14th Week in Ordinary Time – July 5, 2015


Pastor’s Desk


To all and those visiting us and never been at our parish we welcome you and please introduce yourself to me. As I have said last week on my “Pastoral Desk,” I’ll continue to summaries the new Encyclical of Pope Francis. We continue to Chapter 3 and in Chapter 3 he explores six of the deep root causes of these growing crises such as the following;

• Technology: While it can bring progress towards sustainable development, without “a sound ethics”, it gives “those with the knowledge, and especially the economic resources… an impressive dominance over the whole of humanity”
• The technocratic mentality: “the economy accepts every advance in technology with a view to profit……yet by itself the market cannot guarantee integral human development and social inclusion”
• Anthropocentrism: we fail to understand our place in the world and our relationship with nature. Interpersonal relations and protection of human life must be set above technical reasoning so environmental concern “is also incompatible with the justification of abortion”
• Practical relativism: environmental degradation and social decay is the result of seeing “everything as irrelevant unless it serves one’s own immediate interests”
• Employment: Integral ecology needs to take account of the value of labor so everyone must be able to have work and it’s “bad business for society” to stop investing in people to achieve short-term financial gains
• Biological technologies: GMOs are a “complex environmental issue” which have helped to resolve problems but bring difficulties such as concentrating land “in the hands of a few owners”, threatening small producers, biodiversity and ecosystems
So where do the solutions lie? Pope Francis reflected on the six best solutions and that would be in my next Pastoral Desk.
Peace and Blessings!
Fr. Luis

Thank you to the volunteers who assisted in the 2015 outdoor church cleanup: Joan Brown, Dan Bajone, Zeke Cissell, Chris Diner, Denise Goodwin, Kathy & Lyle Karnath, Jane Kolling, Larry Poirier, Harry Vogel, Buster, Freddy Rusch, Pat Green, Dan Demers, Gail Culverwell and the Russian River Fire District. Thank you also to Frank Danzart, DanBajone (again) and Brian Britton who do maintenance year round, mowing, rebuilding the bell tower, and tree trimming and removal of trash. Thank you also to Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman and the Russian River Fire Dept. for assistance in removing tree branches and heavy debris.

History: The land for the outdoor church was purchased in the 1970s by Fr. George Monahan during a period when real estate law did not require revelation of flood histories of land. Upon being informed the several acre parcel flooded faithfully every year, Fr. Monahan stated “I’ve bought a submarine pen!”

The outdoor church was hugely popular with four masses – 9, 10, 11 and 12. An indoor mass was said at St. Elizabeth’s at 8. Volunteers served in a corps of ushers called the “Red Coats.” The original altar was carved from a redwood trunk, as was the pulpit. Two small buildings served to store the necessaries for mass and a changing room for the priests. All floated away in floods and were replaced with the stone altar under Fr. Ryan’s direction. Recently the bell tower has been restored as noted in the bulletin a few weeks ago. The property yields several thousand dollars of income from event parking.
As Fr. Luis takes us through Laudato Si, we can find the grace to manage the current challenges and opportunities this property presents.
Currently we need to smooth out the deeply rutted areas that cannot be mowed nor used for parking. If you would like to donate some time or have the appropriate equipment to level the ground, please leave your name and phone number with the rectory answering service, (707)869-2107.

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