Christmas 2015

Thank you to our choir for the beautiful Advent and Christmas music. Here are some video’s from the Christmas Eve Carol Worship and Christmas Night Mass.


This is the bulletin for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015.

Wishing everyone a blessed Christmas!

Click here for bulletinBinderChristmas2015

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Pastor’s Desk Text:

Once upon a Christmas Eve, a man sat in reflective silence before the fireplace, pondering the meaning of Christmas. “There is no point to a God who became man,” he mused. “Why would an all-powerful God want to share even one of His precious moments with the likes of man? No way! The whole thing is absurd! I’m sure that if God really wanted to come down to earth, He would have chosen some other way.” Suddenly, the man was roused from his reverie by a strange sound outside. He went to the window and saw a small gaggle of blue geese frantically honking and aimlessly flopping about in the snow. They seemed dazed and confused. Apparently, they had dropped out, in exhaustion, from the flight formations of a larger flock on its way from the Arctic Islands to the warmer climate of the Gulf of Mexico. Moved to compassion, the man tried to “shoo” the poor geese into his warm garage, but the more he “shooed” the more they panicked. “If they only realized I’m only trying to do what’s best for them,” he thought to himself. “How can I make them understand my concern for their well-being?” Then, this thought came to him: “If I could become an ordinary goose and communicate with them in their own language, they would know what I am trying to do.” And suddenly he remembered Christmas and a smile came over his face. The Christmas story no longer seemed absurd. Suddenly, he pictured that ordinary-looking Infant, lying in the crèche in that stable in Bethlehem, and he knew the answer to his Christmas problem: God had to become one of us to tell us, in human terms we can all understand, that He loves us.
Because we have received something beautiful FROM God, we must reach out our hands and do something beautiful FOR God. That is the other side of our Christmas story. Changing one little word — “from” to “for” — makes all the difference in our Christmas celebration.
May it make all the difference in the rest of your Christmas celebrations — today, and every day! In the True Spirit of our Christmas celebration, I wish each and every one of you a very blessed, and a very Merry Christmas! Enjoy time with the family, especially your parents. Build good new memories and share old memories with your children about Christmas.

Peace and blessings to all!

Fr. Luis

 

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LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER
By our Music Director, Rebecca Brown
Dec. 24/25 Christmas
Processional Hymn: O Come, All Ye Faithful/ Adeste Fideles
(BB # 79)
Gloria: Gloria in excelsis Deo, gloria, gloria!
Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra, terra pax!
Psalm 96: Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.
Preparation of the Gifts: Lullaby of the Dove, choir
Communion Song: Silent Night (BB # 92)
O Holy Night, choir
Recessional Song: Joy to the World (BB # 78)
Hymn Notes:
O Holy Night (“Cantique de Noël”) was composed by Adolphe
C. Adam in 1847 to the French Christmas poem “Minuit,
chrétiens” by Placide Cappeau.
On Christmas Eve, 1906, Canadian inventor Reginald
Fessenden broadcasted the first AM radio program and
played “O Holy Night” on the violin, making the popular carol
the first piece of music to be broadcast on radio.
http://christianmusic.about.com/od/christmas/a/oholynight.h
tm
We thank our Choir for enhancing our worship throughout
the year and especially at Christmas with the joyful Christmas
Eve Carols and Mass and Christmas Day Mass.


CATHOLIC CHARITIES
As you visit with family and friends this Christmas, please be on the lookout for signs of decreasing mental capacity and
health. If you have any concerns about a loved one, or wish to discuss care options for those who are alone or may show signs of Alzheimer’s, please contact Catholic Charities Senior Services. We offer a licensed day program for those with signs of dementia (veterans are welcome), with activitiesdesigned to improve communication and mental and physical health in a warm, stimulating atmosphere. We also operate a 24/7/365 check-in program for seniors who live alone – a true lifesaver in some cases. Please contact Michele Osmon, Director of Senior Services,
at 707-528-8712 x185 or mosmon@srcharities.org.

We look
forward to welcoming you into our program. For more information, please visit http://www.srcharities.org/gethelp/
senior-services and find us on Facebook.

 

Fourth Sunday in Advent – December 20, 2015

Click this link for this week’s bulletin: Bulletin20Dec2015

Note: Christmas  Schedule

Christmas Eve Carols 4:00 PM St. Elizabeth

Christmas Eve Mass 5:00 PM St. Elizabeth

Christmas Day Mass 10:00 AM St. Elizabeth

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Pastor’s Desk

My fellow Christians, brothers and sisters: Do you lie awake at night, stricken with worry and anxiety? Or do you believe there will be a fulfillment of what was spoken to you by the Lord?
Do you find it difficult to come to terms with the nagging subject of death? Or do you believe that God’s plan of salvation ultimately will be carried out?
Do you wrestle with the same thorny issues over and over again? Or do you believe you are part of God’s plan of fulfillment?
Do you struggle with destructive behaviors, self-awareness, or the notion of gradual, goal-oriented change? Or do you believe that with God’s help, you will joyfully overcome?
Mary gave birth to the Savior. Our part is to give new birth, in our time, to His Kingdom of Peace and Justice and Love. Our part is to proclaim the Reign of God on earth in word and indeed. Our part is to train our brains, and our hearts, both, to follow Mary’s beautiful example, and to do it joyfully.

Bulletin20Dec2015
When we look around us these days and see what is happening in our world, we may feel lost, isolated, and purposeless. We may feel our very identity slipping away and the urgent need to retrain our brains. Jesus tells us that when this happens, we can begin again; that the strength and the power of a God who loves us always gives us new opportunities to enter more deeply into the fullness of life. We can begin again because God is here, meeting us on our own ground, through Christ our King, who lives and reigns among us, and who is strong enough to lift us up out of the pit of frustration and despair — all together!
Through Mary’s humanity God delivered Himself to man. Through Mary’s humanity came the Son of God to reveal the fullness of God’s love for us. Toward that end, Jesus’ birth was His first step up the road to Calvary’s hill. This is the destiny of all of us. With every new birth comes a new cross and a new opportunity for learning how to love. We have our crosses to bear, all of us. We must carry a cross. We would not be human otherwise. But we have hope. Because Jesus died and rose again His promise of ultimate fulfillment is believable. Acceptance of the promise is our first step up the road to full humanity. Jesus’ promise makes the heaviest burden bearable, for we are loved by a gracious God who will never abandon us. That is the promise on which we literally stake our lives. In our love for one another God has given us the opportunity to catch our earthly glimpse of the majesty and the beauty of Divine love. That is what makes us fully human. That is what makes us a People of Hope.

The need to learn and grow and practice never ends. And for Christians, the Good News is that the course has been set — the study guide has been written — and the tuition is free.

 

The Divine instructor is waiting — waiting for us to set a new course for our Life. Like Mary, we too are part of the plan. So let us pray that we do our part, and do it joyfully!

 

Peace and Blessings!

Fr. Luis

 

LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER

By our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

 Dec. 20, Fourth Sunday of Advent

   “Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son; and his name will be called Emmanuel.!”

   Emmanuel means “God with us”.  As Catholics, we believe and proclaim that Jesus is God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, who took upon Himself our human flesh.  The church believes and proclaims that Jesus is fully human and fully divine.  Scripture tells us that Jesus was like us “in every way but sin”. 

   Today’s Gospel relays the beautiful story of the Visitation, when Mary “traveled to the hill country in haste” to visit her cousin Elizabeth, then pregnant with Jesus’s cousin John the Baptist.  Elizabeth joyfully proclaims, “the moment your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy!”  We wish you joy as we celebrate the coming of Christ! 

 

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song:  Gathering Song for Advent

   Come Lord Jesus, come Lord Jesus, come and give us your peace.

Psalm 80: Lord, make us turn to you let us see your face, and we shall be saved.

Preparation of Gifts: Hail Mary, Gentle Woman # 711

Communion:  Instrumental 

Choir: Will We Know Him?

Recessional:   Save Us, O Lord # 663

 

 Please join us for Christmas caroling at 4 pm on Christmas Eve, led by our beautiful choir, followed by Mass at 5 pm.  Everyone is welcome!

Second Sunday in Advent – December 6, 2015

PASTOR’S DESK
Greetings, to all, as we celebrate the Second Sunday of Advent it is important for us Christian to prepare for the coming celebration of Christmas.  Take time to reflect and find space for your daily reading of the ‘Blue Book for Advent,’ or ‘The Word among Us,” both are in front of the church free.  As a fire needs oxygen to ignite, so we too need a space to be receptive to the grace of God in our life.

We also on Wednesday at 10 a.m. faith sharing group and we are using the Book, “The Holy Year of Mercy,” come join us!

If you are looking for an Advent program, you might consider the following.

“Smile often. Pray. Tell those that you love that you do.

Rediscover old friends. Make new ones. Hope. Grow. Give. Give in.

Buy some flowers. Share them. Keep a promise. Laugh often. Reach out. Hug a child. Slow down.  See a sunrise. Listen to rain. Trust life. Have faith. Enjoy.

Make some mistakes. Learn from them. Explore the unknown.

Celebrate your own life.  And Most of all; Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.”

Here is a nice reflective prayer that you can use when things settled down and you just want to turn the lights off and light your Advent wreath and meditate this prayer

 

Lord,

A candle stands before me.

It burns restlessly,

Sometimes with a small,

Sometimes with a larger flame.

Lord, I too am often restless.

Let me find rest in You.

 

It gives me light and warmth.

Lord, let me too be light for the world.

It burns away and consumes itself in its service.

 

Lord, may I also be of service to people.

With this candle I can ignite other candles.

Lord, may I also contribute in this way

That others may begin to shine.

 

Peace and Blessings!

 

Fr. Luis
Reminder: Tuesday, Dec. 8th is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Mass is at 9:00 in the church.


LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER

By our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

 

Dec. 6, Second Sunday of Advent

   A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low…and all flesh shall see the salvation of God”.

  What way shall we prepare for the Lord?  Is it not a straight and level highway in our hearts that we are to make ready? Prepare a way for the Lord by living a good life and guard that way by good works.  Let the word of God move in you unhindered and give you a knowledge of his coming and of his mysteries. To him be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.

Origen (183-253)

 In today’s readings we hear that God will gather His children, save them from their enemies, and bring them back in glory, removing their tears and giving them cause to rejoice!

 

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song:  Gathering Song for Advent

   Come Lord Jesus, come Lord Jesus, come and give us your peace.

Psalm 126:  The Lord has done great things for us, we are filled with joy. 

Preparation of Gifts: On That Holy Mountain (ss)

Communion:  A Voice Cries Out  # 45 

Freedom is Coming, choir

Recessional:   Save Us, O Lord # 663

 

First Sunday in Advent – November 29, 2015

Christmas Eve Carols Dec. 24th at 4:00 PM at St. Elizabeth

Christmas Eve Mass at 5:00 PM at St. Elizabeth

Christmas Day Mass at 10:00 AM  at St. Elizabeth

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PASTOR’S DESK
In a nineteenth century painting entitled “Hope,” the artist portrays a woman with bandaged eyes. She is unable to see ahead of herself. In her hands is a harp with broken strings, representing her shattered dreams and expectations. Immediately beneath the woman is a globe, representing the world that is pitted against her. Still one string on the harp remains intact. It is the string of hope, which she plucks triumphantly, sending a beautiful melody floating out over that hostile world, and filling the dark night with bright-shining stars. Over the years, the artist received many letters from persons who saw the painting and identified with the woman whose future seemed as dark as the night. One woman said that at a time when her life had become unbearable and she was ready to end it all, quite by chance she saw that wonderful painting. In her own words, “It inspired me to strike the string of hope within my own soul — and I was able to face the world and try again.”

It is often possible for persons to be more clear-eyed in disaster than in prosperity. Isn’t it remarkable that some of the noblest literature of the ancient Hebrews was produced during the Babylonian captivity? Isn’t it remarkable that Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” — often called the noblest speech ever made in America — came in the darkness of the Civil War?

There is something about dark times that can inspire our most profound thoughts on the really important questions about life. The Apostle Paul expressed his firm belief in this reality in his Letter to the Romans. “We can boast about looking forward to God’s glory,” he says, “But that is not all we can boast about; we can boast about our sufferings. These sufferings bring patience, as we know, and patience brings perseverance, and perseverance brings hope, and this hope is not deceptive, because the Love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us” (Rom. 5:2-5).

My prayers for our parishioners from St. Catherine, Monte Rio, I’m sure Margaret, Michelle, Rose, Frank and those who are hard core parishioners of St. Catherine find this time discouraging and maybe somewhat sad and anger by what had happen.  May the words of St. Paul give you strength and may this experience be a catalyst to strengthen your faith and not give in to negative thoughts.  “The sufferings bring patience, as we know, and patience brings perseverance, and perseverance brings hope…”

PEACE AND BLESSINGS!

Fr. Luis


 

LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER

By our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

 

Liturgical Music Corner by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

Nov.29, First Sunday of Advent

“…Strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with his holy ones”.

  The word, “advent” comes from the Latin “adventus” meaning “arrival” or “coming”, particularly of something having great importance. As we begin Advent, we light one candle in the midst of all the darkness in our lives and in the world.  We want to experience Jesus’ coming to us now, in our everyday lives, to help us live our lives with meaning and purpose. And we want to prepare for his coming to meet us at the end of our lives on this earth.

As we are launched into the season of Advent today, the Church is going to make us more disposed and prepared to meet Jesus in our lives both as a new born King and as the judge of heaven and earth.

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song:  Gathering Song for Advent

   Come Lord Jesus, come Lord Jesus, come and give us your peace.

Psalm 25:  I Lift Up My Soul # 752

   To you, Lord, I lift up my soul, O my God.

Preparation of Gifts: Just a Closer Walk with Thee (ss)

Communion:  O Come, O Come Emmanuel  # 38 

World Peace Canon (Dona Nobis Pacem)

Recessional:   Let the King of Glory Come # 63

 

Today begins the new liturgical year, and our reading cycle is Year C.  There is no Gloria during Advent.

CATHOLIC CHARITIES

 

Catholic Charities Alzheimer’s Respite Center

Our licensed adult day program for people with dementia allows family members a break from full-time care giving, while their loved one enjoys a stimulating day of music, activities, exercise, sharing, and caring. The Respite Center maintains a highly trained staff, including a registered nurse, and provides a 2:1 client-to-caregiver ratio of care.

The program is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. We currently have openings! Suggested contribution for services are based on a sliding scale. Veterans welcome. Please contact Michele Osmon, Director of Senior Services, at 707-528-8712 x185 or mosmon@srcharities.org. We look forward to welcoming you into our program.


 

CATHERINE OF SIENA UPDATE:

This week we’ve been working with insurance adjusters to ascertain extent of damage and costs to repair.  Church has been tarped to protect from the weather.  Next week we’ll be pulling up the pews and re-stationing them so workers can remove floor tiles and carpet. Also we’ll be engaging a structural engineer next week to start the evaluation of re-engineering and redesigning if needed to bring into compliance with current building codes. Temporary power for church has been installed and approved by County for workmen.- Dan Demers

Solemnity of Christ the King, Sunday November 22, 2015

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The prompt response of the firefighters saved our beloved St. Catherine of Siena Church. This Thanksgiving we have so much gratitude in our hearts for the Russian River & Monte Rio Fire Protection Districts, Cal Fire, the ATF and especially for Chief Steve Baxman and Margaret McAtee, our super sleuth!

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November begins with All Souls Day, then honorsVeterans, and ends with thoughts of gratitude.  After the attacks in Paris we are reminded of small and big acts of kindness.  We are reminded of the  people that we may sit beside that we don’t realize often do things above and beyond for the parish and parishioners. Their names may not always be mentioned but their time, effort and presence is deeply felt. One of these people is our Margaret MacAtee.

Margaret

Within minutes of receiving a phone call that there was a fire at St. Catherine’s church, Margaret jumped into her car and sped to the scene. While driving over the Monte Rio bridge she could see smoke and flames billowing from the highest windows. Knowing emergency personnel would need the closest parking, Margaret made the hike up the hill, only approaching as close as the firefighters would allow. Answering Chief Baxman’s questions and offering insight that her years of service as a Eucharistic minister, lector, and more than one time, stand in priest, could provide. She met with ATF investigators and various personnel the day following the fire. Watching Margaret’s face as she recalled these events you could see the range of emotions she experienced within those first minutes of the news.

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Then you notice the sharp eye to detail shine through as she recalls first noticing something sparkling on the floor behind the altar. It could only mean that the window had been broken. A point of entry. Her attentiveness to detail in preparing the altar for mass let her know that this fire was no accident. When she was questioned by fire personnel about specific procedures and practices, she was able with confidence to say who locked the doors and closed the windows as she either is performing these duties or overseeing them. You could not find anyone more familiar with this 102 year old, redwood sided church. As treasured as St. Catherine’s is to us all, people like Margaret are the real treasure. Volunteering, giving of her time, knowledge, deep faith. We are grateful for Margaret and for all the big and small things she does for St. Catherine’s and all of us.

Denise Danzart


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PASTOR’S DESK
St. Catherine of Siena news: looks like we need to gut the inside of the church, replace the rug and the tiles.  It’s possible the tiles are asbestos as well as the roof so; all of those need to be replaced.  ServPro is a company that will store and clean the pews that were damaged by water or smoke.  Interior paneling and new paint will likely be required.  Guess estimation: overall cost $300,000; possibly be done within 7 or 8 months if there are no other surprises, again this is a guess estimation.

As I said last week, Saturday mass will be at 5 p.m. just a temporary schedule. Considering it is winter time, we don’t have a lot of people attending both masses and I have to emphasize that there is two adult candidates that are coming to the Catholic faith, they need instructions.  The only time available that these adult can get together is Saturday afternoon.  Thanks for your understanding, you are a good witness to our candidates of RCIA.

 The daily mass group voted on not having 9:00 am mass Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday except for Friday, till February due to personal reasons.  So starting next week, there is no Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday mass, but we will have Friday healing mass, confession and adoration.

 

Henry David Thoreau, the New England Yankee social critic who wrote “Walden,” one of the great American classics, rebelled at the intrusion of government and social institutions in man’s life. When he was twenty-seven, Thoreau moved from his home in Concord, Massachusetts to nearby Walden Pond where he built a small cabin. He spent two years there, living his way into each moment of the day, trying to be totally present to each simple thing that was happening. In “Walden,” Thoreau reflects his extraordinary delight in life — his rare ability to find real joy in the ordinary, simple things in life. He didn’t merely swim or fish or raise beans or play the flute or take hikes or read books or talk to friends — he entered into the experience — listening, noticing, paying attention, marveling, enjoying.

At the age of forty-five, Thoreau was stricken with tuberculosis. During the months of what we would now call “terminal illness,” the lesson of the pricelessness of each moment of life he had learned at Walden Pond was confirmed for him. When one of his friends tried to engage him in speculation about life after death, Thoreau is reported to have said, “One world at a time!”

Peace and Blessings!

Fr. Luis


LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER

by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

 Nov.22, Feast of Christ the King

   “How worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and divinity, and wisdom and strength and honor, to Him belong glory and power forever and ever”

“The liturgical year ends with the feast of Christ the King. This day reminds us what the Christian thing is all about: that Jesus really is the king, the Lord of our lives, that we belong utterly to him, and that we can say, with St. Paul, ‘it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.’ “(Bishop Robert Barron)

 

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song:  To Jesus Christ, Our Sovereign King # 734

Gloria in excelsis Deo, gloria, gloria!

Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra, terra pax.

Additional words to the Gloria are found in your Breaking Bread hymnal, p. 6.

Psalm 93:  The Lord is King, He is robed in majesty..

Preparation of Gifts: How Great Thou Art  # 423

Communion:  In Christ Alone # 414

Recessional:   Lord I Lift Your Name on High  (ss)

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, 9:30 am

Gathering Song:  For the Beauty of the Earth  # 595

Psalm 113:  Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.

Preparation of Gifts: Dona Nobis Pacem  (choir)

Communion:  Instrumental

Malo, Malo, Thanks Be to God (ss)


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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – November 15, 2015

NOTE: NO MASS AT ST. CATHERINES

FireBlurb

Due to a small fire in the choir loft on Nov. 12, we will not have mass at St. Catherine’s until repairs are completed. We are very grateful to the quick response by the firefighters who saved the church. Cal Fire, Monte Rio and RR rigs responded.

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Pastor’s Desk

Greetings, to all!  I know things are getting hectic for all of us.  The Holiday season is upon us! Just a reminder Thanksgiving Mass will be at 9:30 a.m. November 26th and bring your baked goods, pies, bread and wine that you will share with your Thanksgiving dinner and will bless it during the mass.  And also bring can goods such as peanut butter, canned tuna, corn, beans etc. for St. Vincent de Paul Society. There is also a collection for St. Vincent de Paul society to help them continue their ministry here at the Russian river area, especially during this Holiday season.

Our Parish Christmas party will be December 19th Saturday at 6:30 p.m.  It will be at the Northwood Golf Restaurant, the price is $20.00.  It’s an adult event and limited sitting to 55 people, so please sign up   early.  I need volunteers after mass next week to man the table for sign ups or call the office if you wish to attend the event.  The Menu is Tri-tip, or chicken, garlic mash potatoes, fresh salad, string beans and dessert.  Coffee and tea is provided however cocktails and other drinks are open bar.

Advent this year starts November 29th and we will be starting a Faith-Sharing group that will be held at the rectory after the Morning mass 10 a.m., until 11 a.m. on Wednesday.  The title of the book is “THE HOLY YEAR OF MERCY,” the book is designed to be a simple, easy-to-use study guide that is also challenging and thought provoking.  The guide is divided into eight sessions, each focused on a particular insight into God’s mercy.  We will start with a prayer and share our thoughts and our own insight of what you have read that week.  It is a faith sharing group session.  Or if you just want to do it your own you may do that and the book is available at SIMPLE SACRED BOOK STORE located in Santa Rosa between Marlow and Guerneville road.

Some of you may remember Hannah Green’s moving semi-autobiographical account entitled, “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.” In the book, she chronicles her three-year battle with schizophrenia. She describes her terrible emotional breakdown leading to some terrifying experiences. But through therapy and other avenues of healing, she begins to undergo change. And she has a dream. In the author’s words …
“The dream began with winter darkness. Out of the darkness came a great hand, clenched in a fist. The fist opened, and in the palm lay three small blocks of coal. Slowly the hand closed, causing within the fist a tremendous pressure. The pressure began to generate a great white heat. And the dreamer seemed to feel the suffering of the coal within her own body, almost beyond the point of endurance. At last she cried out, to the hand, ‘Stop it! Stop it!'”
“After what seemed too long a time, the torment in the fist relaxed. The fist turned, and very slowly opened. Diamonds! Three clear, brilliant diamonds lay in the palm. And a voice called to her and said, gently ‘this will be you.'”

The very same voice is within you, enabling you to bear the pressure that is transforming the coal of your life into diamonds. The very same voice is within you, offering New Life in the healing, saving Presence of our Lord.

Our Christian Faith offers us no illusion that we are a People chosen for exemption from pain and suffering. It holds no promise of a trouble-free life of easy comfort. It grants us no immunity from evil and its consequences. It makes no exception to the rule of God’s judgment. Rather, our Christian Faith provides us with the spiritual equilibrium and the moral stamina we need to face up to the burdens and the fears and the evil days that overtake us — often in the most unexpected ways. With eyes of Christian Faith, we see things as they are in the light of things as they will be. With eyes of Christian Faith we see our own culpability for things as they are and our own responsibility for things as they will be.

Peace and Blessings!

Fr. Luis

 

LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER

by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

Nov.15, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

   “You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence.”  Ps. 16

 

Veteran’s Day was another day rich in bittersweet memories for me of my father, also a WWll veteran, who passed away just over a year ago at the age of 94.  One of my favorite pictures of him was in his dress army uniform, looking very young, handsome and distinguished, and with a big smile on his face. But the happiness of this world is nothing compared to the happiness that scripture tells us awaits us in heaven.

 

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song:  Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine  (ss)

Gloria in excelsis Deo, gloria, gloria!

Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra, terra pax.

Additional words to the Gloria are found in your Breaking Bread hymnal, p. 6.

Psalm 16:  You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Preparation of Gifts: Lux Aeterna Litany 

Lux aeterna, dona eis requiem.  (Let eternal light shine upon them.  Give them peace.)

Communion:  There Are Many Rooms (ss)

Recessional:   Lord I Lift Your Name on High  (ss)

 

ST.VINCENT DE PAUL THANKSGIVING GIVEAWAY

 

On Friday, Nov 20 the St. Vincent de Paul Society, working with the Salvation Army, will be filling bags for the Thanksgiving Giveaway at the Russian River Food Pantry on Armstrong Woods Road at 2:30 pm The Giveaway will be Saturday, Nov. 21st, but busy hands are needed on Friday for the filling of the bags.

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday, November 8, 2015

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PASTOR’S DESK

During the month of November we remember the names of our love once that are not with us.  In remembrance of them and in keeping the tradition of our Catholic  faith, we remember them in our Sunday mass as well as in the daily mass.  On the altar we have the book of remembrance with the names that you have given me, continue to pray for your love once and I’m sure they are praying for us.

I often missed having a small faith sharing group.  And this year I invite you to join me in reflecting on “The Holy Year of Mercy,” reflection by Pope Francis.  Starting the first week of Advent, it is a time of reflecting and growing in faith as we prepare to celebrate the Christmas season.

Also, this Thanksgiving Day, we will have Thanksgiving mass at 9:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, before you celebrate your time with family please join me.

In the Old Testament Book of Exodus, there is a passage in which the preacher has just told his congregation that they need to be generous with their offerings. Call it a “money” sermon. He doesn’t plead, he doesn’t manipulate, he doesn’t try to instill guilt feelings, he merely tells them that money is needed to take care of the sanctuary and other needs. “This is what Yahweh has commanded,” he says, “set aside a contribution for Yahweh out of your possessions. Let us all give willingly.” And the people respond by bringing in their offerings. And they continue doing so until it gets to the point where it is becoming more and more difficult to handle all that is coming in. And believe it or not, the preacher went before the congregation and told them, “Don’t bring in any more offerings.”

Have you ever in your whole life heard a preacher say to a congregation, “Stop giving — You’ve given enough — Don’t give any more?” So what was the secret of this generosity?

Actually, it’s was no secret! It was a spontaneous reaction to the experience of God’s Presence in their life as a People. They had been living a life of slavery in Egypt. And because of the Grace of God, they were set free. God saved them! God entered into Covenant with them! God chose them to be His People! And, as they journeyed through the desert wilderness toward the Promised Land, their hearts were deeply stirred by the abiding Living Presence of God, the Bible tells us. And their offerings were spontaneous expressions of what was going on in their hearts — an outward expression of their inner-experience of God’s caring Presence. Because they knew in their hearts that God was with them, they wanted to give generously and willingly.

So let us pray that our generous giving to the Church comes straight from the heart in the spirit of the widow at the Temple Treasury.

Let us pray that the generous giving of ourselves to others comes straight from the heart in the spirit of Christian love.

That’s the true spirit of giving! And that’s what it means to be rich in love!

Peace and Blessings!

Fr. Luis

LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER
by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown
Nov.8, 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose”
(Communion antiphon)
This is the month of All Souls, where we remember all those
who have gone before us “marked with the sign of faith”.
Today we include in our liturgy the singing of the “Lux Aeterna”
litany, commemorating our loved ones who have died, and
praying for each of them by name, that God would welcome
them into His heavenly kingdom. We also pray for ourselves,
that we may be worthy of this gift of salvation, and in
thankfulness for the gifts that God gives us. Let us have pure
hearts, giving freely to God as did the poor widow in today’s
Gospel, who contributed “all that she had, her whole
livelihood.”
Songs for the 9 am Mass:
Gathering Song: Blest Be the Lord # 433
Gloria in excelsis Deo, gloria, gloria!
Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra, terra pax.
Additional words to the Gloria are found in your Breaking
Bread hymnal, p. 6.
Psalm 146: Praise the Lord, my soul, praise the Lord!
Preparation of Gifts: Lux Aeterna Litany
Lux aeterna, dona eis requiem. (Let eternal light shine upon
them. Give them peace.)
Communion: There Are Many Rooms (ss)
Recessional: Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine (ss)

Solemnity of All Saints – November 1, 2015

All through the month of November we pray for the souls of our loved ones who have gone before us.
All through the month of November we pray for the souls of our loved ones who have gone before us.

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Pastors’ Desk

Greetings! During the month of November we remember our departed love ones. Please write the name of your family member or loved one you want to remember on the back of the “All Souls envelope, and put it in the second collection basket. 

The second collection this weekend is for Restoration and Repair funds.  Thank you!

The story is told of a clever spider that managed to construct a most magnificent, beautifully patterned web — a work of art …

The web was so marvelously constructed that spiders from all over the land came to marvel at it. The web was so symmetrical that if you folded it over at the middle, the two sides would fit exactly over each other. The designs would have matched perfectly.

The spider of course, was very pleased with its creation. One morning, the creature made the usual inspection tour of the web, tightening up a knot here, loosening another there. All seemed to be in order, until the spider suddenly saw a thread it didn’t recognize. What could it be? Where did it come from? Soon the spider discovered that the thread was long but seemed useless. “Who needs it?” the spider thought. And so it bit through the thread. Whereupon the beautiful web collapsed, and the spider had a big fall. The one essential thread — the thread that held the beautifully patterned web together — the thread on which the spider’s whole world depended, had been broken — disconnected.

The Apostle Paul has written, “There are three things that last: faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love” (I Cor. 13:13). The Apostle Paul is telling us that the essential thread on which our whole life depends is Love — for God is Love. And oh how we so desperately need to translate that into our daily living!

It’s been said that human love can be compared to the sunshine which shines brightly on the trees of the forest. The trees sink into the earth and finally are dug up as coal. When the coal burns, it returns the light and heat that came from the sun. Like the trees which receive sunlight, the human heart receives the capacity to love from God. Then, in union with another heart, love burns, and returns again to God the love that came from Him.

In the famous novel, “The Diary of a Country Priest,” there is a moving scene in which the priest encounters a woman who is completely turned in on herself. She has been abandoned by her daughter and betrayed by her husband. Death has claimed her young son. And her heart has hardened. Beseeching her to unlock her hardened heart, the priest says, “Hell is not to love anymore.”
To tuck ourselves away in a little ego-world of our own is hellish. To deceive ourselves into believing that our own little world is the world, is hellish. To search for any kind of lasting fulfillment outside the context of “giving a drink of water” is hellish. That is a hellish life to be living. But when you break out and give of yourself in Jesus’ Name, He tells us: “I assure you, you will not go without reward.”
As a community of Christians, that is our number one priority. As a people of faith, our number one priority is to translate God’s love into everything we do. There’s no better translation than that!

Peace and Blessings!

Fr. Luis

LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER

by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

 

Nov. 1, Feast of All Saints

   “Let us all rejoice in the Lord, as we celebrate the feast day in honor of all the Saints, at whose festival the Angels rejoice and praise the Son of God.”

 

“The saints are God’s masterpieces. He never tires of painting them in different colors…each one unique, each one reflecting some aspect of the divine reality. The saints are not simply models or people to be admired; above all, they are friends. If we have a devotion to a particular saint, we’ve found a soul companion, a spiritual guide, one upon whom we can rely personally. So find a heavenly soul-mate.  Make him or her part of your prayer life.”  (Bishop Robert Barron, Word on Fire)  Let the power of their lives, their witness and writings open up to you!

This year we have the unusual occurrence of the Feast of All Saints falling on a Sunday.

In today’s gospel, we hear Jesus preach His well-loved and oft-quoted Sermon on the Mount, or the Beatitudes. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”  At first glance, it doesn’t seem to make sense.  How can those who are poor, or in mourning, or persecuted, be “blessed”, or “happy”?  Jesus is telling us that true happiness consists only in Him, and doing His will.  Our songs today were chosen to remind us that we are all saints in the making, and our hope is to someday join our loved ones and all the saints and angels in heaven.

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song: Sing With All the Saints in Glory  # 622

Gloria in excelsis Deo, gloria, gloria!

Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra, terra pax.

Additional words to the Gloria are found in your Breaking Bread hymnal, p. 6.

Psalm 24:  Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Preparation of Gifts:  We Shall Rise Again  (ss)

Communion:  Blest Are They # 640

Recessional:   Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine  (ss)

Want to make a meaningful impact in your community? Catholic Charities in partnership with United Way is looking for volunteer Tax Preparers to help low-income families and individuals get back the money they deserve at tax time.  For more information on volunteering, please contact Eileen at Catholic Charities at (707) 528-8712 x142 or ecangany@srcharities.org

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 25, 2015

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PASTOR’S DESK
On June 17th, nine of Charleston, South Carolina’s most prominent educators and religious leaders were killed inside Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church — including four members of the clergy. In a silent vigil, countless millions sat glued to their screens as the details of the unspeakable tragedy were broadcast throughout the world. How could this happen, we asked? That afternoon, a small group, just 13 people had assembled at the church. Many were familiar faces. One was a stranger. But it was unfathomable that this stranger was a killer lying in wait — a man who would kill nine of those churchgoers and church leaders in cold blood.

Nine people gathered together for fellowship and Bible study — vibrant, loving, beautiful souls so full of life one minute — snuffed out like a candle the next. It was unthinkable, unimaginable, and unreal. And in the hours and days that followed, something perhaps even more unimaginable was made real. Inspired by the families of those murdered at Mother Emanuel that day, “The Hate Won’t Win Campaign” was born. Only hours after the tragedy, community leaders, politicians, educators and family members of the victims spoke not of retribution, anger and hatred — but rather of love, reconciliation and forgiveness.

“I forgive you.” Those were the words spoken by the daughter of one of the nine to the man accused of pulling the trigger. “I just want everybody to know, to you, I forgive you,” she told the shooter during his first court appearance. Referring to her mother, she said to the shooter, “You took something very precious away from me. I will never talk to her ever again. I will never be able to hold her again, but I forgive you and have mercy on your soul. You hurt me, you hurt a lot of people, but God forgive you, and I forgive you.” Later, dozens of the victim’s family members and friends packed a courtroom to face the alleged gunman in person for the first time. Some stared at him from a jury box stone-faced, while others turned and wiped away tears. Several family members again expressed forgiveness. Said one, “He will not take my joy,” and with the accused just steps behind her, she declared “Hate will not win. I pray the Lord have mercy on his soul.”

In those darkest hours, the world stood witness as unfathomable evil met with genuine forgiveness. The world stood witness to the miraculous healing power of love.

As a faith community, we know that part of the Good News of the Gospel is that God’s healing power is present to us, even in our darkest moments — especially in our darkest moments. It is then that the light breaks through, and the way opens, and we know that God is acting in that situation to make all things new.

Peace and blessings!

Fr. Luis

View from Fr. Luis' room at Priests' Retreat in Menlo Park.
View from Fr. Luis’ room at Priests’ Retreat in Menlo Park.

We welcome Fr. Luis back from the Priests Retreat last week and look forward to hearing him speak about his experiences. Welcome home Fr. Luis!

All through the month of November we pray for the souls of our loved ones who have gone before us.
All through the month of November we pray for the souls of our loved ones who have gone before us.

LUX AETERNA LITANY NOV. 8

The choir will be singing the beautiful “Lux Aetena Liturgy” Sunday Nov. 8th. If you would like to have your deceased loved one (especially those deceased this past year) included, please write the name and leave it for the choir director after mass. You can also email churchelizabeth@comcast.net.

Video of LUX AETERNA LITANY from last year. 

LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER

by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

10-25-15  30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Oct. 25, 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“The Lord has done great things for us, we are filled with joy!”

What would it have been like to be present when Jesus healed the blind man? Have you ever thought about that?  How wonderful to actually witness a miracle with our own eyes!    Well, miracles do happen.  Just read Sr. Briege McKenna’s book, Miracles Do Happen: The Inspiring True Story of the World-Famous Healer.  As a young woman, she was instantaneously healed of crippling arthritis and went on to follow God’s call to the healing ministry. She says, “The question Jesus asked Bartimaeus is the same question he asks all of us.  ‘What do you want me to do for you?’  With faith we should answer, ‘Lord, I want to be healed.’ ”  In today’s first reading, God promises to deliver His people, to gather them from the ends of the earth, to console them and bring them back rejoicing. This is His promise to us, His people, His church.  Rejoice!

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song: All the Ends of the Earth  # 554

Gloria in excelsis Deo, gloria, gloria!

Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra, terra pax.

Additional words to the Gloria are found in your Breaking Bread hymnal, p. 6.

Psalm 126:  The Lord has done great things for us, we are filled with joy.

Preparation of Gifts:  Church of God, Elect and Glorious # 417

Communion:  You Are Mine # 460

Recessional:   Come Let Us Sing With Joy to the Lord   (ss)

From Left: Volunteer David Gillespie, project organizer Frank Danzart, Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman, Sonoma County Roads worker Brian Britton, Russian River Fire Protection District President Mark Emmet.
From Left: Volunteer David Gillespie, project organizer Frank Danzart, Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman, Sonoma County Roads worker Brian Britton, Russian River Fire Protection District President Mark Emmet.

We are very pleased to announce the outdoor church property passed the county inspection with flying colors. Once again we express our sincere thanks to Frank Danzart, Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman, Brian Britten, Sonoma County Roads Dept., and Russian River Fire Protection District President Mark Emmet. We also thank the many volunteers from the parish who helped. We pray for continued cooperation and understanding from the community as we deal with the difficult social problems of homelessness in our town.

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 18, 2015

Bulletin18Oct2015

PASTOR’S DESK
The truth is more than two millennia ago there were times when the Apostles’ loyalty to Jesus was motivated by self-interest. Today’s Gospel story gives us a clear example of this type of misguided, “What’s in it for me?” attitude.

James and John approach Jesus in just such a frame of mind. “Master,” they ask, “we want you to do us a favor … Allow us to sit, one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory” (Mk.l0:35,37). The “hand of God” was a symbol of the highest power and glory, and here are James and John trying to exact a promise for a share in God’s power and glory greater than anyone else’s. In so doing, they irreverently reduce Jesus’ promise of the Coming Kingdom to the level of a political spoils system. In return for loyalty to their Leader, James and John demand the top spots in the Kingdom. No doubt they are dismayed and disenchanted, momentarily at least, when Jesus tells them to forget it — that He just can’t comply. “The cup that I must drink of you shall drink, and the baptism with which I must be baptized you shall be baptized,” He says. “But as for seats at My right hand or my left, these are not Mine to grant” (Mk.10:39,40). Then Jesus adds, “Anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all” (Mk. 10:43).

We share in the cup from which Jesus drinks to the extent that we simultaneously share it with others. To experience the healing, cleansing power of the waters in which Jesus is immersed, we must enter hand-in-hand with others. In the Epistle to the Hebrews we read, “Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help” (Heb.4:16). But, as Jesus informs the Apostles in today’s Gospel, we cannot do so in isolation. We approach the “throne of Grace” hand-in-hand-in the spirit of the “Son of Man” who “did not come to be served but to serve” (Mk.10:45).

There would come a time for the Apostles when notions of being in competition with one another for special rewards and privileges were unthinkable. The day would come when Peter would address the crowds in these words: “I have now come to realize that God does not have favorites” (Acts 10:34). How true it is! God does not play favorites. He commissioned His Divine Son in the service of all mankind. “The Son of Man has come not to be served but to serve.” So it is with every loyal supporter of the Lord Jesus. We are not strangers to the temptations of the Apostles James and John. There are times when the lure of self-glorification seems irresistible. There are times when we approach Jesus in a “What’s in it for me?” frame of mind. And Jesus answers, as He answered James and John. “From the cup I drink you shall drink… Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest.”

There is our invitation to true greatness! There is a mighty work to be done! Though the reward of true greatness exacts a mighty price, it is a price within our means to pay.

Jesus knows what we can afford. Again in the Epistle to the Hebrews we are reminded that Jesus understands our weakness because He “was tempted in every way that we are” (Heb.4:15). Jesus knows the temptation we feel to pass up the cup. “My Father,” He prayed, “if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by” (Mt.26:39). But the cup did not pass Jesus by. He paid the price. He gave His life in loving service to us all.

The late psychiatrist Dr. Karl Menninger wrote that his father, Dr. Will Menninger, listed a number of attributes as criteria for emotional maturity. One of the most important of these was to find more satisfaction in giving than receiving.

Yet he believed the true value of giving is expressed in a Nigerian proverb which he first became aware of through the Peace Corps — and it was Karl Menninger’s favorite:

It reads, “When the right hand washes the left hand, the right hand becomes clean also.”

Peace and Blessings!

Fr. Luis

LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER

by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

 

10-18-15  29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gathering Song:  Glory in the Cross  # 724 (Holy Thursday verses)

Gloria: sung!  New Mass of John Carroll

Psalm 33:  Let your mercy be on us, O God, as we place our trust in you. (Haugen)

Gospel Acclamation: Celtic  (G)

Intercessions:  O God hear us, hear our prayer.

Preparation of Gifts:  Servant Song # 376  (E)

Holy:  Mass of Creation (Gm)

Acclamation:  When we eat this bread (Gm) # 882 (Mass of Creation)

Amen:  W/S # 259  (F)  Bolduc

L/G:  Mass of Renewal:  Dm/Em

Communion: So Beautiful (ss) / (Love Goes On # 491, if time)