Mercy Night

08-28-2016From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

As you remember, our Holy Father, Pope Francis has called for a Year of Mercy continuing until the Solemnity of Christ the King in November. As part of our diocesan celebration, Bishop Olmsted has asked each deanery to host a Mercy Night at a parish in their deanery the first Friday of one month.

Our deanery will host a Mercy Night next Friday evening, September 2nd, at St. Helen's parish. We will begin at 7pm. The new religious congregation, the Friars of the Holy Spirit, will be leading our evening celebration, which includes confessions, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, a Eucharistic Procession, and Benediction.

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Change is a Part of Life

08-21-2016From the PastorFr. Mike Straley

Howdy,

I think we all know that change is a part of life. I can also tell you that our parish is alive...very alive! Of course, that means change sometimes. Some change is good, for the best, and some is sad.

The women of our Lady’s Guild have voted to disband.  While that is sad, and I definitely want to thank them for all that they have done for our parish community through the years, it now allows us to look at what we need for our ministry to the women of our parish.  I will be asking the Parish Council to form a subcommittee to look at what other parishes are doing and to recommend a direction for us in the future.  If anyone is interested in helping with this committee, please contact our parish office.

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Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

08-14-2016From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

On Monday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of our Blessed Mother, Mary, body and soul into heaven. Because it falls on a Monday it is not a day of obligation, but it is still a solemnity. We will not have a vigil mass, but in addition to our regular masses, we will have a bilingual Mass at 7:00pm.

For us at Our Lady of Perpetual Help this is an important feast. If our Blessed Mother had not been assumed she probably would not have the title Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Like any other saint, we could ask for her prayers, but Mary is different from the other saints because of her assumption. Obviously, God had more for her to do.

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The effects of sexual addictions in our society.

08-07-2016From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

At the priest's spring Clergy Day of Continuing Education we had a very interesting and disturbing presentation covering from social media and video games to pornography and sexual addictions. What was very surprising was the connection between these. Many violent video games are produced by those who also produce pornographic videos. Sex is slowly introduced into the violent videos to lead children into sexual fantasies.  

As a priest who hears many confessions and does some counseling, I know the problem that sexual addiction is in our society. It is much greater than most people know or would believe. Sexual addictions not only affect the person involved, but also families and friends; it affects relationships.  

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Life is changed, not ended…

08-07-2016From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

In this Year of Mercy, it is good to reflect on one of the greatest gifts of our God: Life. One of the documents of the Second Vatican Council states:

"In the face of death the enigma of human existence reaches its climax. Man is not only the victim of pain and the progressive deterioration of his body; he is also, and more deeply, tormented by the fear of final extinction. But the instinctive judgment of his heart is right when he shrinks from, and rejects, the idea of a total collapse and definitive end of his person. He carries within him the seed of eternity…"

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A great gift of our God: Life

07-31-2016From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

In this Year of Mercy, it is good to reflect on one of the greatest gifts of our God: Life. One of the documents of the Second Vatican Council states:

"In the face of death the enigma of human existence reaches its climax. Man is not only the victim of pain and the progressive deterioration of his body; he is also, and more deeply, tormented by the fear of final extinction. But the instinctive judgment of his heart is right when he shrinks from, and rejects, the idea of a total collapse and definitive end of his person. He carries within him the seed of eternity…"

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"Footprints: the path of your life"

07-24-2016From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

"Footprints: the path of your life" is a film developed by a group of young Catholics from the Diocese of Phoenix. It will soon be shown in theaters worldwide. It has been produced both in English and a Spanish, dubbed, version.

It is estimated that some 200,000 pilgrims come from around the world to walk the Camino de Santiago each year. "Footprints: the path of your life" is the true story of ten men, led by Fr. Sergio Fita, pastor of St. Anne Parish in Gilbert, sharing their experiences as they journey together on the Way of St. James.

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Thank you for supporting NPH (Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos)

07-17-2016From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

This weekend I am in Mexico with Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos. Three of the young men I sponsor are graduating from high school. You can imagine how proud I am of them; I know them well and they are each very different, but great young men. Also, one of the guys I sponsor is finishing his year of service and will be leaving for the university of Monterrey. That means I will not see him very often as Monterrey is very far from Cuernavaca.

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Our Diocese is truly Blessed.

07-10-2016From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Last weekend I was blessed to be at the celebration of a new religious community in our Catholic Church and in our diocese. Bishop Olmsted officially declared a "public association of the faithful" (legal talk for a new religious community): the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit (FFHS).

One of the friars helped us with masses a year ago for a couple of weeks, so you may have met him, Fr. Michael. Six friars made their solemn vows, five priests and one brother, and one brother made his temporary vows.

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Thank you for your generosity!

07-03-2016From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

A couple of months ago I asked all of you to consider increasing your Sunday offering; many of you did that and our collection has gone up a little. I want to thank all of you who were able to respond with whatever increaseyou could give.

With your increased giving we have been able to do some much needed work around our parish grounds. Some of that you can see and some of it is maintaining our buildings. Most importantly, we have been able to give an increase in salaries to our wonderful staff, especially to those who are paid the least.

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Let us welcome Fr. Ryan Lee

06-26-2016From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

As I wrote last week, Monday is the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and therefore a solemnity in our parish. We will have our normal morning Masses and a bi-lingual evening Mass at 7:00 pm. Fr. Keith will celebrate the evening Mass and it will be his last scheduled Mass at OLPH.

Next weekend we will welcome Fr. Ryan Lee as our new parochial vicar with receptions after the Masses. Fr. Ryan will celebrate the English schedule next weekend and then the other Masses for the next two weekends. I know I do not need to encourage you to make him feel welcome.

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Farewell to Fr. Keith Kenney

06-19-2016From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Sometimes we take for granted all of the blessings we receive from God. As a pastor for over 20 years I have had many parochial vicars (associate pastors) to work with and we have been blessed here at OLPH since I have been pastor. The three priests I have worked with here have been great, and I am so grateful.

Next weekend is the last weekend for Fr. Keith. Of course, we will have receptions Saturday evening after the 5pm Mass and Sunday morning beginning at 9am. Please plan to come by and thank Fr. Keith for all he has done to help our parish community grow in faith.

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Celebrating the Ordination of Deacon Ryan Lee to the Priesthood

06-12-2016From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

This weekend we celebrate the ordination of Deacon Ryan Lee to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. He will be our new parochial vicar, or associate pastor. He will also celebrate his first Mass as a priest. Last weekend I celebrated my anniversary of ordination: 33 years! It is always fun to see the newly ordained and to have some idea of what their life will be like; and they really have no idea!

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What sets us apart from other believers

06-05-2016From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Recently, I wrote to you about the importance of the feasts we have just celebrated, the Most Holy Trinity and the Body and Blood of Christ. I said that these two celebrations mark us out as different from other believers.   Someone wrote to me that they did not understand what I was saying.

Most Christians do not believe that Christ is truly present, "body and blood, soul and divinity", in the Eucharist. Depending on their church they have different ways of defining communion, but always short of really and truly present. Other Christian brothers and sisters also deal with the Holy Trinity in different ways according to their tradition.

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Celebrating the Ordination of Deacon Ryan Lee to the Priesthood

--From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

This weekend we celebrate the ordination of Deacon Ryan Lee to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. He will be our new parochial vicar, or associate pastor. He will also celebrate his first Mass as a priest. Last weekend I celebrated my anniversary of ordination: 33 years! It is always fun to see the newly ordained and to have some idea of what their life will be like; and they really have no idea!

READ MORE