I continue my reflection on our Vision Statement: The Body of Christ — Becoming Disciples. Last week, I talked about the many ways we are striving to become a closer “family of families” of Corpus Christi through the various casual, fun activities we have throughout the year and I even forgot to mention our annual Parish Picnic, which is our primary, fun, community-building activity! Today, though, I want to focus on the unifying agent of our Corpus Christi family and how we become the Body of Christ we are meant to be.
To be a welcoming community is one of the challenges in all parishes the size of Corpus Christi, and thankfully we need to grow in our hospitality because we continue to attract many new parishioners each month! As I said, it takes the whole family; it takes all of us to be welcoming and intentionally having a family-like mentality to see each other as brothers and sisters. It starts with every one of us doing our part to be friendly, hospitable, and welcoming. Perhaps a closer look at what it means to be part of “the Body” will be helpful. We, the Church, are the Body, and Christ is the Head (Col 1:18). He directs us, just as every movement of our arm, leg, or any part of our bodies, every decision we make, indeed, everything we do, first comes from our head. Our brain tells our muscles and every part of our bodies what to do. So, let us ask ourselves, does Christ our Head tell us what to do? Likewise, as we learn from 1 Cor 12, we are all members of the Body, we all have a function in the Body, and we all have to do our part. Anyone who has had surgery on a body part — say a leg, arm, or back — knows how hard it is for the other body parts to compensate. That being said, the body also has to work together to accomplish most tasks. It is not someone else’s job to be friendly, welcoming, and helping to serve others — it is all of ours, as that is what Christ our head calls us to do.READ MORE
It occurred to me, that while we have a Mission Statement (which the Staff and Pastoral Council formulated a few years ago and is still current) we did not have a Vision Statement. Some of you might be wondering what the difference is between the two statements. In my mind, a Vision Statement is a brief phrase that is easily memorized and advertised to give focus, identity, and purpose in order to unify an organization. Whereas a Mission Statement helps give context to how that organization is working toward accomplishing the Vision. Thus, a few weeks ago, the current Pastoral Council and Parish Staff met and came up with our Vision Statement: The Body of Christ – Becoming Disciples, which you will see advertised in all our future communications. We will continue to work to accomplish that vision as a parish by striving to be a welcoming community proclaiming the love of God and fostering a life-long personal relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church through Scripture, Sacraments, and service (that has been our Mission Statement). So, in the next few bulletin articles, I will begin to unpack what our Vision Statement means and looks like in our lives.READ MORE
Many of you know Anthony Janus, our junior high and high school youth minister for the past four years, has moved to Virginia to pursue a degree in counseling and be closer to his and his wife’s families. Anthony has done a phenomenal job during his time here. There were 10 high schoolers his first year and this past year, there were over 40! On the last night of the semester before summer break, the teens were able to say good-bye and thank you. Each and every one of them said how much they will miss Anthony and how much he and the youth group has helped them grow in their faith. If you know me, it is so much more than just about numbers, it really is about each teen’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church and their desire to learn and grow more in their faith. Not only did Anthony have a solid 40 students every Sunday night, but when he offered the Thursday Bible Study for those who wanted more, he would have about 20 choosing to come to deepen their faith. As you can tell, the new Youth Minister has big shoes to fill, but is coming in with such a strong foundation.READ MORE
In today’s first reading from Ecclesiastes, we hear that the pursuit of worldly riches is vanity because in the end we have to let them all go. We can spend our whole lives acquiring things, but at the end of our lives everything for which we have worked so hard goes to another who hasn’t worked for it. This Old Testament reading sets us up for the Gospel reading from Luke, which begins when a man comes to Jesus complaining that his brother hasn’t divided the inheritance equally with him. Against this backdrop, Jesus gives us the divine perspective on wealth by telling the story of a wealthy man who has a crop so big it doesn’t fit into his barns. His solution is to tear everything down and build bigger barns so he can store up this great abundance of wealth. But God comes to the rich man and tells him that he will die that very night—and not be able to enjoy this wealth that he has stored up for himself. Jesus ends the story by telling his listeners that this is how it will be for everyone who stores up treasures for himself rather than being rich in what matters to God. The message here is an emphasis on what really lasts. Acquiring wealth is vanity if we acquire it just for ourselves since nothing we build or save up in this world will last forever. But Jesus tells us that there are things we can do in this life that will have eternal significance. If the man in the Gospel reading had distributed his extra wealth to the needy, he would have had treasure in heaven. So Jesus is asking us whether, in our saving and our success, we are focusing on earthly success or investing in that which will have an eternal reward.
(2) The Pillars: Catholic Doctrine
And then, dear friends, what else does our cathedral need? It needs solid pillars to support the vaults. What are these pillars? What foundation is needed to support the graceful slenderness of the Gothic rib-vaults? The Catholic doctrine we have received from the apostles is the only solid foundation we can find.
If everyone defends his own opinion, theological hypotheses, novelties, or a pastoral approach that contradicts the demands of the Gospel and the perennial Magisterium of the Church, then division will spread everywhere.
I am wounded when I see so many pastors selling off Catholic doctrine and sowing division among the faithful. We owe the Christian people a clear teaching, firm and stable. How can we allow bishops and episcopal conferences to contradict one another? Where confusion reigns, God cannot dwell! For God is Light and Truth.READ MORE
(Continued from last week).
The great cathedrals of the West could have been built only by men of great faith and great humility who were profoundly happy to know that they were sons of God. They are like a song of joy, a hymn to God’s glory sculpted in stone and painted in glass. They are the work of sons who love and adore their heavenly Father! All were glad to carve into stone an expression of their faith and love for God, and not for the glory of their own name. Their art works were meant to glory and praise God alone. Modern Western man is too sad to achieve such works of art.
He has chosen to be a solitary orphan: how can he chant the glory of the eternal Father from whom he has received all? Well then, what shall he do? Before the ruins of Notre-Dame, some have been tempted to say: See, this building has served its purpose. Let us build something new, more modern. Let us build something after our own image! A building that speaks, not of God’s glory, but the glory of man, of the power of science and modernity.READ MORE
“As a bishop,” said Cardinal Robert Sarah at a May 25th conference in Paris, “it is my duty to warn the West: behold the flames of barbarism threaten you!”
Allow me first of all to thank Monseigneur Michel Aupetit, Archbishop of Paris, and the curé of Saint FrançoisXavier parish, Fr. Lefèvre-Pontalis, for their fraternal welcome.
I have come to present my latest book: The Day is Now Far Spent. In this book, I analyze the profound crisis of the West, a crisis of faith, a crisis of the Church, of the priesthood, of identity, a crisis of the meaning of man and human life. I discuss this spiritual collapse and all its consequences.
This evening I would like to repeat these convictions I hold so deeply, by putting them into the perspective of a moving visit I made yesterday. Just hours ago I was at the cathedral of Notre-Dame of Paris. As I entered the gutted church, and contemplated its ruined vaults, I could not help but see in it a symbol of the situation of Western civilization and of the Church in Europe.READ MORE
I can hardly believe that as of July 1, it has been five years since I began at Corpus Christi as your pastor! As I like to say, time flies when you’re having fun! It truly has been a fun and blessed five years. This parish has been a community for about 30 years. Some of you have been here from the beginning and others have come more recently. It has been great to see such a strong community of faith already formed by the two previous pastors – Fr. Sigmund and Fr. Hoorman – and to see it flourish even more over the years. I am excited to lead us as we grow and thrive still more in the years to come.READ MORE
To the beloved parishioners of Corpus Christi Parish,
On behalf of my parishioners of the Mission Sagrada Corazon, I would like to convey my most sincere gratitude to you.
I have been out of the parish for almost 5 years now, yet it feels like yesterday and that you have never forgotten me. Your generous support for my appeal for the building of the Mission Church of Sagrada Corazon is a testimony of how you still remember me in spite that I am long gone. Your remembrance will leave a lasting impression on my priestly life as I continue to serve Him.READ MORE
Dear Parishioners of Corpus Christi,
Words cannot describe how wonderful my two-week home visit was. It was such a delight to be back at Corpus Christi, my home away from home. Thank you for such a warm welcome.
I had an absolutely beautiful experience being home with my family and friends, but I do look forward to returning to my new home with the Missionaries of Charity in Chicago. There is peace in my heart to continue discerning with the sisters of St. Teresa of Calcutta's order.READ MORE
Recently, I was listening to St. Joseph's Workshop on Relevant Radio, as I often do during my afternoon trips to the ballet studio. Fr. Matthew Spencer was reflecting on how difficult the vocation of marriage is. He said that people often ask him if he thought things would be so much better if priests could get married. He said that he responds, "Are you kidding?? I hear the confessions of married people! NO WAY!!" He said he was kidding, but I think he was only half-kidding because, let's face it, marriage is hard!READ MORE
Last week, in our 33 Days to Morning Glory journey, we walked with St. Maximilian Kolbe as we learned about Mary as the “Immaculata” — the Immaculate Conception. Here are pictures from the Adoration Chapel at the Center of Prayer for Peace in Niepokalanów, Poland where the monastery that St. Maximilian founded is located.
The central part of the altar is a true size sculpture of the Virgin Mary with her hands open in invitation. Christ present in the Eucharist is located under Mary's heart, in a large, brightly lit Host, shown under her parting coat. The silver figure of the Virgin Mary is surrounded by true size silver lilies, symbolizing chastity. Lit from beneath, together with golden rays also surrounding the figure, they present the aureola of light, in which the Virgin was seen during her apparitions in Lourdes, Guadalupe, and Fatima. This figure also resembles the Miraculous Medal of Mary Immaculate, which was venerated by St. Maximilian. At the crystal layer, 12 cut gemstones are placed, symbolizing 12 stars from the Apocalypse of St. John, which are also pictured at the Niepokalanów Miraculous Medal of Mary Immaculate.READ MORE
May is the month of Mary and as Fr. Chad mentioned in his homily last Sunday, Bishop Olmsted has asked at least 100,000 Catholics and all parishes in our diocese to be consecrated to Jesus through Mary in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Diocese of Phoenix. Our parish will be using materials from Fr. Michael Gaitley’s 33 Days to Morning Glory. Do not worry if you missed the introduction session this past Thursday, as you can still participate. The 33 days will begin this Thursday, May 9 and all are invited to the Parish Center at 7 pm on each Thursday through June 6 for a video and discussion session corresponding to the weekly material. The consecration will take place on Monday, June 10, which is the day after Pentecost and the new feast of The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of the Church.
At the Jubilee of Bishops on Sunday, October 8, 2000, Pope St. John Paul II led the bishops of the world in the following prayer which beautifully explains the meaning of consecration.READ MORE