Next Friday is the last day of school; of course, our 8th graders have already graduated and our pre-school is already finished. Public schools have also finished. This means that there are many children outside playing. Some children are attending summer school, but the hours are often different. Please be alert when driving or when you see something t hat does not look right.
Our children are a great asset to our community and we want to keep them safe during the summer months. This is not just a job for parents, but for the entire community. Children will be children (they are not little adults), so they will explore and get into things, sometimes things they should not get into.
In God's Mercy,
This weekend I am in Mexico with a group of our 8th graders. Please remember to pray for us as we pray for you, especially when we are with Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Next month we will celebrate the ordination of our new parochial vicar, Deacon Ryan Lee (soon to be Father Ryan). The ordination will be Saturday, June 11 at 10am, and all are invited. This year the ordination will be at St. Thomas Aquinas in Avondale, not at the Cathedral, because there are four men being ordained and the Cathedral is not large enough. Ordinations are a great way to encourage vocations, whether to priesthood, or consecrated life for men or women, or for matrimony.READ MORE
As we celebrate Pentecost, the gift of the Holy Spirit, not only for the Apostles but for all of us who are confirmed in our faith, we also celebrate what we believe is the beginning of our Church. The gifts of the Spirit are not only for each of us individually, but are for the building of the Church in our world and for our world.
It is a good time to reflect on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and how we use them in our lives. Do we listen to the Spirit, to that “still, small voice” of God? Does the Holy Spirit guide our lives, or does the secular world or the secular media guide us? These are important questions, especially when you look at our world today.READ MORE
It is hard to believe that we are in the month of May already! Of course, this is an important month for us at Our Lady of Perpetual Help because the month is dedicated to Our Lady, the Blessed Mother. So, are we going to simply say, "Oh, that's nice," and then forget it? Or, are we going to make something special of this month?
Usually in May I invite families to be sure to pray the rosary together. This is not only a wonderful way to honor Our Lady, but it is a way to bring families closer together in this busy world. If you are not comfortable praying the rosary, or if you do not know how, we have rosary groups and opportunities in the parish to help you. Also, you can get a few booklets from our gift shop, or any Catholic bookstore, that can help you. Of course, there is also help on the internet.READ MORE
We remember that at the Last Supper, Jesus washed the feet of his apostles...then he said, "As I have done, so you must do." Soon after that he led them to the Garden of Gethsemane where he prayed, "Take this cup away, Father, but not as I will but your will be done." He then went through suffering to his death and then his resurrection.
Many of us want resurrection without suffering, and especially without submitting to the will of God. At the Last Supper Jesus also said that no servant is greater than his master; yet many believe that they can ignore the teachings of the "master", God, because they know better.READ MORE
A few weeks ago I asked all of you to consider increasing your Sunday contribution by at least $3 per week. I have been very happy to see the results as many of you have done as I asked. I even received a note in the collection the last week saying, "$10 extra every week won't hurt. I was listening." I am so glad that parishioner was listening! And thank you all very much.
I want to let you know what we have already done with the increased collections. First, you see we have a new drinking fountain in the vestibule; the water lines in the other one kept getting clogged and it cost to clean them out. Also, the roof area in front of the church, over the bathrooms, was leaking when it rained. We have re-roofed that area, as well as a classroom roof in the school that leaked. The roof at the Capilla was leaking and has been repaired. The air conditioner in the 8th grade classroom was old and finally died. We have been able to put in a new A/C that is more efficient and uses less electricity. We continue to put in LED lights whenever possible which also are more efficient and last longer than regular lights.READ MORE
The fathers of the Second Vatican Council wisely warned us in their pastoral constitution on the Church in the Modern World:
"Holy Scripture, with which the experience of the ages is in agreement, teaches the human family that human progress, though it is a great blessing for man, brings with it a great temptation. When the scale of values is disturbed and evil becomes mixed with good, individuals and groups consider only their own interests, not those of others.READ MORE
One of the great joys of the Easter season is the welcoming of new members into our family, into the Body of Christ. Also in this season we welcome into fuller communion through the gift of the Holy Spirit many of our younger members. Next week our parish family will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation and welcome into Communion those who have been preparing these past two years. What a great joy for our community!
Please remember to pray for all of our confirmandi and those who will receive the Blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ for the first time.READ MORE
Pope St. Leo the Great, who died in the year 461, wrote, "In the gospel of John the Lord says, 'In this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for each other.' In a letter from the same apostle we read, 'Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God; he who does not love does not know God, for God is love.' "
This is a good reflection for us during this Year of Mercy: Is our love visible? Which, according to St. Leo the Great means: Is God visible through us?READ MORE
The Lord has Risen...Alleluia! Yes, we celebrate the great gift of our God: eternal life because Jesus defeated death and we, the body of Christ, will rise with Him on the last day. Alleluia! Now we must remember to live as part of the resurrected Body of Christ, and not as citizens of the world.
I will be leaving for a few days to El Salvador with Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos this week. It is always good to get away for a few days and visit "my kids" after Holy Week.READ MORE
Today we begin the holiest week of the year for Catholics. The reading of the Passion today sets us up to live all week the preparation for celebrating our Lord's passion, death and resurrection. As I remind you every year, please do not live this week like all other weeks in the year. Especially those of you with families, remember that you are the primary teachers of your children in the faith.
Monday, the priests will be on retreat, preparing for the Holy Days. In the evening we celebrate the chrism Mass. The holy oils to be used this year will be blessed by Bishop Olmsted and the priests will renew their promises from ordination. You are all invited to attend at the Cathedral, but get there early.READ MORE
Next weekend is Passion Sunday, (Palm Sunday). Please remember that palms will be blessed before Mass with a procession into the church. If you come late, palms will be available after Mass.
Of course, the week after Passion Sunday is Holy Week. Please watch to schedule and plan your week accordingly, giving priority to the Holy Week services.READ MORE
We all know that Lent is that time to examine ourselves and see if there is anything we need to work on to be better prepared to welcome Christ when He comes again in glory. That is true for the parish as a community, not only for us as individuals.
One area that could use some help and improvement is at our English masses: the Ministry of Hospitality. This is not to say that our current ushers are not doing well, but that they can use some help. I would like to model somewhat on the Spanish masses and have people greet our community as they come to mass, sometimes at the 10:30 help find seats for people, and then take up the collection. This is something that couples can do together or that families can do together. If you are interested, please call the office and we will set up a training time.READ MORE