Thanks be to God!

08-22-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Always and for everything! In this case, I am particularly grateful to God for the relatively smooth opening to the school year. Running a school is a blessing and a responsibility for Saint Rose Parish. I believe that Sr. Catherine Marie and our school faculty and staff have done very well in looking after the welfare and education of the children in challenging circumstances. The school has been the testing ground at times for how we put various procedures into practice during the pandemic. They have done so once again for the opening of school. As promised, the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Nashville has reviewed the mask policy announced for the beginning of the year and has adjusted it to allow for parents to decide about masks for their children. The situation at all of the diocesan schools will be monitored daily through a conference call of leaders from every school. I am sure that we can expect further adjustments as the needs dictate.


Considerations for a Funeral and Burial

08-15-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Unlike weddings and most other sacramental events, funerals usually need to be scheduled in a short timeframe. We try to be as flexible and accommodating as possible but there are limitations to the timing of funerals. This is why it is necessary to involve the church office before a funeral time is set or announced. In the first place, a funeral Mass cannot be celebrated on Sunday and a few other days of the year. The office staff know when funerals can be planned for the church. Special requests can also be made, although those requests might take more time. When you call the office, the staff can provide you with readings to choose from for the funeral, as well as guidance about arrangements for music. At Saint Rose, we are able to provide clergy for a funeral service only at the church and/or graveside. We cannot provide clergy for a funeral service at a funeral home or other location. We are happy to provide clergy for a vigil/rosary service before the funeral itself as we are able.


Weddings and Funerals

08-08-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Weddings and funerals are not much alike, other than being important ceremonies celebrated in the church. Even on a practical level, weddings usually have a long time of planning and preparation leading up to the celebration whereas funerals need to be planned and finalized in a short time. If you are planning to get married, please contact the church office to set up an initial appointment at least six months in advance. This time is needed for your marriage preparation, as well as for scheduling the ceremony itself.


Summer Projects

07-25-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

I want to take a break from explaining our sacrament schedule now that we have covered the new Mass, Confession, and Adoration schedules to point out some summer projects going on around the parish. One that I am particularly happy about is the "stained glass" window film in the Spiritual Library. It serves the practical purpose of shading the direct sunlight to reduce glare and heat, but the new window film is beautiful as well. There are images of the four evangelists depicted in a stained glass style. If you have not been in the Spiritual Library recently, take a look. I think it creates a great environment!


Confessions and Adoration

07-18-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

The next items on our parish calendar are for Confessions and Adoration. We have Confessions scheduled every day of the week! On Mondays and Fridays, Confessions are heard at 6 a.m. until 6:45 a.m. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Confessions begin at 5 p.m. and extend until 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday and 5:45 p.m. (just before Mass) on Wednesday. These weekday Confession times are all accompanied with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. You can therefore come into church at these times to be with Jesus in Adoration and/or to make a good Confession. These times tend to be less crowded and therefore somewhat more relaxed.


Source and Summit

07-11-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

According to the Second Vatican Council, Mass is the "source and summit" of our common life as Catholics. When we plan our schedule, we begin with Mass. Sunday Mass is the great duty to God in our lives, and we are under obligation to assist at Mass either Sunday or Saturday evening. To miss Sunday Mass is a grave sin, unless there are factors which would excuse one from attending, such as sickness or other incapacity. We need to take this obligation seriously. If we miss Sunday Mass or cause others (especially children) to do so, we need to go to confession before presenting ourselves for Holy Communion. It really is that serious. Have a plan for your time for Sunday Mass.


Farewell and Welcome!

06-27-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

In a parish as big and active as Saint Rose, it is not surprising that we say both goodbye and hello with regularity. This month, we say both goodbye and hello to different members of our parish team. First the farewell. Isaac Johnson, our parish music director and organist, is moving forward in his career by pursuing a doctorate in musicology. Isaac and his wife Christen and their two children, Linus and Cecilia, will be moving to Colorado. Isaac has offered his considerable skills to enhance the worship of our parish in especially difficult times during the pandemic when choral music was particularly restricted. I know that we appreciate his resourcefulness! We thank him and wish him well as he develops his gifts.


Encyclical of Pope Pius XI on Reparation to The Sacred Heart

06-20-2021Weekly Reflection

Our Most Merciful Redeemer, after He had wrought salvation for mankind on the tree of the Cross and before He ascended from out this world to the Father, said to his Apostles and Disciples to console them in their anxiety, "Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." (Matt. xxviii, 20). These words, which are indeed most pleasing, are a cause of all hope and security, and they bring us ready succor whenever we look round from this watch-tower raised on high and see all human society laboring amid so many evils and miseries and the Church herself beset without ceasing by attacks and machinations.


Culture of Discipleship

06-13-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

I want to propose that we as a parish embrace, as many of you already do, a culture of discipleship in our communion of faith. Jesus Christ invites us to follow Him. This means that we participate in His mission as disciples. We are not consumers. Jesus and the Church are not offering a product. This will be a culture change for many of us — including me! There must be the expectation and opportunity for participation as disciples in everything we do in the parish. This is a great time to reimagine how our parish works.


A New Beginning

06-06-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

I want to thank everyone who took the survey for our new schedule and protocols. I am very happy that we had almost 500 responses and that we have time to formulate our plans for a smooth implementation – I hope! I am not surprised that the responses to the survey express a very wide range of opinions and concerns. Of course, it is impossible to fulfill everyone’s expectations, and yet I think that we are making broad and generous provisions for many points of view. I am trying to be sensitive to the concerns that many of you still have while also reducing unnecessary burdens on everyone.  I am trying to be deliberate about making changes for the good of the whole parish and this restraint requires patience on the part of all of us. It takes a longer time to turn a bigger ship, and we are about the biggest one in the diocese. Many of the changes we made during the pandemic were out of necessity and for the moment. I want these new changes to be guiding us toward permanent practices for the parish. I am frankly grateful for the opportunity to reflect on our liturgical/devotional life. In hindsight, we can see many things more clearly than we did during the darker days of the pandemic, but we have no time to waste rehashing what has already happened. It is time to move forward!