Fr. John's Letter Archives

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


A Voice from the Past

04-28-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

From the silence of retirement Pope emeritus Benedict speaks. Specifically, it was a written correspondence with a German Catholic publication on the subject of the Church scandals. And it is typical Ratzinger: crisp, clear, precise and insightful. As is his style, he steps back and takes the long view and asks the question, “how was it that such immoral and abusive behavior found its way into the priesthood and the Church?”

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Debbie Downer

04-21-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Listening to the News you can’t help but hear things like: the economy is strong, unemployment is down, labor force participation rate is climbing, GDP is up and Stock Markets are very strong--------BUUUUT, in the same breath, the News reports, “there are signs the economy is cooling” or “recession is right around the corner, the whatever bubble is about to burst or the FED has to stave off hyper-inflation.” Jeez, talk about Debbie Downers. They want us all living on the edge of the Apocalypse. I guess so we will “stay tuned” for the next Armageddon. The Media just always has to be right even when they get it wrong. No “mea culpa’s”. The same can be said for the Weather Forecasters: today there is a 10% chance of rain. And then it doesn't rain and they can say, “well we told you it was only a 10% chance” or if it does rain, then they can say, “we told you there was a 10% chance of precipitation”. The media need you to believe that the apocalypse is nigh and it’s only a matter of time before we will be reduced to cannibalism or freeze or be boiled to death so that you will vote for their preferred candidates and espouse their radical chic doctrines and prove them right. Somehow it never occurs to them that if a man could rise from the dead, his power could have a dramatic effect on the trajectory of history, including the economy and the weather.

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Overdose

04-14-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

The friends of Jesus and his mother will make the journey this Holy Week to bring his lifeless body to his grave. In a similar way more families and friends than we can count are bringing their lifeless children to their graves, lifeless because of drug overdoses. Mostly but not exclusively, overdoses from opioids laced with fentanyl. You see in the world of illicit drug sales there is no quality control and satisfaction guaranteed equates with death. And now with the tightening on prescriptions for opioids and the reduction of their manufacturing, one of the unintended consequences is reduced availability of pharmaceutical grade drugs and that reduction is often being filled with heroin and fentanyl. And both are streaming across the border from Mexico at rates that could kill most of the US population.

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The Party Never Ends!

04-07-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

We just finished another successful Parish Festival. Thanks to all who participated and congratulations to our Super Raffle and Auction winners! And a very heartfelt special thanks to our Festival Executive Committee who worked long hours this past year to plan and execute our annual Festival. It is no small undertaking and a huge investment in time. So, thank you!

This year we changed things around a bit at the Festival, like making the Auctions a bit smaller that is, because we want to have a party twice a year now! So, mark your calendars for Saturday, November 9 for our first Night to Soar to be held at the Hackett House in Tempe.

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One Toke over the Line

03-31-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Now that Mueller Madness is over, we can all go back to ordering Russian dressing on our salads or even extra Russian dressing on those corned beef specials. One thing that always gets my goat about prosecutors is that they often take it a step too far, they just can’t seem to help themselves. Mueller did it by writing in his report that he couldn't find the evidence to bring an obstruction of justice charge but he wasn't exonerating the President either. A statement like that is over the line, unprofessional, unethical and defamatory. But prosecutors do it all the time, Mueller is no exception. It’s just their way of twisting the knife.

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Too Much Trash

03-24-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

It took Christians about 300yrs to convert the Roman Empire and become the dominate culture and ethics of the Empire. It took the Religion of Recycling a little over 20yrs to convert approximately 75% of trash making Americans to its doctrines and precepts. The high conversion rate to the Religion of Recycling surprised even its most ardent supporters and most managers of local municipalities. Many parents and all schools have indoctrinated their children with the morality of recycling, hands down in a far superior way than Christian morality was ever taught. Many cities even check your blue bin to shame you into compliance. If it is filled with proper items you get a star on your bin, if not you get an excommunication notice. Behavior modification at the refuse level! But there is a big crack in the foundation of the Religion of Recycling catechism.

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The Ghost of Molly Malone

03-17-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

The snakes are back in Ireland. Folklore tells us that St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland in his day. Ireland, mainly because of its climate and detachment from the mainland has no native snake species. But that didn't stop people from importing them and keeping them as pets. And as we are seeing happen in Florida so too in Ireland, the fascination with these reptiles fades and people tend to get tired of taking care of them, they grow too large, become too expensive to care for or they escape their cages and these former pets start showing up in the wild and not so wild places. Unicorns make much better pets.

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Let's Sort it Out

03-10-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Any time we worship anything other than God we dance around the altars of Baal, a false god. The more we do the more frantic we become and the more we begin to hurt ourselves. Sounds like addictive or compulsive behavior to me. That is exactly what happens when we substitute a material thing for God. We will dance around it more and more frenetically until we start to harm ourselves. Witness an addiction to a drug: the thing we convinced ourselves would help us turns around and begins to harm us.

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The Enemy of my Enemy...

03-03-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Sometimes help comes from unexpected sources… Recently some members of the AZ Legislature put forth a bill that would have basically repealed all the restrictions on abortion in AZ that we had worked to put in place over the last 44 years, including the mandate to provide life giving care to infants who survive an abortion. The proposed bill came up pretty quickly, which was by design to catch us off guard and ram it through stealthily. Fortunately, within 48 hours the Pro-life Community organized and hundreds of people showed up for the Committee Hearing. Because of that effort, the Bill died in committee! The Catholic Pro-life contingent was well represented but so was a good contingent of Mormons. Who could have imagined back in 1973 after Roe v. Wade was forced upon the country that Catholics and Mormons would be working together to defend the sanctity of human life? Even though our theology and ecclesiology are not exactly on the same page, both Catholics and Mormons understand first principles and why they must be defended before

all else.

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The Silence of the Shepherds

02-24-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

“L’Affair McCarrick” has been adjudicated, partially. Theodore McCarrick, aka “Uncle Ted”, former Cardinal and Archbishop of Washington D.C. has in the common parlance been “defrocked”. In Church Law parlance he has been permanently removed from the clergy and returned to the lay state. Though technically the sacrament of Holy Orders, like Baptism cannot be removed only its exercise restricted. This penalty for the crimes he was convicted of by a Vatican Tribunal is irrevocable. What still remains to be adjudicated is to find those who knew or covered up McCarrick’s behavior and held accountable. We owe a debt of thanks to those who came forward and broke the thick cloud of silence which enabled this atrocious behavior. Ultimately this is what ends sexual abuse: breaking the silence about abuse so that perpetrators are held accountable and prevented from abusing others. It is often not easy for a victim to come forward as one of the characteristics of abuse is that it gets you to blame yourself.

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Incredibly not Credible

02-17-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

With the confirmation hearing of Justice Kavanaugh we witnessed the standard of “guilty by accusation” replace innocent until proven guilty, and the standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” or even the lower standard of “to a preponderance of the evidence”. But the standard of “guilty by accusation” has already been in use in the Church in the US as it is applied to Catholic priests accused of abuse of a minor since the 2002 Dallas Charter.

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Kill Bill?

02-10-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

I’ve had an explosion of feral cats in the back yard lately. It always seems that one of them is having babies. So, to control the population now, I take the kittens as soon as I can from the mother and drown them quickly. It keeps the population down, significantly. Besides the ASCAP wants $35 a piece to euthanize them.

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JesusLand Schools

02-03-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

We just completed another annual observation of Catholic Schools Week. The first Catholic school was opened by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in the early 1800’s (yes a woman with serious power in the Church that long ago) and then soon after St. John Neumann started the Catholic School system in the US. But right on cue, the scolds at the NY Times couldn't resist defecating on the Parade with a Twitter feed: #exposechristianschools. We all know that when a journalist wants to “expose” something they are not looking for virtuous deeds or random acts of kindness. No, it’s much more sinister than that. Strange how the subject of attack is Christian schools, don't the prisspots in the media know there are lots of Hebrew schools and Muslim schools? #exposemuslimschools anyone? Not happening.

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