12-30-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

We often associate resolutions with the beginning of the new year. I am a big believer in making good resolutions. St. Josemaria Escrivá says about resolutions, " Make few resolutions. Make them definite. — And fulfill them with the help of God." (Here is the quotation in the original Spanish: " Haz pocos propósitos. —Haz propósitos concretos. —Y cúmplelos con la ayuda de Dios.")


Jesus in Mary

12-23-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

On December 12, we celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Today for the 4th Sunday of Advent, we have the gospel of the Visitation when Mary went to visit her older cousin Elizabeth. Mary has just heard the news from the Archangel Gabriel that she is the Mother of God! When she comes to Elizabeth, therefore, she is pregnant with Jesus.


Come Further Up, Come Further In!

12-16-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

"Come Further Up, Come Further In!" - C.S. Lewis I want to try to help the parish understand what I am up to with the changes in the liturgy at the parish Masses. In the first place, I hope that I am not up to much. I think that the changes are generally slight. The liturgy at Saint Rose remains very much with the mind of the Church. I simply want to do what the Church directs.


On Mission

12-09-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

We just completed our parish mission on Divine Mercy with Fr. Chris Alar of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. What a great boost to the parish!


Elements of the Mass

12-02-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

In an earlier message, I mentioned that some changes are coming along here in the parish. There are a few changes in the liturgy that will be beginning this weekend. As it is the first weekend of the liturgical year, it seems like a good time to start.



11-25-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Thanksgiving is one of the fundamental and necessary forms of prayer. In fact, the word "Eucharist" comes from the Greek word meaning "thanksgiving." It does not get more basic than that! We have just celebrated our civil holiday of Thanksgiving and so it seems appropriate to offer some thanks myself. I first want to thank the parish for the warm welcome to Saint Rose. It is not easy to adjust to a new pastor, and I thank you for your patient understanding with me as I, in turn, adjust to a new assignment and a new place. Thank you.


Panel Discussion

11-18-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

I am grateful to Bishop Spalding for organizing the panel discussions that were held in the diocese about the crisis of sexual abuse by priests, including the final one held here last week. I thought that much helpful information was provided to show the response of the Church to this crisis, especially in our own Diocese of Nashville. Care of victims and protection of children and of all the faithful are the absolute priorities.



11-11-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Change. Some people love it. I think that most people don't, especially when it comes to things like church. I would generally count myself among that group. As a matter of fact, one of the perfections of God that appeals to me most is the immutability of God -- the fact that God does not change!After all, what would God change into?!


Embrace the Civilization of Love

11-04-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

In our country these days, we are met by the news of intentional evil acts of violence on an almost daily basis. In the same week, for example, of the killings at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, there were also shootings at a grocery store in Kentucky and an arrest in the case of the pipe bombs mailed to politicians.


Honoring Mass Intentions

10-28-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

It has come to my attention that I have unknowingly caused some confusion regarding Mass intentions here at St. Rose. As well as the intention being announced in the bulletin, it has been a practice in this parish to include the priest's intention for the Mass in the General Intercessions (now also referred to as the Universal Prayer).


Getting Started with Lectio Divina

10-21-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

In my homily last weekend, I referred to a way of praying with scripture called lectio divina. I was asked to describe this practice of prayer more fully, and I am delighted to do so! Lectio divina are simply the Latin words for divine reading. It is a way of praying with scripture (or reading scripture prayerfully) that has been developed especially in the monastic tradition.


Action Grounded in Wisdom

10-14-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

I don't know about you, but I need to work on patience about all kinds of things. I need, for example, to be a more patient driver. I also need to realize that most good and valuable things take time. I am trying to get myself in better shape physically, and I realize that is going to take time and perseverance.