From the Grand Knight
I would like to first of all, take this opportunity again Father Stanley to welcome you to Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish (PBVM). I have no doubt that you are going to bring the parish great Administrative and Spiritual Leadership. I, the Knights of Columbus, and the Squires Circle look forward to being able to work with you, to work for you, as we work towards meeting the same goals, challenges and objectives for and with the parishioners of our fine parish here at PBVM. Father Michael J McGivney’s had four Principles for the Knights of Columbus, Charity, Unity, Fraternalism and Patriotism … so with you, the parishioners, the children of PBVM school, the staff of the church and the school, the many ministries of the church, the Knights of Columbus and the Squires, may we all continue to strive to build our faith based around these and have collaborative partnerships focusing around these four pillars of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism.
I would also like to say Thank you to Father Stanley for excepting the offer of becoming our Chaplain of the PBVM Council 15693 and the Squires Circle. We look forward to having you as our Chaplain. We look forward to your spiritual leadership, your advisement, your faith and to work with you as we continue to strengthen the faith of all here at PBVM.
Deacon Lawrence, I also say Thank you to you for excepting the offer to assist Father Stanley with becoming our Spiritual Advisor, to help lead our great Council and Squires with our faith and spiritual needs. Between both of you, I am sure that the Spiritual Leadership will far exceed our expectations.
I will remind both of you that the Council meetings are the second Tuesday of each month, starting at 7 pm. The Squires Circle meeting have been meeting once a month in the middle of the month, but SK Miguel Acosta has informed me that this might be changing, so there will be more information to follow on this once a change has been made. The Squires are planning their next investiture for August 14, to bring in new members.
In Mary’s name we pray
SK Richard Westerfeld
PBVM Council 15693
The loss of religious freedom is leading to a “bloodless” persecution in the United States, Supreme Chaplain, Archbishop William E. Lori warned last month at the ceremonial opening of the new graduate school at Divine Mercy University, an expansion of the Virginia-based Institute for Psychological Sciences.
Archbishop Lori implored Catholic institutions to stand strong amidst ongoing challenges to religious liberty. The newly-enlarged University integrates Catholic philosophy with modern psychology in order to train mental health professionals in fidelity to the teaching of the Catholic Church.
The Archbishop warned that “bloodless” and “polite” persecution manifests itself in public schools, courts, laws, and “policies that seek to manage and put limits on religion.”
“Massive peer pressure via the social media that affects the thinking and decisions of young people [and] the more localized disapproval of our sophisticated friends,” also contribute to this persecution, according to Archbishop Lori.
Online Obituary will remain until April 20, 2017
Rev. Patrick Lee, who served for 48 years as a priest of the Diocese of Sacramento, died April 17 in Sacramento. He was 73. Bishop Jaime Soto will preside at a Funeral Mass on Thursday, April 21 at 10 a.m. in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, 1017 11th St. in Sacramento. Vigil service will be on Wednesday, April 20 at 4 p.m. preceded by a viewing from 1 to 4 p.m. in Presentation Church, 4123 Robertson Ave. in Sacramento. Burial will follow the Mass on April 21 at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, 6700 21st Avenue, Sacramento. A native of Ballinalee, County Longford, Ireland, Fr. Lee was ordained in 1968 at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Carlow, Ireland, and was invited to serve in the Diocese of Sacramento. He served as assistant pastor at St. Peter Parish in Sacramento, Holy Spirit Parish in Fairfield, St. Thomas More Parish in Paradise and St. John Vianney Parish in Rancho Cordova. He was pastor of Our Lady of the Snows Parish in Westwood from 1981 to 1990 and of St. Joseph Parish in Marysville from 1990 to 1995. In the few years prior to his retirement, he served as chaplain at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. He resided most recently at Presentation Parish and was very involved with pro-life efforts. He served as chaplain to the fourth degree Knights of Columbus and for the Legion of Mary at Presentation Parish. He is survived by two sisters, Kathleen Lee and Peggy Hurson, and brother-in-law Michael Hurson, all of Ireland; a niece, three nephews and six grand nephews. His family is grateful that he died in the loving presence of his family and a few close friends. Memorial donations may be made to Presentation School, 3100 Norris Ave., Sacramento, CA 95821. – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sacbee/obituary.aspx?n=patrick-lee&pid=179683295#sthash.XuzbU6nN.dpuf
A relatively brief thought: For some reason, this has been coming up quite a bit in the last couple of months, on forgiveness.
A priest friend in Slovakia shared a story with my brother-in-law, Father Farrell, that he had given a homily on the need to forgive. A lady came up to him after Mass and said, “Father, based on what you said, I realized that there is something I’ve never let go of.
“Twenty-five years ago, a man broke into my home and raped me. I’ve never been able to forgive him. I’m finally ready to do that.” The priest then heard her confession.
Three weeks later, the same priest was in his rectory when he heard a knock at the door. He said to a man at the door, “Can I help you”. The man replied, “Father, I was passing through the town, I saw the Catholic Church. There’s been something for the last three weeks that’s just been eating away at me.
He said, “Twenty-five years ago, I broke into a woman’s house, and I took advantage of her.”
The priest said, “You realize that the entire Church—Our Lord said to St. Peter that “you have authority to bind and loose.” That’s for teaching. He said to all the apostles that in the Sacrament of Confession, “you bind and loose”. But He said to all the faithful, to the disciples on one occasion, “you’re called to share in this ministry of binding and loosing.”
When we hold someone’s sin against them, they are bound by that. They cannot be free until we offer them mercy. That doesn’t necessarily have to be in person, but at least in our hearts, “I forgive” the person.
A man one time came to Padre Pio, he thought Padre Pio was a phoney, despite all the spiritual gifts he had. The man said to Padre Pio, “I’ll believe that you have an authentic charism, that you’re who you say you are, if you can tell me the sin that I committed years ago that I’ve never been able to forgive myself for.” Padre Pio said, “Come back tomorrow and I will tell you.”
Anybody who knew Padre Pio, who would have been aware of that, would say, “How could he not know that”? I met an Italian woman just after Mass last weekend. I mentioned Padre Pio in my homily. She told me, “My aunt is Italian. She used to go to confession with Padre Pio. He would do her confessions for her.”
When the man said, “if you can tell me my sin”, Padre Pio said, “You can come back tomorrow”. The man came back and said, “Father, can you tell me?” Padre Pio said, “I cannot”.
The man scoffed and said, “I knew you were a fraud”. Padre Pio said, “I can’t tell you because you went to confession for it. Our Lord revealed that to me. So He no longer remembers your sin. God has forgotten it. My brother, it is okay now for you to do the same.”
If we’re to forgive as God forgives, that means, always, everywhere and as soon as possible, not just others, but also ourselves.
The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John.
Glory to You, o Lord.
The one who comes from above is above all.
The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things.
But the one who comes from heaven is above all.
He testifies to what he has seen and heard,
but no one accepts his testimony.
Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.
For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,
but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life,
but the wrath of God remains upon him.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to You, o Lord Jesus Christ.
Just a few quick thoughts today to help us either develop or deepen our relationship with St. Joseph.
Today, we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, so I figure it’s better to let our Lady speak, than myself. Just a few words that she shared with the three children in Fatima, when she appeared to them almost 100 years ago, in 1917.
On one occasion, she said—now, remember, she’s talking to little kids, 10 years old, 9 years old, and 7 years old—“Will you offer yourselves to God, and bear all the sufferings which He sends you, in reparation for the sins which offend Him, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners?”
Will you bear all the sufferings that He sends you?
(If kids can do it, certainly, we can, and she asks the same of us.)
On another occasion, she said to them, “Say the rosary every day, to bring peace to the world, and the end of the war.” (They were in the middle of the First World War.)
She said to three little kids, ‘You pray the rosary every day, and this war will end.’
As Knights of Columbus, there’s the expectation that you would be praying the rosary every day.
If it can bring peace to the world and an end of war, what can it accomplish in our own lives?
Just one more: On another occasion, visiting the children, one of them asked, “Are you going to bring us back home to heaven?”
Our Lady said, “I’m going to take Jacinta and Francisco soon. You will stay here a little while longer.”
Lucia looked at her sadly and said, “Must I stay here alone?” And she said, “My child, do not be sad. You will never be alone. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge, and the way which will lead you to God.”
I don’t know if any of you have a devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but I personally find tremendous comfort, relief from whatever I’m going through, when I simply say to our Lady, “I place myself in your Immaculate Heart. Mary, let me take refuge in your Immaculate Heart.”
She said to the children, “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
May we learn to make that our place of refuge also.
[Having trouble finding time to pray the Rosary?
Any time devoted to prayer returns the investment many times over.
Get a cheap little MP3, download the Rosary podcasts ,
get little headphones.
Go take a walk, listen to a podcast, pray the Rosary every day.]
I really want this to be quick and simple, and I realize that’s the best way to keep it in general, because someone contacted me for Confession shortly before this meeting when I planned to prepare something.
I received a text today.
It was a quote from St. Peter Julian Eymard.
This is the quote:
Until we have a passionate love for our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament, we shall accomplish nothing.
Because every grace we need to accomplish that which we’re called to in our lives, comes from Him.
At my last assignment, up in Alturas, I remember I got there, and I was facing certain issues. I was stressed out. I had just been named the Pastor, and there were some significant problems in the parish.
A buddy of mine called me on the phone, a priest in another Diocese. He could tell right away that I was worried. He said, “tell me what’s going on”. I started telling him all the problems. I said, “Gosh, what do you think I should do?”
He said, “Man, have you prayed about it?” I said, “Oh my goodness, that’s a great idea!” Now, here’s the Lord, in my church, about ten feet away from my room. He has all the answers every question that we have. Outside of Mass we should be turning to Him.
Every single one of us outside of Sunday Mass should be spending some time every week with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
Until we have a passionate love for our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, we shall accomplish nothing.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Last time we met, I talked about setting up a spiritual regimen that all of us ought to have, a guideline, how we ought to live our spiritual lives. I focused on making sure we do some spiritual reading, even just 10 minutes at day. Keep a book by your bed, keep a book on the toilet seat, wherever you’re going to find a few minutes.
A couple of days ago I read an article by a Priest who’s probably one of the most well-known, well-respected spiritual writers in our country at this time. It was really fascinating. He had a young man in his parish, in his mid ‘20s, who had joined a parish prayer group. The kid was new, he said, “I’ve recently come back to the Catholic Faith; I drifted away in college.” One evening during this prayer group, someone asked him, “can you tell us your story, what brought you back?”
To my surprise in reading this article, he said, “When I was in college, I really got caught up in black magic, and became a satanist.” And the Priest thought, “(Is this kid messing around?)” He asked, “Is this true that satanists say the Catholic Mass backwards?” The young man said, “Yes, Father, that’s true, they start with last word of the Catholic Mass, and they say everything backwards.”
The Priest asked, “Is it true that, as satanists, you would try to get Consecrated Hosts from the Catholic Church?” The young man replied, “Yes, it’s true, we had devised a plan where people would go to different Catholic churches, we figured out exactly what Catholics would do, some of us were fallen-away Catholics. And if we could get a Consecrated Host, that is what we would defile in our black mass.”
and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught.
The people were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.
In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit;
he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”
Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!”
The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.
All were amazed and asked one another,
“What is this?
A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”
His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.
– Mark 1:21-28
Would he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished’?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'”
– Luke 17:7-10
I was asked by a non-Catholic Christian, devout Protestant family that lives not too far from here, if I would pray over their 12-year-old boy who was suffering in the final stages of cancer. When I went there, I had a chance to meet with the Dad. He told me a little bit about their family.
I was really blown away by their faith. He shared with me that, when their first-born child was born, another child of theirs, they were in the hospital. As soon as his wife delivered, there were some immediate complications, they rushed the child away into the emergency room, and performed immediate surgery.
The doctors came out, met with the mother and father and said, “We’re not sure if your child is going to live”. It was their first child, they were been waiting all this time, they were so excited. The doctors said, “these next 24 hours are the most critical. If the child survives these first 24 hours, there’s a good chance he’ll live. But there’s a very strong possibility that he won’t survive 24 hours.”
As soon as the doctor left the room, the man said, “I interiorly did not know how to pray”. I wasn’t sure what he meant by that. He went on and he said, “Because I did not know what God wanted to do in this moment. Did He want to heal my son, perhaps even with a miracle, and leave him here with us, or did He desire to take my little boy home to heaven right then? And so, was I supposed to pray that my child would be healed, or was I supposed to pray for my family, my wife especially, to deal with the suffering of the loss of a child?
“So I waited, and I asked God, ‘How do You want me to pray? Because I only want Your will to be done in your lives. Because Your will is what is best for us.’ “
It just blew me away: A man with that kind of trust in God’s goodness, and the absolute certitude that His will is what is best for us.
So I thought we could just pray for that same grace, to have that trust in God’s goodness, and to know that His will in our lives is always that is what is best for us, even in those times when it might not seem to be: that He really does have a plan in the midst of everything.
Father Leatherby remarked on our Blessed Lord replying to the Disciples’ question, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? … He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said … whoever receives one child such as this in My Name receives Me.”
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen wrote that “there is no one in hell who is humble”.
St. Louis Grignion de Montfort wrote that “because Mary remained hidden during her life she is called by the Holy Spirit and the Church ‘Alma Mater’, Mother hidden and unknown. So great was her humility that she desired nothing more upon earth than to remain unknown to herself and to others, and to be known only to God.”
Mother Theresa of Calcutta received the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize with an attitude of humble confidence in our Blessed Lord. Mother Theresa reminded us that our Blessed Lord said, “Without Me you can do nothing”; but He said that “with God, all things are possible”. Mother Theresa helped us to focus on the fact that “Each one of us is what he is in the eyes of God”. She depended on God 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. May we ask for the grace of humility.