"If anyone should cause one of these little ones to lose their faith in me, it would be better for that person to have a large millstone tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea" (Mk. 9:42).
Sixty years ago our society adhered to the Ten Commandments. Intact families ate, talked, prayed and went to church together on Sundays. Mothers and grandparents were home most of the day while fathers worked to support their families. Children were raised to love God, respect authority and parents looked to the schools to provide a sound, healthy education. Crime was rare and divorce was for movie stars.READ MORE
During Lent I have been talking with you about Pope Saint John Paul II's call to a new evangelization and Pope Francis' understanding that this means to be "missionary disciples", not simply disciples.
This leads to Bishop Olmsted who has called the Diocese of Phoenix to embark on a Campaign of Evangelization. He calls this campaign, Together Let Us Go Forth - Juntos Sigamos Adelante". This campaign will focus us into the future as well as asking us to improve our efforts at evangelization today. As you know, we are building a new high school in the far west valley, St. John Paul II High School, which will open next Fall. A number of our 8th graders plan to attend there next year. We also want to strengthen our three University Newman Centers because it is at secular universities that most young adults leave or drift from their faith.READ MORE
On this 5th Sunday of Lent the prophet Jeremiah announces that God will place his law within us and write it on our hearts. God wants us, from the greatest to the least, to KNOW him. That is why he forgives our evildoing and remembers our sins no more, so we can have knowledge of him and his ways. Sin keeps us trapped in laws, but when we receive forgiveness we freely love.READ MORE
Have you heard the myth that the Catholic Church is wealthy? It's not true. Everything the Church does is in service of others.
I used to wonder why the Catholic Church keeps valuable works of art and architecture instead of selling it and giving the money to the poor. I asked, "Didn't Jesus tell the rich young man to sell everything and give the money to the poor?" (Lk 18:22).READ MORE
A Catholic home is called the domestic church, a mini church in which virtue is lived daily with Catholic art visible for reflection. Catholic parents are to live the gospel of love and life within the home as the family is a community of love just as the Blessed Trinity is a community of love. Sacred, blessed art is a sacramental to remind the family of their heavenly family. "By the church's prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it" (CCC 1670). Holy pictures, statues and crucifixes enable parents and children to reflect on the lives of the Holy Family and the gospel accounts of Jesus and the early Church.READ MORE
In a talk he gave a couple of years ago, Bishop Olmsted said, "Pope Francis insists that we who believe in Jesus are not merely disciples, we are missionary disciples. Christ not only calls us to be with Him; He also sends us forth." It is not enough to come to Mass and receive God's Word and the Body and Blood of Jesus, we are sent at the end of Mass...sent into the world as missionary disciples.READ MORE
Last week I quoted Pope Francis in saying that by their baptism, all members of the Church have become "missionary disciples". Some of us are not simply disciples and others missionaries, but all are missionary disciples.
Our Holy Father also says, "The Lord's missionary mandate includes a call to growth in faith: 'Teach them to observe all that I have commanded you' (Mt. 28:20). Hence it is clear that the first proclamation also calls for ongoing formation and maturation. Evangelization aims at a process of growth which entails taking seriously each person and God's plan for his or her life. All of us need to grow in Christ. Evangelization should stimulate a desire for this growth, so that each of us can say wholeheartedly: "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Gal. 2:20)."READ MORE
Please, please, please register in the parish and use your parish envelopes when you come to Mass and tell all your family and friends to do the same.
Children deserve godparents who faithfully live their Catholicism. Sadly, every single day parents tell us they cannot find a sponsor or godparent for their child because their family members are not living according to the Church’s teaching on Marriage, and/or they cannot show any evidence that they come to Mass on Sundays!READ MORE
"I am the Lord your God. You shall not have other gods before me" (Ex.20:2-3). This commandment is skipped over by well-meaning American families because it is presumed God was referring to pagan cultures that worship nature or handcrafted objects such as animals. However, too many times parents lead their family and innocent children into a kind of fanatical worship of money, prestige, electronics, fashion, celebrities, sports or education. Too much emphasis is placed on material goods, pop culture or education for the sake of wealth. No importance is given to the love and worship of God.READ MORE
God allows mankind to co-create new life with Him in His image and likeness. Catholic parents promise at their child's baptism to raise them to know, love and serve God through faithful obedience to Catholic teaching.
Unfortunately, we have become a secular culture, excluding God and faith. Our Christian identity is challenged every day. Jesus warned us about "The wolf in sheep's clothing" (Mt.7:15) who will always attack the faithful. Parents, be aware of the secular ideas meant to derail your children's faith! Statements such as, "Children should be exposed to everything so they can grow and learn from their experience of the world and not be sheltered" or simply, "Try it, you'll like it" are typical of our culture.READ MORE