Spiritual Reflections by Father John

Baptism into Ordinary Time

This weekend we celebrate the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time.  If you’ve been paying attention, you might be wondering what happened to the 1st Sunday.  In her wisdom, the Church makes the transition from the Season of Christmas into Ordinary Time with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord, which we celebrated last Sunday.  This is certainly fitting, because baptism isContinue reading “Baptism into Ordinary Time”

Psalm 95

“Come, let us sing to the Lord, and shout with joy to the rock who saves us./ Let us approach Him with praise and thanksgiving and sing joyful songs to the Lord./  The Lord is God, the mighty God, the great king above all the gods./  He holds in His hands the depths of the earth and the highest mountains as well./  He madeContinue reading “Psalm 95”

Vaccines

Last November, the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca announced that they had developed vaccines that effectively prevent infection by the COVID-19 virus.  Not long after the announcement, however, questions were raised by many as to the morality of receiving these vaccines.  The issue stems from the use of a morally compromised cell line in various phases of the design & development, production, and testing of these new vaccines.  This cell line wasContinue reading “Vaccines”

Christ is Master

In the gospel for today (Mk6:45-52) we find the Apostles on the Sea of Galilee in their boat.  Jesus had stayed behind on the shore, going up the mountain alone to pray.  As evening falls, the weather gets bad, and the Apostles have a hard time rowing to their destination.  From His position on the mountain, JesusContinue reading “Christ is Master”

End and Beginning

In ancient Roman mythology, Janus was the god of beginnings and transitions.  He was depicted as having two faces, one looking ahead to the future and one looking behind to the past.  The month January is named after him because it is the time of transition into a new year from the old.  As we comeContinue reading “End and Beginning”

The Creche

The tradition of setting up a Nativity scene dates back to 1223, when St. Francis of Assisi re-created the stable of Bethlehem on the night of Christ’s birth.  As this was a novelty, Francis first sought the permission of the pope himself, and was allowed to make the arrangements in a hermitage outside the little town of Greccio, located in the Italian region of Lazio.  At midnight,Continue reading “The Creche”

The Magnificat

When the Virgin Mary consents to the news from the Angel Gabriel that God had chosen her to be the Mother of the Savior, the Gospel of Luke tells us that, after the angel departed, she made haste to the hill country of Judea to visit her cousin Elizabeth.  Gabriel had told her that her cousin was also miraculously with child.  Before this, Elizabeth had beenContinue reading “The Magnificat”

Year of St. Joseph

A couple of weeks ago, on December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis declared that 2021 would be a year dedicated to St. Joseph.  Since 1870, St. Joseph has been venerated as the Universal Patron of the Church, and the Holy Father decided that this is a fitting moment in history to “go to Joseph”Continue reading “Year of St. Joseph”

Liturgy, Part 5

Pope (emeritus) Benedict XVI is widely considered to be one of the most influential Catholic theologians of the past 100 years.  One of his most famous books is entitled The Spirit of the Liturgy, which he published in the year 2000 as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, five years prior to his election to the papacy.  Among the topics that Ratzinger examines in that book is the relationship of the liturgy to timeContinue reading “Liturgy, Part 5”

Miraculous Image

During a visit to Mexico City in 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unscheduled stop to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  After spending a few moments looking at the image of the Blessed Mother on the famous tilma of St. Juan Diego, Clinton turned to her guide, Msgr. Diego Monroy, and asked: “who paintedContinue reading “Miraculous Image”

St. Nicholas

The Feast of St. Nicholas is tomorrow, December 6.  Because it falls on a Sunday this year, we will not be celebrating his feast day at Mass.  Nevertheless, since St. Nicholas is a fascinating character, so I thought it a good opportunity to share a few thoughts about him with you in this space.   St. Nicholas was born in a port cityContinue reading “St. Nicholas”

St. Francis Xavier

After St. Paul, the greatest of all Christian missionaries was St. Francis Xavier, whose feast day we celebrate today.  He was one of the original members of the Society of Jesus, and his passion for bringing the Gospel to the people of Asia was enflamed through the influence of his spiritual mentor, St. Ignatius ofContinue reading “St. Francis Xavier”

Liturgy, part 4

When we think of the word “sacrifice,” we might think of it as a form of delayed gratification, where we deprive ourselves of something we want now for the sake of enjoying a better thing later on.  We might also think of the sacrifices that parents make for their children, or that members of the military make for the protection of our country.  ButContinue reading “Liturgy, part 4”

Advent

A priest friend of mine recently shared with me an excerpt of a meditation on Advent by Br. Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourette, who is a Benedictine monk living in a monastery near Millbrook, NY.  Br. Victor-Antoine works on the monastery’s farm and is in charge of cooking for the community, which fosters in him a deep reverence for the differentContinue reading “Advent”

The Gift of Gratitude

Thanksgiving reminds me of my grandmother, Elizabeth. When we were little, our family used to make the trek down from Trumbull to Staten Island where she lived, braving both the BQE and the Verrazano Bridge – which is not for the faint of heart even on the best of days.  My grandmother was one of seven children born to the Fallon family in County Longford,Continue reading “The Gift of Gratitude”

Giving Thanks in 2020

Thanksgiving is a holiday filled with tradition.  Besides 5k Turkey Trots and football games, the most important tradition is to sit at a table with family and friends and share with each other a meal, at which everyone speaks about what they’re grateful for.  This year, many are likely to say they’re grateful that it’s almost 2021.  The “annus horribilis”Continue reading “Giving Thanks in 2020”

Tough Love

The Book of Revelation is filled with dramatic images of great battles between angels and demons, the Lamb of God and the terrible dragon that vainly tries to destroy the Woman who appears in the sky, “clothed with the sun.”  Usually identified with an account of the end of the world, the Book of Revelation is really more than that.  It unveilsContinue reading “Tough Love”

Bl. Jerzy Popieluszko

Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko was a priest who was active in the Solidarity movement in Poland in the early 1980s.  He became well-known throughout Poland when his homilies, which were strongly critical of the communist state, were widely broadcast on the radio.  Because he encouraged people to resist the oppressive regime, and to actively protest against it, state officials tried to intimidate him to be silent, but were unsuccessful. Continue reading “Bl. Jerzy Popieluszko”

Conspiracies and End Times

Conspiracy theories abound these days.  A conspiracy theory, according to Wikipedia, is “an explanation for an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful groups, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable.” By nature, conspiracy theories are extremely difficult to disprove, because proponents will use both the presence and the lack of evidence asContinue reading “Conspiracies and End Times”

Glory-Scrolling

“Doom-scrolling” is a new internet expression that seems to be growing in popular usage.  It’s defined online as: “the tendency to continue to surf or scroll through bad news, even though that news is saddening, disheartening, or depressing.” I would venture to guess that anyone who has a social media account on Facebook or Twitter has had the experience of lying in bed, scrolling down throughContinue reading “Glory-Scrolling”

Litany of Trust

During this time of uncertainty, which can lead us to anxiety and anger, we should renew our trust in God, professing our faith in the reality that He is in control and that He loves us.  As an aid, I share with you below a prayer called the “Litany of Trust” which was composed by Sr. Faustina MariaContinue reading “Litany of Trust”

Indulgences

The great celebrations of All Saints Day and All Souls Day traditionally come with special opportunities for what are called “indulgences.”  Indulgences are a subject fraught with misunderstanding, so it might be helpful to try to give a brief explanation in this space, especially since the pope has expanded the availability of certain indulgences for the sake of theContinue reading “Indulgences”

A Motherly Heart

I remember reading a biography of St. Maximilian Kolbe in which those who knew him during his life described him as having a “motherly heart.”  It sounded like a strange way to describe him, but, based on their accounts, to be in the presence of Kolbe was to be consoled, such that, whatever burdens you were carrying around within you were lifted away – even the terrible burdenContinue reading “A Motherly Heart”

Freedom in Small Spaces

If you’re looking for good spiritual reading that’s practical and accessible, you might want to try the works of Fr. Jacques Philippe.  He has written many books, including one called Interior Freedom, in which he explains: “Every Christian needs to discover that even in the most unfavorable outward circumstances we possess within ourselves a space of freedomContinue reading “Freedom in Small Spaces”

St. John Paul II

Pope John Paul II was the Bishop of Rome for 27 dramatic years.  Elected to the Chair of St. Peter in 1978 at the age of 58, he served the Church as the Holy Pontiff until his death in 2005.  During a post-Conciliar period that coincided with dramatic cultural upheaval, Pope John Paul II was given the reins of a Church that was suffering through a crisis of confidenceContinue reading “St. John Paul II”

Consumed and Sustained

A friend of mine, some years ago, tried to solve what was a terrible mosquito problem in his backyard by purchasing one of those bug-zapping lights.  I’m sure you’re familiar with these things.  They glow with a light that bugs find irresistible, to the point that they get so close to it that they are consumed by its blazing heat. Continue reading “Consumed and Sustained”

North American Martyrs

There is a tradition among the various national seminaries in Rome to play in a soccer tournament each year called the “Clericus Cup.”  Almost every seminary fields a team, so you’ll have games in which the seminarians from the English College play the seminarians from the French College, or the seminarians who are studying atContinue reading “North American Martyrs”

Let Nothing Disturb You

Today is the feast day of St. Teresa of Jesus, who was a 16th century Carmelite nun from Avila, Spain.  She was, by all accounts, brilliant and charming, as well as physically beautiful.  She entered the Carmelite monastery at the age of 20.  At that time, the monastic life was very lax.  There were always people comingContinue reading “Let Nothing Disturb You”

Come, Holy Spirit

There was a priest with whom I used to meet for occasional spiritual direction, named Fr. Mike.  During a conversation one day, Fr. Mike told me about a habit that he had developed over the years.  Any time he encountered someone whom he sensed was in distress or sad or anxious, or if he passedContinue reading “Come, Holy Spirit”

Pray the Rosary

Patrick Peyton was born in 1909 into a large family of 9 children, and grew up working the family farm in Co. Mayo, Ireland.  After considering a vocation to the priesthood as a boy, he later decided to emigrate to America, where he hoped to make his fortune.  But it wasn’t long after he arrived to Scranton, PA that he felt aContinue reading “Pray the Rosary”

Martha & Mary

Years ago, when I was going through my period of vocational discernment, there were times in which I felt overwhelmed by the question of what God wanted me to do with my life.  I knew there was the possibility that He was offering me the priesthood, but I struggled to accept that and to risk the possibility that the priesthoodContinue reading “Martha & Mary”

Sacramentals

Statues, rosary beads, crucifixes, scapulars, holy cards, miraculous medals, candles, palms, ashes – these are part of the “furniture” of our lives as Catholics.  Technically, we call these things “sacramentals.” Sacramentals are different than sacraments in a couple of ways.  The sacraments were instituted by Christ Himself as the seven ordinary ways in which He shares His life – His sanctifying grace – with us.  As one author puts it: “Sacraments bearContinue reading “Sacramentals”

St. Therese

Today (10/1) is the feast day of St. Therese of the Child Jesus.  St. Therese grew up in Normandy, France and entered the Carmelite Monastery in Lisieux at the age of 15, where she joined two of her older sisters who had entered the community before her (her younger sister would eventually join them there too).  St. Therese was canonizedContinue reading “St. Therese”

Archangel Michael

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Archangels – St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael.  In my last posting I wrote about St. Gabriel, whose name means: “God is my strength.”  Today, I’d like to consider briefly the Archangel Michael.  For the past several years, according to the express wishes of Bishop Caggiano, we pray theContinue reading “Archangel Michael”

Archangel Gabriel

This Tuesday is the feast day of the Archangels, among whom is our co-patron St. Gabriel.  Gabriel, whose name means “strength of God,” was the great and powerful spirit charged with bearing the message of God’s favor to the lowly Virgin Mary in the town of Nazareth, 2000 years ago.  After greeting her, Gabriel tells Mary ofContinue reading “Archangel Gabriel”

First Communion

This Saturday, as we did last Saturday, we will celebrate Masses of First Communion in our parish.  These Masses almost always happen at the beginning of May, but because of the shutdown we had to move them to September.  In every parish, First Communion is one of the best days of the year, and I’m veryContinue reading “First Communion”

St Matthew

posted 9/19/20 This Monday, 9/21, is the Feast of St. Matthew the Apostle.  St. Matthew is not just one of the 12 Apostles, he also the author of one of the Gospels, and he includes his own conversion story in his account of the life of Christ.  We know that before encountering Christ, St. Matthew worked as a tax collector for the Roman Empire.  Since it wasContinue reading “St Matthew”

Holy Matrimony

posted 9/17/20 The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is one of the most remarkable places in the world.  The current church dates back to the 11th century, and is built on the ruins of one that dates back to the 4th century.  Within this church are the sites of Our Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection.  I remember the first time I wentContinue reading “Holy Matrimony”

Holy Orders

posted 9/15/20 What is a priest?  A priest is one who offers sacrifices on behalf of a group as an act of worship to God.  As long as human beings have roamed the earth, there have been priests.  We see them in the most ancient days of the Old Testament.  Adam was a priest, as were the PatriarchsContinue reading “Holy Orders”

Embracing the Holy Cross

posted 9/12/20 The Cross is the most distinctive sign of Christianity.  This is because, as we say to Our Lord during the Stations of the Cross devotion, “by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.”  I remember the beautiful bronze Stations of the Cross that we had in seminary.  The first station, of course, depicts Pilate’s condemnation of Jesus.  There wasContinue reading “Embracing the Holy Cross”

Anointing of the Sick

posted 9/10/20 The other day I was perusing my bookshelf and rediscovered a book that I hadn’t picked up in a while.  It’s called The Faith Explained by Fr. Leo Trese, a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit and a best-selling author who died in 1970 at the age of 68.  Leafing through it, I was reminded how well Fr. TreseContinue reading “Anointing of the Sick”

Confession

posted 9/8/20 If you ever visit a seminary you will find that they are places where there is much laughter.  I really enjoyed the comradery I found among my classmates, which was healthy and joyful. While most of our formation sessions involved moments of levity and laughter, there was one particular experience that I remember we took with absolute seriousness, and that wasContinue reading “Confession”

Litany of Humility

posted 9/5/20 Rafael Merry del Val was a very influential figure in the Catholic Church in the beginning of the 20th Century. Born into a family of Spanish nobility in 1865, he spent much of his childhood in England before moving to Rome to study for the priesthood, to which he was ordained in 1888.  From there he began serving in theContinue reading “Litany of Humility”

The Most Blessed Sacrament

posted 9/3/20 We have come to the third “Sacrament of Initiation,” which is the Most Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist.  While Baptism is the first Sacrament and the doorway to the supernatural life of grace, the Eucharist is the greatest of the Sacraments.  Indeed, the Second Vatican Council refers to the Eucharist “the source and summit of the Christian life…. For inContinue reading “The Most Blessed Sacrament”

Why Confirmation?

posted 9/1/20 What is the sacrament of Confirmation?  What does it do?  When Bishop Curtis confirmed me many years ago, I don’t think I would have been able to give a good answer to those questions.  I knew Confirmation had something to do with the Holy Spirit.  Even better, it meant you got presents AND you didn’t have to go to religiousContinue reading “Why Confirmation?”

Brain Heart World

posted 8/29/20 Recently, I watched a 3-part documentary series called Brain, Heart, World.  It was produced by an organization called “Fight the New Drug,” which describes itself on its website as: a non-religious and non-legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effectsContinue reading “Brain Heart World”

Why Baptize?

posted 8/27/20 Baptism is the first sacrament.  Typically, within a couple months of a child’s birth, the family will bring the baby to the church, and the priest (or deacon) will pour water over the child’s head while saying the words: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of theContinue reading “Why Baptize?”

Do the Right Thing

posted 8/25/20 On June 3, 2017, Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit celebrated a Mass during which he attempted to ordain five new priests, but failed to do so.  Only four of the five men were actually ordained that day, since one of them, Fr. Matthew Hood – a young man who had just spent 6 years in seminary formationContinue reading “Do the Right Thing”

Regaining Hope

posted 8/22/20 Several years ago, someone gave me a book called Regaining Sight.  It is a compilation of articles from a magazine called Imprint, published by a religious community, the Sisters of Life.  The articles are stories about different people, the challenges they face, and how their relationship with God helped them through a particular struggle.  They feature people like the late Steven McDonald, who was aContinue reading “Regaining Hope”

Struggling with Sadness

posted 8/15/20 In the gospel this coming Monday we hear about a rich young man who approaches Jesus, asking Him: “what good must I do to gain eternal life?”  Our Lord instructs the young man to keep the commandments.  When the young man tells Christ that he already observes them, He responds: “If you wish to be perfect, go,Continue reading “Struggling with Sadness”

Deliver Us from Evil

posted 8/11/20 I have a cousin named Ray who is about 6-7 years older than I am.  Being a really nice kid, Ray was happy to play with his little cousins, even though we were much younger than he was.  When our families got together, there would be major wrestling matches going on in the family room as theContinue reading “Deliver Us from Evil”

Sick of Coronavirus

posted 8/8/20 I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of sick of Coronavirus.  And when I say sick, I don’t mean I have Coronavirus, but that I’m tired of it.  I hate how it has forced us to live.  I dislike wearing masks and social distancing.  The plexiglass barriers at every cash register, the closed storefronts.  In darker momentsContinue reading “Sick of Coronavirus”

Forgive Us Our Trespasses

posted 8/4/20 In my last assignment there was a women’s group in the parish that would host a brunch each year to which they would invite a speaker.  One year they invited a woman named Jennifer Hubbard.  Jennifer is from Newtown, CT and in December 2014 her daughter Catherine Violet was murdered along with 19 other children and 6 staffContinue reading “Forgive Us Our Trespasses”

Thy Daily Bread

posted 7/30/20 There’s a reality television show on cable called Hoarders, which depicts the struggles of people who suffer with Compulsive Hoarding Disorder, which leads them to pack their homes with things such as newspapers, cans, books, and clothes.  Their compulsion makes their living situation unhealthy and unsafe and causes great distress to their families.  The show brings psychologists and counselors to speak with people who are dealing with theContinue reading “Thy Daily Bread”

Thy Will Be Done

posted 7/28/20 The fourth petition in the Lord’s Prayer is: “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  What is heaven like?  Popular culture often depicts it as a dreadfully boring place filled with clouds and angels quietly playing harps.  When we think of heaven, we know it to be the place where God’s will is always done and always done perfectly. Those popularContinue reading “Thy Will Be Done”

The Pilgrimage of St. James

posted 7/25/20 Going on pilgrimage is an ancient Christian practice.  There are old texts from Bishops encouraging the practice of pilgrimage among the faithful going back to the 4th century.  Pilgrimages are not vacations, but physical journeys that manifest the spiritual journeys of those who desire to encounter God in the places where He has made His presence known in a particular way.  The mostContinue reading “The Pilgrimage of St. James”

Thy Kingdom Come

posted 7/23/20 This third petition of the Lord’s Prayer is an expression of longing that God the Father’s reign extend over all things.  It’s a curious petition, considering we profess faith in God who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and omnipresent.  That means His reign must already extend over all of His creation.  Yet, it is obvious that things are not as they should be.  You don’t have to beContinue reading “Thy Kingdom Come”

Hallowed Be Thy Name

posted 7/21/20 Familiarity and awe, in tight conjunction, are the mark of Christian prayer.  – Fr. Simeon Leiva-Merikakis In this second petition from the Lord’s Prayer, Christ Jesus instructs us to say: “Hallowed be thy name.”  It is the expression of a wish that the name of God be treated with reverence, as something holy.  It is inContinue reading “Hallowed Be Thy Name”

Good Teacher

posted 7/18/20 Robert P. George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, where he has taught since 1985.  The grandson of immigrants who worked in the coal mines of West Virginia, George is known as one of the nation’s leading conservative intellectuals.  As a practicing Catholic who holds views considered “conservative” on many issues, George’s outspoken critiques of abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, pornography, large-scale government welfare programs, and human trafficking often putContinue reading “Good Teacher”

Our Father

posted 7/16/20 I remember like it was yesterday.  I was in fourth grade and me and my friends were watching The Empire Strikes Back, which everybody knows is the best of all the Star Wars movies.  In the climactic scene, an under-prepared Luke Skywalker has just had an epic lightsaber fight with Darth Vader, who has cornered him and cut off his hand (super-traumatic!).  AndContinue reading “Our Father”

The Lily of the Mohawks

posted 7/14/20 Today is the feast day of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be canonized a saint.  St. Kateri was born in 1656, the daughter of a war chief of the Mohawk tribe and a Christian Algonquin mother, near present-day Auriesville, NY.  It was in that same area, 10 years earlier, where the French missionaries, St.Continue reading “The Lily of the Mohawks”

St. Benedict

posted 7/11/20 Today, July 11, we celebrate the feast day of St. Benedict, the patron saint of Europe.  Benedict was born in the Italian town of Norcia (Nursia) in the year 480.  This was a period of serious cultural decline in the waning years of the Roman Empire, and when Benedict was sent by his wealthy father to study in Rome he wasContinue reading “St. Benedict”

Our Birthday

posted 7/4/20 Today we celebrate the 244th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which we recognize as the birthday of our nation.  Although the celebrations of this great holiday must be relatively quiet this year, I hope you get to enjoy the weekend with family and friends as best you can.  Our nation is obviouslyContinue reading “Our Birthday”

The Paralytic

posted 7/2/20 Today’s gospel is St. Matthew’s account of Jesus’ healing of the paralytic in the town of Capernaum (Mt 9:1-8).  The afflicted man is brought to Our Lord by his friends, lying on a stretcher.  “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.’” I wonder if there wasn’tContinue reading “The Paralytic”

St. Junipero Serra

posted 6/30/20 Tomorrow, July 1, is the feast day of St. Junipero Serra.  In recent weeks, we’ve seen statues pulled down by activists decrying what they understand to be crimes committed by historical figures.  Even prior to his canonization by Pope Francis in September 2015, St. Junipero Serra had been the subject of harsh criticism and the defacement of his image, especially in California,Continue reading “St. Junipero Serra”

St. Peter & St. Paul

posted 6/27/20 This Monday, June 29, is the Solemnity of St. Peter & St. Paul.  These two saints are the patrons of the city of Rome, where they died as martyrs for the Faith.  It’s traditionally the day on which new archbishops go to Rome to receive something called the “pallium” from the pope.  The pallium is a white piece of woolenContinue reading “St. Peter & St. Paul”

Images of God

posted 6/25/20 When I was a kid, I liked to read the copy of The Children’s Bible, which was first published by Golden Press in the 1960s.  Even before I learned to read, the pictures depicting the Bible stories fascinated me, especially those of the Old Testament.  In my mind I can still see the picture of the animals entering Noah’s Ark asContinue reading “Images of God”

The Narrow Gate

posted 6/23/20 The first reading for today’s Mass is from the Second Book of Kings (2 Kings 19:9-36).  It is an account of the siege of Jerusalem that took place about 700 years before the birth of Christ.  The ruler of the Assyrian Empire, King Sennacherib, had already conquered the northern Kingdom of Israel and sent 10 of the Israelite tribesContinue reading “The Narrow Gate”

Sacred Heart of Jesus

posted 6/19/20 On a hill overlooking the city of Paris is the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  It is a modern structure, whose construction began in 1875 and was completed in 1914.  Because of the outbreak of the First World War, it was not consecrated until 1917.  Probably the most remarkable thing aboutContinue reading “Sacred Heart of Jesus”

Blessed are You

posted 6/18/20 I had a music teacher in high school named Mr. Guzzi who had regular gigs playing piano in a jazz band.  During one class one day, he told the story about the trumpeter in his band, who was obsessed with Louis Armstrong.  More than anything, he wanted to play the trumpet like Armstrong.  So, Mr. Guzzi said,Continue reading “Blessed are You”

Persecuted for the Sake of Righteousness

posted 6/17/20 Blessed Franz Jagerstatter was born in Austria in 1907.  As a young man, his Catholic faith wasn’t very important to him, but he later had a profound conversion through the influence of his deeply devout wife.  He developed a love for scripture, the stories of the saints, and the Mass.  When Hitler annexed Austria in 1938, the vast majority of Austrians were in favor of it.  But Jagerstatter wasContinue reading “Persecuted for the Sake of Righteousness”

The Peacemakers

posted 6/16/20 In a world where there are so many differing points of view, what makes for peace?  It’s a crucial question because peace is important to Our Lord and His mission.  He is, after all, the Prince of Peace who teaches us: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”  Fr. Simeon Leiva-Merikakis writesContinue reading “The Peacemakers”

The Clean of Heart

posted 6/15/20 There was a book that came out in 2006 by Mark Kurlansky, entitled: The Big Oyster: History on a Half-Shell, that chronicled the history of the oyster beds that used to proliferate in New York Harbor. “Before the 20th Century, when people thought of New York, they thought of oysters.” The mollusks wereContinue reading “The Clean of Heart”

Welcome Home

posted 6/13/20 It’s with great happiness that we welcome parishioners back to celebrate the Mass in church this weekend.  For now, we will be celebrating our parish Masses at the church of St. Cecilia, but soon enough we will return to celebrating Mass together at the church of St. Gabriel as well.  These past several monthsContinue reading “Welcome Home”

The Merciful

posted 6/12/20 On September 6, 2018 a 26-year-old man named Botham Jean was shot and killed in his Dallas apartment by his neighbor, Amber Guyger.  Guyger, an off-duty member of the Dallas Police Department, claimed that she entered Jean’s apartment thinking it was her own, and that she mistook Jean for a burglar.  Initially charged only with manslaughter, Guyger was later charged and convicted of murder for a crime that had racial overtones, with theContinue reading “The Merciful”

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