Letter to Parishes and Fr. Michael’s Farewell 2

St. Joseph & Nativity BMV Parish Letter

If you would like to read Fr. Tim’s letter to the Parishes, click here

 

FAREWELL RECEPTION FOR FR. MICHAEL

Mark your calendars Sunday, June 12th after the Noon Mass everyone in the Parish is invited to say goodbye and wish him the very best as he leaves St. Joseph Parish and goes to his next assignment. Save that date!!!! We will certainly miss him!!!!

Fr. O’Connor’s Homily: May 22nd, 2016

THE MOST HOLY TRINITY-C

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Proverbs 8: 22-31

  Romans 5: 1-5

John 16: 12-15

 

 

There was a missionary who was serving in a foreign land.  He came back home for a vacation.  And while there, he saw a sundial that was for sale.  So he bought it and took it back with him to the missions to teach the people how to tell time.

He set up the sundial in the center of the village, and the people thought that it was magnificent.  But that missionary was totally surprised a few days later when the village people had built a roof over the sundial – to protect it from the sun and the rain.

Sometimes, when we come face-to-face with a doctrine like the Trinity, we can treat it like the people treated the sundial:  that it is beautiful, but has no real bearing upon our lives.

Yet the doctrine of the Trinity, that there is one God in three divine persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is the central belief of our Christian faith.  And we would not have discovered this all by ourselves.  The Trinity is a specific revelation of Jesus Christ to us.

We believe this but, practically speaking, what does this mean for us?  How do we share right now in the life of the Trinity through God’s grace?

You and I, as Catholic people, begin and end our prayers with the Sign of the Cross:  “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”  This holy action reminds us that there are three persons in one God, and that the second person of the Trinity, God the Son, became man and died on the cross for us.  Do we make the Sign of the Cross with care and devotion?

When we come into church, we stop and dip our fingers into the Holy Water font and make the Sign of the Cross.  Why?  Because this is how we became members of this Family of God, the Church.  We were baptized with water in the name of the Trinity – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – and we formally entered the Church.

At a funeral, the body of our loved one is welcomed at the entrance of the church and sprinkled with Holy Water to remind us of the promise that Jesus made to them on the day that they were baptized:  “If you die with me in baptism, and are faithful to me, you will rise with me to everlasting life in heaven.”  And the Lord always keeps His promises.

Down through the ages, theologians have used various images to help us to a clearer insight into the mystery of the Trinity.

Saint Patrick used the three leaves of the one shamrock to illustrate three persons in one God.

Others have used the example of water – H2O – which can exist in three different, distinct forms:  steam, ice and liquid.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola used the example of three notes being sung or played together and forming one musical sound as a chord.

The Trinity, one God in three divine persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is a doctrine that we can never fully understand.  Yet it can have a practical influence on our daily lives.  Here is an example that I recommend to you as a part of your daily prayer.  It can change your life!

Each night before you go to bed, take three minutes to look over the day you have just spent.

During the first minute, pick out the high point of the day – something good that happened – like having a great talk with a great friend.  Then speak to God the Father about this and thank Him for it.

During the second minute, pick out the low point of your day, something that you regret – like being unkind or selfish.  Then speak to Jesus about it and ask Him to forgive you.

During the third minute, look ahead to the next day to some critical point – like having to do something that is difficult for you.  Then speak to the Holy Spirit about it and ask for the help that you need to deal with this tomorrow.

As you can see, this nightly practice – if it becomes a habit – combines prayer with a daily examination of conscience.  And it helps us to remember that the Trinity dwells within us through the life of God’s grace.

Let us conclude together with the Trinitarian action that is the hallmark of our faith – the Sign of the Cross:  “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.”

Fr. O’Connor’s Homily: May 14th, 2016

Pentecost Sunday-C

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Acts of the Apostles 2: 1-11

 1 Corinthians 12: 3b-7, 12-13

John 20: 19-23 or John 14: 15-16, 23b-26

 

 

Today is the Feast of Pentecost and we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles – their Confirmation.  It is also the birthday of the Church, and the close of the Easter season.

Pentecost is a Greek word that means “the fiftieth day.”  Fifty days ago today was Easter Sunday.  And so now a little bit about Pentecost Sunday.

The English language that you and I speak is a difficult one.  It is very inconsistent.  I wonder what it is like for someone who is learning to speak English.

We have words that are spelled alike but are pronounced differently, like s-o-w:  to sow the seed, or a sow – the mother of the three little piggies.

We have words that sound alike but are spelled differently and mean differently:  t-o, t-o-o and t-w-o.

We have words that look very much alike but are pronounced very differently:  through, though and tough.

Even in talking, you can speak a sentence using a very flat voice:  “I didn’t say that about you.”  But you can change the meaning of that sentence by the emphasis you use in your speaking voice:

I didn’t say that about you.

I didn’t say that about you.

I didn’t say that about you.

I didn’t say that about you.

English is a tricky language.  And we need help sometimes in understanding it correctly.

Communication is something that you and I work on all the time so that the message that is delivered is the same as the message that is received.  Otherwise, misunderstanding occurs.

You remember the story of the Tower of Babel in the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament.  It says that at that time all of the people of the world spoke one language.  And they decided to build a large tower in their large city.  However, they had forgotten about God and had become self-reliant.

And so God gave them a clear warning.  Each of the groups in Babel developed its own language and the townspeople lost the ability to communicate with one another.  And then the Tower of Babel project came to a screeching halt:  they could no longer function as a unified team because they no longer spoke the same language.

And we have the expression in English today:  “to babble” – to chatter on without being understood.  It comes from that failed building project, the Tower of Babel.

Pentecost is about the Holy Spirit enabling us to hear and understand the Word of God.  The account from the Acts of the Apostles is in direct contrast to the Tower of Babel story.

There were devout Jews in Jerusalem who were speaking every language known to humanity, and not understanding each other.  And then the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles in that upper room.  They heard the sound of rushing wind and saw tongues of fire over their heads on that Pentecost Sunday.

Then the Apostles went out into the city of Jerusalem, preaching about Jesus risen from the dead.  And each person heard the message in their own language.  The many languages came to one understanding.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God’s message that was delivered was God’s message that was received.

Jesus kept His promise to send the Holy Spirit to guide us, His Church, in all truth and to be our Advocate.

You and I are so bombarded by countless messages in our world that run contrary to God’s message.  We can grow deaf to the voice of the Lord as He speaks to us in the Scriptures and through His Church and in our prayer.  We need the Holy Spirit’s help so that God’s message delivered is always God’s message received and lived by.

And we ask the Holy Spirit to enable us:  “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.  And kindle in us the fire of your love.  Amen.”

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