Fourth Sunday of Easter – April 26, 2015

PASTOR’S DESK

The late Psychologist Erich Fromm, in his famous book, “The Art of Loving,” said loving relationships are a necessary ingredient of a fulfilled life. Yet, he observed that in our everyday, stressed out lives, all too often we treat our loving relationships as “a luxury — a dimension we can get along without.”

But the Gospel Truth is in reality, we cannot. “We either love or die,” says Fromm. In terms of the “Good Life” — the fulfilled life — “there are a thousand ways to die, but there is only one way to live.” And that’s a number we can wrap our heads around!

In today’s Gospel Lesson, Jesus invites us to continue our search for the good life by considering the life of a sheepfold. Although we may know little or nothing about raising sheep, nevertheless we can readily grasp the picture Jesus portrays in today’s lesson. The sheepfold has only one gate to enter and leave by in order to find the food and protection needed to sustain life. Using this imagery, Jesus says, “I am the gate. Anyone who enters through me will be safe: he will go freely in and out and be sure of finding pasture” (Jn. 10:9). Then He says, “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full” (Jn. 10:10)

 

“I am the Good Shepherd,” Jesus assures us. “Follow Me!” But we are not sheep. We are human beings in whom God has vested the power of choice: to accept or reject Jesus’ invitation; to believe or disbelieve that we are more than a grain of sand with little or no control over our own fate; to believe or disbelieve that we are a miracle of God’s creation capable of rescuing ourselves from our own living death; to believe or disbelieve that we can transform the struggle for mere survival into the marvelous, life-enriching adventure Jesus offers us.

Our power of choice is real. So let us choose to persevere … rather than quit. Praise … rather than gossip.  Heal … rather than wound. Give … rather than take. Act … rather than procrastinate. Grow … rather than rot. Pray … rather than curse. Live.. rather than die.

Peace and Blessings!

Fr. Luis

 

P.S.  Just wanted to thank those parishioners who have ministered to me by giving me ride to get groceries and driving me to and from St. Catherine and St. Coleman. Many thanks to Rose & Grace; Gail, Katrina, Sonja, Bob, Nancy, Vincent, Michael and Nina

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Liturgical Music Corner by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

April 26, Fourth Sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd Sunday

“I am the Good Shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me.”In today’s gospel, Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd, who “lays down his life for the sheep”.  In biblical and ancient times, shepherds were the leaders and kings who were supposed to be concerned with justice and providing for their subjects.  Today we encounter the Good Shepherd, whose love for us far surpasses that of any king or leader, who loves us so deeply and intensely that He is willing to lay down His life for us.

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song:  This Day Was Made By the Lord  (BB # 574)

Gloria in excelsis Deo, Gloria, gloria!

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

Psalm 118:  Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love is everlasting.

Preparation of Gifts:  Shepherd of My Heart  (ss)

Communion:  In Christ Alone (BB # 414)

Recessional:  Christ the Lord is Risen Today  # 180

On April 11, Josephina and Ben Robles celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary with mass and reception. Here is some video: 

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Third Sunday of Easter – April 19, 2015

Pastor’s Desk
Ramsay MacDonald, one-time Prime Minister of England, was discussing with another government official the possibility of lasting peace. The latter, and expert on foreign affairs, was unimpressed by the Prime Minister’s idealistic viewpoint. “The desire for peace does not necessarily ensure it,” he remarked cynically.
“Quite true,” admitted MacDonald. “Neither does the desire for food satisfy your hunger, but at least it gets you started toward a restaurant.”
“My peace is My gift to you,” Jesus said to His disciples, “a peace the world cannot give” [Jn.14:27]. The Gospel writers want us to understand that, in the through Jesus Christ, God is constantly giving to us. He is giving Himself, giving His love, giving His promise never to abandon us. He is giving His promise is ultimate, total fulfillment in that blessed peace of heart and mind and soul which the world can never give. And if your desire to receive the Peace of Christ is yet to be satisfied, at the very least, it gets you started in the right direction.
Jesus’ gift of peace is “Shalom.” In its deepest meaning, the gift of shalom can be described as the sense of your life’s wholeness and purposefulness. It is the understanding. At the deepest level of your being that you are somebody, that you are destined for greatness.
Being consciously aware of your own infinite value in God’s eyes is the first step in achieving wholeness of life. Being consciously aware of everyone else’s infinite value in God’s eyes, is the second step. When you have taken both steps, the true spirit of shalom becomes part of the very essence of your being. And you are empowered to reveal it, and share it. Then you become one of the Christ’s blessed peacemakers.
Peace and blessings!
Fr. Luis
Many thanks for those who have been very patient driving me around town and getting from once church to the other.

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Liturgical Music Corner by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

April 19, Third Sunday of Easter

This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it!

Last week a friend gifted us with free tickets to see virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell perform with the San Francisco Symphony. What a wonderful experience! Our seats were in the third row, center, and Joshua Bell was directly in front of us! We could see his every facial expression, every move, every fingering clearly. What struck me was not only his technical expertise, but the passion and emotion in every note that he played. As a musician, I know the hours of practice that go into preparing for a concert like this. As I was reflecting on this, I thought: what if we put that kind of preparation and passion into our faith? What if we took our faith so seriously that we studied it until we knew it inside and out, until it became part of our very being, and until we could defend it with boldness? Do we not have something even more valuable to share with the world? Don’t be afraid to share it! Jesus Christ is risen, and He loves you!!

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song: This Day Was Made By the Lord (BB # 574)

Gloria in excelsis Deo, Gloria, gloria!

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

Psalm 4: Lord, let your face shine on us.

Preparation of Gifts: Glory in the Cross (BB # 724)

Communion: In Christ Alone (BB # 414)

Recessional: Sing With All the Saints in Glory (BB # 622)

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reminds us that we are stewards, not owners, of this earth.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reminds us that we are stewards, not owners, of this earth.

“I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of good will: Let us be ‘protectors’ of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.” Pope Francis

Josephina and Ben Robles celebrated their 45th Wedding Anniversary Saturday, April 11 with a beautiful mass and reception.
Josephina and Ben Robles celebrated their 45th Wedding Anniversary Saturday, April 11 with a beautiful mass and reception.
The Catholic Home Missions Appeal is the last week end in April.
The Catholic Home Missions Appeal is the last week end in April.

HUMOR:

> A Nun Grading Papers

CAN YOU IMAGINE THE NUN SITTING AT HER DESK GRADING THESE PAPERS, ALL THE WHILE TRYING TO KEEP A STRAIGHT FACE AND MAINTAIN HER COMPOSURE!

KIDS WERE ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS. THE FOLLOWING 25 STATEMENTS ABOUT THE BIBLE WERE WRITTEN BY CHILDREN. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN RETOUCHED OR CORRECTED. INCORRECT SPELLING HAS BEEN LEFT IN.

  1. IN THE FIRST BOOK OF THE BIBLE, GUINESSIS. GOD GOT TIRED OF CREATING THE WORLD SO HE TOOK THE SABBATH OFF.

  2. ADAM AND EVE WERE CREATED FROM AN APPLE TREE. NOAH’S WIFE WAS JOAN OF ARK. NOAH BUILT AND ARK AND THE ANIMALS CAME ON IN PEARS.

  3. LOTS WIFE WAS A PILLAR OF SALT DURING THE DAY, BUT A BALL OF FIRE DURING THE NIGHT.

  4. THE JEWS WERE A PROUD PEOPLE AND THROUGHOUT HISTORY THEY HAD TROUBLE WITH UNSYMPATHETIC GENITALS.

  5. SAMPSON WAS A STRONGMAN WHO LET HIMSELF BE LED ASTRAY BY A JEZEBEL LIKE DELILAH.

  6. SAMSON SLAYED THE PHILISTINES WITH THE AXE OF THE APOSTLES.

  7. MOSES LED THE JEWS TO THE RED SEA WHERE THEY MADE UNLEAVENED BREAD, WHICH IS BREAD WITHOUT ANY INGREDIENTS.

  8. THE EGYPTIANS WERE ALL DROWNED IN THE DESSERT. AFTERWARDS, MOSES WENT UP TO MOUNT CYANIDE TO GET THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

  9. THE FIRST COMMANDMENTS WAS WHEN EVE TOLD ADAM TO EAT THE APPLE.

  10. THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT IS THOU SHALT NOT ADMIT ADULTERY.

  11. MOSES DIED BEFORE HE EVER REACHED CANADA THEN JOSHUA LED THE HEBREWS IN THE BATTLE OF GERITOL.

  12. THE GREATEST MIRICLE IN THE BIBLE IS WHEN JOSHUA TOLD HIS SON TO STAND STILL AND HE OBEYED HIM.

  13. DAVID WAS A HEBREW KING WHO WAS SKILLED AT PLAYING THE LIAR. HE FOUGHT THE FINKELSTEINS, A RACE OF PEOPLE WHO LIVED IN BIBLICAL TIMES.

  14. SOLOMON, ONE OF DAVIDS SONS, HAD 300 WIVES AND 700 PORCUPINES.

  15. WHEN MARY HEARD SHE WAS THE MOTHER OF JESUS, SHE SANG THE MAGNA CARTA.

  16. WHEN THE THREE WISE GUYS FROM THE EAST SIDE ARRIVED THEY FOUND JESUS IN THE MANAGER.

  17. JESUS WAS BORN BECAUSE MARY HAD AN IMMACULATE CONTRAPTION

  18. ST. JOHN THE BLACKSMITH DUMPED WATER ON HIS HEAD.

  19. JESUS ENUNCIATED THE GOLDEN RULE, WHICH SAYS TO DO UNTO OTHERS BEFORE THEY DO ONE TO YOU. HE ALSO EXPLAINED A MAN DOTH NOT LIVE BY SWEAT ALONE.

  20. IT WAS A MIRICLE WHEN JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD AND MANAGED TO GET THE TOMBSTONE OFF THE ENTRANCE.

  21. THE PEOPLE WHO FOLLOWED THE LORD WERE CALLED THE 12 DECIBELS.

  22. THE EPISTELS WERE THE WIVES OF THE APOSTLES.

  23. ONE OF THE OPPOSSUMS WAS ST. MATTHEW WHO WAS ALSO A TAXIMAN.

  24. ST. PAUL CAVORTED TO CHRISTIANITY, HE PREACHED HOLY ACRIMONY, WHICH IS ANOTHER NAME FOR MARRAIGE.

  25. CHRISTIANS HAVE ONLY ONE SPOUSE. THIS IS CALLED MONOTONY.

Aren’t Children great!!

Divine Mercy Sunday – April 12, 2015

Update:

Funeral for Tom Joyce will be April 18th at 11:00 AM at St. Philip, Occidental

PASTOR’S DESK,

Greetings, to all!  And I hope everyone had a great Easter celebration with families.

Again, I would like to thank our ministers of Liturgy the lectors, acolytes [altar person] ushers, and musicians for  great and wonderful liturgies as well as our guilds for decorating the church.

I went to the podiatrist and found out I have a fallen arch; the doctor said that it happens when one gets older.  And once again I was right that the cause of my injury is getting older.  Anyway, he recommends an orthopedic support to assist the arch of my right foot.  However, before getting the impression on my foot I need to get the swelling down.  That means, I have to elevate the foot and not to put pressure on that left foot.

Many years ago, a book called “The Big Fisherman,” by Lloyd C. Douglas, made the best-seller lists.  The book contains a scene in which several of the Apostles are wondering aloud about Jesus: “Why did He do this?  Why did He do that?”  at one point Peter says, “Don’t forget, we couldn’t understand why He wanted to leave Canaan and go to Capernaum.”  “That was different,” Thomas mumbles, “He felt He was urgently needed there.”  “Maybe He feels that He is now needed elsewhere,” Andrew observes.  To which James adds, “I don’t believe He cares very much whether we understand Him or not.”  “You are right, Jimmy, “Says Bartholomew, “He’s teaching us to have faith I Him.” “But can’t a man have faith, and understanding too?”  Thomas argues.  “No,” Says Bartholomew, “That’s what faith is for.  It’s for when we can’t understand.”  “That’s true,” says, Peter. “When a man understands, he doesn’t need any faith.”  “I don’t like to be kept in the dark,” complains Philip.  To which Peter replies, “If a man has enough faith, he can find his way in the dark —– with faith as his lamp.”

As He did with Thomas and Peter and the others who would be His followers, Jesus invites us to perfect our faith by touching His wounds which lay open on the persons of His brothers and sisters.  Despite the din and clamor of this present age, with faith as our lamp, we may still hear the calm, confident, reassuring, loving voice of the Lord inviting us into the Mystery of Faith:  “Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe” [Jn.20:29}

 Jesus is with us now, reaching out to us with His hand, as He did with Thomas.  “Peace be with you,” He is saying.  “Give Me your

hand…Doubt no longer, but believe… Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.”  With faith as our lamp, the answer to His call is abundantly clear. “Yes, Lord. WE BELIEVE!”

Peace and Blessings!

Fr. Luis

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Liturgical Music Corner by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

April 12, Second Sunday of Easter/ Divine Mercy Sunday

   This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it!

This week we celebrated the most important event in human history, the rising of Jesus Christ from the dead!  By His rising, He defeated sin and death, so that death has no victory over us.  “Death, where is your victory?  Death, where is your sting?”  We rejoice because this means we will also rise with Him, and just as Jesus rose in His physical body, so we, too, will receive our bodies back at the end of time.  This is the teaching of our church!  Receive the joy of your glory, giving thanks to God, who has called you into the heavenly kingdom, alleluia!

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song:  Christ the Lord is Risen Today   BB # 178

Gloria in excelsis Deo, Gloria, gloria!

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

Psalm 118:  Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love is everlasting.

Preparation of Gifts:  This Day Was Made By the Lord  # 574

Communion:  I Am the Bread of Life  # 343

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross  (choir)

Recessional:  Jesus Christ is Risen Today  # 167

Easter Sunday – April 5, 2015

PASTOR’S DESK,
Christ is risen! Yes, he is indeed risen. Welcome to our parish and hopefully you will enjoy our celebration of Easter.  As Catholics we don’t just celebrate Easter just this Sunday but we have the season of Easter all the way through Pentecost. We celebrate life transformation, conversion, just like the caterpillar changes into a butterfly. It is a great image that we have here at the center piece of our altar to remind us what Lent is all about.It is about transformation and conversion, whatever you put into your Lenten devotion or practice will determine the fruit of your labor.Many thanks for all those who have assisted in our Triduum celebration, or Holy Week celebration. For our Eucharist ministers, Readers and Environmental liturgist, and for our guild for a wonderful Seder meal.

And of course for our choir, most people do not know how much time Rebecca works on making the choir sound good. People think, “just sing and everything will turn out right.” That is not the case, the choir practices every Thursday night and after Sunday mass. Rebecca is a professional musician as well, as our cantor Eric and Winnie our pianist. Sean and Therese are also majors in music. We are lucky to have them in our parish!
Most parishioners don’t see the graces that have been in our midst. I would like to thank Lonnie Hoyt for fixing the window at St. Catherine’s and thanks for Kerch Thomas and Barbara Kerkalis for fixing the furnace at St. Elizabeth at no charge. They requested that their contribution be in memory of Kerch’s mother Marilyn Danara.
Peace and Blessings!
Fr. LUIS

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We would like to thank Sherilyn Parmeter and St. Elizabeth’s Guild who hosted the Seder Dinner on Holy Thursday night. Joe Torrez cooked a splendid dinner of roast lamb and optional chicken for those who don’t like lamb. The lamb was seasoned and cooked to perfection, pink and juicy in the mid section and well done on the ends. Rice and spinach were sides, and a nice tossed salad completed the meal. Fran Korn and Denise Britten made chocolate dipped macaroons which were served with ice cream for dessert. 72 people attended and participated in the ancient Jewish ritual, now incorporated into our Holy Week services. Thank you to all who worked so hard to make the evening so lovely.

Seder Dinner in St. Hubert's Hall after services on Holy Thursday evening.
Seder Dinner in St. Hubert’s Hall after services on Holy Thursday evening.

Thank you also to St. Elizabeth’s Guild (especially Fran and Eleanor) for the lovely gifts for First Communion, Confirmation and First Communion.

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