Into the Breach: An Apostolic Exhortation

02-28-2016From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

As part of our Lenten journey, I am asking every man in our parish to please read the Bishop's Apostolic Exhortation: Into the Breach. It is available on-line in both English and Spanish.    

Bishop Olmsted begins his letter by saying:

"I begin this letter with a clarion call and clear charge to you, my sons and brothers in Christ: Men, do not hesitate to engage in the battle that is raging around you, the battle that is wounding our children and families, the battle that is distorting the dignity of both women and men. This battle is often hidden, but the battle is real. It is primarily spiritual, but it is progressively killing the remaining Christian ethos in our society and culture, and even in our homes."  

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Fr. Mike appointed Dean of the Northwest Deanery

02-21-2016From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

Bishop Olmsted has recently appointed me to be the new Dean of the Northwest Deanery. Our diocese is divided in 7 Deaneries to help our Bishop know and understand better what is happening in our diocese and what are its needs. Every deanery has a priest as dean. Our deanery includes 21 parishes and missions in Northwest Maricopa County.

The responsibilities include visiting each parish every year and meeting with each priest at that parish. There are also 5 year visits that include meetings with the staff, parish council, and finance council of the parish. The deans meet regularly with the Bishop to discuss issues in our deaneries.

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Our Little Brothers and Sisters

02-14-2016From the PastorFr. Mike Straley

Howdy,

As part of our celebration of the Year of Mercy, next Sunday we will host a sponsorship weekendfor Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (Our Little Brothers and Sisters). Fr. Jose will be back with us to preach in Spanish and I will preach in English. There will be tables with pictures and information about sponsoring a child after each Mass.

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Lent: a special time to renew ourselves in the Body of Christ

02-07-2016From the PastorFr. Michael Straley

Howdy,

I know it seems early, but next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. In this year of Mercy, Lent provides us with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate God's love and mercy for each of us, and for our brothers and sisters throughout the world.

Remember that on Ash Wednesday, as on Good Friday, we both fast and abstain from eating meat. Fasting means usually, one meal throughout the day, either once or spread out. Abstaining means that we do not eat meat, only vegetables and fish. These disciplines are not only healthy, but they remind us that while we live in the world, we live differently from the world's ways.

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Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service

01-31-2016From the PastorFr. Mike Straley

Howdy,

Next week is Catholic School Week, beginning today (Sunday) with an Open House from 10am-2pm. Even if you do not have children attending our school, it is good to see all of the great things happening in the school. Parents, there will be students and teachers available to talk with if you are interested in having your child join us next year.

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Every Sunday is a Holy Day of Obligation

01-24-2016From the PastorFr. Mike Straley

Howdy,

I think it is always good to remind people that every Sunday is a Holy Day of Obligation; going to Mass is not an occasional thing or a “when it is convenient” thing. Christians celebrate Jesus every Sunday, the day of His resurrection.

The “obligation” is not so that the church gets more money, although your contribution is important. Keeping our two facilities in good working condition is not an easy task and it takes all of us doing what we can. But money, or tithe, is not the reason we attend Mass.Also, we do not come to Mass to “get” communion. “If I cannot receive communion then I don’t need to go!”

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Considering God's Great Mercy

01-17-2016From the PastorFr. Mike Straley

Howdy,

Considering God’s great mercy, St. Hippolytus, a priest who died in the year 235, wrote:

We put our faith in words spoken by the power of God, spoken by the Word himself at God’s command. God wished to win men back from disobedience, not by using force to reduce him to slavery but by addressing to his free will a call to liberty.

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Celebrating Life in the Holy Year

01-10-2016From the PastorFr. Mike Straley

Howdy,

As I reflect on our Year of Mercy I am so thankful to our Holy Father for directing our attention in this way. What a wonderful gift to us and to our world. To be merciful is to be pro-life, for mercy is always directed to life and restoring life. Let me offer a couple of ways for us to celebrate life in the Holy Year.

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The Mystery of Mercy

01-03-2016From the PastorFr. Mike Straley

Howdy,

As we begin our new year and our Year of Mercy, let me share with you the words of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, from the Bull of Indiction creating this Holy Year:
Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith. Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth, reaching its culmination in him. The Father, “rich in mercy” (Eph 2:4), after having revealed his name to Moses as “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ex 34:6), has never ceased to show, in various ways throughout history, his divine nature. In the “fullness of time” (Gal 4:4), when everything had been arranged according to his plan of salvation, he sent his only Son into the world, born of the Virgin Mary, to reveal his love for us in a definitive way. Whoever sees Jesus sees the Father (cf. Jn. 14:9). Jesus of Nazareth, by his words, his actions, and his entire person reveals the mercy of God.

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The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

12-27-2015From the PastorFr. Mike Straley

Howdy,

After all of the wonderful celebrations of Christmas and the Holy Family, it is so easy to relax and fall back into our “normal” lives. Please remember that Christmas is a season, not a day, and that it continues until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Maybe even more important, this week we will celebrate a very important feast for us: the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Since our Lady is our patron- ess, both under the title of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at our church and our Lady of Guadalupe at our capilla, we should not neglect this wonderful feast. Of course, it is also a Holy Day of obligation.

I know it is New Year’s Day! Maybe you want to sleep late and there are those football games, but we are talking about our Mother! Remember, we have a vigil Mass at 5:30pm on New Year’s Eve. What a great way to begin the New Year: with our Lord at Mass.

I hope to see all of you at one of our celebrations.

Merry Christmas,
Fr. Mike

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Anticipating with great joy the gift of our God

12-20-2015From the PastorFr. Mike Straley

Howdy,

As we bring our Advent season to a close we prepare to celebrate with great joy the gift of our God, his son Jesus. At the same time we remember all of the gifts that Jesus gave us in His life, death and resurrection. I hope that we are all filled with joy and anticipation at this great feast. I always look forward to midnight Mass; it is so special to celebrate with those who choose to begin the Christmas season at this most holy hour.

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Giving the Gift of Catholic Education

12-13-2015From the PastorFr. Mike Straley

Howdy,

Most of you are aware that our school has been growing fast these past couple of years. This is in part due to our ability to help families with their tuition through scholarships given by Catholic Education Arizona (formerly CTODP). In this season of gift giving will you give the gift of Catholic education to one of our students by designating some of the tax dollars to CEA? In this Year of Mercy we focus on our helping those in need, your CEA gift is a great way to participate fully in our Holy Father’s Year of Mercy.

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The feast of the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Mother

12-06-2015From the PastorFr. Mike Straley

Howdy,

Next Tuesday is the feast of the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Mother. Her conception was and is a special gift from God. Next Tuesday we receive another special gift as Pope Francis opens the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica to begin the extraordinary jubilee Year of Mercy. In all dioceses in the world, bishops will also open special doors next Sunday. Bishop Olmsted will designate a door at the Cathedral of SS. Simon and Jude and Bishop Nevares will designate a door at the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona as holy doors for our diocese.

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