Staying Focused

04-26-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

I am very grateful for the creativity of our parish staff and ministry leaders to keep Saint Rose of Lima Parish on track by carrying out our core purpose in these very challenging circumstances. How Saint Rose of Lima School is providing on- going instruction, for example, is an amazing accomplishment! Our Food Pantry is taking care of very fundamental needs with creativity as well -- and with the generous support of the parish, I need to add. I am grateful also for the technology that makes much of this possible. I am now a believer in the power of live-stream to help us stay connected in prayer and worship until we can gather again!

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Missing Jesus!

04-19-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

Yesterday I was in the church and saw a parishioner praying the rosary. I was moved by this example of trust and prayer. I could also see sorrow in the parishioner's eyes. Upon reflection, it reminded me of the sorrow of St. Mary Magdalen coming to the tomb of Jesus, seeing it empty, and not knowing where to find Jesus. Mary Magdalen has had about as much as she can take. Her sorrow is soon to be turned to joy, but at the moment she does not know that. Seeing the sorrow of this dear parishioner made me appreciate the longing for Jesus that so many of you are experiencing. I am glad that we can live-stream Mass, but it is not the same. At this point, your sorrow in missing Jesus is my greatest sorrow. I want to help, but I don't know how other than to trust in Jesus that this sorrow will soon be turned to joy, as it was for St. Mary Magdalen.

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Domestic Church

04-12-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

As I pray more these days, I am seeing the pandemic as a path of purification from God. God is so good and amazing that He can use even the worst things for good. Just look at "Good" Friday!

Here is an example of what I mean. Even though the reason we are at home is not something that we would have chosen, the fact of being at home is having great effects. We are learning to be families again. We are learning to do all kinds of things together again, including praying! And this is very good.

The Church has always taught that the church begins at home. We call it the domestic church. But we tend to compartmentalize things and segregate church to Sunday, at most, and in a special building. But not now! The situation of the stay-at-home order is perfect for building up our homes as places where God is loved and served and where we love and serve each other. That is charity, the supreme virtue of the love of God and love of neighbor. Then our homes have become true temples!

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Humble and Obedient in Charity

04-05-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John Sims Baker

The governor has issued a "safer at home" order for Tennessee. I plead with all the faithful of Saint Rose of Lima Parish to heed this order and to shelter at home. The church does remain open for set hours, and the governor's order explicitly permits visiting churches. If you do come to the church, please be sure to observe social distancing and hygienic practices. We will continue to keep the church sanitized as well as we can. We will also continue to offer confessions under as sanitized conditions as possible. Obviously, we cannot accommodate crowds for visiting the church or for confessions, as these would violate the order to keep gatherings to fewer than 10 people. To abide by the governor's order is an act not only of obedience but also of charity for the welfare of others.

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