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Fr. Ron's Blog


Fr. Ron's Blog

Dear Friends,
With so much of our daily news filled with hopelessness, I quote from Pope Francis’ General Audience of January 18th.
"Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In Sacred Scripture, among the prophets of Israel, a rather anomalous figure stands out, a prophet who attempted to avoid the Lord’s call by refusing to place himself at the service of the divine plan of salvation. It is the prophet Jonah…

Jonah is a prophet “going out” and also a prophet in flight! He is an “out-going” prophet whom God sends “to the periphery,” to Nineveh, in order to convert the people of that great city. But Nineveh, to an Israelite like Jonah, was a threatening reality, the enemy which placed Jerusalem itself in peril, and therefore was to be destroyed, certainly not saved. Therefore, when God sent Jonah to preach in that city, the prophet, who knows the Lord’s goodness and his desire to forgive, seeks to avoid the task and flees.

Dear Friends,
“Who are you”? A short question that opens to a great number of answers. The first response of most people would be to simply give your name. But what comes after that. “But who are you”? The next responses could be as varied as the people answering the question. Some might continue by giving details about their life. Married, five children, a physician, a plumber, a financial analyst. Some might say where they live, where they went to school, their ethnic background. And did you ever attend a workshop where you were asked to introduce yourself? Without guidelines, the answers given by the first responder tend to set the pattern for all the responses that follow.

Interesting thing, that question – “who are you”? Now, before you go on, stop for a minute and answer it for yourself.

Dear Friends,
Today concludes Cardinal Tobin’s Homily on the occasion of his Installation as Archbishop of Newark. In these anxious days, we should take to heart his message.

Dear Friends,
In light of the tumultuous celebrations (demonstrations) of the last few days, I thought I would reproduce the Homily of Cardinal Joseph Tobin at the Mass of his Installation as the 6th Archbishop of Newark. It shows us a path in these conflicted times. I present it in two parts, beginning this week and concluding next week.

Dear Friends,
On September 24th, 2013, a little known Bishop from Gaylord, Michigan, came to the Archdiocese of Newark as Coadjutor Archbishop. Archbishop Hebda became a familiar face at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. He celebrated Mass for the 100th Anniversary of the Knights of Columbus Council in June of 2014, and attended the celebration under the tent afterward. He returned in March of 2015 to lead the Palm Sunday procession from Vet’s Field and celebrate the 12:30 Mass that day. He returned again in June of that same year to celebrate our three celebrations for the Sacrament of Confirmation. So, it was with great sadness that we saw him leave our Archdiocese to become the Archbishop of St. Paul-Minneapolis in March of 2016. It was a sadness felt throughout the Archdiocese because people in the parishes developed a great affection and respect for him. What could God possibly have in mind that He would tease us with this new leader and then take him away.

Dear Friends,
As I have been saying in some of my homilies over this Christmas Season, when Advent is the longest it can be, the full four weeks, as it was this year, then the Christmas Season (liturgically speaking), is the shortest it can be, as it will be this year. So, for instance, we didn’t have Holy Family Sunday because there were no Sundays between Christmas and New Year’s Day. This also means that the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, normally celebrated the Sunday after the Epiphany, will be celebrated tomorrow, Monday, January 9th, and the Christmas Season will come to an end tomorrow. This also means that if you fancy yourself as having a green thumb, you are invited to take home a poinsettia plant from anywhere in the church, after Mass today.

Dear Friends,
The flip of a calendar doesn’t necessarily mark anything special, but it does afford the opportunity to stop and “take stock” of what’s going on. That change of calendars is happening today, and so it is a good time to take that stock.

Firstly, to recognize blessings and say thanks. The first reading of today’ Mass for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, New Year’s Day, begins “Say to them (the Israelites): ‘The Lord bless you and keep you.” We here at OLMC are so blessed in so many ways. One of those blessings is the people who are so good to us, sharing their time and talents.

In this time of national anxiety and division, I repeat a Christmas column I wrote several years ago. At one time, the Advent Little Blue Book did a reflection on the word “merry.” I quote. “Merry did not originally convey a sense of jolly, mirthful. It meant something more along the lines of ‘blessed, peaceful’ – a deep inner joy rather than revelry. One gets a sense of its original meaning in the well-known carol, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen. As can be seen from the comma, the word is not used to describe jolly gentlemen, but rather a blessing from God invoked upon them.”
I wrote a homily several years ago, based on that hymn. Believing the message is even more important now, I offer it again.

Dear Friends
Varia – a number of unrelated thoughts:
This year, Advent is as long as it can possibly be, a full four weeks. Next year, 2017, it will be as short as it can be, the 4th Sunday of Advent actually falling on Christmas Eve. Does that mean you get an extra week of shopping this year – not really.

You may have seen the boom (or oversized fork-lift) somewhere around the rectory lately. That’s because they have begun the installation of the new rectory, energy-efficient windows. This project is funded through the parish portion of the We Are Living Stones Campaign. Once again, a big thank-you to the 545 households who pledged to the campaign. Please remember to continue to meet those pledges so we can move on to the next projects on the list.

Dear Friends
Because it’s only Dec. 11th, it’s hard to believe that this is already the 3rd Sunday of Advent. I think it’s because this year, 2016, Advent is the longest it can possibly be, a full four weeks. (Next year, it will be the shortest).

Because 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.


Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
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 




Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish