Year of St. Joseph

12-05-2021Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Wednesday, December 8, the Year of St. Joseph will come to a close. This has been a special year for the Church, for our parish, and for me. There are many reasons to be devoted to St. Joseph. He is the patron of the Church, the protector of the Holy Family, and the model of a holy death. During the pandemic, which included this year in his honor, I have gone to St. Joseph especially for the "temporal and spiritual welfare of Saint Rose of Lima Parish and families." I don't know how many times I have prayed this petition to St. Joseph since March of 2020.

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Come, Lord Jesus!

11-28-2021Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

As we begin Advent, we need to refocus on the coming of Jesus. What could be better than for the Lord Jesus to come again? I want to see Him. I am sure that you do too. Of course, His coming again will mark the end of this world of time and change and imperfection. His coming again will begin the new world of eternal life and glory. The season of Advent is about this longing to see Jesus when He comes.

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Thanksgiving

11-21-2021Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

Thanksgiving is essential for a healthy spiritual life because it gets us out of ourselves! Turning away from self and being aware of our blessings helps us to make a gift of ourselves so that others can also be thankful. In the spiritual life, things are either getting better and better or worse and worse. There is no standing still. Thanksgiving definitely moves us forward fast!

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Eucharistic Day

11-14-2021Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

Long before any of us had heard of the pandemic, our Saint Rose Amazing Parish team had conceived of the ideal of a Eucharistic Congress to take place next weekend. I won't go into the details of the grandiose plans we had projected. Of course, when the pandemic did come such plans were shelved. About the only physical sign of the Eucharistic Congress is a note on our parish calendar. We were planning ahead!

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Priesthood and the Poor Widow

11-07-2021Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

There isn't an official day in the Church's calendar about the priesthood. In our diocese, this weekend is identified as Priesthood Sunday, and we are asked to support the seminarian education fund. I and the other priests in the parish are grateful for the remembrances we have received in thanksgiving for the priesthood by the faithful. It is good for us to support one another in our vocations, and I thank you for your prayerful support.

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Praying for the Dead

10-31-2021Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

We are about to begin November, which is the month when we especially remember to pray for the dead. November begins with All Saints Day and All Souls Day, both of which remind us of our union with the faithful departed, who have gone before us and who are joined with us in the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church. The Saints in Heaven are praying for us, and we have the special responsibility to pray for the souls in purgatory The doctrine of purgatory is well established and is documented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: see especially paragraphs 1030-32. Prayer for the dead was well-established in Jewish practice and has always been a practice of the Church. Here are ways that we can participate in the pious practice of prayer for the dead here at Saint Rose in the coming weeks:

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Priority on Prayer

10-24-2021Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

The highest priority of each day should be our time of personal conversation with the Lord in prayer. Prayer does not have to be the longest commitment of our day or even the first one (although starting the day with prayer is probably a good idea with our busy lives), but it does need to be the one thing that we never miss. It is in that sense that prayer is our highest priority.

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The Best Time is Now

10-17-2021Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

The recently-filed lawsuit is a matter of concern and prayer within the parish. Indeed, I hope that we are all turning to prayer. Since it is a legal matter, we need to let the legal process run its course. The following comments, I hope, are offered to propose Saint Rose of Lima Parish as a place of encounter with the fullness of Jesus Christ in our community.

I recently attended my 40th high school reunion. Over dinner with two friends one night, we were discussing what has been the best time of our lives. I guess that is what us old people do! After a moment to consider the question, I said that I thought that now is the best time of my life. It is certainly not the easiest or most fun time, but I deeply believe that it is the best. I am more aware of the presence and action of God in my life now and therefore have more peace. It is indeed strange to have interior peace when there is so much confusion in the world. I am deeply grateful.

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Stay on the Way!

10-10-2021Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

The direction of Christian discipleship is one way: the way of the Lord Jesus Christ. Once we have set out on the religious, spiritual, and moral journey of following Jesus, there is no off-ramp, turning around, or even stopping. How could there be? Jesus is on the move! He is always leading us closer and closer to God. If other things get in the way, we have to let them go. We have to keep going with Jesus.

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The Power of One

10-03-2021Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

There is an organization I like called "The Christophers:" www.christophers.org/ I particularly like its motto: "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness."

It does not take much talent or imagination to see things that are wrong in any situation. What is hard is to help in some simple, practical way -- to light the one candle. We do not have to have the total solution, but we can always do some good.

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