Howdy, We have begun our Novena to Our Blessed Mother with our Bishop and all those in our diocese. If you have not begun to pray the Rosary it is OK to start now; you can join at any time and if you forget one day, just start again. It is the prayer that is important, even if you do not do the entire 54-day Novena.
Of course, it is good if you can pray the Rosary with your family as Sr. Lucia recommended. Anything that unites the family during this important time is good. Remember that there are pamphlets to help you with the Rosary if you have forgotten or never learned; do not be ashamed, it is never too late to learn. It was many years after my conversion before the Rosary became important tome.READ MORE
On Monday we begin a diocesan wide Novena to Our Lady in the year of the 100th anniversary of her appearing to the three children at Fatima, Portugal. Bishop Olmsted has asked us all to pray the Rosary daily during this Novena. He especially called on parents to pray the Rosary as a family. On October 13, the 100th anniversary of the final apparition at Fatima, Bishop Olmsted will publicly consecrate our Diocese to Mary’s Immaculate Heart. The Novena, beginning August 21 on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, will conclude on October 13.READ MORE
Next weekend the deacons of our diocesan region will be meeting here in Phoenix. This is always an important time of continuing education and for socializing with other deacons from other states; please remember our deacons in your prayers this week.
As you all know, deacons play an important role in our church ministry. Of course, they can baptize and celebrate weddings outside of mass, and they assist at mass and funerals including preaching. However, their duties are much greater than that, they also lead prayer and assist at meetings. Maybe even more important, in these days when priests are transferred often, deacons usually stay in a parish for a longer time, giving the parish much needed stability. Deacon Tony has been many years in our parish and probably knows our parish better than anyone.READ MORE
It is hard to believe, but summer is almost over! Well, not the heat, but the slow-down of our activities. Our school starts on Tuesday. It will be great to have our children back and the good new is that our numbers continue to grow. In fact, we will be out of room shortly if we continue.
With schools beginning, most people are home from vacations and starting back into their normal schedules. That means that we will be starting programs and activities as well. Please watch the bulletin in the next couple of months to be sure you do not miss anything.READ MORE
We have received some good news that I want to share with you. First, the diocese has given us a grant to re-seal the west parking lot in front of the office and the parish hall. This has been needed for a couple of years but we did not have the money to do it. Work is scheduled to begin next week and should take a couple of days; of course, the parking lot may be closed during the work.
Secondly, after a few months of negotiation and planning, we have agreed to be a pilot parish for the diocese on a solar energy project. The plan is to cover a portion of the east parking lot and the basketball court in the school. This should either reduce our utility fees or keep them at the same rate if there is an increase by the utility company. Work should begin next month so please be patient.READ MORE
I want to continue the message from Msgr. Bui concerning our diocesan celebration of the 100th anniversary of our Blessed Mother to the children of Fatima:
In commemorating the Centenary Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence opportunity until November 26, 2017. There are three ways to obtain the plenary indulgence: make a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, pray before a statue of Our Lady of Fatima in Church or chapel, and for the elderly and sick that cannot move, pray before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in their own homes.READ MORE
Below is a message from Msgr. Peter Dai Bui, theological consultant to Bishop Olmsted:
Our Diocese will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima. Our Lady appeared to three children near the small town of Fatima, predicting a century marred by war and the rise of atheistic Communism. She also gave the visionaries simple ways to stop and even restore what would be lost. Her solution was simple: return to her Son Jesus through the practices of prayer and penance. These weapons are as powerful and relevant to us today as they have ever been.READ MORE
I borrowed this from Bishop James Wall of Gallup with his permission:
What is a Vocation?
From the Latin word "vocare" means "to call", a vocation is a call from God. Most people think of a vocation as job to do in life but it goes much deeper. It is important to understand that our first call from God is the call to be holy. Keeping this in mind, a vocation as Frederick Buechner defines it, "is where our deep gladness meets the world's deep need."READ MORE
"Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." When Jesus says paradoxical things like this, we can still trust him. Even when he makes claims that, at first glance, seem impossible, we know that he's not talking gibberish. Why? Because Jesus lived the ultimate paradox: he brought life out of death. His resurrection proves for us that things are not always as they appear. The Crucifixion, which looked like the end of Jesus' influence, was actually a tremendous new beginning.READ MORE
Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid." Can it really be true? Is our heavenly Father actually so aware of us? Does the Creator of the universe pay that much attention to me? Jesus says yes. God knows us far more intimately than we even know ourselves. And so, we have nothing to fear.
Being Christian isn't guaranteed to be easy. More and more even in our own culture, following the faith is being criticized and discouraged in the public square. Privately, we may struggle with the demands of the commandments or the ability to believe when we face the inevitable trials that come our way. But passages like this one in today's Gospel are a source of tremendous hope and consolation. We are loved beyond measure. We enjoy the care and concern of God in every situation, big and small. Truly we have no need to worry or be anxious because God is in control.READ MORE
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, 'How can this man give us his flesh to eat?'" From the beginning, the Eucharist has been a source of controversy. Some people have always found the teaching difficult to accept. But as Catholics, the Blessed Sacrament is at the heart of our worship and our spirituality; we go to Mass to share in the holy sacrifice of Jesus' body and blood, and we receive spiritual nourishment from partaking of this heavenly food. As Jesus himself tells us in today's Gospel, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him."READ MORE
As you know, I sometimes like to share with you the words of our saints. This time it is from St. Peter Chrysologus, who died around the year 450.
"I appeal to you by the mercy of God." This appeal is made by Paul, or rather, it is made by God through Paul, because of God's desire to be loved rather than feared, to be a father rather than a Lord. God appeals to us in his mercy to avoid having to punish us in his severity.READ MORE
Last Sunday we celebrated the ordination to the transitional diaconate of John Nahrgang. This is the last step on his journey to priesthood. It is at this ordination that John made his commitment to celibacy and promised to be obedient to Bishop Olmsted and his successors. John will be with us as a new deacon at Mass in the coming weeks (actually, as I write this I do not know when he will be scheduled.)
Saturday morning we celebrated the ordination to the priesthood of three men from our diocese. We are truly blessed to have such great young men coming forward and giving their lives to God and to His Church.READ MORE