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Fr. Thomas Joseph
A successful 1st Annual Prayer Garden Festival!
July 23, 2017 – SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Krista in the Catholic Spirit! Recently, Krista was featured in the Catholic Spirit. Following in the footsteps of her mom, Krista was a member of the Archdiocesan delegation that recently traveled to Kenya. Krista has a passion for nursing and wanted to do something extra for the well-being of girls in Kenya. Krista fundraised to purchase 100 kits from Days for Girls, a Washington-based nonprofit for girls' health worldwide. Krista loves being around people, and she dared to travel all the way to Kenya. Her love for people paid off as she saw the reaction of the grateful Kenyan girls. She said, 'They thought this is the greatest thing ever.' At 16 years of age, Krista opened herself to the world, to live and breathe the words of Mother Teresa: 'Lord, increase my faith. Bless my efforts and my work now and forever.' Read the entire article from the Catholic Spirit by visiting: http://thecatholicspirit.com/news/local-news/delegates-kitui-say-cultural-exchange-faith-sharing-partnerships-benefits/.
Message of Love that grows (Reflection from Last Sunday)! Last Sunday, we reflected that no matter how often we hear the word 'Love,' it is love that rules the world. The Prayer Garden celebration we had last weekend is an expression of that love. Love is so powerful that we cannot ignore it. Love simply comes out if you let it come out of your heart. As St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta would say, 'Let no one come to you, going away, not feeling better and happier.' People of love, always remain committed that the love within be brought out lest it go into sleep. When you find people that may not speak the same language as you, who may not look like you, let God-given love do its work. You will create smiles all around. You do not have to walk upside down to make people happy--simply let the love within you do its job. Let it come out instead of hiding cowardly. A number of people commented and thanked me for being very forceful and precise in talking about love last weekend. My response was, 'Sometimes I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit strongly. I simply spoke from my heart as I could not contain that love for people.' People of God, we are people of love--love is already within you so let it come out of you. Even if it is uncomfortable, let the love within you do the talking. *Joan Nevin is a kind soul who is always sensitive to what is going on in the neighborhood and is always in a hurry to spread kindness. She shared this poem of love for us to release the love within us:
As I sit here contemplating this new day,
I know God will bless me in his way.
The aches, the pains, they will diminish,
As my prayers, I will finish.
I cannot dote on this negative way,
Because then I will miss this beautiful day.
The sun, the sun, who says, "Smile Joan, you are blessed."
Give that smile to people you see who are depressed.
One never knows when a smile will be a saving grace.
One person, who sees that smile, may put them in a better place.
That life is good and they are blessed,
And as I lay my head upon my bed,
I know now, that I can truly rest.
God bless all my family & friends. Joan Nevin
Successful First Annual Prayer Garden Festival! Thank you, good people, who supported the success of our First Annual Prayer Garden Festival. We raised almost $14,000 last weekend despite the hot weather. We thank all of you who supported this event directly or indirectly; for all those who didn't participate in any way, we hope you will release the love within you more and let it grow and grow.
Fall Festival! Our Fall Festival will be September 9-10 this year. You know the tradition of the age-old Fall Festival and we are confident you will take an active part in it. For those of you who missed our First Annual Prayer Garden Festival, the Fall Festival is a make-up opportunity. Mark your calendar and plan to attend. As you hear requests, respond please.
Updates on our Parish Center Project! Since we opened the topic of the Parish Center construction & expansion last weekend, there has been a lot of interest and input. There will be an opportunity for you to participate formally, through a survey, a town hall meeting, etc. For the time being, think about what would be your dreams and hopes for the Parish Center? Do you think construction/ renovation of the Parish Center is important? Is it something that will further strengthen the well-being of our city set on a hill? Currently, we are working hard to secure some potential candidates for the building committee with people of diverse backgrounds. We are also looking into the possibility of getting some drawings so that you have an idea what the expanded/renovated building might look like. Pray that the hands of God will move this dream project along with the wise men and women who will be a part of this committee to guide us in the right direction.
Dear Padre! Why is the Catholic Church closed-minded? G. K. Chesterton, the famous Catholic Apologist, wrote, 'the purpose of an open mind, like that of an open mouth, is to close it on something solid.' In other words, being open-minded does not mean that one should let anything and everything go through one's mouth; but be open to receive anything that is good, holy, Godly and be guarded against the unhealthy. We often reflect here at St. Nicholas, that the Catholic Church knows that none of us, including law-makers of the church laws, lives up to them all the time. Yet, the Church has such high standards so that people will dream big, think big and will never be content being lukewarm or doing the minimum. When Jesus says, "So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect," (Matthew 5: 48), He knows we will not be perfect at all; however, Jesus wants us to strive after perfection. Certain church laws and expectations might seem hard to fulfill, even harsh. However, the goal is not to punish us but to remind us we are greater than who we think we are; we are capable of doing much greater things than we think we can.
No law that the church has established is to punish us, but to push us in the right direction, wanting us to be more and more like Jesus Christ. To conclude, the Church is certainly not closed-minded but it cares about the well-being of our soul and body so much that it wants us to see that humans are made in the image and likeness of God and are not just social animals trying to survive and get by. [Ideas partially taken from: Pinto, Matthew J. Did Adam & Eve Have Belly Buttons? West Chester: Ascension Press, 1998. Print. Page 64-65.]
Happy Feast of St. Joachim and Anne, Parents of Mary! Every year on July 26th, we celebrate the Feast of St. Joachim and Anne, parents of Mary. We do not find the names of Joachim and Anne in the Bible, but get their names through Tradition.
This is a lesson for us: we cannot be obsessed saying, 'Bible Only,' rather we should be open to many good things, like the information on the Grandparents of Jesus, (Joachim and Anne) that come to us through Tradition. If it was not for Tradition, we would not have many commentaries and writings that help us understand the Bible better. St. Joachim and Anne, Pray for us.
Sunday Reflection! The Gospel for this Sunday is from Matthew 13 in which Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds saying, 'The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?' He answered, 'An enemy has done this.' His slaves said to him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' He replied, 'No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, 'First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.' Dear brothers and sisters, at times you have witnessed people's frustration, or, you yourself were frustrated, asking yourself why bad people exist and why do bad things happen? In times of frustration, remember the example of the master in this parable.
When the Master learned of the weeds, he was not in a hurry to get rid of them, fearing the good crop could be destroyed unintentionally. Ask yourself, 'when I hear that bad things are happening, am I in a hurry and make hasty decisions, or, am I like the Master in the parable, staying patient and calm, waiting for the right time to do the right thing?
In Christ Jesus,
Fr. Thomas Joseph
The Archdiocesan permanent deacon formation program will begin the discernment and application process this fall for admission to Aspirancy (novitiate) in fall 2011. Men married or single and at least 30 years old can begin now by: 1) applying to the prerequisite Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Catechetical Institute that begins on Monday evening, September 13 (go to the St. Paul Seminary webpage at http://www.stthomas.edu/spssod/ for an application or call 651-962-6890), and 2) attending our “Diaconate Inquiry Course” on Tuesday evenings Oct. 26, Nov. 2, Nov. 9 and Saturday morning Nov. 20 at the St. Paul Seminary. This course will introduce men (and their wives) to the vocation, spirituality, and role of the permanent deacon in the Archdiocese and will explain the discernment, application, and formation process. Those who cannot attend this fall may attend one of the courses offered next winter or spring. For more information on the Diaconate Inquiry Course, contact Deacon Russ Shupe at (651) 291-4428 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Even if you cannot apply for diaconate formation now, you may still attend the Diaconate Inquiry Course to learn more about this unique vocation in the Church.