Back to School

08-30-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Our school has opened and I am sure you all know how happy I am to have our children back. I am especially happy because we have close to 50 new students, many of them from our parish community, so I know them already. Our school is one of the blessings I receive as your pastor.

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Our School Renovation

08-23-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

You have heard me talk about the wonderful blessing we have received from the Shea Family Foundation and Shea Homes.

Our school has been renovated and is looking beautiful, and it is much more safe and efficient for our students and staff. Many of you have already commented on the fence around the school field: what an improvement for our school, parish, and for the surrounding community!

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We are a people of hope

08-16-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Clarissa Quiring, the Coordinator of Marriage and Family Life for our diocese, recently wrote, “The recent news surrounding the videos about Planned Parenthood and the harvesting and trafficking of baby parts is painful to witness, and certainly the horror and sorrow that these videos incite can leave us heartbroken and hopeless.”

I want to announce that a nationwide week of prayer is scheduled from August 22-August 29. Bishop Olmsted will be giving us a call to prayer as a Diocese soon. On August 22, there will be rallies held nationwide to call attention to Planned Parenthood and their selling of baby parts. The rally at the Glendale Planned Parenthood will be from 9am to 11am. For more information go to: protestpp.com.

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Summer is almost over!

08-09-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Summer is almost over! Ok, not the heat, but school is starting soon and all of our activities are beginning to start up for the year. Many of you will be surprised at the incredible work done by Shea Homes in our school. As we begin to plan for the year, there are a couple of things that I need to let you know.

First, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has declared an extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy beginning in Advent. Because of the condition of our world and the hatred and violence that affects us all, Pope Francis is asking us to focus in a special way on the mercy of God, and how we show that mercy to others.

This means that the Holy Door at the St. Peter’s Basilica will be opened and special activities and pilgrimages will be planned. There is already a committee of priests planning events for our diocese. I am asking all of our groups to think about the idea of mercy and to incorpo- rate this into their plans for the year.

In addition, 2016 is the 150th anniversary of the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help being given to the Redemptorists by the Pope with the request that this image be promulgated throughout the world. Of course, our Lady’s help is one of mercy.

Pax,

Fr. Mike

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Pray for Vocations

08-02-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

I am sure that, like me, many of you are still remembering and rejoicing in the ordination and first masses of Fr. Fernando. Actually, last week when I returned from Mexico, Bishop Olmsted called to ask how the first masses went; our bishop was excited, too.

Of course, we still have John Nahrgang in seminary from our parish, but...who else? Who will be the next one to enter seminary? And more, who will be the first woman to enter consecrated life from our parish? All of that depends on you and me; we must be praying and encouraging our young men and women to give their lives to God. I always tell young people that they should not think, “what do I want to do with my life” but to think, “what does God want me to do with my life?”

We also must be encouraging men to consider the permanent diaconate. I am happy to report that Bishop Olmsted has accepted Martin Gallo as a candidate for Holy Orders as a permanent deacon. Please pray for Martin as he begins his formal education as permanent deacon.

Pax,
Fr. Mike

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In the News: Planned Parenthood

07-26-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

I am sure many of you have heard of the medical director of Planned Parenthood Federation of America talking about harvesting the organs of babies while they are being aborted. The Congress has called for an investigation and Texas and Louisiana have asked the FBI to help them investigate Planned Parenthood in their states. Just to be sure that we all understand what she said, here is her quote from a web page of Planned Parenthood, which has now been removed:

“We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that I’m not going to crush that part (of the baby). I’m going to basically crush below, I’m going to crush above, and I’m going to see if I can get it all (the organs) intact.”

Crush?? From a medical director?

Let us pray for our country,
Fr. Mike

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Fr. Keith reflects on his first year as a priest

07-19-2015From the PastorFr. Keith Kenney

July 1st was the anniversary of my arrival to OLPH. It’s hard to believe that a year has passed so quickly. As I look back over the year I feel blessed to have shared so many things with you. I have been with you for Christmas and Easter, Advent and Lent. I celebrated weddings, anniversaries, first communions, confessions, anointings and funerals with you. Thank you for allowing me to be there with you in your walk with the Lord. When I look back over the year I can also see mistakes that I have made. I ask your forgiveness for anything I may have said or done which hurt you. As I look forward to another year here with you, I ask for your prayers that I may become a good priest. Know that all of you are always in my prayers as well.

In the hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Keith

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Pope Francis Visit

07-12-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, will be visiting the United States this Fall to celebrate the World Meeting of Families. Here is a prayer for that meeting that you might want to pray anticipating his visit.

God and Father of us all, in Jesus, your Son and our Savior, you have made us your sons and daughters in the family of the church. May your grace and love help our families in every part of the world be united to one another in fidelity to the Gospel.

May the example of the Holy Family, with the aid of your Holy Spirit, guide all families, especially those most troubled, to be homes of communion and prayer and to always seek your truth and live in your love.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Pray for us!

Pax,
Fr. Mike

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Happy New Year!

07-05-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Last week I talked a little about our budget for this year, from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016. While I give you the yearend report in the Fall, it might be good to look at the budget a little as we begin.

While I have tried to keep our parish staff relatively small, especially considering all of the activities we have going , our payroll for the next year is almost $1,400,000, including the school. I know that is a lot of money. It takes a lot to maintain this parish and its activities. We could not do it without the help of so many wonderful volunteers.

Also, our utilities and phone run over $147,000. That is why I am always running around turning of lights when a room is not used!

The good news is that because of your generosity we project that we can pay all our bills and continue to offer improved services. Thank you, and please continue to be generous in your tithe.

Pax,
Fr. Mike

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Thank you for your generosity!

06-28-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

June marks the end of our fiscal year (financial year) and usually the end of many of our regular activities. What a great way to end this year--with the ordination of one of our own sons, Father Fernando Camou.

Our Finance Council and Parish Council have both approved our budget for next year. On the surface it looks bad, with a $37,700 deficit; however, this includes some capital expenses that I talked about in my letter last week. We have been saving for these so we have the money already.

As I have mentioned before, I prefer not to keep asking you for second collections to do the work we need to upgrade our parish. Rather, I trust in your generosity in giving thanks to our God with your tithe. By being careful with our expenses we have been able in the past to save some money to do the work we need done.

Thank you for your faithful generosity; God has indeed blessed us and our response to our God shows our trust that He will continue to bless us.

Pax,
Fr. Mike

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Fernando Camou's Ordination and First Mass

06-21-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

In the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke writes, "the Holy Spirit spoke to them, 'Set apart Barnabas and Saul for me to do the work which I have called them.' Then, after they had fasted and prayed, they imposed hands on them and sent them off."

Next Saturday, the Holy Spirit will call, through Bishop Olmsted, our own Fernando Camou to be set apart to do the work which God has call him. On Friday evening, at the cathedral we will pray in adoration, and if you want you can fast as well. On Saturday morning the Bishop will call Fernando and along with the elders (the priests) he will lay hands on him. Then Fernando will be sent off from us, to Avondale, to St. Thomas Aquinas parish to begin his work.

First, however, Fernando will celebrate his first Masses, in English at 10:30 and in Spanish at 12:30, here at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Of course, as is our tradition, we will celebrate in the parish hall after both Masses.

Please keep Fernando and all of our seminarians, and all of our young men and women discerning vocations in your prayers this week.

Pax, Fr. Mike

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Ordination of Fernando Camou

06-14-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

The long awaited day is coming...hopefully the second coming of Jesus-yes! But I am talking about the ordination of Fernando Camou, our parish son. He will be ordained in two weeks, on Saturday, June 27, at 10am in our Cathedral. If you do not believe the Holy Spirit is working, remember that June 27 is the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help! When I reminded Fernando of this he was surprised and very happy.

Because of the ordination we will not celebrate the feast day as a solemnity in our parish, hoping that most of you will attend the ordination. We will have our regular Saturday morning mass at 8:30. Also, since the diocese has a holy hour at the Cathedral on Friday evening to pray for vocations, and because we have so many young people considering vocations in our parish, we will not have a Friday evening mass. Please plan to attend the Holy Hour at 6:30pm in the Cathedral.

Also, I ask that you begin praying for Fernando as he prepares for this important day, all for all of those discerning vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, or the consecrated life. If you have not heard, (Fr.) Fernando will be assigned to St. Thomas Aquinas parish in Avondale.

Pax,
Fr. Mike

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Youth Congress “Set the World on Fire”

06-07-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Next weekend our diocese will host our first ever bi-lingual Youth Congress, "Set the World on Fire", at the Phoenix Convention Center, North Building. There will be many exciting speakers, including Bishop Olmsted and Bishop Nevares, and some great music, including our own Youth Minister, Basilio Salinas. It runs Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday. This is a special time for our youth to gather to celebrate our faith and the real presence of Jesus in their midst.

Parents, please make sure that your youth know about this important event and encourage them to attend. You can get more information on our website, or on the diocesan website. The cost is only $10 for all three days.

Students, please invite your friends, even if they do not attend church regularly. This is a wonderful chance to evangelize as our Holy Father, Pope Francis, asks us to do.

Peace,
Fr. Mike

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