Supernatural View

08-25-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

The Second Vatican Council teaches that the Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life; that is, everything in the Christian life comes from the Eucharist and everything leads to it as well. I want to propose that our construction projects in the church are more than practical needs. These projects will help us to live and celebrate the Holy Eucharist, and therefore these practical projects are actually of spiritual importance.

We will experience some disruptions in our routines over these months of construction; but if we have this supernatural view of what is going on, it will help us to adjust joyfully. As a reminder, on Monday - Friday daily Mass will be in the Stonewall House in the Knights of Columbus meeting room. Tuesday evening Spanish Mass and Wednesday evening Mass will be in the Jo Call Room because these Masses have too large a congregation for the meeting room. The Friday school Mass will be in the gym. Adoration from Wednesday morning to Friday morning will take place in the Stonewall House. All Masses and other liturgies on Saturday and Sunday will be in the church.

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Beginnings

08-18-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

Many things are beginning this time of year. In addition to the regular beginnings of school and so many other programs and ministries, there are new beginnings as well. The Finance Council is working on a new budget. The Pastoral Council, the Facilities Committee, and the Strategic Planning Committee have all had their first meetings in the past few weeks. Ministries such as the servers and ushers are having updated training. Our long-anticipated construction project in the church is also beginning.

Let me remind everyone that for the next few months, we will be experiencing construction going on that will deal with various parts of the church. The HVAC system, the lighting, the flooring, the organ, the new confessionals, etc. will all be parts of this project. Thank you for your patience with all of improvements. I will try to keep you posted as things develop.

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Gentleness

08-11-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

Over the past weeks, in our country we have been dealing with the reality of violence and hate in our society. We have seen the culture of death manifested in El Paso, in Dayton, and in too many other places. This situation is the antithesis of the Kingdom of God. I know that I feel practically powerless to address such evil, except to call it for what it is and to renounce it and all that accompanies it. It is what we promise to do in our baptismal vows: "Do you reject Satan? I do. And all his works? I do. And all his empty promises? I do."

Along with the rejection of the culture of death, I also must profess confidence in a civilization of love founded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This profession is the positive side of our baptismal promises. Last weekend in a very different setting, I felt the transforming power of mercy, gentleness, and love. I was involved in a gathering of the Entering Canaan program for women experiencing hope and healing after abortion, which is itself another manifestation of the culture of death. The peace and grace of God is so evident in these woman, who have found mercy after years of fear, guilt, and shame. This gathering was so gentle. It gave me hope.

Please resolve to embrace and build a civilization of love in your homes, in your hearts, and everywhere you go. Do not return evil for evil. Let love triumph.

Faithfully,
Fr. Baker

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Holy Land Gratitude

08-04-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

By the time this letter is printed, I hope that I am over jet lag! For some reason, it is much worse for me coming home than going over. In conjunction with the jet lag, I am even more in a state of awe and wonder at the pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Unlike the jet lag, I hope that the sense of awe and wonder does not wear off!

First of all, I am thankful to this wonderful parish for so generous and thoughtful a gift for my 25th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. I cannot imagine anything that could have had a more profound impact on me. And to include my sister in the experience is thoughtfulness beyond measure. Thank you.

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