Celebratring 85 years of helping the most vulnerable

08-26-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Next month Catholic Charities Community Services-the charitable arm of the Diocese-is commemorating its 85th Anniversary by celebrating Catholic Charities Awareness Month. We will help them with bulletin articles and with our prayers at Mass.

Please take the time to read and learn about the incredible work they are doing in your name. I have served on the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities many years ago and I know what great work they do.

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Good news from the Diocese!

08-19-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

This is our last weekend with Gabriel, our summer seminarian. He will leave next week for a little vacation and then to Rome to continue his studies. Please thank him and remember him in prayer this year. We have been blessed this summer to again have seminarians with us.

Also, I received a letter this week from the diocese congratulating us on our successful campaign: Together Let us Go Forth -Juntos Sigamos Adelante. The letter also said that we would be receiving our first check for $24,000 this month. This will not be enough to start any of the work we promised, so we will put it into savings until we receive our next check in six months.

The amount we receive is based on actual base received by the diocese, so please continue with your monthly pledges. As you can see, it pays off for us here as well as in the diocese as a whole.

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What is a "Holy Moment?"

08-12-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

St. John Marie Vianney wrote, “My little children, reflect on these words: the Christian’s treasure is not on earth but in heaven. Our thoughts, then, ought to be directed to where our treasure is. This is the glorious duty of man: to pray and to love. If you pray and love, that is where a man’s happiness lies.”

I have read a new book by Matthew Kelly entitled: The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity. What is that lie? It is that you cannot be truly holy; holiness is impossible. He writes that no saint was always holy. The answer is what he calls “holy moments”. A holy moment is any time you are united with God; a moment of prayer, awareness of a beautiful sunset, a random act of love or kindness. My friends, we all have “holy moments” throughout our lives.

Think of how much better the world would be if all Christians tried to have more “ holy moments” each day! How about today? Let us all try to increase our “holy moments” one day at a time.

Pax,

Father Mike

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Let us join with Catholics around the country in the USCCB Call to Prayer

08-05-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

I received this from the USCCB:

Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, Archbishop of New York and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement on July 19, 2018, inviting all people of good will to join in a prayer campaign that the change in the U.S. Supreme Court will move our nation closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life.

“As soon as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, pro-abortion groups began lobbying the U.S. Senate to reject any nominee who does not promise to endorse Roe v. Wade. While the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops does not support or oppose the confirmation of any presidential nominee, we can and should raise grave concerns about a confirmation process which is being grossly distorted by efforts to subject judicial nominees to a litmus test of support for Roe v. Wade. We must pray.

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Let's Get Involved and Build our Parish Family

07-29-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over! Well, for the parish anyway. I know it doesn’t feel like summer is over: it’s still hot! However, next Wednesday is August 1. On Tuesday, our school teachers return, and school starts August 7. Also, our new Youth Minister, Julie MacDonnell will arrive August 1 and our new priest, Fr. Miguel will be here August 17. So as you can see, the year begins quickly.

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We have good news!

07-22-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

We have good news! The diocese has reached its goal for the Charity and Development Appeal (CDA)! While our parish did not reach our goal, we were also in the diocesan evangelization campaign at the same time, so I did not think we would reach our goal this year, but we did great. We contributed over $50,000 to the CDA!

And speaking of the evangelization campaign, we have reached 88% of our goal of over one million dollars! And we have more pledges coming in. So far, our total is over $900,000! Remember that we get 1/3 of that back as contributions are received by the diocese.

I am always amazed at the generosity and faith of our parish community.

Pax,

Fr. Mike

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What a blessing to have seminarians with us this summer

07-15-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

It is such a blessing to have seminarians with us again this summer. Usually we do not have room for them but this summer they are staying in the convent since the sisters have left. We rejoice that they have committed to discern god’s call for their life. Sometimes, that means giving up their own dreams to follow God’s call.

What about your call? All of us are called by our baptism to a life of ministry and following our Lord. Sometimes, that also means for us that we give up some of our dreams.

The call of every baptized Christian is to mission. We are called to evangelize those in our families, our work places, and our neighbors. We are called to be signs of God’s presence in the world by all we say and do. We are also called to live as community, not primarily as individuals. We are called to live “we over me”.

May our seminarians this summer be a reminder that all of us must be discerning God’s call in our lives.

Pax,

Father Mike

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We can reach our goal if we all participate

07-08-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

We are still participating in the Diocesan Evangelization Campaign: Together Let Us Go Forth, Juntos Sigamos Adelante. During the month of June we slowed down our efforts because of important parish events: Fr. John Nahrgang’s ordination and first mass, and the departure of Fr. Ryan.

I would like to wind up our campaign this month if possible. Please, if you have not filled out a pledge form it is important to do so now. Even if you cannot participate or pledge, please fill out the form. They are available in the vestibule of the church. Your participation in responding lets the diocese know that we have contacted you.

As I said in the beginning, if we all participate, even a little, we can reach our goal. Also, remember the 1/3 of what you give comes back to the parish allowing us to make some important improvements and upgrades in our facilities.

Thank you,

Father Mike

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Taking our Youth Ministry to a higher level

07-01-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

I am happy to announce that we have hired Julie MacConnell as our new Youth Minister.  Julie will begin Aug 1.  She is a  graduate of Franciscan University at Steubenville majoring in Theology and Youth Ministry.  I am sure she will be a great asset to our parish ministry team.

Julie came out here for interviews and met with our Core Team in youth ministry.  Everyone who met her felt she would be able to take our Youth Ministry to a higher level.  She is outgoing and loves working with youth.

I want to thank our Core Team who is keeping our Youth Ministry active during the summer months until Julie arrives.

Peace,

Father Mike

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We can finally announce our new parocial vicar

06-24-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

I know it has been a long wait, but we can finally announce our new parochial vicar (associate pastor):  Father Miguel Noyola. Father Miguel is from Guatemala. He has been a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy    Trinity, but wants to join our diocese. Because he was a member of a religious congregation it took a little longer to get the official notice.

Father Miguel has been working at Most Holy Trinity parish here in Phoenix, and he has occasionally helped us with Spanish masses at the Capilla. He will arrive here on Aug 17.

I know you will welcome him; he is very excited to be with us.

Pax,
Father Mike

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Saying “Adiós” to Father Ryan

06-17-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Next weekend we will say, “Adios” to Fr. Ryan; he will celebrate his last Masses with us at the English Masses.  Of course, he will be missed greatly. It is such a privilege to have newly ordained priests with us as they bring so  much new thinking to our parish. Fr. Ryan will especially be missed at the school, where the younger children enjoyed his magic tricks so much.

Fr. Paul Sullivan recently said that he thinks I have had more newly ordained priests than any other pastor, not just at OLPH, but throughout my time as pastor. For me, the newly ordained help to keep me up to date on theology and what is being taught to our new priests; yes, they are a little more work at times but always worth it. For the parish, they help us to better understand our Catholic faith: some are more traditional than others, some more liturgical and others bring different gifts. All are faithful Catholic priests and help us become better Catholics ourselves.

Please take the time to thank Fr. Ryan for all he has brought to us.

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Ordination of Deacon John Nahrgang to the Priesthood

06-10-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

It is hard to believe but the day has arrived!  Next Saturday Deacon John Nahrgang will be ordained to the Catholic priesthood, and on Sunday he will celebrate his first Mass here at Our Lady of Perpetual Help at 10:30am. Of course all are invited to both of these special events.

You may remember that when John joined our diocese a few years ago, he was assigned here to OLPH.  He lived in the rectory and worked for a number of months before leaving for the seminary.  He has been faithful to come “home” to visit during vacation times, so many of you have gotten to know him well.

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Be holy, for I am holy

06-03-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

It is hard to believe, but Monday I will celebrate my 35th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. Where has all the time gone? I can truthfully say it has been a joy to serve here in the diocese of Phoenix. My first Mass fell on the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of the Lord. What a great day to celebrate Mass for the first time! I remember that day well.

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