The importance of the Charity and Development Appeal

02-22-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Let me say thank you to all who have parti- cipated in this year's Charity and Development Appeal . This annual appeal is so important to our diocese and to our parish because so many of our volunteer ministers and our staff receive training from the offices funded by the CDA.

As I look at our 5 year history, we have surpassed our goal three times. Over that time period, our average goal was $56,800 and our average amounted raised was $59,352. I think it is easy to say that we have done well and have reason to be proud. Last year was exceptional with a goal of $60,000 we raised 67,599.

Of course, that means that we have a higher goal this year: $64,000 but this is within what we are easily able to accomplish. It would be great if we could surpass our goal early. Remember, I will continue to remind you until we pass our goal (this is one time when it is OK to shut me up).

Again thank you for your past generosity and for your participation in this year's campaign.

Pax,
Fr. Mike

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Beginning the holy season of Lent

02-15-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Next Wednesday we begin the holy season of Lent. Calm down, this not a bad time; it is a time to be sure that we are preparing for the fullness of God's Kingdom. Sometimes we slip and or get distracted on the way, Lent is that time every year when the Church reminds us to get focused again: focused on the Kingdom of God, not our own kingdom. Fasting, prayer, and almsgiving are ways to remind us to be sure we are growing towards the Kingdom and not in a different way.

Many people use this special time of year to attend daily Mass more often. Of course, we will celebrate the Stations of the Cross, walking with Jesus through His death and reminding us of His resurrection. All of Lent leas us to the greatest celebration our Church and our God gives us: Easter and the Holy Week celebrations.

Our diocese will give all of you some special help along the way of Lent. For the women in our parish, the diocesan Women's Spirituality Conference is next Saturday, February 21st. For you men, your Spirituality Conference is Saturday, March 21st. I can assure you these are both very meaningful times to prepare for the coming of our Lord.

Pax,
Fr. Mike

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The Charity and Development Appeal begins this weekend

02-08-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

It is that time of year again: The Charity and Development Appeal begins this weekend. This is a very important time for our parish and for our diocese. I cannot stress enough what your pledge means for so many.

This year we will celebrate the ordination of Fernando Camou to the priesthood; Fernando's education was paid for partially by your CDA contributions. Of course, John Nahrgang continues in seminary with your help.

Also, so many of our programs at OLPH are supported by CDA help. Our catechists and our school teachers receive important training and education from the offices supported by CDA. The men discerning the call to the permanent diaconate are supported by CDA.

And on and on...you get the picture.

Please be generous, as you always are, to help the future of our parish and diocese.

Pax,
Fr. Mike

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Annulment Minister Training

02-01-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Our diocese will be having classes for new annulment (nullity) ministers in May. This is an important ministry in our church; one that can help with the healing after the pain of a divorce.

Of course, there is confidentiality with this ministry, therefore, those interested must talk with a deacon or priest and get pastor approval. Those already involved in marriage preparation or RCIA would definitely benefit from this training.

Our parish community could use some help with annulments, especially in the Spanish speaking community. If interested, please talk with a deacon or priest to learn more.

Also, remember there is an inquiry session for those who might be interested in becoming a permanent deacon. If you think someone would be a good deacon, don't be afraid to remind them of this session next Saturday.

Thanks to all of you for all that you do to make our community more vibrant.

Pax,
Fr. Mike

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Flu Season

01-25-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

As many of you have heard, the flu vaccine this year is not effective for the strain of flu that is going around. Over 30 states have declared the flu an epidemic already, although Arizona is not one of them...yet.

With that in mind, the diocese of Phoenix has reminded parishes that holding hands during the Our Father is not required, it is optional. Please do not feel offended if someone chooses not to hold hands, especially during flu season. The same is true for the greeting of peace during Mass.

Obviously, if you are sick with the flu you are not obligated to attend Mass. In fact, it would be wrong to attend Mass while you are sick, because you expose others to your illness.

I hope and pray that most of you avoid this year's flu and that you can celebrate with us every Sunday.

Pax, Fr. Mike

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Our school: a very important ministry in our parish

01-18-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

I don't think it is any surprise to you that I believe our school is a very important ministry in our parish. Of course, teaching the faith to our children is a responsibility that God has given to all of us. But, my joy as pastor is in being with our children and watching them grow.

Next weekend begins Catholic Schools Week in our diocese. At Our Lady of Perpetual Help we will begin with a dinner after the 5pm Mass on Saturday. Sunday our Parish Council "Spotlight on Ministry" series will feature the school ministries, please plan to come by the hall after the Masses to learn more about our school. We will have our annual Open House at the same time.

Also next week, on Wednesday evening, Bishop Nevares will host his annual Andrew Dinner for young men interested in learning more about priesthood. Any young man from age 16 up to about 30 is welcome to come. If you are interested please talk to one of the priests, or call Basilio, our Youth Minister for details.

Pax,
Fr. Mike

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The Baptism of the Lord

01-11-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

The feast of the Baptism of the Lord ends Christmas season and now we move on into what we call "ordinary time" or counted time. But before we move on, there is something I want to say to you.

Of course, Christmas season is a wonderful time for all Christians. For me as pastor, especially in this parish, it is a very special time. We have our college students back and I enjoy seeing them again and hearing about their year away. Of course, I am happy to visit with our seminarians. I also enjoy meeting many of your families who are here to visit. Maybe most of all, I love to be at as many Masses as I am able so that I can greet you before and after the Mass.

This time of year I am especially aware of our being family together. Yes, you may call me "father", but we all know that it is God who is truly our Father. Thank you for all of your gifts and kindness in this holy season.

Pax, Fr. Mike

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The Baptism of the Lord

01-04-2015From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Next Sunday is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord and the end of the season of Christmas. We jump from looking at baby Jesus to seeing an adult Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist.

Many people wonder why Jesus would be baptized; St. Maximus of Turin gives us an answer: "Christ is baptized not that he may be sanctified in the waters but that he himself may sanctify the waters and purify by his own purification the streams he touches." He goes on to say, "Christ takes the lead in baptism, then, so that the Christian people might follow with confidence."

After his baptism, Jesus begins his public ministry...leading ultimately to the cross, and finally to resurrection. In our liturgies, we will walk with him in our readings to help us follow him in our lives.

Pax,
Fr. Mike

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Celebrating the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

12-28-2014From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Well, Christmas is over and I hope that we have all celebrated well. It is such a wonderful time for most of us. But we need to remember that Christmas is a season, not just a day, and that there are many important celebrations during this season.

Next week we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. This is a very ancient title for Our Blessed Mother and it is important to celebrate it. Without Mary there would be no Christmas celebration; Without Mary there would be no Lady of Guadalupe celebration. Everything we have been celebrating this month leads to Mary as Mother of God.

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It is better to give than to receive

12-21-2014From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

There is an old proverb, "it is better to give than to receive" or "it is more blessed to give than to receive." Many of us experience this often without thinking about it. Parents know the joy of giving their child a gift that they do not expect; watching the wonder on the child's face is such a joy. And of course, if the child returns the gift, by saying "THANK YOU!" you are gifted in return. Even more, if the "thank you " comes with a big hug, you understand the blessing of giving and receiving.

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Where is your focus?

12-14-2014From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Have you noticed how fat Santa Claus has gotten lately? I mean, you can hardly see anyone or anything except him in the picture! Even baby Jesus seems to have disappeared behind Santa because he has gotten so large.

If baby Jesus were to come today, I don't think the Magi would be able to find Him because of all of the signs calling us to shop for gifts because Santa is coming. And those shepherds would probably be shopping themselves, thinking that was more important than visiting a new-born baby.

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The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

12-07-2014From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

This week we come to the end of our novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of our diocese and of our capilla. We can be proud that we have one of the great celebrations to our Blessed Mother here in Glendale.

We conclude our novena on Thursday evening with the rosary at 6pm followed by a vigil Mass at 7pm in the church. Then we all process the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe from the church to the capilla. Our young people will present a drama reenacting our Blessed Mother's appearance. Prayers will continue throughout the night.

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Year of Prayer for Consecrated Life

11-28-2014From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has declared this year a year of prayer for Consecrated Life. We at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glendale are blessed to have two consecrated sisters living with us, and others from different communities who often worship with us. Our history is filled with many women and men from religious communities who have served us.

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