Sunday, July 27, 2014
I've been here now for a month and I have been deeply impressed by the number of people who have responded beautifully to my transition here. Father Lauro, Fr. Augustine and I agree that Saint Michael Parish is a very special community of people.
No doubt, a lot of this stems from Msgr. Dolan's insistence that we must be a part of a holy family.
What makes a holy family?
There are many answers to that question. Two, however, come to mind. (1) Spending quality time with God makes us holy and (2) supporting one another positively makes us a family.
I am a big believer that we must always accentuate the positive in all members of our parish family. I try to do this with my staff, and all of the stewards active here in our parish. If I fail to do that, I am probably too tired and I let my fatigue be known through my actions. When I am tired, I need to get back to God and spend quality time with him. Spending time with God keeps me on the track of holiness. Spending positive time with others keeps me in a holy family.
Spend time with God and accentuate the positive in each other.
- Father John
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Have you ever checked out United States Conference for Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website? Have you even heard of the USCCB?
Take a look at usccb.org and you will find a wealth of information about the Catholic Church and our beliefs. Some of the main headings on the home page include:
Prayer and Worship – Find out about the Mass, Prayers and Devotions, Sacraments & Sacramentals (do you remember what a Sacramental is??)
Beliefs and Teachings – Who We Teach, How We Teach, and What We Believe
Issues and Actions – Religious Liberty, Faithful Citizenship, and Cultural Diversity
Bible – Today’s Reading, Books of the Bible, and Understanding the Bible
Media – Movie Reviews, Social Media, Blogs & Columns
This is only a small sampling of what is available on the USCCB website. Take a peak – you will be pleasantly surprised!
Monday, July 14, 2014
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, was canonized on 10/21/2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. She is the first Native American woman to become a saint. She is the patron saint of the environment and ecology. Her feast day is on July 14.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Sunday, July 6, 2014
Some simple questions came to my mind as I was reading the Gospel about the sower and the seed for this upcoming 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time. This parable talks at one point about the seed which falls on rich soil and the results that follow. I began to think about rich soil, and not only wondered how much rich soil exits solely in itself, but reflected on what gardeners and farmers do to maintain or create rich soil.
I often pass a beautiful garden and marvel at its magnificence, without truly appreciating all that goes in to bringing the garden into fruition. The soil had to be tilled and proper nutrients added. Soil must be cared for if it is to maintain its richness. A gardener, to be successful searches out the most effective techniques and invests time in training, if the goal desired is a flourishing garden. So, too, it is with our faith.
God blesses with his grace, but it is incumbent upon each of us to cultivate our faith, to provide an environment in which that faith can flourish. We cannot remain complacent, but need to promote, give attention to, and pursue knowledge of our faith.
Initially, it may appear to be a daunting task, particularly for those of us who would argue that we lack a green thumb. But we don’t need to do it all at once. A garden begins with one plant.
As I began with questions, I will end with one. What is one additional thing I can do this week to help me enrich my faith?
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
In the aria Summertime, from the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess, George and Ira Gershwin proclaim …”the living is easy.” Although our students are enjoying some much needed rest and relaxation, taking in the sunshine and enjoying waves and sand, daily life is far from easy on campus during the hiatus. We are busy painting, carpeting, and cleaning so the classrooms are fresh for the fall. Textbooks, laptops, iPads, and supplies arrive daily, and those of us holding down the fort wait in eager anticipation for the grounds to come alive once again with laughter and learning.
This summer we said goodbye to our beloved Pastor Monsignor Dolan, and our Associate Pastor, Father Mel. Their service and dedication to the parish and school community was such a blessing to us all, and we ask God to watch over them in a special way as they move on to new adventures. We welcome to our family Father John, Father Lauro, and Father Augustine, and we pray that their ministry here is fruitful and joyful.
It will seem like no time at all before fall is upon us. Our students will return, and we will begin the routine once again. In the interim, taking the time to pause, reflect, and refocus helps us to recharge so that we will be ready to forge ahead. Bess reminds us that,
One of these mornings
You’re going to rise up singing
Then you’ll spread your wings
And you’ll take to the sky
Until then, let us relish in some “easy living.”
St. Michael’s School