favor of abolishing the use of capital punishment in the US is that we as a country are not in sync with international norms. The larger international consensus has rejected the use of execution which means the US is in company with those countries that still use it: China, Iran, Singapore, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and a few other despotic regimes.

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School Choice?

01-07-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

It looks like we really are living just this side of the gates of hell: “Army and Homeland Security prepping teachers for the gunman at the door”, so reads a recent headline. Apparently, the US Army and the Department of Homeland Security have created a computer based simulator that trains teachers on how to best react in an active-shooter situation. Many will respond: good we need to do all we can to keep our children and our schools safe. Pretty much the same as when airport security and the TSA were implemented. It’s just a way of life now. But does it have to be this way?

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