Pastoral Message

Hey Y’all, Last Tuesday morning, like lots of Tuesday mornings during the school year, the youngest pupils at our school came to Mass. I like saying Mass for these young ‘uns. They’re squirmy, and fidgety, and picking various body parts, but they are like little human sponges. They hear things, picking up new knowledge even if you don’t think they’re paying attention. But every time I start my homily, they are paying attention! The first reading last Tuesday is the same reading

Therefore, stay awake! At its foundation, the message of the Advent season is “Be Prepared!” This goes hand in hand with the warning that Jesus gives us in this weekend’s Gospel: “Stay awake!” The problem is that many of us don’t take this warning seriously. We refuse to admit (or, perhaps, don’t realize) that we are sleeping through our lives; too drowsy to recognize where we are falling short of the great promise of salvation; too “out of it” (or, perhaps

Hey Y’all, Have you ever noticed how some words are just flat out picturesque? I’m not talking about onomatopoeia where words are associated with sounds – like pitter-patter (of little feet), meow, sizzle, boing, or zap. No. I’m thinking of words that evoke an image or a mindset that brings a picture to our mind’s eye. These words are starting points from which our imaginations run around a bit. So allow me to muse on a couple words taken from our

“See that you not be deceived.” When FBI agents learn to identify counterfeit bills, they do not study fake bills.  Instead, they spend hours studying genuine currency so that they can gain a complete understanding of how it looks and feels.  Knowing the real thing intimately makes it easier to spot counterfeits.  In almost every endeavor, the key to knowing falsehood is deeply knowing and understanding the truth.  This particularly applies in matters of our faith.  While the Psalmist tells us

It’s November y’all! In the Catholic Church world, that means that we start the month thinking about Saints and souls, reminding us of all those who have gone before us. (That’s why we have names of saints, although non-canonized, flowing out from under our Altar. These are the names of the folks for whom we’ve celebrated a funeral Mass on this very Altar in the last year. A little citation from Rev. 6:9-11 should be applied here. We will continue to

Recently, I was speaking with my spiritual director and was expressing my disappointment in myself for being judgmental and impatient with some people even though I can be compassionate and understanding for others. I told him that I truly felt called to spend hours patiently assisting those who I felt were truly suffering. For instance, I am eager to comfort and support the man who lost his wife of 60 years, the woman who lost her son, or the young

Hey Y’all! From my silliness you’d never know that I had to study philosophy for my first couple of years in the Seminary. I don’t think the seminary folks (and the Bishops of the world) considered a college degree in playing the oboe to have much intellectual value. So study philosophy I did. So much so that I ended up with another degree after a couple of years. But as I was reading Plato and Aristotle, Origen, Augustine and Boethius, Avicenna, Averroes

“Proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient…” How often do we feel that God does not answer our prayers because things do not occur the way that we would like them to occur? How often do we feel angry, disappointed, or defeated because we assume that God doesn’t care or that He doesn’t exist at all? This week, we hear about overcoming those feelings and being persistent in our prayer regardless of the outcome. In the first reading

Dear Parishioners and Visitors, Hey Y’all, Every now and then, I’m directed by both our Bishop and the moral norms of our Church to speak out prophetically about social issues. This direction from on high is generally given in election seasons. So I’m writing to y’all specifically about Proposition 1, an amendment to our California State Constitution. This amendment makes reproductive freedom, abortion and contraceptives a fundamental right in the California Constitution. And while I’m not terribly caught up in politics or political

We are unprofitable servants; we have [only] done what we were obliged to do.” Welcome to SSJ Festival Weekend!! I pray that all of you have already enjoyed or will take some time to enjoy the festival this weekend. Producing such a large and complicated event requires a great deal of work and planning. For example, every single ride and every single booth is placed precisely where it needs to go according to a computerized map of the property that lays

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