Yesterday Came Suddenly…

11-24-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

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

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11-24-2019The Sisters Corner

Thanksgiving is coming up and to whom else to give our greatest thanks than God? The Lord gives us so much every day; what should we do in His return?

This past Saturday, many families, teenagers and children from our parish gathered in McCready Hall to pack food for our brothers and sisters in need.

When you entered the room, you would see a big line of people waiting to start their turn. It was so good to see the love and generosity that was shared in there.

After packing, families took a number of boxes and distributed them to their assigned houses. When they arrived to the house, they met the families, prayed together and spent some time with them. Some of the people that we met would even open up their hearts and shared their stories. These people are God’s beloved children and He calls us to be His hands so that His love can be shared with them.

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The Hunger Games: The Prequel

11-17-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

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.

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Planning a New Mission Trip to Peru

11-17-2019The Sisters Corner

As you all might know, last June Sr. Monica and Sr. Ximena travelled to Peru with a group from OLMC to serve those in need in Peru. It was a wonderful experience for us to be able to share a whole week with some of our parishioners and experience with them the joy of serving others, getting to know them and sharing as a missionary community.

We are now planning our mission trip for 2020 and we want to share it with you so that you will spread the word for those who want to join and to help us pray for this intention. We will be travelling to Peru from the 13 to the 21 of June of 2020. Our main focus in the mission will be the school our Sisters in Lima run for children and teens with physical disabilities called “The Joy in the Lord”.

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Three Years in the USA!

11-10-2019The Sisters Corner

We have recently celebrated our third anniversary in OLMC and we can’t believe time has gone by so quickly! We arrived here on a 28th of October in 2016 and we are truly grateful for the many blessings that we have received from God in this time.

The Lord has promised us all that we will receive a hundred times as much as we leave behind, and as religious sisters we get to experience firsthand that blessing. God calls us to leave behind our country, culture, family and friends in order to go where He wants us to serve and in our case it is in the OLMC community. We have the experience of finding among you the brothers, sisters, mothers and children we give up in a hundred fold.

We are very happy to be serving here beside so many committed and generous volunteers who inspire us. We could not be doing what we do in service to the Lord without your help!

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Canon 915

11-10-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

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.

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All Saints Day

11-03-2019The Sisters Corner

Last Thursday we celebrated All Saint’s Day here at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. We had around 12 kids from the Religious Education program and School perform for everyone that attended the event.

Our Children, who were all dressed as their favorite saint, danced and sang a song called: “Preferisco il Paradiso” which is from the Saint Philip of Neri movie and talks about the desire of every human being to go to heaven. The exact translation means: I prefer heaven.

This was a great opportunity for our Parish to look beyond this life and remember that life eternal is waiting for us! We are made for heaven, and this is what our children wanted to remind us of.

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What did Amazon Deliver?

11-03-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

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.

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Way too much Pot

10-27-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

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.

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Commie Cash

10-20-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

“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.

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Trans and De-tran

10-13-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

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.

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Leaving with a Grateful Heart

10-13-2019The Sisters Corner

Time Flies!!! My time in Tempe has come to an end. As many of you know, I came to Arizona in order to prepare for my formayion as a Servant. It has been almost two months since I arrived to the sunny desert. Now I get to continue to the next step and move to the forma!on house in Peru. I am very excited for this new phase where I will be able to continue answering the Lord’s calling to serve him.

The time with the Sisters has been above and beyond. I have learned a lot about what it means to give your life to God, to give your everything to the service of others, but also, to see what it means to do so as a Servant of the Plan of God.

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Sharing Our Love for God With Others

10-06-2019The Sisters Corner

It is so wonderful to see the variety of ministries that we have at OLMC. God has blessed our parish with people that have so many different gifts and talents. Next weekend God is asking us to put them in service to others.

Why do I need to volunteer? - you may be wondering.

When we encounter God, we discover the necessity of communicating his love to others. God’s love can’t stay in one person only, God’s love desires to dwell in the hearts of all men. These other people we can communicate his love can be our closer relatives, parents, children, and even people we’ve never met before! The people we serve in the different ministries, are not strangers. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ and we are called to help them in their journey of faith.

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People Raiser XV

10-06-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

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…”

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