Alleluia! Christ is Risen! He is Truly Risen!

03-31-2024Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Bob Poitras

We have completed our 40 day journey and we find ourselves looking joyfully into an empty tomb. We began our Lenten journey on Ash Wednesday and find its fulfillment here, on Easter! Throughout our journey we challenged ourselves to search and find all the brokenness and weakness of our lives, all that would distract us from being true disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. We were led this past week, Holy Week, to carry all our troubles, weakness and brokenness to the tomb with our Lord, and now we rejoice in the fact that through His death and Resurrection, he has saved us, restored us, and made us whole again.

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The Whole Story

03-24-2024Pastoral Reflections Colleen Jurkiewicz Dorman

The Bible is a strange book.

It’s one of the only books that most people never read in its entirety, even those who claim it as one of their favorites. It’s also one of the only books that we feel comfortable chopping up and sectioning out. There’s nothing wrong with that, really, until people start making wholesale judgments of divine revelation based on one tiny part of it. You can’t base your belief system on a few lines from Leviticus and ignore the Gospels, just like you can’t embrace the teachings of Jesus and ignore the Old Testament. You need to accept the whole story, in its entirety, or none of it means anything.

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Recognize God In Your Ordinary Moments

03-17-2024Pastoral ReflectionsTracy Earl Welliver, MTS - ©LPI

We parents know that it’s tricky, tackling the topic of fear with our kids. We want them to know that it’s okay to be scared, that it’s something we all feel from time to time. We want them to understand that bravery isn’t the absence of fear, but the choices we make in persevering despite that feeling.

Most of all, we want to model the right kind of behavior for our kids. Whatever our scary situation is — illness, a job loss, life changes — we want them to see us make a choice to face that fear head-on.

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4th Sunday of Lent

03-10-2024Pastoral Reflections©LPi — Father John Muir

Our national pastime isn’t baseball. It’s what the Bible calls “condemning the world.” We generally enjoy pronouncing curses upon those whom we see as trouble, wrong, or evil. Don’t believe me? Listen to almost any podcast, cable news network, or social media platform to hear it. It will be some version of: “We all agree that if they are eradicated, things will be great.” Condemning is almost always clothed in virtue. It basks in its good intentions. That’s why it is so attractive. Condemning seems like our best path to saving what is good.

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Recognize God In Your Ordinary Moments - The Merciful Anger of Jesus

03-03-2024Pastoral Reflections©LPi — Colleen Jurkiewicz Dorman

Watch your fellow churchgoers today as the priest or deacon reads the story of Jesus raising hell (or perhaps he’s raising heaven?) in the temple square. Dollars to donuts, they’ll be squirming.

As Catholics, we have become very uncomfortable with Angry Jesus. He makes us cringe in the same way that the Old Testament God does when He calls Himself “jealous” and talks about punishment. That level of intensity makes us recoil. If it were present in a human relationship, it would be toxic and abusive, because in humanity, fierceness and love rarely coexist in a healthy way.

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Recognize God In Your Ordinary Moments - When Sacrifice Becomes Mundane

02-25-2024Pastoral ReflectionsTracy Earl Welliver, MTS - ©LPi

It seems to happen every year, like clockwork: we drag a bit, as we enter into the second week of Lent. On Ash Wednesday, we feel a bit like soldiers banging our shields, rushing into battle. “We’re ready, God!” our hearts cry out. “Transform us through sacrifice! Your will be done!”

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Surrounded by God's Glory

02-18-2024Pastoral Reflections©LPi — Father John Muir

When I feel down, I sometimes watch the famous “Double Rainbow” video on YouTube to feel better. It’s hilarious. A young man camping in Yosemite Park sees two rainbows stretching across the sky. He bursts into a kind of ecstasy. “Double rainbow, all the way! Oh my God!” he announces. Then he starts to weep. He cries out, “What does it mean?” Beneath the humor of his glorious overreaction is the deep intuition we all have, I think, when we see the colorful bow in the sky. This Sunday, God sends a rainbow to Noah, and to us. What does it mean?

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Lent 2024

02-14-2024Reflections and Resources

“Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart…” So begins the first reading of Ash Wednesday, a reading from the Old Testament book of the prophet Joel. Just a bit later, the prophet further exhorts us to “[r]end your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God”. And so, Lent begins with a call to return to God genuinely and wholeheartedly, a call, perhaps a reminder, which we hear every year at this time. The gospel reading for Ash Wednesday, taken from Matthew’s gospel, tells us of three ways in which we can concretely express our return to God: giving alms, praying and fasting. (You can find the Ash Wednesday readings and all the daily Mass readings at bible.usccb.org.) These three spiritual practices are often referred to as the pillars, or disciplines of Lent. Here are some thoughts about how we can carry out each of these means of returning to and encountering God.

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Sin and Loneliness

02-11-2024Pastoral ReflectionsColleen Jurkiewicz Dorman

When I was in high school, we read “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka. It’s a depressing little novella about a man who (spoiler alert!) turns into a cockroach and dies of neglect, his family gradually ceasing to recognize the creature he has become. “Never underestimate how badly human beings need touch,” our teacher told us. “Without each other, we curl up and die.”

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Lent Prepare the Way of the Lord

02-04-2024Pastoral Reflections

Lent is nearly here! Ash Wednesday is February 14 and reminds us that we belong to God and are called to be reconciled to him and to live in his ways.

During the six Wednesdays of Lent, (February 21 through March 27), St. Mary Parish will celebrate Evening Prayer, complete with the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the opportunity for individual confession (Sacrament of Reconciliation). The Lenten Evening prayer will be held on Wednesdays beginning February 21 through March 27, from 7:00 to 8:00PM in the Chapel. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will take place at 7:00pm, followed by Evening Prayer.

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Encourage Deeper Understanding Of Scripture

01-28-2024Pastoral Reflections©LPi — Father John Muir

I love movies about exorcisms. Apparently, so do many others. The 2023 movie “Nefarious” features a possibly possessed inmate on death row. Critics were not impressed, but audiences scored it at 97% on the website Rotten Tomatoes. Most people have an appreciation for the demonic realm, even if cultural elites are generally embarrassed about it. As is standard in exorcism movies, the afflicted person (in this case, a man named Edward Brady) thinks and acts like multiple persons. He is someone besides himself. We know what that is like. We feel fake sometimes, not ourselves.

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Recognize God In Your Ordinary Moments

01-21-2024Pastoral Reflections©LPi — Colleen Jurkiewicz Dorman

There are some things that always come at the worst time. I’ve never gotten a telemarketing call and thought, “This is a really convenient moment for me to listen to a sales pitch.” I’ve never seen the compulsory software update notice flash on my computer screen when I didn’t have a deadline I was struggling to meet. My kids never come down with the flu unless it’s the weekend and the line at Urgent Care is stretching out the door.

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Recognize God In Your Ordinary Moments

01-14-2024Pastoral Reflections©LPi

Those Who Seek the Truth

In my work as a freelance writer, I have a regular column in the archdiocesan paper writing profiles of ordinary people in the local church. Laity, religious, and clergy alike — I hound them all to give me an interview, and when I do, the answer is almost always this: “You don’t want to talk to me. There’s nothing special about me.”

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The Nativity of the Lord

12-25-2023Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Robert A. Poitras

Merry Christmas!

If you are joining us today for the first time, or if you are returning to church for the first time in a while, or you join us every weekend - welcome home. While you are here I hope you experience the joy and peace you’re searching for this Christmas. On behalf of the entire pastoral and support staff of St. Mary’s Church I wish all of you and your families a Merry and Blessed Christmas.

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Gaudete Sunday - Third Week of Advent

12-17-2023Pastoral Reflections

Today, the third Sunday of Advent, is Gaudete, or “Rejoice”, Sunday. This name comes from the beginning of the entrance antiphon assigned to this day: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice. The Lord is near!”

Taking a break from purple, the royal and penitential color assigned to the rest of Advent, the priest and deacon are allowed to wear rose colored vestments today, as this color represents “hopefilled anticipation.”

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