Dear OLPH parishioners,
As we are heading to a new revival at our parish, please consider making a difference by volunteering at our parish. We are in need of many volunteers. Homebound, hospitality, lectors, sacristy volunteers. So if you think you can make the difference in people’s lives we will be glad to have you.
We are excited to begin the month of October with more fun activities. Do you have a pet? Then this message is for you. We are happy to share with you that here at our parish we will be doing the blessing of animals. Isn’t that cool? We will be blessing our little animalitos so if you own one, come over, or bring your children or grandchildren to experience this beautiful event. Just make sure that your pet is properly cared for safety reasons so bring your leash and the pet waste bags. For every donation over 5 dollars, you will receive a free booklet with a beautiful story about the importance of taking care of God’s animals. When is this blessing? This upcoming Saturday, October 5th at 10: 00 am here at the Parish school basketball court. This event is held to foster unity among our parishioners so don’t miss it. By the way, if you bring a snake, please stay away from the hamsters. :DREAD MORE
Sundays from 10:00 to Noon a few hundred people, including men, women, teens and children can be found in our school classrooms studying the scriptures and our Catholic faith.
About 40 catechists and aides volunteer their time to accompany the families as they prepare to receive their Sacraments.
90 parishioners participated in a recent fundraiser. They decorated prayer rocks to help them remember to pray for someone dear to them. Proceeds will go to landscape and beautify the front of our church.READ MORE
Compartmentalization or consistency? In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus tells a strange story of a sneaky, savvy steward that raises questions about our personal virtue. “How much do you owe? Here is your promissory note, write one for eighty.” This parable isn’t advice for money management. Historically, there were many positions that acted on behalf of their masters regarding money, like customs agents, household stewards, and tax collectors. Often these workers over-charged and skimmed off the top.
Usurious practices like this were not in line with the traditional Jewish understanding of money lending, which strictly forbade them from to taking interest or making a profit off of their own people. As the steward reduced the debt, he was likely writing out the amount he originally intended to take for himself. Before the steward can be commended, he needs to right the wrong done.READ MORE
The Pharisees did not believe their love for money was a problem. They thought their money was a sign that God was pleased with them. They deceived themselves into thinking they were putting God first because they tossed a few coins to beggars.
Are we like that too? Do we fool ourselves into thinking we love God most of all while we pour all our energy and time into thoughts about money or the things we can buy with it?
God does want us to provide for our families, but he does not want us to allow material goods or anything at all to take first place in our hearts. He must be first!READ MORE
“Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain…” In this Sunday’s Gospel, we learn the context for the forthcoming parables about the lost and found. A great mixed crowd surrounds Jesus. The religious elite are present, along with all manner of local lowlifes. The Pharisees seem a bit upset that this wasn’t the lecture series they were hoping for. Why would Jesus welcome sinners?
Jesus responds as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world. “Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep … rejoice because I have found the coin that I lost … let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine … was lost, and has been found!” Each of the parables features a dramatic example. Of 99 sheep, one has gone astray. Of 10 coins, one has gone missing. The welcomed son has previously been a covetous scoundrel. Jesus’ point to the Pharisees is clear. If the Gospel really is “good news,” if our faith really has the power to save, why wouldn’t we want everyone drawing near? Why wouldn’t we do everything in our power to eke out that possibility for every single person, no matter where they have wandered? After all, if this message is not of value to everyone, why is it of value to anyone?READ MORE
The love and mercy of God demonstrated in the parables defies logic. No shepherd, then or now, would leave 99 healthy sheep in the wilderness and search for one lost one.
A father would risk his good reputation with the rest of the family if he threw a party to celebrate a son who had squandered his inheritance with prostitutes.
Yet these stories describe perfectly the extravagant, over-whelming, infinite love God lavishes on his children, especially those most in need of his mercy.
To paraphrase a popular Christian song:READ MORE
Do you ever wonder why Jesus made it so hard and unappealing to follow Him? His words to his followers don’t seem to us like the best way to start a movement. However, God’s ways are not our ways.
Sometimes you might also wonder why the Church makes it so hard to arrange for a baptism, a first holy communion or the Sacrament of Matrimony. Maybe it will help to remember we’re not simply trying to arrange for a nice ceremony. Each Sacrament is nothing less than a radical choice to follow Christ with all his hard to understand demands.
To live the life of radical discipleship the way Jesus describes it will mean we need the help of the Holy Spirit. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit has been sent to help us live up to the demands of Christ and his Church.READ MORE
It’s said that upon reading the Gospels, Gandhi commented that he very much liked Jesus Christ. It was Christ’s followers he found troublesome. One wonders who Gandhi had met and if these Christians had truly counted the cost of their faith. Following Jesus, really following Jesus, is much more challenging than we may think. He emphasizes this with strong language in this Sunday’s Gospel. He compares discipleship to the carrying of one’s own execution device — “his own cross” — and for the need even to “hate” what could disrupt one’s commitment. Some of this is standard hyperbole, exaggeration for effect common to the time period. Some of this should make us wonder how deep our discipleship goes.READ MORE
At a recent retreat in Prescott, I had the luxury of lying on the ground in the grass under a tall tree. Looking up at the green leaves against the blue sky, my senses intensified, and I breathed deeply the fragrance of the rich dark soil (humus) beneath me. My heart expanded with humble gratitude for the gift of being alive on planet earth.
The common thread in today’s readings is humility. The words humility, humus, and human are all connected to the same root word which means dust or earth.
As we contemplate God’s love for us, let’s pray for the gift of humility, for the grace to be grateful for life, love, and the good earth from which God formed us.READ MORE
Dear OLPH parishioners,
May the Peace of Christ be with you. It is unbelievable that almost two months have passed since we began this new adventure. The Lord is good by sending many graces to all of us.
As you might know, I am a contributing priest for the EWTN Global Catholic Television Network. My involvement is geared toward the Spanish speaking audience. What I would like to share with you is the good news that beginning in September, every Tuesday, the network will be airing season 1 of a 13-part, half-hour program entitled Dos Padres Bien Padres (or… in English, Two Awesome Fathers)READ MORE