Growing in Devotion to God

09-19-2021Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

One of the many things I was able to pray about on my recent retreat was how truly blessed I am to be here at St. Mary’s among such faith-filled, wonderful people. As promised, I prayed for you every day and specifically offered Masses for you and for your intentions over the thirty days. As many of you have expressed your thanks at my return, know that I return that gratitude and love to you all – the infinite, healing love the Sacred Heart of Jesus offers each of us. I realize what a true privilege it is to be able to be away for a full thirty days for such a retreat. This was due to the generosity of many others that made it possible. I’m extremely grateful to Fr. Francisco, Msgr. Willie, our deacons, and our dedicated staff for “holding down the fort” while I was away. To all who helped – thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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Lift High The Cross

09-12-2021Pastor's LetterRev. Francisco Oñate-Vargas

Dear St. Mary’s family,

This is the 24th Sunday in ordinary time and on Tuesday, we celebrate the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross to honor the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified.

The Story of this liturgical Feast:

Early in the fourth century, Saint Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the holy places of Christ’s life. She demolished the 2nd century Temple of Aphrodite, which tradition held was built over the Savior’s tomb, and her son built the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher on that same spot. During the excavation, workers found three crosses. Legend has it that the one on which Jesus died was identified when its touch healed a dying woman.

The cross immediately became for all believers an object of veneration. At a Good Friday celebration in Jerusalem toward the end of the 4th century, according to an eyewitness, the wood was taken out of its silver container and placed on a table: Then, “all the people pass through one by one; all of them bow down, touching the cross, first with their foreheads, then with their eyes; and, after kissing the cross, they move on.”

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The Gregorian Mission: Compassion and Surrender

08-29-2021Pastor's LetterRev. Francisco Oñate-Vargas

Dear St. Mary’s family,

I am very happy to announce that this week Fr. Wilson is coming back to St. Mary’s after spending a 30-day intensive retreat in Florida. Please join me in welcoming Fr. Wilson. We can’t wait to hear about his experience during this time of prayer and reflection.

This is the 22nd Sunday in ordinary time and on Friday, we celebrate the memory of St. Gregory the Great, pope and doctor of the church. Pope Saint Gregory I, also known as the Great, was the Pope of the Catholic Church between 590 and 604 AD. Gregory's family was very wealthy. Gregory was well educated and excelled in all his studies. He also became an expert in law.

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The True Israelite

08-22-2021Pastor's LetterRev. Francisco Oñate-Vargas

Dear St. Mary’s family,

Fr. Wilson has been on retreat for about 3 weeks and the great news is that, in a just over a week he is returning home. We pray for his safe return and St. Mary’s family gladly welcomes him back.

We are on the 21st week in ordinary time and on Tuesday the church celebrates the feast of the apostle Saint Bartholomew.

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The Assumption, An Event of Love

08-15-2021Pastor's LetterRev. Francisco Oñate-Vargas

Dear St. Mary’s family,

Fr. Wilson is still on his 30-day intensive Ignatian retreat in Florida. Please continue to keep Fr. Wilson in your prayers. He is greatly missed.

This week, on Sunday, we have a special celebration: The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Assumption is the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life. This belief is part of the treasury of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and parts of Anglicanism. The Assumption is referred as the Dormition of the Theotokos (Greek word meaning “God bearer”). Catholic Teaching and the Sense of the Faithful The Catholic Church teaches as dogma that the Virgin Mary “having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” Pope Pius XII dogmatically defined this doctrine on November 1, 1950, in the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus, while exercising papal infallibility. The dogmatic declaration that the Assumption was part of the “deposit of faith” for all Catholics was just the formal declaration of what the faithful already believed and practiced.

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God Is With You Always...and So am I

08-08-2021Pastor's LetterRev. Francisco Oñate-Vargas

Dear St. Mary’s family,

Let’s continue to keep Fr. Wilson in our prayers for a fruitful and meaningful retreat.

We are on the 19th week in ordinary time. On Tuesday, the church celebrates the feast of Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr. St. Lawrence was a deacon in the early Church, not a priest. The word deacon comes from the Greek word "diakonia," which means service. Deacons of the early Church often helped widows, orphans, the poor and the elderly. We are all called to be servants, so if there is someone elderly in your family try to do something nice for them today. If not, make a donation to the poor box, pay a visit to a local nursing home and cheer someone up and don't forget to pray for those who live in less developed countries.

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See You In September

08-01-2021Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On Monday, I depart for the 30-day Ignatian retreat that I have been writing about. Due to the nature of the retreat — silent and intense — I will not be taking calls or answering email or texts for the duration of the retreat – August 2 through September 3. But I will not leave you orphans! You will be in the very capable hands of Fr. Francisco graciously assisted by Msgr. Willie. I am thankful to them since without them I would not be able to do this retreat. I am also extremely grateful to you, dear parishioners, because it is your generosity and support also that allows me to be away.

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