Praying for the Dead

10-31-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. 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:


Priority on Prayer

10-24-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. 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.


The Best Time is Now

10-17-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. 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.


Stay on the Way!

10-10-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. 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.


The Power of One

10-03-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

There is an organization I like called "The Christophers:" 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.


Pardon and Peace

09-26-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

I want to point out the weekday times for Confession here at Saint Rose. Not only do we have Confessions on Saturdays and Sundays -- actually twice each of those days; but we also have Confessions every day of the week! The weekday times are usually less busy and therefore perhaps better for a more relaxed time for Confession. On Mondays and Fridays, Confessions begin at 6 a.m.; and on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Confessions begin at 5 p.m. I hope that these times are easy to remember. There is the added benefit with these weekday Confession times of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament going on at the same time! These really are times offering "pardon and peace" as the ritual for the sacrament proclaims!


Who do You Say that I Am?

09-12-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

We do many things in Saint Rose of Lima Parish. We do many things well. But we are not here to do things! We are here to proclaim Jesus Christ. In order to proclaim Him, we have to know Him. I encourage you to let Jesus ask you today: "Who do you say that I am?" Force yourself to answer Him directly. Look Jesus in the eye, and tell Him who He is. This was not easy for His disciples, but it is essential. Absolutely essential.


Virtue Stands in the Middle

09-05-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

This expression is sometimes called the "golden mean," and it comes from the teachings of philosopher Aristotle. We need to remember that human virtue is found in the middle, especially in times of polarization when we are tempted to go to the extreme on one side or the other.


Thanks be to God!

08-22-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Always and for everything! In this case, I am particularly grateful to God for the relatively smooth opening to the school year. Running a school is a blessing and a responsibility for Saint Rose Parish. I believe that Sr. Catherine Marie and our school faculty and staff have done very well in looking after the welfare and education of the children in challenging circumstances. The school has been the testing ground at times for how we put various procedures into practice during the pandemic. They have done so once again for the opening of school. As promised, the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Nashville has reviewed the mask policy announced for the beginning of the year and has adjusted it to allow for parents to decide about masks for their children. The situation at all of the diocesan schools will be monitored daily through a conference call of leaders from every school. I am sure that we can expect further adjustments as the needs dictate.


Considerations for a Funeral and Burial

08-15-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Unlike weddings and most other sacramental events, funerals usually need to be scheduled in a short timeframe. We try to be as flexible and accommodating as possible but there are limitations to the timing of funerals. This is why it is necessary to involve the church office before a funeral time is set or announced. In the first place, a funeral Mass cannot be celebrated on Sunday and a few other days of the year. The office staff know when funerals can be planned for the church. Special requests can also be made, although those requests might take more time. When you call the office, the staff can provide you with readings to choose from for the funeral, as well as guidance about arrangements for music. At Saint Rose, we are able to provide clergy for a funeral service only at the church and/or graveside. We cannot provide clergy for a funeral service at a funeral home or other location. We are happy to provide clergy for a vigil/rosary service before the funeral itself as we are able.


Weddings and Funerals

08-08-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Weddings and funerals are not much alike, other than being important ceremonies celebrated in the church. Even on a practical level, weddings usually have a long time of planning and preparation leading up to the celebration whereas funerals need to be planned and finalized in a short time. If you are planning to get married, please contact the church office to set up an initial appointment at least six months in advance. This time is needed for your marriage preparation, as well as for scheduling the ceremony itself.


Summer Projects

07-25-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

I want to take a break from explaining our sacrament schedule now that we have covered the new Mass, Confession, and Adoration schedules to point out some summer projects going on around the parish. One that I am particularly happy about is the "stained glass" window film in the Spiritual Library. It serves the practical purpose of shading the direct sunlight to reduce glare and heat, but the new window film is beautiful as well. There are images of the four evangelists depicted in a stained glass style. If you have not been in the Spiritual Library recently, take a look. I think it creates a great environment!


Confessions and Adoration

07-18-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

The next items on our parish calendar are for Confessions and Adoration. We have Confessions scheduled every day of the week! On Mondays and Fridays, Confessions are heard at 6 a.m. until 6:45 a.m. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Confessions begin at 5 p.m. and extend until 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday and 5:45 p.m. (just before Mass) on Wednesday. These weekday Confession times are all accompanied with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. You can therefore come into church at these times to be with Jesus in Adoration and/or to make a good Confession. These times tend to be less crowded and therefore somewhat more relaxed.


Source and Summit

07-11-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

According to the Second Vatican Council, Mass is the "source and summit" of our common life as Catholics. When we plan our schedule, we begin with Mass. Sunday Mass is the great duty to God in our lives, and we are under obligation to assist at Mass either Sunday or Saturday evening. To miss Sunday Mass is a grave sin, unless there are factors which would excuse one from attending, such as sickness or other incapacity. We need to take this obligation seriously. If we miss Sunday Mass or cause others (especially children) to do so, we need to go to confession before presenting ourselves for Holy Communion. It really is that serious. Have a plan for your time for Sunday Mass.