Thank you for your faithful stewardship of God's blessings

09-24-2017From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

We weekly print the total of the previous week's collection, and you are very generous, so it can look like a lot of money. Actually, it is. However, we have not told you what our weekly or monthly costs are, and that is also a lot of money.

Our monthly utility bills usually run over $14,000 and our phone bill is about $2000. Yes, it costs a lot to run an active parish. The benefits for our employees, retirement, FICA taxes, and health insurance runs over $30,000 per month.

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Together Let Us Go Forth

09-17-2017From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

I hope you heard that last Thursday, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, bishop Olmsted announced a new diocesan capital campaign, "Together Let Us Go Forth, Juntos Sigamos Adelante". I know that it sounds like an incredible task, but we live in hope...and we work hard.

It is important to see how this campaign will benefit us at OLPH. Of course, it will help pay for the new Catholic high school, Pope St. John Paul II, in Avondale. Many of our students will consider the new school because it may be closer to their homes. Also, there are funds for our three Newman Centers at our universities, especially a new Center at Grand Canyon University. Again, many of our young people will directly benefit from this campaign. Finally, our parish will receive a percentage (30%) of the funds that we raise, to help us with some much needed work. I will be letting you know more about our parish plans in the future.

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Ready to help our youth grow in their faith

09-10-2017From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Next week our Jr. High and High School youth programs begin, which always makes me very happy. It is so great to get to know better our young people. I also enjoy watching them grow in their faith.

I know that as children grown order their activities in school become more important; I was very active in my high school. However, please remember that this is an important time when young people are developing attitudes and values that will form their lives as adults. Public schools teach secular values; they are not allowed to teach religious values.

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Important dates to put on our September calendars

09-03-2017From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

I can't believe it is September already: happy Labor Day. Let's be thankful for all those who labor to make our lives better and for those who are seeking employment. I say this every year, but it feels strange to honor labor by not laboring.

With September there are a few important calendar dates I want to give you. The Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre pray the rosary for our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land every first Monday of the month. Monday, Labor Day, is the first of the month and we will be hosting a group of them in the church to pray the rosary at 6:00pm. We always invite parishioners at the church we gather at, so you are invited.

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54 Day Novena to Our Lady of Fatima

08-27-2017From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy, We have begun our Novena to Our Blessed Mother with our Bishop and all those in our diocese. If you have not begun to pray the Rosary it is OK to start now; you can join at any time and if you forget one day, just start again. It is the prayer that is important, even if you do not do the entire 54-day Novena.

Of course, it is good if you can pray the Rosary with your family as Sr. Lucia recommended. Anything that unites the family during this important time is good. Remember that there are pamphlets to help you with the Rosary if you have forgotten or never learned; do not be ashamed, it is never too late to learn. It was many years after my conversion before the Rosary became important tome.  

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Our Lady of Fatima and the Rosary as a Weapon for Peace

08-20-2017From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

On Monday we begin a diocesan wide Novena to Our Lady in the year of the 100th anniversary of her appearing to the three children at Fatima, Portugal. Bishop Olmsted has asked us all to pray the Rosary daily during this Novena. He especially called on parents to pray the Rosary as a family. On October 13, the 100th anniversary of the final apparition at Fatima, Bishop Olmsted will publicly consecrate our Diocese to Mary’s Immaculate Heart. The Novena, beginning August 21 on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, will conclude on October 13.

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Please remember our deacons in your prayers

08-13-2017From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Next weekend the deacons of our diocesan region will be meeting here in Phoenix. This is always an important time of continuing education and for socializing with other deacons from other states; please remember our deacons in your prayers this week.

As you all know, deacons play an important role in our church ministry. Of course, they can baptize and celebrate weddings outside of mass, and they assist at mass and funerals including preaching. However, their duties are much greater than that, they also lead prayer and assist at meetings. Maybe even more important, in these days when priests are transferred often, deacons usually stay in a parish for a longer time, giving the parish much needed stability. Deacon Tony has been many years in our parish and probably knows our parish better than anyone.

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Looking forward to another great school year

08-06-2017From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

It is hard to believe, but summer is almost over! Well, not the heat, but the slow-down of our activities. Our school starts on Tuesday. It will be great to have our children back and the good new is that our numbers continue to grow. In fact, we will be out of room shortly if we continue.

With schools beginning, most people are home from vacations and starting back into their normal schedules. That means that we will be starting programs and activities as well. Please watch the bulletin in the next couple of months to be sure you do not miss anything.

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Let us be good stewards of the blessings we receive

07-30-2017From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

We have received some good news that I want to share with you. First, the diocese has given us a grant to re-seal the west parking lot in front of the office and the parish hall. This has been needed for a couple of years but we did not have the money to do it. Work is scheduled to begin next week and should take a couple of days; of course, the parking lot may be closed during the work.

Secondly, after a few months of negotiation and planning, we have agreed to be a pilot parish for the diocese on a solar energy project. The plan is to cover a portion of the east parking lot and the basketball court in the school. This should either reduce our utility fees or keep them at the same rate if there is an increase by the utility company. Work should begin next month so please be patient.

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Plenary Indulgence Opportunity

07-23-2017From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

I want to continue the message from Msgr. Bui concerning our diocesan celebration of the 100th anniversary of our Blessed Mother to the children of Fatima:

In commemorating the Centenary Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence opportunity until November 26, 2017. There are three ways to obtain the plenary indulgence: make a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, pray before a statue of Our Lady of Fatima in Church or chapel, and for the elderly and sick that cannot move, pray before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in their own homes.

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Commemorating the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima

07-16-2017From the PastorMsgr. Peter Dai Bui

Howdy,

Below is a message from Msgr. Peter Dai Bui, theological consultant to Bishop Olmsted:

Our Diocese will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima. Our Lady appeared to three children near the small town of Fatima, predicting a century marred by war and the rise of atheistic Communism. She also gave the visionaries simple ways to stop and even restore what would be lost. Her solution was simple: return to her Son Jesus through the practices of prayer and penance. These weapons are as powerful and relevant to us today as they have ever been.

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What is a Vocation?

07-09-2017From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

I borrowed this from Bishop James Wall of Gallup with his permission:

What is a Vocation?

From the Latin word "vocare" means "to call", a vocation is a call from God. Most people think of a vocation as job to do in life but it goes much deeper. It is important to understand that our first call from God is the call to be holy. Keeping this in mind, a vocation as Frederick Buechner defines it, "is where our deep gladness meets the world's deep need."

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Jesus Brought Life out of Death

07-02-2017From the Pastor

"Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." When Jesus says paradoxical things like this, we can still trust him. Even when he makes claims that, at first glance, seem impossible, we know that he's not talking gibberish. Why? Because Jesus lived the ultimate paradox: he brought life out of death. His resurrection proves for us that things are not always as they appear. The Crucifixion, which looked like the end of Jesus' influence, was actually a tremendous new beginning.  

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