Farewell and Welcome!

06-27-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

In a parish as big and active as Saint Rose, it is not surprising that we say both goodbye and hello with regularity. This month, we say both goodbye and hello to different members of our parish team. First the farewell. Isaac Johnson, our parish music director and organist, is moving forward in his career by pursuing a doctorate in musicology. Isaac and his wife Christen and their two children, Linus and Cecilia, will be moving to Colorado. Isaac has offered his considerable skills to enhance the worship of our parish in especially difficult times during the pandemic when choral music was particularly restricted. I know that we appreciate his resourcefulness! We thank him and wish him well as he develops his gifts.


Encyclical of Pope Pius XI on Reparation to The Sacred Heart

06-20-2021Weekly Reflection

Our Most Merciful Redeemer, after He had wrought salvation for mankind on the tree of the Cross and before He ascended from out this world to the Father, said to his Apostles and Disciples to console them in their anxiety, "Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." (Matt. xxviii, 20). These words, which are indeed most pleasing, are a cause of all hope and security, and they bring us ready succor whenever we look round from this watch-tower raised on high and see all human society laboring amid so many evils and miseries and the Church herself beset without ceasing by attacks and machinations.


Culture of Discipleship

06-13-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

I want to propose that we as a parish embrace, as many of you already do, a culture of discipleship in our communion of faith. Jesus Christ invites us to follow Him. This means that we participate in His mission as disciples. We are not consumers. Jesus and the Church are not offering a product. This will be a culture change for many of us — including me! There must be the expectation and opportunity for participation as disciples in everything we do in the parish. This is a great time to reimagine how our parish works.


A New Beginning

06-06-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

I want to thank everyone who took the survey for our new schedule and protocols. I am very happy that we had almost 500 responses and that we have time to formulate our plans for a smooth implementation – I hope! I am not surprised that the responses to the survey express a very wide range of opinions and concerns. Of course, it is impossible to fulfill everyone’s expectations, and yet I think that we are making broad and generous provisions for many points of view. I am trying to be sensitive to the concerns that many of you still have while also reducing unnecessary burdens on everyone.  I am trying to be deliberate about making changes for the good of the whole parish and this restraint requires patience on the part of all of us. It takes a longer time to turn a bigger ship, and we are about the biggest one in the diocese. Many of the changes we made during the pandemic were out of necessity and for the moment. I want these new changes to be guiding us toward permanent practices for the parish. I am frankly grateful for the opportunity to reflect on our liturgical/devotional life. In hindsight, we can see many things more clearly than we did during the darker days of the pandemic, but we have no time to waste rehashing what has already happened. It is time to move forward!


Feeding the Imagination

05-30-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

It is important to feed our imaginations with good images! That seems to make sense, doesn't it? So let me make a recommendation to you: The Chosen. This is a television series based on the Gospels. It is free on its own app or on YouTube. I don't know if it is great TV whatever that means, but in my opinion it is great food for the imagination. It provides images and inspiration regarding the Gospels that can build you up! At least, they have built me up. Of course, the series takes artistic license to fill in gaps in the stories of the Gospels, but again in my opinion these are done in a way that is consistent with what we have in the texts. You do not have to believe the development of character or situations in the series, but I find these developments to be productive even for prayer. I think that you will find the series will help to engage anew both your mind and your heart in an encounter with the Lord Jesus and His Way. See what you think!



05-23-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Thank you for the overwhelming response to our parish survey on a new schedule and new procedures as we step back from the precautions implemented for the pandemic. I ask for your continued patience for a few more weeks until June 13 as we prepare to announce and to implement these changes. There are a wide range of opinions that we need to take into consideration, as well as a large number of people to consult. Thank you.


An Invitation

05-16-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

As we prepare to transition away from some of the precautions and the schedule adopted during the pandemic, I invite you to offer your insights for the future. Not all of the changes made during the pandemic are bad. For example, having more Masses on the weekends is a good idea since previously some of our Masses were consistently overcrowded. On the other hand, I do not think that we need to keep all the Masses that have been added with the increased capacity in the church.


Staying United: Upcoming Changes to the Parish Schedule and Pandemic Precautions

05-09-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

As we are able to reduce the precautions that we have been practicing during the pandemic, it is a good time to reevaluate our parish liturgy schedule as well as the precautions themselves. I am in consultation with the priests, deacons, and staff of the parish about these changes. I am happy to say that I think that Saint Rose of Lima Parish is emerging from the pandemic in a stronger position than when it began. I am also very grateful to say that we have done so because we have stayed united as a parish. That has taken a willingness to sacrifice our own personal opinions and preferences for the good of staying united. Thank you! And let's keep that spirit of unity going!


Pray the Rosary to End the Pandemic

05-02-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

As he did last year, Pope Francis is calling us to turn to the Blessed Mother during the month of May to pray the rosary for an end to the pandemic. This year, the Holy Father will begin the month on Saturday, May 1 leading the rosary himself. This will be broadcast world wide. He will end the month in the same way on Monday, May 31, the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Every other day of the month, the rosary will be broadcast from a different Marian Shrine in a different part of the world. We will provide links to these broadcasts so that we can participate in this initiative of the Holy Father with our brothers and sisters around the world.


A Letter from the Bishop

04-25-2021Weekly ReflectionMost Reverend J. Mark Spalding

Peace be with you this Easter season. He ls Risen! Let us rejoice together!

This has been a most unusual and difficult year for all of us. A year ago at this time, none of us could have envisioned the anxiety, illnesses, deaths and other losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We likewise could never have imagined that the dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation would have had to remain in effect for a full year!


A Long Retreat

04-11-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

I want to let the parish know that I will be going on a long retreat starting the second week of Easter. I will be away for almost two weeks at a monastery and will end the time by attending the ordination to the diaconate of a seminarian I know from my days working in the seminary. There is never an ideal time to try to break away from a parish as dynamic as Saint Rose, especially as we continue to emerge from the pandemic. I confess that I am behind on a lot of things in the parish, and I ask for your continued patience with me. I thank you for the opportunity to recharge spiritually and, I hope, physically as well.


From Obligation to Devotion

04-04-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Bishop Spalding has lifted the dispensation from the obligation to assist at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. It is fitting that it comes at Easter because every Sunday is a little Easter. And Easter is the very heart of our faith. Without the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we would be condemned to bear the evils of this world and face death without hope. We do not like to think about what life would be like without Jesus, but it would be a hopeless struggle of the survival of the fittest, ending in death for all. But because Jesus has conquered sin and death by embracing suffering and death, He has opened a way for us all no matter the struggles we face. The evils of this world become the steps that can lead us to union with Jesus now and forever. How amazing is our God to bring life from death?