From the Rector: Prayer for Lent
Mar01

From the Rector: Prayer for Lent

Prayer of petition to live well the holy season of Lent Lord, as we begin the holy season of Lent, I ask you for your help. You have said: “Be converted to me with all your heart”(Joel 2:12). I hunger to do your will. I long to please you in all that I think and say and do. During Lent I want to grow in my love for you. I want to show you my deep sorrow and repentance for all my past sins, offenses and negligence. I know I have often fallen short of what you as my Creator and Father have the right to expect from me. I know that I have often chosen my will over yours. I have given in to pride, greed, envy, anger, impurity, gluttony and laziness. I have often acted against your commandments, deliberately choosing my comfort, pleasure or gain over that which pleases you. I have failed to correspond to your graces. At times I have been indifferent to my faith, my love has been self-centered, I have placed my hope in earthly matters. I have been impatient. I have allowed my senses and imagination to wander. I have frequently failed to think of you, the only source of all that is good in my life. I have often failed to spend time with you in prayer. I have ignored your calls and thought only of myself: my time, my plans, my interests and ambitions. I have not fulfilled my duties to family and friends. I have put off my studies and been lazy about my work. In these and countless other ways I have fallen short of what I should be. But now I want you to know that my soul is filled with sincere sorrow for the wrong I have done and the good I have failed to do. I repent of all my sins and faults and I turn to you, my Father and Lord, to beg your forgiveness. O my Jesus, I count on your grace. You lived and suffered and died on the Cross to redeem me from sin. I trust in your mercy. I will confess my sins to my brother the priest. I will do penance and I will try to convert what has been darkness and sin in my life into works of light. I come to you with the confident words of the repentant thief: “Lord, remember me.” Lord, I know that I need this time of Lent to deepen my sorrow for the past, to do penance by voluntarily denying myself some of the pleasures of this life, to pray more and...

Read More
From the Rector: Bishop’s Annual Appeal
Feb23

From the Rector: Bishop’s Annual Appeal

Bishop’s Annual Appeal My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I am writing to you today to announce the beginning of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal for 2018. Each year, a different theme for the Appeal is chosen in order to highlight the many missions and causes carried out by the Church on a local level. The year 2018 marks two very significant anniversaries. First, it is the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, one of the greatest papal encyclicals of the 20th century. Second, and tragically, it is also the 45th year since the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the Untied States. In keeping with the message of Pope Paul VI, who wrote Humanae Vitae in 1968, our them for this year’s Appeal is “Promoting the Gospel of Life.” In his encyclical, Paul VI foresaw the great damage that would be done to any society that embraced abortion, contraception, and the breakdown of the family. He knew that a society that did not value life from conception to natural death would eventually erode and experience the degradation of the human person in all stages of life, from the poor and homeless, to the sick and disabled, to the weak and elderly. When you contribute to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, through your prayers and donations, you are actively helping the Catholic Church to promote the Gospel of Life. Fifty years ago, Pope Pius VI urged people of all nations that “there must be no relaxation in the programs of mutual aid between all the branches of the great human family.” Programs of mutual aid carried out here in the Diocese of Gallup and supported through this Appeal include: ¨ Bolstering five Catholic Charities agencies which provide food, shelter, clothing, and emergency assistance to people who struggle financially and have nowhere else to turn; ¨ Assisting outlying churches and missions with yearly heating and maintenance costs; ¨ Sustaining care and living support for our retired priest and religious sisters, who have given their lives to serving our families and parishes; and ¨ Providing many of our young students, who otherwise would not be able to afford the tuition to attend the challenging, high-quality learning environment provided by our Catholic schools, with scholarships and school supplies.   From conception to natural death, from kindergarten through retirement age, all of these people are aided through the Church’s mission of promoting life, and in answering a modern world that all too often overlooks the poor and the needy. Near the end of his encyclical Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI wrote, “It is an outstanding manifestation of charity toward souls to omit nothing from the saving doctrine of Christ; but...

Read More
From the Rector: Do you want to Fast this Lent?
Feb15

From the Rector: Do you want to Fast this Lent?

Do you want to Fast this Lent? In the words of Pope Francis ¨ Fast from hurting words and say kind words. ¨ Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude. ¨ Fast from anger and be filled with patience. ¨ Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope. ¨ Fast from worries and have trust in God. ¨ Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity. ¨ Fast from pressures and be prayerful. ¨ Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy. ¨ Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others. ¨ Fast from grudges and be reconciled. ¨ Fast from words and be silent so you can listen....

Read More
From the Rector: Ash Wednesday
Feb08

From the Rector: Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, February 14th (The following is a condensed version of an article by Father Michael Van Sloun, pastor of St. Bartholomew in Wayzata, that first appeared in 2008 in The Catholic Spirit.) The imposition of ashes is a solemn ritual that signals the beginning of the holy season of Lent. The ceremony is distinctive; there is no liturgical action like it throughout the entire church year. The ashes come from a previous Palm Sunday. The palms are burned, the ashes collected and then crushed into a fine, sooty powder and placed into bowls. The ashes are blessed by the priest during the Ash Wednesday Mass after the homily. Then, in a Communion-like procession, people are invited to come forward, and the ashes are applied to each person’s forehead in the shape of a cross as the minister says either, “Turn away from sin and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15), the usual prayer, or “Remember that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19), the older, more traditional invocation. Ashes symbolize two main things in the Old Testament: Death, repentance Ashes are equivalent to dust, and human flesh is composed of dust or clay (Genesis 2:7), and when a human corpse decomposes, it returns to dust or ash. For example, Abraham told God, “I am but dust and ashes” (Genesis 18:27), a reference to his human mortality. Jeremiah described death as a “valley of corpses and ashes” (Jeremiah 31:40). Ashes are an ominous sign, and we use them on Ash Wednesday to remind ourselves of our own impending deaths. Death may come sooner, or it may come later, but it will surely come. And if death is coming, we need to be prepared, and the time to prepare for death is now, and the way to prepare is to live according to God’s ways. When the prophet Daniel shamefacedly clothed himself in sackcloth and ashes, they were a sign of his people’s contrition for their rebellion, wickedness and treachery (Daniel 9:3). When Jonah warned the Ninevites that God planned to destroy their city because of their corruption and depravity, the people covered themselves with sackcloth and ashes as a sign of their intention to turn from their evil ways (Jonah 3:6,10). Ashes are a plea to God for mercy and compassion, pardon and forgiveness. Moreover, they are a public admission of guilt, an expression of sorrow for sins that have been committed, a promise to reform and a pledge to resist temptation in the future. We, too, are sinners. When we come forward to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday, we are saying that we are sorry for our sins, and that we want to...

Read More
From the Rector: Why abstain from meat on Fridays
Feb02

From the Rector: Why abstain from meat on Fridays

Why abstain from meat on Fridays Why is it that the Church instructs Catholics to abstain from meat on Fridays (as well as Ash Wednesday and Good Friday), but gives the “thumbs-up” for Catholics to eat fish? First of all we must ask the question, “why Friday?” The USCCB gives a succinct explanation: Catholic peoples from time immemorial have set apart Friday for special penitential observance by which they gladly suffer with Christ that they may one day be glorified with Him. This is the heart of the tradition of abstinence from meat on Friday where that tradition has been observed in the holy Catholic Church. Since it is believed Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross on a Friday, Christians from the very beginning have set aside that day to unite their sufferings to Jesus. This led the Church to recognize every Friday as a “Good Friday” where Christians can remember Christ’s passion by offering up a specific type of penance. For much of the Church’s history meat was singled out as a worthy sacrifice on account of its association with feasts and celebrations. In most ancient cultures meat was considered a delicacy and the “fattened calf” was not slaughtered unless there was something to celebrate. Since Fridays were thought of as a day of penance and mortification, eating meat on a Friday to “celebrate” the death of Christ didn’t seem right. (As an aside, some bishops have chosen to lift the ban when Saint Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday during Lent, as it is considered a “solemnity” for many Irish Catholics.) But why is fish not considered “meat”? According to the USCCB the laws of the Church classify the abstinence from “land animals.” Abstinence laws consider that meat comes only from animals such as chickens, cows, sheep or pigs — all of which live on land. Birds are also considered meat. Fish, on the other hand, are not in that same classification. Fish are a different category of animal.  Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles (cold-blooded animals) and shellfish are permitted. In Latin the word used to describe what kind of “meat” is not permitted on Fridays is carnis, and specifically relates to “animal flesh” and never included fish as part of the definition. Additionally, fish in these cultures was not considered a “celebratory” meal and was more of a penance to eat. Our current culture is much different as meat is generally considered the cheaper option on the menu and no longer has the cultural connection to celebrations. This is why many people are confused about the regulations, especially those who love to eat fish and do not consider it a penance. In the end, the Church’s intention is to encourage the faithful...

Read More
From the Rector: The Angel of Portugal
Jan26

From the Rector: The Angel of Portugal

The Angel of Portugal Many Catholics already know that Mary appeared to three poor children in Fatima, Portugal in 1917. But did you know about the angel that visited the children before Mary? In 1916, the year before Mary appeared to them, the children Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco were leading their families’ flocks out to pasture when an angel appeared to them. “We began to see,” Lucia later wrote in her memoirs, “in the distance, above the trees that stretched to the east, a light whiter than snow in the form of a young man, quite transparent, and as brilliant as crystal in the rays of the sun.” The angel spoke to them: “Do not be afraid. I am the angel of peace. Pray with me.” He and the children knelt down, and they repeated after the angel this prayer: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You.” When they finished, the angel said this before vanishing: “Pray in this way. The hearts of Jesus and Mary are ready to listen to you.” Another day, the same angel appeared to them a second time. Again, he exhorted them to prayer: “What are you doing? You must pray! Pray! The hearts of Jesus and Mary have merciful designs for you. You must offer your prayers and sacrifices to God, the Most High.” When the children asked what sacrifices they should make, the angel explained: “In every way you can offer sacrifice to God in reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for sinners. In this way you will bring peace to our country, for I am its guardian angel, the Angel of Portugal. Above all, bear and accept with patience the sufferings God will send you.” A third time, the angel appeared to them again – this time holding a bleeding Eucharistic host over a chalice. Leaving the host and chalice floating in the air, the angel knelt and led them in a new prayer: “Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, and I offer You the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. And by the infinite merits of His most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners.” The angel then offered the host and chalice to the children saying, “Eat and drink the...

Read More
From the Rector
Jan19

From the Rector

We have all, no doubt, witnessed the chronic condition in our community of substance abuse, homelessness, and the related lack of food and clothing resources. We would also like to be of some help in bringing relief, but don’t always know how. One of the little steps our parish has made in the past year was to establish an ongoing food collection. We directly distribute the food that is deposited in the entrance of the Cathedral Church, if there is an excess, we contribute it to the local food pantry. Most of us no doubt feel an inner conflict when we encounter the homeless when its connected to substance abuse. We are sometimes afraid that resources we give are enabling the dependance, and also sometimes simply just do not wish to encounter people who are not in a state to be gracious receivers of help we could give. There is of course no easy solution, or else it would have been accomplished long ago. I recently was given a good piece of advice from a person who does homeless ministry. He says that direct aid of money should probably not be given ordinarily. Rather, food, clothing  or other useful goods can be given. I would encourage you to make, and keep in your car a few little lunch sacks with non perishable items in them. What is always helpful is genuine human interaction! It is also always helpful to be able to make good referrals to agencies that are better equipped to deal with the material needs as well as resources for getting out of the circumstances that the people find themselves in. One thing you could and should always offer is prayer. Here are some local agencies that can provide help to people in need and in difficult situations. Catholic Charities 506 W. Hwy. 66 505-722-5272 Food, Clothing, Utilities Sheriff’s Department 300 B. Nizhoni Blvd. 505-863-1410 Gasoline Casa St. Joseph 411 West Wilson Ave. 505-721-5156 Food, Shelter (men and women) Care 66 407 W. Hwy. 66 505-722-0066 Shelter (men and women) Southwest Indian Foundation 100 W. Coal Ave. 505-863-2837 Assistance...

Read More