Pastoral Message

Hey Y’all! God bless us all on this Festival Weekend! As a parish, we’ve been festivalling up for 57 years! (I’m pretty sure I just made up a new verb… “to festival”) No matter the verb, 57 years, that’s impressive. Ever since I got here a few years ago, multitudes of folks, with pride brimming over, speak of how much our community, and really the whole community of Huntington Beach, loves our Festival. Honestly, I never doubted it. Who doesn’t love a

Greetings! I’ve been here at Saints Simon & Jude a little over a week so far and I have enjoyed meeting so many of you. In case you are curious, or even if you are not, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you a little about myself. I am a native of Fullerton, right here in Orange County. When I was eight years old, my family relocated to a small town in North Dakota where I remained until I was

Hey Y’all, You’ve likely noticed that we’ve been going through some changes recently. We bid “adieu” to Fr. Mike Rizzo last weekend – in a French way sending him “to God.” And this weekend we’re saying “howdy” and “welcome” to Fr. Philip Smith. (I’ll let Fr. Philip introduce himself over the next couple of weeks.) Such goings and comings can be either discombobulating or invigorating depending on your point of view. So let’s think about these points of view a little

It is with mixed emotions that I write to all of you as I prepare to leave SSJ for my new assignment at Corpus Christi parish in Aliso Viejo. I thank God for giving the opportunity to serve SSJ over the past three years. I could not feel more blessed by this experience. Every moment of my time here has been a rich and valuable reflection of God’s great love. In the words of the Yankee legend Lou Gehrig, as

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” We all receive many invitations to attend events or to join groups. Some invitations are truly appealing. Others, we hope that we can politely avoid. Today Jesus offers the invitation to follow Him. At first, it sounds like the chance of a lifetime. However, we quickly learn that accepting the invitation requires us to make great sacrifices. Jesus explains the overwhelming struggle of being a

Even non-believers would have a hard time criticizing Jesus for being uncaring, rigid, or callous. Throughout the Gospels, His words and actions are almost always loving, empathetic, and understanding. I say “almost always” because today we read about a rare (perhaps, the only) encounter between Jesus and a Canaanite woman who needs His help in which Jesus refuses her request (at least initially) and, to make matters worse, He insults the woman. Jesus explains that his mission is “only to the

Today, the Church celebrates the Transfiguration of our Lord. This is the moment when Jesus took Peter, James and John up the mountain to see Him with Moses and Elijah as Jesus as the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. Then they see Him in dazzling white. There are two key elements of this encounter with the transfigured Lord. First, the apostles hear God’s voice speaking to them. In the Opening Prayer this morning, we ask God that, “listening to

Hey Y’all, The other day, somebody I know well asked if I was enjoying my “down-time” during the summer. (This friend of mine is not churchy at all. He has no idea what I do as a priest. He has little understanding of finding value in work. He gave himself over to a lot of “down-time” since he made a boatload early on and retired at the age of 40.) As I’ve told him before, that priests don’t follow a scholastic

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