Pastoral Message

Today I am doubly blessed: last year I was ordained to be a spiritual father; twenty-seven years before that I became a father to my son, John. Most fathers would agree that there is no sacrifice too great for their children. Yet, I know that the way that I feel about my son is only a small and imperfect representation of the infinite and perfect love that God our Father feels for each of us. There is no comparison between our

Please think about a couple of Bible verses today - “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. This is a familiar verse from Psalm 118. It was one of the first Bible verses I learned as a kid. Maybe that’s true for you too. Even if you’re not much of a biblical expert, you’ve heard this verse frequently because it shows up in our liturgical celebrations often. That’s apropos since Psalm 118 is a

Have you ever asked why we have the special feast of the Body and Blood of Christ although we have the Eucharist every day? As I looked up the history of the feast, I discovered an interesting story of how the feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus came into being. In 1263, there was a priest named Peter of Prague who was having doubts of faith about the real presence of the Holy Eucharist. He couldn’t believe that the

This Monday, our nation celebrates Memorial Day which commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service of our country, particularly those who died in battle. Although the concept of honoring fallen soldiers began after the Civil War, Memorial Day did not become a national holiday until 100 years later in 1971. By then, the day had long since been dedicated to all members of the armed forces who had lost their lives in any of our

Pentecost Sunday is here again. On this day, Roman Catholic Christians remember back to that scene described in Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 2. That’s always our first reading at Mass on Pentecost Sunday. So, it’s familiar to us. But please allow me to add a little backstory. To set the scene, Jews are gathered in Jerusalem from everywhere to celebrate a harvest feast. And Jesus’ disciples were together in “one place”. They had been instructed by Jesus, just before He

Happy Feast of the Ascension! Today’s celebration marks the fortieth day after Easter Sunday which commemorates the Ascension of Christ into heaven, according to Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, and Acts 1:2. Tradition designates Mount Olivet near Bethany as the place where Christ left the earth. The proper feast falls on Thursday. It is one of the Ecumenical feasts ranking with the feasts of the Passion, Easter and Pentecost among the most solemn in the liturgical calendar. The Ascension is an

We tend to throw around the word “love” rather casually these days. We “love” pizza; we “love” the Dodgers or the Angels; and, of course, “love” is what makes a Subaru a Subaru. There are hundreds of popular songs with the word “Love” in the title or in the lyrics. At a higher level than pizza or sports teams or cars or music is the love that we have for our Lord, our spouse, our children, our parents, and our

As of Saturday, May 1st, the currently assigned priests have been serving the parish of Sts. Simon & Jude for 10 months. We’ve said Masses indoors and out, in all kinds of situations and in all kinds of weather. We’ve gone from the parish office being closed to everything opening up for church and spiritual business. And we’ve been learning about you all – your perceived history as a parish, your narrative that explains your raison d’etre, your hopes and

Blessings and peace be with you! Today, Good Shepherd Sunday, Jesus reveals himself as a good shepherd who knows his own flock and sacrifices himself for them: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” (John 10:11-18) What a joyful and blessed moment when we realize and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is our shepherd. Notwithstanding how poorly some people might treat

“Those who say, ‘I know him,’ but do not keep his commandments are liars.” I love this passage from John because he doesn’t pull any punches. Like any good New Yorker, he tells it like it is. What part of “liar” don’t you understand? Of course, John is merely repeating what Jesus said a bit more tactfully in the upper room: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” Neither Jesus nor John are giving out helpful hints for happy living.

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