The Award Goes to...

09-30-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

The First-Place award for how NOT to handle an allegation of sexual assault goes to: Sen. Diane Feinstein of CA. Congratulations Senator for demonstrating extreme self-centeredness in using an alleged victim of sexual assault as a political prop. Someone in her leadership position is required by law, when they receive an allegation of this nature that includes the name of the alleged victim, alleged perpetrator and approximate location and time frame, to report the allegation to law enforcement, in this case to the Montgomery County, Maryland Police. By not reporting it she is probably guilty of the crime of failure to report (and so is the counselor to whom this allegation was first made in 2012 if it included the same information). Every one of you who have completed our Safe Environment Training knows this is the procedure to report an allegation. How is it that a lawmaker who helped make the law for mandatory reporting doesn't herself follow it? If the Senator loses her upcoming re-election bid she could always try her hand a being a Bishop.

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Everyday Stewardship

09-30-2018Stewardship Reflection

Our Gospel passage and the Second Reading from the letter of St. James urges us to examine our lives for anything that is keeping us from loving God above all else. Jesus says, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off… If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.”

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Siervas in concert!

09-30-2018The Sisters Corner

This past week our Sisters from the music band Siervas have been visiting and giving concerts in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. It's been a blessing to spread the Gospel to so many people and in so many different countries and cultures.

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Picking Real Winners

09-23-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

One of my favorite novelists, Graham Greene wrote a short novel entitled, Monsignor Quixote. It's a humorous story of the adventures of a Spanish Priest from a small town who through a fluke is named a Monsignor by the Vatican much to the chagrin of his Bishop. The Bishop eventually suspends him as it’s just too much for the Bishop to have this lowly, unimportant, small-town priest to wear the robes of a monsignor. The irony is that Quixote is a very delightful, humorous man who is very well versed in Catholicism and ultimately is mortally wounded trying to save a statue of the Virgin Mary from being desecrated. The story is an ecclesiastical version of The Man of La Mancha in many ways.

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Everyday Stewardship

09-16-2018Stewardship Reflection

Sometimes the Sunday readings bring peace and consolation. Other times they come as a swift kick in the pants. Today’s readings definitely fall in the latter category.

In the Gospel from St. Mark, Jesus begins to instruct the Apostles in what was ahead for Him – and for them. “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.” In Peter’s worldly way of thinking, Jesus should not have to suffer — and for that matter, neither should Peter.

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Necessary Clarifications

09-16-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

In 2017 there were 1,207 allegations of child abuse by Pennsylvania public school employees. There were 280 reports alone in Philadelphia. In 2017, in the Catholic Church in all 50 US States and its territories, there were 24 allegations of abuse by Catholic priests. Six of the twenty-four allegations were determined to be substantiated and of those six, four were against the same priest. It would seem that child abuse by a priest is a thing of the past. But what about child abuse by Public School teachers?

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Our mission in Ayaviri (Peru)

09-16-2018The Sisters Corner

Last Sunday we celebrated Grandparents Day, a beautiful day to remember and to celebrate who they are for each one of us in our families but also for the world. They have incredible wisdom and richness to share - fruit of lived experiences.

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Everyday Stewardship

09-09-2018Stewardship Reflection

Today’s readings offer beautiful illustrations of two of the “Four Pillars of Parish Stewardship”   —  hospitality and service — and the joy that a life lived for others can bring.

Our second reading, from the letter of St. James, teaches that all are equally worthy of our hospitality. We must welcome and serve everyone who walks through our church’s doors, extending warmth and a dignified greeting to all. The person who wanders in late to Mass, who is not dressed to our personal standards, may be just the person who is most in need of Christ’s love. Sometimes we can offer that love simply with a smile and offer to come and sit next to us in “our” pew.

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Who will be strong and stand with me?

09-09-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Do you hear the people sing,
Lost in the valley of the night?
It is the music of a people
Who are climbing to the light.

Will you join in our crusade
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see
?

Les Misérables: Final Lyrics

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Mission Trips

09-09-2018The Sisters Corner

These past weeks our sisters and volunteers from Chile, Ayacucho, Ayaviri and Lima (cities in Peru) have been serving in very poor places. They are very distant from the big cities and sometimes the help that they receive is not as much as they need. The faith of these people is very strong, especially in Ayacucho and Ayaviri.

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Let the Little Children Come to Me

09-02-2018The Sisters Corner

“ Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Mt 19:14)

During these almost two years that I have been serving at OLMC, God has asked me to serve in the Religious Education program. This has been a blessing for me, and I’m honored God has trusted me with this mission. One of the things I like the most about working in RE is being able to witness God’s love for the children. He loves them very much! And it is beautiful to see how the children open up their own hearts to receive this love.

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Double Standards?

09-02-2018Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

The sworn memorandum by Archbishop Carlo Viganó, confirms things I wrote in my previous letter, albeit on a much larger scale. The media’s reporting on his testimony is quite curious. While this is potentially one of the biggest scandals in Church history, and we have had a few doosies over the centuries, the media is being very restrained in a lot of its coverage. (Of course, I realize that no story, no matter how big can compete with Trump-amania.) In the Reuters reporting, while they stated Viganó’s allegations they were quick to add that “no evidence was presented”. Other outlets stated that the document lacked proof or documentation to back up the claims. Fair enough. The same for the Archbishop’s recalling of a private conversation with Pope Francis in which he said he informed him that McCarrick had a very substantial file on him that the Pope should review, the media called that conversation “unsubstantiated”. Strange that the same media took as Gospel truth James Comey’s account of the private conversation he had with the President.

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Everyday Stewardship

09-02-2018Stewardship Reflection

In today’s Gospel from Mark, Jesus instructs us in the best way we can honor Him, teaching us the meaning of true worship. Jesus reveals that the way we truly worship Him is by giving Him our hearts. We also learn in this Gospel passage what our Lord does not want - the pious lip service that the scribes and Pharisees offer.

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