Way too much Pot

10-27-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

It looks like we have hit “Peak Pot Production”. Good. Since nine US states and the entire country of Canada legalized cannabis for ‘recreational use’ there has been a huge increase in growers of the product. So much so that there is a glut of the product causing Growers to dump their product at well below market prices. As the legalization wave swept across the US and Canada many of the largest Pot Producers experienced a huge boom in their stock prices. But since the spring their stocks have suffered a 50%+ decline. Simply put supply has outstripped demand. This also means that the projected tax revenue that states and Canada were anticipating have fallen short of projections.


Commie Cash

10-20-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

“U.S. officials recently announced visa restrictions on Chinese officials accused of being involved in "detention and abuse" of its Muslim minority population. The visa restrictions are targeting those complicit in China's "highly repressive campaign" against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other Muslim minority groups in the northwestern Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.” (UPI Oct.8) But why should we care how China treats its Muslims?

Recently 22 Western nations sent a letter to the UN Council on Human Rights complaining about the mistreatment of the Uighur Muslims in China. But missing from the signatures were any Muslim majority nations. In turn, China produced a letter signed by 37 countries, including: Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Syria, and Kuwait. Pakistan, (the world’s second largest Muslim country) which stated “China's remarkable achievements in the field of human rights.” Instead of condemning China for its detention and re-education camps, these majority Muslim nations praised China’s efforts for “de-radicalizing” the Uighurs.


Trans and De-tran

10-13-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

A different angle for once from Sky News,

A woman who detransitioned in 2018 says there are many people who have had gender reassignment surgery who wish they hadn't. Charlie Evans, 28, was born female but identified as male for nearly 10 years before detransitioning… Charlie detransitioned and went public with her story last year - and said she was stunned by the number of people she discovered in a similar position. "I'm in communication with 19 and 20-year-olds who have had full gender reassignment surgery who wish they hadn't, and their dysphoria hasn't been relieved, they don't feel better for it," she says. "They don't know what their options are now"… Charlie is now launching a charity called The Detransition Advocacy Network, with their first meeting set to be held in Manchester at the end of the month.


Leaving with a Grateful Heart

10-13-2019The Sisters Corner

Time Flies!!! My time in Tempe has come to an end. As many of you know, I came to Arizona in order to prepare for my formayion as a Servant. It has been almost two months since I arrived to the sunny desert. Now I get to continue to the next step and move to the forma!on house in Peru. I am very excited for this new phase where I will be able to continue answering the Lord’s calling to serve him.

The time with the Sisters has been above and beyond. I have learned a lot about what it means to give your life to God, to give your everything to the service of others, but also, to see what it means to do so as a Servant of the Plan of God.


Sharing Our Love for God With Others

10-06-2019The Sisters Corner

It is so wonderful to see the variety of ministries that we have at OLMC. God has blessed our parish with people that have so many different gifts and talents. Next weekend God is asking us to put them in service to others.

Why do I need to volunteer? - you may be wondering.

When we encounter God, we discover the necessity of communicating his love to others. God’s love can’t stay in one person only, God’s love desires to dwell in the hearts of all men. These other people we can communicate his love can be our closer relatives, parents, children, and even people we’ve never met before! The people we serve in the different ministries, are not strangers. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ and we are called to help them in their journey of faith.


People Raiser XV

10-06-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

People Raiser XV is on its way next weekend: What Return Shall I make to the Lord? This is an invitation to put your gifts at the service of the Lord. “And why should I do that”, you ask, “I have enough to do already”? Well simply put, whatever you have belongs to the Lord. And if you are a follower of Jesus you know that He has told us again and again that we will be asked how we have leveraged our gifts for the Kingdom of God.

Remember our new Parish motto that we unveiled last year: Pray, Serve, Give, Connect. Well this is the Serve part. The People Raiser provides you with an opportunity to find ways to serve, to match your gifts with a ministry that needs what you have and what you can do. I have never met anyone who regretted serving. I have never met anyone who at the end of their days on earth said: I am angry that I volunteered so much or that I donated so much or I spent so much time helping other. No, it is usually the other way around: “I wish I had…”


The Gift of Sharing our Faith

09-29-2019The Sisters Corner

For those of us who form part of the RCIA team or have the blessing to serve as a sponsor, it is a beautiful experience witnessing how God has a very special way of calling His sons and daughters to grow closer to Him. It is always special to see how the Lord knocks on their door in so many different ways, and how they willingly answer to Him.

A couple of weeks ago we kicked off this year’s RCIA program with a retreat where we reflected on the gift of Faith. A gift that God gives to us that requires an answer to Him. And we can truly see how this is happening in their lives now. This Sunday during the 9am Mass we celebrated the Rite of Welcoming and Acceptance for catechumens and candidates who have signed up in the RCIA program with the desire to learn more about the Catholic faith and grow closer to Jesus. This rite is important for us, as a community, to welcome them as they officially start this journey to prepare themselves to, with the grace of God, join the Catholic faith during the Easter Vigil.


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.


Grateful to be helping the favorites of the Lord

09-22-2019The Sisters Corner

Our charism and mission as Servants of the Plan of God is to serve and announce God to everybody, especially to those who are most in need. This week we celebrated our 15th anniversary in the country of Ecuador. One of the main missions of the Sisters there is to serve in the Jacinta and Francisco Center which gives integral education from the Catholic faith for women with intellectual disabilities. We provide training to enhance their skills and abilities and we also seek to help to achieve adequate social and work integration. We offer therapy services, counseling, integral formation, art workshops, Christian and moral training and various job-training workshops. Celebrating 15 years of service at this mission that brought us to Ecuador has been very special for us as the sisters who live there have been sharing videos and photos of the celebrations they have been having. Please pray for our Sisters in Ecuador and Peru who serve in this two very beautiful missions so that they continue to give themselves joyfully in the service of these children and women who are among the favorites of our Lord Jesus.

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.


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?


Encountering Christ in the Needy

09-15-2019The Sisters Corner

We are all well aware of the migration situation we have in the USA, we would have to be blind and deaf not to know it is a big problem. It is a topic that appears again and again in the news, one that usually turns political. But, our experience as Sisters is that when we talk with people about it, we are surprised to see that many are not aware of the humanitarian crisis that has been taking place so near to our homes.

The situation is shifting all the time, in the last year we have had a huge influx of Asylum Seekers in Arizona that needed to be fed, clothed and cared for. Now they are being retained for months in shelters across the border that don’t have enough resources to feed them. These are people in need who are around us, or very near to us, who really need our help and as Christians we don’t want to ignore them.


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.:


Helping others carry their Cross

09-08-2019The Sisters Corner

This Sunday’s Gospel invites us to carry our cross and to renounce to all of that we possess in order to be Jesus’s disciples. It also talks about hating our own father, mother, wife, children, brethren, sisters. Does that mean that he doesn’t want us to have possessions? Does this Gospel teach that we have to love suffering or even to hate our life and our family? Of course not!

If we don’t understand this Gospel from the message of love that Christ teaches us, we might get everything upside down. God loves us and wants us to love each other. He wants our happiness and our wellbeing, and there is nothing wrong in having possessions to fulfill whatever material needs that we might have. But, He does not want us to place our value and happiness on the possessions of material beings, He would rather have us give them away if they stop us from loving Him.


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.


Our community is growing!

09-01-2019The Sisters Corner

As we have shared with you before, Anna Carochi who is originally from Denver, and who was living with us in Arizona for the past year went to Peru in July to start her formation in order to become a sister in our community. What you might not know is that she is the first girl from the United States to join our community. It brings us a lot of joy to see how our charism, which started in Peru in 1998 and has been growing for a number of years in South America, is now also represented by someone from this beautiful country where we enjoy serving so much.

There are seven girls starting their formation this year and for us it is very exciting to see us grow not only in number but in a very particular way. Besides having the first girl from the USA, we also have the first vocation from Mexico and the first one from Panama. They are joined by another girl from Ecuador and three Peruvian girls.