A couple of weeks ago, I, along with 20 Corpus Christi parishioners, Fr. Axline from St. Mary Magdalene in Gilbert, and 20 of his parishioners, returned from a 12-day pilgrimage to Rome and other nearby Catholic sites. I wanted to share some of my highlights from it.
Primarily, we went to support our seminarian, Nathaniel Glenn, as well as Gabriel Terrell from St. Mary Magdalene, and Marvin Soto, as they were ordained transitional deacons for the Diocese of Phoenix in St. Peter’s along with 32 other young men from various dioceses in the United States. Many parishioners said they saw the ordination on EWTN, and how beautiful it was. For me, one highlight was being in the procession with what seemed like at least 200 other priests from the US – a testament that the Church is in good hands with many young priests and many good seminarians. It was also great to see 10 Phoenix priests there to support the three Phoenix seminarians being ordained – a true witness to the fraternity of our presbyterate. I know that Jeff and Tina Glenn, along with Nathaniel, were greatly honored by the support of the parish, as well as Chuck and Alice Wold and the East Valley Serra Club, and our parishioners who were there in a special way to offer our love, gratitude, and prayerful support.READ MORE
In our Gospel today we hear the tax collector’s simple prayer, “O God be merciful to me, a sinner.” This has been described as a complete summary of Christian spirituality. This prayer connects us with God because it recognizes two things. First, it acknowledges God’s greatest quality in relation to us a sinful people which is His mercy. Secondly it recognizes our need for that mercy for our own salvation.
Before we explore this further a story of God’s answer to one man’s humble prayer. Some of you may have heard this story about Catholic musician, Jacob Rudd. Jacob was in the seminary studying to be a priest. When a decision had to be made to go on from college seminary to major seminary he began to question whether God was calling him to the priesthood that he loved so much. Jacob had a deep devotion to St. Therese of Lisieux and asked her to send a rose to aid in his discernment: a red rose if he was called to marriage and no rose if he should continue towards the priesthood.READ MORE
Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for World Mission Day 2019
By falling on the Sunday dedicated by the Church to its evangelizing mission in the world, today’s first reading, which narrates the battle between Amalek and Israel, might cause some embarrassment to those who want to talk about the importance of this Christian call. The text can be misinterpreted as a spur to holy war or a fanatic proselytism. On the contrary, mission aims at the proclamation of the Passover of Jesus and of the divine reconciliation he offers. Its purpose is to witness to Jesus Christ, to communicate his Gospel, to build up his Church, in a climate of sincere fraternity and authentic and respectful religious freedom in the common search for greater communion and justice in the world. Not to mention the fact that the Gospel also teaches us, through to the example of Jesus, to love enemies and pray for persecutors. The baptized and sent Christian does not have a product to sell to or impose upon the world. As the Church of Christ in mission, the believer receives divine life to proclaim, witness, and communicate for his own salvation and that of everyone else.READ MORE
In 2017, a large group of parishioners traveled to Fatima, Portugal to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima. Her consistent message of praying the rosary is still as important today as it was in 1917. October 13 is the 102nd anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun. Here is the story…
Despite the ridicule and jokes of the secular, atheistic press, more than 30,000 people gathered in the Cova for the September apparition. Whether drawn by devotion or curiosity, they prayed the rosary while awaiting the arrival of the visionaries and their vision. When at last the time came they could hear Lucia say,
“What do you want of me?”
“Continue the Rosary, my children. Say it every day that the war may end. In October Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to bless the world. God is pleased with your sacrifices, but He does not want you to wear the cords to bed. Keep them on during the day.”
“I have the petitions of many for your help. Will you assist a little girl who is deaf and dumb?”
“She will improve within the year.”READ MORE
A few weeks ago I had a dream. Usually I don’t remember my dreams, but this one I think God had me remember for a reason. I was somewhere other than Phoenix, as I recall it being cold.
I was going into a pizza and pasta restaurant with a couple of friends late at night. I was a priest, but I was wearing my casual clothes. We were the only ones in the restaurant as it was getting ready to close, but I knew the owner and he was OK with us coming in so late to eat. After we had been served, a homeless man came in asking the owner if he had any scraps of food he could give him. I overheard the conversation and saw that the owner was a little annoyed at the request and was about ready to turn him away. I motioned to the owner that I would buy him a meal. The homeless man barely looked up and nodded as to thank me. I smiled and nodded back then rejoined my friends and our conversation. A little bit later, I got up for some reason and noticed that the owner hadn't closed yet. I saw several other homeless people eating dinner too, and I realized that the owner decided to feed the other homeless people as well. I went over to him and shook his hand saying that he was doing a good thing and, knowing that when I went to pay our bill, I would give more to cover the cost of the first homeless man I said I'd pay for, I would also add a little more to help pay for the others who came in afterwards. One of my friends had noticed the other homeless people come in and the owner say something to each one of them. I looked around and there were about eight people sitting at various tables of the restaurant happily scarfing their food. My friend suggested that they were probably all sleeping in the abandoned building next door. We started discussing how sad that the guy or company who had bought the abandoned building to develop it didn't even know that he would be putting some homeless people out to try and find some other place for shelter from the cold wind.READ MORE