Monday the 29th will be Memorial Day, and while it is not a Church holy day, it is a day well worth observing. I have memories of many years of remembering those who have died in the service of our Country. And love of our Country is certainly part of love for our neighbor. Many years we have visited cemeteries, typically the VA cemetery, of course. There is a Vietor there. But one year we went to another cemetery, a Catholic cemetery. We pushed the stroller along the uneven ground (the kids were younger then) and read the stone markers. We thought about those who had died and of our hope of heaven.READ MORE
Easter season is now coming to an end with the celebration of the Ascension and then of Pentecost. Then we celebrate Trinity Sunday and then Corpus Christi, and so there are a number of major celebrations ahead of us. This is probably the richest time of the year from a liturgical point of view. Families especially will want to take the time to explain and discuss the meaning of these celebrations. Of course, along with these events in Church life, regular life continues ahead as well. School is ending and summer break is beginning. It is time for Vacation Bible School! People are going on vacation. We are all shifting into summer mode. It is great to have seasons of the year: times when we work harder and times when we take a break, when our schedule can change up a bit. May everyone find a way to really rest this summer, at least for a time and as we are able.READ MORE
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had a letter in the bulletin but I’m glad to get back to it now. First off, I want to wish a very Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers in the parish. It is always so wonderful to see all the mothers with their young children at Mass on Sunday. Of course many mothers have grown children and grandchildren! For all of you we are very grateful and wish you a very blessed day!READ MORE
If you had to summarize the essential core of the Christian life, what would it be? Mercy, truth, or love, perhaps? The readings today suggest another word which may surprise you. That word is priesthood.
St. Peter says to us, “You are a ‘chosen race, a royal priesthood…’” To be part of a priesthood is to offer a particular sacrifice in order for the community to survive and thrive. Jesus is the great high priest because he offers the one perfect sacrifice which heals and perfects the entire human race. Peter the Apostle wants us to know that all the baptized share in this priestly ministry. The whole of our lives, including every detail, is meant to become our acceptable offering to God.READ MORE
Some people have asked me what I think about Fr. Connealy leaving and also about my situation. My answer is that I don’t so much see him as leaving as simply having been reassigned. He didn’t ask to leave. The bishop had a need and thought that Fr. Connealy would be the best person for the job and Fr. Connealy accepted this. This is the way it is with priests. The fact is that we priests are moved around quite a bit. Yes, it can be a little hard on the people in the parish. At a minimum, it means change and change is almost always a little hard. But change also means growth and new opportunities. I think God always gives us a new priest who will be good for us at that point in our lives. When you think about it, you have many priests over the course of your life, and each one is there for a purpose.READ MORE
I always feel a little sad when someone begins to speak to me with the words, “Father, I know you’re so busy, but …” It happens a lot. And I get it. He or she is trying to be respectful of my time. But it saddens me because a priest makes Jesus present to people in a special way, and Jesus always has time for us. Don’t we all feel at times that God just doesn’t have time for us?READ MORE
A young, engaged couple sat on the couch in front of me as we chatted about their upcoming marriage. The young lady was struggling to trust her future husband. She told me her father had been unfaithful to her mother. She said of her fiancé, “I want him to prove to me that he won’t cheat on me.” The young man looked at me helplessly, raised his eyebrows and shrugged his shoulders. What evidence could he possibly give to validate such a proof? Nothing. All he could do was invite her to trust him.READ MORE
Jesus Christ is Risen indeed! I wish each of you a grace filled Easter during this beautiful spring time. The mystery of the empty tomb points us to the Risen Christ. I am always struck by the simplicity of the announcement of the angel, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.” There is no explanation of what the Resurrection “looked” like, just the announcement that Jesus “is not here”. And yet, the Easter glory is one of those beautiful Christian paradoxes. Jesus is no longer in the tomb, it is empty! But now, He is more present to mankind than before.READ MORE
Happy Palm Sunday!
Last weekend was a tough weekend. Bishop Dolan asked us to announce last weekend that he has given me a new assignment. He has appointed me the pastor of San Francisco de Asis Parish in Flagstaff, AZ. As many of you know, this was my first assignment as a priest. While I did not ask for a new assignment, I am grateful for Bishop Dolan’s confidence in me to lead the community in Flagstaff. I have loved my time here at St. Joan of Arc and am grateful to God for the four years here. Each of you has been such a blessing to me in my life and in my priesthood and I look forward to enjoying the next three months here with you. As you know, I also announced that Bishop Dolan has named Fr. Daniel Cruz the Parochial Administrator of St. Joan of Arc. Both of our assignments will be effective July 1, 2023. Many of you know Fr. Cruz from his time here a few years ago. He is very excited to return and be a part of this parish once again. Please keep us all in your prayers during this time of transition.READ MORE