Several months ago, Pope Francis convoked the Synod on the Synod. There have been many such gatherings throughout the history of the church. This one would be different: the impetus would come not from the top down, but it would start by hearing first from the people of God. What are your hopes, your dreams, your fears for all of us as church who despite our different backgrounds and differences hold the same faith in Jesus Christ?READ MORE
A very Happy Easter to all of you! Remember two years ago when we hoped to celebrate Easter in person and that did not happen? It was one year ago on Palm Sunday when we reopened the church with a full schedule of Masses and many of you cautiously returned.READ MORE
Oscar Romero was born on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1917, in Ciudad Barrios, a mountain village in El Salvador near the Honduran border. He was the second of seven children. Romero's father wanted him to be a carpenter and as a young man he showed considerable promise. But he felt a strong call to the priesthood and pursued that vocation.
Romero studied in Rome and was ordained to the priesthood in 1942. He became a parish priest and later a seminary rector. He recognized the effectiveness of radio as a means of evangelizing and convinced five radio stations to broadcast his homilies and pastoral reflections. He continued to rely on the electronic pulpit throughout the remainder of his life, making it a popular platform for his ministry.READ MORE
I once got out of a traffic ticket because I remembered the altar boy’s first response to the priest in the traditional Latin Mass. It comes from Psalm 43: “I will unto the altar of God. To God, who gives joy to my youth.” That is how the Mass began: responding to a call to the altar. An altar call is a tradition in some Christian churches in which those who wish to make a new spiritual commitment to Jesus Christ are invited to come forward publicly. It is tempting to see this as something done only in Protestant churches and yet, for the past several weeks, we have been doing the very same thing in our communion procession. Now we all come to the altar to receive the Eucharist or a blessing. Our “Amen” affirms our belief in the real presence and a renewal of our own spiritual commitment to Jesus Christ. Today after the homily you will receive a special invitation to come to the altar to place your Stewardship Commitment card in a basket. Too often stewardship is seen only as a monetary contribution rather than a fuller service commitment of time and talent as well. It is for this reason that I am asking you to make this special trip to the altar today as a symbol of your love of and ongoing commitment to St. Francis Xavier parish and GodREAD MORE
When I was Novice Director I would explain to my young (and not so young) charges that as Jesuits they will travel a lot and at the end of the day they may not remember if the bed was comfortable or if the meals were tasty, but they will certainly remember if they felt welcomed in a community of brothers they hardly knew.READ MORE
Normally during the year our Sunday readings have a central theme running through the first (Old Testament) and third (Gospel) readings. That is, except the Easter Season.
Throughout the Sundays of Easter joy we are treated to a history lesson in our first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles. This is the story of how, after Jesus’s ascension, our first communities of faith began. In many ways it is hard to imagine that the same people who turned their backs on Jesus in his hour of greatest need are the same folks now fearlessly going out into the streets to preach, getting arrested and persecuted for His name.READ MORE
The fourth and final week of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius is Jesus risen from the dead. Since we are always living in the time of Jesus resurrected, the retreat never really ends. During the retreat, the retreatant is asked to pray for a specific grace, one geared to the spirit of that particular week. The grace for the fourth week is to enter into the joy of Jesus raised from the dead. This is more difficult than one would image. (Most of us find it easier to remain in the third week of Jesus’s passion and death, especially after this past year because of all we have lost).READ MORE