Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This Sunday I invite you to turn your attention to Mark 9:17-29. Here Jesus heals a boy with a mute spirit. The boy is brought to Jesus by his father. The man says to Jesus, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a mute spirit; and wherever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” Jesus has just come down from being transfigured and he is met by this man. Commenting on their faithlessness, Jesus then invites the man to bring his son to Him. However, this leads to the spirit convulsing the boy. One can hear the agony in the father’s voice as he tells Jesus, “...if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.” Mark tells us that Jesus responds thus, “If you can! All things are possible to him who believes.”READ MORE
This week I would like to propose another father figure as a point of prayer and reflection. The man this week is Jairus whom we encounter in Mark 5 (below) and Matthew 9. We read:
"When Jesus had crossed again [in the boat] to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea. One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, "My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live." He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him. While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official's house arrived and said, "Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?" Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, "Do not be afraid; just have faith." He took along the child's father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was. He took the child by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum," which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise!" The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around."READ MORE
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This week I'd like to turn our attention to another father figure in the New Testament. Zebedee was the father of two apostles, James and John. We do not receive any words from him in written form, but there is still much to glean from what the Scriptures do tell us. Let's take a look:
"And going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and follow him." (Mt. 4:21-22)READ MORE
Happy Pentecost! This Sunday, 50 days since Easter, the Church celebrates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the day traditionally recognized as the birthday of the Church. On this day the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles like "tongues as of fire." The image of fire is one of strength, purification, and courage. For the first Christians the gift of the Holy Spirit was important because He did for them what He desires to do for us. That is, to fill us with his love and be strengthened and prepared to spread and defend the Gospel.
In this month of June I'd like to propose St. Joseph as a model of obedience to the Holy Spirit. I hope to reflect on fatherhood throughout June taking texts from the Gospels. St. Joseph seems an exceptional saint to begin with as we celebrate Pentecost. The Scriptures share no words that he ever uttered. Everything that we hear from him is about his desire to be a just man, his discerning heart, and his action. St. Matthew tells us that when Joseph discovered his betrothed was with child "being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly. But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife…'" (Mt. 1:19-20).READ MORE
Dear Friends In Christ,
In today's Gospel Jesus tells the disciples, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you." We find this as Jesus begins the Last Supper Discourse. He is inviting the disciples to reflect on the peace that only comes from heaven. He knows full well that He will be crucified in the name of peace. The authorities believe that things will be better if He is not present. Because of this, they seek to attain peace through violence. Any peace attained in this way cannot last. This is precisely what Jesus is reminding his disciples, He offers a peace that truly endures.READ MORE
A very happy Sunday to you! I would like to consider once again during the month of May the Mother of God, especially this special title which honors her maternity. In Greek, this term is Theotokos, which means "God-bearer". Mary, having given birth to Jesus Christ, is forever called the Mother of God. This esteemed role is one that brings us confidence. God, not satisfied to merely send His Son for our salvation, also raises a lowly woman of Israel to be a pivotal instrument in this drama. She no longer stands as a face in the crowd, but the one who is blessed "among women".READ MORE
Christians to echo, especially Christian mothers. Those beautiful words, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38), can become our prayer too.
As Christians, we are not called to wait on the sidelines, but to join the hymn that says, "Let it be to me according to your word." Our prayer, our relationship with God, is meant to overflow our hearts. Prayer is not merely a passive activity, but active as well. At Mass, before the "Holy, holy, holy" we say, "May our voices join with theirs", that is, with the choirs of angels. God invites our prayer to move us to action, maintaining an awareness of His presence all the while. In the same way that Mary's "yes" gave life to the Word of God, Jesus Christ, so we are called to receive the invitation and give life to God's Word in the world.READ MORE
This week our parish is very fortunate to be able to host the heart of St. John Vianney. This special relic has been on a tour of the United States and we are grateful to welcome it here. It will be available for veneration from 7pm-10pm tomorrow, May 6. St. John Vianney was a parish priest from France who served in Ars from after the French Revolution until his death in 1859. He is the patron saint of parish priests. Among the many things he is famous foris that he would often spend 12 hours a day hearing confessions. He was said to have the gift of reading hearts. This beautiful prayer is one that he often prayed:READ MORE
A very happy Divine Mercy Sunday to you! What a beautiful gift of the Church that we can devote this Second Sunday of Easter to celebrating God’s mercy. Whether we realize it or not his mercy has been present from the moment of our baptism, when God first invited us into His family and gave us the grace of truly calling Him “Father”. This has been his invitation from baptism, that we would recognize that God is not distant, but desires to be in relationship with us as a father is to his children.READ MORE
Jesus Christ is Risen! Our journey through Lent has reached its endpoint, this glorious Easter Sunday. This is the day that Jesus continually speaks of in the gospels as He referenced the need for the Son of Man to die, but on the third day rise. When He told the disciples this after the Transfiguration, St. Mark tells us that they asked each other what "rising from the dead" could mean (Mk 9:9-10). This is the day that brings clarity to the confusion the disciples felt and in a very real sense to our own confusion.READ MORE
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On this Palm Sunday we have begun the Holy Week in which we celebrate the sacred mysteries of our salvation by Christ's final days on earth. Today we start with his triumphant entrance into the Jerusalem. The solemn procession at the beginning of Mass is re-enacted by us through the sacramental of blessed palms carried by us, the beloved children of God.
The Lenten season concludes this Thursday and the Easter Triduum begins. The Mass of the Lord's Supper is celebrated on the evening of Thursday at 7:00 PM (Bilingual) followed by Eucharistic Adoration at an altar of repose until midnight. In this liturgy, Christ takes his disciples into the upper room for the Passover. Then we accompany him to the garden of Gethsemane and then we follow him to his bitter passion.READ MORE
Dear Friends in Christ,
It is a great joy for me to introduce myself to all of you. My name is Father Dan Connealy and for the past three years I have served as a priest in Flagstaff, Arizona at San Francisco de Asis parish and Holy Trinity Catholic Newman Center on the campus of NAU. I am very grateful and humbled that Bishop Olmsted has appointed me Parochial Administrator of this wonderful parish.
I was born and raised in Phoenix. I am the 6th of 8 children, three of my brothers and sisters still live here in the Valley. Growing up at Most Holy Trinity parish, I attended elementary school there through 8th grade. I then attended Shadow Mountain for high school where I played baseball, basketball, and swimming. After graduating I went to the University of Pittsburgh on a swimming scholarship. It was in Pittsburgh that I first began to seriously discern a call to the priesthood. The Newman Center there had a perpetual adoration chapel which I was able to stop in at before going to swim practice. In the silence there I felt the Lord's continued invitation to consider the priesthood. After two years in Pittsburgh I left to enter the seminary.READ MORE