Dear Brothers and Sisters,
People tell me after Mass (especially visitors) how Mass is so prayerful. This parish is very blessed to have many people who are sincere about their relationship with Our Lord. Hopefully every parish is recognized as a place of prayer. Whether you are at Mass, Adoration, bible study, That Man is You, religious education, youth group, senior group, preschool, and all of other activities in our parish, prayer is central. This is something we cannot take for granted. Our Lord wants us to turn to Him, every day with sincere hearts.
It doesn't matter how nice the beautiful the parish looks, how great the choir sounds, how amazing the homily is… none of those things matter if we don't understand that we are called to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. This seems so obvious, and yet, in day-to-day activities, we can become very busy and forget that Jesus died for us that we might have eternal life.READ MORE
Twenty-eight years ago this month, I took my first trip to Washington D.C. Fourteen years past the January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, my seminary took a day trip to the Washington D.C. Right to Life March.
I remember it vividly. It was powerful. I realized how my view changed over time. There was a time when I vilified anyone involved in the abortion industry, particularly mothers and fathers who "killed their babies." I couldn't get my mind around the "why" of abortion.
So, many years later, I still am a pro-life Catholic doing what I can to demonstrate respect for human life from conception to natural death. As the U.S. Bishops have reminded us, a human being has "a unique dignity and an independent value, from the moment of conception and in every stage of development, whatever his or her physical condition."
But in addition to remembering those millions of children who were denied the right to life, I remember the theme of the March many years ago that demonstrated the pro-life commitment to women's emotional health and stability as well. The slogan that was duplicated on placards throughout the city read, "No more babies die, no more mothers cry."READ MORE
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In today's Gospel, we hear a strange conversation between Our Lord and John the Baptist. It is strange because John called people to repentance, to turn away from sin and turn to God. Jesus had no sins. Jesus is the Savior. Jesus doesn't need to repent, and, therefore, He has no need to be baptized. And yet, Our Lord shows up by the river and gets in line anyway. John sees Him and objects, but Jesus insists on taking His place right beside the rest of the sinners.
This is exactly what Our Lord does for us at every Mass. Whenever we receive Holy Communion, we are receiving God Himself as our nourishment. Our Lord could not be any closer to us than He is in Holy Communion. He desires to take His place right with us!
Whenever we stop by a Catholic Church, we can go and kneel before the tabernacle, the golden box behind the altar, where the consecrated hosts not used at Mass are reserved. We are also blessed to be able to be with Our Lord in our adoration chapel 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Jesus is waiting there for us all the time. Our Lord is ready whenever we need to talk to Him. You always know where to find Him. Please consider spending one hour per week with Our Lord here at St. Joan of Arc.READ MORE
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany. What exactly is an epiphany? Some would say that it is a sudden, profound realization of something important; a breakthrough; a deep and profound understanding of something once mysterious. The Church uses the term to describe God as being made manifest in Jesus Christ. On Christmas we focused on Jesus' humanity. On Epiphany we turn our attention to Christ's divinity. We pause here today, just like the wise men, to pay this Divine Child homage and adoration as only a true King deserves. Next week we celebrate the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, a dramatic leap forward in Jesus' life when we celebrate the initiation of Jesus' public ministry.READ MORE