Common Sense?

04-29-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asked for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  Luke 11:11

The Waffle House and mass murder are not things I would have ever linked. I remember in my younger days going to dance clubs and then after the clubs closed heading to a local diner to continue the fun. Then sneaking home hoping not to wake up my parents. Amazingly they never woke up. But suspiciously my mother would wake me up at 6am… During those 3am diner dates the worst that ever happened was a fight, usually over a girl. But I would have never conceived that you could be murdered for no reason at all while eating breakfast with friends. That’s all changed now and we seem to have an abundance of sick and twisted individuals that bring our civilization to new lows on a regular basis.

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Everyday Stewardship

04-29-2018Stewardship Reflection

St. John captures the essence of what kind of love is expected from us toward our neighbor and those in need as he opens our Second Reading with “Let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” Jesus made that point several times in His own teachings. It follows the old adage that “Actions speak louder than words.”

We have pointed out numerous times that being a good steward requires action. It may be easy for us come to an understanding of what it means to love one another; and additionally, we may speak of doing it; but the true measure is what we do, how we live our lives.

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Our Hope is Here

04-28-2018The Sisters Corner

Easter is a time of hope. The light of Christ’s Resurrection has overcome all darkness. So, what is hope?

Hope is theological virtue; a gift bestowed by God through which one trusts God will grant us eternal life. Our hope is deposited in God’s promises to take us to heaven. This very hope brings us joy, a joy so deep that no one can take it away.  Our work is to never lose this hope and to let it shine through us.

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Everyday Stewardship

04-22-2018Stewardship Reflection

“He is the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.” This is St Peter preaching again in the First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles. However, in this instance, he is speaking at his own trial. He and St. John had been imprisoned.

What a different man Peter is compared to the man who denied Jesus in fear! Peter is no longer intimidated by the authorities; keep in mind that this is in effect the same court which condemned Christ to crucifixion. Earlier in Acts we witness Peter and the other disciples being filled with the Holy Spirit. This is not a one-time event, but something ongoing throughout their lives.

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A Tilted Playing Field

04-22-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

The Arizona Faith Network (formerly known as the AZ Ecumenical Council) is a coalition of various faith communities including the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix that collaborate on a variety of issues of social concern. They recently put forward a statement on Criminal Legal Reform (https://www.arizonafaithnetwork.org/message-on-criminal-legal-reform ). The purpose of the message is to encourage people of faith, faith leaders, and faith communities to add their voices to this call and to advocate for a "fundamental transformation of mindset about the criminal legal system." The message itself has some very worthy points that should be considered in any Criminal Justice Reform. Of particular note is recognizing the special needs of juvenile offenders, stopping the privatization of prisons and jails, fostering the reintegration of offenders into the community.

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A Note from Sr. Maria Cristina

04-22-2018The Sisters Corner

The Divine Mercy Sunday is a beautiful celebration in the Church, rooted in God’s wonderful love for all of  humanity. 

After praying and discerning about how to celebrate on a deeper level for this feast in our Church, we (my team and I ) decided to host a Divine Mercy Celebration open to all the children of the parish so as to spread God’s merciful love to all. 

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Everyday Stewardship

04-15-2018Stewardship Reflection

The final line of the First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles is, “Repent, therefore, that your sins may be wiped away.” This is part of a message which Peter evidently often stated as he evangelized and spread the word about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Penance, repentance, is an important part of our Catholic faith. One of our seven Sacraments, there is much in Church doctrine about the importance of this sacrament. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#1424) it states, “It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element. In a profound sense it is also a “confession” - acknowledgment and praise - of the holiness of God and of His mercy toward sinful men and women.”

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Checks and Balances

04-15-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

In the Book of Revelation John begins by writing to the seven Churches that were near Patmos, the penal island on which John was incarcerated. He writes to these living communities with a word from Jesus, a word that affirms them and also a word that challenges them. These churches or Christian communities are referred to by John as the 7 lampstands among whom Jesus walks. As lampstands they are to give light to the culture around them otherwise their light will be extinguished. Their light will burn out if they are not faithful to Jesus the faithful witness.

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New people coming into the Church!

04-15-2018The Sisters CornerSr. Maria Jose

It has been such a wonderful blessing for me to witness the ways God has been present and working in the lives of all the RCIA participants during this past year. Some of the many amazing graces have been witnessing as they were getting baptized, receiving Confirmation and First Holy Communion, then fully belonging to the Catholic Church.

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Happy Sunday of the Divine Mercy!

04-08-2018The Sisters Corner

Today is a great day to remember God's Mercy for all the Church. God invites us; through Sister Faustina, the story of the Church and throughout the Story of Salvation, to open our hearts to His Merciful love for all of humankind.

In our charism as Servants of the Plan of God, it's very important to us that we have present in our lives the Mercy of God. We have a devotion to the Master of Mercy. It's an image of the Child Jesus that from his chest he takes his own heart to give it to us freely. When you look at His child face, He's with a smile, showing us that He is happy to do it. When we see a child we can't help but to receive the love from the child. That's why He wants us to perceive Him as a little child.

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Everyday Stewardship

04-08-2018Stewardship Reflection

On this Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, what we hear in the Word of the Lord enforces what we need to believe. It has a lot to do with the idea of stewardship. Some of what we hear is often misinterpreted.

The First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles points out about the early Christian community: “The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his or her possessions was his own, but they had everything in common.” This is a sign of unity, the kind of unity we as a faith community are striving to achieve. The bottom line is that those in the community regarded people more important than things. Is that not what Christ expects of us?

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Let's Make a Deal

04-08-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

The NRA and Planned Parenthood don't really have much in common except one thing. They both operate using the same strategy: never give an inch. No matter how reasonable a restriction may be, the old saying applies: “if you give an inch they’ll take a yard”.  The NRA argues that since gun ownership was written by the Founders in the plain text of the Constitution and Planned Parenthood argues that abortion is a constitutional right as determined by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade and therefore need to be protected against any encroachment. I find it interesting that a lot of the same restrictions we have tried to enact on abortions are the similar to the ones being proposed for firearms.

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They Came to Believe

04-01-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

And I came to believe in a power much higher than I
I came to believe that I needed help to get by
In childlike faith I gave in and gave him a try
And I came to believe in a power much higher than I

“Came to Believe” by Johnny Cash

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Happy Easter! Christ is risen!

04-01-2018The Sisters Corner

During this Lenten time, we have experienced God's love and grace in our hearts working differently both individually and as a community. We also experienced, through our different ministries, the grace of God’s work in those we serve as part of the parish and school.

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