Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In 1863, President Lincoln designated the last Thursday of November nationally "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens." As a nation, we are invited to pause once again on this Thanksgiving Day and take time to pray, reflect on our lives, and give thanks. I hope many of you make an effort to attend our 9:00am Thanksgiving Mass too! Yes, we give thanks to God from Whom all blessings flow. This Thursday, we give thanks for the gifts of family, the Church, the Sacraments. We give thanks for the people who are entrusted to our care and those who care for us. We give thanks for the country that we share, for the people who protect it and the freedoms we sometimes take for granted.READ MORE
I recently saw a movie at the Heartland Film Festival called, Clemency. The movie is set for general release on December 27th, an odd time to release a thought-provoking movie about capital punishment. You know, ho ho ho and death by lethal injection don't seem to mix well, but I digress.
Bernadine Williams is a prison warden. The movie details what happens to her as she participates in 12 executions with one pending. Bernadine is tasked with following the rather bizarre rituals of such a death—an inmate's last meal, last meetings with family members, ensuring that the right people are witnesses and even an execution rehearsal.
The film reminded me of the movie Unplanned, which details the real-life moral struggle of Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson who slowly came to terms with what abortion really is, the taking of innocent human life. Abby Johnson walks away from the abortion industry in horror and by the end of the movie, it seems like Bernadine Williams will do the same. Her prison work takes a psychological toll. She drinks heavily. She has marital problems. Post-traumatic stress seems to swallow her alive.READ MORE
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
A few weeks ago, I invited you to consider consecrating yourself and your family to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary by participating in the prayers of consecration that begins today (November 9th) and ends on December 12th. This opportunity is presented with the hope that our parish and our hearts will grow closer to Our Lord through His Blessed Mother. This year is a significant moment in our lifetime because it is the 25th anniversary of our parish, the 50th anniversary of the Diocese of Phoenix, and the Jubilee Year of the Family.
Consecrating your family to Jesus through Mary on the feast of our patroness, Our Lady of Guadalupe, is a powerful way to strengthen your family and invite many graces into your home and your hearts. A total consecration to Our Lord leads us to love… to love one another, to love ourselves, to love God.READ MORE
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I have vivid memories of November 2nd, when I was a seminarian, studying and praying in preparation for the priesthood. This was a big day, especially for seminarians who were curious about the monastic life as we lived next to a monastery and were taking in their traditions.
Benedictine monks wear a habit with a long black robe, a black leather belt and a black hood that most days seems kind of worthless really, except on All Soul's Day. On that day, after evening prayer, the monks pull up their hoods, pick up a lighted votive candle and process in pairs behind a processional cross to the monastic cemetery in the crisp, fall evening twilight.READ MORE