School's Back

08-25-2013Fr. John LettersFr. John

Dear Friends,

To this day I still get a knot in my stomach and a nauseous feeling on the first day of school and the second and third and everyday thereafter. I was not the kind of child that went easily to school. That's why I find it ironic that I am pastor of a parish with a school. I always hope that the children will forgive me for being complicit with their parents in detaining them against their will. But at least, I tell myself I've helped create a happy place that makes learning fun and interesting. It's a heavy cross! So as we begin another school year I want to thank everyone who supports our school in one way or the other. I thank all of you who participate in the Arizona Tuition Tax Credit Programs. This year from your support of Catholic Education Arizona our school families received assistance from approximately $300,000 raised through CEA and additional funds are also received from a variety of other Tuition Organizations in the state. Your support enables families who otherwise could not afford the cost of tuition to send their children to a Catholic School. Also thanks to all who donated to our Computer Challenge. As a result all our students from sixth to eight grade have a Chrome Book computer and our younger students have access to lots of technology in their classrooms.

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Boys will be Girls?

08-18-2013Fr. John LettersFr. John

Dear Friends,

Do these people have their heads screwed on properly?

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a controversial bill into law Monday afternoon allowing the state's transgender public school students to choose which bathrooms they use and whether they participate in boy or girl sports. The law would cover the state's 6.2 million elementary and high school kids in public schools.

Supporters say the law will help cut down on bullying against transgender students, The families of transgender students have been waging local battles with school districts around the country over what restrooms and locker rooms their children can use. "Now, every transgender student in California will be able to get up in the morning knowing that when they go to school as their authentic self they will have the same fair chance at success as their classmates," Masen Davis, Executive Director of Transgender Law Center said. (Via: Fox News)

How big of a problem is this that the entire state of California has to change its policy for all its schools? Not very big, less than one-half of one percent of students claim gender identity confusion (which is not the same as same-sex attraction). Which means 99.5% of students will have to go along with it or else. Does Gov. Brown not realize this policy change deals with children? Young, emotionally immature children who often pick on the kid who is different? And teens who aside from being less than emotionally stable are also very sexually curious. Young people in general act more on their feelings than their thinking.

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Let It Be

08-11-2013Fr. John LettersFr. John

Dear Friends,

And when the brokenhearted people living in the world agree, There will be an answer, Let It Be... "Let it Be" by the Beatles"

We are the brokenhearted who have found the answer. Most of us have had the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" pointed at us and yet rather than remaining as victims we find the answer in faith. What we agree on even in the midst of so much disagreement is that Jesus is the answer to our broken hearts and wounded souls.

Paul McCartney who wrote the lyrics to the song "Let it Be" explained that the genesis of the song came at a time when the Beatles were fracturing and their business was a mess. He said that he had a dream about his deceased mother, Mary, who was an Irish Catholic and she said to him (about his current dilemma) "Paul just let it be". Good motherly advice.

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Blame it on Rio

08-04-2013Fr. John LettersFr. John

Dear Friends,

Following the media coverage of Pope Francis's visit to Brazil for World Youth Day was at first disappointing and then very disappointing. The media coverage was at best sparse considering this was the Pontiff's first trip and more significantly the first Pope from Latin America to visit Latin America.

The blog for NPR didn't even mention the Papal trip but rather offered a long and extensive piece on a former Brazilian priest who has been excommunicated and is spending his days advocating for the usual litany of things for the Church to change. Now if this were 1968 that might be news but today it's just a rehashing of old news. I realize these people are unbelievers but do they have to be so clueless?

The media is good at finding people and groups who dissent from Church teaching in order to support the narrative the media has about how the world should be and how the Church needs to change to fit their vision. But they some how missed the bigger story of how the Church actually is: three million mostly young people gathered in Rio de Janeiro to listen to the Pope challenge them to revolutionize the culture by bringing the Gospel to their brothers and sisters.

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