Welcome to the new year 2024: What are our expecctations?

12-30-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Robert Aliunzi

Dear friends,

As we come to the end of the year, I look back with profound gratitude to God for the many blessings we have received as individuals and as a parish. I look forward to yet another wonderful year ahead. However, aware that it is often very easy to overlook the many good things we were gifted with and focus only on the negatives, I invite you to take a moment to honestly audit the year and be grateful to God for all the gifts you too have received. While I leave it to you to individually count your own blessings and thank God for them, I invite you to look forward with greater optimism and gratitude to God for the many more gifts and blessings yet to come this new year.

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Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year

12-23-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Robert Aliunzi

Dear Friends,

It is another great year and a special opportunity for me to wish you my dear beloved family of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year 2024, as your Pastor. As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior today and throughout this season, I want to thank God for the many blessings He has bestowed upon us individually and as a community since our last Christmas celebration. As a community, I am sure, these blessings are numerous to count.

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Christ is among us, but igcognito!

12-17-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Robert Aliunzi

Dear Friends,

As we have heard several times already, Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of the Lord: His coming to us sacramentally at Christmas, His coming to us individually at the end of our lives and His coming to us collectively at the end of time. But He comes to us all the time. He is among us. That is why in the First Sunday of Advent, we talked about preparation by being watchful, being alert, because we do not know when Christ will come again; in other words, the key word in this First Sunday of Advent called us to Watch.

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Be Prepared, It is Advent!

12-09-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Robert Aliunzi

Dear Friends,

In my last article, I emphasized the reality and certainty of Jesus’ coming and the need for us to be always watchful and alert. In this article, I want to emphasize the need to be prepared for His coming especially by being found doing good when He comes. Allow me to share part of an article I read sometime back that highlights the same theme of being always prepared and being found doing the right thing.

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What is Advent?

12-02-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Robert Aliunzi

Dear Friends,

The term Advent comes from two Latin words Ad-ventus or ad-venire, which simply means “to arrive” or “to come” respectively. It marks the beginning of the Church’s liturgical calendar. It is a four-week period leading up to Christmas.

For us Christians, and Catholics in particular, it means a time of expectation and preparation for the Lord’s birth. So, the prophecy of John the Baptist: “a voice of one calling in the desert, prepare a way for the Lord …” (Mk 1, 3), echoes loudly to us this season.

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The King of Glory Comes, The Nation Rejoices

11-26-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Robert Aliunzi

Dear Friends,

This weekend, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King which also officially marks the end of the liturgical year A. Next weekend, we begin the season of Advent to prepare for the birth of this great King. Yes, don’t we all admire a great leader? Particularly here in the United States I often hear people insisting on having strong leaders; leaders who can lead us to the common good, to prosperity, to peace and stability, to achieving our “American Dream”.

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Gloria In Excelsis Deo

11-21-2023News

We will be using a new setting of the Gloria for all Feasts, Solemnities, and joyful liturgical seasons beginning on the Solemnity of Christ the King.

Adapted by Nigerian composer Sir Jude Nnam, "Gloria In Excelsis Deo" pairs the full Latin text of the ancient prayer with an African musical style and is one of Fr. Robert's favorite compositions.

This lyric video is a performance version of the piece and is much longer than the arrangement we will use at Mass. However, please take the time to familiarize yourself with the melody and words so that we can pray it together as a community.

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Inspiration Pilgrimage

11-18-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Gabriel Terrill

Dear Friends,

Two weeks ago I was blessed to go on a pilgrimage of sorts with the teens of our parish through our Life Teen program. It wasn’t a pilgrimage to the tomb of an obscure saint or the site of a Marian apparition. Instead we journeyed to California, to the thrilling amusement park known as Six Flags where we joined over two thousand teens in celebrating our faith. The experience proved to be a unique combination of theme park thrills and profound encounters with Jesus Christ. In a way the event inspired a realization that the Lord is always present to us, sometimes in the most unlikely of places, and that we are always invited into a profound and personal relationship with Him through the Eucharist.

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Wisdom

11-11-2023Stewardship Reflection

Wisdom is a central theme in our readings today. It is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, key to living the stewardship way of life in our complex world. As Christian stewards, we should rely on this gift and ask the Holy Spirit to increase it within us. Jesus teaches the importance of wisdom in our Gospel passage from Matthew. He tells the parable of ten virgins awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom who will welcome them in to the wedding feast.

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Warm on Phone, Impersonal in Person

11-11-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Robert Aliunzi

Dear Friends,

Recently, I had an interesting experience, which happens to me quite often. It is that experience which inspired the title and content of this article. Please, read on.

On that day, I had an appointment at a certain huge parish in our Diocese with the Pastor. At the time of making the appointment, I had introduced myself and proceeded to have a great conversation on the phone with the sweetest sounding receptionist. So, on the day of the appointment, being my day off, I went dressed casually and arrived two minutes earlier at the office.

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The Evil Wolf vs the Good Wolf in the US

11-04-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Robert Aliunzi

Dear Friends,

As I was away the other week “wasting time in the presence of God”, as Bishop Dolan described retreat to be, I had a lot of time to reflect in that serene environment. Suddenly while there, what seemed to be ordinary encounters and normal interactions began to take on new meanings as I meditated upon them. The retreat center offered just a perfect opportunity for me to do that. For instance, one morning as I took a walk in the quiet desert surrounding of the Center, before my morning prayer, I came across what looked like a wolf which scared the hell out of me.

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