11-25-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. 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.


Panel Discussion

11-18-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. 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.



11-11-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. 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?!


Embrace the Civilization of Love

11-04-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. 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.


Honoring Mass Intentions

10-28-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

It has come to my attention that I have unknowingly caused some confusion regarding Mass intentions here at St. Rose. As well as the intention being announced in the bulletin, it has been a practice in this parish to include the priest's intention for the Mass in the General Intercessions (now also referred to as the Universal Prayer).


Getting Started with Lectio Divina

10-21-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

In my homily last weekend, I referred to a way of praying with scripture called lectio divina. I was asked to describe this practice of prayer more fully, and I am delighted to do so! Lectio divina are simply the Latin words for divine reading. It is a way of praying with scripture (or reading scripture prayerfully) that has been developed especially in the monastic tradition.


Action Grounded in Wisdom

10-14-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

I don't know about you, but I need to work on patience about all kinds of things. I need, for example, to be a more patient driver. I also need to realize that most good and valuable things take time. I am trying to get myself in better shape physically, and I realize that is going to take time and perseverance.


The Holy Rosary

09-30-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

October is the month of the Holy Rosary, and it provides an opportunity for another lesson in our parish School of Prayer. The Holy Rosary is a very versatile prayer, suitable for just about any age or situation. The Holy Rosary is thus particularly fitting as a basis for family prayer. If we have gotten out of the habit of family prayer (or have never established a habit of family prayer), the Holy Rosary can give you a simple way to start anew. It is a prayer that every age can join in. It is contemplative and vocal at the same time. I could go on and on about the Holy Rosary as a basis for family prayer.


Thanks! Gracias!

09-23-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Thanks! Gracias!

I have to admit that I was somewhat apprehensive about the bilingual Mass and the pig roast celebration last weekend. It was something new, bringing people together in a new way and so I was not sure how all the pieces would fit together. That was very foolish on my part! It was a great success in every way.


Consider Your Routines of Prayer and Sacrament

09-16-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Change and transition are challenges, and I have found that the transition to the parish has taken longer than I had anticipated. I feel like I am getting used to the routine of the parish, and I am beginning to establish my own routine. But habits do take time! In the meantime, however, I have let some things accumulate too long. I thank you for your patience with me.


He Has Done All Things Well

09-09-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

“He has done all things well.”

This line is from our Gospel today, and it speaks, of course, of Jesus. He does all things well. There is no one like Him. You will do yourself a big favor if you get to know Him better. How do I get to know someone who was last on earth in the body about 2000 years ago? You are going to think that I am a broken record, but the main way to do it is to pray.


What are the lay faithful to expect from your pastors?

09-02-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. John Sims Baker

Getting expectations right allows for proper and peaceful relationships. “Pastor” is simply the Latin word for “shepherd.” What is a shepherd expected to do? Good shepherds feed, nurture, and protect the sheep. That is what you should expect from your pastors: to be fed and nurtured from the table of word and sacrament and to be protected by the truth from error and sin. If your pastors are faithful in living their vocation as priests, in providing the sacraments of the Church, and in teaching the truth of the Church on faith and morals, then you have good pastors.