What is a "pastor"?

02-24-2019From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Last week I spoke a little about the transition we are all going through as we await hearing who will be your next pastor. What is a "pastor"? According to the canon law of our Church, a pastor is entrusted with a parish by the local bishop and share in the ministry of Christ. A pastor is called to exercise pastoral care for the people of the parish by teaching, sanctifying, and governing with the assistance of other priests, deacons, and laypeople (Canon 519).

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The parish belongs to Christ

02-17-2019From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

As most of you know, since you read the bulletin, I will be retiring as a pastor at the end of June. I assume some of you are sad, and maybe, some are a bit happy. As your pastor, it is my responsibility to help you through this time of transition.

Pope Francis warns that it is a great temptation to think of Church leaders as irreplaceable. However, "the only irreplaceable one in the Church is the Holy Spirit, and Jesus is the Lord...There are no lifelong leaders in the Church."  

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Celebrating the 72nd anniversary of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glendale

02-10-2019From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Monday we will celebrate the 72nd anniversary of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glendale. Our first pastor was Fr. (later Msgr.) James McFadden. Of course we first celebrated mass at the Capilla of St. Joseph (now Our Lady of Guadalupe).  

What an incredible history we have, beginning with those Franciscan and Claritian fathers who came all the way out to Glendale from Phoenix to celebrate mass and later to help build the first capilla.   One thing I especially enjoy at OLPH is that so many of you are still here and active who remember our beginnings...or at least the early years. You still take such pride in what has been accomplished!  

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Charity and Development Appeal

02-03-2019From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Last week I announced that our diocese is celebrating our 50th anniversary all this year. We have seen tremendous growth and celebrated some wonderful events in those 50 years. Part of our success as a diocese is due to the Charity and Development Appeal (CDA).

This appeal has allowed us to lead the way in many ministries because it funds our diocesan offices that support parish ministries. It also helps fund the growth in our diocese through building and land purchases.

Next Sunday we will again enter our yearly CDA campaign. This year our goal is again, $64,000; last year we just missed our goal for the first time in a number of years (however, remember we were also in our Diocesan Evangelization Campaign at the same time).

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Complete My Joy

01-27-2019From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy, As we begin the year 2019 we also begin our celebration of the 50th anniversary of our diocese. Yes, we have 50 years of memories already! The entire year will have various celebrations culminating with a mass in December on the actual day of our anniversary. The theme for the year is: Remembering the Fidelity of Jesus.  

As part of our celebration Bishop Olmsted has released a new Apostolic Exhortation called "Complete My Joy". This was released on the feast of the Holy Family and Bishop Olmsted, writing to the people of our diocese, is lifting up the Catholic vision of the family. It is a powerful document and, like bishop's first letter: Into the Breach, this one is already receiving international reviews.  

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Jesus begins HIs public ministry

01-20-2019From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Last week I said we ended Christmas season with the baptism of the Lord, and that now Jesus begins his public ministry. The gospels all tell different stories of the beginning of his ministry; today we hear St. John the Apostle describing his first miracle at the wedding feast at Cana. How he began his ministry is not as important as the fact that it began after his baptism in the Jordan.  

For the rest of the year we will walk with Jesus listening to his teaching and observing his miracles and his great love for all people. Remember, I said we will walk with him. The question is: will you follow Jesus? Will you listen to his teaching every week or every day? Or, will you decide something else is more important?

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Baptism of the Lord

01-13-2019From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Today we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord; remember that it is not baby Jesus who is baptized. We celebrate Christmas until Jesus begins his ministry as an adult. This baptism is different than our baptism, it is not the forgiveness of sins since Jesus is without sin. This is more an acknowledgement of who Jesus is as Son of God as he begins his important ministry.

After today's feast we end Christmas season and begin "ordinary time." Of course, there is nothing "ordinary" about ordinary time. It is not "same old time" but it comes from the word "ordinal" which means counted time.

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My decision to retire

01-06-2019From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

As some of you know, I will celebrate my 70th birthday in July; this is the age at which priests of our diocese can retire. After much prayer and discernment I have asked Bishop Olmsted to allow me to retire as pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glendale and Bishop has accepted my request effective June 30, 2019.

I hope you understand that this was not an easy decision for me; I love this parish and all of you. I have truly enjoyed my years with you. However, I have been slowing down, both physically and mentally, over the past couple of years. I truly believe that it will be best for you for me to step aside and allow another priest to continue what we have begun.

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Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

12-30-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Next Tuesday is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God; it is a holy day of obligation. What is sad is that it is probably the least attended holy day of the year. Oh, I know, Monday night is New Year's Eve and there is a lot of partying, but Mary is our blessed Mother. She is also our patroness under her title of our Lady of Perpetual Help. How can we ignore her?

We will celebrate a vigil mass Monday evening at 5:30pm in English; what better way to welcome the New Year than with Mass. We will also have an English Mass at 10:00am on Tuesday and a Spanish Mass at 12:30pm. You can sleep in on Tuesday morning and still come to Mass!

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A very Merry Christmas to all of you

12-23-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

First of all, I wish a very Merry Christmas to all of you. This is such a wonderful time of year, full of family and friends. For some of us who have lost loved ones, it is also a difficult time. Please remember to pray for those who are missing loved ones or who are especially lonely at this time. God became one with us to remind us that we are all one family together.  

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Let us grow in Christ's mercy and love

12-16-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

We have just celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of all the Americas and patroness of our diocese. This is such an important celebration for many reasons. It might be important for all of us to reflect on the message our Blessed Mother brought to all of the Americas.

Advent season is a time to prepare ourselves to welcome the Lord when He comes again. Our Blessed Mother came to prepare the Americas to embrace our Lord through the Catholic Church in this new land. If we truly honor Our Lady of Guadalupe we must work with her and call our brothers and sisters back to Christ and away from hatred and division.  

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Thank you for your support to the Together Let Us Go Forth Campaign

12-09-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

I am sure some of you have seen men on the church roof, which means we are finally getting our roof fixed. This is because of your generosity to our diocesan campaign, Together Let Us Go Forth-Juntos Sigamos Adelante. We have already received our first check for our 35% of what you have given to the campaign. Thank you to all who have contributed.

I receive a report every month and I noticed some people who have pledged to the campaign have not yet begun to send their pledges to the diocese. If you are having a problem, please call the diocese or our office for help.

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Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebrations

12-02-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Now we begin the Holy Season of Advent; a time of preparation to celebrate the great gift of the Incarnation: God becoming one with us to show us the way to Him. Advent is a very busy time for all of us, not just because of preparing for Christmas, but also because of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  

This year there will be some changes in our Guadalupe celebrations. First, we cannot have a procession the last night of the novena. The city has been raising the price for a police escort every year; last year we asked for some relief and we were ignored. This year the cost is beyond what we can pay. Instead, our Grupo Guadalupano has scheduled some talks after the rosaries to help us grow in our understanding of the miracle of Tepeyac. Also, this year, I have asked Fr. Fernando Camou to celebrate the mass on the evening of the 12th of December.  

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