Happy Pentecost! With the celebration of Pentecost today, we have now concluded the Eastertide (50 days) which began Easter Sunday . At the end of the 5pm (Sunday) Mass today, we will remove the Paschal Candle from the altar as a symbolic end of the Season. Pentecost reminds us of the rich history of our faith. We often refer to it as the “Birthday of the Catholic Church.” We are told in our first reading today, when the Holy Spirit came and rested on the Apostles, they were all filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and were then able to boldly leave the Temple and preach in the streets without fear of anyone. On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit empowered the Apostles to speak in tongues, a symbolic manifestation of the unity and universality of the church, for which Jesus prayed on the night before his passion. Jesus promised us that the Holy Spirit will remain with the Church, to lead and guide her until the end of time. We pray for the intervention of the Holy Spirit to bring an end to the current viral pandemic.READ MORE
I was so delighted to see many of you during Masses last weekend. I am grateful for everyone who was able to participate online or in-person. I thank you all for your patience and understanding during the whole period of this crisis. My special thanks to the parish staff and volunteers who helped with the liturgical planning and services.
This past weekend, as I stood on the Altar during Mass, the image that came to my mind from the Bible was the experience of the Israelites returning back from exile (Nehemiah 8:1-9). On returning back from exile, the priest, Ezra, gathered the people and read the Scriptures to them from morning until evening. All the people stood, raised their hands and praised God, then they knelt down and wept upon hearing the Scriptures for the first time after so many years in exile. In a similar way, I saw how most of us were moved to tears of joy during the Mass for now being able to participate fully in the Eucharistic celebration as a community after nearly two months. What a memorable Homecoming for all of us!READ MORE
It is my pleasure to introduce you to Phase One of “Rising with Christ”, the Diocese of Phoenix’s plan to restore parish life. Beginning this week, Bishop Thomas Olmsted has given permission for parishes to welcome parishioners back to daily and weekend Masses on a limited basis. Although the state and diocesan guidelines permit pastors to admit up to 25% of the seating capacity of each church, we have decided to remain cautious for now and limit our Mass attendance to 20% (approximately 100 people per Mass). Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Once this capacity is met for each Mass, no others will be permitted to enter the church. We appreciate your cooperation with this as we work together to keep our community safe.READ MORE
Words alone cannot describe my joy and excitement of seeing our parish community resume our public celebrations of Masses this “Homecoming Weekend!” I thank God for his blessings and protection through this time of crisis. I know it is not over yet, but I am glad we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. I thank you too for your faithfulness and prayers through this trying time of nearly two months. I hope you have found time to read the email I sent to you during the week which explains the first phase of our full return to parish life, including what will be permitted during Masses this weekend and our responsibilities to help keep you safe. Please let me know if you have not been receiving email messages and announcements from me.READ MORE
Happy Mother’s Day On behalf of our parish community, I wish all mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers a Happy Mother’s Day and God’s blessings! On this day, we thank our mothers, by birth or adoption, who have nurtured and supported us through life. This year we all have an unprecedented challenge of celebrating the Mother’s Day Mass without our mothers being physically present. Together, let us lift up all mothers in prayer and ask God to protect and strengthen them.READ MORE
This Fourth Sunday of Easter is dedicated as Good Shepherd Sunday, also known as the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. In addition to our continuous prayers for the end to the COVID-19 pandemic, this weekend the Church invites us to pray for vocations and in particular, for an increase in vocations to the Priesthood and Consecrated Life.
Powerful leaders generally have authoritative titles such as Emperor, King, Commander in Chief, President, etc., to demonstrate the magnitude of their power. However, Jesus chose to humbly identify himself as a shepherd. He does this to reveal to us the depth of God’s tender love and care for us. Following Jesus’ footsteps, the Church today calls priests in charge of parishes as pastors, which is a direct translation of the word, “shepherd” in Latin. Pastors are called to model their lives after Jesus and to be servant leaders rather than managers, CEOs or supervisors. The call to lead with a loving and caring heart also applies to parents and every Christian in a leadership position.READ MORE