Archive: St. Edward Parish, Newark

July 3, 2008

Very Cool

The site "St. Gaspar House" has received the Fidelity Green Light Award for a site that has exhibited Fidelity to the teaching Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

This is what they list as strengths:

Homilies, articles, letters by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S.
The History of the Province of the Pacific
The Seven Essentials of a Precious Blood Parish
Forty Days with the Cross of Christ
The Charism of St. Gaspar
in Parish Ministry and in Retrouvaille
CPPS Spirituality in the USA
On St. Gaspar
Community in the Bond of Charity
Gaspar's Mission
MInistry With The Laity is Central to our Identity
On Prayer
Lectio Divina
Novena to the Holy Spirit
Eucharistic Devotion
Morning Prayer
Precious Blood Chaplet
Seven Offerings
The Rosary
On Mary
Devotion to Mary in the Second Century Fathers
Mary, Woman of the New Covenant
Madonna of the Precious Blood
On Saints
St. Ignatius of Antioch
St. Catherine of Siena
St. John Fisher
St. John Chrysostom
St. Bernard of Clairvaux
St. Paul
The Writings of St. Gaspar del Bufalo

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 8:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 27, 2008

Corporis et Sanguinis Christi

The homily is here. It was the last Do This In Memory Mass of the Season, and so the first part of the homily was with some children gathered around me in front, and then after sending them back to their parents I gave the rest of the homily, total about 12 minutes.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 20, 2008

On the Supreme Court's Immoral ruling...

We put our bishop's response on the front page of our parish website.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 8:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 19, 2008

Trinity Homily

...can be found here.

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April 17, 2008

First Communion Season

Well, It is that time of year again. Things have been improving. I remember with sadness my first year here. There were some seven different first communion celebrations. I would have to search my archives to see if I ranted about the zoo-like atmosphere at all of them. In the recent past the CCD team has been more cooperative and the only over-the-top liturgies were in Spanish or for our parish school.

I long for the day when we all know the difference between doing something at the liturgy or doing the liturgy.

This year, these kids are doing nothing except participating in the liturgy, the liturgy itself. Even the school may have a adopted some attitude of reverence when it comes to the sacred liturgy. We shall see and I shall report later.

At any rate, it starts this weekend. There will be five celebrations over three weekends.

Here is the program for this coming Sunday. It will be very similar to what we do every Sunday at 10:00am. I eliminated a few things for copyright concerns, but you can see the essence of what is in the program, mostly ritual music.

I would be curious to see if there is any other parish in the country that even approached this kind of celebration for first Communion. Let me know.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 8:34 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

April 15, 2008

Welcome, Holy Father


Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 10:28 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 25, 2008

Blessed Easter

Make this new fire holy, and inflame us with new hope.
A flame divided but undimmed.
I baptize you in the name of the Father….
Receive the light of Christ!
Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Here are Jason, Clara, Marion and Victor with me at the Preparation Rites on Holy Saturday. They were Baptized, Confirmed and received their first Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 2:36 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

Today, a quiet day. Two Masses, one solemn with choir. A great way to begin the new year. Today is also filled with rememberance of last year celebrating new year's day with Benedict XVI.

Blessings to all on the New Year

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 7:18 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 28, 2007

Affirming Mail

It is Priesthood Sunday and the people here at St. Edward have been very affirming. Many have stopped to wish me a happy anniversary whuch happiliy coincides with the event, and members of the Team have informed me that I needed to relinquish the last page of the Sunday bulletin so they could celebrate Priesthood Sunday there too.

But probably the most affirming letter I have gotten in a while came by email. The correspondant has graciously allowed me to post the letter, but I have removed the signature to protect their privacy. The letter is here.

My favorite part of the letter:

At St. Edward’s you have proven that, despite some problems, the dignified, prayerful, and truly artistic celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not beyond the reach of the contemporary Church. Despite some difficulties, you have avoided allowing the assembly to determine the way a liturgy should be celebrated, but instead have demonstrated, that “Priests who faithfully celebrate Mass according to the liturgical norms, and communities which conform to those norms, quietly but eloquently demonstrate their love for the Church”.

It is apparent that he/she reads several blogs and is well educated on the liturgy. It is a joy to celebrate Mass with such generous and faith filled parishioners.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 8:14 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 13, 2007

Feast of St. Edward, the Confessor

My dear children, there are two things I want you to remember about our patron, St. Edward.


First, is the Church we see him holding. St. Edward had a great devotion to the Church. It was more than the money he gave to have the Church built, but it was also his devotion to the people he was sent to serve. The Church is where we meet Jesus and coming to Sunday Mass is the most important thing we could ever do.

Second, I want you to remember the ring that is part of the St. Edward story. The ring he gave to feed and clothe the poor. It stands as a symbol of his generosity and his ability to see what needed to be done, and then to go and do it.

So we are the people who have St. Edward as our patron. So we too will have a devotion to this church and especially to the Most Holy Eucharist which is celebrated here. And we too will see to serve the poor, most of all, to see what needs to be done, and to do it with great generosity of heart. That is what will make us the people of St. Edward.

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May 1, 2007

Sacrament Season

We had three celebrations of First Communion last weekend and will have three more next weekend. These celebrations are getting better. There is a great focus on the child and the sacrament now after three years of trying. We are doing our best to eliminate the phlanx of parents with their cameras. This year we hired a professional photographer to record the event. These people were exceptional. They made a minimal impact on the liturgy, and they were available before and after for portrait sessions in the Hall. In the picture each child appears in front of the altar with all its Easter decorations, a picture that was taken a few weeks ago. So the Church, before and after the ceremony, is preserved as a sacred space. The ushers are getting better at ridding the aisle of camera bearing parents, and they are now free to enter into the experience of the sacred mysteries.

Here are some of the pictures that were taken.

First Communion Pictures

Next week is three more First Communion celebrations, then we have two Confirmation celebrations on the following Saturday. The following weekends will see an increase of wedding celebrations, along with the School Graduation.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 8:44 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 7, 2007

Easter Blessings to all


Yes, as promised last year, the Exsultet will be chanted in Latin. The Homily will be about Mother bee, very prominent in the Latin but unfortunately missing in the dreadful English translation. The program will have a literal translation into English, along with the Spanish translation.

There will be six baptisms tonight, and one recieved. They will all be confirmed and I have recieved faculties to confirm the husband of one of the newly baptised, the fiance of the one recieved, and two who are receiving their first communion tonight.

Homily Notes:

Fratres Carissimi, Queridos Hermanos, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus our Risen Lord. At the beginning of this night, with ancient words and melody dating back to the first years after the resurrection, the church surrounds a significant candle, and invites it to embody the praise of the people of God, the church, as it chases away the darkness of this night and fills it with a glowing light.

This ancient song makes special mention of the work of human hands and so it is fitting that in this church we place this hand-made candle and praise the work of the artist that gives us such a gift. But the song also makes special mention of the work of the bees. The fire of this candle, although it is divided into parts, knows no loss from its light being lent out, divided and spread afar. As the light is given to each one of you, the intensity of the light in this place glows evermore intensely. The chant praises the melting streams of wax, which the mother bee has produced for the substance of this precious candle, and for the power and energy it gives for the increase of light.

Mother bee has produced no ordinary light. This light banishes a culture of darkness and now mingles with the lights of the heavens, and joined with the morning star praises the rising sun that breaks like a peaceful dawn upon a broken world.

O truly blessed night, in which heavenly things are joined to those of earth. This is the wedding night of the marriage feast of the lamb. This is the marriage of heaven and earth. In any marriage two opposites become as one, and in this marriage the Creator of the universe has invested each and every part of our creation with a capacity for the divine. God has taken up our flesh and our humanity even to the experience of death, and in his rising he has conquered death forever.

There is an old expression, "If you think you are too small to make a difference in this world, try sleeping with a mosquito". I would invite us to think like this: "if you think you are too small to make a difference in this world try living as a Christian." If the tiny bee can nourish a light that can compete with the stars of heaven, how much more can our small flesh and blood, when immersed in the great mystery of the of the death and resurrection of the Son of God and filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit, spread the light of his resurrection to every corner of this world.

My dear Elect, this is the night of your rebirth in Christ Jesus. This night is not about anything we can do or anything we can feel. It is all about Jesus Christ our Lord and what he has done, in us and for us. It is he who has shed his most precious blood for us and invited us into the holy of Holies, to stand with confidence before the Father as his beloved children. We shall remain in our weak and sinful human flesh, but he will clothe us with his glory and change us into his likeness. And when we remain in him no darkness can ever overcome us because we shall always have the light of his resurrection to scatter the shadows and fear of the world.

In the days ahead when the power of darkness seeks to exert his influence over you, I invite you to remember mother bee. Remember the work of the bees and the human hands that fashioned this candle. Remember the glory of its light that mingles with the lights of heaven. And remember that the Lord has taken each of us, as small as we are, and given us his light and made us his children. And now changed into his likeness he has given us the ability to boldly stand in his presence and show the world a light that never fails.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 5:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 5, 2007

Holy Thursday

Do you ever wonder why the Gospel of this day tells the story of the washing of the Feet, and not the story of the institution of the Holy Eucharist?

Our God has come to earth, and has invested everything on earth with the capacity for the divine. “Capax dei;” the ancients would have spoken of this “capax dei,” a capacity for God. Bread and wine, once simple fruit of the earth, crushed grain and crushed grapes changed into the stuff that nourishes our bodies and fills us with joy. Now they are changed again, into the very presence of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

“Capax Dei” It would have been a normal gesture of hospitality, providing water for your guests so they could wash the dust of the road from their tired feet. Maybe there would have been a extra measure of devotion on the part of the disciple who assisted the master in washing his feet. But here everything is changed. Jesus has turned the world upside down. The master washes your feet. We would have expected him to be the Master, instead he becomes a slave.

But as he got up from the table and "took off his outer robe," we have an indication of something larger. He has taken off more than his robe. St. Gaspar invites us to see how far this love has taken him. He has emptied himself completely. He had no fear that his role or prestige or his person would be diminished. He did not even fear death. He is the one who knows who he is, where he is from and where he is going.

And during supper Jesus, knowing that God had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself.

It is the same for us. This is no mere gesture. This is not simply a sign or re-enactment. This is not about some past event. This is a celebration of who we are now and who we are to become.

We are invited to take off who we think we are that we might discover who we really are. The human heart is now where God delights to dwell. Bread and wine is where he sits us at table and waits on us. The simple act of washing the dishes or serving a neighbor can become a place where God is served and indeed where we become his presence. St Gaspar would invite us to both service of neighbor and in adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist, and tell us that in either act we are serving the divine presence and celebrating that he has given us a capacity for God.

This day also marks the origin of the priesthood. This is the glory of the priesthood, as Gaspar teaches, to effect and make known this incredible love of Jesus.

You also, are invited to make this extravagant love known to the world. Those who have been washed in him, who now share completely in him, in his life and his mission, we are with him those who know who we are, where we have come from and where we are going. Death has no more power over us. We can live without fear and do what needs to be done because we know that nothing, not even betrayal, will prevent the reign of God from being revealed in us.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 11:20 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 1, 2007

Congratulations, Sr. Mary Mark

Sr. Mary Mark Schoenstein, OP, a Pastoral Team Member here at St. Edward and recent fellow pilgrim to Rome, got a note recently from a student she had back in the 50's. She has not seen this student since, but it is clear from what she said on her website that Sr. Mary Mark had a pretty profound influence on her and her career. Sometimes you just never know what kind of effect you will have on people. Congratulations, Sr. Mary Mark!

Here is some of what the website said:

sistermm.jpgThis woman, who now lives in Northern California, let me join her choir when I was eight years old. She taught me to read those funny little square notes of Gregorian Chant and to sing in Latin with feeling. She taught me to serve the song, rather than the other way around. Under her guidance, I experienced the collective soul of a choir, finding that harmony is a matter of love, as well as technique. She gave me my first solo in church.

This gentlewoman set the tone for my life in music, for a certain spiritual position or place to stand, within song, that had meaning.
I can’t completely describe this position in words really, but it has something to do with yearning and service.

She is the original version of that. It’s as if she wrote a beautiful prayer on a little piece of paper in my heart, showed me how to fold it into a perfect paper airplane, then invited me to sail it high and far over the heads of our congregation.
The impossibly high standards that I learned early on, made my work in the music business more difficult.
However, I’m still here and she’s still here, and that little paper airplane still flies.

I’ve been wanting to thank her for the longest time.
Thank you, Sister Mary Mark.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 2:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 26, 2006

New Nativity


The parish has invested in a new Nativity scene. A closer look can be had at the parish website. That picture should remain there for the rest of the season.

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Midnight Mass

Incensing the Book of the Gospel
and yes, the Gospel and the entire Mass was chanted.

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December 12, 2006

Receive the Sign of the Cross

cross.jpgOne of my favorite rituals is the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens. It is a rite rich with purpose and meaning. It does what it says it does. The New Catechumen is signed with the cross of salvation and they have a feeling of real welcome, support and joy from the Congregation. Here toward the end of the first part of the rite, the Deacon assists as I place a small wooden cross over their neck. The crosses are Olive Wood and they come from the pruned olive trees in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The Homily was based on the text from the Gospel, "The word of God came to John, son of Zechariah, in the desert." At the end of the homily each new catechumen received a small bible inscribed with the date and their name.

This is one of the joys of parish life. We have a pretty vibrant Adult Faith Formation program, and this year five young people have asked for the sacraments. It is such a pleasure to accompany these individuals on their journey of faith.

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December 3, 2006

I am alive

Ok, I had not realized that it had been all that long since I blogged. I will try to get back to this for Advent. It is, after all, my favorite season.

Today is a bit daunting, three masses and three baptisms.

What has consumed a bit of time lately is the planning involved for a trip to Rome, Assisi, Giano del Umbria, Siena, San Gimignano, and San Giovanni Rotondo that will take place December 27th through January 13th. I will post the itinerary when it is complete. And yes, part of the trip will be a visit to Ristorante Rifugio San Gaspare.

The other thing that has consumed a lot of time and energy is the annual wrestling the budget to the ground. So how does one cut $91,000 from the budget and still keep smiles on the faces of the Parish Team?

Oops, I need to get my Christmas cards started.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 1:42 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 19, 2006


Next Monday, October 23 we welcome Ensemble Amarcord to St. Edward Parish for one of the few American events they are offering this year. The Sacred Concert will be at 7:30pm and tickets are $20 at the door.

You can read about them here.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 4:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 17, 2006

Win a Trip to Italy

St. Edward Parish in Newark , is hosting its second annual parish fundraiser on Saturday, October 28th at the Golden Peacock Hall, 3681 Peralta Blvd., in Fremont . Ask anybody that came to last year’s event and he or she will tell you that it was exceptional and fun filled. This year’s event promises to be entertaining and full of surprises. Tickets are $40 per person. Proceeds will support the Parish’s various ministries.

Want to win a trip to Rome for two with a private tour in the Vatican ? How about a trip for two to Hawaii or a weekend in Napa ? Raffle tickets to win these first, second and third prizes are for sale at $50 each. Winners will be announced at the parish fundraiser. Winners need not be present to win. To purchase event or raffle tickets, call the Parish Office at 510-797-0241.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 12:54 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 4, 2006

New Team Picture

With a few departures and a few new additions, it was time for a new Parish Team Picture. Front Row, Left to Right, Fr. Jerard Raj Irudaynathan Irudaya, C.PP.S., Sr. Diane Aruda, OP, School Principal; Sr. Mary Mark Schoenstein, OP, Office; Samuel Dorlaque, Music Director Back Row, Maria Lopes, Finance; Irma Ramirez, Parish Administration; Fr. James Franck, C.PP.S., Donalyn Deeds, Director of Faith Formation; Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S., Pastor; Deacon Alfonso Perez, Hispanic Ministry; Michele Javier Poma, Youth Ministry; Cruz Calvillo, Buiuldings and Grounds.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 11:55 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 29, 2006

For First Communion Parents


The last few weeks have been dedicated to opening school, opening Adult Faith Formation, Opening Children's Faith Formation, and opening confirmation classes. The energy needed for Autumn is extraordinary.

Probably the one place that is the biggest trial here is First Communion. We have nine first communion celebrations in the spring, and in the past they have been like the spring gathering of the pagan hoarde. Many people in church behaved as if they were coming to a sporting event, and in some cases there was the question of whether the child was adequately prepared.

This year I decided that I needed to make some serious demands of the parents in the formation of their child. I am blessed with an excellent DRE and School principal who are supportive of my efforts. We cannot really make demands of the parents without offering them the resources. So this year we had the Daughters of St. Paul come by for a Sunday and set up their book store in our Faith Formation Office. They came back again for the meeting of First Communion parents and offered a great deal of Catholic Resources for parents and children.

We also gave a free copy of Catholic Truths for our Children to each family. We may actually build our First Year First Communion Program around that book. It is an absolutely stunning book and just what we needed for our Parents.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at 10:44 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 11, 2006


Homily for tonight's solemn Requiem Mass:

The Readings and prayers were taken from the Mass In Time of War or Civil Disturbance.

Micah 4:1-4 (lectionary 897-2)
Psalm 72 (899-1)
Gal 5:17-26 (898-1)
Alleluia (900-1)
Matthew 5: 20-24 (901-1)

Prelude: God of our Fathers, America the Beautiful
Introit: Requiem Aeternam
Kyrie, Mass XVIII-B ad missam pro defunctus
Psalm 72, Alstott
Alleluia, Mode VI
Offertory: Pie Jesu, Faure
Sanctus, Mass XVIII
Mortem Tuam, chant
Agnus Dei, Mass XVIII
Communio: Lux Aeterna
Anthem: "I Heard a Voice from Heaven" Sir John Goss (1800-1880)
In Paradisum, Mode VII
Postlude: In Paradisum, Theodore Dubois

9/11 is a word or phrase that conjures up many images. There are few people in this country who, because of the power of news media and constantly re-played video images, have not seen these planes appearing with such force out of a calm cool morning to wreak violence and destruction on unsuspecting thousands. There are few who have not seen and witnessed the images of those mighty buildings, suddenly and so horribly dissolving in a cloud of dust.

So many lives were irretrievably altered in one moment.

Millions were affected.

“Husbands and wives lost their spouses. Children lost their mothers and fathers. The grief provoked by such a horrific event cannot be measured. It never really goes away. Five years after the events of September 11th, there remains a terrible void in countless lives.”
We do not need any words to help us remember. The images and the memory are so vivid. So we must pray. We must gather in the Lord’s name to be his people and to gather his strength and healing.

We pray for those who died. It is difficult to imagine the moments they suffered so violently. We pray for the survivors, for those who are left behind and are still rebuilding their lives and their dreams. And as difficult as it may seem, yet in obedience to the Lord Jesus, we also pray for those who persecute us [Mat 5:44].

With events such as these it is difficult, yet most necessary, for us to confront the cross of Jesus Christ. His death was no less violent or brutal, yet here he asks the Father to forgive those who bound him to the cross because they do not know what they are doing.

I believe that those who persecute the innocent in these acts of terror know exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it. Yet we must turn away from them to challenge our own hearts.

Forgiveness takes time but it is a free and unconditional choice. It is an act of the will, not of the emotions. Justice may never be possible, but forgiveness is different from justice. Forgiveness is not about condoning; the injury remains unjust and undeserved. We have a right to defend our homes and our land, but we have an eternal obligation to defend our own heart from becoming a vessel of anger and hatred, consumed by bitterness and fear. And it takes a change of heart, a conversion, a realization that old ways are not working and are even more destructive.

Forgiveness, mercy, even pity is not easy, and is certainly not even accomplished in one moment or one day, but it has to be considered as an option. For here the Lord Jesus enters our world, not simply as an enlightened prophet who might come to us with “Thus says the Lord.” No, he comes as Divine lawgiver with “You’ve heard that it was said.”

Where was it said? It was in the Law, the Torah, the ancient book of the covenant, the Word of God. So he stands in the place, in the person, and as living Word of God and says, “But I say…!” “Whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.”

This is no mere law, this is not accomplished in simple observance, this isn’t addressed to cities, counties and governments; it is addressed to the human heart. Christ does not reject the law, instead he intensifies it. The law now is more demanding because it places conditions, not just on our external observance, “but above all on the abiding attitude of our heart and on the concrete results that this attitude has on our actions.” [Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis]

Our persecutors are not here. We are; and what kind of people shall we be? The prophet Micah offers us a vision where “every man shall sit under his own vine or under his own fig tree, undisturbed.”[Micah 4:4] The apostle Paul instructs us that hatred and outbursts of fury are works of the flesh, and that there is no law against patience, generosity, or self-control.

Radical Islam would label us as infidel and instruct its members to eliminate us. It is the same kind of violence that radical Christian fundamentalism gave birth to in Oklahoma City. All of these are the work of the flesh and have nothing to do with those who seek the heart of God. We will not be defeated if we respond with extreme faithfulness to the call of Christ, to attend to our own heart and become people who will be celebrated, not as infidels, but as the most faithful to the Cross of Christ, which stands, not as a symbol of defeat, but a cross of victory. Rather, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head." [Rom 12:20]

This is not a message that I would expect to find acceptance in the halls of power. This is not intended to address their obligation to defend our homeland. This is only for those who have gathered in prayer this night, who are challenged by the Gospel of Christ to examine their own hearts, to see if they be places of violence or a place where God would dwell. If we become angry, vengeful, bitter people, then we have been conquered. We shall not be conquered. Only in Christ shall we see the victory, only in him is death swallowed up in victory. Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. [1 Cor 15:54-58]

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September 9, 2006

A sure way to make an interesting weekend

A notice from the Oakland Diocese to its parishes.

The Diocese of Stockton has investigated Ms. Evelyn Sevilla-Davis, leader of Our Lady of the Rosary, formerly Holy Grace Prayer Group, and before that Peace of the W.O.L.R.D. (We Our Lady of the Rosary Devotees) Prayer Group. The Bishop of Stockton has decreed the Group may not, under any circumstances:

1. teach or preach in the name of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Stockton,
2. use the term “Catholic” … in reference to any activities of her prayer group,
3. use Church facilities of the diocese for meetings or prayer group activities.

This information is provided for your awareness of this Group, since it has planned to hold a gathering of its devotees in a public pavilion in proximity to St. Edward in Newark , Sunday, September 10, 2006, around 2:00 PM.

Actually they were planning something in The Newark Pavillion that might as well be out my back door. We seem to have been able to cancel the event.

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July 25, 2006

Welcome to St. Gaspar House

stgasparhouse.jpg Effective August 15, when I return from vacation, I will begin moving into my new office at St. Gaspar House. A new set of doors, visible in the picture have replaced the sliding glass doors. This will provide a bit more security, and will also enable me to enter from this side. Other groups will continue to use the large meeting room and the kitchen area of the house and will continue to use the front door. With this new door, I will not need to interupt their meetings to get to my office. Now I will be able to move my office out of my my bedroom, and I will have a place to meet prarishioners on a regular basis.

St. Gaspar House which is at the end of the property of the parish, was purchased may years ago. It was used as a meeting place and a service center for volunteer services. The house had not been well cared for in the past serveral years and it has collected a lot of junk that no one uses. So room by room we are going to begin to repair the house. It will become a place for Adult Faith Formation, for Spiritual Direction and for Marriage and Family Counseling as well as Administration. Catholic Charities provides a licensed Counselor on Fridays. The Legion of Mary meets there on a regular basis, and on Sunday it becomes a Sunday School for pre-school children. The School uses the large meeting room and the yard for retreats for various classrooms.

And finally, the Pastor has his own office. The principal, the School book keeper, the School Development office, the DRE, the Youth Minister, The Music Minister, the Maintenance Director, the Parish bookkeeper, all of these people have their own private office. Now the Pastor gets his own space. Currently my name is one of three on one of the small parlor doors.

Many thanks to Ken and Cruz who have worked long hours of repairing the walls and painting, and now will help assemble the desk and bookcases. When I am moved in, I will post a few pictures.

St.Gaspar House will also have its own website. This site will also replace the old Pacific Province site which was the home of all of St. Gaspar's letters. The new site for St. Gaspar's letters will be here once I get all the links moved over.

One the the new sets of Documents going into this new page is the book, The Life and Times of St. Gaspar del Bufalo by Giorgio Papasogli. This book was considered by Fr. Ray Cera, C.PP.S. to be the best "Life of Gaspar" available. Through the work of Fr. Milton Ballor this book is now availble in print and is a very valuable addition to any collection of the lives of the Saints. One of the things I like about it is the thorough explanation of the society, the culture and the politics of the early 19th century that forms the background of St. Gaspar's life and ministry. Another item the print version has that is not availble on the internet is the collection of pictures of the various places that were central in St. Gaspar's life.

The book is available for $20 plus shipping from Fr. Milton Ballor, C.PP.S., St. Charles Center, Carthagena, OH 45822. Parishioners of St. Edward or anybody here in the Bay Area can pick up a copy here at the Parish Office or St. Gaspar House when I move in.

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July 21, 2006

Vacation Coming Again

I am just about through the mountain of mail that arrived on my last vacation. The second half of vacation is the first two weeks of August. I will spend my last weekend doing a Retrouvaille in Austin, but I have no idea where to go for the rest of it. I have a free flight to cash in, and a vacation allowance.

Anybody with any ideas?

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July 9, 2006

June 3, 2006

Graduation Mass

Well, first of all, congratulations to the graduating class of 2006 at St. Edward Catholic School. They really are some fine young men and women. The Pastor's award went to Domenic and Elliot, two who have faithfully served at weekday and weekend Masses and are even beginning to master the fine art of Incense.

I am sure they enjoyed their day, and many complimented that is was such a wonderful service. A former principal, now serving as superintendant, remarked that our graduations are so personal. On the other side, a parent thanked me for bringing some reverence to an otherwise party atmosphere.

I had a little more advance warning on the musical choices. All of it was acceptable except for the chosen closing song (We Are Called, Haas) It was superfluous and so I simply nixed it. The Slide show was cute and disgusting and had no place in the Eucharist. Oh, The Eucharist; it was a gracious afterthought.

Some of the clothing worn at the graduation would not have been acceptable at the Vatican, so why was is so acceptable here? I think next year, we shall put the teachers in academic garb.

Any further comment from me would simply be uncharitable. I am glad it is over. Next year, it will be different as I will insist the the School completely reimagine the way graduations are done here.

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...and teach it to the faithful

"In a world where there is so much noise, so much bewilderment, there is a need for silent adoration of Jesus concealed in the Host. Be assiduous in the prayer of adoration and teach it to the faithful. It is a source of comfort and light particularly to those who are suffering."

Pope Benedict XVI, May 25, 2006

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June 2, 2006

A moment of peace...

Perhaps as a response to today's crazyness, I decided how I would spend part of my summer vacation. I signed up....

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I am posting this picture just to remind myself that the parish where I am the Pastor is a Catholic Parish. I was forced to remove the Blessed Sacrament from the Church this morning, not simply because there were no expectations that there be appropriate behavior in church during the Graduation exercises, but because I was the one who is considered to be odd because I objected to the Processional, a song proclaimed by a boombox, a song by the title, "Poprocks and Coke."

I am not sure what planet I am on. People think I am the unreasonable one. So they showed a slide show today AND WILL SHOW THE SAME SLIDE SHOW TOMORROW DURING GRADUATION MASS. The Students behaved appropriately during the slide show, which is to say they behaved inappropriately for Church. One slide showed a graduate in a dumpster. Both the Principal and the Eighth grade teacher believe this is appropriate behavior in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

This afternoon, I put the cloths back on the altar, returned the flowers and candles to the tabernacle, returned the Blessed Sacrament to the Tabernacle, placed the Blessed Sacrament in the Monstrance, and began a time of adoration. About 30 people showed up for an afternoon of adoration and reparation. There were maybe 100 to 150 people for an afternoon First Friday Mass and Benediction.

Still the dominant feeling was sadness. Oh yes, the closing processional this morning was a Beatles tune on a boombox. How low we have sunk: This is in a parish with a full time professional musician. The Tantum Ergo this afternoon was surreal.

Yup. I am pretty angry. There has not been a single person who supports me in my objection to this crap.

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May 26, 2006

Somebody had to say it

Sombody had to say it.

Thanks to Fr. Daren J. Zehnle for the Link.

Graduation is on the horizon and I am currently haggling with the School over normal First Friday adoration. It will be replaced this year with an Award's Assembly on the Day before Graduation. We shall see what kind of hooting and hollering go on. I am not sure I would go as far as the Bishop in this story, but I am not sure it will ever happen again.

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May 25, 2006

Holy Spirit Novena

Tomorrow begins the only traditional novena in the Church, the nine days between Ascension and Pentecost. Even when we transfer the Ascension to the Sunday, it is still fitting to spend this time in prayer along with Mary and the Apostles in the upper room.

I created this novena for the Charismatic Prayer group in the parish because I did not really appreciate the sometimes fundamentalist material they were using.

I borrowed the titles for each day from Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa's book "Come Creator Spirit." Then the Scriptures and prayers for each day come from various places in the Mass and the Liturgy of Hours.

Another book I would recommend would be Fr. Cantalamessa's "The Mystery of Pentecost."

I have titled the novena, "Pilgrimage Novena: Seeking the Guidance of the Holy Spirit."

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May 23, 2006

Ordination Music

My friend Mary Jane asked, and so here is the list of music we used for the ordination this past Saturday.

Entrance Hymn: “Gather In The Banquet Hall,? text based on the fifth circular letter of St. Gaspar (1831), Tune by Fr. Keith Branson, C.PP.S.

Sprinkling Rite: Tune based on O Filii et Filiae

Gloria, Congregational Mass, John Lee

Responsorial Psalm, Psalm 116, I Will Take The Cup, musical setting by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S.

Gospel Alleluia, O Filii et Filiae

Litany of Saints, chant

Laying on of Hands, Veni Sancte, Taize

Prayer of Consecration, Amen from Community Mass, Proulx

Vesting “Tu Es Sacerdos? (It was a choral setting And Sam will have to fill us in on the composer. They also sang another Choral Tune but I found no record of it in the program so Sam will have to fill us in.

Eucharistic Acclamations, Community Mass, Richard Proulx

Our Father, Chant

Lamb of God, Community Mass

Comunión, “Amen, El Cuerpo de Cristo? Schiavone, and “Pan de Vida,? Hurd

Closing: “Glory Be To Jesus? by Fr. Justin Henkel, C.PP.S.

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Music Ministry

My friend Mary Jane had some nice things to say about our music ministry.

Only yesterday I was rolling around the Internet, looking for inspiration on the role of music - and what did I find? A draft of a document on the music ministry at St. Edward. If this was written by a team, it's the most concise team-produced document I've seen in my life. Way to go, St. Edward!

Here is the document.

Actually the document was not produced by the team. It was produced by me for the team. It does not yet have universal acceptance among the team. Indeed it sometimes has significant opposition. This is why it is still considered a draft. Formation sometimes takes time and patience, and the entertainment models of our culture often still prevail.

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May 13, 2006

Long, Full Days

It sure is a busy time. Weddings are taking a bit of time, and today we had Confirmation twice. The last two weekends we had seven or eight first communion celebrations. It is all a blur right now. The stressful thing is being kind to the pagan hoarde that seems to accompany these celebrations. Can you imagine, at both celebrations of confirmation today, a cell phone went off. And one guy gets up during the Vicar General's homily to go outside to take the call!!!! I have to go practice my Spanish homily, because I have the Spanish mass tonight. Tomorrow I have three masses, one in Portuguese, plus the Men's club pancake breakfast, and it is Mother's Day. I hear Mom is coming to the early Mass tomorrow and staying for breakfast. Then we have the Spring Concert tommorrow afternoon. Then I have to pack a bag for the airplane trip. I will be in Ohio all week (so no blogging) and then back here for the ordination next Saturday.

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April 30, 2006

The Parish Team

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April 28, 2006

DaVinci Code

I was speaking about the book and the movie, DaVinci Code, to the eighth grade class here at St. Edward School recently. I asked if any had read the book. No one had. I asked if any planned to see the movie. Every hand went up.

Such is the power of the movies. So every eighth grader now has a copy of the OSV brocure on the Catholic Response to the DaVinci Code. I am buying a copy of the "DaVinci Hoax" for the Faculty room, and ordering 1500 of the brochures for the parish.

Now I see a Vatican official has suggested a boycott of the movie.

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April 18, 2006

Easter Feedback

easter06 2.jpgRecieved from one member of the Pastoral Council:

I wanted to commend you and the Parish staff on a great job during this Holy season. Lent was done very well. I enjoyed the Operation Rice Bowl and I think you did a great job getting people to think about true sacrifices during this season and turning the sacrifices into giving to the less fortunate. I thought the reflections were well thought out and I heard the Mission was awesome I am sorry I did not get to experience it (I was not able to attend [because of family obligations]). I liked how well the schedules and events were communicated in the bulletin and announcements throughout Lent and Holy Week. I enjoyed the Stations of the Cross and the soup supper was a great idea, what a way to bring the community together during Lent! Holy Thursday was an awesome Mass. I thought the music was super. I really enjoyed the Communion Song Amen, El Cuerpo de Cristo (sorry if I got the title wrong- going off memory). The only weird part was the instumental organ music pre-Mass was a little scary sounding. I was thinking maybe there is someway we can, as a congregation, practice some of the new hymns and responses before Mass, this way we are not butchering these beautiful songs during Mass. I think you did a good job incorporating the different cultures represented at our Church. I also enjoyed the procession to the Altar of Repose and the time for adoration. I think the closing prayer on Thursday night was powerful and I wish more people were able to enjoy it. Good Friday was well done. I went to the 1:30 Liturgy. I enjoyed the singing of the Passion and I thought the Veneration of the Cross was powerful. Easter Sunday the Church looked great and sounded great. I had an overall great experience of Lent and Holy Week thanks to your hard work and the hard work of the staff.

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April 16, 2006

Easter Day crowds


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April 15, 2006

This Holy Night


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It was the preparation day...


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April 14, 2006

Venite Adoremus


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April 13, 2006

Holy Thursday


I realize Donalyn does not like me to takes pictures of her, so I shall refain from posting her's here, but I really love her comments about the Holy Thursday Liturgy. Indeed there were some special moments last night, and we have just begun. Here is what Donalyn says:

And this picture does not do the moment justice; not even! Even the screaming child could not completely ruin the majesty of what it felt like to experience the unity and power of this moment; it was palpable.

And the music?! What a difference a year makes, huh? The Festival Choir was, hmm, what's that phrase..."off the hook"? Oh my gosh, we can really do it!!! I happen to think highly of our choir and I have to say that they outdid themselves this evening.

Another powerful time was the offering of the gifts: You and Gabrielle doing the "head-butt" thing, I mean have you ever met a more poised and reverent 1st grader? And Tim and Lily Roberto teaching their daughter Brianna to bow after presenting the gifts...These things really brought the entire congregation into the family and helped everyone to be a part of the offering of gifts; something I think we all sometimes fail to realize.

We know how hard you worked putting this together and your dedication to the Liturgy shows. This was clearly not a Liturgy that was just "phoned in" or routine. It was special. I can't wait for Easter Vigil!

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April 7, 2006

First Friday at St. Edward



Before any activity, before the world can change there must be worship. Worship alone sets us truly free; worship alone gives us the criteria for our action. Precisely in a world in which guiding criteria are absent and the threat exists that each person will be a law unto himself, it is fundamentally necessary to stress worship.

Benedict XVI

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March 28, 2006


Not all quizzes are created equal. I am giving this quiz as part of the class in Adult Faith Formation tonight, and was amazed that some of the questions were confusing.

Check out question #3 and question #5 and tell me what you think.

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March 26, 2006

Fr. Lopes, Where are you?

Steven has the uncanny ability to stay out of news photos. I have not been able to find him anywhere, although I saw that this blogger mentioned his participation in the Mass today.

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March 24, 2006


lopes2.jpg I watched the consistory this morning for only one reason. I wanted to see if my friend Steven Lopes would show up on the television. Sure enough, there he was seated right behind Cardinal Levada. Unfortunately, I have not found that he showed up on any of the news photes found on the web. A glimpse of him is seen on the left side of this Reuters picture.

He can be seen more clearly in this photo of him with Archbishop Levada and Pope Benedict XVI taken several months ago.

lopes3.jpg Of course, I always delight in his presence. It was a joy to have him as part of the liturgy this past Christmas. He is pictured on the left here along with myself and Deacon Ernie Perez. Steven will be honored this summer as a distinguished graduate of St. Edward School.

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March 20, 2006

Busy Day, Delightful Mission

We have Rev. Patrick Collins here for our annual Lenten Parish Mission. He is a delightful speaker, and a musician too. It was a pretty busy day. I was a bit behind on my other Blog answering questins for parishioners. If you want to take a look at the questions and the answers they are here.

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March 1, 2006

Burning palms

Rocco has an interesting article on the burning or buying of ashes for Ash Wednesday. We bought some last year because we had no idea if people would bring their palms back. This year we did not buy any as we had plenty of palms to burn. They smolder rather than burst into flame, he said. We had quite the opposite experience. The flames were huge, and it was good to have a screen to keep embers from blowing away. Also there was no need for paper or wood to start the fire. Cruz started the fire with a blow torch, so all we have is ashes from palm branches.

Here is a link to an article and picture in today's paper, although the link should only work for 14 days.

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February 28, 2006

Fat Tuesday

After the 9:00am Mass this morning, the students at the school took the Alleluia banner and "buried" it in the baptismal font, which was then covered with a grey cloth. Then the students trooped outside to burn the palms from last year and helped prepare the ashes for tomorrow. This evening the Faith Formation children helped with some more palms and then buried last years ashes.

The Staff threw a nice Mardi gras luncheon in the rectory, with beads and decorations and everything.

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February 19, 2006

It will be a busy Lent

The Lenten Calendar 2006
The Lenten Brochure 2006

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February 9, 2006

Busy week

Vacations are difficult to maintain when you come home to so much work that has been waiting for you.

Prayers appreciated for the Retrovaille Weekend I am doing this weekend here in the Oakland Diocese.

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January 28, 2006


I am taking a bit of a break from Parish work. I will be back February 4th. I have two masses plus Confirmation tomorrow, and I leave on Monday. I am going to Ohio. Are there any readers of this Blog near Dayton?

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Big Parish

Today was first confession. We often refer to it as being assaulted by marshmellows. From 10:00am to Noon and then again from 1:00pm till 3:00pm; we had five priests for the first session and four for the second session. Some were so cute and adorable, even as nervous as they were, some just made me grin from ear to ear, some made me wonder where they would be in 20 years and what kind of trouble they would find themselves in; all in all it was a rich and full day as a priest. We have first confessions again in March. We will have nine first communion celebrations. Yes, we have that many children.

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January 24, 2006

Walk for Life

I was not able to attend the West Coast Walk for Life, but several parishioners did, and I hope we can get more involved next year. This year I was at the annual Confirmation Retreat. But I was able to see many photos on various sites, and lo and behold I recognize some of our parishioners.

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January 8, 2006

Christmas memories


The joys of Christmas including singing the Mass for nine days for the Simbang Gabi, The Sung Mass for Midnight, and the wonderful generosity of this wonderful parish. It was a real joy to see Steven this season, and he and I have reflected for these days on the mysteries of the Epiphany. He first suggested preaching on the Tribus Miraculis Magnificat antiphon for today, and I chatted with him yesterday about the richness of the Hodie antiphon from this morning's Benedictus. That antiphon places all three mysteries in the context of the heavenly wedding feast. That formed the outline of this morning's homily.

Then Don Marco of Santa Croce Abbey in Rome sent me a wonderful collect for the General Intercessions which I used this morning. It summed up the homily very well. I will print it below.

Steven is seen in the picture above, a picture of the closing procession for Midnight Mass. People commented afterward what a joy it was to have two priests chanting. Steven is Fr. Steven Lopes, STD who is currently serving as the Secretary to Archbishop Levada and also is an officialis in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican. Many years ago when I was a music teacher here at St. Edward, Steven was in my fifth, sixth and seventh grade classes. He is heading back to Rome on Monday.

Happy Epiphany everyone!

Almighty and ever-living God,
bright splendour whom all the nations seek,
who, in the darkness by which we journey,
have drawn us to yourself by the light of faith;
grant that, like the Magi,
we may find your only Son,
and finding him, adore;
that like the Baptist,
we may recognize him,
and recognizing him, confess the mystery of his divinity;
that like the guests at the wedding feast,
we may taste of the sweetness of your Holy Spirit,
and tasting, yearn for the heavenly Supper of the Lamb
that you have made ready for all nations
in the kingdom where Christ is both Bridegroom and Lord,
forever and ever.

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December 31, 2005

More on Simbang Gabi

I have been getting so many "Thank yous" for the Simbang Gabi. It was probably, for me, the best preparation, the most prayerful preparation for Christmas I have ever experienced.

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December 27, 2005


People can't seem to stop talking about how generous the parishioners were this year. The Christmas collection was more than $20,000 more than expected or budgeted. We have never had a $52,000 collection before. This will go a long way to pay off some of those old debts.

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December 22, 2005

Christmas Mass at Midnight

The Mass will be chanted from the Sign of the Cross to the Go in Peace. The Deacon will chant the gospel.

Premiere Suitte de Noels, Claude-Benigne Balbastre (1727-1799)
The Prophecies, Traditional Vatican Chant
Proclamation of the Birth of Christ, Chant

Adeste Fidelis, O Come, All Ye Faithful

Incensation, Crèche and Altar
Dominus Dixit Ad Me, Graduale Romanum

Kyrie, Missa Cum Jubilo
Christmas Gloria, Daniel Laginya
Responsorial, Psalm 96, Today is born our Savior, Proulx, based on Puer Natus
Christmas Alleluia, James Chepponis

Preparation of the Gifts: Silent Night, Guitar and Organ
The Glory of the Father, Egil Hovland
Eucharistic Acclamation, Community Mass, Richard Proulx
Agnus Dei, Mass XVIII

In Splendoribus, Graduale Romanum
Child of Mercy, Haas
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Silent Night

Closing: Joy to the World
Postlude: Noel X, Luis Claude Daquin (1694-1772)

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December 19, 2005

Christmas Schedule

The Christmas Schedule for St. Edward can be found here.

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December 17, 2005

No applause

Last night was our annual Christmas Concert. The choir and the assembly did a marvelous job. It was a evening of readings and carols. It was a delightful and prayerful evening. My favorite moment was when the choir sang the Victoria "Ave Maria." The Bethlehem reading from Micah was read by a first grader. It was a wonderful Advent evening and after the closing hymn there was a restful silence in the church. It clearly had not been entertainment and applause would have broken the effect. Outside the people were animated, delighted and complimented the choir.

This was a parish that ended every mass with applause. The movement from Nashville to Rome is not complete. There are still some who long for the flesh pots of Egypt. There is still a smattering of applause after Mass on Sunday, but we are doing our best to discourage it. It is difficult work, but I want this to be Sacred Space again.

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Simbang Gabi

The last two mornings have been quite festive and I am looking forward to seven more before Christmas. Responding to an inquiry and a request, I permitted the Filipino community to hold their traditional novena of dawn masses before Christmas. In some communities this is known as Misa de Gallo, but more widely as Simbang Gabi. They have more than surpassed my expectations. A Full church, lots of young people, fabulous choir, traditional music in Tagalog...It has been fabulous. Traditionally in the Philippines these Masses cn be held as early as 4:00am. We are having them at 5:00am, with the traditional Filipino breakfast in the Hall afterwards. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, they asked me to sing these masses.

With the Mananitas for our Lady of Guadalupe last week, it means a lot of early mornings this December and lots of afternoon naps too,

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December 5, 2005

Fr. Lopes

I've seen this linked to on a number of Blogs already. I have access to a few more details about the Archbishop's moves into his new apartment, including some pictures, but Fr. Lopes has sworn me to silence. But now that Fr. Steven Lopes has himself in this news article, I plan to do some bragging.

Fr. Lopes was a student of mine when he was in Grade school.

He will be helping out here with the Christmas Masses on his vacation. He is a native of this parish. His Mother sits about 10 rows back on the right every morning for Mass, and she is my part time private secretary.

I wish I could share some pictures, But Fr. Lopes would have my hide.

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December 3, 2005

Homilia: Segundo Domingo de Adviento (B)

(English version below)

Una voz cláma en el desierto: “Prepáren el camino del Señor, enderecen sus senderos.?

Juan el Bautista anunció el camino. Hemos sido invitados a un nuevo camino, “EL CAMINO?. Hemos sido invitados al Camino de Jesucristo. Entramos profundamente en la experiencia de Adviento dejando ir los caminos del mundo y poniendo nuestra atención en el que nos va a bautizar con fuego. En el Evangelio de San Marcos, él no tiene verguenza acerca de quien es él. Es Jesús, el Cristo. El Hijo de Dios.

El mundo nos invitará a otro camino. Será un camino de ganancia, de mercado, de propaganda, que nos convencerá que no podríamos ser felices a menos que compremos éste o aquél producto. En este mundo el dinero viene a ser el mayor símbolo del valor humano, estamos invitados a sustituir nuestras relaciones con carros, computadoras, objetos de entretenimientos y cuentas bancarias. En un mundo donde la vida no tiene valor, donde no hay valor, solamente el dinero cuenta. En un mundo así la violencia viene a ser un valor, la persona no es incluida, cosas (por ejemplo: armas) son necesarias para la victoria. Cuando nos convertimos en una cosa, no podemos ser lastimados. El cuerpo se convierte en una cosa, las relaciónes pierden su valor separados de la persona humana.

El camino de Jesús es diferente. Los profetas antiguos anunciaron esto generaciones antes de su venida:

Consuelen, consuelen a mi pueblo, dice nuestro Dios. Hablen al corazón de Jerusalén, y díganle a gritos que ya terminó el tiempo de su servidumbre y que ya ha satisfecho por sus iniquidades, porque ya ha recibido de manos del Señor castigo doble por todos sus pecados.

Es un camino de perdón. No es que nosotros podemos hacer algo para alcanzar a Dios. El hace camino junto a nosotros y su gran deseo es establecer una relación de amistad junto a nosotros. Es un camino que nos nutre. El rompe todas las barreras y viene a nosotros como comida. Es un camino de honestidad. No necesitamos ser más de lo que somos. El nos hizo, y ahora nos redime con su misma sangre, así podemos ser libres, libres para ser su pueblo. Es un camino de amor. Dios amó tanto al mundo que nos dio a su único Hijo, entonces en El aprendemos su camino de amor. Es un camino de sacrificio.

El mundo nos dirá: “Este es mi cuerpo puedo hacer con él lo que yo quiera?.

En Jesús escuchamos una voz completamente diferente: “Esto es mi Cuerpo, que será entregado por ustedes.?

Es verdaderamente un desierto ahí afuera y el camino del Evangelio sigue siendo una voz clamando en el desierto: “Preparen el camino del Señor, enderecen sus senderos?. Depende de nosotros que en estos días de Adviento examinemos nuestros caminos, para ver si nuestra elección de seguirlo a El es real. Si tomamos todo para nosotros, estamos siguiendo al mundo. Si nuestro camino es de perdón, de nutrirnos interiormente, de honestidad, amor y sacrificio, solamente ahí, sabremos que estamos siguiendo a Jesús y haciéndonos parte de su cuerpo.

Homily, December 4, 2005, Second Advent (B)

A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.?

John the Baptist announces the Way. We have been invited to a new way, THE Way. We have been invited to the Way of Jesus Christ. We enter deeply into the experience of Advent letting go of the ways of the world and setting our attention on the one who will baptize us with fire. In Mark’s Gospel, he is not shy about who this is. It is Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God.

The world will invite us to another way. It will be a way of profit, of market share, of advertising that would convince us we could not be happy unless we bought this or that product. In the world’s way money becomes the main symbol of human worth, we are invited to substitute relationships with cars, computers, entertainment devices and Bank Accounts. In a world in which life is of no value, when there are no values, only money counts. In such a world violence becomes a value, personhood is discounted, things (guns) are necessary for victory. When we become a thing, we cannot be hurt. The body becomes a commodity (a thing), and relationships become value free and separated from personhood.

The way of Jesus is different. The ancient prophet announced it generations before he came.

Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD double for all her sins.

It is a way of forgiveness. It is not that we can do anything to reach God. He made the journey to us and his main desire is to be in relationship with us. It is a way of nourishment. He breaks down all the barriers and come to us as food. It is a way of honesty. We need be nothing more than who we are. He made us, and now redeems us in his own blood so that we can be free, and free to be his people. It is a way of Love. God loved the world so much he gave his only Son, and so in him we learn his way of love. It is a way of sacrifice.

The world would tell us: “This is my Body; I can do with it what I want.?

In Jesus we hear a completely different voice: “This is my Body, given for you.?

It is indeed a wilderness out there and the Gospel way is still a voice of crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.? It is up to us in these Advent days to examine our ways, to see if our choice to follow him is real. If we take everything for ourselves, we have followed the world. If ours is a way of forgiveness, nourishment, honesty, love and sacrifice, then, and only then, will we know that we have followed Jesus and become part of his Body.

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December 1, 2005

December Already???

I cannot believe that it is December already. Most of the spare time in the past few months has been spent poring over numbers, the annual ritual with the budget. This is such a large place, and the budget is over a million. It takes a while to figure it all out and apportion things properly. The final draft is an act of faith. We cut $180,000 in spending for next year. Donations are up, but expenses are way up.

This is a great day to stay indoors. The weather is nasty.

Advent is a beautiful season, my favorite. I can hardly wait to hear the “O? Antiphons again. Conditor Alme Siderum, Rorate Caeli are among my most loved melodies. I especially love the text of the Rorate.

My Advent reading so far has included “The Strangest Way? by Robert Barron and “Redeemer in the Womb? by John Saward.

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November 2, 2005

All Souls Homilia

It has happened before that someone thought the homily was so beautiful they wanted a copy of it. Well, tonight was the first time that had ever happened to me in Spanish.

The English is below, after the Spanish. I will leave it to you whether you think it is beautiful. Spoken word is always different from written word. Tonight I was preaching in two languages, and when you do that everything needs to be short and to the point, otherwise it is a painfully long homily.

The Homily:

Este día es reconocido como el día de los muertos. En realidad nosotros también celebramos este día como el día de los vivos. En la resurrección de Jesús nosotros creemos que la muerte esta vencida por siempre. Este es el Centro de nuestra fe y nuestra esperanza. La muerte no es lo último del camino. Vivir es nuestro destino.

Hoy es un día de recuerdo. Recordamos a todos los que se fueron primero que fueron marcados con la señal de la fe y con la señal de la Cruz.

El momento de nuestra muerte va a ser un momento de despertar, un descubrir del lugar donde hemos estado, viviendo en el Cuerpo de Cristo cercas de Dios y rodeados de todos los ?ngeles y Santos.

Si permanecemos en Cristo, los que están presente con el están presente con nosotros también. El apóstol nos recuerda que nosotros que hemos sido bautizados en Cristo somos bautizados en su muerte. Si compartimos su muerte también compartimos su resurrección. Esta es la razón por la que nuestra esperanza no nos defraudara.

El no nos abandona. El ha hecho un camino antes de nosotros y nos acompaña en nuestra jornada a su Reino.

La muerte es una parte normal de la vida. Cuando recordamos a los muertos, nuestra fe crece y nuestra vida se enriquece. Por ejemplo, en mi memoria de la vida de mi abuelita, yo recuerdo sus palabras y su ejemplo, y pienso que no esta lejos de mi, porque los lazos de amor no se rompen con la muerte.

Esta es nuestra fe, es nuestra esperanza, y nuestra esperanza no nos defraudara.

The English Homily:

This is often known as the day of the dead. In reality we also celebrate this as the day of the living. In the resurrection of Jesus we believe that death has been conquered forever. This is the center of our faith and of our hope. Death is not the end of the road. To live is our destiny.

Today is a day of remembrance. We remember all those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith, all those who have gone before us marked with the sign of the cross.

The moment of our death will be a moment of awakening, a discovery of the place we have been all along, living in the Body of Christ close to God and surrounded by all the angels and saints.

If we remain in Christ, those who are present with him are present to us as well. The apostle reminds us that we who are baptized into Christ Jesus are baptized into his death. By sharing a likeness to his death we share a likeness to his resurrection. This is the reason that our hope will not disappoint.

He does not abandon us. He has led the way before us, and indeed accompanies us on our journey to the kingdom.

Death is a normal part of life. In our remembrance of the dead, our faith grows and life grows richer. For example, in my memory of the life of my grandmother, I remember her words and her example, and I realize that she is not far from me, as the bonds of love are not broken with death.

This is our faith, it is our hope, and hope will not disappoint.

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October 16, 2005


It is a five day meeting of the Bishop with all the priests. I am leaving now, and have no idea if there is internet access there. No agenda, no schedule, no idea what we are doing.

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October 14, 2005

St. Edward's Feast

Yesterday we continued to observe the feast of St. Edward begun last Sunday. The celebration continues through the 22nd with the parish Feast. It is Edward's 1000th birthday, and it is the parish 125th anniversary.

We held a solemn vespers. Sam was the organist who was also celebrating a significant birthday.

It was the first appearance of our new children's choir, and they sounded delightful.

The delight for me was the experience of the first psalm, intoned by the children. The cantor was Dan Harris whom I have known for over 20 years. He is probably one of the best cantors have ever heard. Every word was crystal clear. The choir took the second half of each verse. The choir was in good form, too.

It was prayerful. It was simple, and simply beautiful.

We are going to have to have more experiences like this.

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October 9, 2005

Feast of St. Edward

I remember last October when I was the new Pastor here, I shared some pictures of my installation. There was one correspondant very critical of some of the pictures, as if he expected the new pastor to immediately correct the mistakes of the previous pastor. The criticisms had to do with the glass chalices and the vestments.

Well, I have been here a year now, and we have some new festive vestments, and we have new communion cups, thanks to some very generous donations.

Today we celebrated the Feast of St. Edward. We transfered the feast to the Sunday. Here are the pictures.

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October 5, 2005


At St. Edward parish, the new General Instruction on the Roman Missal applies to everyone except the Spanish mass, the Portuguese mass and the Charismatics, especially the Charismatics. Does anyone have any sugestions or advice on how to make the Charismatics pay attention to the church?

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September 28, 2005

In The News

When he interviewed me I thought it might end up on one of those Sunday features hidden among the comments. I was suprised to find it in the Local section during this morning's coffee break.

The article is here.

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September 27, 2005

New Parish Website

We have a new website at the parish, thanks very much to the hard work of Gerardo. There are still a few bugs but I think it is beautiful. We will slowly begin to build some of the pages.

Check it out here.

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September 22, 2005

My talk for this evening

word.jpgFirst, I want to thank everyone for taking the time to be here this evening. I am grateful that so many wish to focus on the parish and on its future. We have a rich history and it is because so many dedicated priests and laity worked together to make this a vibrant center for worship and for service.

Catholics have a right and duty to express their opinion on what pertains to the good of the Church. The Pastoral Council exists so that the parishioners have a place to make their voice heard for the good of their parish. I have a great hope for this council because I know that there is a storehouse of wisdom in the experience of the parishioners who worship here, and I want to give the parishioners a sense of responsibility for their parish that will endure long after I have moved on to my next assignment.

The purpose of the parish pastoral council is to investigate pastoral matters, to consider them thoroughly, and to propose practical conclusions about them. The council's task is, first of all, to study those matters brought to its attention and shed light on them. Its second task is to reflect on them thoroughly, to discern their true nature, to evaluate and to ponder them. Its final task is to draw sound conclusions. The council presents these conclusions to the pastor and the pastoral team in the form of recommendations. This threefold task of the council-investigating, considering, and recommending conclusions-is called pastoral planning. After the Pastor and the Pastoral Team have accepted the recommendations of the council, they direct their implementation. Council members may assist the Pastor and Team, but strictly speaking, implementation is the responsibility of the pastor and the Pastoral Team, not the council. The cooperation between the Council and the Team can become the heart of a large parish directed toward the worship of God and the building up of the reign of God.

The Council will meet once a month. They may decide among themselves to meet more often or less often. The will have homework, where they seek to gain a greater knowledge of the parish and its people, and its needs. They will be visible in the parish, both on Sundays and during other significant parish events. Tonight we shall choose through a discernment process 12 members for the new Pastoral Council. This is not a popularity contest and there will be no losers tonight. The parish certainly is the biggest winner when generous people choose to offer their gifts for the common good. We have future plans for a building committee, development committee and a liturgy Commission. Certainly people with the gifts we need are going to find a home on those teams and certainly may be available for the next discernment in three years.

We are a very large parish with many groups. There is always something going on here. There is such a great diversity here as many of our parishioners have come from other lands. Sometimes our diversity can bring a chuckle to those of us who work here. Just last Saturday I heard the complaint that the church was too cold, that was just five minutes after hearing it was too hot. And certainly we know that the Organ was too fast and too slow at the same liturgy. All of this difference can sometimes make us narrow. This was certainly the case with the couple getting married who wanted nothing else to happen on the parish plant during the wedding. It is important that we hear from everyone, and that we have a council who has what is best for the parish in their heart.

The Holy Eucharist is at the heart of our parish. The Sacred Liturgy is our principal gathering place, and our attention to the living Word of God forms us as a community. Our new Council will be called to listen to the Universal Church and to the desire of our people as they articulate a vision for our Liturgical Celebrations and our Music program.

Our children and young people are not the future of the Church, they are the present, and they are an important part of the church today. This new Council will provide the vision and the recommendations that will maximize their participation in the Liturgy and in the life of the parish.

Our parish is larger than we know. Many of those who bring their children here for Faith formation do not attend St. Edward because they find a Sunday Mass in Spanish elsewhere. The New Council will help us examine our programs so that we find a place and a way to offer Mass in Spanish on Sunday. This may stretch the boundaries of hospitality for all of us, but that is why this council is so important, so that we are able to listen to many voices.

This need points out the inadequacies of our parish plant. We need to chart our path into the future and make sure that the needs of the people are considered. This council will be given the task of advising the Team in the best way to begin and will help us present the needs as possible solutions to the parish.

Financially we are in the same place we were last year at this time when I arrived. We have severe cash flow shortages and we are unable to pay all our bills. Expenses increase every year with inflation, but the collection does not do the same. We will study many ways to trim expenses without further cutting services. At the same time I have separated the capital campaign from the parish income so that we begin to do some saving for the future. We have almost $40,000 saved now, but it is going to take much more to build for the future.

This new Council is chosen for three years. Each September the council will sponsor a parish assembly in order to report on their progress and hear your suggestions. Three years from now we will hold this four session Assembly again to hear from the Council their report on the completion of their work, set new goals and choose a new council to carry this work into the future.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. We shall do this as a Parish of generous hospitality, universal participation, and faithful devotion. We are confident that with the generous gifts of so many volunteers, and especially the New Pastoral Council, we will be able to work together in the service of the Lord, his Church and all his people, called to be deeply participative, non-aggressive or confrontational, but in sincere cooperation, deeply loving one another so that we are the Body of Christ with many different gifts, and so effective in charity that we will be a message to ourselves and to the world the Christianity still works.

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September 21, 2005

Today Tori's first birthday. The Staff is holding a BBQ in her honor.

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September 19, 2005

Weird Day

After shaving it took nearly an hour to stop the flow of blood, finally got it done so I could go celebrate 6:45am mass, Team photo shoot happened on time but photographer was not ready for us and the photo looks ridiculous, discovered a local rap group used an image of the church for their album cover(a caution, violent lyrics, parental advisory but the link is here.) and the dog is acting strange. It is a aproaching noon and I am still trying to get breakfast. Plus, I have a charismatic funeral this afternoon. I thought the full moon was last week.

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September 17, 2005

Women's Ordination

I came to this community impressed with its spirituality of Covenant. Well, now in the church the covenant is being undermined by a great deal of ignorance. To ask for the ordination of women is as unsuitable, inappropriate and unseemly as a bride at the wedding feast insisting on being the bridegroom.

I am in a quandary. Apparently the recent Precious Blood Congress set as one of its goals that the PBLC draft a letter appealing to U.S. bishops to address the “grave issue within our church of millions deprived of the Eucharist.? Sounds like code language for women's ordination to me.

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September 16, 2005


We have six deacons here. They generally do a fine job. One of them preaches every Friday. Today he preached in favor of women's ordination. He will not be preaching again any time soon.

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July 30, 2005


Patrick and his Father arrived after driving a bit over 700 miles. Welcome!

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July 26, 2005

July 19, 2005

Back to Health

It has been a crazy week. Yesterday morning woke up to some significant chest pains at 1:30am, and several times after. Finally after the 9:00am Mass had a series of three of them and finally called a doctor who told me to come in. Nothing to be worried about, apparently. Today the blood tests show that they were probably muscle spasms unrelated to the heart which seems to be fine. Nonetheless, Doc will have me on a treadmill early next week to check things out. Most of it seems to be from accumulated stress. Fr. Joseph graciously took both masses this morning and I slept in, taking the whole morning off. I am looking forward to retreat/vacation August 8-15. Peace and quiet on Long Island Sound, heading over to Connecticut to a monastic guest house. Seems that when you are not taking care of yourself your body will certainly let you know.

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June 28, 2005

Hardball? or Developing Standards?

Discussion at Amy Welborn's blog.

The News Article

This made interesting discussion at the breakfast table this morning. It is close to what we have been considering doing at the parish. I am not sure that I would dismiss the kids from class, but I am interested in separating attendance at class from formation for the sacrament. Why should attendance at class mean one is ready for a sacrament?

There are other factors determining readiness for a sacrament, the way you live being one of them.

Attendance at Mass is something to pay attention to. If you are not attending the liturgy, if your familiy is not part of the community, why is there a perceived right to the sacrament, unless it is diminished to simply a cultural rite of passage.

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June 2, 2005

St. Edward Catholic Church

Last Year


I spent part of my day off taking some pictures. Thirty eight (38) of them can be found here. When I became pastor, the parish did not have a crucifix. The new GIRM requires a cross with a corpus and the Risen Christ figure added two pastors ago does not seem to qualify. It is not forbidden, it is just that a crucifix is required. Ours has been installed next to the ambo. It is quite beautiful and so I have taken several pictures of it. The corpus came from Italy, and the wooden cross was fashioned out of Blood wood here by Ken and Cruz who did a beautiful job putting it together. If you look at the old picture of the sanctuary you will notice that the new picture has new statues, ambry, font, easter candle and credence table and including the new crucifix.

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June 1, 2005


Rev. Steven Lopes, a priest of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, is a native of St. Edward Parish and a graduate of the parish school. He was a student of mine when I taught there in the '80s. He was in my 6th, 7th and 8th grade class and he sang in the choristers and in the Advanced Choir back then. Formerly associate Pastor of St. Anselm Parish in San Anselmo, CA, the Archbishop sent him back to Rome to finish his doctorate which he sucessfully defended yesterday.

We knew this kid would go far. We just did not know that he would go this far this fast.

He was supposed to return to the Bay Area where he would serve as Director of Clergy Formation. With Archbishop Levada's recent appointment to the Vatican all that has changed. Steven has been tapped by the Archbishop to serve as a doctrinal official in the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, and to serve as excecutive assistant to the Prefect.

Congratulations, Steven, on a sucessful doctoral defense and your new appointment.

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May 31, 2005

Choir Formation

The Anonymous Troll has been heard from again, posting in the last comment on another post, here. My hunch now is that could be David.

Compare what he says here:

"I realize that things always change and I, too, should understand and recognize the diversity in Liturgy, including your view."

Compare that with this remark from the first chapter of Crouan's book:

"whereas the Church demands adherence to the official liturgical books that were published following the Council, which logically should lead to unity in the manner of celebrating the Eucharist, one discovers that there are as many ways of carrying out the liturgical rites as there are churches or celebrants."

It only goes to show that the product of the poor leadership which the choir has been subject to the last 11 years has produced very poor liturgical formation. Certain cultural diversity is always to be understood, but the liturgy is the liturgy, and I do not get to make it up as I go along. We are supposed to be changed by our immersion in the liturgy, we are not supposed to change the liturgy according to our own likes and dislikes. I do not believe in a liturgy that get to be revised according to the tastes and expectations of a local community. The Liturgy has an unchanging character which is the mark of its authenticity and sacredness. (see Crouan)

The choir has been its own self-contained small community for such a long time. It will be a while before we can form them into a parish choir. It will take patience and openness. Simply departing because things do not go as wanted or expected is not adult behavior, nor does it speak to faithfulness or dedication to community. We simply cannot be Catholic on our own terms.

This will not be my liturgy, or my version of it. It is my hope that it will be faithful to what the church has asked. It will be, first of all, the Lord's Liturgy, the Roman Liturgy, the Church's Liturgy, and the local Bishop will be the one who will determine if this is so, not the opinions of the choir.

One of the local Dominican sisters, one who works at another parish north of here, reports that the Bishop is commenting to others that we are the first parish in the Diocese to fully impement the GIRM. He remarked to me after the recent Confirmation that he likes to come here because we "do things right."

In many ways I have to pay some tribute to those who came before me as I have had to change very little in order to comply.

I will purchase a copy of Crouan's book for any choir member who wishes to engage in a conversation about how we might do what the Church asks. For those who simply depart, we must wonder if they were ever part of this as a ministry.

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May 29, 2005

The Feast


Prelude: Adoro Te
Entrance Chant: At The Lambs High Feast
Kyrie: Cum Jubilo, RS 383
Gloria: RS 388, Jones
Psalm: Psalm 147, RS #199
Sequence: Ecce Panis Angelorum, BFW 207
Alleluia: Mode VI
Offertory: Pange Lingua
Eucharistic Acclamations: Community Mass, Proulx
Agnus Dei: Mass XVIII
Communion: The Supper of the Lord
Post Communion: Ave Verum Corpus (Choir)
Conclusion: Alleluia, Sing to Jesus, RS 914

RS= Ritual Song
BFW = By Flowing Waters

The New Music Director was the organist at the 10:00am. One parishioner offered this viewpoint: "It sounded more like a church and less like a cocktail lounge."

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May 25, 2005

Decisions, Decisions

It was the same tough decison as last time, but we were graced with a candidate that overwhelmed us both with his talent, but also with his gentle presence. He has a Masters Degree in Organ, 25 years of music ministry experience, tremendous experience with Children's choirs, excellent recomendations from past co-workers, and he made our organ sound like I always knew it could sound. I remember after mass last Thursday...he came for Mass, played for the 9:00am Mass and stayed for several hours after for an interview. The opening hymn that morning was simply thrilling. He also has a relationship with my favorite convent, the Sister of the Most Precious Blood in O'Fallon, MO.

So it was a toss up between Matthew or Sam. Was it going to be Potential or Experience? This time we went with experience.

Our New Organist, Director of Music Ministry, Sam Dorlaque, begins at St. Edward Catholic Church on June 1st.


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May 17, 2005

Applicants, Applicants

The applications for the Director of Music Ministry are pouring in. I have three more coming this week, and two next week. Matthew is still at the top of my list. I am having the same trouble deciding as I did last time: Experience or Potential?

Today we did a Votive Mass for Mary, The Mother of God. The May crowning had already taken place on Mothers's day.

Procession: Immaculate Mary
Opening Hymn: All are Welcome
Psalm: My Soul Rejoices, (Gelineau) recited verses
Acclamation: Halle, Halle, Halle
Offertory: Gentle Woman
Acclamations and Lamb of God: Creation Mass
Communion: Table of Plenty
Closing: Digo, Si, Senor

Matthew's choices promise to be much better. Stephen arrives today. He has a Masters in Vocal Pedagogy so it looks like he would be an organist that could do wonders for our cantors. We shall see.

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May 11, 2005


It surprised us all when the Diocesan Paper arrived yesterday and we all recognized the School Principal on the Front Page. Congratulations to Sr. Karen Elizabeth.

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May 3, 2005

Now Hiring

We are a community that values liturgical music and we have a long history of good choirs. We have a small church and a small newly refurbished pipe organ. We also have a harpsichord and a small starting set of hand bells. We have an excellent school that is hungry for music. We are a growing community of 5600 families and in the near future we need to begin planning for an expanded church and a new pipe organ. You need to have a love for Catholic ritual music and be conversant with the liturgical books and the varied traditions and rich history of liturgical music. We want to sing the old chants as well as well-crafted new music, and we want to enjoy the best our choir can offer. You need to have good leadership skills, ability to play the organ, and be conversant with cultural expressions and multi-lingual liturgies. You must be a member of the parish and a full member of the Pastoral Team, responsible for both Spanish and English speaking choirs. . You must be able to work effectively with and develop a music ministry team with staff and volunteers providing effective leadership over eight weekend masses and two weddings per week. Starting salary for demonstrated skill and educational experience is AGO Scale with full benefits. Extra income is available from hundreds of weddings and funerals. We are looking for a gentle hearted person with both patience and persistence interested in helping us rebuild the parish music ministry.

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April 19, 2005


The black bunting has been replaced:

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April 15, 2005

A Taxing day

ok, I only needed to write a check for $499 and make sure it is post marked by today. It is just the other things here at the parish that have been particularly taxing.

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April 3, 2005


St. Edward Parish is observing the traditional nine-days of mourning. A Memorial Mass will be held Monday evening at 7:30pm. Our industrious crew of Ana and Cruz did a wonderful job of decorating the doors for the nine days (Novendiales) . In this picture you can also see the overflow crowds at masses today.

The New Gasparian will also observe nine days of mourning. Thanks RC for adorning the blog with a black border.

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March 24, 2005

New Website

Our parish school has a new website. Check it out, especially the welcome from the Pastor.

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March 19, 2005

Palm Crosses

Here is the yearly reminder of how to make palm crosses.

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March 2, 2005

Time Marches on

We are having a parish Lenten Mission this week. I heard about three hours worth of confessions yesterday and this morning. It has all been been very significant and it is clear to me that the Lord is speaking to hearts and they are paying attention.

I preach a lenten mission next week in Minster, OH. I pray that I will be ready.

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February 24, 2005

Lent at St. Edward

Our Lent brochure in pdf format.

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Sadder days

Well, the blog is up an running after the server went down for a while. I have been depressed all week, sleepless nights even after an exhausting weekend. My Province has put me in a huge quandary. Losing all health benefits and retirement, all going to lawyers and lawsuits.

Still others have greater troubles. There was a murder of a teenager this week in the city and the police and the press showed up tonight at the parish as many of his friends sought to hold a candlelight vigil. It was all a surprise to us. I was walking around the property with the facilities manager when we noticed the press in our front parking lot. One of the videos on the KTVU site even shows the reporter in front of the church.

Tomorrow is an all day meeting with the Bishop on the GIRM for all the priests of the Diocese, and then I pick up Fr. Nordenbrock from the airport for the beginning of the lenten mission.

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February 9, 2005

Ash Wednesday

What a wonderful day, full of reverence and devotion!

The crowds were enormous, but wonderful. My feet are killing me.

We had Mass at 6:45am, 9:00am, 10:30am, and the Deacons presided at Liturgies of the Word at Noon and 4:00pm. Then there were two evening masses at 6:30pm and 8:30pm. At the 6:30pm Mass the Plaza and the Driveway were filled with people who could not get into Church, so another lay minister and I stood outside in the plaza distributing ashes from the beginning of Mass to well after it ended. The people were mostly hispanic but there were a few asians and others who did not speak spanish, and I fumbled around, forgetting how to say it in English. That was a first for me.

I am tired, but will be up for the 6:45am tomorrow on my day off. Pray I get a Spanish homily done for Saturday.

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January 22, 2005

For Lizz

Click here to order the book.

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Back on my feet

I've been sick for most of the week, trying to take it easy, but the days are getting crazier. I am beginning to feel a bit more normal, taking off today to join the confirmation candidates on their retreat. Must get homily finished.

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January 14, 2005

Hellish week

wow....there is so much to do this week. What a week!!! Well, I am away now at the Retrouvaille International Board of Directors Meeting. Jeff, Donna and I are presiding. See ya....

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January 9, 2005

Congratulations Sr. Gladys Echenique OP, Coordinator of Hispanic Ministry at St. Edward, who celebrated her final vows today in a beautiful ceremony today at St. Edward.

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January 8, 2005

Congratulations.... Cristina and Eric Stones who were married at St. Edward Church today.

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December 20, 2004

Busy Week

It is so much fun being back in a parish. Task today, put out the shepherds in the creche, and finish my Christmas Homily in Spanish.

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December 15, 2004


After two days, the Blessed Sacrament locked up in the sacristy, the destroyed lock on the tabernacle was replaced. Tuesday Morning at 9:00am Mass, we blessed the Tabernacle, did an act of reparation and placed the Blessed Sacrament inside again. A new latch was placed on the sacristy window.

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December 12, 2004

What a Day!!

Too much sadness in my life at the moment.

Entered the church this morning to discover that the tabernacle had been vandalized.

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December 11, 2004

Third Sunday of Advent

As the Spirit of the Lord descended upon Isaiah that he might announce good tidings to the poor and oppressed, so we hear Mary proclaim that God who lifts up the lowly has looked upon her in her lowliness. As the desert cries of Isaiah and John the Baptist announced the coming of the Lord, so the roses blooming in the arid soil of Tepeyac symbolized the blossoming of Christianity in the Americas. Our Lady of Guadalupe claimed justice for the people of Tepeyac, raising up those who were oppressed. Thus she is a "mantle of justice" for all who are oppressed. Do we not hear her say to us, "Is it not I, your mother, who is here? Are you not, fortunately, in my care?" "No soy yo, su madre, que estoy aqu? No estn, ustedes, afortunadamente, bajo mi cuidado?"

There was once one who was greater than a prophet. It was said that among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist. Sitting in his prison, his head in his hands, John spoke to God: "I have been taken out of the wilderness, and am bound by these chains and I cannot move, all words have failed me. All I can do is ask the question, `Are you the one who is to come or are we to await another?" For all who have ever known disappointment and loss, this mother has provided an answer.

All Johns expectations were failing him. He heard that the story was changing and that was a great disappointment to him. God's power was something he had hoped for and depended on all his life. He had preached with all his might the coming of the wrath of God. He thought he saw the picture perfectly. God's winnowing fan is in his hand ready to clear the threshing floor and gather crop into the kingdom; but the refuse he will burn with unquenchable fire. He had given up everything. He wore clothing of camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. He had left everything, and come to this place in the wilderness to wait for the promised one.

But the one whom he had baptized, the one for whom the heavens opened, the one who heard God's voice, had now become very different. Rather than taking his place in the wilderness He was going around eating and drinking at the homes of Pharisees and sinners, and they were saying, 'Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. Rather than gathering a select band of chosen disciples in a community in the wilderness, he had gathered around him a strange mixture of fishermen, artisans, and tax collectors and zealot party members. He even associated with women and counted some as his friends.

Rather than condemning sinners, he would gather them together, feed them, and call them "blessed." He would tell them to "rejoice," say that they were the "salt of the earth" and the "light of the world." Where was the wrath? When was he going to wield the winnowing fan? When was the wheat going to be separated from the chaff? When was he going to call down unquenchable fire? Is this the one who is to come or are we to look for another?

Jesus answers slowly, and not even very directly. There is no wrath, no threshing floor, no winnowing fan. Wheat is still mixed up with chaff. And all he says is "trust what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. No trumpets, no angels coming on the clouds, just words from the vision of the prophet Isaiah. No wrath, no winnowing fan, wheat is still mixed with chaff, and light still mingles with the darkness.

Hope, Peace, community, justice, forgiveness and oneness of heart will come about because of a God who can do what is impossible raise the dead to life will also raise us up. My hope is no longer in myself, or in my hopes, dreams or expectations. My hope is in the Christ whom we put on as a garment of salvation.

The first light of this gift of Jesus is still only coming into view, and so with John, the one who is more than a prophet but who now takes his place with all the little ones in the reign of God, we leave the prisons we have built with our expectations and enter again the wilderness of this Advent.

With the prophets of old, those who came before John, and now those who come after, the prophets of this time and place, the prophets of hope who fill these pews, we see what threatens us, we too need to intercede to heaven, We gather again in this wilderness knowing that the world still waits for the body of Christ to be revealed. We gather with songs in the darkness, and light a wreath proclaiming the unending light. We pray that the light will come to full glory in the darkness of Easter night. We move again in reverence around this table and pray again the words that our Savior taught us.

As the desert vision of Isaiah set our hopes afire and John the Baptist struggles in darkness, we too bring our hopes and dreams, our doubts and expectations to witness the roses blooming in the arid soil of Tepeyac and even in the doubts and darkness of our own lives. Our Lady of Guadalupe claimed justice for the people of Tepeyac, raising up those who were oppressed. Thus she is a "mantle of justice" for all who are oppressed. "Is it not I, your mother, who is here? Are you not, fortunately, in my care?" O Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros.

As como el espritu del Seor descendi sobre Isaas que el iba a anunciar buenas noticias al pobre y oprimido, tambin omos a Maria proclamar que Dios realza al humilde que ha visto por ella en su soledad. As como el desierto llora y Juan Bautista anuncia la venida del Seor, entonces las rosas florecen en el rido suelo del Tepeyac simbolizando el florecimiento del Cristianismo en las Amricas. Nuestra Seora de Guadalupe reclamo justicia para la gente del Tepeyac levantando aquellos que estaban oprimidos. As, ella es un manto de justicia para todo aquel que es oprimido. Que no la escuchamos decir, No soy yo tu madre que esta aqu? No estn ustedes, afortunadamente bajo mi cuidado?

Hubo una vez alguien que fue ms grande que un profeta. Se dijo que entre aquellos nacidos de mujeres, nadie ms a sobresalido como Juan el Bautista. Sentado en su prisin, su cabeza en sus manos, Juan habl con Dios: He sido sacado del desierto, y he sido atado a estas cadenas y no me puedo mover, todas las palabras me han fallado. Todo lo que tengo que hacer es preguntar, Eres tu el que viene o debemos de esperar a otro? Para todo aquel que conoce decepcin y perdida, esta madre ha provedo una respuesta.

Todas las expectativas de Juan le han fallado. El escucho que la historia haba cambiado y eso lo decepcion. El poder de Dios es algo que el ha credo y dependido en su vida, el ha predicado con todas sus fuerzas la venida de Dios. El crey que tenia la imagen perfecta, el abanco de Dios est en su mano listo para limpiar el suelo y recolectar el trigo en el Reino; pero al rechzo lo quemra con fuego. El lo ha dado todo. El visti ropas de cabello de camello con un cinturn de cuero amarrado a la cintura, y su comida fue langosta y miel salvaje. El dej todo eso y vino a este lugar en el desierto, para esperar el que fue prometido.

Pero aquel que ha bautizado, aquel por el que el cielo se abri, aquel que escucho la voz de Dios, se ha vuelto ahora diferente. En vez de tomar su lugar en el desierto, el andaba por todas partes comiendo y bebiendo en las casas de los Fariseos y pecadores, y ellos decan, Mirar, un glotn y bebedor, un amigo de los recolectores de impuestos y pecadores. En vez de juntar una banda selecta de Discpulos en una comunidad en el desierto, el a reunido una extraa mezcla de pescadores, artesanos y recolectores de impuestos, y miembros del partido Zelote. El tambin se asoci con mujeres y cont algunas como sus amigas.

En vez de condenar a los pecadores, los reuni, aliment y los llam benditos. Les dijo que se regocijran pues ellos eran la sal de la Tierra y la luz del mundo, Dnde estaba la fria? Cuando el iba a usar su abanco? Cuando iba a ser el trigo separado de la paja? Cuando iba el a mandar ese fuego que purifica? Es este aquel que viene, o somos nosotros los que tenemos que buscar por otro?

Jess responde lentamente, sin hacerlo directamente. No hay fria, no hay suelo sucio, no hay abanco. El trigo es mezclado con la paja y el dice: Confa en lo que oyes y vez. El ciego recibe su vista, aquel que sufre al andar, camina, los leprosos son aceados, el sordo escucha, los muertos resucitan, y los pobres reciviran buenas noticias. Sin trompetas, sin ngeles que vengan de las nubes, solo palabras de la visin del profeta Isaas. Sin furia, sin abanico, el trigo todava es mezclado con paja, y la luz todava se mezcla con obscuridad.

Esperanza, paz, comunidad, justicia, perdn, e individualidad del corazn vendr por que viene un Dios que puede hacer lo imposible --- traer los muertos a la vida --- tambin los resucitar. Mi esperanza no est ms conmigo, ni en mis sueos o en mis expectativas. Mi esperanza est en Cristo a quien traemos como amuleto de salvacin.

La primera luz del regalo de Jess esta por llegar a ser vista, asi que con Juan, l que es mas que profeta, pero que ahora toma su lugar con toda la gente humilde en el reino de Dios, dejamos las prisiones que hemos construido con nuestras expectativas y entramos una vez mas al desierto de este Adviento.

Con los profetas antiguos, que vinieron antes que Juan, y ahora esos que vienen despus, los Profetas de su tiempo y lugar, los profetas de esperanza que llenan estas bancas de la Iglesia, vemos lo que nos amenaza, necesitamos tambin de la intervencin del cielo. Recolectamos otra vez del desierto sabiendo que el mundo todava espera por el cuerpo de Cristo por ser revelado. Recolectamos cantando en la oscuridad, y encendemos una corona proclamando la luz infinita. Rezamos que la luz venga con su infinita gloria en la oscuridad de la noche de Pascua. Nos movemos una vez mas en reverencia alrededor de este Altr y rezamos con las palabras que nuestro salvador nos enseo.

Como la visin en el desierto de Isaas, pone nuestras esperanzas en el fuego y Juan el Bautista luch en la oscuridad, nosotros tambin traemos nuestras esperanzas y sueos, nuestras dudas y expectativas a presenciar el florecimiento de las rosas en el suelo rido del Tepeyc an en la duda y en la oscuridad de nuestras propias vidas. Nuestra Seora de Guadalupe reclam justicia por la gente del Tepeyc, levantando a aquellos que fueron oprimidos. As, ella es un manto de justicia para todos aquellos que son hoy oprimidos. No soy yo, su madre, quien esta aqu? No estn ustedes, afortunadamente, a mi cuidado?

O Madre de Dios, Ruega por nosotros.

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December 9, 2004

Sad duty

...sitting here by the fire, puppy at my side, trying to think of words for a funeral tomorrow, a 14 year old boy who committed suicide. sigh.....

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November 19, 2004

Tori's first day

Click here.

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October 16, 2004

The Widow and the unjust Judge

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

Jess rene a sus discpulos y los ensea a usar las parbolas. En sus historias, en sus parbolas, en su enseanza, lo inesperado pasa. El dbil, el extrao, el pequeo, la viuda, los que no tienen derecho y situacin social, estos son los que reciben las bendiciones de Dios. Esto es mas que historias, fbulas piadosas con una moral. Jess mismo toma partido con los dbiles y los desamparados. El no se impone en nosotros como un Dios poderoso. El deja a un lado su divinidad y viene asa uno como uno de nosotros, como un carpintero, un hijo, un amigo, y como un vecino. Poreso ahora, en Jess buscamos a Dios en lugares inesperados.

La viuda en esta parbola 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 atencin a la verdad. La viuda es la inesperada imagen de Dios.

Ella es gracia que viene a nuestra puerta maana, tarde y noche. Dame justicia contra mi adversario, el demonio. Que te parece pasar un momento en oracin? Que te parece perdonar a tu enemigo y darle a tu corazn algo de paz? Que te parece buscar reconciliacin 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 Seor esta en busca de fe. Nosotros solamente podemos complacerlo con fe. El Seor se complace cuando pasamos tiempo con el, y cuando buscamos hacer su voluntad. Si nosotros lo hacemos a un lada o lo ignoramos ser 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 Seor, creador del cielo y tierra, es nuestra ayuda y nuestra salvacin. El esta a nuestro lado. Nosotros estamos invitados a ser su gente, a comer en su mesa. El desafo, 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 prximo Domingo.

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

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October 15, 2004


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

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October 14, 2004

The Pictures have arrived

Installation pictures may be viewed here

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October 10, 2004


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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October 7, 2004


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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October 5, 2004

I'm Home

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

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September 27, 2004

Eclectic Weekend

Presided in Spanish, Concelebrated in Portuguese, Presided and preached at one mass in English, one funeral, two baptisms.

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September 25, 2004

Busy day, week

Sorry for the blog slow down. Believe it or not I am still unpacking and getting settled. Deacon Roger Wedl's wife Esther passed away last Saturday and that has pretty much consumed the week. Today we have three masses, plus one baptism, two weddings, one funeral, Confessions, and the Portuguese procession in honor of Our Lady of Fatima. There are two priests. I think you can do the math.

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September 18, 2004

HOMILIA, 18 de septiembre de 2004

The English version is below

Como seguidores de Jesus, nos comprometemos a seguir su camino. No es suficiente saber lo que El quiere. Tenemos que hacer lo que nos pide. En las ultimas semanas nos ha pedido hacer decisiones dificiles sobre nuestra lealtad, para ayudarle a los pecadores, a los que estan perdidos, y ahora quiere que prestemos mucha atencion en como manejamos nuestro dinero y reflexionemos sobre lo que hacemos con lo que tenemos. Como Cristianos, como seguidores de Jesus, vivimos en este mundo de valores perdidos. Que debe hacer un seguidor de Jesus? En el evangelio de hoy el administrador demuestra los caminos de este mundo, la respuesta animada que gente de esta epoca demuestra en su trato con otras personas y que Jesus compara claramente con la respuesta tenue de los discipulos al Reino de Jesus.

Los discipulos deben de convertir dinero a una ganancia celestial al compartirla con los demas, especialmente los mas necesitados.

El administrador en el evangelio de hoy es un administrador injusto; se preocupa solo por el. El patron en el evangelio de hoy es un patron injusto, esta cobrando demasiado. Parece que Jesus esta celebrando a estas personas. No esta celebrando sus injusticias. Esta alabando su iniciativa, sus acciones de valor. Y se puede escuchar su deseo que sus seguidores demostraran la misma iniciativa en edificar el reino de Dios. Los hijos de este mundo son mas astutos con su gente que los hijos de la luz.

Alguien que es discipulo de Jesus tendra que darle lealtad unicamente a Dios. De otra manera, estaremos esclavizados por nuestros trabajos y la busqueda por la riqueza y otras cosas, cosas que se enmojecen y desbaratan y al final de cuentas, no nos traen felicidad. La persona que es leal a Dios es generosa en compartir lo que tienen con los demas, especialmente los mas necesitados. Jesus indica que los administradores de este mundo, los manejadores de este mundo, los mas astutos y manipuladores de este mundo, saben utilizar los recursos de este mundo mejor que los hijos de la luz, y esas no son Buenas Nuevas para el reino de Dios.

No podeis servir a Dios y al dinero. Las Buenas Nuevas para el reino de Dios es cuando los Cristianos, seguidores de Jesus, se unen y hacen lo que el hizo. No debemos escaparnos del mundo. Tenemos que vivir en este mundo en una forma DIFERENTE, porque somos religiosos, porque somos Cristianos. Esto no quiere decir que solo se nos otorgue ganancias espirituales, rezar y que el resto de la creacion resuelva los problemas del mundo. No, usemos todo, recursos espirituales, recursos del ser humano, y recursos materiales.

Las prioridades de este mundo nos dicen que pongamos atencion a cuanto tenemos y que hemos ganado. Los valores del Evangelio nos indican a como usar lo que tenemos para ayudar a nuestro projimo. Si consideramos lo que tenemos solamente para nosotros, lo perderemos tarde o temprano. Si consideramos lo que tenemos como un regalo de Dios para ayudar a los demas, entonces sabremos que hicimos lo que Jesus nos pidio. Si tengo un carro solo para presumir mi carro, que la gente lo admire, estoy presumiendo algo que se va enmojecer y que despues no funcionara. Pero si tengo un carro y lo uso para ir al trabajo, para llevar a mis familiares al trabajo o a la escuela, para llevar a un vecino que este anciano a la iglesia, para hacer mandados para el vecino que no puede salir de su casa, entonces el carro se convierte en un instrumento del bien, y demostraremos iniciativa al reino de Dios.

Jesucristo, siendo rico, por nosotros se hizo pobre, para enriquecernos con su pobreza. El Seor quiere que los hijos de la luz tomen mas iniciativa en edificar el reino de la luz que los hijos del mundo toman en edificar el reino de la oscuridad. Como aprendemos todos los dias de dar de nosotros mismos, de servirnos unos a los otros, de apoyarnos, nos convertiremos en los hijos e hijas de la luz y ganaremos la bendicion de Jesucristo, nuestro Seor.


As followers of Jesus we commit ourselves to follow in his way. It is not enough to know what he wants. We must do what he asks. In past weeks he has asked us to make difficult choices about our loyalties, to reach out to sinners, to those who are lost, and now he want us to pay close attention to how we deal with money and to reflect on what we do with what we have. As Christians, followers of Jesus, we live in this world with its upside down values. What does a follower of Jesus do? The steward/manager (administrador) displays the ways of this world, the enthusiastic response which people of this age show in their dealings with one another and Jesus contrasts this sharply with the weak response of the disciples to Jesus' Kingdom.

Disciples are to convert mammon into heavenly capital by sharing it with others, particularly the needy.

The steward in todays gospel is an unjust steward; he is focused only on himself. The employer in todays gospel is an unjust employer, he is charging too much. Jesus seems to be praising these people. He is not praising their injustice. He is praising their initiative, their bold action. And you can hear his desire that his followers would show the same initiative in building the kingdom of God. For the children of this world

are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.

One who is a disciple of Jesus must give exclusive loyalty to God. Otherwise we will be enslaved by our jobs and the search for wealth and other things, things that will rust and fall apart and ultimately bring us no happiness. The one who is loyal to God is generous in sharing what they have with others with others, especially with those in need. Jesus indicates the stewards of this world, the managers of this world, the crafty, wily cunning people of this world, are better at the use of the world's resources than are the children of light, and that is not Good News for the kingdom of God.

You cannot serve God and money. Good News for the kingdom of God is when Christians, followers of Jesus, gather together and do what he did. We are not supposed to run away from the World. We are supposed to live in this world DIFFERENTLY, because we are religious, because we are Christians. This does not mean we are entitled to only "spiritual" means, "pray" and let the rest of creation solves the worlds problems. No, we use everything, spiritual resources, human resources, material resources.

The values of this world would tell us to pay attention to how much me have and what we have gained. The values of the Gospel would have us pay attention to how we use what we have to help others. If we consider what we have to be ours, we will eventually lose it. If we consider what we have to be a gift from God so that I can help others, then we will know we have done what Jesus asked. If I have a car in order to show off my car, have people admire my car, I am displaying for admiration something that will rust, and eventually stop working. But if I have a car and use my car to go to work, to give rides to my family to work or school, give rides to church for an elderly neighbor, use the car to run errands for a neighbor who is a shut-in, then the car becomes an instrument of good, and I show initiative for the kingdom of God.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was rich, and became poor that we might know the richness of his love. The Lord wants the children of light to take more initiative in building the kingdom of light than the children of the world take in building the kingdom of darkness. As we daily learn to give of ourselves to serve one another, to be for one another, we will be revealed as sons and daughters of light and gain the praise of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

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September 7, 2004

still swamped

Yesterday was taking care of hang-ups. All the pics are on the walls now and there is still some room left. Today was a school mass, staff meeting, appointments and Adult Faith Formation this evening.

In the morning I leave for St. Louis, for the PBLC HRI meeting, and will be back on Thursday. Friday begins the Retrouvaille weekend in Oakland and prayer posting would be appreciated by the couples.

I am almost unpacked. If I would only stay around long enough. This is my third mid-western trip in a month.

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September 3, 2004

Adult Faith Formation

This is the book I have chosen for the Adult Faith Formation Text

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September 2, 2004

Day off

I have too much to do, but I am also trying to stay healthy. So I took my regular day off which is going to be Thursdays. I went to the Pauline book and media Center to pick up the book I had chosen for Adult Faith Formation. I had ordered 20 copies but now that does not look like it will be enough. Then I met Alice for lunch. She is a sudent at the University of Chicago I had met this past year when she was baptized at the Easter Vigil. She is originally from San Francisco and is currently dating Patrick who sings in the Gregorian Chant Choir there. I did some banking and grocery shopping so now I have enough to pay credit card bills and to shave in the morning. It was a quiet evening, but tomorrow will have its own fireworks. As with any change in pastorate it is wise to get the parish books audited so that will be 9:30am to 4:00pm tomorrow.

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August 31, 2004


Click here

Four Masses Sunday, present at all nine, still learning spanish, school has opened, spent some time with a crying kinder, still opening boxes, the desk has arrived and slowly getting moved into, Parish Council exec team night, Faith Formation tonight, Provincial Council all day today, the other two priests are away, Sr. Jeanne is on vacation, pray for me.

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August 21, 2004

Adult Faith Formation

One of the big holes here at my new parish is Adult Faith Formation. They used to call it RCIA here, but I make a distinction between the education/formation program and the Rites of Initiation as they are celebrated in Church. Beside, any Catholic should be welcome and encouraged to participate, not just those who are becoming Catholic.

One of my first tasks is to form a Faith Formation Team, and then to develop the program. Does anyone have any suggestions of books that might be used as a text? Also I have developed my own list of topics, but do you have any suggestions of topics that absolutely have to be included?

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August 20, 2004

Sunday's Homily

I will have to read the homily in spanish, but can say more, obviously, in English. It will be the second time I have presided in Spanish. The first time was last March in Phoenix. The English text is below.

Homilia, Agosto, 21, 2004

Es un tiempo para volver a nuestra experiencia original, a los primeros das de los seguidores de Jess. Un tiempo anterior a las construciones de iglesias, tabernculos, altares, bancos, estandartes, misales y biblias. En aquellos das nos reunamos en secreto para la Misa y lo llambamos de muchas maneras, litrgia, el pan partido, la cena del Seor.

Ha habido mucho de esta experiencia que conocamos. El lider pronunciaba las oraciones, y la lectura de Las Escritura. Pero ha habido mucho ms de la experiencia que fue nueva y diferente. En las sinagogas antiguas han sido los hombres quienes se reunan. Las mujeres se reunan en otra habitacin aparte. En las reuniones solamente Hebreos eran bienvenidos. Los paganos eran dejados afuera.

Pero aqu ahora es diferente. Nosotros somos diferentes del resto del mundo, del resto de la sociedad. Aqu hombres, mujeres y nios se renen juntos para ecuchar la Palabra de Dios. Aqu nos reunmos con extranjeros y desconocidos para comer y beber en la misma mesa. No ha sido mucho tiempo atrs ellos y nosotros. Todo el que cree en Jess y lo sigue en su camino es ahora parte del cuerpo de Cristo. La lnea de divisin que nos ha separado ahora se ha borrado por la fe en Cristo. Las barreras que nos mantenan aparte han sido ahora destrudas por la crus de Cristo. Aquellos que han estado una vez lejos han sido creados nuevos por la sangre de Cristo.

Muchos de nosotros han visto un desfile de naciones cuando el juego de las Olimpiadas comenz. Ha sido una hermosa esperiencia. Muchas caras felces una trs otras, todos entrando con un mismo fin. Ha sido el Seor quin dijo, Yo vine a juntar las naciones de todas la lenguas; ellas vendrn y vern mi gloria...Ellos debern traer todos sus hermanos y hermanas de todas las naciones como un ofrecimiento al Seor. El Seor nos ha prometido a travs de los profetas que la Santidad de su nombre ser revelada en las reuniones de las naciones, desde el norte hasta el sur, desde el este al oeste. Es por esto que rezamos y decimos santificado sea tu nombre, que venga tu reino, que se haga tu voluntad.

Pero el mundo sigue dividido. Hay muchos que piensan que la voluntad del Seor ya se hizo, que el plan de Dios ya se cumpli cuando seguimos separados. Arash Miresmaaeli (Atleta Iran de judo) ha dejado de jugar antes de competir con Ehud Vaks (Israletta) Desde Irlanda hasta Iraqu se derrma sangre porque sentimos que somos amenazados por gentes diferentes a nosotros. Desde Abganistn a Argentina encontramos gentes y naciones que inssten en ser superiores. Esto no es lo que Dios espera de nosotros. Esto no es lo que l desea. Esto no es la voluntad de Dios. l lo describe muy claramente que el que se piensa primero, en realidad ser el ltimo.

Nosotros venimos de mucha naciones y pases. Mis antepasados viniern de Irlanda y Yo naci y fui criado en Hayward, CA. Nosotros no podremos hablar la misma lengua, pero no es nuestra lengua que nos une. No somos unidos por la palabra que podemos usar; ms bien somos unidos por La Palabra, Jesucristo. l es la Palabra que se hizo carne, y l ha roto las barreras que nos mantenan apartados.

Es el Seor que esta reuniendo las naciones. Quin es el desconocido? Quin es el extranjero? En esta casa puede haber algn fugitvo?. Todos aquellos que creen en su Presencia, que vienen a su mesa, que siguen su camino,que comen y beben en su presencia, nosotros nos hacemos parte del cuerpo de Cristo, su cuerpo y su sangre haciendo su voluntad en la tierra como en el cielo.

Es mi esperanza poder hablar Espaol un dia para poder comunicarme con ustedes y no necesitar que alguien traduzca mis palabras. Hasta entonces, vamos a vivir como una familia, una familia en Cristo, cada uno buscando el camino del Seor, en comunin con l, un cuerpo en Cristo.

The English text

It is time for us to return to the original experience, to the first days of the followers of Jesus. It is a time before church buildings and tabernacles, altar rails, pews, banners, missalettes and bibles. In those days we gathered in secret for Mass and we called it many things, liturgy, the breaking of the bread, the Lords Supper.

There was much about this experience that we knew. The leader pronounced the prayers, and the scripture readings were read. But there was much about the experience that was new and different. In the old synagogue it had just been the men who gathered. The women gathered in another room. In the old gatherings only fellow Hebrews were welcome. Gentiles were left outside.

But here it was now different. We were different from the rest of the world, from the rest of society. Here men, women and children gathered together to hear the word of God. Here we gathered with foreigners and strangers to eat and drink at the same table. It was no longer them and us. All who believed in Jesus and who followed in his way were now part of the body of Christ. The dividing line that had separated us was now erased by faith in Christ. The barriers that kept us apart have been destroyed by the cross of Christ. Those who were once far off have been made near by the blood of Christ.

Many of us last week witnessed a parade of nations as the Olympic Games began. It was truly a beautiful experience. Many smiling faces one after another, all entering a common pursuit. It was the Lord who said, I come to gather nations of every language; they shall come and see my glory. They shall bring all your brothers and sisters from all the nations as an offering to the Lord. The Lord has promised us through the prophets that the holiness of his name would be revealed in the gathering of the nations, from north to south, from east to west. It is this that we pray for when we say hallowed by thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done.

But the world is still divided. There are many who think that the Lords will is done, that Gods plan is accomplished when we are kept separate. Iranian judo athlete Arash Miresmaeli dropped out of the games rather than compete against Israeli Ehud Vaks. From Ireland to Iraq blood is shed because we feel threatened by people who are different from us. From Afghanistan to Argentina we find peoples and nations that insist on their superiority. This is not what God hoped for. This is not what he desired. This is clearly not Gods will. He very clearly says that if you think you are first, you will discover that you are last.

We come from many nations and countries. My ancestors come from Ireland and I was born and raised in Hayward, CA. We may not be able to speak each others language, but it is not our language that unites us. We are not united by the words we use; rather we are united in a living Word, Jesus Christ. He is the Word made flesh, and he has broken down the dividing wall that kept us apart.

It is the Lord who is gathering the nations. Who is a stranger? Who is a foreigner? In this house can anyone be a fugitive? All those who believe in his presence, who come to his table, who follow his way, who eat and drink of his presence, we become together part of the body of Christ, his flesh and blood doing his will one earth as it is in heaven.

It is my hope one day to be able to speak to you in your own language, when I will no longer need someone to translate my words. Until then, let us live as his family, one family in Christ, each seeking the Lords way, in his communion, one body in Christ.

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August 18, 2004

First boxes opened

Okay, I was all packed by the end of May, and now I finally get started on the other side of the process. The crew here has been most dedicated, and the bookcases now installed and attached to the walls are quite beautiful. Finally some of the books are seeing the light of day again. Slowly but surely I will get moved in. As life returns to some normalcy, I am also sure that blogging will do the same.

The new bed arrived today also, so soon I may move from the guest room.

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August 9, 2004

First Monday

I added a new category to the Blog: St. Edward Parish.

I have been here two weekends, and the people have been most gracious and welcoming. I have been to all the masses except for the Portuguese Mass, but will go to that in two weeks. (Next weekend I am in Chicago again)

This is my first Monday at the parish and it is time to get plugged in and moved in. I miss my books.

Today, buy a bed and some book cases, decide what to do with that ugly carpet, and clean out the room. I have a Finance comittee meeting tonight.

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