Second Sunday of Lent

02-25-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As I write this, the parish mission is in full swing, and we've had a fantastic turnout. It is truly a great way to "get us into" Lent. As with anything that involves so many moving parts, it could not have gone so well without the help of a great number of staff and volunteers. So, a big "thank you" is in order to each and every person who helped in any way.

READ MORE

First Sunday of Lent

02-18-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

"The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and He remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan." – St. Mark 1:12-13

We have entered once again into the desert of Lent with Christ. This Lent can be the one that transforms you like no other, if you are willing to open up your heart and allow Christ inside. You have nothing to lose… and literally everything togain.

READ MORE

Lent

02-11-2018Pastor's LetterVery Rev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

First, many thanks to everyone for the compassionate outpouring of love and concern – and chicken soup! – over my recent illness, which kept me from celebrating Mass last Sunday. We are all especially grateful for Fr. Ernie Hepner and Fr. Renaurd West for so willingly jumping in to take Masses so that there was no interruption to our Mass schedule. As I write this column, I am feeling a thousand times better. Thank you!

This Wednesday, February 14, is Ash Wednesday. While it is not a Holy Day, it is nevertheless an extremely important day in the life of every Catholic, who seeks to be a more faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. Masses are at 7am in Old St. Mary's; 8:30AM, 12noon, & 5:30PM in the church; and 7PM (in Spanish) in Old St. Mary's.

READ MORE

Anniversary of the Dedication of the Church

02-04-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

"The anniversary of a church's dedication is celebrated with the rank of a solemnity." - Roman Pontifical, Rite of Dedication of a Church, 27.

This weekend at all Masses, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Anniversary of the Dedication of St. Mary's church (transferred from Feb. 2). The annual celebration of a parish church's dedication outranks even most Sundays of the Church's liturgical year. The true beauty of the Church, of course, is with the capital letter, "C," i.e., the baptized members of the Mystical Body of Christ, of which our church building is an important symbol and has an important function. It is here in this building that we are formed to be the Church living and receive His saving Sacraments. Jesus is the Head and we, the baptized, are the Body (see 1 Cor. 12:12-26). Be who you are called to be – Jesus Christ!

READ MORE

Upcoming Special Events at St. Mary's

01-28-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Friday afternoon, February 2, at the 5:30pm daily Mass, the Church celebrates the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, a.k.a., Candlemas. The theme of Christ as Light pervades this celebration. Traditionally, we bless candles at the beginning of the Mass, which we then use in a short procession. We also bless some of the candles used in the celebration of Mass through the year. You are also welcome to bring candles from home that you will use in your private prayer to be blessed.

READ MORE

New Year of Grace

01-28-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we make our way well into this new year of grace, 2018, here are a couple of reminders of special events coming our way:

Tomorrow, January 22, is a voluntary day of fasting and prayer for Respect for Human Life. All human beings are made in the image and likeness of God, regardless of age or even stage of development. God revealed this Himself by taking on human flesh in the Virgin Mary's womb. There never was a time that His miraculous conception could have been considered "not human." Saint John the Baptist even leapt at the presence of Jesus, newly conceived, in the wombof his own mother, St. Elizabeth.

READ MORE

Website Update and Upcoming Special Events

01-14-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

First, I am excited to announce that we have launched a new, even more user-friendly version of the St. Mary's website. We have several improvements available, including on-line registration, e-giving registration, podcast homilies have returned, and more. Why not make us your home page to keep up with the latest goings on?

We have a few very special upcoming events to be sure to put on your calendar:

READ MORE

Feast of the Epiphany

01-07-2018Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

First, a sincere word of thanks to each person who helped make our Christmas celebrations outstanding and spiritually enriching. Thank you to the wonderful voices and leadership of all of St. Mary's choirs. Hours and hours of practicing go in to bring us such beautiful music. We are grateful for all the volunteers who set up for Masses, especially this year since our beloved sacristan, Ginny Whitaker, has been on medical leave. (Please continue to keep her in your prayers!) Many thanks to our lectors who proclaim the word of God, our extraordinary ministers who help the priests and deacons distribute Holy Communion, our ushers, and those who clean and prepare behind the scenes so well that you and I never know the amount of work it takes. What looks effortless is far from it! Thanks to those who serve the poor, helping us keep the works of mercy at our core. And, of course, a very special word of gratitude to all of our "elves," who decorated our churches and gave us the second largest indoor tree I've ever seen in my life. To all – thank you from the bottom of my heart. You help make St. Mary's great!

READ MORE

The Feast of the Holy Family

12-31-2017Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On this Holy Family Sunday, I offer a reminder of why I start my columns the way that I do. In Judaism of the time of Jesus, your family was your tribe. Aramaic does not have a word for cousin. If you were a member of a tribe, then what we today might term as "cousins" in English were all called brothers and sisters. Today, we make distinctions between first and second cousins, third cousins once-removed, etc. We might help a first cousin because we consider them "close family," but we might ignore the plea of a fifth cousin because they are too distant of a relation. In Jesus' time even they would still be your brother or sister.

READ MORE

Merry Christmas

12-24-2017Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Tonight is the night! Merry Christmas to all! The Christmas Masses, often bring many visitors to our parish, especially family members and friends of parishioners. We pray you find a warm welcome from our family of St. Mary's Church and School. May the love of the Christ Child born of the Virgin Mary bring us true peace deep within our hearts. Below is a short reflection on Christmas from Bishop Robert Barron. –

READ MORE

Gaudéte...Rejoice

12-17-2017Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today is the Sunday of Joy! The name "Gaudete" comes from the official Introit of the Third Sunday of Advent, "Gaudéte in Dómino …"; "Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near" (Philippians 4:4-5). We light the rose candle in the Advent wreath and wear rose vestments, the color of the sky just before the dawn. The Lord is near! We are called to purify our hearts and make straight with joy the paths to Christ our Savior. He comes to us in our humanity, offering us a share in His divinity.

READ MORE

The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

12-10-2017Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This Sunday we give honor to our Blessed Mother Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe. (Although the actual feast is Dec. 12, we move our celebration to the nearest Sunday so as many people as possible are able to participate.) This year, we are making the celebration more accessible to our whole parish with a bilingual Mass at 11am followed by a solemn procession down Park Avenue, returning to St. Angela Hall for an afternoon of fiesta. Even if you went to an earlier Mass, please come join us for the procession and fiesta!

READ MORE

First Sunday of Advent

12-03-2017Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Happy New (Church) Year! We begin a new year of grace in the Church's liturgical life. Advent begins not by looking to Christ's first coming as an infant, but to His glorious second advent – or coming. In the meantime, we learn to wait and prepare.

Here are a couple of suggestions to help make this Advent a real time of preparation. First, the fruitful Catholic discipline of Eucharistic Adoration in Ste Claire Chapel. To spend a half -hour or an hour in the presence of the Lord is not to achieve very much in the sight of the world, but it has immense power to deepen your faith. It is a particularly rich form of spiritual "waiting." As you keep vigil before Jesus truly there in the Blessed Sacrament, bring to Him some problem you have been agonizing over. "Lord, I'm waiting for you to solve this, to show me the way forward. I've been running, planning, worrying, but now I'm going to let youwork." Then, throughout Advent, watch carefully for signs.

READ MORE