Author Archives: DGonz47es

Farewell to Rich McLaughlin

Rick has been with our parish for the last 15 years as our music minister. On Jan 22 he will begin a new ministry at St. Jude Church in Mansfield, TX, which will also enable him to be living closer to his children and grandchildren. Please pray that God graces him during his time of transition. He has been a great blessing for our parish, and will be greatly missed-bow tie and all!

Rick also leaves a position on the faculty at the Diocesan Seminary, and a position on the staff at San Fernando Cathedral.

Our Deepest Sympathy

to the Family and Friends of Fr. Monroe Perrier, affectionately known as Fr. Monie. Fr. Monie had been in residence at St. Gerard, until moving to St. Clement Health Care. Many, many people have been touched by Fr. Monie’s gentle and understanding spirit. He loved his priestly vocation and loved to minister to people. He was always available to those in need. He was a gentle priest who also loved God’s furry creatures and was often seen feeding the cats in the neighborhood. We were blessed at St. Gerard to have known Fr. Monie. Fr. Monie passed away on Jan 6th in Liguori Missouri.

Pastor’s Notes – January 14, 2017

Father Shea

By Fr. James E. Shea, C.Ss.R.

Dear Parishioners and Friends:

After spending many hours in the Riley’s Irish Riverside Pub, a young man decided to head home. As soon as he stepped outside he noticed a group of people gathering down at the river. The young man was curious. So, he inched his way toward the river to see what was happening. A preacher was standing in the middle of the river. He was inviting people to be baptized by immersion.

After baptizing the last person the preacher looked around. He saw the young man and invited him to be baptized. So the lad waded to the center of the river. The preacher gripped the man’s shoulders, pushing him  down under the water, holding him there for 15 seconds. He pulled the man up and asked, “Did you see Jesus?” The young man shook his head and said, “No!” So the preacher held him underwater for a second time. He pulled him up and asked, “Did you see Jesus?” Again the lad said, “No!”

Finally, the preacher held the young lad under the water for one whole minute. When the preacher pulled him up he asked, “Now, did you see Jesus?” Gagging and gasping for air, the lad said, “Preacher, are you sure this is where he fell in?”

Last Sunday we celebrated the manifestation of Christ in the Epiphany. Monday we celebrated the memorial of Jesus’ baptism. We were reminded of our own baptism. With the baptism of Christ, we closed the Christmas season and began ordinary time in our liturgical calendar.

Christ Lutes interviewed Jimmie Lee Sloas and Gordon Kennedy, the two rockers who call themselves ‘Dogs of Peace.’ Chris asked them, “Who had the greatest influence on your Christian life?”

Gordon looked up and said softly, “Chris Bonds. I went to school with Chris from the third grade through my senior year. He had muscular dystrophy and was in a wheel chair. All of us kids took turns pushing him around the playground. We were told that he wouldn’t live much beyond 18. We knew we were watching a guy who might die just when the rest of us were getting ready to graduate.

You know, all the time I knew Chris, I don’t remember seeing him frown. He was so positive and upbeat. Chris lived longer than expected. After his death, his mother found a poem which Chris wrote. Part of the poem says:

“I come to the conclusion! When the envying is tilled!
That the post to which God sent me! Is the post He
wanted filled.”

Gordon continued, “As I think about these lines, I think about Chris on the sidelines, wishing he could get in the game and play with the other kids. But then, as the poem tells it, he came to grips with his role in life…”

A favorite passage in scripture for many people is the first reading today from Samuel. A name called in the night-and life is changed irrevocably. The Lord called Samuel under the cover of night. After checking with his teacher, Samuel responded, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Centuries later another teacher spoke. His disciples responded and their lives were irrevocable changed. That same teacher is calling today. The question is, will our lives be changed!!! Will we be able to say,

“Here am I Lord; I come to do your will.”

Being a disciple of Christ is not easy. It wasn’t meant to be. It means carrying a cross, living with inconveniences and making sacrifices. It means, as the famous woman in scripture, Ruth, says, “Wherever you go, I will go.”

Next week we begin our mission. We hear the call to come. Come to the mission. Come and hear the gospel of Luke being translated down to earth language. Come and hear the beatitudes being infused into our lives. Come and hear how we can keep our balance in a world where the media is rocking our Catholic Christian boat. Fran Runyeon will be challenging us to live Christian lives as Christ meant us to live. All are expected to be present at our mission. I will be looking forward to seeing you.

And here’s a ‘wish’ list.

I wish you enough sun to keep your altitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in live may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough success to keep you eager,
I wish you enough failure to keep you humble,
I wish you enough joy to share with others,
I wish you enough trials to keep you strong,
I wish you enough hope to keep you happy,
I wish you enough faith to banish depression,
I wish you enough friends to give you comfort,
I wish you enough friends to give you comfort,
I wish you enough determinations to make each day better than yesterday.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

In the Redeeming Christ,

Fr. Jim Shea, C.Ss.R.

St. Gerard Parish Mission January, 21-23, 2018. “The Story of Faith” See You There!

St. Gerard Parish will have a PARISH MISSION on January 21-23, for 3 days, Sunday-Tuesday. Let us all attend this sure-to-be grace-filled event with FRANK RUNYEON – acclaimed by critics, scholars, and over 1000 Catholic parishes as a great presenter of the gospel message. The Mission will be held in Church at 6:30 pm. For more info on the presenter: www.frankrunyeon.com.

Monday and Tuesday Morning Mass. A special Mission Mass will be offered at 9 am, in Church, to include readings and reflections, in keeping with the themes of the Mission Presentations, Refreshments will follow.

The Sacrament of Confession/Reconciliation. Confession will be available in Church, following the Monday night presentation on the Sermon on the Mount.

Childcare. It is said that people, ages 7 on up, can be enriched by these presentations. Childcare for the younger children will be available in the Parish Office Building. The children must be registered through Bertha Saucedo by 4 pm each day. If no one has called to register a child, the certified childcare adults, will be asked to not come for that day.

St.Gerard Uber! You can’t drive when it’s dark? You don’t feel comfortable going out alone at night? St. Gerard Uber is here to help! Contact the parish office this week, 210-533-0161, by Thursday, so a driver can be arranged. Nice, courteous, safe parishioners are offering to help drive other parishioners to and from the Parish Mission. What a deal! What care!

Refreshments. Our Parish Events Committee, led by Jeanette Kay, will be in the cafeteria, each evening following the Mission presentation, to offer the delightful experience of great company and food.

Photos and Autographs. No photos are to be taken during the Mission Presentations. However, Frank enjoys staying afterwards and talking with people. Photos and autographs will be possible at the reception in the cafeteria.

Recordings. DVD recordings will be on sale, in church, after the presentation on Monday evening of the Mission. Personal recording of the Mission presentations is strictly forbidden by the professional theatrical unions.

Download event flyer

 

2018 Archbishop’s Appeal

The 2018 Archbishop’s Appeal has begun with a theme In the Spirit of Love and an overall Appeal goal of 4.5 million. Our 2018 Appeal parish goal is $14,146.28.

The Archbishop’s Appeal is the annual ongoing effort of the Catholic community, which supports more than 40 ministries that evangelize Christ’s people locally in the faith and serves those in need. Pray on how you and your loved ones may consider renewing your gift or making a gift for the first time. Your support is essential to ensuring that we as the local church are able to continue providing the Catholic Appeal ministries that aid homeless women and children, care for our retired clergy, clothes and feed the poor, support the education and spiritual formation of men preparing to serve our parish communities as a priest or deacon, comfort the hospitalized, share our mission of faith with the incarcerated, provide Catholic tuition assistance to families in need and so much more!

Please pray for the success of the Archbishop’s Appeal and make your gift today by completing the Archbishop’s Appeal pledge card sent to your home, here in the pew on the weekend of January 20-21, online at www.archsa.org/archbishops-appeal or by calling the Office of Archbishop’s Appeal at 210-734-1604.

If this is your first time making a gift to the Appeal and are unsure of how much to give, consider a gift of 1% of your total household income, $1 for each day of the year ($365) or in any amount that your circumstances permit. You may also make pledge gift payments. Gifts of all size are appreciated and 100% of your gift will go directly to ministries.

Share the light of hope and the love of Christ with others through the Archbishop’s Appeal. Your gift will also help us to meet our 2018 Appeal parish goal. Thank you for your prayers and generosity. May God bless you!

Join Other Adults for Coffee and Faith Sharing

Plan to be enriched through this group, meeting this Sunday morning from 9-10:15 in the parish office building. The group will explore the Sunday Scripture Readings and aspects of our Catholic faith. Bring yourself! Bring your questions! Bring a friend! Questions? or Want to Register? Contact Tom Magott, facilitator, or talk with his wife Charlotte at the church.

Pastor’s Notes – January 7, 2018

Father Shea

By Fr. James E. Shea, C.Ss.R.

Dear Parishioners and Friends:

I heard about a Protestant congregation where the pastor and the song leader were at odds with each other. They could never agree on anything, especially when it came to selecting songs for their worship services. Normally there would never be a song after the sermon. But the music director would purposely insert a song, just to antagonize the pastor.

One week the pastor preached about commitment. The music director immediately responded with the song, “I Shall Not be Moved.” The following week the pastor preached about the value of giving. The music director jumped in with the song, “Jesus Paid it all.” The third week the pastor preached on gossiping. The music director led the song, “I love to Tell the Story.”

With all this nonsense going on the pastor felt that he lost control in his parish. He was fully disgusted. The following Sunday he told the congregation that he was thinking about resigning sometime in the future. The song leader joyfully jumped up and began signing, “Oh Why Not Tonight?” As it came to pass, the pastor did decide to resign. In announcing his resignation he said, “The same Jesus Christ who led me to be pastor of this church is now leading me away>” The song leader gleefully leapt to his feet and belted out, “What a Friend We have in Jesus.”

Let me tell you about another music director who has been most supportive and cooperative. I had the wonderful opportunity of working with him during the past nine years. We know him well. He is Rick McLaughlin. Rick has served our faith community for the past 15 years. Rick decided to relocate to the Dallas area. It was a difficult decision for him. He loved being the music director for the Cathedral and the Archdiocese as well as being ‘St. Gerard’s Music Director. But his children and grandchildren live in the Dallas area. Family is very important to him. It is important for Rick to be near to his family.

Rick and his deceased wife have been an inspiration to all of us. I have been honored to have worked with Rick during the past years. he always made himself available to lead the music not only at weekend liturgies but also at weddings and funerals. Rick, thank you for being part of our lives. May God bless you. We all admired Rick’s professional work at St. Gerard. We are grateful for his leadership over the years. Now, Rick will be with his family in Dallas. He also has been offered the role of Director of Music and Liturgy at St. Jude in Mansfield. He begins in that capacity on January 22. Therefore his final weekend here at St. Gerard will be January 20-21.

Today we celebrate the epiphany of Christ. It is known as the first epiphany or manifestation. Early Christians celebrated three epiphanies. The first was the visit of the Magi at Bethlehem. The second was the baptism of Christ. The third was the wedding feast of Cana when Christ worked his first miracle.  In each of these three events, Christ was manifested amongst the people.

The feast of the Epiphany is a feast of welcoming strangers who come to us. Matthew’s gospel presents foreigners who were bringing gifts to the Christ Child in Bethlehem. We know nothing of their origins other than they came from far off lands carrying the best gift they had. How different the world would be if everyone received the foreigner as “gift” rather than as a “threat.”

This week, January 7 – 13, 2018, we celebrate ‘National Migration Week.’ We are reminded of the many people who are immigrants, migrants, foreigners or refugees. Our theme this year is ‘Renewing Hope, Seeking Justice.’

For nearly a half century, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated National Migration Week, which is an opportunity for the Church to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, including immigrants, refugees, children, and victims and survivors of human trafficking. The theme for National Migration Week 2018, “Many Journeys, One Family,” draws attention to the fact that each of our families have a migration story, some recent and others in the distant past. Regardless of where we are and where we came from, we remain part of the human family and are called to live in solidarity with one another.

If Christ manifested himself today He’d probably be arrested. For he would be wanted by the FDA for turning water into wine without a license; by the EPA for killing fig trees; by the AMA for practicing medicine without a license; by the Department of Health for asking people to open graves; then for raising the dead; for feeding 5,000 people in the wilderness; by the NEA for teaching without a certificate; by OSHA for walking on water without a life-jacket and for flying without an airplane; by SPCA for driving hogs into the sea; by the National Board of Psychiatrists for giving advice on how to live a guilt-free life; by NOW for not choosing a woman apostle; by the ABORTION RIGHTS LEAGUE for saying that whoever harms children, it is better that they had never been born; by the INTER-FAITH MOVEMENT for condemning all other religions; and by the ZONING DEPARTMENT for building mansions without a permit.

We thank God that Christ came amongst us two thousand years ago. He barely survived the laws of His day. Today, our laws would have imprisoned him before he launched His ministry.

Remember the mission!!! Frank Runyeon will talk about our journey of faith. All reports tell us that he is not only a great speaker who holds an audience spellbound but he is also a deeply faith filled person.

In the Redeeming Christ,

Fr. Jim Shea, C.Ss.R.

 

 

Thank You

to all who gave of themselves to brighten our surroundings here at St. Gerard, with Christmas decorations. the Church, the Parish Office Building, the Cafeteria, the Fence, and the Grounds all were given tender loving care that warmly touched the souls of spectators.

Pastor’s Notes – December 30, 2017

Father Shea

By Fr. James E. Shea, C.Ss.R.

Dear Parishioners and Friends:

Bob Hope said, “I grew up with six brothers. That’s how I learned to dance, as I waited to get into the bathroom.”

There’ll be a lot of dancing and well-wishing as we welcome the new year. As we begin 2018 we have much to be thankful for. We thank so many people who have helped us in many different ways to be a vibrant parish.

I am thankful for Charlene’s 911 phone call to report a church fire. I am thankful for Sunday night as we returned to our worship space, the church, to celebrate Christmas Eve Mass. And we can be thankful for one another.

Let us hear the story of a thankful mother. She writes about her GOLD, COMMON SENSE, AND FUR experience.

My husband and I had been happily (most of the time) married for five years, but hadn’t been blessed with a baby. I decided to do some serious praying and promised God that if he would give us a child, I would be a perfect mother, love it with all my hear, and raise it with His word as my guide.

God answered my prayers and blessed us with a son. The next year God blessed us with another son. The following year, he blessed us with yet another son. The year after that we were blessed with a daughter.

My husband thought we’d been blessed right into poverty. We now had four children, and the oldest was only four years old. I learned never to ask God for anything unless I meant it. As a minister once told me, “If you pray for rain, make sure you carry an umbrella.”

I began reading a few verses of the Bible to the children each day as they lay in their cribs. I was off to a good start. God had entrusted me with four children and I didn’t want to disappoint Him.

I tried to be patient the day the children smashed two dozen eggs on the kitchen floor searching for baby chicks. I tried to be understanding when they started a hotel for homeless frogs in the spare bedroom, although it took me nearly two hours to catch all twenty-three frogs.

When my daughter poured ketchup all over herself and rolled up in a blanket to see how it felt to be a hot dog, I tried to see the humor rather than the mess.

In spite of changing over 25 thousand diapers, never eating a hot meal and never sleeping more than thirty minutes at a time, I still thank God daily for my children.

While I couldn’t keep my promise to be a perfect mother – I didn’t even come close – I did keep my promise to raise them in the Word of God. I knew I was missing the mark just a little when I told my daughter we were going to church to worship God, and she wanted to bring a bar of soap along to “wash up” Jesus too.

Something was lost in the translation when I explained that God gave us everlasting life, and my son thought it was generous of God to give us his “last wife.”

My product moment came during the Children’s Christmas Pageant. My daughter was playing Mary, two of my sons were shepherds, and my youngest son was a wise man. This was their moment to shine.

My five year old shepherd has practiced his line, “We found the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes.” But he was nervous and said, “The baby was wrapped in wrinkled clothes.”

My four year old “Mary” said “That’s not ‘wrinkled clothes,’ silly. That’s dirty rotten clothes.”

A wrestling match broke out between Mary and the shepherd and was stopped by an angel, who bent her halo and lost her left wing.

I slouched a little lower in my seat when Mary dropped the doll representing Baby Jesus, and it bounced down the aisle crying “Mamma-mamma.” Mary grabbed the doll, wrapped it back up and held it tightly as the wise men arrived.

My other son stepped forward wearing a bathrobe and a paper crown, knelt at the manger and announced “We are the three wise men, and we are bringing gifts of gold, common sense and fur.”

The congregation dissolved into laughter and the pageant got a standing ovation. “I’ve never enjoyed a Christmas program as much as this one.” Father Brian laughed, wiping tears from his eyes. “For the rest of my life, I’ll never hear the Christmas story without thinking of gold, common sense, and fur.”

“My children are my pride and my joy and my greatest blessing.” I said as I dug through my purse for an aspirin.

Have a happy and a blessed New Year.

Fr. Jim Shea, C.Ss.R.

Pastor’s Notes – December 24, 2017

Father Shea

By Father James E. Shea, C.Ss.R.

Dear Parishioners and Friends:

Below is my Christmas greeting to family and friends. It is not a card. It is a letter. A letter which tells of two significant events that took place at St. Gerard this past year. At the end of my letter I turn to God to remind us all that God is watching over us, even in the midst of tragedy. God has a bigger plan. We are part of that plan. It might seem to be bump in the road now, but wait, something greater is going to happen. So, let us prepare ourselves for God’s surprise. In the meantime, we believe that God is revealing Himself through our human experiences.

In 2017, we welcomed seminarians and fire ravished St. Gerard Church.

Early in August, fourteen Redemptorist seminarians came to San Antonio to study at the Oblate School of Theology. They have taken up residence in the former nuns’ convent at St. Gerard. “Welcome Redemptorist Seminarians.”

About 2:00 am Thanksgiving morning vandals entered St. Gerard Church. With burning candles lighting their way, they ransacked the church, smashed open and emptied the chalice cabinet. They happened to drop a burning candle amid church decorations on the second floor of the sacristy. It ignited.

About the same time a pregnant woman across the street had a craving for a cinnamon roll. She and her husband were heading to Whataburger when they saw flames in the window. They called 911-“The Church is on fire!”

The sirens woke up a Redemptorist student. He saw the fire trucks and quickly opened the church for the fire fighters. They extinguished the fire but not before the second floor was totally destroyed. The flames never reached the body of the church. Only smoke and soot. Apparently, when the vandals heard the sirens,, they fled, leaving behind the baskets of chalices.

St. Gerard is the patron of our church and also the patron of pregnant women. The student is a Redemptorist Brother following in the footsteps of St. Gerard who was a Redemptorist Brother. Some people say it was a coincidence. I say it was St. Gerard interceding before God who then touched the right people at the right time. They responded quickly to save our church.

Praise God! No one was hurt. Our church stands. A blessed Christmas to all.

Last Saturday evening we celebrated our parish Christmas party. Our parish threw this party to express our appreciation for all that our parishioners do at St. Gerard. My thanks goes our to the Social Events Committee. The cafeteria was attractively decorated. The d’oerves were delightful. The drinks were refreshing. The dinner was delicious. The desserts were tasty. The entertainment was rejuvenating. What a great evening! And thanks to generous benefactors who provided the food which was delectable. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

A little girl decided to make her own Christmas cards. When her father inspected the drawings, he pointed to the image of Mary. He asked his daughter why she had drawn Mary standing on one leg, while the other leg was bent at the knee. The little girl answered: “That’s Mary stomping her foot. She wanted a girl!”

We will be celebrating Christmas on a week from Monday. During this week the postal employees will be hustling to deliver all the Christmas cards, gifts and goodies. During my 12 years at Our Mother of Perpetual Help parish in Kansas City, Bishop Boland was our bishop. He has since gone home to heaven. He wrote a prayer for this season. He used the language of the postal department.

“God, Our Father, may everything we do be first-class. Imprint your own loving Zip Code upon our hearts so that we may never go astray.

Provide in your gracious Providence, special handling for those of us who are fragile and keep us in one piece. We have been signed, sealed, stamped and delivered in your image and likeness. We beg you to keep us in your care as we go about our appointed rounds.

And when our days draw to a close and we are marked ‘Return to Sender,’ may you be there to greet us at Heaven’s door so that nobody may ever say, ‘Unknown at this Address.'” Amen.

Christmas is a time when memories return. We remember the loved ones of Christmases past. We remember those who were with us last Christmas but will not be with us this Christmas. We remember the good times. With the loss of loved ones, in death, in separation or in divorce, a weight hangs from our hearts. Sadness has replaced that joy. The holidays stir up the sorrow within us.

But Christmas was made for such times as these. For a Child is born to us. God has come to live with us. Christ has become a human like us. He has taken on the pain and suffering of humanity. He has also filled our hearts with hope and happiness. Through Christ the blind see, the deaf hear, the crippled walk, dead people rise and the Good News is preached to them. Christ has reached deep into our hearts to lift us from the depths of sorrow to the heights of eternal joy.

As faith filled people, burdened with sorrows and pains, we rejoice with the shepherds and sing with the angels – “Glory to God in the Highest.”

Fr. Jim Shea, C.Ss.R.