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19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 13, 2017

Dear People of God,

Today we celebrate the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Gospel story of Peter walking on the water brings me hope and strength. He was the leader of the Apostles, the rock, but that rock was cracked with doubt, fear, and misunderstanding. One moment he gets it and the next he is being rebuked by Jesus. That can reflect our faith journey too. When we take time to pray we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. The Holy Spirit lessens our fears and doubts and helps us trust in God’s constant presence in our lives, even when we feel most alone and unworthy. When we don’t take that time, we can focus totally on ourselves. We feel alone, inadequate, and we begin to fall and sink. Daily prayer is a compass that helps to keep our focus on God. Then, whether the waters of life are treacherous or smooth, we can see Jesus coming to us, walking with us, and guiding our way. Then we are quiet enough to hear God’s voice in the tiny whispering sound. By taking time to pray, we invite Jesus to come to us and can better hear His invitation to come to Him.

The Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary is this Tuesday, August 15th. In cooperation with Immaculate Conception, Maplewood, the schedule of Masses will be: Aug. 14th, the Vigil Mass will be here at St. Luke’s at 6:30pm. Aug. 15th, the Holy Day, Mass will be at 8:00am at Immaculate Conception, and at 6:30pm here at St. Luke’s. Holy Days are opportunities for us to celebrate important Catholic truths. Hope to see you there.

It was brought to my attention last week that we have a unique situation in the parish. Donna informed me that all the requested dates for masses have been scheduled and there are no other Mass intentions on reserve. Really? A parish as old as ours usually has a plethora of Mass Intentions waiting to be scheduled. In former days, when parishioners passed away they would often leave money as a bequest for Masses to be said for the repose of their soul. Parishioners would also commemorate special events such as birthdays, and anniversaries, of deceased loved ones with the gift of being remembered at Mass. This practice is still taught by the Church, not just on All Souls Day, but throughout the year. If you are looking for a special way to remember a loved one, or have a special Intention you would like the whole Church to pray for, consider having the Mass offered for your intentions. For us as Catholics, the Mass is the highest form of prayer. For your convenience (and use) there will be Mass Intention envelopes located near the bulletins in church.

To keep you updated and to practice good stewardship of our buildings, we are currently addressing the leak in the choir loft and the main sacristy. What we thought was a roof issue in the choir loft has turned out to be an issue with tuckpointing. We are currently discussing the issue with two contractors. We believe the sacristy roof is under warranty, so we are working with the installer to have it assessed and repaired. Just want to keep everyone abreast of maintenance and building issues.

Finally today, as we celebrate the Assumption of Mary this coming week, I encourage you to develop a devotion to Mary. I am happy to hear so many tell me, “Fr. I’m praying those three Hail Marys!” This simple way is good for all of us. I say them several times a day for various things and know the Mother of Jesus, who has His attention in Heaven, is interceding for all my intentions.

God Bless! Have a great week!

Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)