I greet you in the name of Jesus. This week I am impressed with the work of our parish volunteers.
The first time I arrived at our parish office, I was taken to a section of the St. Mary Center. I saw huge freezers and I began to wonder what purpose they serve in our community. I was told that they belong to Our Daily Bread, a society within our parish that prepares sandwiches for distribution to the needy in our town. I was deeply impressed. For the past three weeks, I have watched how volunteers go in there and spend hours working as a team preparing sandwiches and other goodies for the needy. This is what teamwork is all about, and what it means to live in a faith community such as ours.READ MORE
Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship (Simon & Schuster, 1959, 1995) writes about our human relationship with God as divine Father. Bonhoeffer says vividly that God is our Father and we are his children with a special bond and an undying love. Bonhoeffer writes, " The child asks of the Father whom he knows. Thus, the essence of Christian prayer is not general adoration, but definite, concrete petition. The right way to approach God is to stretch out our hands and ask of One who we know has the heart of a Father." This passage describes what every Christian needs to do to establish that special bond with God. Prayer is that opening that makes us bond with God beyond any imagination.
Thus, the topic of prayer is wide, and no amount of discussion can cover it. However, we can pinpoint few aspects of prayer that are very important. By itself, prayer is the raising up of our hearts and minds to God through a special connection. Faith is that special connection which we need to talk to the Father, the creator of the universe. But sometimes this special connection has distractions and we find ourselves without proper focus when we set out to pray.READ MORE
I greet you in the name of Jesus. There are a few points to relate this week.
Since the Mass is the center of our worship as Catholics, we need to participate. While the Mass is being celebrated, it is important to respond to the prayers and receive that blessing from God during our worship. By singing, we pray twice as St. Augustine said, "He who sings, prays twice."READ MORE
When we are faced with many options, we tend to choose that which is beneficial to us at any given time. Choosing what is important makes us unique in our tastes and in our vision of life. This is evident in the story of Martha and Mary when Jesus entered their home. While Martha concerned herself with serving Jesus at table, Mary chose to listen to what Jesus had to say. Both chose to act differently when Jesus entered their home.
The reply of Jesus to Martha's choice is an admonition of what she needs to pay attention to at that given time. He said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her." Between Mary and Martha, one of them did what was necessary when Jesus visited their house. Using our intuition to do things at the right time with the right intention makes us unique. You cannot be dancing when your house is on fire, neither can you be at peace when your loved one is sick. You need to act quickly when a challenging situation comes your way.READ MORE
The parables of Jesus teach us how to live the Christian life. By reading them carefully, we can draw many lessons from them. This week's gospel is about how to inherit eternal life. By giving us the examples of how to gain eternal life, Jesus draws our attention on the best way to gain eternal life.
The scholar replied to Jesus based on what was written in the law of Moses. Every Jewish man and woman knew the law by heart; "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." The scholar decided to ask Jesus about who is a neighbor. Jesus did not give a direct answer; he rather gave a parable that answers the question. The story is about a man who fell among robbers and he was left between life and death. Three people saw him by the roadside but only one person, a Samaritan did something to save him.READ MORE
Thanks for the welcome! Fr. Julius Kayiwa and I are happy to work in your midst both at St. Mary's Kingman and Our Lady of the Desert, Dolan Springs. We take these assignments seriously. We see these assignments as our call to duty in the Church and we remain grateful to Bishop Thomas Olmsted and his auxiliary Bishop Eduardo Nevares for trusting us.
Since arriving here, many parishioners are asking the kind of leadership we shall offer. The leadership is that of Jesus and Mary showing us the way. As Parochial Administrator, I have taken time to read a brief history of the parish of St. Mary's. From the 1900s to the present time, many priests have worked here. The parish, therefore, has a long history in which many actors have come and gone. We are here not as actors but as priests ready to continue with the good works of our predecessors. In this way, I shall strive to lead the parish toward understanding the teachings of Jesus as exemplified by the Catholic Church. I shall strive to draw people to the Eucharist via the celebration of daily Mass.READ MORE
Fr. Victor Yakubu will be your new Parochial Administrator.
Most recently, Fr. Yakubu is Parochial Vicar at St. Paul Parish in Phoenix. He will also be parochial administrator of Our Lady of the Desert in Dolan Springs.
Fr. Julius Kayiwa, who was here almost 9 or 10 years ago. He will be your new parochial vicar, as he is now assigned here to Saint Mary and to Dolan Springs under Fr. Victor Yakubu.
My Dearest and Faithful Parishioners,
May Jesus bless you with His peace.
On Wednesday, the 13th of February, I received a phone call around 3:15pm from the Vicar for Priests of the Diocese of Phoenix; namely, Fr. David Sanfilippo. He informed me that Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted wanted me to move to another parish in the Phoenix area, probably Tempe. He explained to me the details, and then asked me if I would accept this transfer. When I asked by what date, he said by July 1, 2019. He waited for my answer. I finally told him yes, that I would be willing to transfer to another parish.READ MORE
We are never alone, especially when we are in Adoration. Our guardian angels and patron saints are delighted to see the souls entrusted to their care come into the presence of the Eucharistic Lord. In fact, when you go to Adoration, you give a special gift to your guardian angel. Their whole mission is to bring your soul to Jesus. Well, we come into the presence of Jesus at every Holy Hour! Take a minute in Adoration to thank your angel for their prayers and their constant, steadfast help, and maybe even offer a prayer for their intentions.
If, after an initial period of silent Adoration, you feel a desire to pray, read or write, then you simply allow yourself to move naturally into whatever activity you feel led to do at each moment. Reading the scriptures, pamphlets, or books is always appropriate, and many people also like to pray the Rosary or make the stations of the Cross. Traditional prayers in preparation for Holy Mass or in thanksgiving after Mass can also be very fruitful, particularly when they are addressed directly to Christ in the Eucharist.
Like St. Faustina, we all need to spend times of silence in the presence of the Eucharistic Lord to let Him minister to us with His healing, merciful love. And we also need these times of silent presence to love Him and make reparation for our sins andthose of the whole world. It is a powerful and effective way to thank Him for His gift of mercy tous and, at the same time, to be “merciful to Him”since the Lord continues to suffer in His Body, the Church.
As we sit in silence before the Lord, we are irradiated by His Eucharistic presence. We all need "radiation therapy"— and to receive it, we only need to be present, just as in sunbathing we only need to be present to the ultra-violet radiation of the sun. Especially in our age, which is so heavily bombarded with words– reading materials, radio, audio tapes, videos, and TV– we all need times to listen to the Lord, who speaks in a very special language called silence.
How beautifully St. Maria Faustina describes her long, silent "talks" with the Lord:
Silence is so powerful a language that it reaches the throne of the living God. Silence is His language, though secret, yet living and powerful.
There is no single “right” way to begin a Holy Hour, but here are some suggestions. Start with body language, making some gesture of profound Adoration, such as genuflecting or bowing to the Lord as a reverent acknowledgement of His Real Presence. Then, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with His gift of praise. Unite your heart with the Heart of Mary, so that you can praise the Lord with the Heart of His mother. Call upon the angels and saints to help you to unite with their heavenly praise and worship. Let your heart be aglow with the Lord’s radiant presence and then follow the longing of your heart. Love Him, thank Him, and praise Him, who is present and loves you. As He tells us through one of the psalm, “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46).
We are never alone, especially when we are in Adoration. Our guardian angels and patron saints are delighted to see the soulsentrusted to their care come into the presence of the Eucharistic Lord. In fact, when you go to Adoration, you give a special gift to your guardian angel. Their whole mission is to bring your soul to Jesus. Well, we come into the presence of Jesus atevery Holy Hour! Take a minute in Adoration to thank your angel for their prayers and their constant, steadfast help, and maybe even offer a prayer for their intentions.
The Eucharist is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. There is no liberal or conservative view of the Holy Eucharist; it is Jesus incarnate God and man. Constantly He invites us to share in the abundant graces He bestows through the Eucharist to those with open hearts. He asks that we take time from our busy lives and the materialism of today. Spend one hour a day, not only to pray, but to LISTEN, silently with your heart.