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14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 9, 2017

Dear People of God,

Today we celebrate the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Jesus oftentimes surprised people with unexpected wisdom from unexpected sources. He challenges us to be open to new knowledge coming from places we may not expect. We have probably all met people who seem to “know it all,” who have all the answers, and only one correct way to do something. Jesus invites the wise and learned “know-it-alls” of His day to change their hearts. He affirms the little, the less learned, and perhaps the wiser ones. They seem to be more willing to learn from Him. They are open to the discipline, the yoke He offers, that is easier and less burdensome than the scrupulosity of their religious leaders. Jesus is always leading us to Him, not through laws and rules that can’t make us righteous, but to a heart open and ready to learn from Him for He is gentle and humble of heart.

On my second week here at St. Luke, I am meeting more and more people and beginning the arduous task of learning new names and faces. I will be working hard to learn your names. (You have it easier with just learning one.) Many of you have met my “kids,” my three Springer Spaniels, and once again, their names are Hilda (black and white) who’s 7, Maggie (liver and white Tricolor, the barker), who is 6, and Carlson (black and white Tricolor) who turns 5 in a few months. They are getting accustomed to their new home and seem to be settling in just fine. I will be creating an enclosure on the side of the rectory for them to have a secure outdoor area.

One of the most pressing issues that is top on our list of priorities in the parish is the replacement of the A/C unit for Church. Fr. John-Paul invited me to a meeting of the Parish Leadership on June 7th to review bids for the project and be part of the discussion and consensus on how to move forward. It has been hot and very humid and I want to assure you we are working to rectify the situation as soon as possible. I will be preaching ‘shorter’ homilies until we have the A/C replaced. (I doubt many of you will argue the point!) As someone from New England, I am not a fan of heat and humidity. Many thanks to all who have made donations to the A/C Fund.

So Fr. Pete, why the Three Hail Marys? For over 50 years I have prayed this simple devotion on a daily basis. It is an ancient practice in the Church in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary to request her intercession throughout the course of the day. St. Anthony of Padua was the first to recommend this, about the same time period as the Holy Rosary originated. It is a simple devotion that the youngest child or most senior parishioner can adopt. I began this devotion when I was in 4th Grade at the suggestion of Sr. Mary Ambrose. In the devotion of the three Hail Marys we ask the Blessed Mother to use her powerful gifts as Mother of the Redeemer to obtain on our behalf our petitions from God, and most importantly, to help us lead a holier life. I have suggested this simple devotion in all the parishes I have served. Try it, you’ll like it!

Finally today, a special word of thanks to Donna, our Business Manager, who has helped so much to make me feel welcome and has been invaluable in helping me navigate in a new community. I am so grateful for all her kindness. (Changing bosses is never easy, but I think we’re off to a good start.)

God Bless! Have a great week.

Please say those three Hail Marys.

Fr. Pete