Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.
May 13th will be the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, and October 13th will be the celebration of the final one. While the apparition of Our Lady at Guadalupe is the most popular, the messages of Fatima were the most prescient and somber. At Fatima, Our Lady warned us of the bloody carnage that would mark the 20th century. She asked us to pray to mitigate the bloodshed. She also warned, “Russia would continue to spread her errors throughout the world.” And now, finally, we see the progressive left admitting that Russia wages a propaganda war against our democracy. For years the Popes sounded a clarion against communism and Catholics were often accused of having an anti-communist/Russian obsession. Well, who’s obsessed now?!READ MORE
Our Sisters have spent a season without a summer. Some might say not a bad thing. When they left South America, it was spring turning to summer and when they arrived in North America, it was fall turning to winter. But soon enough they will be treated to life inside the yearly furnace we call summer. For me I spent a season without NFL Football. As the season was gearing up and the Kaepernick kerfuffle (asking us to judge people not by the content of their character but by the color of their skin or uniform) was going strong I decided that would be more poison than I wanted to ingest. We all have to decide how much toxins we want to be exposed to and find ways to limit that exposure. After all, our souls can only fight off so much before we lose all hope. Plus, I really find it annoying to be lectured by very overpaid athletes who know little about the issues.READ MORE
Coinciding with the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek, you remember “to boldly go where no man has gone before” and the start of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rooster, which is said to be a powerful year, with no middle of the road when it comes to moving forward, we are entering the era of Trump. We might be going where no one has gone before in electing a person who has not held elected office or high military command and who comports himself as never coming near the middle of the road. In my letter of 18 September (The Ego vs. Lady Macbeth), which was critically acclaimed (very critical) by a local news outlet, I mentioned that Mr. Trump doesn't think twice about turning the tables on his opponents and that he would expose the lies and vacuousness of the elite ruling class. I think I was right. True to form, he has demonstrated an uncanny ability, sometimes without even trying, to do just that.READ MORE
President-elect Donald J. Trump
725 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10022
Dear President-elect Trump,
As Christians conclude the Christmas season with the celebration of Epiphany, I wish to shine a light on recent threats to Christian churches throughout the US. Just days prior to Christmas, the U.S. Government reported that ISIS terrorists were targeting Churches in the U.S. on Christmas, though no specifics were given. If it were the intention of the Federal authorities to scare Christians away from attending Christmas services, then a better strategy could not be had.READ MORE
Soon it will be the year that was. But was it a year to remember, or your favorite year? Was it the best year ever, maybe a year in the life of a fool? Or was it more the days of wine and roses or a time we’d rather forget? However those 525,600 minutes of those 365 days of 2016 passed by I hope you can find many reasons for gratitude and thankfulness.READ MORE
One of the less sentimental Christmas songs is “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”. The song is based on a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on Christmas Day in 1863. His wife had died in a fire two years earlier and his son was a young Lieutenant serving in the Union Army and was badly injured in a battle. Added to this the nation was being torn asunder by civil war so you can understand the pensive and heavy feeling that this song brings with it:READ MORE
Different news agencies have recently reported that the Vatican has issued new guidelines for the formation of future priests. Not exactly earth shattering news except that the guidelines include incorporating the teaching of Pope Francis in his encyclical letter “Care for our Common Home” (Laudato Si). Again no big news here as seminary curricula includes studying lots of Papal Encyclical letters. But somehow the news took all this to mean that the Pope is requiring new priests to preach about global warming/climate change. That doesn't seem to be the case but we will have to wait and see. It would seem odd to raise the issue to the level of doctrine especially after the Church jumped on the anti-Galileo train and suffered the longest lasting black eye in history. Still this could be messy and divisive for new priests. For the more mature among us well it can be hard to teach an old dog new tricks hence the Pope’s call for ‘ecological conversion’.READ MORE
For we need a little Christmas right this very moment… Actually as I write this it is the Feast Day of St. Nicholas who is the basis of our Santa Claus figure. St. Nick was known to be a charitable man who had great devotion to his people. But he was also a strong Bishop who defended the Christian faith especially the truth about the person of Jesus Christ. On both accounts he gives us an example to imitate. The most amazing thing of all is that a Catholic bishop who lived in 4th century Turkey still exercises such tremendous influence on our imagination and our culture. What his life teaches us is that there is no telling how powerful one’s individual actions can be to influence others or even the course of history for the good. St. Nicholas was by no means a man of means but he used what he had to improve the lot of others.READ MORE
I’m feeling like a glass of tap water among bottles of Evian and Perrier or maybe better a bagel on a plate of Danish. We have welcomed our Sisters from the Servants of the Plan of God, two from Peru, one from Ecuador and one from Chile. Now we welcome Fr. Jerome Cayetano, SVD from the Philippines! In addition we have Fr. Ernesto in residence here and he is from Mexico (but soon to be a US citizen). I’m simply no longer exotic, unless of course you consider Philadelphia a foreign place!READ MORE
Come writers and critics Who prophesize with your pen And keep your eyes wide The chance won't come again And don't speak too soon For the wheel's still in spin And there's no telling who that it's naming For the loser now will be later to win Cause the times they are a-changing.
Bob Dylan " The Times Are A-Changing"
So you play your albums, and you smoke your pot
And you meet your girlfriend in the parking lot
Oh but still you're aching for the things you haven't got
What went wrong
And if you can't understand why your world is so dead
Why you've got to keep in style and feed your head
Well you're 21 and still your mother makes your bed
And that's too long
Captain Jack will get you high tonight
And take you to your special island
Captain Jack will get you by tonight
Just a little push, and you'll be smilin'
Captain Jack by Billy Joel