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

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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

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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)

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time – October 11, 2015

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PASTOR’S DESK

In his best-selling book, “Emotional Intelligence,” author Daniel Goleman asserts that “since the beginning of the last century, each generation has lived with an increasing risk of suffering a major depression — not just sadness, but a paralyzing listlessness, dejection, self-pity, and an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness.” Just reading that is very depressing, but it’s also very important. It’s important because it affects so many of us. The “overwhelming hopelessness” that Goleman describes results from the feeling that one is unable to overcome this impoverished emotional state — on either the individual or the global level.

According to Goleman, the “age of anxiety” that characterized the last century is now evolving into an “age of melancholy.” In “Man’s Search For Meaning,” the psychiatrist and educator Viktor Frankl claimed that this kind of bankrupt emotional state is widespread, and lamented the fact that 60% of his American students felt that they lived in a state of “inner emptiness — a void within themselves.” Yet the situation today is worse than it was in 1950 when Frankl wrote his book. A more recent survey of students entering American Colleges may help to explain why. Eighteen years after Frankl’s book was published, college freshmen were asked what their personal goals were: only 41 per cent said they wanted to make a lot of money. But the overwhelming majority also wanted to develop a meaningful philosophy of life. The pattern was significantly different recently when 75 per cent of college freshmen said their goal was to be very well-off financially, while only 41 per cent wanted to develop a meaningful philosophy of life — the exact opposite finding from the previous generation.

As more-and-more people come to perceive material wealth as an end in itself, and as more individual members of society are unhappy, society as a whole nears this same state of “emotional bankruptcy.” Sadly, the end result has created some of our most disturbing social problems including drug and alcohol abuse.

In our material world, we worship the material. Wealthy people are revered by virtue of their material possessions, as if net worth is an apt measure for how worthy a person is. We measure the worth of a day or a week according to how productive we are and how much we get done. As someone has said, “Society tells us the only thing that matters is matter — the only things that count are the things that can be counted.”  And just reading that is very depressing. Yet, as Christians, we are a people of hope. As a people of hope, what matters most are the things that accrue to our “eternal account” as we read in today’ Gospel Lesson . . .

If we were to review your checkbook what would it say about your priorities? Would it paint the picture of a self-centered or an other-centered person? Would it inform a biography of a person focused on living well-off, or a follower of Christ intent on living a life of loving service to others? So we get on our knees and ask, “Good Lord, what must we do to share in the only True Source of the Good life?”

“Come, follow me,” says the Lord. Come follow Christ our Lord and place yourselves in one another’s service. Shift your focus from your bank account to your eternal account. If you do this, “you will have treasure heaven.”

Peace and Blessings!

Fr. Luis

LITURGICAL MUSIC CORNER

by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown

 

Oct. 11, 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.”

 

When my husband was confirmed as an adult, his prayer was this:  “Lord, I’ll take any gift you want to give me, but if I have my preference, please give me wisdom”.  (Wisdom is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, conferred on us through the Sacrament of Confirmation).  Our first reading today, from the book of Wisdom, states, “I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her…because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand…”  Let us pray today for wisdom, that gift which helps us to see the truth, to love the truth, and to act on the truth, for there are many things in today’s society which try to muddle and obscure the truths of God and draw us away from Him.  May we always desire wisdom, more than gold!

Songs for the 9 am Mass:

Gathering Song: Holy Wisdom, Lamp of Learning  # 521

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 90:  Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy.

Preparation of Gifts:  More Than Gold

Lord, I love your commands, more than gold is your word, so precious to me.

Communion: In Every Age   # 469

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

It’s time to start planning the Parade of Lights float! Scheduled for Dec. 5 (rain date Dec. 12) at 7:00 PM. We will be decorating at 5:00 at St. Hubert’s Hall. It’s lots of fun, hope you will join us! Here are some photos from last year’s float.

St. Elizabeth's "Joy to the World" Float, Guerneville Parade of LIghts Dec. 6, 2014
St. Elizabeth’s “Joy to the World” Float, Guerneville Parade of LIghts Dec. 6, 2014

 

 

Joy to the World - our logo and a lighted diorama of Guerneville's Main Street. Wishing joy for the Guerneville community this Christmas!
Joy to the World – our logo and a lighted diorama of Guerneville’s Main Street. Wishing joy for the Guerneville community this Christmas!
Parade of Lights Decorating Party
Parade of Lights Decorating Party
3 shepherds and an angel
3 shepherds and an angel