Sacraments and Liturgy

10-27-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

As your pastor, I am incredibly proud and excited about what is going on at St. Rose of Lima Parish. In many areas, I see us undertaking a move from obligation to devotion. I would like to focus attention to this movement from obligation to devotion especially on the sacramental and liturgical life of the parish. Today is Priesthood Sunday. Nothing is more central to the life of the priest than the sacraments and the liturgy, especially the Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Confession. These two sacraments are practically what the priesthood exists for. In light of the beautiful Gospel today of the tax collector's prayer for mercy that Jesus praises, let's reflect on making devout confessions: "O God, be merciful to me a sinner."

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Strategic Planning Survey

10-13-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

Last week, I received a summary of the parish survey conducted by the Strategic Planning Committee. I will ask the committee to make a more detailed report available, but I wanted to share with you my "take away" points from the survey.

First, there were more than 400 responses to the survey from individuals and from ministries. In itself, that sort of response shows a great interest in the future of the parish.

As for the current state of the parish, the responses generally saw St. Rose as meeting the essential needs of parishioners. Looking to the future, the hopes seemed to me to focus in a few areas:

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From Obligation to Devotion

10-06-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

"We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do." These words from the Gospel remind us that we are truly servants in relationship to God. And yet, to serve God is to be fulfilled in joy and freedom! Let's think about that.

I am finding comfort, strength, and hope in my servant relationship with our God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The readings for this Sunday are simply amazing! Through the Prophet Habakkuk we hear: "Destruction and violence are before me, there is strife and clamorous discord." How true is that of our world and our lives today? And yet God assures us: "For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it." St. Paul tells us in the Second Reading: "For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control...Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us." To serve God is better than to try to be my own master.

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