Daily Prayers and Reflections from Father Tom 

Important information from Fr. Tom

Dear Friends.

                       God be with you!   Let us continue to pray for one another and for the world.

We are delighted to welcome you to pray here in the heart of our parish.  Please be sure to wear a mask at all times and maintain proper social distancing  so as to help prevent further contagion.

We are live streaming Mass daily at 9:15 am 

 

Church will be open for personal prayer Monday thru Friday from 7 am - 7 pm  ~ Saturday 7 am - 4 pm  

We will resume our regular Mass schedule Saturday 5 pm.  ~ with reservations ONLY

                            Sunday 8 am  10 am and 12 noon - with reservations ONLY  ~   

                                We will live stream the 8 am and 10 am Mass on Sunday

__________________________________________

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR

DAILY PRAYERS - REFLECTIONS - AND WORDS

FROM FATHER TOM 

Our Parish Office is open for your needs - Monday - Wednesday 9 am - 6 pm.  Our office lobby is small - we request that you wear a mask and maintain proper distancing.  Other than regular operating days above - please ring the doorbell for assistance.  

 

Mass Intentions and Altar Memorials are available.  You may request in person, via phone message, e-mail, or drop your request in the mail slot at the side of our office entrance door. You will receive a call back verifying dates and times requested.  Mass Cards may be picked-up - or we can mail the card directly to the family.  You may also leave a message to have a name added to our prayer list.

Our Food Pantry, under Parish Social Ministry, is operating.  We are meeting the needs of those in our parish and community.  You can find a list of pantry items needed in our bulletin as well as on our facebook page.  If you know a family who is in need of support, please have them contact us and we will be happy to assist in any way we are able.  

 

Regular Mass schedule has resumed ..It is required that you wear a face mask when entering our church and maintain acceptable personal distance at all times for the safety of all. Please refer to our bulletin for proper procedure to receive communion.

                             Our maintenance staff is on site daily to clean and sanitize our church.  

 

We are livestreaming Mass daily at 9:15 weekdays .... at 8 am and 10 am weekends... click on the Facebook link on the opening page of our website.

If you are in need of a priest you may call the office and select the option for Emergency After Hours.

 

Our bulletin is going to print weekly.  The publications can be found on our website. There is a limited paper copy in church.

Our parish runs on donations, contributions and offerings made through the generosity of our parishioners. If you are able to continue financial support, offerings may be mailed to 1 Carow Place.  They may also be dropped into the mail slot at the side of the office entrance door.  You may choose to sign-up with Faith Direct, there is a link on our opening webpage.  The Diocese of Rockville Centre has established a Text-to-Give program as an alternative way to financially support your parish.  

 

Parish Rectory Office   -  631-584-5454

General email                  info@sspj.org

Business Manager           vportanova@sspj.org

 

We are grateful for your generosity and support. 

 Click to join our Live-stream Mass and services or by following                 the facebook link on our website home page:  sspj.org

Click here for the   lLink to USCCB Mass readings- click on appropriate day.   Act of Spiritual Communion prayer can be found on our opening page

         

      

  Music for September 20, 2020 

 

Gathering                          –     City of God # 385

Presentation                      –    These Alone Are Enough # 395

Communion                       –    One Love Released # 358

Sending Forth                   –    Sing of the Lord’s Goodness # 562

Permission to podcast/livestream the music in this service is        obtained from OneLicense with the license # A-607678

 

      **Recorded CD music is not included in this license.

       ****  UPDATE**** The reason for "reservations to attend Mass   

~ We are STILL TAKING MASS RESERVATIONS ~

however, you no longer need to bring a copy of your reservation to Mass. 

The reservation list is printed 4 pm Saturday evening. 

The attendant at Mass will just be required to check off your name. 

If you register after 4 pm on Saturday we ask you to please provide your name to the attendants outside of church.  

 

We continue to work diligently to provide a safe environment for all to worship. 

Our church continues to be sanitized between all services and Masses. 

We continue to follow guidelines presented to us by CDC, WHO, Federal, State, and Local authorities

as well as recommendations from the Diocese of Rockville Centre. 

We have been permitted to increase Mass attendance from 90 - 125 attendees.

While reservations allow us to monitor attendance it MORE IMPORTANTLY allows us TRACKING ABILITY 

which is strongly recommended by the CDC, WHO, Department of Health, and all agencies.  

As we have come to learn, tracking is important to control this virus. 

We hope this eases your concerns and helps you understand the "reservation process" better.  

Please contact the Parish office if you are having difficulty making a reservation and we will assist you. 

You may call 631-584-5454 or email us at:    info@sspj.org.

Click here    Sept. 23

Reflection on the Painting

 

Today we celebrate one of the Church's most popular saints of recent times: Padre Pio. He was

canonised by Pope John Paul II in 2002. Padre Pio became one of the most charismatic holy men

in the modern history of the Catholic Church, widely hailed as a saint during his lifetime and

credited with many miracle cures. But probably the most famous signs of his sanctity were the

stigmata, the Christ-like wounds that he bore in the palms of his hands and his side. In many

churches in Rome and throughout the world we can still see popular devotions, shrines and

images of Padre Pio. In pre-Covid times, San Giovanni Rotondo, where St. Pio lived and is now

buried, was drawing an astonishing 8 million visitors a year, which is slightly more than Lourdes

or Fatima, and is second only to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico in terms of annual visitors.

In our Gospel reading today Luke places the 12 Apostles at the centre of the narrative. They are instituted as sharing in the Mission of Christ. Our reading makes it clear that they are not just disciples, but that actually they are given the task of doing what Jesus did: ‘having authority over all devils, to cure diseases, and to proclaim the kingdom of God’. No better example than our saint today, Padre Pio, who put this very reading into loving practice.

 

Father Thomas Haggerty

Click here    Sept. 22

First Day of Autumn
God of Autumn, just as the trees shed their leaves, so we, too, experience moments of surrender. Like the trees that let go of their leaves, help us to let go of the past and begin anew. May this autumn bring relief, renewal and rejuvenation. Amen.

Luke 8:19-21

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him
but were unable to join him because of the crowd.
He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside
and they wish to see you.”
He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers
are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”

 

Father Thomas Haggerty

Click here    Sept. 21

Reflection on the Sculpture

 

Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Matthew, apostle and evangelist. Before meeting Jesus, Matthew

was a tax collector. Tax collectors were notorious for being dishonest, greedy individuals, seen as working

for the Roman oppressors. Tax collectors would often exploit taxpayers by exacting more than was

required by the state and pocketing the difference for themselves. So their reputation was very negative

to say the least. And yet it is such a man that Jesus calls to be one of His disciples. Jesus can redeem anyone.

But Matthew had to give his response to Jesus’ calling. When Jesus first saw Matthew and said ‘Follow me’, 

Matthew’s response was one of immediate obedience and enthusiasm. He directly abandoned his job and

became one of Jesus’ Apostles. 

The sculpture we are looking at today is at St John Lateran in Rome and is magnificent in its high Baroque

style. Camillo Rusconi sculpted the four apostles, monumental in size, and completed the commission in 1718.

The colossal sculpture of Saint Matthew shows him holding his Gospel, whilst standing on a sack of coins,

referring to his previous life. Saint Matthew’s expression is one of concentration and sole focus on the book

he is holding.

On today’s feast day of Saint Matthew and in our Gospel reading, we know Jesus can call anyone to do anything: he called a tax collector to follow him and go on to write one of the Gospels. Matthew on hearing the call, just got up and followed Christ… a generous response… one without delay or hesitation…

 

Father Thomas Haggerty

Click here    Sept. 20

Learning to see as God sees is no easy task! Giving others a break can be tough.

But we can pray for a more faith-filled vision and understanding. God is eager to meet us in prayer!

Open my eyes, Lord....Help me to see Your face
Open my eyes, Lord....Help me to see 

Open my ears, Lord....Help me to hear Your voice
Open my ears, Lord....Help me to hear 

Open my heart, Lord....Help me to love like You
Open my heart, Lord....Help me to love

 —Lyrics to “Open My Eyes” by Jesse Manibusan, ©1988

 

Father Thomas Haggerty

Click here    Sept. 19

Dear friends.

    During the past week we reflected at daily Mass on St Paul’s famous passage on love. He writes, “so faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

 

When the pressures of life seem unbearable, it’s natural to want to escape. The church has a rich history of religious who chose to leave worldly concerns and turn their attention to God. Their choice was not to escape but to change their focus. The same change can happen to us when we focus on the virtues of faith, hope, and charity. Faith allows us to believe and give ourselves totally to God; hope gives us the assurance that God‘s way will be done; and love frees us to give ourselves completely to others. Faith, hope, and love are the gifts poured out on us by the Holy Spirit.

 

A Jesuit post this week raises the question, “how would my life be different if I live by faith, hope and charity?”

 

Do I ever let my timetable expectations cloud my ability to be hopeful? How can I encourage others to be aware of the work of the Holy Spirit that conveys each of these gifts?

 

Lord, you know the stresses and issues that cloud my mind and heart. Send your Holy Spirit that I may with greater clarity embrace and act upon the gifts of faith, hope and love. Amen.

 

Father Thomas Haggerty

Click here    Sept. 18

Reflection on the Painting

In our Gospel reading today Luke names three Galilean women as followers of Jesus

alongside the twelve apostles: Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Susanna. The first two

appear in the passion/resurrection narrative, as depicted in our painting. They symbolize

the thousands who have served Christ’s Church from the very beginning alongside the

apostles. The infant Church was a Church constantly on the move to spread the Good

News. It was made up of ordinary women and men, rich and poor, sick and healthy, who

all wanted their lives to be centered around the person of Jesus. They were a close-knit

community in which each of them shared whatever resources they had, whether it was

wealth, ability to cook, to sing, to fish, etc. Each brought their talents and centered them

around Jesus.

Our painting depicts three woman (Mary the Mother of James, Mary Magdalene and Mary

of Cleophas), at the tomb of the resurrection. As a viewer we are meant to look up to the

painting, seeing the perspective in which the scene is drawn. The painting was to be

admired from a kneeling position looking upwards. We see bewilderment on the central

figure of Mary Magdalene, who is looking caringly straight into the tomb, with the angel’s

light shining upon her. We feel as if we have just stumbled on the event and are witnessing

live what is going on. This painting was first exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1890, and was admired for its tour de force in terms of  perspective and foreshortening, which can be clearly seen in the severe angle of the tomb entrance way. 

Jesus was an itinerant preacher who was dependent on all His followers for food, shelter, company… Our reading gives beautiful witness of how the three women were a vital part of Jesus’ ministry. Anyone who chooses to follow Jesus is a disciple and very day we also can be the women and men who have chosen to follow Jesus

Click here    Sept. 17

Her many sins have been forgiven, or she would not have shown such great love

Gospel of 17th Sep 2020  Luke 7:36-50

Reflection on the Alabaster Ointment Jar

 

The alabaster jar I am sharing with you today is possibly similar to the jar used by Mary in our

Gospel reading of today. It is roughly the size of a small perfume bottle. Alabaster jars

(such as the one illustrated here) were used from Egyptian times onwards, all throughout the

Greek and Roman empires, as containers for ointment, perfume, and other cosmetic products.

Alabaster is a soft and slightly porous stone, making it easy to cut and carve. Another

advantage is its translucency, so in order to check how much oil remained in the jar, one would

simply hold it against the sunlight to see how much there is left. 

Every meal that Jesus shared, reveals something more to us as a Christian community. 

Of course we think first and foremost of the Last Supper, but also all the other Gospel passages where we are told about Jesus sharing a meal, reveal something important. In our reading today, we hear that the woman who was approaching Jesus, was weeping. Her tears were the external signs of her real self and what was stirring her heart. Her extravagant actions were simply a great display of humility. Jesus goes to great trouble to explain to Simon the deeper meaning of her actions. Just as the woman offered Jesus the tiny touches of love shown in water, tears and oils from the alabaster jar, so does Jesus notice our small gestures too…

Click here    Sept. 16

Luke 7:31-35

Jesus said to the crowds:
“To what shall I compare the people of this generation?  What are they like?
They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another,
‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.
We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.’
For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine,
and you said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said,
‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’
But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

Lord, I pray for peace among Your people. We can be so quick to judge others for superficial reasons, never taking the time to get to know them. We turn to aggression and violence before trying to simply communicate peacefully. Our hearts are often filled with anger and bitterness rather than love and forgiveness. Give us strength, Lord. Help us to look past age, skin color, education and wealth. Help us open our hearts to others. Amen.

Click here    Sept. 15

Reflection on the Painting

Alongside Jan Van Eyck, Rogier Van der Weyden dominated Flemish painting during

the first half of the 15th century. We see an idealised Jerusalem depicted in the

background. Christ has just spoken the words to John ‘This is your mother’ and we see

John tenderly attending to Mary who is embracing the cross of Her Son. The two

people on the right are the donors who commissioned the painting. The crack in the

ground separates them from the main crucifixion scene. They are depicted in deep

prayer and very devout. They don’t share the strong emotions visible in Mary, John,

the angels and Christ. Christ’s loincloth seems to be blowing in the breeze, and follows

the angels’ robes. 

As I mentioned, Mary is embracing the cross. She, as Mother of the Church, is the direct

link between the crucifix which she is holding and John who is coming to help. Therefore

the figure of Saint John supporting the Virgin is also significant in that it delivers the

message to us as a viewer, that it is our task to support and love the Church. We can

reach Christ only through the support and love of the Church. 

Today’s Gospel reading is beautiful, as it focuses entirely on the gift that Jesus gave from the Cross: He gave His mother to John and He gave John to His mother. Even in His hour of death and immense suffering, Jesus looked down to Mary and John and saw their suffering. Even at that moment, Jesus’ heart was open to those who suffer… and gave them to each other…

Click here    Sept. 14

Reflection on the Fresco Painting

 

Today we celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: the cross as the actual

instrument of our salvation. This instrument of torture, designed to degrade

the worst of criminals in Roman times, became the life-giving tree and

symbol for our faith! 

Today also recalls the historical event of Saint Helena (mother of

Emperor Constantine), finding the True Cross. According to tradition, first

mentioned by Saint Cyril of Jerusalem in 348, Saint Helena, nearing the

end of her life, decided under divine inspiration to travel to Jerusalem in 326 to excavate the Holy Sepulchre and attempt to locate the True Cross. She found three crosses on the spot. According to one tradition, the inscription Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum (Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews) remained attached to the True Cross. Another tradition (which is illustrated in our fresco painting of today) says that the True Cross was identified when a dead youth who was being carried past on a stretcher was brought to life again after the three crosses, one after the other, were laid over him. The third cross, the true cross, was the one which raised him from the dead. 

In celebration of the discovery of the Holy Cross, Constantine ordered the construction of two churches at the site of the Holy Sepulchre and on Mount Calvary. Those churches were dedicated on September 13 and 14, anno 335, and shortly thereafter the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross began to be celebrated on the latter date. The feast slowly spread from Jerusalem to other churches, until, by the year 720, the celebration was universal. 

The entrance antiphon for today’s feast day which the priest will read out in today’s Mass: "We should glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he is our salvation, our life and our resurrection: through him we are saved and made free.”

Click here  - Sept 12  


Click here    A prayer for September 11th

O God of love, compassion, and healing, look on us, people of many

different faiths and traditions,who gather today at this site, the scene

of incredible violence and pain.

We ask you in your goodness to give eternal light and peace to all who

died here—the heroic first-responders: our fire fighters, police officers,

emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel, along with all

the innocent men and women who were victims of this tragedy simply

because their work or service brought them here on September 11, 2001.

We ask you, in your compassion to bring healing to those who, because of

their presence here that day, suffer from injuries and illness. Heal, too, the

pain of still-grieving families and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope.

We are mindful as well of those who suffered death, injury, and loss on the

same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.

God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world: peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love those whose hearts and minds are consumed with hatred.

God of understanding, overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy, we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared may live so that the lives lost here may not have been lost in vain.

Comfort and console us,strengthen us in hope, and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world where true peace and love reign among nations and in the hearts of all.

Click here   Sept 10

Dear friends,

Paul uses a beautiful line in his letter this morning. He says this, “love builds up.” What a powerful

statement! In the letter he’s talking about knowledge suggesting that you and I know many, many

things. Knowledge is a good thing obviously and when we use it to build up others we contribute to

building up the kingdom of God. Paul notes however that knowledge can also inflate with pride. 

Isn’t it true that we can use knowledge as a weapon and divide rather than build up?  He says that

“we can have all the knowledge of men and even of angels but if you have not love you are a gong

booming or a cymbal clashing.” Let’s pray with Paul for the wisdom to put love (God is love) rather

than our need to show off the right answer In situations so that God in fact then through us can build

up the common good.  Stay dry!  Father Tom

Click here  to read more   Sept 9  

Reflection

The Holy Spirit’s might and power are manifested in the striking decisions and bold actions of Peter Claver. A decision to leave one’s homeland never to return reveals a gigantic act of will difficult for us to imagine. Peter’s determination to serve forever the most abused, rejected, and lowly of all people is stunningly heroic. When we measure our lives against such a man’s, we become aware of our own barely used potential and of our need to open ourselves more to the jolting power of Jesus’ Spirit.

Click here  to read more   Sept 8  

Happy birthday, Blessed Mother!  We love you dearly!

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women and blessed

is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and

at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Precious Jesus, through the heart of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, our Mother, we trust in You!

Click here  to read more    Sept 7  From Catholic Online

For Christians, Labor Day invites us to examine how we view our own labor in the light of what the Scriptures and the teaching Church proclaims about the dignity of all human work

On this Labor Day weekend most of us take a break from what we refer to as our "jobs" in order to rest and re-create. We are invited to honor human work and all human workers. It is a unique secular holiday with profound Christian potential. Many will gather for late summer cookouts and celebrations. We may sleep in a bit later than usual and relax from what is so often a frenzied pace in our contemporary pattern of life. For many parents, Labor Day weekend marks a transition from the hectic pace of the summer to the new hectic pace of the school year. For students and teachers, it is also a portal into the new school year when we begin the work of education, a word whose Latin root means to "draw out" of the student what is good. Through authentically Christian education we are all invited to be drawn out into a fuller way of life. For Christians, Labor Day invites us to examine how we view our own labor in the light of what the Scriptures and the teaching Church proclaims about the dignity of all human work, no matter what kind, precisely because it is done by human persons who are created in the Image and Likeness of God.

Click here  to read more    On Sept 6

When has someone told you a hard truth about yourself?
How long did it take to transform you?

LET US PRAY… Gracious God, the work of human hands is a small thing in the depths of your Creation. Still we ask your blessing on our labors, in the home and at school, in the workplace and in the parish. May our every action be aligned with your will, for happiness is only possible when our hearts are attentive to yours. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Children: Share this short video lesson about helping others.

Click here  to read more     On Sept 5

Pope Francis on Mother Teresa

"Give us, Lord, your grace, in you we place our hope!" Like the Psalmist, how many times,

in moments of interior desolation, Mother Teresa also repeated to her Lord: "In you, in you

I hope, my God!"

Let us praise this little woman enamored of God, humble messenger of the Gospel and

tireless benefactor of humanity. We honor in her one of the most outstanding personalities

of our time. Let us accept her message and follow her example.

Click here  to read more    On Sept 4

Reflect, today, upon whether or not you are truly a new creation in Christ.  Have you turned from your former way and shed the shackles that bound you?  Have you embraced the new full Gospel and do you daily allow God to pour forth the Holy Spirit in your life?  

Lord, please do make me a new creation.  Transform me and renew me completely.  May my new life in You be one that continually receives the full outpouring of Your grace and mercy.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Click here  to read more   On Sept 3

Reflect, today, upon your willingness to act upon the voice of the Savior.  Are you willing to say “Yes” to Him in all things?  Are you willing to radically follow the direction He gives?  If so, you also will be amazed at what He does in your life.

Lord, I desire to put out into the deep water and to radically evangelize in the way to which You call me.  Help me to say “Yes” to you in all things.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Click here  to read more   On Sept 2

Reflection on the Painting

In our Gospel reading today we read about how Jesus is healing people. Healing was

essential to Jesus’ ministry. The healing power flowed from within Him to cure the 

crippled, blind, deaf, leprous, even raising people from the dead. But Jesus knew that

the healings He performed during His lifetime, would go beyond His time spent here

on earth and would serve also as a physical symbol of forgiveness. Just as He healed

the sick in His time, He continues to heal our souls in the spirit of forgiveness. The

physical healings in the Gospels symbolize something more crucial, more essential,

more lasting, more breathtaking, more momentous than just temporary relief from

earthly sufferings…

Click here  to read more    On Sept 1

Reflect, today, upon the reality of evil and the reality of demonic temptations in our world.  We’ve all experienced them.  They are nothing to be overly frightened about.  And they should not be seen in an overly dramatic light.  Demons are powerful, but the power of God easily triumphs if we let Him take control.  So as you reflect upon the reality of evil and demonic temptations, reflect also on God’s desire to enter in and render them powerless.  Allow God to take command and trust that God will conquer.  

Lord, when I am tempted and confused, please come to me.  Help me to discern the evil one and his lies.  May I turn to You the All-Powerful One in all things, and may I rely upon the powerful intercession of the holy angels You have entrusted to me.  Jesus, I trust in You

Click here  to read more

On August 31

It’s hard enough for ordinary, simple people to open their hearts to a

God who often reveals himself in unexpected, disconcerting ways.

Often, it’s even harder for the learned who are esteemed as teachers

of their people

Click here  to read more

On August 30

Reflect, today, upon any way that you find yourself resisting the call to sacrificial love.  Love is not always easy and often times may demand great sacrifice and courage on your part.  Are you ready and willing to embrace the crosses of love in your life?  Furthermore, are you willing to walk with others, encouraging them along the way, when they, too, are called to embrace the crosses of life?  Seek strength and wisdom this day and strive to live by the divine perspective in all things, especially suffering.

Lord, I love You and pray that I may always love You in a sacrificial way.  May I never fear the crosses I have been given and may I never dissuade others from following in Your steps of selfless sacrifice.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Click here  to read more

On August 29

Reflect, today, upon your own life.  At times we carry some heavy cross and beg our Lord to take it from us.  Instead, God tells us that His grace is sufficient and that He wishes to use our sufferings as a testimony of our fidelity.  So, the Father’s response to Jesus, His response to John and His response to us is a call to enter into the mystery of our sufferings in this life with faith, hope, confidence and fidelity.  Never let the hardships of life deter you from your fidelity toward the will of God.

Lord, may I have the strength of Your Son and the strength of St. John the Baptist as I carry my own crosses in life.  May I remain strong in faith and filled with hope as I hear You calling me to embrace my cross.  Jesus, I trust in You.

https://ministry-to-children.com/john-the-baptist/

Click here  to read more

On August 28

On reading Cicero's Hortensius, Augustine’s whole way of seeing the world

experienced a change. Happiness, Cicero taught him, consists of things that

do not perish: wisdom, truth, virtue. Augustine decided to dedicate his whole

life to their pursuit.

What a child taught St. Augustine at the seashore

Click here  to read more

On August 27

Today, with Google searches, online shopping, text messages, tweets, and

instant credit, we have little patience for things that take time. Likewise, we

want instant answers to our prayers. Monica is a model of patience. Her long

years of prayer, coupled with a strong, well-disciplined character, finally led

to the conversion of her hot-tempered husband, her cantankerous

mother-in-law and her brilliant but wayward son, Augustine.

Click here  to read more

On August 26

Vatican Museum: Beauty that unites! 27

Beauty creates communion. It unites onlookers from a distance, uniting past, present and future. Pope Francis has recalled this on a number of occasions. The Church has always translated the universality of the Good News into the language of art. From this premise, this dramatic moment in history characterized by uncertainty and isolation, gives rise to this initiative which is a partnership between the Vatican Museum and Vatican News: Masterpieces from the Vatican Collection accompanied by comments from the words of the Popes.

Fra Angelico, detail of St Mark the Evangelist from the ceiling of the Niccoline Chapel, Vatican Palace © Musei Vaticani

Click here  to read more

On August 25

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.”  Matthew 23:25-26

Though these very direct words of Jesus may have the appearance of being harsh, they are truly words of mercy.  They are words of mercy because Jesus is going to great lengths to help the Pharisees understand that they need to repent and cleanse their hearts. 

Click here  to read more

On August 24

Strengthen in us, O Lord, the faith, by which the blessed

Apostle Bartholomew clung wholeheartedly to your Son,

and grant that through the help of his prayers your Church

may become for all the nations the sacrament of salvation.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns

with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Story of Saint Bartholomew | English | Story of Saints Childrens Video 

Click here  to read more

On August 23

Reflect, today, upon the depth of your faith and knowledge of the Messiah.  Do you believe in Him with all your might?  Have you allowed Jesus to reveal His divine presence to you?  Seek to discover the “secret” of His true identity by listening to the Father speak to you in your heart.  It is only there that you will come to have faith in the Son of God.

Lord, I do believe that You are the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God!  Help my lack of faith so that I may come to believe in You and love You with my whole being.  Invite me, dear Lord, into the secret depths of Your heart, and allow me to rest there in faith with You.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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On August 22

we must see her role as glorious and essential in the eternal

plan of salvation.  Devotion to her is a way of simply acknowledging

what is true.  It’s not just some honor we bestow upon her by

thanking her for cooperating with God’s plan.  Rather, it’s an

acknowledgment of her continual role of mediation of grace in

our world and in our lives. From Heaven, God does not take this

from her.  Rather, she is made our Mother and our Queen. 

And a worthy Mother and Queen she is!

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope!

To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.

To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears!

Turn, then, O most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this,

our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption with kids

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On August 20 

Reflect, today, upon both your faith in all that God has spoken, and the charity that this hopefully produces in your life.  Being a Christian means you let your faith sink from your head down to your heart and will.

Lord, may I have deep faith in You and in all that You have spoken.  May that faith sink into my heart producing love of You and others.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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On August 21

Reflect, today, upon your total love of God.  Are you all in?  Are you completely

committed to serving our Lord and His holy will?  Don’t hesitate.  It’s worth it!

Lord, help me to love You with my whole heart, mind, soul and strength.  Help me

to love You with my whole being.  In that love, I pray You transform me into Your

instrument of grace.  Jesus, I trust in You!

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On August 19 

Reflect, today, upon whether you see any traces of envy within your heart.  Can you sincerely rejoice and be filled with much gratitude at the success of others?  Can you sincerely be grateful to God when others are blessed with the unexpected and unwarranted generosity of others?  If this is a struggle, then at least thank God that you are made aware of this.  Envy is a sin, and it’s a sin that leaves us dissatisfied and sad.  You should be grateful you see it because that is the first step in overcoming it.

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On August 18 

Jesus uses the image of the camel not being able to pass through the

eye of a needle to illustrate the point that it is impossible for any of us

to earn eternal life just by our own power. Jesus was using a hyperbole,

a figure of speech that maximizes emphasis; our artist on the other hand

is using his art minimizing sculpture to the smallest possible size.

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On August 17 

Reflection on the Stained Glass Window

 

In our Gospel reading of today, we read how the young man boasted to

Jesus that he was keeping all of the commandments and laws. But was he

really? As is typical with us all, we like to think we are doing well before

God when in reality we aren’t… Jesus knew that and challenged the man.

Jesus could see that the worldly possessions the man had were too much of a

distraction to his faith. We can possess them… but they can also possess us!

All Jesus is asking us for, is to live in Him and He in us, and not to try and

be distracted with what the world is throwing at us. 

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On August 16 

 Reflect, today, upon those moments in life when you feel as though

God is silent.  Know that those moments are actually moments of

invitation to trust on a new and deeper level.  Make an act of trust

and allow your faith to become more fully purified so that God can do

great things in you and through you!

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On August 15 

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

Since Mary is closely associated with all the mysteries of Jesus’ life,

it is not surprising that the Holy Spirit has led the Church to believe

in Mary’s share in his glorification. So close was she to Jesus on earth,

she must be with him body and soul in heaven.

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary  - children video

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On August 14 - Father Kolbe’s death was not a sudden, last-minute act of heroism. His whole life had been a preparation. His holiness was a limitless, passionate desire to convert the whole world to God. And his beloved Immaculata was his inspiration.

Fr. Maximilian Kolbe - children video

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On August 11 - Saint Clare of Assisi

St. Clare of Assisi / My Catholic Family

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On August 10 - St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr

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August 9, 2020  Paulist Evangelization Ministries

· 

When Jesus lifts Peter from the water, Peter is not yet saved. He’s only rescued. In fact,

when he gets back into the boat and starts to feel safe, Peter is just beginning to learn

what salvation, and discipleship, are all about. Often that’s where we are as well. Just at

the beginning stage. “It is I,” says Jesus, always wanting to help us grow more deeply in

faith. (Homily, Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP) 

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August 9

St. Paul tells us that “we walk by faith, not by sight.” We see the world around us.

And we can learn to understand it according to conventional categories—political,

cultural, economic, etc. Christians don’t turn from the world that reason delivers.
But our primary orientation is not given by reason; it’s given by faith. This has

nothing to do with irrationality or credulity. It has to do with an appreciation of God

and the movement of God—in and through all of the conventional events perceived in the conventional manner.
What is God doing? Sometimes it is exceedingly hard to see. But we trust. It might happen slowly and in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence, but God is always acting. From the smallest beginnings can come the accomplishment of God’s purpose.
God is working, though we can’t see it with our eyes. That’s why Jesus says, “Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

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On August 8th, the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Dominic

Gradually starting his ministry, Dominic founded a group of faithful who were tasked to join him in praying and preaching the word of the Lord. Soon enough, he was able to formally establish the Order of Preachers—now known as the Dominican Order—which was approved on December 22, 1216, by Pope Honorius III.

St. Dominic video for children 

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On August 7th, Take up your cross and follow me

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On August 6th, the Church celebrates the

Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord.  This feast commemorates the

clearest and most explicit revelation by God of the divinity of Jesus

prior to His crucifixion and Resurrection 

The Story of the Transfiguration for children 

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August 5, 2020 - Our Lady of the Snows

Improbable as it is for snow to fall during August, history tells of a snowfall that seemed more impossible,

namely in Rome, Italy.  August 5, 352, snow fell during the night in Rome.

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August 4, 2020 - Feast of Saint John Vianney (le Curé d'Ars)

 St. John Vianney was a man of deep prayer. In a reflection from the office of readings for his memorial, the evangelist John states that prayer is like incense that pleases God. Prayer has a way of swelling the heart. True happiness, he believes, is found in prayer and love. When we pray, our sorrows are diminished. Why would anyone not pray?

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August 3, 2020 The Story of the Dedication of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels

In this chapel, Francis of Assisi began to understand more about the truth of his life, his service of God and how both of those connect with service to other people. Truth and forgiveness provide the only lasting foundations for genuine peace.

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August 2, 2020 - 

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Saint Alphonsus Liguori- Saint of the Day for August 1

 

August 1, 2020 - Take a Moment to Breathe 

It is the first of August - summer is passing way too quickly. Relish all the joy August has to offer!

The Jesuit Post - Awareness drives Ignatian Spirituality. Breathing is the fire that maintains the engagement of awareness in action. One needs God’s grace to learn how to breathe. Today I would like to invite you to meet the best part of yourself through your breathing. Let us learn to breathe together for the greater glory of God!

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Saint Ignatius of Loyola

Saint of the Day for July 31

July 31, 2020 - 

Today we celebrate the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Ignatius was a true mystic. He centered his spiritual life on the essential foundations of Christianity—the Trinity, Christ, the Eucharist. His spirituality is expressed in the Jesuit motto, Ad majorem Dei gloriam—“for the greater glory of God.”

Video for children - The Life of St. Ignatius of Loyola 

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July 30, 2020 - 

Today we celebrate the feast day of Blessed Solanus Casey.  A quote from St. Francis of Assisi - "We are called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart and to bring home those who have lost their way", Fr. Solanus Casey is a wonderful example of that..... 

Extraordinary Stories about Fr. Solanus Casey for Children

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July 29, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

     Today as we celebrate the feast is St Martha we are reminded that like her, we hold a special place in Jesus’ heart. Blessings. Father Tom

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July 27, 2020 - 

    Please post.   What is the parable of your life.  

 Peace, Father Tom

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July 28, 2020 - 

Dear friends

    A sign seen outside a church....Love the All. Leave the rest to Me.

Today’s message: be the wheat!   Stay cool. Father Tom

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July 26, 2020 - 

Dear Friends, 

Let's let God help us find the treasure within us!  Stay cool.  Father Tom

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July 25, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

   Today the church celebrates the feast of Saint James. In the Gospel of Matthew, James

and John‘s mother come to Jesus seeking high positions for her sons. Like political

supporters who strive for influence in the administration of someone in government, this

is a request for the two brothers to share in Jesus’ power when he governs from on high.

In contrast to that way of running the world, Jesus says that greatness is seen in serving,

not power, and giving life away, not in controlling lives of other people. James as we know,

did come to share in the self giving of Christ Jesus. He was martyred for his faith within a

decade or so of Jesus death and resurrection.

 

A tradition has James preaching in Spain after Pentecost. Since the middle ages, pilgrims have made their way on foot to the apostle‘s shrine in Santiago de Compostella. The way to Santiago has been sometimes considered as an example of the Church’s pilgrimage on its journey towards the heavenly city. It is a path of prayer and penance, of charity and solidarity, a stretch of the path of life where the faith becomes history among people. Enjoy the weekend. Father Tom

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July 24, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

     This very different painting begs the question, do we let the Word fully penetrate our hearts?  May the Sower awaken a new desire in us to again sing, “I say yes my Lord!”  Peace   Father Tom

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July 23, 2020 - 

Dear Friends ,
    Here are some words from Pope Francis.... peace. Father Tom

Vaticannews

Words of the Holy Father

It's a question that I ask myself:  how is the relationship between Jesus

who remains in me and I who remains in Him?  It is a relationship of intimacy, a mystical 

relationship, a relationship without words.  "Ah Father, it's the mystics who do it!"  No, it is for all of us, it's down with small thoughts: "Lord, I know that You are in me:  give me the strength and I will do what You tell me".  In that intimate dialogue, the Lord is present, the Lord is present in us, the Father is present in us, the Spirit is present in us; they remain in us.  But I must remain in them...(Santa Marta, 13 May 2020)

 

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July 22, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

     Today is the feast of St Mary Magdalen...the Apostle to the Apostles.....here’s

a one minute homily about her. Enjoy the day. Father Tom

https://thejesuitpost.org/2020/07/st-mary-magdalene-saint-for-the-broken-hearted-one-minute-saints/

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July 21, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

    Check out the interesting interpretation of today’s gospel....and the mission

given to the Tsar and his family whose faces appear in the scene.   Stay cool.  Father Tom

Click here for -Reflection

July 20, 2020 - 
 

Dear Friends,

     I really like this picture and the reflection following. Makes me wonder am I willing to be swallowed up by God’s will and taken in God’s known but unknown direction....”to act justly, to walk humbly , to love tenderly”.    Stay cool! Father Tom

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July 19, 2020 - 
Dear Friends,

      Let us recognize that we are blessed to become the wheat...which becomes the Body of all Christ!   Blessings. Father Tom

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July 17, 2020 - 
 

Dear Friends,

  Reflecting on today’s gospel reading, Bishop Barron invites us to soak in God’s mercy.....does a rainy day help?  

                     Peace. Father Tom

Matthew 12:1-8

Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus corrects the Pharisees with this theme of his ministry: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”

Every saint had a past, and every sinner has a future. That is key to Catholic spirituality. In the lives of every one of these heroes of the faith, there is some conversion. And every sinner—every one of us—has a future. That is why we soak in the mercy of God.

There is a beautiful reference in the Psalms to oil running down upon your beard, upon the collar of your robe. The divine mercy is like that: poured out upon us, poured out without reservation—and not because it’s earned, because it can’t be earned.

God doesn’t love us because we’re worthy. We’re worthy because he loves us. We don’t deserve his mercy, but we soak it in and thereby are transformed

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July 18, 2020 - 
 

Dear Friends,

     Here’s an artist’s interpretation of today’s gospel ....

see if you capture his interpretation before reading the text.

Boy, I wish I had taken art courses in school.

Have a great weekend! Father Tom

Click here for - Christian Art Reflection

July 16, 2020 - 

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Blessings.  Father Tom

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July 15, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

     July 31 is the feast of St Ignatius Loyola. Here’s a link which includes a daily preparation anticipating the feast day. Today’s link describes how to find God in the ordinary.    Peace. Father Tom

https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/gratitude-from-finding-god-in-the-ordinary/

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July 14, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,  Blessings. Father Tom

MEMORIAL OF KATERI TEKAKWITHA, VIRGIN

Indigenous help to heal the world

Kateri Tekakwitha—born Mohawk and Algonquin in 1656, canonized in 2012—

is a fitting intercessor for coronavirus, though she is actually patron saint of ecology.

Losing her family to the same smallpox epidemic that left her disfigured and half blind, Kateri knew firsthand the suffering wrought by disease. Perhaps her empathy helps account for so many miraculous healings attributed to her to this day. But Kateri’s love of the earth may also inspire our continued care of the environment, which has seen healing of its own during human quarantine. Kateri, pray for us on all fronts!

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July 13, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

     Here’s something for all of you who are grandparents. My sister Cathy an over the moon new grandma sends you her best! Blessings. Father Tom https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/god-in-my-grandchildren/

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July 12, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

     Enjoy Bishop Barron’s take on today’s gospel.  Blessings. Father Tom

Sunday, July 12, 2020

 

 

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 13:1-23

Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches the parable of the sower. "A sower went out to sow. Some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil . . . and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold."

Imagine a crowd of farmers listening to this parable and shaking their heads at the farmer’s strange sowing. He would have been expelled from the seed sowers’ union for such irresponsible farming. Like the foolish sower, God’s love is so extravagant that it defies all of our expectations of what is reasonable.

The most important point of this parable is that we must imitate the foolish love of God. We must love not only those who love us, not only those who are like us and affirm us, but precisely those who are different and unresponsive. Our sun should shine on the good and bad alike.

 

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July 11, 2020 - 

Dear friends,

 

Today is the feast of Saint Benedict, The founder of western monasticism. Benedict’s words, ”let all be received as Christ “ are over the front doors in our church.

Where earlier monastic experiments had stressed rigorous asceticism and self denial, Benedict’s rule was designed for ordinary human beings. The element of discipline was shifted from external to the interior,  from the flash to the will. In place of an emphasis on fasting and mortification, Benedict substituted the discipline of humility, obedience and accommodation to community life. Rather than envision a collection of individuals competing in the quest for perfection, Benedict stressed the role of community as a school for holiness.

The first word in Benedict’s rule is “listen”.In learning to listen to his own heart, Benedict learned that in approaching life it’s clear that one size does not fit all. In “receiving one another as Christ” we have to acknowledge and reverence the individuality and real goodness in one another.

“As our lives and faith progress, the heart expands and with the sweetness of love we move down the paths of God’s commandments.”

     Have a blessed weekend!   Father Tom

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July 10, 2020 - 

Dear friends,

Hosea is the prophet of God’s love. Yesterday’s reading was touching and tender.

He presented God as a Father who scoops his child, Israel, into his arms and presses

him against his cheek. Today, fully aware of Israel’s disobedience, Hosea cries out ,

“return oh Israel to the Lord, your God. “ His words can easily make us think of the parable in which Jesus shows the young, prodigal son returning to his father. That too is a touching and tender scene - an image of how completely God loves us despite our failures. God’s love goes on and on.  And one special way it does so is through us. In these tough times, let’s pray to be channels of God’s tender touch.   Peace. Father Tom

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July 9, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

    Here is a very clear message sent by Bishop Barren.  

         ‘FRIENDS, CATHOLICS MUST STOP TEARING EACH OTHER APART ONLINE…’

    HOME/MEDIA/‘FRIENDS, CATHOLICS MUST STOP TEARING EACH OTHER APART ONLINE…’

 

Peace.  Father Tom

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July 8, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

     Just how can we open ourselves to receive those fruits of the Spirit St Paul lists,

joy, peace, patience, kindness....the following article gives a clear answer..... Peace.  

Father Tom

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July 7, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

     Here’s a little art for today....and a thought from St Paul...” overcome evil with good.”

I was stumped by today’s gospel....Jesus gives us authority to do what we see him do in

today’s gospel: expel demons. Here’s what stumped me....the mute man who was labeled

the demonic couldn’t say anything good....but neither could the religious people who

viewed Jesus gift to the labeled one who now spoke good news....that had that same

faculty of speech but the “religious ones” couldn’t say anything good! Remember the

movie Oh God? John Denver complains if you’re a good God, why don’t you do something

about evil, anger, violence, aggression....and George Burns replies....I did, I put you here. 

Today’s demons of negativity, sarcasm, cynicism, anger, despair....we are the ones put/sent

into the field to overcome evil with good....not being mute but proclaiming good news!

Let’s spend today lifting hearts.   Blessings. Father Tom

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July 6, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

     Up for a little art? Here is a pictorial meditation on today’s gospel.

Have a blessed day.  Father Tom

https://www.christianart.today/todays-reading.php

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July 5, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

     Richard Rohr, OFM, has an interesting piece today....he’s readying us to say yes to Love.    Peace. Father Tom

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July 4, 2020 - 

Dear friends,  Happy Fourth of July!

Here’s one of the opening prayers for today’s mass.....let us pray

 

Father of all nations and ages, we recall the day when our country

Claimed its place among the family of nations; for what has been achieved we give you thanks, for the work that still remains we ask your help, And as you have called us from many people’s to be one nation, Grant that, under Your providence, our country may share Your blessings with all the peoples of the earth.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity

of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

 

Happy Independence Day!    God bless America. Father Tom

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A brief video on St. Thomas 

July 3, 2020 - 

 

Dear friends,

 

Today we remember Saint Thomas, doubting Thomas, as he’s come to be known.

But I wonder, could that perhaps be an unfair name tag? Thomas struggles to find

a reason to have faith, he wants a sense of hope that he can hold on to  and in that,

he’s really no different than most of us.

 

The story of Saint Thomas challenges us to look around in our own lives with an open heart and to recognize the many  signs of God’s love in our midst.  We can find God in the love of family and friends, in the “nail marks” of suffering and brokenness, in the “peace” of forgiveness and mercy and, yes, we can all list so many other ways!

 

And so we ask, help us Lord to continue to seek you despite our doubts; show us your way of justice and peace when we are  most pessimistic and skeptical. Like Thomas, may  we realize your presence in our midst in every moment of compassion and act of selfless generosity we experience. Blessings  Father Tom

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July 2, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

     Here is Bishop Barron’s take on today’s gospel. I like his statement that Jesus opens a new future for us.....and isn’t it true that we are blessed to do that for one another! Blessings. Father Tom

Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 9:1-8

Friends, in today’s Gospel, the Lord heals a paralytic after first forgiving his sins. Jesus’ initial words to this paralyzed man are, “Your sins are forgiven.” Why does God forgive our sins? Because he wants us alive, he wants us moving, he wants us in action, realizing what we can be.

Jesus comes to liberate us for deeper life, to open a new future to us. Sin is a refusal to live according to God’s purposes and desires. Our obsession with past sins paralyzes us. God is opposed to this obsession with the past, because it renders us unable to move.

I can brood over my past sins to such a degree that I become finally paralyzed, unable to move. “Your sins are forgiven” is another way of saying, “Don’t be paralyzed by sins that you undoubtedly worry about far more than God does.”

After saying your sins are forgiven, Jesus says,

“Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”

That’s the way it works: First comes the forgiveness

of sins, and that is a liberating power in us.

Now I can live for the future.

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July 1, 2020 - 

     Dear Friends,

         There’s a line in today’s first reading, ....” hate evil and love good” that reminded me of a sign I once saw in front of a church:

“ Love ‘em all, I’ll sort it out later.” Isn’t that a great reminder of how God asks us to act with one another? Our gospel call is to work to love everyone. To embrace everyone as a child of God, and to look at the world with the eyes of mercy, not judgment. Judgment will come from God.

 

How, then, do we respond to evil? How do we respond to racism, systemic injustice, war etc.? Jesus responded with love. Jesus loved everyone, whether they be rich or poor, man or woman, Gentile or Jew, your name it. I think that Jesus in today’s gospel calls us to “drown” in love those who seek to do harm

 

Let’s pray again today to love more like Jesus: judging less, caring more for the marginalized, and letting God’s love manifest itself to others through us.  Peace. Father Tom

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June 30, 2020 - 

Dear Friends

    Today’s gospel with the disciples being tossed about in the storm raised this question

for me. Jesus met many of his disciples at the seashore....today he meets each of us at the

shore line of today....offers to get in the boat with us and take us into the depth of possibility

the day will offer to each of us. Jesus falls asleep on the journey and needs to be awakened....in

me, perhaps in you too. Again today, when awakened he asks us to look at our fears....the tossing

and turning occasioned by the inevitable storms of life and to share in divine possibilities with

him.....being the calm in the storm! Moving from the shoreline into the depths of new possibilities....

”Pescador de hombres” , smile at us and let us hear you call us by name!     Peace. Father Tom

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June 29, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

     Attached is  Pope Francis homily for today’s feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.   Peace. Father Tom

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June 28, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

     Here’s a meditation on today’s gospel by Amy Welborn Think big! Follow your dreams! Change the world! Make a difference! Set the world on fire!

 

It can be confusing, can’t it? On the one hand, so many voices that they are telling me to find self-fulfillment in doing big, huge things and In attention-getting ways. And as I listen to the Lord, I hear that too. I hear the call to go out to the whole world, to let my light shine. But then there’s this from Matthew today, which seems to be about something different: being small, being less, losing my life. Perhaps they’re not in conflict. Not always at least. But sometimes they might be, and so I check myself and make sure that as I look ahead, as I figure out how to use what God’s given me, I’ve got Jesus‘ words and example of humility at the core of all that I do.

 

Lord, may my small gestures speak clearly of your love.

 

Enjoy this beautiful day. God bless. Father Tom

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June 27, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

     Like the centurion in today’s gospel, we too no matter how good we are,

how obedient we are....we still are not worthy to have our Lord and Savior come to us.

We come with faith.

    First, we need the faith to believe that we really receive Jesus, the total person, in Communion. Having accepted this, we realize that the Eucharist is pure gift. Even though we may have prepared ourselves the best we can for Communion, we still don’t deserve this gift. We can’t earn it. All we can do is humbly receive Christ and give thanks. After all, that is what Eucharist means: thanksgiving.” Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my source will be healed.”     Peace. Father Tom

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June 26, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

     In today’s gospel, Jesus says to each of us what he says to the leper. If you’ve been made

“clean” by the hand of God, if you’ve been made whole by an experience of God‘s mercy, if

you’ve been “caught” in the net of God‘s compassion, never mind trying to find the words

to explain it.  Let your life “show” God‘s presence: be the agent of mercy that you have

received: make a sign make a place for the “leper“ enabling them to be seen as clean and

whole: “catch” others in the same net that caught and saved you.

 

Be the “proof” that God is at work among us.

 

Peace and blessings. Father Tom

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June 25, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

      In today’s gospel,  Jesus tells us , “us everyone listens to these

words of mine and acts  on

them will be like a wise man  who built his house on rock.” The word

he asks  us to build on is

“compassion.”

 

This pandemic has left deep scars around the world .  The  words of today’s psalm are really true

“ may your compassion quickly come to us, we are both very low.” The church tells us that God‘s

compassion is always ready. Always at hand. Suffering can be excruciating, but God‘s presence  is

always available.  I love the words of the song “ Fly Like a Bird” which is based on psalm 139.  

“ When I am down and afraid, when I am feeling afraid...you extend a gentle hand, and I know

you’ll understand...oh, God your presence is real.”

     Let’s pledge ourselves to be a compassionate presence to someone who is hurting today.

Who knows, the heart we may heal might end up being our own.

Have a blessed day, and be a blessing! Father Tom

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June 24, 2020 - 

 

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June 23, 2020 - 

  Dear Friends,

     Commenting on today’s gospel,“ do not give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before swine, less they trample them on underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

 

She writes, pearls before swine is an extreme example, but we give ourselves away in smaller, less recognizable ways all the time . We can be hurt or angry that another person did not value our pearls, but this verse is directed at us: reminding us that we must first honor and value what is Holy about ourselves. We must be wise and discerning about how, when and with whom we share ourselves, whether our pearls are our words, our wisdom, our affection, our  loyalty,  our time, etc.

 

The finest, healthiest venues for giving are relationships that have a common understanding about what is sacred, a shared sense of reverence .

 

Peace.   Father Tom

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June 22, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

    It’s been wonderful welcoming you home to Mass and I thank you for your cooperation in following the directions given by our greeters. These directives come from the diocese and have been prepared in conjunction with health professionals. Some have mentioned that these directives are not being followed in other places. I can’t speak for anyone else...At SSPJ we are following what we have been asked to do to insure as best as possible the health and safety of us all.  At this time I would greatly appreciate more volunteers to serve in the capacity of leading our bothers and sisters to their seats. Training will be provided and your assistance most appreciated. The reason we are seating people and directing the reception of Holy Communion is to prevent as best as possible any cross contamination

within the church. Thank you. Father Tom

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June 21, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

     Happy Father’s Day to all dads! The parish will be praying in thanksgiving for you at all

our weekend Masses. Here’s a Father’s Day blessing shared from Sacred Heart Academy.  

Blessings. Father Tom
 

Loving God, through the gift of our fathers, you reveal your wisdom, love and care.

 

Continue to bless and guide these holy men you have given to us in our lives.

 

Support them in their call to lead holy lives of faithfulness, respect and integrity.

 

May their witness of faith and love shine from them and on their children and families

giving hope and encouragement to all.

 

Bless them for all the ways they lift their children to achieve their dreams.

Bless them for their sacrifice, their forgiveness and their guidance.

 

Bless grandfathers, uncles, brothers, cousins, teachers and coaches

who have shown us love and support.

 

For those fathers who have lost a child or spouse, give them your loving touch of healing

consoling them with your gentle care.

 

For those fathers who have gone before us, bring them to your eternal banquet of joy and peace;

bring them the fullness of union with you and communion with us as we remember their love for us. Amen.

 

(Adapted from Fr. John Thomas Lane, SSS)

 

Happy Father’s Day

 

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June 20, 2020 - 

Dear friends,

 

Today is the feast of the Immaculate  Heart of Mary .  It  makes the point clear: to love with the

humility and the grace of Mary is to allow your heart to break (and more than once ) but love

also enables us to do amazing things for those we love. When we think we’ve done all we can for

someone, we find the resources within ourselves to reach out to them again and again; when

we’re exhausted and spent, we manage to be there for a loved one in need; when we can’t

imagine ourselves possessing the ability to contribute to particular causes or ministries, we

surprise ourselves once we get involved.

 

Mary, the” Immaculate Heart “invites us to step back for a moment, however briefly, to discern

the love of God in the midst of  our lives as we cope with the challenges piercing our own hearts. Like Mary, may we come to know, within the depths of our own hearts, the peace and compassion of God, who, by his grace, enables us to transform our sufferings  and brokenness into the means for re-creation and resurrection.

 

Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us. Enjoy this beautiful day. God bless!  Father Tom

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June 19, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

 

Commenting on his own book,  Mercy: the Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life, Cardinal William Kasper wrote “....start with the Latin term Misericordia, which means mercy. Misericordia means having a heart for the poor-poor in a large sense, not only material poverty, but also relational poverty, spiritual poverty, cultural poverty, and so on. This is not only heart, not only emotion, but also an active attitude -I have to change the situation of the other as much as I can. But mercy is also not opposed to justice. Justice is a minimum that we are obliged to do to the other to respect him or her as a human being - To give him or her what they must have. But mercy is the maximum - it goes beyond justice. Justice alone can be very cold. Mercy sees a concrete person. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the neighbor is the person the Samaritan met in the street. He’s not obliged to help. It’s not a question of justice. But he goes beyond. He was moved in his heart. He bent down in the dirt and helped this man. That’s mercy.”

 

“Moved in his heart “ that’s what it means to follow Jesus: to see beyond designations and labels and classes to embrace a daughter or son of God; to go beyond what is expected or required because we are moved in our hearts. Misericordia -mercy - to have the “heart“ of and for the poor. On this day in which we honor Jesus, the Sacred Heart, may the spirit of mercy and compassion that moved his heart move ours.

 

Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, we place our trust in you.

 

Have a blessed day.   Father Tom

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June 18, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

     In today’s gospel Jesus gives us the Lord’s Prayer. You might remember back to last year when the papers were a buzz with a proposed changed in the wording. Italian and French bishops embraced a change in the version said at Mass, from “lead us not into temptation” to “do not let us fall into temptation.” The change intends to clarify the fact that God doesn’t lead people toward evil. So, if you are tempted toward sin today, why not ask God to lead you elsewhere?   Peace.  Father Tom

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June 17, 2020 - 

 "

Dear Friends,

       I read the following earlier and it brought back a wonderful host of childhood memories....maybe you have similar ones.....or might want to consider the same for you own home....it could be a coming out of quarantine ongoing reminder of God’s love found in our homes....and what we are graced to bring to the world.

     I am delighted to welcome you back to our parish home.

     Thanks to our wonderful maintenance crew who have been able to sanitize the church between Masses, we are now able to resume Mass on Saturday at 5 and Sunday at 8,10 and 12.

     Social distancing requirements at this time allow us to only permit 90 people at each of the Masses.

     Please go to the website and make a reservation. If you have any difficulty doing so, please call the rectory.

Have a blessed day. Father Tom

Click here for - Who is Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati -  a video for children 

June 16, 2020 - 

 "Each of you knows that the foundation of our faith is charity. Without it, our religion would crumble. We will never be truly Catholic unless we conform our entire lives to the two commandments that are the essence of the Catholic faith: to love the Lord, our God, with all our strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves."

— Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

         Peace. Father Tom

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June 15, 2020 - 

  Dear Friends,

        Here is Bishop Barron’s reflection on today’s gospel on turning the other cheek .   Peace. Father Tom

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June 14, 2020 - 

   Dear Friends ,

     Here is another video worth watching.....Bishop Barron cites a frightening Pew Survey which indicates that only 30% of Catholics believe the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist which is the heart of Catholicism.....please watch the video and let’s challenge that percentage...we believe that we receive Jesus Himself...body, blood, soul and divinity and are called to become what we receive....the Body and Blood of Christ.  Let the church of SSPJ say “Amen!”    

Blessings. Father Tom

   

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June 14, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

Here is a wonderful reflection from Pope Francis on today's feast...I'm so happy to have you back! 

God bless.  Father Tom

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June 13, 2020 - 

     Dear Friends,

         Today is the feast of St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231). He is one of the favorite saints for

many. Traditionally Saint Anthony is shown holding the infant Jesus. That begin with a

1580 painting by El Greco showing the Franciscan priest with a large open Bible in which one

can see a very tiny baby emerging from the text. Over time in Christian art the image of the

baby grow to become a life-size child in the arms of the saint sometimes  standing on a much

smaller book and sometimes with the Bible missing altogether. In times of quarantine and

isolation, when we may not be able to enjoy the consolation of Jesus in holy communion, we

can experience the Lord‘s presence in the Bible, which may have gone missing in our lives. If

that’s the case, we can ask Saint Anthony to help us find our lost Bible!.

Enjoy the beautiful day. Father Tom

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June 12, 2020 - 

     

Dear a Friends,
      As you know, traditionally the month of June has been devoted to the Sacred Heart.

It is a wonderful devotion which invites us to share what has been offered to us....

divine love ourselves. What follows is a wonderful invitation to come to know this devotion.

Especially in these troubling times in our nation it is a gift we can try to bring to the table ...

in these re-imagining days to  offer ourselves as Apostles of Hope who desire to reveal the

heart of Christ in a new way in our time. I’d like to begin a Sacred Heart Guild in SSPJ, unique

to us. As you have seen, not too long ago a statue of the Sacred Heart was placed in the corner

of the parking lot. I’ll be praying about the development of this Sacred Heart Guild.....hopefully,

you will join in and it can be our response to healing the wounds in our country.    Peace.  Father Tom

https://www.pathwaystogod.org/my-prayer-life/novenas/novena-sacred-heart2020

https://sacredheartsisters.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Devotion-to-the-SACRED-HEART-secure.pdf

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June 11, 2020 - 

     

Dear Friends,

    Today we celebrate the feast of St Barnabas whose name means “son of encouragement”. Barnabas was a saint maker. He was the one who brought Saul to meet Peter and as you know, Saul later became St Paul. Barnabas was able to see beyond the “mask” and recognized good in ALL others. Hence the name, “son of encouragement.”

    I find it difficult to recognize many people now as they wear a mask. It’s a challenge to look for other good “give always” so as to recognize who that might be. Perhaps that’s what it means to be a “saint maker“ as was Barnabas....to encourage myself first to find new ways of looking for the good and recognize! And as to the wearing of masks....isn’t it true that my/our wearing a mask now in public is to guard against harming you in case there is something wrong with me, not necessarily to protect me from you. That connects I think with what the reading notes how Barnabas “saw the grace of God” he saw the opportunity to put others first by looking for and encouraging the good....a saint maker.

     As do we, Barnabas lived in turbulent times. The pandemic has brought out the best and the worst in people. The basic social fabric is founded on agreeing to exercise one’s freedom in such a way that no harm is brought to another member of society . My freedom extends broadly, and it ends when I can cause you harm or put you in a position where you were less safe.

     As you can probably guess, I’m concerned that all will cooperate and wear a mask to church.

     Let’s  learn from Barnabas.  Be saint makers, look for the good, put others first....and then as happened in Antioch with Barnabas....they’ll know we are Christians by our love.   Peace. Father Tom

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June 10, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

      We just received notification that we will be able to begin the distribution of Holy Communion beginning on Sunday.

      Communion will be distributed at the conclusion of the Mass and it will be imperative that the directions of the ushers be followed.

      All are encouraged to receive Communion in the hand.

      The priests will be the only ones distributing  communion having purified their hands at the conclusion of the Mass, removing the chasuble and putting on a mask.

      The ushers will direct people section by section. All must exit the pew and follow suit.  Please cross arms over chest to signal your wish to not receive Holy Communion.

      Six feet must separate each person.

      A mask must be worn until coming before the priest.

      Communion may not be distributed  or received in the hand if a member is wearing gloves

      Please step to the side after reception, consume the host and replace your mask before

 walking to exit the church.

      Everyone must leave the pew at the time your row is signaled.

     There is no provision to return to the pew after reception of the Eucharist.

      You must immediately exit the church.

      Please make your thanksgiving in the car before leaving. I know this is hard to imagine, it is hard to print but we are being asked to care in a different way of one another as the Body of Christ.

        And, as you know, the building must be sanitized before the next Mass

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June 10, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

    I heard on the news this morning just how well the gardening industry is doing these days....as spring brings things back into bloom and as more time is available to tend the garden. The creation story begins in a garden and that’s Mary Magdalene at first thought the Resurrected Lord was the gardener. You’ve no doubt heard of this being the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si. Here is a short video look into the Pope’s letter.   Peace. Father Tom

https://breakinginthehabit.org/2020/06/10/understanding-laudato-si/

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June 9, 2020 - 

Dear Friends,

     In addition to this prayer, there is also a video of Bishop George Murry, SJ’s public lecture given at Boson College entitled “ Race in the American Catholic Imagination” you might consider .   Peace. Father Tom

https://ignatiansolidarity.net/blog/2020/06/08/video-race-in-the-catholic-american-imagination-bishop-george-murry-s-j/

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June 8, 2020 - Mass directives to date for this weekend - subject to change

Dear Friends,

     This weekend as we begin welcoming limited numbers to celebrate Mass within the church building...we celebrate the Feast of The Body and Blood of Christ....who we are called to be! A people who reverence the Real Presence of Christ who offers Himself to us and dwells within each of us.

      I respectfully request that as we  gradually work out how we again gather in the church building that we each maintain a proper and needed respect for one another.

     Let me make specific the reason for the above request.

Only 90 people are permitted in the church due to

"socially acceptable distancing" . We are currently arranging to

have an online provider arrange reservations  which will be required

for entry. This weekend there will be an 8 am Mass and a 10 am Mass.

  Masks are required for entry. You will be escorted to a seat....meaning

there are no favorite spots at this time. Entry is through the front

center doors only. You are asked not to touch the doors, they will be open

for you.

Reception of Holy Communion is not permitted at this time. At the

conclusion of the Mass, greeters will indicate when it is time for you

to exit your pews beginning from the rear.  We will continue to live stream

the Mass. This  weekend it will be at 10 am.

 

The dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains in

effect indefinitely.

Those who are sick or vulnerable due to age or health conditions are

strongly encouraged to remain at home and view the Mass via live-stream.

 

I ask that we keep in mind that there are many who wish to attend Mass and that if you sign up for one week that the following week you give someone else an opportunity.

 

We will study how this goes this weekend and make needed modifications as we responsibly negotiate a safe regathering..

 

Let’s continue to pray for each other as Apostles of Hope.

 

God bless.

Father Thomas Haggerty

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June 8, 2020 

Dear Friends,

    Here’s something from Take 5 for faith based on today’s readings. It’s called, the Cure For What Ails You

  Pope Francis said that living the Beatitudes means going against the flow of the world. What the world tells us - that wealth brings  security, that power gives us strength, the pleasure makes us satisfied - is the opposite of what Jesus says. Francis asks us to let the Beatitudes “ unsettle us and challenge us , ...demand a real change in the way we live.”  We’ve clearly been up ended in this sense by the current pandemic, and we have learned first-hand that nothing exempts us from vulnerability. Jesus was, is, and always will be our only hope. Live accordingly.       Peace. Father Tom

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June 7, 2020 

This is what we know so far...stay tuned. We hope to have a plan in place shortly for what is realistic for this weekend. As per the directives, weekday Masses at both 7:30 and 9:15 will resume Wednesday.  Masks must be worn, the seats marked indicate approved seating.  There is currently no provision for the reception of communion. An abbreviated weekend schedule is anticipated but not yet determined.

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June 6, 2020 

Dear Friends, 

     Here is a very thought provoking clip .  Don’t Look Away.

                Peace.  Father Tom   

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June 6, 2020 

Dear Friends,

     The poor widow in today’s gospel demonstrates clearly the wonder of a generous heart. She reminded me of one of the prayers of St. Ignatius Loyola

                                                                          Prayer for Generosity

                                                               Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous:

                                                              Teach me to serve you as you deserve,

                                  To give and not want to count the cost, To fight and not to heed  the wounds,

                                               To toil and not to seek for rest, To labor and not to seek reward,

                                                   Except that of knowing that I do your will.  Amen

                                                            Peace.  Father Tom   

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June 5, 2020 

Dear Friends,

       I share with you this prayer to overcome racism.

                Peace.  Father Tom