The more things change...

01-27-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

Remember that I told you a while back that there would be changes coming along from time to time in the parish. We are coming to one of those times. Right now, the most significant changes involve looking to hire new staff for the parish. St. Rose, if not the biggest parish in the diocese, is certainly one of the two or three biggest. Like everything else in Murfreesboro, St. Rose has grown tremendously in recent years. In some ways, we do not think of ourselves as a big parish. But we are! In addition, we have recently incorporated our Hispanic community more fully into our parish life which has added new life as well as more of everything. The positions that we are looking for will help the parish to function more smoothly with continued growth. We are looking for a Business Manager to coordinate our business operations that run into the millions of dollars. We are looking for a full-time music director to coordinate multiple Masses every weekend, special seasons with special music, as well as funerals, weddings, and other special services that arise sometimes multiple times in a week. We are also looking for a catechetical director to enhance all levels of religious instruction for multiple needs in an increasingly diverse parish. We will not be rushing into hiring, but we are looking for candidates who will be a good fit for the parish and will help us to serve better to our expanding needs. My desire is to keep the parish informed of developments as they arise.

Faithfully,
Fr. Baker

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Do whatever he tells you.

01-20-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

On these Sundays after Epiphany until the beginning of Lent, the readings help us to know Jesus better. Today, for example, we have his first miracle: the changing of water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana. In this Gospel story, we see how well his mother Mary knows Jesus. She knows him so well that she gets him to change his mind! And she tells us how to have miracles in our lives. She tells us: "Do whatever he tells you." That is the best advice ever given. They are her last words to us in the scriptures. Spend time with Jesus and listen to him. If you do what he tells you, then you will have full and abundant life! It is as simple as that.

Faithfully,
Fr. Baker

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Divine Filiation

01-13-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

"Divine filiation" is a theological term for the fact that we are God's children, and it is the most important thing to know about ourselves. For the first time today, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Jesus in His humanity is publicly acknowledged by the Father as His Son. This is what God the Father does in Baptism. He acknowledges His children.

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Saint Rose of Lima Stars!

01-06-2019Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

I am very thankful to God for putting me in this parish. As we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany this weekend, I am conscious of how zealously the people of Saint Rose want to make Jesus Christ known. We are called to be like the star of Bethlehem which led the Magi to the Savior! We are indeed Saint Rose Stars!

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Resolutions

12-30-2018Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

We often associate resolutions with the beginning of the new year. I am a big believer in making good resolutions. St. Josemaria Escrivá says about resolutions, " Make few resolutions. Make them definite. — And fulfill them with the help of God." (Here is the quotation in the original Spanish: " Haz pocos propósitos. —Haz propósitos concretos. —Y cúmplelos con la ayuda de Dios.")

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Jesus in Mary

12-23-2018Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

On December 12, we celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Today for the 4th Sunday of Advent, we have the gospel of the Visitation when Mary went to visit her older cousin Elizabeth. Mary has just heard the news from the Archangel Gabriel that she is the Mother of God! When she comes to Elizabeth, therefore, she is pregnant with Jesus.

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Come Further Up, Come Further In!

12-16-2018Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

"Come Further Up, Come Further In!" - C.S. Lewis I want to try to help the parish understand what I am up to with the changes in the liturgy at the parish Masses. In the first place, I hope that I am not up to much. I think that the changes are generally slight. The liturgy at Saint Rose remains very much with the mind of the Church. I simply want to do what the Church directs.

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On Mission

12-09-2018Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

We just completed our parish mission on Divine Mercy with Fr. Chris Alar of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. What a great boost to the parish!

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Elements of the Mass

12-02-2018Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

In an earlier message, I mentioned that some changes are coming along here in the parish. There are a few changes in the liturgy that will be beginning this weekend. As it is the first weekend of the liturgical year, it seems like a good time to start.

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Thanksgiving

11-25-2018Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

Thanksgiving is one of the fundamental and necessary forms of prayer. In fact, the word "Eucharist" comes from the Greek word meaning "thanksgiving." It does not get more basic than that! We have just celebrated our civil holiday of Thanksgiving and so it seems appropriate to offer some thanks myself. I first want to thank the parish for the warm welcome to Saint Rose. It is not easy to adjust to a new pastor, and I thank you for your patient understanding with me as I, in turn, adjust to a new assignment and a new place. Thank you.

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Panel Discussion

11-18-2018Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

I am grateful to Bishop Spalding for organizing the panel discussions that were held in the diocese about the crisis of sexual abuse by priests, including the final one held here last week. I thought that much helpful information was provided to show the response of the Church to this crisis, especially in our own Diocese of Nashville. Care of victims and protection of children and of all the faithful are the absolute priorities.

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Change

11-11-2018Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

Change. Some people love it. I think that most people don't, especially when it comes to things like church. I would generally count myself among that group. As a matter of fact, one of the perfections of God that appeals to me most is the immutability of God -- the fact that God does not change!After all, what would God change into?!

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Embrace the Civilization of Love

11-04-2018Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

In our country these days, we are met by the news of intentional evil acts of violence on an almost daily basis. In the same week, for example, of the killings at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, there were also shootings at a grocery store in Kentucky and an arrest in the case of the pipe bombs mailed to politicians.

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