Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fr. Neal's Notes - New Years Resolutions

We all make resolutions as we enter a New Year. I suggest a resolve to attend a retreat! The Women's retreat is on January 11th and the Men's retreat is on January 18th. Both retreats offer the help needed for successful deepening of faith!

Monday, December 30, 2013

St. Michael's News Connection - Week of December 29th

Enough Light for the Next Step

I found this beautiful reflection in Henri Nouwen’s Bread for the Journey and thought it applied very well to our up-coming year…It’s called “Enough Light for the Next Step:”

Often we want to be able to see into the future.  We say, “How will next year be for me?  Where will I be five or ten years from now?”  There are no answers to these questions.  Mostly we have just enough light to see the next step:  what we have to do in the coming hour or the following day.  The art of living is to enjoy what we can see and not complain about what remains in the dark.  When we are able to take the next step with the trust that we will have enough light for the step that follows, we can walk through life with joy and be surprised at how far we go.  Let’s rejoice in the little light we carry and not ask for the great beam that would take all shadows away. 

You may have heard me say that “Worry is an insult to God.”   Think about it.  It’s empowering.  It often seems that we just LOVE to worry, myself included.  I really don’t love to worry, I just worry.  However, with this little mantra, I have found that if I turn my worries over to our dear Lord, I find the strength I need just at the right time.  I’m calmer.  I’m more appreciative.  I’m confident that no matter what, God is with me, taking good care of this matted sheep. I’m so grateful and look forward to the next step together with my Shepherd.  I hope you do, too!

May  you have a Blessed New Year with our loving Shepherd!

-MJ Heggeness

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

The priests, deacon, and staff of St. Michael’s extend prayers and thanks for your generosity and support during this busy Advent season. Please check the schedule below for our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Mass times. These celebrations of great joy will unite us to our Redeemer and Messiah. Special thanks to all those that have given so generously to our gift-giving for Fr. Tasto in Mexico and Life Choices Pregnancy Center. May God’s blessings be yours during this holy time. We thank you for your presence and faith. 

Sincerely in Christ, 
 Msgr. Neal Dolan 
 Fr. Mel Monreal 
 Deacon John Charron

Offering Healing, Hope, and Thanksgiving in the Philippines

The text on Fr. Mel’s cell phone the evening of Monday, Oct. 14th, simply said, “Please call, it’s an emergency.” He had no idea in that moment how much it would change his life.
The call revealed that his mother’s house, where he was born and had grown up, was completely destroyed by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake centered just a few miles from his hometown of Loón, along with the homes of his brother, sister, uncle, and father’s family. Two family members, his sister and brother’s mothers-in-law, had perished when the walls of their homes collapsed. They were among 222 who died in what would be called the Great Bohol Earthquake of 2013. 95 percent of the structures in Fr. Mel’s town were completely destroyed and 77 of the dead were in his town alone.

Fr. Mel’s mother had just returned home from 7 a.m. daily Mass and was outside sweeping her patio, (her daily routine) when the earthquake hit a little after 8 a.m. The more than 200-year-old church that she had just left was turned to rubble, and her home collapsed inward. She was unharmed only because she was outside at the time.

“At first when I got word of the earthquake, I was very anxious, but after I knew most of my family was safe, it lessened my concern a bit,” Fr. Mel said. “Then I couldn’t get through to them for five days; they had no power or telephones. Watching the news on TV and seeing the problems getting food, water, and medical needs made me very unsettled again.”

After a week of being unable to communicate with his family, Fr. Mel decided he needed to go home. By the time he arrived, 12 days after the earthquake, makeshift campsites were serving as shelters and basic necessities of rice, canned goods, water, and clothing were being distributed by relief workers. The situation was dire.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Checkup

Rarely do people enjoy going to the Doctor for a checkup. It’s always kind of uncomfortable, and what if they find something wrong with us? Advent is a time of preparation and it’s also a perfect time for a spiritual “checkup”. 

Where’s my spiritual life at now? How has it changed since the beginning of this Advent season? Has it changed? These are just a few questions we should be asking ourselves in this third week of Advent. But what if we discover something about our spiritual life that needs attention. What if we find we have dropped the ball and have not made any real changes in the way we practice our faith. The good news is, its never to late to start. We can always return to the doctor of life, Jesus Christ. 

This week at St. Michael’s, we are offering a couple of opportunities for you to return to the Lord, no matter the state your spiritual history. The first of these is happening on Tuesday at 7:00 PM in the Church. We will be gathering together to pray as a community for all of the intentions of the St. Michael’s Parishioners and participate in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The second of these events is our Advent Penance service. This is the perfect opportunity to strengthen our relationship with our Lord and receive healing for our shortcomings. And unlike the medicine that offers physical healing God’s healing grace is given free of charge!

Above all we must remember that in the end checkups are actually a very positive and necessary part of living a healthy (spiritual and physical) life. 

So, this week, if you haven't done so yet, spend some time looking inside yourself at your spiritual life, I know I will. If you feel you need to make a change, ask the Holy Spirit for the necessary gifts and guidance to do so.

Laudate Dominum,

Peter Garcia

Monday, November 25, 2013

St. Michael's News Connection - Week of November 24th


The Preface for the Mass of Thanksgiving Day reminds us:

It is truly right and just, our duty and salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, Holy Father, almighty and eternal God, through Christ our Lord.

You have entrusted to us the great gift of freedom, a gift that calls forth RESPONSIBILITY and COMMITMENT to the truth that all have a fundamental dignity before you. In Jesus, through his Death and Resurrection, we find redemption. And  so, with hearts full of love, we join the angels, today and every day of our lives, to sing as we acclaim: Holy, Holy, Holy lord God of hosts.

On Thanksgiving Day, I will remember and thank God for the hosts of people, family, friends, and benefactors who have preceded me. They kept the faith, often in difficult times, and passed it on. I will thank God, too, for the new generations, those holding high the torch, keeping the flame of faith alive in the face of the winds of indifference and adversity. And I will thank God for generations yet unborn, who will receive and treasure this great gift.

Thank God for all your generations. Keep the Faith and pass it on.

Happy Thanksgiving and Thanks-living.

Sister Celestine

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fr. Neal's Notes - Week of November 18th

Coming to the end of the church year we look to opportunities to deepen our faith. Join us Tuesday evening for out prayer night at 7:00 PM. Bring your intentions for community support. Then on Saturday the Men's Group gathers at 7:00 AM in the Parish Center. Welcome one and all!

St. Michael's News Connection - Week of November 17th

Monday, November 4, 2013

St. Charles Borromeo

Today we celebrate St. Charles Borromeo.

St. Charles is the patron saint of catechists, catechumens, and seminarians. St. Charles made his own the words of Christ: "...I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me" (Matthew 25:35-36). Charles saw Christ in his neighbor and knew that charity, done for the least of his flock, was charity done for Christ.

 ~Kelli Salceda

St. Michael's News Connection - Week of November 3rd

Monday, October 28, 2013

All Saints Day and All Hallows Eve

    This Friday we celebrate All Saints Day as a way to honor the people who lived for God.  On this day, we take time to remember past Christians and what they did to spread the gospel, and how some of them died for their faith.

     About seven hundred thirty years after Christ, Pope Gregory III, moved All Saints Day from May to November 1.  Why? He wanted people to forget about a Celtic festival called Samhain (pronounced “sow-in”), as well as other similar festivals. The Celts were people that lived mostly in what is now Ireland, Britain and northern France long ago, even before Christ. 

     Because November 1 was set aside to honor those who lived for God, the evening before this holiday, October 31 became known as All Hallows Eve.  Over time some phrases became shortened, which is what happened to All Hallows Eve.  By the 1700s, the phrase had been shortened to Halloween.  

     Today, the ancient celebration of Halloween continues with its rituals and customs, and is enjoyed by both old and young throughout the world.  Today’s celebrations include haunted houses, fall festivals and parties.  Though many transformations have occurred with Halloween, many similarities in rituals and celebrations have roots from long ago.

~ Cheryl Kreifeldt

Monday, October 21, 2013

St. Michael's News Connection - Week of October 20th

Musings on Mercy, Mission, and Merit

Pope Francis has frequently focused on our call to mercy and its significance in our lives as a people of faith.  We are charged with the mission of developing and practicing a deeper understanding of mercy.  We are not to remain as recipients or beneficiaries of mercy. Rather, we are also called to be extensions of God’s mercy – a mercy not merited, but which is freely given.  Mercy requires action on our part.  Our response to mercy must be mercy expressed, mercy lived.

Mercy is multi-faceted.  It is experienced in the simple, but unequivocally powerful words, “I forgive you.”  It also thrives in the compassionate response to the needs of others, and the realization we are dependent upon God and one another.

Sunday was Mission Sunday – a time to recall that we are not only to share our faith, but our wealth of blessings, as well, whether it is with our brothers and sisters in the Philippines who have recently suffered from the ravages of an earthquake, those in Haiti still recovering from a previous hurricane, or those in our local community.

Gratitude is one more aspect of mercy. And though we may never be able to adequately compensate anyone for any mercies bestowed upon us, it is important to make a sincere effort to thank those who have shown mercy.

 So to all of you who have shared -
      Through your financial contributions to missionary activities and to our local church,
         through your talent as a volunteer committed to our parish life,
            through your prayer,

I simply say, with heartfelt poetic license in mind, “Merci!”

Jim Gase

Office of Social Ministries and Development

Monday, October 14, 2013

Disciples of Jesus - Disciples of Service

What role do we play as disciples of Jesus, who, "came not to be served but to serve"?

The definition of a disciple (from my teacher's edition of the Religious Education 2nd grade lesson plan) is "someone who follows Jesus".

So, Like Jesus whom we follow, we need not be served but serve. When we choose to help others we unite ourselves with Christ...we become true disciples.

What a great example our current Pope is of service and discipleship. Pope Francis clearly speaks with his actions. He rides the public bus, he cooks his own food, he reaches out to the poor and has a special rapport with children. This is a man who serves God with his life!

We are his flock? Do we hear the call to service?

From our service and discipleship will flow everlasting goodness and joy.

Where can I be of service this week? In my community? In my church? In my family?

-Janice Griffing

St Michael's News Connection - Week of October 13th

Monday, September 30, 2013

ST. MICHAEL’S PARISH – Happy Belated Feast Day!!

On the church calendar, September 29th is the feast of our patron saint, St. Michael the Archangel.  In recent years, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael also were included on this feast day.  This year, because September 29th fell on a Sunday, the Sunday readings for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time took precedence over our feast day. 

Unlike most saints, St. Michael the Archangel was never a human being who lived on earth, but instead has always been a heavenly angel who was declared a saint in honor of his work helping people on earth.  St. Michael serves as the patron saint of sick people who are suffering from any type of illness.  He is also the patron saint of people who work in dangerous conditions such as military personnel, police and security officers, paramedics, sailors and grocers.

Remember to pray to St. Michael and ask him to intercede for all the needs of our parish.

Traditional Prayer to St. Michael
St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle,
be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and the other evil spirits
who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls.  Amen

Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903)

-Robin Swank

St Michael's News Connection - Week of September 29th

Monday, September 23, 2013

Grandparents Wine and Cheese Evening

Last Friday,  we hosted a wine and cheese evening for grandparents. It was a beautiful evening, one of the last days of summer. The environment was set with candles, tablecloths, music from the 50's and 60's, and, of course, wine and cheese!! 

 Not really knowing how many grandparents would show, it was a mystery as to how the evening would go. The time came and no one had yet to arrive.  Yikes, we had all of this wine and could not drink it alone!!  Well, we could try!!  

Shortly, grandmas and grandpas walked in, with their delicious treats!  The talking started, the sharing of fun stories about their "grandparentship!"  The evening turned out to be one of great joy and happiness in sharing about our role as grandparents. We made new friends, as we have two things in common:  faith and grandchildren!    The consensus was that this is a God given gift that we all share...how special is that!

For sure, we will have to do this again!!

-MJ Heggeness

St. Michael's News Connection - Week of September 22nd

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fr. Neal's Notes - Week of September 15th

This past weekend presented opportunities to server our parish some 400 people are involved in serving and proclaiming the Gospel Message. Check the daily schedule this week to find ways to deepen your faith and serve our parish.

St Michael's News Connection - Week of September 15th

Monday, September 9, 2013

St. Michael's News Connection - Week of September 8th

Our Prayer Nights Continue

During July we gathered to experience community prayer at our "Come Pray With Me" nights. It was inspiring! We will continue holding these events on the 3rd Tuesday of each month in the Church. Our prayer nights will include Evening Prayer, personal witness, reflection time, and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Prayer intentions include: the sick, Military, deceased, and any need. Join us Tuesday, September 17th at 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

St. Michael's News Connection - Week of August 25th

God's Love

"With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you" (Jer. 31:3 )
We are familiar with the hymn: "I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have called you and you are mine"

Two questions for me to ponder!
Who is speaking these words?  Answer: God.
To whom are they addressed?  Answer: Me.

Well then, Who is God? and Who am I?
I would do well to pick up my Bible this week and re-acquaint myself with God's loving care of his chosen people down through the ages, from Promise made to Promise fulfilled in the coming of the Messiah---- the one who saves, Emmanuel, God with us. 

Yes, I was created holy. I have a Spark of the Divine in my very nature. I must guard and nurture it, but, above all I must let it shine. That is the call, the true vocation of every Child of God. Awesome!!

-Sr. Celestine

Monday, August 19, 2013

God's Mercy

By the tender mercy of God the dawn from on high will break upon us. 

-Luke 1:78

Mercy is a very  special attribute of God. God's abundant mercy is given to us freely just for the taking. It brings peace and harmony to us and to our world. The Beatitude says "Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy" We should be people of mercy in all circumstances - not condoning, not judging.

Shakespeare says:
"The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath." 
God's mercy endures forever. -Psalm 136

-Sr. Finbarr

St. Michael's News Connection - Week of August 18th

Monday, August 12, 2013

St. Michael's Parish Picnic

The Parish Picnic on Sunday, August 17th is a summer event for everyone! Join us at the Poway Lake Park from 1:00- 4:00 p.m. Bring a lunch and the parish will provide drinks and desserts. Sunday Mass will be offered at 3:00 p.m. under the gazebo! Hope to see you there.

-Msgr. Neal Dolan

St. Michael's News Connection - Week of August 11th

Monday, August 5, 2013

St Michael's News Connection - Week of August 4th

The Transfiguration of Christ

As we prepare for the celebration of the Transfiguration of Christ on August 6 let us reflect on what took place all those years ago.
“The feast of the Transfiguration of Christ celebrates the revelation of Christ's divine glory on Mount Tabor in Galilee (Matthew 17:1-6; Mark 9:1-8; Luke 9:28-36). After revealing to His disciples that He would be put to death in Jerusalem (Matthew 16:21), Christ, along with Ss. Peter, James, and John, went up the mountain. There, St. Matthew writes, ‘he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow.’ 

 The brightness was not something added to Christ but the manifestation of His true divine nature. For Peter, James, and John, it was also a glimpse of the glories of heaven and of the resurrected body promised to all Christians. As Christ was transfigured, two others appeared with Him: Moses, representing the Old Testament Law, and Elijah, representing the prophets. Thus Christ, who stood between the two and spoke with them, appeared to the disciples as the fulfillment of both the Law and the prophets.”-Scott P. Richert, About.com Guide

~Kelli Salceda

Monday, July 29, 2013

First Friday Devotion

    This Friday, August 2nd, we celebrate First Friday.  Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will be after the 9:00 a.m. Mass until Benediction at 6:45 p.m.  Immediately following Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is Mass at 7:00 p.m. Come and spend some time in prayer before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

What is the First Friday Devotion, you ask?

    The First Friday Devotion was popularized by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. St. Margaret Mary was a mystic to whom the Lord appeared frequently and entrusted her with the mission of establishing devotion to His Sacred Heart.

    Basically, the devotion consists of going to Mass and receiving Holy Communion for nine (9) monthly consecutive Fridays with the particular intention of honoring Jesus’ Sacred Heart and in preparation for those who do not love Him or receive Him. In His own words, he said to St. Margaret Mary:

“I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that its all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy communion on nine first Fridays of consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they will not die under my displeasure of without receiving their sacraments, my divine Heart making itself their assured refuge at the last moment.”

    Jesus actually made 12 promises to anyone who would honor Him by this devotion. This shows His amazing mercy and love: we give him a little thing, like the sacrifice of our time for Mass, and He gives back so much more!

~Cheryl Kreifeldt