"Come after me..."

01-21-2018Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

In 1990 our family heard Jesus' call to become full time missionaries in Guatemala. We sold most of our possessions and left behind our friends and family to begin an unimaginable adventure not knowing that it would lead us to the Catholic Church. What grace we found there! And Jesus keeps calling. Daily he asks us to leave behind whatever we have become attached to, so we can freely answer his call and be fully his.

Jesus is calling you to follow him. His call is not just for a few. What will you leave behind to follow Jesus? Are you attached to a house? A job? A relationship? Your own dream of "the good life"? Your idea of the "perfect family"? A certain neighborhood or lifestyle?

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FORMED

01-21-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

During Advent last year, we introduced a new program for our parish: Formed. We enrolled as a parish with the Augustine Institute so that you can receive and use this valuable resource to your Catholic faith.

Formed is a program that allows you to watch or listen to some of the great current speakers in our church today. Also, there are movies available at various age levels that promote our values rather than secular values. These programs are available in English and Spanish.

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Encouragement

01-21-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

"Encourage and help one another" (1Thes. 5:11). Catholic marriage is unique and should be lived differently than a secular marriage. You and your spouse are the sacrament bound together by the divine love of Christ so your relationship needs to reflect Christ's divine love. Sacramental marriage is not a game or a competition where there are winners and losers. Sarcasm, yelling, criticism, complaining and disparaging talk are not part of a holy sacrament. The world and our toxic culture reject Christ, His Church and the supernatural character of the sacraments. Therefore, Catholic marriage needs to look, sound and feel kinder and more loving than marriages that are not sacramental.

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Nothing ordinary about ordinary time

01-14-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Today we begin our Sundays of what the church calls "ordinary time". Maybe a better translation would be "ordinal time", or "counted time". These are the numbered Sundays that do not fall in one of the four great seasons of the liturgical year: Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter.

Of course, there is nothing ordinary about ordinary time. This is the time when we walk with Jesus through his adult ministry and listen closely to his teaching. It is a time just as important as the other great seasons.

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Perfect Love

01-14-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

Jesus said, "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5: 48). Many married couples embark on marriage with the hope of having a perfect wedding, marriage and family. Perfectionism is a priority in their lives as they try to control the world, spouse and family. Jesus' call to perfection has to do with holiness, a desire for personal holiness based on a disciplined obedience to the will of God rather than control of spouse. Jesus wants to help us with our quest for perfect holiness so He gave His Church the needed tools to help us. He awaits us in reconciliation to provide the graces needed for holiness to help let go of anger, pride, fear, bitterness, disappointments, past hurts and all issues that lack love and exert control.  

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Marriage is Hard Work

01-07-2018Holy Catholic Marriage

Sacramental Catholic wedding vows are a very serious covenant between God and couple. Unlike civil contracts that can be broken when one or both of the parties decide it's over, in a Catholic wedding, the couple pledges their faithful love for life, "In good times and bad, sickness and health." This vow is made in the holy space of a Catholic Church in the presence of God, family and friends. As a covenant, it is binding, exclusive, indissoluble, faithful and mutually self-giving. Contrast this with the civil marriage where couples marry in a variety of outdoor venues or hotels, writing cute vows such as, "I will love you until   butterflies don't fly" or "I will always love your cutesmile."

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Feast of the Epiphany

01-07-2018From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Blessed John Henry Newman wrote: "The year is worn out: spring, summer, autumn, each in turn have brought their utmost, but they are over and the end is come. All is past and gone, all has failed…and the austere weather which succeeds, though ungrateful to the body, is in tone with our feelings, and acceptable. Thus the soul is cast forward upon the future…and does it rejoice that there are new heavens and a new earth to come. These are the feelings of holy men (and women) waiting earnestly for the Advent of Christ."

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Feast of the Epiphany

01-07-2018Holy Catholic MarriageLani Bogart

Today, on the Feast of the Epiphany we might wonder about the unusual gifts the Magi brought for a newborn baby? When we hear about these gifts, we're meant to ask, "Who could this child be?" Gold is for royalty – will he be a king? Frankincense is used in worship. Is he a priest? And myrrh is used in burial rites. How and when will he die?

What can we learn from the Magi who were not from Israel? They followed the light of the star on a very long journey to worship the child Jesus. They studied the ancient prophecies, they were overjoyed at seeing the star, and they brought their best gifts for Jesus.

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