October 2004 Archives


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....of Halloween pasts.

More than 10 years ago, I was vocation director. It was an early morning. I was driving south to Monterey. It was a long drive to meet a possible vocation prospect. I stopped at a local McDonalds to get a morning cup of coffee. I was dressed simply. black slacks and shoes, and clerical shirt.

Kid behind the counter says, "Cool costume!"

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Prayer Request

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I received this request today:

Dear Fr. Jeff,

Please ask your blog friends of St. Gaspar to pray for the couples who will be attending the San Francisco Retrouvaille program which begins the weekend of Nov. 5-7, 2004. If they wish to send e-mails directly, they can do so to:

Retrouvaille at aol dot com

Also, prayers for the presenting team are certainly appreciated, too.

Thank you.

Dave & Maria Elena
Tony & Lolette
Kevin & Sara
Fr. Luke

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an MP3 file of the choir singing at my ordination. There were 108 voices under the able direction of Kathleen Flemming.

Alma Redemptoris Mater, Palestrina

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Ordained by Bishop John S. Cummins, Bishop of Oakland
October 26, 1991
St. Augustine Church, Oakland

Priests "must train the faithful to sing hymns and spiritual songs in their hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks."
Presbyterorum Ordinis, 5

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Fr. Barry Fischer, C.PP.S., Moderator General of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, preached at St. Edward Catholic Church, Newark, CA on the Feast of St. Gaspar del Bufalo.
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Old times

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Front: Bro. Michael Suazo, CSSP, an Fr. Michael White, CSSP. Back: Fr. George Healy, CSSP, Fr. Jeff Keyes,CPPS, Fr. Tom Byrne, CSSP, Fr. Mike Grey, CSSP.

Back in 1971 when I joined the Holy Ghost Community in Texas, Frs. Healy and Byrne were the young vocation directors. Now they are both in the late 60's. Bro Michael was in my class, we entered on the same day back in August 1971. Mike Grey was a year ahead of us. He is their current provincial. Mike White was a freshman when we were seniors. He is a campus minister in San Diego and is their former provincial.

I was with the CSSP community from August 1971 to March 1976. It is that experience I point to when I say, "Oh, will the 70s ever end?"

My first contact with the community since departing was April 2002. It was quite a surprise when I was asked to preach their community retreat. The topics focused on the Paschal Mystery, Reconciliation, and the renewal of priestly life. The whole week was a healing grace for many of us.

The rector from the formation house back then has passed away. May God grant him eternal rest.

I am home from the retreat, a bit tired but ready to welcome our Moderator General on his visitation. We celebrate the Feast of St. Gaspar at this weekend's Masses.

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The Retreat Ends


The C.S.Sp. Retreat ends this evening. The men were most gracious and welcoming. Their lay associates, and their candidates and novices were very affirming. All in all, it was fun being in their company. The last conference is over. Next is Evening prayer and dinner, and the closing session at night prayer.

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Happy Feast

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Today is the feast of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, the great priest and founder, the Apostle of the Most Precious Blood. Blessings on the day.

I am extremely happy that on his feast I am doing what he called us to, the preaching of missions and retreats. The retreat is going well, and the former confreres are most gracious.

I occurs to me that when first hearing the call of God, I may have been just a bit dyslexic. They are CSSP and we are CPPS.

To learn more about St. Gaspar, just click on the pictures above, or click here.

Scan the links on the right side bar for information about his letters or the Chronology of his life.

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The Retreat

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The retreat is going well. The talks have been well recieved. The community spirit is impressive. There are priests and brothers here in this province from North America and Canada, Vietnam, Haiti, and Tanzania. The men from Vietnam sang a beautiful hymn to Mary in Vietnamese at today's liturgy.

Yesterday I met and had a good conversation with a fellow blogger. He is known by several Spiritans and so it was a good time for him to make connections with the community again. It was a pleasant and gracious encounter and it is good to know that there are many wonderful people in this world of blogging.

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St. Ignatius of Antioch


We miss celebrating the feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch this year because it is a Sunday. He had a great devotion to the Blood of Christ and his letters are quite an inspiration.

Here is an article on St. Ignatius of Antioch

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It is the life of a Missionary of the Precious Blood. I will be in Houston, TX preaching a retreat for Priests. I will return next Saturday.

I will be preaching at Mass every day and there will be six main conferences along with the times for prayer and adoration.

“Life’s Mysteries”
1. The Prodigal Returns, The Journey to Jerusalem
2. The Entrance into the Holy City
3. Celebrating The Mysteries of the Table
4. The Book of the Cross, and the Shattered Horizon
5. Stepping into the Light
6. The Spirit and the Blood Agree

More than 30 years ago I belonged to that community. I left in 1976. I will be preaching to former classmates and former professors, quite a daunting task.

A few dates to keep in mind:

October 21 is the Feast of St. Gaspar del Bufalo
October 26 is my anniversary of ordination (1991)

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Here are my homily notes in English and in Spanish:

Jesus gathers his disciples and teaches them using parables. In his stories, in his parables, in his teaching, the unexpected happens. The powerless, the stranger, the child, the widow, the ones with no rights or status, these are the ones who receive the blessings of God. These are more than stories, pious fables with a moral. It is Jesus himself who takes the part of the powerless and the disadvantaged. He does not force himself on us like a powerful God. He lays aside his divinity and comes to us as one of us, a carpenter, a son, a friend, a neighbor. So now, In Jesus we look for God is all the unexpected places.

The widow in this parable is the person who has no place to call her own. She has no title. She can claim no honor. The unjust judge (juez injusto) is the image for those who give God no place in their lives, those who do not address God with respect and who pay him no honor. He is the image of those who will not pay attention to the truth. The widow is the unexpected image of God.

She is grace coming to our door morning, noon and might. “Give me justice against my adversary, the devil.” “How about spending a few moments in prayer?” “How about forgiving your enemy and giving your heart some peace?” “How about seeking reconciliation with members of your family?” “How about helping someone in need?” She is the image of the Lord endlessly pleading with us to be his people.

We think it might be a great wonder to be able to describe where God is. It would be a greater task to try to describe where God is not. He is visible in the people and the events of every day life. He is present in our thoughts and feelings, in our memories and responses to daily events. The Lord is looking for faith. We can only please him by faith. The Lord is pleased when we spend time with him, and when we seek to do his will. If we dismiss him or ignore him, it is a great injustice, because he has given us everything, poured out his last drop of blood for us and made us part of his body.

The Lord, the creator of heaven and earth, is our help and our salvation. He is by our side. We are invited to be his people, to dine at his table. The challenge, the question is whether he will find any faith in us during the rest of this week. Will we open our eyes to his presence, or will we be the unjust judge again and dismiss him until next Sunday.

By faith, we take the Lord to work with us; we take him to school with us. We listen to his word each day and we know his care and protection. And he challenges us daily to be his loving and forgiving people, his Body here on earth, present, active in the world, seeking to do his will and always giving thanks.

The Spanish Version

Jesús reúne a sus discípulos y los enseña a usar las parábolas. En sus historias, en sus parábolas, en su enseñanza, lo inesperado pasa. El débil, el extraño, el pequeño, la viuda, los que no tienen derecho y situación social, estos son los que reciben las bendiciones de Dios. Esto es mas que historias, fábulas piadosas con una moral. Jesús mismo toma partido con los débiles y los desamparados. El no se impone en nosotros como un Dios poderoso. El deja a un lado su divinidad y viene asía uno como uno de nosotros, como un carpintero, un hijo, un amigo, y como un vecino. Poreso ahora, en Jesús buscamos a Dios en lugares inesperados.

La viuda en esta parábola es la persona que no tiene un lugar que pueda decir que es suyo. Ella no tiene titulo. Ella no puede reclamar honor. El juez injusto es la imagen de aquellos que no le dan lugar a Dios en sus vidas, aquellos que no se dirigen a Dios con respeto y los que no le dan honor. El es la imagen de aquellos que no ponen atención a la verdad. La viuda es la inesperada imagen de Dios.

Ella es gracia que viene a nuestra puerta mañana, tarde y noche. “Dame justicia contra mi adversario, el demonio.” “ Que te parece pasar un momento en oración?” Que te parece perdonar a tu enemigo y darle a tu corazón algo de paz?” “Que te parece buscar reconciliación con miembros de tu familia?” “Que te parece ayudar alguien necesitado?” Ella es la imagen de Dios interminablemente abogando con nosotros para que seamos su gente.

Nosotros pensamos que seria grandioso poder describir donde Dios esta. Pero seria una tarea mucho mas grande tratar de describir donde Dios no esta. El es visible en la gente y en los eventos de la vida diaria. El esta presente en nuestros pensamientos y sentimientos, en nuestras memorias y respuestas a eventos diarios. El Señor esta en busca de fe. Nosotros solamente podemos complacerlo con fe. El Señor se complace cuando pasamos tiempo con el, y cuando buscamos hacer su voluntad. Si nosotros lo hacemos a un lada o lo ignoramos será una gran injusticia, porque El nos ha dado todo, derramo la ultima gota de su sangre por nosotros y nos hizo parte de su cuerpo.

El Señor, creador del cielo y tierra, es nuestra ayuda y nuestra salvación. El esta a nuestro lado. Nosotros estamos invitados a ser su gente, a comer en su mesa. El desafío, la pregunta es, si encontrara fe en nosotros durante el resto de esta semana. Abriremos nuestros ojos a su presencia, o seremos el juez injusto de nuevo y lo haremos a un lado hasta el próximo Domingo.

Por medio de la fe, llevamos al Señor al trabajo con nosotros; lo llevamos a la escuela con nosotros. Escuchamos su palabra cada día y sentimos su cuidado y protección. Y El nos desafía a diario a ser su gente amorosa y misericordiosa, su Cuerpo aquí en la tierra, presente, activo en el mundo, buscando hacer su voluntad y siempre dando gracias.

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I now have internet access in my office. Blogging may increase.

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Installation pictures may be viewed here
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It was a wonderful celebration. The Parish Picnic following was a great success. There were many friends there from all over. Msgr. Manuel Simas presided at the installation. Msgr. Simas is the uncle of Donna Heusler who is now featured with her husband Jeff on Bishop's website. Jeff and Donna were at the celebration, too. Fr. Marvin Steffes, C.PP.S was present. He was pastor of St. Edward from 1979 to 1989. It was during his pastorate that I served the parish as music director. Fr. James Sloan, C.PP.S. my predecessor as pastor of St. Barnabas was also present. Both Fr. Steffes and Fr. Sloan are former provincials.

The choir did a wonderful job. We sang the kyrie in Quecha, a setting sung in our community in Guatemala, and the Preparation of Gifts was a Spanish song from the CPPS comunity in Chile. There was no latin chant sung, but these musicians are new too and I am being patient. I sang the presidential parts of the mass.

I am a bit tired, but after a two hour nap, I am ready for the 6:00pm mass. Fr. Paulson has the 8:00pm mass.

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The Bishop's website is featuring an article about Retrouvaille which features Jeff and Donna Heusler. Jeff, Donna and I serve as the International Coordinating Team for Retrouvaille.

Jeff and Donna Heusler

The article is here.

Two things to note about the article: First, they consistently misspell Jeff and Donna’s last name. They are the Heuslers, not the Henslers. Secondly, they present a link to Retrouvaille that does not work. They have an extra space they need to take out.

Otherwise it is a great article. Jeff and Donna are wonderful people with a great story of healing and reconciliation.

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The last box has been opened. The last box has been unpacked. The hallway is clear. I am moved in.

My installation as Pastor of St. Edward Catholic Church is this Sunday at 10:00am. All are welcome. Come early if you want a seat.

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I'm Home

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I'm tired, sick (hack), swamped.

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  one of Fr. Keyes' photos

August 2012

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St. Gaspar's Letters

Who is St. Maria de Mattias?

Why Precious Blood?

What is a Precious Blood Missionary?

Our International Website

What the Pope said to us


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

September 2004 is the previous archive.

November 2004 is the next archive.

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