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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Jesus is Always Calling Us to Him

07-29-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Jesus is always calling us to come to Him. He knows our coming to Him is the only way we can find rest from the burden of trying to do things on our own. How quickly we forget that He truly is everything we need! When we worry, like the disciples in today’s gospel about “how” we will get what we need. Jesus reminds us “where” we must go – to Him.

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Judas or Saint Dismas

07-22-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

Adam and Judas were too proud to ask for forgiveness; neither have an honorable place in scriptural history. In contrast, the penitent woman, filled with humble sorrow for her sins, publically washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair, acknowledging her sinfulness. At the crucifixion, the good thief, St. Dismas, admitted Jesus’ goodness and his own wrongdoing and Jesus promised he would enter paradise that very day.

We all sin, make mistakes, do wrong in varying degrees. Accepting the fact we are sinners is the first step to realizing we must learn how to say we are sorry, first to God and then to our spouse, immediately after we have offended. Saying, “I don’t apologize” is like bragging, “I am like Judas.” Jesus is a humble God. He is our model. We look to Him and try to behave as He taught us. Pride is one of the seven deadly sins while humility is one of the great virtues. Jesus taught the importance of asking and receiving forgiveness when He instituted the sacrament
of reconciliation saying to the Apostles, “Whose sins you shall forgive will be forgiven, whose sins you shall retain shall be retained” (Jn. 20:23). What an incredible gift of love to hear the Priest say, “I absolve you from your sins.”

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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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Come away and rest awhile

07-22-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile.” The words sound comforting, almost dreamy. But according to today’s Gospel, Jesus and his disciples found people waiting for them in the place they had hoped to rest. The demands of love came first. Is Jesus showing us a different kind of rest?

For years, I imagined the ideal vacation to be lounging on a tropical beach sipping a cold drink and enjoying the view. However, in God’s kingdom, resting isn’t a selfindulgent “doing nothing”. We rest in and with the Lord, even if it means more work.

My husband and I recently met up with our daughter, son-in-law, and their seven children for a family vacation. A couple of family friends joined in, making a grand total of 13 people in one house. We were NOT idle.

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The work of His kingdom in and through men

07-15-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

So often people try to excuse themselves from obeying the Church’s teaching by claiming that they and their friends or family are “better” than the priest who will not allow someone who does not attend Sunday Mass or is not married in the Church to be their child’s sponsor. The truth is, no matter how good we are, we cannot excuse ourselves from obedience to the authority God has given us in his Church.

In today’s Gospel Jesus commissions twelve very human Apostles. Jesus shares His authority with the men He calls. It was always Jesus’ plan to build a human Church and give it His own divine power. The Twelve “drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.” We can see in these words how Jesus gave his priests the Sacrament of Anointing in the Church. Two thousand years later, Jesus is still doing the work of His kingdom in and through men, the priests of His Church. Ordinary human beings are doing extraordinary divine work among us. The world wants to tell us that God cannot use human beings to do his work. But we know better. Our priests give us Jesus’ own Body and Blood every Sunday.

Lord Jesus, thank You for calling men in every age to do Your work in our world, to be Your presence here.

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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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Divine Medicine

07-15-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

Anger is one of the seven deadly sins. God warned Cain that his anger was like a controllingdemon: “Sin is a demon lurking at the door. It wants to rule you but you can be his master”(Gen. 4:7). Cain ignored God and killed his brother. Anger is deadly, resulting in a loss of emotional controland a sin against the gift of love. Some people justify their anger saying, “Jesus got angry at the money changers in the temple so anger is OK.” Well, Jesus is God and we are not.

Therapy can explore the reasons for anger but can’tchange anger. Deadly sins contain demons. Jesus, the Divine Physician, knows how to handle them and thedeadly sins that attack His children. Jesus gave His Church, through the Apostles, tools and medicine toprotect and inoculate His children from all deadly sins with the words, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive will be forgiven, whose sins you shall retained will be retained” (John 20:23). Only Jesus’ sacramental grace has the power to heal the soul from deadly sin with the medicine of sacramental reconciliation. Frequent anger means frequent reconciliation; keeping a log for reporting the outbursts will assist when in reconciliation. It may take time but eventually the “lurking demon” will be subdued to a memory. If tested in the future, immediately return to reconciliation as only the Divine Physician has the grace to handle deadly sin.

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More Than One Flesh

07-08-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

Marriage is for sanctification but is hard work. “That is why a man is to leave his father and mother and cling to his wife and the two will be of one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). Scripture also says that the Christians in the early Church were, “Of one heart and one mind” (Acts.4:32) in baptism and the Holy Spirit, dedicated to living the gospel message taught by the Apostles. In a sacramental marriage, we are one in mind, heart, body, and spirit as we are baptized into His family, submissive to Christ and His teachings and are on the same mission to glorify the Father and go to heaven. The world, the flesh, and the devil are opposed to our commitment to holiness. The opposition works hard to keep us off balance, distracted and angry at our spouse, frustrated by finances, discouraged by children, too busy to think and too tired to care. Prayer, service, and obedience to the Father’s will is the process of sanctification. Exhaustion, frustration, and discouragement can be human by-products of the process. Never forget
holiness in marriage is hard work.

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Too Human

07-08-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Why did the people from Jesus’ own town find it so difficult to believe in Him? They could not imagine that someone who had grown up with them could be anyone special in God’s plan. He seemed way too human to
them.

Yet, only a human could be the One to bring us into relationship with God. Our hard hearts resist this idea. We believe the devil’s lie that we are weak, fickle, and not to be trusted. But, God knows us better. He made us in His
own image and likeness and destined us for fellowship with the Blessed Trinity. Imagine the devil’s shock when he discovered that God would undo His enemy’s work through a woman and her Son. Through flesh and blood. Through the carpenter of Nazareth.

We face this human tendency to reject human salvation through human beings in our own day. So many people
are scandalized that God would use a mere man, a priest, to bring us his Body and Blood. How could God work
out His miraculous plan of redemption through us? Can God use my very human spouse to help me grow in holiness? My human children? My human co-workers? Let us take today’s Gospel warning seriously. We do not
want Jesus to be amazed by our lack of faith.

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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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Faith

07-01-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

In today’s Gospel Jesus performs one of his most astounding miracles. A twelve-year-old girl dies, but then comes back to life at Jesus’ command. Only Jesus’ closest disciples were welcomed into the sick room to witness this miracle.

Do you sometimes imagine that if you had lived in Israel during the time when Jesus walked on earth you would have fewer doubts and more faith? There is zero evidence that the people who lived in Jesus’ day had more faith in him because of what they witnessed. Instead, scripture makes it clear that those who believed were the exception.

Today we have more to help us believe than people have had at any other time in the history of the world. We know all of Salvation History as recorded in Sacred Scripture. We have credible stories of the lives of thousands of saints who have gone before us. We are even fed at each Mass by God’s own body and blood in the person of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Maybe it’s not so much that we need more faith, we just need to put into practice the faith we’ve been given. When we do, we too will experience astounding miracles.

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God Sees All

07-01-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

Jesus placed a child in their midst and said, “Whoever welcomes a child such as this welcomes me” (Mat. 18:5). A culture that does not welcome children is a culture that does not welcome Jesus. To accept Jesus, one must be open to life. Every human life is created “In God’s image and likeness” (Gen. 1:2). God’s greatest blessing to couples is fruitfulness, allowing them to co- create with Him to conceive and bring new life into the world.

The evil one has seduced our anti-love, anti-life, toxic culture into blindly rejecting two of the special gifts exclusive to married couples: holy sacramental marriage and the fruitfulness of the “Divine Image.” People accept the false concept of “privacy” forgetting The Creator, Almighty God, is ever present to His creation as He sees and knows all. “The word of God is alive and active; it judges the desires and the thoughts of man’s heart. There is nothing that can be hid from God: everything in creation is exposed and lies open before His eyes. And it is to Him that we must all give an account of ourselves” (Heb. 4:12).

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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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