Don't worry, Lent is more than a month away. Nevertheless, I want to share with you a practice from the Church's treasury about getting ready for Lent. The disciplines of Lent are about conversion, that is, turning away from sin and following Jesus more closely.
I am writing this message on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. St. Paul had a very dramatic conversion experience on the road to Damascus, but it did not end there but rather only began. St. Josemaria says: "Conversion is the matter of a moment. Sanctification is the work of a lifetime.”READ MORE
When Jesus returned to his hometown of Nazareth and spoke in the synagogue, the people listened when he read this passage from Isaiah:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to
bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord."
But they were offended when he said:
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
I know that it is a little late for New Year’s Resolutions technically speaking, but we are beginning the time of the year called Ordinary Time and so I think that it would be a good idea to reflect on what our lives of faith should look like ordinarily.READ MORE
In looking at our church, it reminds me that Christmas is not a feeling or spirit but rather a fact of history. God became man at a particular time and in a particular place. Joseph and Mary were far from home at the time Jesus was born because of a government regulation. They were without a place to stay and took shelter in a cave with animals. Shepherds came to see them immediately, and mysterious magi from the East came later. Herod was disturbed to hear that a king had been born. He ordered the slaughter of babies in order to eliminate this king. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus fled to Egypt. This is the truth of Christmas.READ MORE
After a long and complicated search, I am happy to introduce Dr. Brian Russell as our new Director of Sacred Music for Saint Rose Parish. I believe that he is just what we need to enhance the musical life of the parish.
The search was complicated because our parish is complicated! We are large and diverse. We are also coming out of a time when vocal music, in particular, was affected by the pandemic. It does not seem possible or even desirable for one person to fill all the musical needs of the parish, but one person does need to oversee the music ministry. This will be our new director's mission. That being said, we will be takingREAD MORE
Peace comes at a price: the price of vulnerability. Jesus shows us this. He came to restore peace, which had been ruptured by sin. He came to us and made himself vulnerable to us. He paid the price for the risk of vulnerability, but He accomplished the mission of restoring peace between God and humanity. He did not have to do this. He could have remained safely in glory at the right hand of the Father; but that would have left us as we were, lost in our sins and subject to eternal death.
We often find ourselves longing for peace in our relationships with one another, but we are unwilling to take the risk of vulnerability. Unless one person is willing to "be Christ" in the situation, there can be no peace. There might be a "truce" but not true peace. This sort of vulnerability can be seen in the virtue of meekness and in two of the spiritual works of mercy.READ MORE
At the beginning of November, we celebrated the memorial of St. Martin de Porres. As a reminder about St. Martin, he was a contemporary of St. Rose. He lived in Lima and, like St. Rose, was also a member of the Dominican Order. He was a remarkable wonder-worker, a man of great charity, and one who suffered from racial discrimination. When I first came to St. Rose of Lima Parish, I read a biography of St. Martin and was struck by his holiness! We have commissioned a statue of St. Martin for the parish to make visible his influence and connection with St. Rose.READ MORE
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.READ MORE
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.READ MORE
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!READ MORE
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!READ MORE
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.READ MORE