Easter Glory

04-24-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

I think that we had a glorious commemoration of Holy Week and celebration of Easter at Saint Rose this year! Beauty really can lead us to what is eternal and transcendent, especially when it is united to truth and goodness.

I have to thank an army of people who made our liturgies and devotions so beautiful, as well as so true and good. The sublime music helped us to engage more deeply with the liturgy, according to the spirit of each celebration.


What Did Jesus Do?

04-17-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

As we celebrate Holy Week and Easter, I am challenged and inspired by the example of Jesus Himself. During Holy Week, He consistently refuses to use the tactics of this world. He does not do so on Palm Sunday when the crowds are enthusiastically supporting Him, and He does not do so on Good Friday when practically everyone has turned against Him. He remains obedient to the will of His Father in everything.


Holy Week

04-10-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

The liturgies of Holy Week correspond to the historical events of the passion, suffering, death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. In that sense, it is possible to enter into these events with the Lord and with the Church in real time. The world around us does not pay much attention to Jesus during this week, but as Christians we must. If we set our hearts on Jesus and stay with Him, then we are drawn into the mystery of Holy Week. It becomes hard to imagine living during Holy Week without commemorating the events of the passion of the Lord.



04-01-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

The last two weeks of Lent are sometimes called "Passiontide." We begin a shift in late Lent to focus on the suffering and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ. These are powerful days of grace in preparation for Easter.


Treasures of the Church: Sacred Relics of the Saints

03-27-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

On Monday, March 28, we will have a special presentation at Saint Rose on the Sacred Relics of the Saints. There will be two opportunities for experiencing the presentation and for veneration of the relics: one during the day and one in the evening on Monday. Please see the details in the Flocknote or bulletin, and please plan to come!


Parish Announcement

03-20-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

I have news to share with you and so I will get to the point. I have been given permission from Bishop Spalding to enter the formation program to become a monk of St. Bernard Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Cullman, Alabama. I will be leaving St. Rose at the time of the summer assignments to pursue this call. For over two years, I have been discerning this call to become a monk. I was surprised by it, but it has persisted and seems to be bearing good fruit. The hardest part of this decision for me is parting from the parish because I continue to love serving you at St. Rose. I will continue serving as a priest at the monastery in the works assigned to me, and I will also be living a more structured and intentional life of prayer and community.



03-13-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Just as the Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent shows the temptations of Christ, the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Lent presents the Transfiguration of Jesus. The focus this Sunday is on glory!

I had a teacher in high school who would try to inspire my class when we were not working very hard by saying: "You are not here to slug it out for mediocrity but to sprint for glory!" That was a funny thing to say about learning vocabulary, but it is true about our lives. We really are made for glory!


40 Days

03-06-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

The Gospel for the First Sunday of Lent is always about the temptations that Jesus experienced during His 40 days of prayer and fasting in the desert after His baptism. These 40 days are the main scriptural basis for the 40 days of Lent.

It is interesting that the devil kept that first "Lent" with Jesus. In his temptations of Jesus, the devil seems to be trying to figure out just who Jesus is. This might seem like strange advice, but we should imitate the devil in remaining with Jesus in the desert for Lent and in trying to find out who Jesus is. Of course, the devil was doing this for bad reasons. He was foolishly trying to tempt Jesus.


02-27-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Baker

In the readings today, there are many uses of the word "fruit."

Beautiful, rich fruit on a tree is used as an image for what our interior lives should produce that is observable on the outside. This is how we are to judge the quality of our discipleship: by the fruits!


02-20-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Baker

"The measure with which you measure"

I have to say that I think that the Gospel for this weekend is one of the most challenging passages of scripture to put into practice in real life. Go look at it again: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/022022.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples:


Let Nothing Disturb You

02-13-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Baker

I have shared with you before this prayer of St. Teresa of Avila which is both a favorite of mine and also a challenge to me!

"Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing frighten you. All things pass away. God never changes. Patience obtains all things. They who love God lack nothing. God alone suffices."

I say that this prayer is a challenge because although I believe it, I have the hardest time actually living it. And yet it is supposed to be lived. It can be lived, even in circumstances far more difficult than I will ever face.


"Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch."

02-06-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

After Jesus tells Simon to set out into deep water and lower his nets for a catch, Simon catches more fish than he ever has. Jesus performs this miracle to awaken faith in Simon, and it works. When Simon comes before Jesus, he falls down before Him and acknowledges his sinfulness: "Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man." (In Spanish: “¡Apártate de mí, Señor, porque soy un pecador!”) Then Jesus interprets the miraculous catch of fish for Simon by calling him to be an apostle and to go out to catch men, not fish. Repentance comes first, and then fruitful discipleship follows.