Upon this Rock I will build my church...

08-27-2017Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

The Catholic Church is full of flesh and blood—the pope, bishops, priests, deacons, the saints, Mary. They are people like us. But we need not worry. Jesus shows us flesh and blood can be graced with divinity. That is why he came! God has never given up on flesh and blood, which He created in His own image and likeness. Amazingly, He is not afraid to make Peter the rock of His Church. Jesus guarantees that the dark forces of death and deception will never prevail against His flesh and blood Church. Lord Jesus, help us remember that to build a human Church was Your idea; help us do our part to live your kingdom way and to believe that You will see us through.

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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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Humble Yourselves

08-20-2017Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is silent toward the woman who is begging for a miracle, so she turns to his disciples. When that fails, she humbly kneels before Jesus saying, “Lord, help me.” Jesus answers, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs." Doesn’t this sound awfully mean to us? But, Jesus isn’t calling the woman a “dog.” He is using a saying of the day to explain why he must give priority to the Jewish people. It’s like saying that the children must be fed before the pet dog. In humility, the Canaanite woman is willing to think of herself as undeserving as a dog would be compared to the children of a family. However, she points out to Jesus that “crumbs” fall from the children’s table, and the “dogs” are happy to lap them up. This pagan woman teaches us that true believers both humble themselves and hang on for dear life, knowing the goodness of God. “In you, Lord, we have put our hope, and we shall not hope in vain!”

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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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Do Not Be Afraid

08-13-2017Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

So many questions arise from today’s Gospel. Why did Jesus send his disciples out on the stormy sea? Why did he leave them there all night? They were physically and emotionally exhausted and they feared for their lives. Didn’t Jesus know that his ghostly appearance would make them even more terrified? Is it their fear that keeps them from recognizing him? The very moment they cry out in fear, he speaks, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." What more do we need when facing our most dreaded fears? Jesus’ own presence with us is more than enough to calm the scariest storms in our lives. In the storms of your life, look for him. Listen to his voice. Trust him when he says he is with you. Do not be afraid.

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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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Week of August 6

08-06-2017Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration when we contemplate the great mystery of Christ’s power and glory. He could have used his power to escape suffering. He could have used his glory to command our allegiance. Instead he shows us the path of love. He shows us how to suffer in a way that brings redemption.

How can we imitate our Lord this week? As parents, how can we choose the path of humility and love for those God has put in our family? As a son or daughter, or brother or sister, how can we walk the path of love, even if it means suffering? When we choose to follow him in humility and love, we will know his light and his glory!

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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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God is not in a hurry!

07-23-2017Faith and Family

Today’s readings show us that God is not in a hurry! It is dangerous to make judgments based on first impressions, before the proper amount of time has passed. No, God is not in a hurry. In our world today—fast is good, instant is better. Slow down and talk about one or more of today’s parables with your family. Let Jesus’ words sink in and renew your mind. What do these parables teach about time? About judging too soon? About letting God do his hidden work in us in His own time?

¡Las lecturas de hoy nos  muestranque Dios no tiene prisa! Es peligroso hacer juicios basados en las primeras impresiones, antes de que haya pasado un tiempo apropiado. No, Dios no tiene prisa. En nuestro mundo de hoy, rápido es bueno, instantáneo es mejor. Reduzca la velocidad y hable de una o más de las parábolas de hoy con su familia. Deje que las palabras de Jesús inunden y renueven su mente. ¿Qué enseñan estas parábolas sobre el tiempo? ¿Sobre juzgar demasiado pronto? ¿Sobre dejar que Dios haga su obra oculta en nosotros en Su tiempo?

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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Childlike Qualities

07-09-2017Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus praises God, the Father for hiding things from the wise and learned and revealing them to the childlike. What childlike qualities open us to receive from God? Maybe humility, which allows us the freedom to be who we are and not pretend to be better or worse than we are. Or perhaps joy and gratitude for simple gifts. Take some time to see and name the childlike qualities in each member of your family and praise God together for his goodness!

En el Evangelio de este domingo, Jesús alaba a Dios Padre por es- conder cosas a los sabios y revelarselas a los niños. ¿Qué cualidades infantiles abrimos para recibir de Dios? Tal vez la humildad, que nos permite la libertad de ser quien somos y no pretender ser mejor o peor de lo que somos. O tal vez alegría y gratitud por regalos simples. Tómese un tiempo para ver y nombrar las cualidades infantiles en cada miembro de su familia y alaben juntos a Dios por su bondad!

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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Do Not Fear

07-02-2017Faith and FamilyLani Bogart

Can you find four reasons in today's first reading that we do not need to be afraid? In the Psalm find three more reasons not to fear. Then in the Gospel Jesus warns us against fear three times. "Fear no one." "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul." "So, do not be afraid."

The one thing we should be afraid of is "the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna." The Church teaches that the stubborn refusal to repent from sin and trust in God is the one thing that can destroy both soul and body.

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