This Sunday, called Palm or Passion Sunday, is the first day of Holy Week. Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday are called the Triduum—three days that are the highlight of the Church year. There are two Gospels proclaimed at today’s Mass. The first Gospel, proclaimed before the procession with palms, tells of Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. Riding on a borrowed colt, Jesus was hailed by the crowds as they blessed God and shouted “Hosanna!” This event is reported in each of the four Gospels.READ MORE
During the Recessional a couple of weeks ago, we sang one my favorite songs: Jesus, My Everything, by Matt Maher. As the servers and I left the Sanctuary and headed to the back of the church, I noticed only a handful of people had their books open. Even though I was singing/praying, I was able to make a lot of eye contact. However, I didn’t see many other people’s mouths moving, let alone hear many others singing. To be frank, that saddened me. Even though I appreciate the eye contact, if I had to choose, I would prefer everyone looking at the words and singing/praying along. Here are the lyrics to Jesus, My Everything, which I hope everyone will be able to honestly pray and strive towards:READ MORE
During these final weeks of Lent before Holy Week, you may be at one of the Sunday Masses in which the scrutinies are celebrated with the elect—those preparing for Baptism at the Easter vigil. The scrutinies are three rites celebrated during the period of purification and enlightenment of the RCIA process to help prepare the elect for Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. So what is the purpose of the scrutinies?READ MORE
“Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (Mt 24: 12)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Once again, the Pasch of the Lord draws near! In our preparation for Easter, God in His providence offers us each year the season of Lent as a “sacramental sign of our conversion” Lent summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life.
With this message, I would like again this year to help the entire Church experience this time of grace anew, with joy and in truth. I will take my cue from the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: “Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (24:12).READ MORE
I have noticed that there are some parishioners who leave Mass right after Communion or get up and leave right before the announcements. Now I understand some people might have another important obligation that they must get to on occasion, but this should not be a regular occurrence. Attending the entire Liturgy is very important. First, Holy Communion is about communion, about unity. We are one family. When we have just received our Lord in the Body and Blood, it is important that we allow time for reflection and for God to speak. We should do this together "in communion" with our parish family.READ MORE
Each year on Holy Saturday during the Easter Vigil, thousands are baptized into the Catholic Church in the United States. Parishes welcome these new Catholics through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). Listed below are some questions and answers about RCIA.READ MORE
1. Remember the formula. The Church does a good job capturing certain truths with easy-to-remember lists and formulas: 10 Commandments, 7 sacraments, 3 persons in the Trinity. For Lent, the Church gives us almost a slogan— Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving—as the three things we need to work on during the season.READ MORE
I grew up on a farm in northeast Kansas, where riding horseback to our one-room schoolhouse, taking care of the pigs and cattle, working in fields and spending time with the family came as naturally as breathing. Thanks to my parents’ spiritual leadership, so did prayer. Without the availability of weekday Mass, and only on Sundays when good weather allowed for travel by our pastor and us parishioners, Mom and Dad still deeply impressed upon their six children the importance of the Eucharist, regular Confession, and a daily connection to the source of life, our loving God. We had a simple school of prayer, that is a domestic church, that is, an “intentionally” Catholic home.READ MORE
This Wednesday, January 31, we celebrate the feast of St. John Bosco. Many in the parish may recognize his name from St. John Bosco Catholic School here in Ahwatukee, but fewer may be familiar with his life.
He was born in Italy as Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco on August 16, 1815 to a poor family of farmers during a time of famine and drought. His father, Francis, passed away when John was only two years old, leaving his mother, Margherita, to raise John and his two older brothers on her own.
Even though the family was very poor, John learned the importance of charity through the example set by his mother. She would often give food and other assistance to the homeless and others in need. She was a tender-hearted woman with a devout faith. Those who knew her referred to her as “Mama Margherita.”READ MORE
Abortion has been one of the most divisive issues in America since states were forbidden to outlaw abortion after the 1973 Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision. Since that time, over 50 million abortions have been performed in the United States with an average of 3400 abortions being performed each day. On one side of this contentious issue, those who call themselves “pro-choice” believe that abortion is a private medical decision that should take place between a woman and her doctor, without interference from the government or anyone else. On the other side, those who describe themselves as “pro-life” believe abortion is the killing of children before they are born and therefore should never be tolerated in a free society. So where does the Catholic Church stand in the debate between “pro-life” and “pro-choice?”READ MORE
Sometimes when I’m at Mass or doing something out of charity, I still feel this emptiness inside. Despite being told over and over that living the Faith will bring the greatest sense of fulfillment to my life, sometimes I’m just not feeling it.
After a closer look at Scripture, though, it becomes clear that in those moments, I’m just missing the point. In my effort to praise God through my words and deeds, I often hold back the most important thing: my heart.READ MORE
Their journey of encounter is an example for all of us "I call them the three fools."
"What?" I said a little incredulously to Dr. Robbins.
"Yeah, I call them the three fools. After all, who would leave everything that is safe and comfortable to travel in the darkness after a star merely because it promised something better?"
I knew what Dr. Robbins was doing. He was being provocative in a desire to teach me a lesson. We were standing in his office in front of a large painting depicting the Three Wise Men sitting on camels as they traveled by night to a distant star. That conversation was a seminal moment in how I came to understandthe journey of the Three Wise Men.READ MORE