What kind of love does God require?

02-24-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Most of us like to hear of how loving God is toward us. We take comfort in knowing that His mercies are new every morning and His loving kindness has no end. We hope God will not judge us according to the wrongs we have done and will forgive us all our sins. And yet, we find this same kind of love nearly impossible to live even with those in our own house!

What kind of love does God require? God's love does not judge our brother's heart even though we may find his actions despicable. God's love forgives and gives repeatedly, expecting nothing in return. His love thinks of good things to do for his enemies and then does them.

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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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Jesus' Path to Happiness

02-17-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Have you heard preachers on television or at a non-Catholic Church preaching another Gospel? A Gospel without the cross of Christ is a false Gospel. If someone promises that their "ministry" will make you happy, healthy and wealthy remember the words of Jesus in today's gospel.

Jesus tells us that the poor, the hungry, the weeping and the hated are the blessed or happy ones. Jesus comes to suffer because we suffer. He comes to die because we die. He identifies himself with the worst among us to show us that true happiness is only found when we give ourselves away, most especially for those who don't deserve it.

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Unclean Lips

02-10-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

"I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips", the prophet, Jeremiah humbly prays. What about us? What does it mean to have unclean lips? When we tell lies to get what we want, when we speak badly about a family member, friend, or even a stranger, when we use hateful words as weapons to hurt someone with whom we disagree we misuse the gifts God gave us. God made our lips and gave us the gift of speech to speak words of faith, hope, and love.

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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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Treasures of the Faith

02-03-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

In the early days of February we have left behind the joyful celebration of Christmas, and we may even be struggling to remember the hopes and resolutions of the New Year. But we've not yet entered the penitential season of Lent. In this "in-between" time gratitude can help awaken us to the many gifts which surround us.  

As a convert to the Catholic faith, I am sometimes astounded at the casual "meh" attitude some lifelong Catholics have toward the treasures of our faith. It reminds me of a child who has grown up in a castle surrounded by priceless treasures, but has no idea of their value. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one such treasure. Where else can a Christian go and hear the inestimable words, "I absolve you of your sins. . ."?  

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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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Listening to God's Word

01-27-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

When the sacred scriptures are read at Mass the men, the women and all the children who are old enough to understand are to listen and pay very close attention, as if God himself is speaking. This is especially true when the Gospel is read by the deacon or priest. We stand "at attention" to receive the Word of Life. When you are at Mass do you and your family listen closely to the readings? Are you training your children to pay close attention by asking them afterward what they heard from the scripture?  

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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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Glory

01-20-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

"God has called us through the Gospel to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." It's easy to miss this one sentence in the Mass for today tucked away between our sung Alleluias before the reading of the Gospel. But what a powerful claim it makes!

Glory, according to Google's online dictionary has two meanings: 1. high renown or honor won by notable achievements. 2. magnificence or great beauty.  

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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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Holy, Spirit Stir up the faith given to us at Baptism

01-13-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Have you ever wondered what it was like to see the Holy Spirit in bodily form come down and land on Jesus? Can you imagine hearing the voice from heaven? The scripture gives us very little information here. A pure white dove? Did it land and then just fly away again? What about the voice? Was it a booming loud voice or a gentle whisper? And do you think the people who witnessed this were changed by what they heard and saw that day? Our analytical brains think if we have more information, we can understand. The scriptures don't give us the facts our modern minds crave.

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Baptism of the Lord

01-13-2019Weekly Reflection

Think of what it's like to wait a long time. Can you imagine what it would be like to wait for centuries? No one person lives that long, of course. But for the Israelites, they had heard the stories from generation to generation. They had been conquered time and time again, and now "the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ."

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Epiphany

01-06-2019Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Jesus makes his presence known to us in diverse ways. The poor shepherds were privileged to witness an army of angels announcing the Good News of the Savior's birth. They never forgot the praises of the angels. I sometimes wonder at how much poorer our worship would be on Sundays if the Shepherds had not told others about the angels praises, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace..."

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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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Epiphany of the Lord

01-06-2019Weekly Reflection

"Behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying 'Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.'" How strange to journey so far for perhaps so little. Of course the magi go to the capitol city. Of course they entreat with King Herod. Of course this is where they expect newborn royalty to be. But where is the child? "In Bethlehem of Judea," the scribes say. And so the magi go on to what is yet another Christmas miracle.  

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