50 Days of Celebration

04-28-2019Pastor's LetterFr. George Wanser, S.J.

As Catholics, we are called to keep the Easter Celebration alive until Pentecost. That's 50 days of celebration not just at Mass, but throughout our lives of continued recognition of the highest feast day in our Church. Maybe you can choose one thing each week to help you keep it alive. Here are a few suggestions that you might try for a week, or choose your own. Whatever you choose, Peace be with You throughout this Easter Season.

  • Leave your Easter decorations/reminders up for a while
  • Reflect on these words…Christ has Died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again… Alleluia
  • Celebrate all that God has given you by choosing things from your closets, storage, etc. to donate to someone
  • Do a daily prayer of Thanksgiving
  • Spring Clean and make everything sparkle
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Aleluia! He is Risen!

04-21-2019Pastor's LetterFr. George Wanser, S.J.

In the darkened Yup'ik (Eskimo) village of Tutalgaq, yards away from the frozen Yukon River, Fr. Stan Hechman of The Russian Orthodox Church started the vigil services with the following greeting, first in Greek, then in Russian, then Yup'ik, and finally in English:

Cristos aneste. Aleqws aneste.

Christos vos kres. Voyestenu vos kres.

Christusaq unguichcuq. Ee,ee, unguichcuq.

Christ is risen. Indeed, he is risen. Let us rejoice, Alleluia, alleluia.

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Pray the Holy Triduum

04-14-2019Pastor's Letter

As we begin Holy Week, why not pray an Ignatian Contemplation? We begin on Palm Sunday with the passion narrative of Luke. Pick a passage from Luke's passion and imagine yourself as a participant. What do you see? What do you hear? Sense? Taste? Smell.

On Holy Thursday, try the same process with the passage from John 13:1-15. Good Friday's passion is John 18:1-19:42.

Another way to pray the Holy Week Triduum is to open the Gospel of John and read from Jesus' High Priestly Prayer, Chapters 13-17. When you find a phrase that strikes you, stop. Spend some time meditating on that passage. There is more than enough material there to keep you busy for many Holy Week Triduua.

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Welcome Mr. Watson, new St. Francis Xavier School Principal

04-07-2019Pastor's LetterFr. George Wanser, S.J.

Dear St. Francis Xavier Community,

I am excited to announce that Mr. Ryan Watson will be the next principal of St. Francis Xavier Elementary School.

Mr. Watson comes to us from Bourgade Catholic High School where, for the last four years, he has served as Assistant Principal, Dean of Students, and Admissions Director. Prior to his time at Bourgade, he was the Assistant Principal at St. John Bosco Elementary School in Ahwatukee. He is originally from Louisville, Kentucky where he attended Catholic elementary and high school. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Biology from the University of Louisville and his Master's Degree from Arizona State University. We are tremendously blessed to welcome such an experienced, joyful, and charismatic school leader who is so respected throughout the Diocese of Phoenix.

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Look at Yourself through God's Eyes

03-31-2019Pastor's LetterFr. George Wanser, S.J.

Today's gospel shows the paradox that the Man Born Blind is truly the only one in the passage who can actually see.

Let us attempt to see ourselves and others through God's eyes.  God knows us.  God loves us.  God is aware of all of our faults and shortcomings and loves us anyway.

God's great commandment is to love God, our neighbor, and ourselves.  Maybe for this coming week, we should look at ourselves through God's eyes and come to know and love in ourselves what God sees in us.   Placing ourselves in God's loving embrace, we can better recognize and love what we see in others around us.

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"If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts."

03-24-2019Pastor's LetterFr. George Wanser, S.J.

The Samaritan woman at the well heard Jesus' voice and she opened up her heart to him.

The story of the Woman at the Well is replete with a graphic narrative that makes it an ideal passage for an Ignatian contemplation.

Read the passage and see what strikes you. Go through the passage yet again. This time imagine yourself in the passage. Apply your five senses. What do you see? What do you smell? Hear? Taste? Touch?

In your mind's eye, go through the passage a third time and become an active participant. Do you have questions for the woman at the well? What would you like to say to her? How does she respond?

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Needs of the Asylum Seekers

03-17-2019Pastor's LetterFr. George Wanser, S.J.

I fell in love with a 3-year-old girl, Magaly, at the bus station yesterday.

Several volunteers were assisting refugee asylum seekers to get in contact with their sponsor families. As I walked around, my three-year-old helper followed me everywhere!

The needs of the asylum seekers are simple:

  • The use of a phone to contact their sponsor families to obtain their bus/airline tickets
  • An overnight place to stay for 1-2 nights at the most, a cot, a shower, snacks and clothing
  • Hooded sweatshirts, pants in Men's sizes 30 or smaller, all kids clothing, especially shoes
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Universal Apostolic Preferences

03-10-2019Pastor's LetterFr. George Wanser, S.J.

In the spirit of collaboration, we received this from our neighbors next door (Brophy College Preparatory):

Two weeks ago, Fr. Arturo Sosa, SJ, superior general of the Society of Jesus, announced the four principles that will guide the work of the Jesuits for the next decade. Called the "universal apostolic preferences," they might strike those of us "in the trenches" of everyday life as lofty ideals to be embarked upon only by top Jesuit leadership. In fact, they represent the beauty of Ignatian spirituality – their relevance and easy adaptation give us wonderful personal tools as we seek to grow in faith and care for others. What better time than the beginning of Lent to think about how we might put these principles to work in our own lives?

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New Directive of the Society of Jesus

03-03-2019Pastor's LetterFr. George V. Wanser, S.J.

Pope Francis has approved the universal apostolic preferences of the Society of Jesus. Jesuits and Jesuit apostolates throughout the world will commit to promote discernment and spiritual exercises, walk with the excluded, care for our common home and journey with youth.

In the months ahead, St. Francis Xavier Parish and School, Brophy College Prep and Creighton Medical School will be discerning how to best implement the directives of the Society and our Holy Father. Let us all pray that we may work together to promote these common goals.

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Take Jesus' Words to Heart

02-24-2019Pastor's LetterFr. George V. Wanser, S.J.

1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23
1 Cor 15:45-49
Luke 6:26-37. Luke's Beatitudes and SEron on the Plain certainly give the average Christian plenty of food for thought. Deacon Klein's holily last Sunday sparked quite the controversy.

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Blessed are WE

02-17-2019Pastor's LetterFr. George V. Wanser, S.J.

Try reading this week's Gospel passage from the perspective of "the poor." Instead of thinking of the poor as a social class, try thinking of the poor as those who know their need for God. For Jesus, the "Anawim" (the poor) are WE who have surrendered ourselves to God. Jeremiah sets the images and Luke brings them home. Blessed are WE when we trust in the Lord and surrender our lives to Him.

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Let's Go Fishin'!

02-10-2019Pastor's LetterFr. George V. Wanser, S.J.

Isaiah the prophet and Simon Peter the fisherman, both pleaded unworthiness when they were called by God. At Mass, right before Communion, we acknowledge our unworthiness and say with the Centurion, “speak but the word, and my soul will be healed”. Unworthy that we are, Christ calls us to be fishers of menand women. Jesus has given us a mission, so grab your fishing poles and let's go fishin’!

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A Labor of Love

02-03-2019Pastor's LetterFr. George V. Wanser, S.J.

Today’s second reading, 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13, is St. Paul’s hymn of love. Try reading the hymn and in every place that it says, “Love, replace it with God”. It helps put all of our endeavors in perspective. Without God is Love as our driving force, we have nothing.

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