I have told you often how thankful I am to the Holy Spirit and to Bishop Olmsted for calling me to be pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glendale. It has truly been an honor and a joy to serve you and to work with you to build up the Body of Christ here in the West Valley.
There are more people to thank than I can possibly remember, and I risk missing someone if I start naming names. Of course, to our great and devoted staff, and to all the volunteers who make pastoring here so easy and such a joy: THANK YOU! The friendship all of you have shared has strengthened me tremendously.READ MORE
One of the clearest ways we can express our love for God and all He has done for us is to love our neighbor. So, if we find a desire in our hearts to follow Jesus wherever He leads, we can count on Him to lead us into loving those around us.
In what ways is God calling you to love those around you?
Is he calling you to become a catechist and accompany children on their journey of faith?
Our Parish Catechists:READ MORE
As we celebrate the Solemnity of Corpus Christi I was reminded of a reading from the liturgical Office of Readings a couple of weeks ago. First we read the third letter of the apostle John, and then from a sixth century African author; he writes:
“...As individual men who received the Holy Spirit in those days could speak in all kinds of tongues, so today the Church, united by the Holy Spirit, speaks in the language of every people.”READ MORE
Jesus tells the apostles, “Give them some food yourselves.” This must have seemed outrageously impossible to them. Did any of them silently wonder why Jesus expected that they could feed all those people? They were just ordinary men; he was the miracle worker.
But Jesus wanted to work through the apostles. He still wants to work through his apostles today. At every Mass, priests collaborate with him in offering us food for our hungry souls.
The twelve wicker baskets of leftovers are a sign of God’s superabundance in filling the needs of not just his followers, but of all the people. The miraculous meal he left the Church is meant to satisfy the hunger of the whole world, too, even those beyond the walls of church buildings. God always calls human beings to work with him.READ MORE
I was recently at a Presbyteral Council meeting and we were given an update on the Diocesan Evangelization Campaign, Together Let Us Go Forth; Junto Sigamos Adelante. Although campaign numbers are still confidential until the campaign ends in January we are able to let you know how we are using your donations.
Of course, our new high school, St. John Paul II, is now open and running; work continues to make it ready to be a fully operating high school with fields, gyms, and everything needed. Our new seminary, Nazareth House, will be open in August. This will allow our seminarians to stay in Phoenix for the first two years of college seminary. It will be a bonus to have seminarians here and it will save us money. The first meeting to discuss renovation of the Newman Center at NAU has been held. Of course, here at OLPH, we have finally fixed our church roof so that it does not leak in major rains.READ MORE
Trinity Sunday is an excellent time to reflect on our families and the Sign of the Cross. The act of reverently tracing a cross over ourselves with great love for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is an easily overlooked teaching that every adult can give to the children in their lives. Every time we prayerfully cross ourselves, our humble gesture contains the Mystery of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit whose communion of love keeps all things in existence. What a privilege to be able to repeat it again and again in the presence of our little ones! What an ingenious way Mother Church gives us to root the identity of each beloved child in the love of the Holy Trinity!
This week find time to help a child in your life discover or rediscover the beautiful prayer of the Sign of the Cross.READ MORE
If God is one, how can He be three? The most intelligent theologians have racked their brains over the problem, and the most prayerful ones have surrendered to the mystery. How it can be, we can't explain. But what it means, we can join! Our God is an ever-unfolding relationship. Theologians speak of the immanent and economic Trinity. The Trinity is immanent in the sense that the Persons are close and entirely sufficient within Godself. In other words, God doesn't require us for God to exist. The word economic is rooted in the Greek word for management of a household or family. The Trinity is economic in the sense that God has invited us to be part of Him. He's growing the family! We see the dynamic here in today's Gospel.READ MORE
As we celebrate the joyful Feast of Pentecost, let us invite the life-giving breath of the Holy Spirit to reanimate us, to fan into flame the fire of God’s love in our hearts and in our families, and to make us ONE.
As he faced his passion Jesus’ prayer was for unity in his Church: “I…pray…that they may all be one… so that the world may believe that You have sent Me” (Jn 17:20-21).
Pentecost is the answer to Jesus’ prayer. God sent His breath, the Holy Spirit, to create supernatural unity. The first converts experienced it immediately, it is still a sign that the Holy Spirit is with his Church, 2000 years later.READ MORE
"God is always more." Have you ever heard that? If we truly believe that He is infinite, then this statement is worth exploring. Today, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit in power upon the early Church. But Pentecost wasn't the first time the disciples received the Holy Spirit. The Gospel actually occurs chronologically before Pentecost. Soon after the Resurrection, Jesus already "came and stood in their [the disciples'] midst... he breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'"READ MORE
At every Sunday Mass we confess our faith by reciting the Nicene Creed. Today our celebration of the Ascension focuses on these words: “he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.”
Just before he ascended into Heaven, Jesus promised to send us the Holy Spirit.
Both the Nicene Creed and the Mass teach us that the Holy Spirit’s dynamic presence makes it possible for Jesus to remain with us.
The same Holy Spirit that overshadows Mary when Jesus is conceived in her womb is called down by the priest to overshadow the elements of bread and wine at each Mass and make Jesus present for us!READ MORE
Saturday morning our new Parochial Vicar (Associate Pastor) Father Christopher Gossen was ordained to the priesthood. Unfortunately I could not attend since I am in Mexico with some of our 8th grade graduates. What is important to know is that Bishop Olmsted has assigned Father Gossen to OLPH.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glendale has been the first home for many newly ordained priests in our diocese. Not just Bishop Olmsted, but other bishops as well have understood what a great parish this is for a new priest. This is because of your great love for your priests, yes, and your patience.READ MORE
Recently I was invited to a meeting of religious leaders in our city by Mayor Weirs. He wanted to discuss the problem of homelessness in our city and how it affected our communities. He also wanted to introduce a new program in Glendale called Family Promise.
Family Promise was already familiar to me as we have signed up to be a sponsoring parish, after discussing the issue with our Parish Council and with our staff. Family Promise is designed to help homeless families (not individuals) to move out of the pit of homelessness. It is a national program and very successful; I know of it because many Catholic parishes on the east side of town are involved.READ MORE
“And now I have told you this before it happens so that when it happens you may believe.”
Jesus makes a point of telling his disciples why he has told them about the gift of the Holy Spirit. He longs for them to understand that His Father has a good plan and that the gift of the Holy Spirit is a part of that plan. Recently 150 people were sealed with the same gift of the Holy Spirit at three separate Confirmation Masses.
Is this just a beautiful ceremony that we as Catholics celebrate, or do we believe the Holy Spirit empowers us to live in freedom and truth? How does the Holy Spirit living in us make a difference in the way we spend our time? Our money? In the way we love?READ MORE
Last weekend we celebrated Mother’s Day. Many little children made special cards or even a gift for their mother. It is one of the biggest days in the restaurant business...you take mom to dinner so she doesn’t need to cook that day. At mass I often see mothers with flowers and they are often more dressed up. Yes, it is a special day.
After my mother died, this day felt a little different; I mean, do I go to the cemetery to visit her? Do I sit and remember all of those memories, feeling either sad or thankful? How do I celebrate Mother’s Day when my mother has died? Or, do I just go on my regular way and ignore the day? It was a little sad and confusing for a while, not just on Mother’s Day but every day.READ MORE
The “glory” of God is that even in the human circumstances that seem empty of His presence and care, God is at work to reveal His love for sinners – to shine forth his love in all its brightness and power.
Jesus spoke about a “new” commandment of love. The Jews had already been taught to love their neighbors as themselves (see Lev 19:18). What is “new” in Jesus’ teaching?
Now God’s people are to love others as Jesus loved us—laying down His life for people who don’t deserve it. We are the people who don’t deserve it, yet he still loves us. The presence of Jesus’ love in us is how all will know that we are His disciples.READ MORE
Please remember to pray for our 8th grade graduates as we are getting close to graduation; the Baccalaureate Mass will be next Sunday at 10:30 am. Also, please pray for all of our parish students who are graduating or moving on in their lives.
Father Miguel will be on vacation for the next two weeks, but Father Ernesto, your new pastor, will be around much of the time. We have not put Father Ernesto on the mass schedule but I am sure you will see him and have a chance to greet him.
Father MikeREAD MORE
Are we willing to think of ourselves as sheep? If we want the benefits of the Good Shepherd’s care, we must be like sheep who “hear” and “follow” the voice of their shepherd.
Sheep depend entirely on the shepherd’s care. They cannot meet their own needs. But they recognize their shepherd’s voice and follow where he leads. When they “hear” and “follow” all their needs are met and they are safe from predators.READ MORE
Let me first ask for your prayers. The priests of our diocese will be on convocation next week, a very important time for us. This also means that our mass schedule will change so watch the bulletin or the website carefully. Also, we enter that time to celebrate Confirmation and First Holy Communion, please remember to pray for our candidates during the next two weeks.READ MORE
Are you like Peter? I know I am. I say “yes” without understanding what it really means. When following Jesus means I have to die to my own ideas or when I feel threatened, I wimp out.
Jesus knows Peter better than Peter knows himself. He doesn’t reprimand him for his denials. Mercifully, Jesus finds Peter and renews his relationship of love with him. He draws out from Peter three declarations of love rendering powerless his three former denials. Then he reminds him of his mission.READ MORE