Fr. John's Letter Archives

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


The Dying Culture of Death

09-29-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

We have just begun another 40 Days for Life Campaign, September 25 -November 3 at the Tempe Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic, 1837 E Baseline Rd Tempe. For details of times and parking information go to: https://www.40daysforlife.com/local-campaigns/tempe/. Additionally, during the Campaign, the Aid to Women Center Chapel, which is next door to PP, will have Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Saturdays from 7am-Noon. For those who cannot physically participate in the Campaign please consider praying a Rosary each day for the end to abortion.

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You say you want a Revolution...

09-22-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao You ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow “Revolution” by The Beatles

In a recent tweet (now deleted) the NY Times posted: Mao Zedong died on this day in 1976. The Times said he began as “an obscure peasant” and “died one of history’s great revolutionary figures”.

The tweet had a link to the Times 1976 Obituary of Mao, which you could say was overly kind and overlooked his penchant for murder, torture and mass starvation techniques. If you grew up reading the Times you know that over the years the NY Times has painted communism, whether the Soviet or the Chinese version in the best light possible mostly as a way to excoriate capitalism.

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Funny or not so Funny?

09-15-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

A sure sign that our society is not in a good way is the lack of a sense of humor. The ability to laugh at ourselves with all our idiosyncrasies helps us not take ourselves so seriously and reminds us there is another way of looking at things. Today a comic like Don Rickles would be chased off the planet for the way he poked fun at every ethnic and racial group under the sun. Such is the poisonous nature of identity politics.

It started in earnest during the last Administration. A few times I wrote somethings, tongue in cheek about former President Obama and afterwards received some stinging emails: no, no, no, don't poke fun at the Messiah. Then it kicked into high gear with the inauguration of President Trump. One parish told me that after praying at Mass for the new President upon his inauguration an irate parishioner called the Parish Office very upset and told them, “how dare you pray for that man, you never prayed for Obama”. Actually, they did pray for Obama on his two inaugurations as well as Bush, Clinton, etc. In fact, Catholic parishes in the US have been praying for the new president ever since Archbishop Carroll gave the Invocation at the Inauguration of President George Washington. A lack of charity and a dearth of humor makes me wonder if she was baptized in pickle juice?

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PP on the Ropes

09-08-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Maybe we are finally hitting critical mass in the push back against abortion. Planned Parenthood is finding itself on the losing side for a change. In a Court in Maricopa County a jury awarded a $3million judgment against PP in a wrongful termination suit. The woman, Mayra Rodriguez, a clinical manager for abortion clinics in NE Phoenix and Glendale for 15yrs was fired by Planned Parenthood for reporting what was really going on in the clinics. Ironically, the woman went to work for PP because she wanted to ensure women had access to medically decent abortion clinics. Except what she saw was medically deficient care. The trial revealed what we’ve come to expect from ‘the high quality’ healthcare from Murder, Inc.:

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The next Pastor will have a few less headaches

09-01-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

We are more than half-way through our “Make Mt. Carmel Great Again Campaign”, so to speak, well at least make our aging buildings and infrastructure up-to-date. The rest of us are doing just fine! So, at this point what has been accomplished?

Our shock and awe mission started with a new HVAC System for the Church. This included new air-handlers as the older system (the original from 1968) was unable to handle the new refrigerants that replaced Freon and hence new compressors. So far, they are working correctly and the new thermostats have a button that says, “Freeze all Parishioners!”. I only press it when I really want you to pay attention. Just kidding. We have also made repairs to the leaks on the Church roof and subsequently repaired the water damage on several spots on the interior ceiling. Our final surge takes place next summer with replacement of the skylights over the altar as they are well past their lifespan. In addition, new flooring in the sanctuary and a new ambo/pulpit.

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Obviously not so obvious

08-25-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

At times I suffer from a repeated failure to see the obvious. Case in point: the wife of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Chirlane McCray launched a “She Built NYC” program and invited the public to nominate women and some 320 names were put forward. After the vote on the names of women for the city to recognize with a statue, Mother Cabrini received more votes than any other woman. But the panel making the selection rejected the public’s choice. And here is where I totally missed the obvious because the obvious choices which the Panel chose were an abortion advocate and two transvestites who founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR). I mean anybody with eyes to see would have known that an abortion activist and drag queens have had a greater impact on building New York City society and culture than a poor Italian immigrant.

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Fruit, anyone?

08-18-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

“You will know them by their fruits”. Matthew 7:16

Words and appearances are one thing but “what have you done for me lately” is another entirely. So, it is good to step back once in a while and see what evidence there is that we as a Parish are bearing fruit, good fruit.

This past weekend was one of those times. We celebrated the Perpetual Profession of Sr. Sydney Moss with the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco. She is a young woman who grew up in our Parish, graduated our Elementary School and along with many other young people today are bearing much fruit. Her companions in our Youth Group back in the day were Sr. Maria Kim, now a Sister with the Daughters of St. Paul, Fr. Scott Sperry, now a priest of our Diocese as well as a few other priests who serve with Religious Orders. Then there are many others, more than I can count who are living a Christian married life and bearing much fruit, especially children and all are actively involved in a variety of Apostolates in the Parish or in the wider Church. Just come to the 9am Sunday Mass and you’ll meet lots of them.

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The Father Knows Best

08-11-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Most young people in their late teens and early twenties are looking forward to and planning their future. Whether its finishing up college, moving into a career, saving up for a new car or planning to be married, it’s an exciting time in life. But not for all. Why do some young people lose the hope and the excitement of a future? Why is the suicide rate among young people skyrocketing and why do some young men decide to blow up their future and the future of dozens and dozens of others? It’s easy to point the finger of blame at this or that but as we have found out, it’s much harder to find effective solutions that could stop the metamorphosis of a bright young teenager into a cold-blooded killer.

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Asylum Insanity

08-04-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

This past Tuesday was World Day against the Trafficking of Persons. A most pertinent topic, unfortunately. With the flow of migrants through Mexico human traffickers are making a bundle. The whole system of human trafficking is pretty much under the control of the Mexican Drug Cartels. While their drug trafficking profits have been cut a bit by the legalization of marijuana in the many US states, they have more than compensated for the loss with human smuggling, including selling women and children into the sex trade.

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The Politics of Waxing

07-28-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

One of the ideas that underpins Identity Politics is that rights, rather than being located in the individual are located in an identity group. And an Identity Group is a group that has some history of oppression or disenfranchisement. So, whether that is based on race/ethnicity, sexual preference, biological or non-biological gender identity, the identity group by virtue of being an identity group can claim to merit special favor from the government and society at large.

A problem that often arises is that the various groups can clash or compete for that favored status position. To avoid that, the groups have to learn to practice ‘intersectionality’. That is finding common ground and supporting each other’s right to overcome grievances. This often leads to a conflict with individuals and their rights. So, for instance, we have already seen the case of Jack Phillips, the baker who declined to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. In the world of Identity Politics, Phillips as an individual has no right to refuse service to a member of an identity group. In other words, their rights trump his. But, according to the rules of Identity Politics, he could refuse to make a cake with the words Jesus is Lord written on it, since people from Jesusland are not part of a recognized aggrieved identity group.

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A Space Oddity

07-21-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

I remember it as if it were last night. Watching Apollo 11 blast off from Planet Earth to head to the Moon. Everybody’s first thought was, “will they make it to the surface of the Moon?”. A few days later the spaceship entered the Moon’s orbit and then out popped the Lunar Module with the two astronauts aboard. We watched with great anticipation as the Module made its way down to the surface of the Moon and heard those immortal words: “the Eagle has landed”! It would be several hours before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin would step out of the Lunar Module onto the surface of the moon, earning the right to the best bragging rights ever.

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How to Get a Gold Star!

07-14-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Consider this a Public Service announcement. After October 1, 2020 a valid AZ Driver's License or I.D will no longer be a valid form of I.D for Federal identification purposes. Which means you will not be able to use it as a form of identification to board an airplane in the US, enter a military installation, nuclear power plants or a Federal prison (as a visitor; for inmates fingerprints and mugshot will do!). However, you will still be able to use a valid Passport, DHS Trusted Traveler card, or permanent resident card at TSA checkpoints at airports. If you desire you can obtain a new AZ Traveler I.D. (driver's license or I.D. card) but there is no obligation to do so and your current valid AZ driver's license will still be fine to use for driving and other non-federal I.D. purposes. The reason for this is that AZ has to comply with the Real I.D Act passed by the US Congress in 2005. (AZ was granted some extensions but that will end in October 2020.)

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Contradictions & Truth

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

Dear Friends,

When we let go of objective truth or moral absolutes, well anything can happen. Two cases that demonstrate the point. This year marks the 25th Anniversary since the Rwandan Genocide. The UN had Peace Keepers, troops on the ground and when the killing broke out the commander contacted the UN Headquarters and the UN President told him to stand down, “we don't take sides”. Which was in effect taking a side. You can never be neutral when it comes to evil. You either fight it or are complicit in it.

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