Feeding the Imagination

05-30-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

It is important to feed our imaginations with good images! That seems to make sense, doesn't it? So let me make a recommendation to you: The Chosen. This is a television series based on the Gospels. It is free on its own app or on YouTube. I don't know if it is great TV whatever that means, but in my opinion it is great food for the imagination. It provides images and inspiration regarding the Gospels that can build you up! At least, they have built me up. Of course, the series takes artistic license to fill in gaps in the stories of the Gospels, but again in my opinion these are done in a way that is consistent with what we have in the texts. You do not have to believe the development of character or situations in the series, but I find these developments to be productive even for prayer. I think that you will find the series will help to engage anew both your mind and your heart in an encounter with the Lord Jesus and His Way. See what you think!



05-23-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Thank you for the overwhelming response to our parish survey on a new schedule and new procedures as we step back from the precautions implemented for the pandemic. I ask for your continued patience for a few more weeks until June 13 as we prepare to announce and to implement these changes. There are a wide range of opinions that we need to take into consideration, as well as a large number of people to consult. Thank you.


An Invitation

05-16-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

As we prepare to transition away from some of the precautions and the schedule adopted during the pandemic, I invite you to offer your insights for the future. Not all of the changes made during the pandemic are bad. For example, having more Masses on the weekends is a good idea since previously some of our Masses were consistently overcrowded. On the other hand, I do not think that we need to keep all the Masses that have been added with the increased capacity in the church.


Staying United: Upcoming Changes to the Parish Schedule and Pandemic Precautions

05-09-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

As we are able to reduce the precautions that we have been practicing during the pandemic, it is a good time to reevaluate our parish liturgy schedule as well as the precautions themselves. I am in consultation with the priests, deacons, and staff of the parish about these changes. I am happy to say that I think that Saint Rose of Lima Parish is emerging from the pandemic in a stronger position than when it began. I am also very grateful to say that we have done so because we have stayed united as a parish. That has taken a willingness to sacrifice our own personal opinions and preferences for the good of staying united. Thank you! And let's keep that spirit of unity going!


Pray the Rosary to End the Pandemic

05-02-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

As he did last year, Pope Francis is calling us to turn to the Blessed Mother during the month of May to pray the rosary for an end to the pandemic. This year, the Holy Father will begin the month on Saturday, May 1 leading the rosary himself. This will be broadcast world wide. He will end the month in the same way on Monday, May 31, the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Every other day of the month, the rosary will be broadcast from a different Marian Shrine in a different part of the world. We will provide links to these broadcasts so that we can participate in this initiative of the Holy Father with our brothers and sisters around the world.


A Letter from the Bishop

04-25-2021Weekly ReflectionMost Reverend J. Mark Spalding

Peace be with you this Easter season. He ls Risen! Let us rejoice together!

This has been a most unusual and difficult year for all of us. A year ago at this time, none of us could have envisioned the anxiety, illnesses, deaths and other losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We likewise could never have imagined that the dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation would have had to remain in effect for a full year!


A Long Retreat

04-11-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

I want to let the parish know that I will be going on a long retreat starting the second week of Easter. I will be away for almost two weeks at a monastery and will end the time by attending the ordination to the diaconate of a seminarian I know from my days working in the seminary. There is never an ideal time to try to break away from a parish as dynamic as Saint Rose, especially as we continue to emerge from the pandemic. I confess that I am behind on a lot of things in the parish, and I ask for your continued patience with me. I thank you for the opportunity to recharge spiritually and, I hope, physically as well.


From Obligation to Devotion

04-04-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Bishop Spalding has lifted the dispensation from the obligation to assist at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. It is fitting that it comes at Easter because every Sunday is a little Easter. And Easter is the very heart of our faith. Without the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we would be condemned to bear the evils of this world and face death without hope. We do not like to think about what life would be like without Jesus, but it would be a hopeless struggle of the survival of the fittest, ending in death for all. But because Jesus has conquered sin and death by embracing suffering and death, He has opened a way for us all no matter the struggles we face. The evils of this world become the steps that can lead us to union with Jesus now and forever. How amazing is our God to bring life from death?


More About Lifting the Dispensation

03-25-2021NewsFr. John Sims Baker

I think that most of you have already heard about Bishop Spalding's decision to lift the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation as of Palm Sunday. I want to address how we at Saint Rose are going to adapt to returning to the regular practice of the Church.

First, our plans are designed to accommodate everyone who comes to Mass while keeping prudent precautions in place. The major change will be that there will no longer be pews blocked off in the larger middle sections of the church. The faithful will be asked to practice social distancing according to their judgment in these sections.


Holy Week and Easter This Year; Lifting of Dispensation

03-21-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker


After the sad Holy Week and Easter last year with liturgical celebrations without the faithful present, I am very happy that we will once again have public celebrations of these holy days. Although there will still be some alterations in the liturgies and our attendance will be limited, we will be celebrating together as a parish.

Here are some notes on the schedule and changes for this year: Palm Sunday -- We will not be having a procession but will distribute and bless palms at the beginning of every Mass for Palm Sunday. Livestream will be provided as on a regular Sunday.


Lifting of Dispensation


As of Palm Sunday, Bishop Spalding is lifting the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. This is a return to the normal situation of the Church regarding attendance at Mass. I want to get this word to you as soon as possible, even though we will be working out the practical implications here at Saint Rose in the days to come.


Pandemic Precautions

03-14-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

At Saint Rose, we have followed the guidance of the diocese about precautions regarding COVID. We continue to do so. Civil governmental entities such as Rutherford County, for example, are reconsidering mask mandates and other precautions in public spaces. We will take note of what civil authorities are requiring, but we will continue to make decisions on our circumstances.


Many Blessings!

03-07-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Even though we continue through the challenges of a pandemic, we are blessed at Saint Rose in so many ways. Last weekend, our First Communion classes celebrated the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation for the first time. It took several priests all morning to hear the confessions! This weekend, Bishop Spalding will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on over 100 candidates from our parish. These are exciting times for celebrating the sacraments at Saint Rose!

If we have a problem, it is that we are running out of room at most of our Masses! Please be sure to sign up for Mass. And thank you for your understanding if you need to attend Mass in the gym. We are trying our best!