The Importance of Our Work

09-26-2021Year of St. Joseph

Pope Pius XI: “In a life of faithful performance of everyday duties, [St. Joseph] left an example for all those who must gain their bread by the toil of their hands.”

To think about: We all have manual labor to do as part of life, either at our job or at home. Sometimes we don’t appreciate how we serve God even when we are doing yard work, housework, and such. From the beginning God gave man work, to ‘till and keep’ the garden. Do we perform our manual labor to glorify God as we work? Do we appreciate the importance of our work?

Air for Christian Lungs

09-26-2021Pastor's LetterRev. Gregory B. Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Milo, Sparky, Precious, and Champ need blessings, too. Even horses, llamas, iguanas, and geckos. All animals of every species are welcome to our annual Blessing of the Animals this year on Saturday, October 2 at 10:00am on the rectory lawn (corner of Park Ave. and York St. next to Old St. Mary’s). (The blessing occurs annually on or near the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.)


Diligent Caretaker

09-19-2021Year of St. Joseph

St. Leonard of Port Maurice: “All Christians belong to Joseph because Jesus and Mary belonged to him.”

To think about: All believers are part of the body of Christ, which would make Joseph our caretaker. Joseph was diligent in caring for Mary and for Jesus, and he will be diligent in caring for us, too

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!


The Martyr of the Hidden Life

09-12-2021Year of St. Joseph

St. Peter Julian Eymard: “We may well call St. Joseph the martyr of the hidden life.”

To think about: St. Joseph doesn’t say anything in scripture, and nothing is mentioned about him except in relation to Jesus or Mary. He had a “hidden life.” Sometimes we may feel like no one listens to us, or even cares about us, unless it affects the other person. Go to Joseph! He can give you strength!


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.”


Your Guide on the Voyage

09-05-2021Year of St. Joseph

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade: “Just as [St. Joseph] led the Son of God in his travels, may he be your guide on the voyage of this life until you arrive at the haven of eternal happiness.”

To think about: Man’s life is often described as a voyage; scripture calls us ‘strangers and sojourners’ on earth, on our way to Promised Land / Heaven (1 Chron 29:15; 1 Peter 2:11). Joseph led Jesus to Jerusalem several times, plus to Egypt, all quietly and cautiously. He can lead us to Christ on our journey now. Get to know Joseph!

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.


Confidence in God

08-29-2021Year of St. Joseph

Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen: The fundamental disposition of St. Joseph’s soul was one of complete confidence and abandonment to God, which had its source in his faith.

“Complete confidence and abandonment to God.” This is difficult, especially in difficult and confusing times. How can we strengthen our faith and our trust in God in every situation?

The Just Man

08-22-2021Year of St. Joseph

Pope Pius XI: [St. Joseph] won for himself the title of “The Just Man,” and thus serves as a living model of that Christian justice which should reign in social life. (Matt 1:19)

To think about: One definition of justice is giving a person what is by right his. We usually hear “justice” in terms of “social justice” which focuses on the poor and disenfranchised. But we are called to be just in all parts of life, and, most importantly, in our relationship with God. We owe God our love and submission. The following dialogue occurs in the preface in the Mass. Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. Response: It is right and just. Priest: It is truly right and just, our duty and salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

That dialogue gives us much food for thought. How do we give God the honor he deserves? What does it mean to be just to our spouse, children, employer or employee? How can St. Joseph be a model of this for us?

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.


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.


Beloved of God

08-15-2021Year of St. Joseph

St. Lawrence of Brindisi: As that former Joseph was the beloved of this father [Gen 37:2], so this Joseph is the beloved of God.

To think about: Like Joseph, we are all beloved of God. What does it mean, that each of us is the beloved of God? After they have their first child, often mothers and fathers will remark that they didn’t even imagine that they could love someone so much or that they would be willing to give so much to someone. God loves each of us infinitely more that that. Consider God’s love - what is our response?

Shadow of God

08-08-2021Year of St. Joseph

Fr. Frederick Faber: Fr. Faber called Joseph “the one chosen shadow of God upon earth” in the hymn O Blessed St. Joseph.

To think about: What an interesting phrase “the one chosen shadow of God.” Our shadow goes where we go (always staying right with us), is shaped like us, and does not draw attention to itself. What might Fr. Faber have been thinking of when he wrote that phrase? How is Joseph the shadow of God? How can we be shadows of God?

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.


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.



08-01-2021Year of St. Joseph

St. Francis de Sales: “To be just is, indeed, to be perfectly united to the Divine Will, and to be always confirmed to it in all sort of events, whether prosperous or adverse. That St. Joseph was this, no one can doubt.”

To think about: Accepting God’s will in the trials and difficulties of life is hard. But we need to always remember that God is in charge.