Our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe

11-25-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

"Hail the King of the Jews." The kingship of Christ has always been different than the world expected.

Many of Jesus' disciples hoped for an earthly Messiah who would overthrow the Romans. But, as Jesus says in today's Gospel, his kingdom is "not of this world." And yet it is a very real kingdom. Jesus is a very real Lord. And we are called to invite Jesus to be king of our lives. In the early 20th century, disillusionment with authority of all kinds was growing.


Let us welcome Bishop Wall

11-18-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley


Next weekend Bishop James Wall of the Diocese of Gallup will be with us. As many of you will remember, Bishop Wall, before he was named a bishop, was a priest from our diocese and was the administrator of our parish for a number of months. In fact, our altar server program is a result of his time with us.

When he was a seminarian, Bishop Wall spent 7 months with me as an intern at St. Gregory parish when I was pastor. He is a good friend and a good shepherd.


Thanksgiving is more than food and football

11-11-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley


As most of our country prepares to celebrate the feast of Thanksgiving, my prayer is that they remember that thanksgiving is more than food and football. In fact, for us Catholics, every Sunday...every day is a thanksgiving day because the work Eucharist means "thanksgiving". Yes, we give "thanks" to our God every day for the many blessings we receive.  


Donate to CEA and support our students

11-01-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy, I know this is such a busy time of year for everyone, but it is also time for me to remind you about Catholic Education Arizona. This scholarship program for our students cost you nothing to donate except time. What you are doing is directing a portion of your state tax liability to CEA to support our students.

I always say this is too good to be true. Rather than the legislators deciding what to do with your taxes, you can have a say by donating to CEA. What is best is that you get back what you donate up to your tax liability. Some people say, "But I don't pay state tax, I get a refund." Your refund is the amount you paid into the state from your pay check, minus your tax liability. You can increase your refund by donating to CEA.


Six men being ordained to the Permanent Diaconate

10-28-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy, This weekend we are celebrating our Family Unity Festival and next weekend we have another important celebration: Martin Gallo will be ordained a permanent deacon by Bishop Olmsted on Saturday, November 3rd, at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral.

The celebration begins Friday evening with Solemn Vespers at 6:00pm at St. Thomas the Apostle parish in Phoenix. Then on Saturday at 10:00am is the ordination of six men from our diocese to the permanent diaconate. All are invited to attend this beautiful liturgy.


Stewards of Anger

10-21-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy, I think we all can agree that right now we are living in an angry culture. Whether it is drivers on the road, the news we watch, and in an election year the campaign talk we must listen to, everywhere it seems there is anger and hatred.

Bishop Olmsted has recently been talking about our role as Catholics as Stewards of Anger...yes, stewards of anger. Anger is not simply bad, it can remind us of evil and wrong in our world. But we must be good stewards of our anger, not feeding more hatred by our actions, but working to right the wrongs.


Parish Unity Festival

10-14-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy, Yes, it is October and I have to tell you that I am excited. In two weeks we will celebrate our Parish Unity Festival...and this year I will be there! The past couple of years our festival has been scheduled when I am in Mexico, but not this year. As you can tell I have missed this wonderful celebration with you all.  

Of course, there will be food and rides, and food and games, and food and dancing...and did I mention FOOD! It is so much fun to walk through the ride area and see our children's faces as they run from one ride to another. Also, it is great because many of our school graduates and many former parishioners come to celebrate with us.


Online Giving

10-07-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley


Many of you have requested that we begin Online Giving here at OLPH. Many parishes have successfully used this convenient way for you to make your contributions to the parish. We have researched a number of companies and have decided to begin this month. More information will be available soon.

Giving online allows you to have your donation deducted every month from your checking account, or you can have it added to your credit card (if you collect points this can be an advantage). You do not have to remember to bring your envelope every Sunday and it helps us to budget better for the parish. Also, we save money because we do not have to send you envelopes. Finally, you can plan your tithing, which is better stewardship of God's blessing to you.


Please consider giving to Catholic Education Arizona

09-30-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley


Oh my gosh, it is almost October already! Of course, the next three months are very busy for most of us. Before we get too involved in holiday preparations and school activities, including our parish Unity Festival, I want to remind you to consider giving to Catholic Education Arizona.

Our state is a leader in the tax credit program, and we can be proud of that. Donating to CEA, or any tuitions program is a direct credit on you tax liability to the state. If you are working, money is taken out of your check for your state taxes; you can get a refund up to the amount you give to tax credit organizations. You can give to different organizations. Public schools have organizations to help pay for special programs that are not part of the normal school curriculum. This is a great help to public schools as well.


Thank you for your generosity

09-23-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley


I want to again thank you for your generous contributions to the Together Let Us Go forth Campaign -Juntos Sigamos Adelante. Every week we receive pledge money and I know many of you send directly to the diocese. As I told you last month, we have already received our first check for our portion of your contributions totaling $24,000. Of course, we put that into savings until we receive enough to start fixing what we promised.


FORMED: Adult Faith Formation

09-16-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley


Last week I reminded parents of their baptismal responsibility to bring their children up in the Catholic faith. I would add that this also applies to grandparents and godparents. I said that we as a parish community will help with that responsibility by providing programs for adults to grow in their faith as well as programs for children and teens.

One of the ways we try to help is by enrolling in the program called FORMED. We have recently renewed our parish subscription based on the feedback we have received from those who are using it.


Religious Education Programs Begin This Week

09-09-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley


This weekend our Religious education program begins and Tuesday our Jr. High Youth Group will start with our new Youth Minister, Julie McConnell. Of course, that also means that Wednesday our High School program begins. It is that time of year that many of our programs for adults will also be starting up if they have not started already. It is a busy time.


Cherished Friendship

09-02-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley


My good friend, Fr. Bob Binta, died recently: he was only 56 years old. He had asked me to preach at his funeral. As I was preparing I was reflecting on what a great friend he was to me, and how I had taken that for granted.

Actually, I began thinking of all of the wonderful friends I have had throughout my life and how I just assumed I would always have friends. I have even been blessed with a wonderful family.