Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.
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
We have just begun another 40 Days for Life Campaign, September 25 -November 3 at the Tempe Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic, 1837 E Baseline Rd Tempe. For details of times and parking information go to: https://www.40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/tempe/. Additionally, during the Campaign, the Aid to Women Center Chapel, which is next door to PP, will have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Saturdays from 7am-Noon. For those who cannot physically participate in the Campaign please consider praying a Rosary each day for the end to abortion.
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao You ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow “Revolution” by The Beatles
In a recent tweet (now deleted) the NY Times posted: Mao Zedong died on this day in 1976. The Times said he began as “an obscure peasant” and “died one of history’s great revolutionary figures”.
The tweet had a link to the Times 1976 Obituary of Mao, which you could say was overly kind and overlooked his penchant for murder, torture and mass starvation techniques. If you grew up reading the Times you know that over the years the NY Times has painted communism, whether the Soviet or the Chinese version in the best light possible mostly as a way to excoriate capitalism.READ MORE
A sure sign that our society is not in a good way is the lack of a sense of humor. The ability to laugh at ourselves with all our idiosyncrasies helps us not take ourselves so seriously and reminds us there is another way of looking at things. Today a comic like Don Rickles would be chased off the planet for the way he poked fun at every ethnic and racial group under the sun. Such is the poisonous nature of identity politics.
It started in earnest during the last Administration. A few times I wrote somethings, tongue in cheek about former President Obama and afterwards received some stinging emails: no, no, no, don't poke fun at the Messiah. Then it kicked into high gear with the inauguration of President Trump. One parish told me that after praying at Mass for the new President upon his inauguration an irate parishioner called the Parish Office very upset and told them, “how dare you pray for that man, you never prayed for Obama”. Actually, they did pray for Obama on his two inaugurations as well as Bush, Clinton, etc. In fact, Catholic parishes in the US have been praying for the new president ever since Archbishop Carroll gave the Invocation at the Inauguration of President George Washington. A lack of charity and a dearth of humor makes me wonder if she was baptized in pickle juice?READ MORE
Maybe we are finally hitting critical mass in the push back against abortion. Planned Parenthood is finding itself on the losing side for a change. In a Court in Maricopa County a jury awarded a $3million judgment against PP in a wrongful termination suit. The woman, Mayra Rodriguez, a clinical manager for abortion clinics in NE Phoenix and Glendale for 15yrs was fired by Planned Parenthood for reporting what was really going on in the clinics. Ironically, the woman went to work for PP because she wanted to ensure women had access to medically decent abortion clinics. Except what she saw was medically deficient care. The trial revealed what we’ve come to expect from ‘the high quality’ healthcare from Murder, Inc.:READ MORE
We are more than half-way through our “Make Mt. Carmel Great Again Campaign”, so to speak, well at least make our aging buildings and infrastructure up-to-date. The rest of us are doing just fine! So, at this point what has been accomplished?
Our shock and awe mission started with a new HVAC System for the Church. This included new air-handlers as the older system (the original from 1968) was unable to handle the new refrigerants that replaced Freon and hence new compressors. So far, they are working correctly and the new thermostats have a button that says, “Freeze all Parishioners!”. I only press it when I really want you to pay attention. Just kidding. We have also made repairs to the leaks on the Church roof and subsequently repaired the water damage on several spots on the interior ceiling. Our final surge takes place next summer with replacement of the skylights over the altar as they are well past their lifespan. In addition, new flooring in the sanctuary and a new ambo/pulpit.READ MORE