Ordinary Time and Father’s Day

This Sunday is the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. The liturgical color is green as you can see from the vestments worn by the priest. The Church has completed the Lent and Easter Season and now moves into Ordinary Time which will lead up to the Feast of Christ the King just before Advent begins.

Ordinary Time as a liturgical season is anything but ordinary in the traditional sense. It is a season which reflects the cycles of life on earth and salvation history. We hear from the Gospel the teachings of Christ which are meant as encouragement to grow in faith. The green color chosen for Ordinary Time is reminiscent of our growing more faithful. Green becomes a sign of hope.

This weekend is Father’s Day. It is a time for cookouts, ties, and homemade gifts. As Catholics, we can also use the day to reflect on the Fatherhood of God, since it is the foundation of all fatherhood, the natural fatherhood of the family and also a priest’s spiritual fatherhood. As fathers, we are to reflect the compassion, love, and sacrifice of God our father, who is kind, merciful and strong.

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This is a job that is not always easy, yet possible with God’s grace. It is especially appropriate to say thank you to God for the blessings of our fathers. We can also remember them in our daily prayers, especially those who have died. Sadly, if by chance, your father reflected a distorted view of fatherhood, excessive cruelty or abandonment we can use this day to pray for healing and strength.

Blessings, Father Dooley

QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT Do I have a sense of hope in God’s goodness when I hear the Sunday Gospel? Am I trying to learn more about my faith during this ordinary time? How do I invite Christ Jesus into my life daily? Do I have a positive understanding of God’s fatherhood?

Love and Marriage

June is the traditional time for weddings in the Church to take place. Married love has always been seen as an icon, a picture, which reflects the love that God has for humanity and also helps us understand the relationship that the Church, the bride, has with Christ, the bridegroom. In society today there have been successful attempts to move away from this understanding of marriage. What began in the 1960’s with the separation of procreative nature of marriage by the use of contraception, leads directly to the complete redefinition of marriage so it is no longer just between one man and one woman.

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Fifty years ago Blessed Pope Paul VI issued an encyclical “Humanae Vitae,” (on human life) where he restated the traditional teaching about Love and Marriage and the immoral use of contraception in marriage. Secular society promised many fantastic things with the advent of birth control – women would be more respected, there would be no unwanted children, poverty would be alimented and so forth.

However, Blessed Paul could see the falsehoods and warned against the use of contraception in marriage. He could see that marital infidelity would rise and there would be a lowering of moral standards of society. A man’s reverence for a woman would be destroyed. Power hungry governments may force contraception on a nation. (China’s one-child policy) Blessed Paul VI called all people to live lives based on the natural law and the divine law of love. Sadly his warning went unheeded even by the clergy and the lay faithful.

Blessings, Father Dooley

QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT How do I understand married love? Does the use of contraception in marriage weaken love? Does the Church have a responsibility to proclaim hard truths about sex and marriage?

Corpus Christi

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, or more commonly known as “Corpus Christi”. This great feast of the Catholic Church was instituted in the Thirteenth century to honor Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. In 1263 at Orvieto, Italy a Eucharistic Miracle happened. A consecrated host began to drip blood on to the corporal. The next year Pope Urban asked St. Thomas Aquinas to compose hymns and prayers which composed the Mass of Corpus Christi. Today we joyfully thank Our Lord for the great gift of his own body and blood truly contained in the Blessed Sacrament.

The Church calls the Eucharist “The source and summit of the Christian Life” (Sacrosanctum Concilium no.47) because it is Christ himself who has promised to remain with His church until the end of time. The Blessed Sacrament, reserved in the tabernacle, has been the source of sanctity for countless saints, martyrs, virgins, missionaries and teachers who have fallen in love with the Lord. They were nourished by the Eucharistic in Holy Communion and strengthened by prayer before the Lord in the tabernacle. The Blessed Sacrament should have a profound effect in our lives as members of his mystical body, the Church.

Today the Church urges all her children to renew their devotion to the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. When we spend time in prayer before our Eucharistic Lord we come to adore, ask for forgiveness, give thanks, and petition Him for our needs, the needs of our family, our country and the world as well. (So get to Church early before mass) United to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament we find our strength to remain faithful to the call of holiness. Christ himself becomes our food and companion on our pilgrimage of life.

Blessings, Father Dooley

QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT

Is my faith strengthen when I receive Holy Communion? What is the connection between the Tabernacle and the altar? How could I increase my devotion to the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament?

Memorial Day

This weekend is a time when people recognize the brave men and women who gave their lives in the Armed Forces of our nation. The roots of Memorial Day are found during the Civil War when women in the South began placing flowers on the graves of their beloved dead. Today we not only remember the War dead but all the faithfully departed.

Now is an excellent opportunity to think about our own funeral. Where do you want your funeral to be held? Several years ago a wonderful faithful Catholic widow died but since her children had fallen away from the practice of the Catholic faith they held her funeral at an Evangelical Church. The family then had the nerve to ask if the Catholic parish could host the luncheon. Now I know this may be an extreme case but it reminds us that sometimes those planning the funeral may not value the importance of the Mass. During a Funeral Mass, the merits of Christ’s sacrifice celebrated at the altar are applied to the deceased, healing the soul from the wounds caused by forgiven sins. We commend the souls of the deceased into the hands of God. We pray that God will forgive their sins and remember them with love.

If your surviving family members are away from the Catholic faith I would encourage you to write out your instructions for your funeral. Share your instructions with your family members, your pastor, and whatever funeral home you would like to use. In this way, there might to an opportunity to welcome family members back to the Catholic Church because mom or dad had a Funeral Mass.

Blessings, Father Dooley

QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT Do I value the Mass and see it as healing for the wounds of sins? Does my family attend Catholic Mass? Would it be helpful to survivors to know what I want for my funeral?

May

May is an incredibly busy month for us all. There are high school and college graduation ceremonies and spring weddings to attend. We also honor Mothers for all the tireless work they do for the family.

There are several saints to remember in the month of May too. St. Joseph the worker was placed on the calendar May 1st by Pius XII to challenge the Communist and their May 1st celebration. St. Athananius who fought against the Arian heresy is remembered. Apostles Phillip and James are remembered on May 3rd. St. Matthias, who was elected to replace Judasn and joined the other Apostles is honored in May. On May 15th we remember St. Isidore who is the patron saint for farmers. (I saw his tomb in a beautiful Chapel in Madrid Spain, and Yes, I said a prayer for you farmers). St. Bernardine of Siena, who preached greatly about the Holy Name of Jesus, even to the point of having “Jesus” written into the Hail Mary is remembered in May.

St. Philip Neri feast day is May 26th. He founded an Oratory group of priest where life was centered on spiritual readings, singing and works of charity. We conclude the month with the feast of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary which is the second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary.

Congratulations all the families that have participated in our new religious education program “A Family of Faith.” This first year we looked to the Creed for teaching the children at home. Next year we will study the sacraments. Remember the motto, “Faith is caught in the home, it’s not taught at Church.”

Blessings,

Father Dooley

QUESTIONS: Do I have a devotion to Mary, the Mother of God? Have I found comfort knowing that the Saints are praying for me? Do I try and step back when the month gets so busy? Is it important for me to hand on the faith to my children?

Honoring Mary

In our Catholic Tradition during the month of May, we honor Mary the mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She is, after all, our mother in the order of grace. The prayer which is often associated with Catholicism and the Mother of God is the “Hail Mary.” It has its’ roots too in the Sacred Scriptures. “Hail (Mary) full of grace. The Lord is with you.” (Lk. 1:28) comes from the greeting of the Angel Gabriel to Mary nine months before Jesus’ birth. The next line of the prayer, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, (Jesus),” comes from the mouth of Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, when Mary went to help Elizabeth in her pregnancy. (Lk. 1: 42) The prayer concludes with a petition asking that Mary intercede for us now and at the hour of our death. We can ask Mary who is in heaven and fully alive to place our prayers before the throne of God.

Today at St. Mary’s Parish we will dedicate the new Crucifix hanging above the sanctuary. The image, “Mother under the Cross” finds its’ roots in a vision to Sr. Lucia of Fatima in 1929. She saw a cross with Christ’s blood dripping onto a host and then into the chalice. Our Lady of Fatima was beside the cross. This Sunday we will dedicate the Cross during Mass and the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in the courtyard following Mass. Many fail to understand the full revelation of Fatima in the history of the Church and the World.

Remember the words of Mary at the wedding feast of Cana, “Do whatever he tells you.” If we draw close to the mother she will lead us to her son, our savior, Jesus Christ.

Blessings, Father Dooley

Questions: Do I see Mary leading me to her Son? When was the last time I prayed using the Rosary? How can I honor my mother in the order of grace? Have I considered doing a Marian Consecration?