I am sure many of you were surprised last Sunday to see that our music ministry has changed. The speed at which it all transpired was as much of a surprise to me as to many of you. Ike Ndolo, who has served Our Lady of Mt Carmel for many years, informed me on Sunday, Aug 8th that he would be resigning his position, effective that date. He declined to state the reasons, but I assume (and hope) that he made his decision based on what was best for him and his family.READ MORE
What keeps these couples together? It is free and complete submission to Jesus Christ, whose Cross deeply unites every aspect of their lives.READ MORE
Catholics need to show charity for self-identified transgender people without compromising their faith or adopting “simplistic” solutions offered by activists and misleading views of gender. That is the teaching of the Diocese of Arlington’s eight-page document, “A catechesis on the human person and gender ideology,” released Aug. 12 by Bishop Michael Burbidge.READ MORE
School is back in session and parish activities are starting to pick up. We are not only returning from the normal summer lull, but also the devastating effects the pandemic has had on Church life, in general. Many have not returned to Mass because of their lingering uncertainty over the continued dangers of the virus. And there are also large numbers of Catholics who, over these past 16 months, have filled their weekends with other activities that don’t include attending Mass. Will all of them change these newly acquired habits and once again come back to Church? The answer to that question remains to be seen.READ MORE
The last major dogma of our faith to be promulgated by the Church’s Magisterium or Teaching Authority is today’s celebration of the Assumption of Mary. The Church’s unwavering belief that Mary was assumed, body and soul into heaven, had been held by all the faithful since the early Church, but was only formally defined in 1950.
Mary is in heaven, body and soul, sharing the presence of her Son, who is also there in His Resurrected Body. When we receive the Holy Eucharist, we join Mary in this full communion with her son, the Resurrected Jesus Christ.READ MORE
COMMENTARY: Mary’s assumption is not ‘just’ a special privilege for her, ‘conceived without sin.’ It tells us that what began with Jesus’ resurrection, already realized body and soul in Mary, is what God intends for all ‘who love him.’READ MORE
The Catholic Church, along with every major Protestant denomination, has witnessed a precipitous decline in Church attendance. This slide, set off during the 1960s, has accelerated with the rapid rise of the “nones,” Americans claiming no religious affiliation. We could wonder, has the bottom fallen out with this huge exodus? Or put more theologically, has Christ abandoned his Church? Moments of crisis test us, calling us to exercise great hope and trust in the Lord’s providence. Even though Jesus told us that he will never abandon us, he also calls us to do our part. We are not simply helpless in the current freefall. We can assess why things have gone off track and then adjust, focusing our attention on what can help us reverse course.READ MORE
When I was in college, I took several semesters of archery. I loved shooting arrows at targets, but what ultimately won me over was the nature of archery; you immediately know how you are doing, based on where you hit the target. Still, there was one time that I hit the bulls eye and yet I scored a zero, because I was aiming at the wrong target! In some ways ministry can be like archery, we need to not only aim for the bullseye - but we also need to hit the right target! Too many Catholic parishes and dioceses are aiming for the wrong thing and miss the target. Then when questions arise about why the results they expected aren’t happening, they are puzzled.READ MORE
It is hard to describe our times as anything but contentious. Loud, strident protests often predominate over reasoned discourse and thoughtful argumentation.
To be sure, every era has had, and has needed, protest and public opposition to injustice. There is a time and a place for loud protest and the use of memorable sound bites.READ MORE
According to a recent poll, 1/3 of Catholics who go to Mass weekly don’t believe in the real presence of the Eucharist.
We can ask what was the wording of the questions on the survey? When a Catholic responded that the Eucharist was a “symbol,” did he or she understand the theological distinction? In other words, the respondent may have answered symbol, but meant the real presence even if they couldn’t express it precisely.
But allowing for all of that, the report is very distressing.READ MORE
We live in a turbulent time; a time that’s similar, in some ways, to the various Reformations of 500 years ago. History, of course, doesn’t repeat itself. History is a creation of unique and unrepeatable people. So the gulf between Europe in 1521 and our circumstances today, in 2021, is huge.READ MORE
Published by Ignatius Press in September 2018
“Although speech characterizes man, silence is what defines him, because speech acquires sense only in terms of this silence.”
“Solitude and silence are guests of the soul. The soul that possesses them carries them with it everywhere. The one that lacks them finds them nowhere. In order to re-enter silence, it is not enough to stop the movement of one’s lips and the movement of one’s thoughts. That is only being quiet. Being quiet is a condition for silence, but it is not silence."READ MORE
At one time or another we all are faced with difficult and important decisions. We know that we need God’s help and grace to make the right choice. Here is a prayer by Pope St John Paul II that articulates our plea for guidance. You might want to cut it out and put it in your bible or book of prayers.READ MORE
Attention all Grandparents: Next Sunday is YOUR day. In May we have Mothers’ Day, in June we have Fathers’ Day and now, thanks to Pope Francis’ recent declaration, each year on the fourth Sunday of July we will honor all Grandparents. The official name is World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly. The Pope chose that day because it is the closest Sunday to the Feast of Saints Joaquim and Ann, the parents of our Blessed Mother. This year it will fall on July 25th.READ MORE
Today’s Gospel (Mark 6:7-13) tells us that, being sent out by Jesus, the apostles preached repentance, which led to driving out many demons and curing the sick. Their power and authority to do so came directly from Jesus, the Son of God who uses clay vessels like us, to show His love and His mercy for all mankind.
I want to focus on the driving out of demons. Many today think that the Devil is simply a medieval holdover that is either a mythological creation or (as I’ve read some critics of the Church say), is a ruse that the Church uses to maintain a hold on people.READ MORE
June 6, 2021 – The Feast of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In the Gospel of Saint John, the Lord Jesus tells us, “If you love me, keep my commands.” Participation in Mass on Sundays is one of the most practical ways Catholics respond to the Lord’s love.
Therefore I wish to announce the restoration of the obligation for Sunday and holy day Masses in the Diocese of Phoenix, effective July 1, 2021. On this day we commemorate Saint Junipero Serra, the great missionary and evangelist. He is a shining example of the Church’s mission to announce the joy of the Gospel to all the nations.READ MORE
With this, my inaugural letter, I greet all of you on my first weekend at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. If you were able to attend Mass this weekend, you heard me say that being here is very much home-coming. This was my parish when I first moved to the Valley in 1983. Msgr. McCready guided and encouraged me through my seminary years, and it was here that I celebrated my First Mass on June 2, 1991. I don’t wish to dwell on these sentimental realities, but they are a big part of my joy and my gratitude to Bishop Olmsted for allowing me to serve as your pastor.
What follows is the story of my encounter with Jesus Christ and some of the ways in which that event has changed my life. I have two reasons for doing this. The first is to give glory and thanks to God for choosing me as a recipient of his love and forgiveness. It would also please me greatly if others reading this story should be inspired to allow God to do the same for them.
In telling the story I have selected those people and events that were most significant for me in this journey. There are many that I’ve omitted in order to move the narrative along. There were also some details that I have omitted because of good taste or because they were too painful to recount. But what follows is my story represented as accurately as my memory allows.
Fr Charlie Goraieb