Fr. John's Letter Archives

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


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comes from unexpected sources… Recently some members of the AZ Legislature put forth a bill that would have basically repealed all the restrictions on abortion in AZ that we had worked to put in place over the last 44 years, including the mandate to provide life giving care to infants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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