Fr. John's Letter Archives

Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.


A House in Order

05-26-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden" (Mt 5:14). Our Lord Jesus Christ calls every believer to be a shining example of virtue, integrity and holiness. All of us, in fact, are called to give concrete witness of faith in Christ in our lives and, in particular, in our relationship with others.

Above is the opening line of the Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis in which he issued procedures for dealing with Bishops or Superiors of Religious Orders who are accused of abuse of a minor or failure to deal with reported abuse cases. The new document establishes a clearer set of universal procedures for reporting suspected abuse, carrying out initial investigations and protecting victims and whistle-blowers. The directives specify that a report on a Bishop's or Superior of a Religious Order malfeasance or abuse is made to the local Metropolitan Archbishop, in our case it would be the Archbishop of Santa Fe or directedly to the Apostolic Nuncio in each country.

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Yuma to Phoenix

05-19-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

I recently attended a Board Meeting where many of the members are from Mid-west and far northern states and they asked me about the immigration situation on the ground in the southwest. From their perches they don't hear much except the usual political wrangling about immigration. So, I told them this:

When the Dept. of Homeland Security announces that there were 100,000 people who crossed into the country in March and that most of them turned themselves in to Border Patrol and requested asylum, no one ever asks where exactly are these people? For most people they are just numbers unless you live in places like Yuma or Nogales, Arizona or McCallum or El Paso, Texas or across from Tijuana. The Border Patrol, by court order, can hold adults with children for no more than 20days, process them and give them a date to appear before an Asylum Judge, sometime years in the future. And then they are free to go anywhere in the US. DHS does not have the structure, funds or mandate to provide housing, medical care, and transportation for these people. So as a result, they are released into the local communities and the local communities are overwhelmed trying to assist them. Recently the Mayor of Yuma declared a State of Emergency in his city. The social services, the homeless shelters, food kitchens are completely overwhelmed in Yuma, which is seeing over 300 people a day cross the border.

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Birds of a Feather

05-12-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

I was going to write something that would raise your blood pressure but I came across this and found it too rich to resist. Being the owner of a parrot, or let me rephrase that, a person who has a companion bird, this headline from the Daily Wire caught my eye:

Police Detained A Parrot For Warning Its Owner About A Drug Raid. Yes, A Parrot.

A parrot was detained by police in Brazil after the feathered fiend warned its drug-dealing owners that police were approaching. The parrot started yelling as the police approached its home Monday afternoon, The Guardian reported. The bird shouted "Mama, police!" authorities said.

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Jew-hate Junction

05-05-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Jew-hatred is the oldest bigotry on the books. As one author said, "all bigotries meet at Jew-hate Junction". The NY Times recently published a neo-Nazi cartoon in its international edition and the editors want you to believe that there would be peace in the Middle East if it weren't for the Jews. Likewise, the media outlet, Politico wants you to believe that Trump would be in jail if it weren't for the Jews who control him. Congresswoman IIhan Omar cast aspersions upon the Jews with one of the oldest Jew-hate tropes, "for Jews", she said, "it's all about the Benjamins". And when the House of Representatives tried to pass a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, it couldn't muster the votes and instead just condemned all forms of hatred and bigotry. One thing is for sure: when the alt-right with its neo-Nazi obsessions and its anti-Semitism and the alt-left with its penchant for defending Islamo-fascists and its anti-Semitism disguised as anti-Zionism, are on the rise, Jews die.

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A Voice from the Past

04-28-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

From the silence of retirement Pope emeritus Benedict speaks. Specifically, it was a written correspondence with a German Catholic publication on the subject of the Church scandals. And it is typical Ratzinger: crisp, clear, precise and insightful. As is his style, he steps back and takes the long view and asks the question, “how was it that such immoral and abusive behavior found its way into the priesthood and the Church?”

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Debbie Downer

04-21-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Listening to the News you can’t help but hear things like: the economy is strong, unemployment is down, labor force participation rate is climbing, GDP is up and Stock Markets are very strong--------BUUUUT, in the same breath, the News reports, “there are signs the economy is cooling” or “recession is right around the corner, the whatever bubble is about to burst or the FED has to stave off hyper-inflation.” Jeez, talk about Debbie Downers. They want us all living on the edge of the Apocalypse. I guess so we will “stay tuned” for the next Armageddon. The Media just always has to be right even when they get it wrong. No “mea culpa’s”. The same can be said for the Weather Forecasters: today there is a 10% chance of rain. And then it doesn't rain and they can say, “well we told you it was only a 10% chance” or if it does rain, then they can say, “we told you there was a 10% chance of precipitation”. The media need you to believe that the apocalypse is nigh and it’s only a matter of time before we will be reduced to cannibalism or freeze or be boiled to death so that you will vote for their preferred candidates and espouse their radical chic doctrines and prove them right. Somehow it never occurs to them that if a man could rise from the dead, his power could have a dramatic effect on the trajectory of history, including the economy and the weather.

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Overdose

04-14-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

The friends of Jesus and his mother will make the journey this Holy Week to bring his lifeless body to his grave. In a similar way more families and friends than we can count are bringing their lifeless children to their graves, lifeless because of drug overdoses. Mostly but not exclusively, overdoses from opioids laced with fentanyl. You see in the world of illicit drug sales there is no quality control and satisfaction guaranteed equates with death. And now with the tightening on prescriptions for opioids and the reduction of their manufacturing, one of the unintended consequences is reduced availability of pharmaceutical grade drugs and that reduction is often being filled with heroin and fentanyl. And both are streaming across the border from Mexico at rates that could kill most of the US population.

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The Party Never Ends!

04-07-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

We just finished another successful Parish Festival. Thanks to all who participated and congratulations to our Super Raffle and Auction winners! And a very heartfelt special thanks to our Festival Executive Committee who worked long hours this past year to plan and execute our annual Festival. It is no small undertaking and a huge investment in time. So, thank you!

This year we changed things around a bit at the Festival, like making the Auctions a bit smaller that is, because we want to have a party twice a year now! So, mark your calendars for Saturday, November 9 for our first Night to Soar to be held at the Hackett House in Tempe.

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One Toke over the Line

03-31-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Now that Mueller Madness is over, we can all go back to ordering Russian dressing on our salads or even extra Russian dressing on those corned beef specials. One thing that always gets my goat about prosecutors is that they often take it a step too far, they just can’t seem to help themselves. Mueller did it by writing in his report that he couldn't find the evidence to bring an obstruction of justice charge but he wasn't exonerating the President either. A statement like that is over the line, unprofessional, unethical and defamatory. But prosecutors do it all the time, Mueller is no exception. It’s just their way of twisting the knife.

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Too Much Trash

03-24-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

It took Christians about 300yrs to convert the Roman Empire and become the dominate culture and ethics of the Empire. It took the Religion of Recycling a little over 20yrs to convert approximately 75% of trash making Americans to its doctrines and precepts. The high conversion rate to the Religion of Recycling surprised even its most ardent supporters and most managers of local municipalities. Many parents and all schools have indoctrinated their children with the morality of recycling, hands down in a far superior way than Christian morality was ever taught. Many cities even check your blue bin to shame you into compliance. If it is filled with proper items you get a star on your bin, if not you get an excommunication notice. Behavior modification at the refuse level! But there is a big crack in the foundation of the Religion of Recycling catechism.

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The Ghost of Molly Malone

03-17-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

The snakes are back in Ireland. Folklore tells us that St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland in his day. Ireland, mainly because of its climate and detachment from the mainland has no native snake species. But that didn't stop people from importing them and keeping them as pets. And as we are seeing happen in Florida so too in Ireland, the fascination with these reptiles fades and people tend to get tired of taking care of them, they grow too large, become too expensive to care for or they escape their cages and these former pets start showing up in the wild and not so wild places. Unicorns make much better pets.

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Let's Sort it Out

03-10-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Any time we worship anything other than God we dance around the altars of Baal, a false god. The more we do the more frantic we become and the more we begin to hurt ourselves. Sounds like addictive or compulsive behavior to me. That is exactly what happens when we substitute a material thing for God. We will dance around it more and more frenetically until we start to harm ourselves. Witness an addiction to a drug: the thing we convinced ourselves would help us turns around and begins to harm us.

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The Enemy of my Enemy...

03-03-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Sometimes help comes from unexpected sources… Recently some members of the AZ Legislature put forth a bill that would have basically repealed all the restrictions on abortion in AZ that we had worked to put in place over the last 44 years, including the mandate to provide life giving care to infants who survive an abortion. The proposed bill came up pretty quickly, which was by design to catch us off guard and ram it through stealthily. Fortunately, within 48 hours the Pro-life Community organized and hundreds of people showed up for the Committee Hearing. Because of that effort, the Bill died in committee! The Catholic Pro-life contingent was well represented but so was a good contingent of Mormons. Who could have imagined back in 1973 after Roe v. Wade was forced upon the country that Catholics and Mormons would be working together to defend the sanctity of human life? Even though our theology and ecclesiology are not exactly on the same page, both Catholics and Mormons understand first principles and why they must be defended before

all else.

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