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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Fr. Ron's Blog

 

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.

At the request of a few parishioners, I have attached the homily I gave at the Thanksgiving Mass.
Blessings for continued grace in Advent,
Fr. Ron

Dear Friends,
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, spent with loved ones, enjoying, not only good food, but good companionship, hopefully without all the stress of everything that’s happening in our world these days. Because I’m writing this before the holiday, it’s what I’m wishing for myself, with the added hope of getting away from all the uncertainties that the parish faces with all the changes that have or are about to happen.

Dear Friends,
Last weekend, I wrote about our annual Stewardship Renewal. Because of everything that’s been happening in the parish, it is reduced this year to this weekend alone. And so my column this week will be a little longer than usual as I remind everyone of the three legs of Stewardship. First, I repeat what I said last week; Stewardship is the disciple’s response to the call of Jesus. It is the way the disciple tries to live his/her acceptance of the call of Jesus to “follow me.” It is a way of looking at the gifts that God has entrusted to us and how we use those gifts to carry out the will of the Master so that we might prove ourselves to be found trustworthy to receive that greatest gift – the gift of eternal life. So, it is not a program that we sign up for; it is a perspective through which we view the whole of our Christian life.

Dear Friends,
Last weekend the world celebrated the 30thanniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The event was marked by ceremonies and celebrations in Berlin and remembrances on all the media in our own country. If you were around, do you remember what it was like? This totally unexpected event would mark the beginning of a series of events that would lead to the fall of the Soviet empire, as country after country in the Eastern bloc would shed their communist governments and reclaim their basic human freedoms. These events may not have touched us directly but they did evoke a change in outlook. I can remember thinking that the world was now headed for a new golden age of peace and freedom. The great enemy (the Evil Empire) was no longer. Peace and prosperity would reign. As a country we could turn our attention and resources to solving so many of our problems. Yes, it was a new time of hope and promise.

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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