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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Fr. Ron's Blog

 

Dear Friends,
Today, I want to write on three separate themes. The first is the conclusion of my three columns asking for your support for the 2020 Annual Appeal. The first two areas of support were, I think, easy to understand, the support for vocations to the priesthood and the support for the work of Catholic Charities. The last two areas, while understandable, may not be as gripping. But they are as important, and even critical, to the work of the Church. They are Passing on the Faith and Proclaiming the Gospel. They are at the heart of what the Church is all about. In the last chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, before his Ascension, Jesus directs the Apostles, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” (Matt. 28:19). It is the primary work of the Church to announce the Good News. Both Proclaiming the Gospel and Passing on the Faith are lived in fulfillment of Jesus’ command.

Dear friends,
“You are the light of the world.” These are the challenging words of last Sunday’s Gospel. I said several times last week this is one Gospel where no detailed theological explanation is needed. “Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” It is your good deeds that will bring glory to God. And the variety of those good deeds are as many as the stars in the heavens and the sands on the shore of the sea.

Dear friends,
I hope you had the opportunity to read Cardinal Tobin’s letter which occupied this space in last week’s bulletin. In it, he shared with us the state of the health of Archbishop Emeritus John Myers and he asked for our prayers for him as his health declines. I would like to ask everyone to keep him in your prayers. I realize that over the years there have been many negative stories in the press about the retired Archbishop, but one thing is true, and I know this personally, he has always been good to Mount Carmel when it comes to the assignment of priests to our parish, even to the point of accepting specific suggestions that I have made. And so we have been served by some great priests during those years, Fr. Tom, Fr. Sean, Fr. Kevin, Fr. Carmine, Fr. Robert and Fr. Gino. When you think of them, say a prayer for the Bishop who, ultimately, sent them to us.

Dear Friends,
Fr. Kevin generously let me have my space back. OR I seized it back from him. You’ll have to figure that out. Seriously, I hope no one took too seriously his attempts at humor last week. I was grateful for his return to help re-create the Palestine scene as we celebrated the Nativity of the Lord. And I send him my prayers and good wishes at the thankless task of being a Bishop’s secretary. Even if it is Fr., oops, Bishop Peter.

Three things today. Two on the material side, one on the spiritual.

Dear All,
Happy New Year! I’m writing you from the arid land of New Mexico and in case you don’t remember, I’m the tall, skinny, pale priest with a mole on my right foot and an accent (basically Fr. Gino’s twin). A lot has happened since I left OLMC and I wanted to send you all an update as to where I am and what I am doing. I was fortunate in that Fr. Ron didn’t lock the doors and turn off the lights when I told him last December that I was going to be in the neighborhood. I was grateful to celebrate a Sunday mass and greet some of you, but I also had present those of you whom I didn’t get a chance to see or greet.

Dear friends,
The Church celebrates today the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, and with it, the “official” end of the Christmas season. I’m sure most of your homes have, long ago, been undecorated. We will begin this process this very weekend as we invite anyone with a “green thumb” or, in this case, a “red thumb” to take a poinsettia plant home with them. By next Sunday everything will be back to “normal.” And the tree will go dark after the last mass Sunday night.

Dear friends,
Sometimes you may hear a priest or deacon make mention of The Office (Divine Office) or the Brev (short for Breviary), or the Prayer of the Church. All three names refer to the set of prayers (and readings) a priest or deacon recites every day as part of our “official” prayer life. Certain prayers and readings are assigned to specific “hours” of the day. The intent was and is to sanctify the different parts of the day by taking time out from regular duties to pray. Consequently a fourth name of these prayers is The Liturgy of the Hours.

Dear friends,
Given that two bulletins had to be prepared in the week before Christmas, and I celebrated the funeral of the son of close friends, I take the liberty to repeat last year’s column on Holy Family Sunday. I believe the words are as relevant today as last year.

Today is Holy Family Sunday, the day on which the Church celebrates family life and asks us to reflect on the family as the basic unit of society. It is the family in which we are nurtured and nourished and which, throughout our lives, offers the support that allows us to continue to grow and, at the same time, to be secure in the knowledge that there is a place where we are loved. It is in the family that we experience the ties that bind, bringing us together into the most intimate of all human relationships.

Dear Friends,
In the Christmas Message, sent to all the parish households, Jesus is identified as “new Light rising in the night of the world.” There is still so much darkness in our world. The gun violence in our country, that seems to raise the specter of death or deaths every day. The precautions we face every time we board a plane, reminds us of the potential for terror that lurks just below the surface of our daily lives. There are still thousands who are homeless and jobless in the face of the general prosperity that abounds in our country. Thousands are still dying of starvation and genocide in the Southern Arabian Peninsula, northern Africa and Southeast Asia. And there is the daily anxiety for the safety of the men and women in our Armed Services, our relatives and friends, in far-off Iraq and Afghanistan. And the never ending political divisions of our leaders and of the country as a whole. Yes, there is plenty of darkness around us.

Dear Friends,
I repeat an article I wrote several years ago about “confession” as we approach the great celebrations of Christmas.

Advent is a special time when our hearts are often touched by the gift of believing that God loves us so much He came to share life with us, and the reality of that fills us more with hope than at any other time of the year. It is also the time to “put things right” with that God, a time to acknowledge our sins and seek forgiveness and reconciliation. For those who have been away a long time, I guarantee it will make a big difference in your celebration of Christmas. In that light, I repeat a column I wrote several years ago.

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Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon