Monthly Archives: January 2016

Pastor’s Notes – January 31, 2016h

Father Shea

Father Shea

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

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

A reporter was interviewing Jack Nicklaus. He said, “Jack, you are spectacular. Your name isi synonymous with the game of golf. You really know your way around the course. What is your secret?” And Jack replied, “The holes are numbered.”

Our days are numbered with special events during the next few weeks. The Presentation of our Lord. Candlemas Day, Groundhog Day, St. Blaise. Lumen Gentium – light of the world. And, Archbishop’s Annual Appeal.

Everyone in our parish has received a letter from Archbishop Gustavo. He now invites us to make a generous contribution to the Appeal to reach our and serve the less fortunate in the Archdiocese.

Tuesday – February 2nd, is a very special day. Not only is it Ground Hog Day but in our Catholic tradition it is ‘Candlemas day.’ Candlemas is a Christian holiday celebrated annually on February 2. It celebrates the ‘Presentation’ of the child Jesus in the temple and the Virgin Mary’s purification.

Joseph and Mary went to the temple to fulfill the Law of Moses. The Law commanded that a woman who had given birth to a son should not approach the Tabernacle for the term of 40 days; after which time she was to offer a sacrifice for her purification. By another ordinance, every first-born son was to be considered as belonging to God. So Joseph and Mary presented their first born to God in the temple.

When Joseph and Mary entered the temple, they met an elderly man, Simeon. Simeon had been promised that he would see the ‘Promised One’ before he would die. Simeon held the child and prayed, a prayer that we know as ‘Nune Dimitis,’ ‘Master, now you may dismiss your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’

An elderly woman was also in the temple. Her name was Anna, a prophet. We are told that Anna was constantly in the Temple prayng, day and night. When Anna saw the child Jesus, she stepped forward and with sublime joy, began praising God. For she saw what others were not able to see. She recognized Jesus as the one who would bring redemption to Israel.

Each year ARchbishop Gustavo recognizes people who make a difference in our parishes. Archbishop Gustavo asks all pastors to submit the name of a person, or the names of a husband and wife to be giventhe Lumen Gentium award. The award ceremony takes place at St. Dominic’s Church on Tuesday, February 2nd.

We have selected Jim and Linda Worswick to receive this award. St. Paul tells us to be all things to all people. Jim and Linda are faithfully following Paul’s advice. They always seem to be on call and ready to help. Whether it’s buying food, preparing food, serving food for social events; or whether it is helping with the Altar/Holy Name Society, the Knights of Columbus; or whether it is keeping financial books or fixing the mechanical – Jim and Linda are always available. Congratulations and Thanks!

On the feasts of the Presentation we normally bless candles that will be used in our liturgical celebrations throughout the year. We also bless all the vigil lights which remind us that Christ is with us and we are with Him. We believe that Jesus is the “light of the world.” Jesus was the light in the eyes of Simeon and Anna. He is our light. So, it is fitting that we light candles to give honor to THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

HOWEVER – as you already know, we jumped the gun both in blessing the candles and blessing throats. (Normally we bless candles on february 2nd and bless throats on February 3rd.) We wanted everyone to receive the blessing of throats so we transferred all the blessings to the weekend.

Saint Blaise was the bishop of Sebaste in Armenia during the fourth century. Very little is known about his life. According to various accounts he was a physician before becoming a bishop. His cult spread throughout the entire Church in the Middle Ages because he was reputetd to have miraculously cured a little boy who nearly died because of a fish bone in his throat. From the eighth century he has been invoked on behalf of the sick, especially those affected with illness of the throat.

According to the Book of Blessings, the blessing of throats may be given by a priest, deacon, or a lay minister. It may be given by touching the throat of each person with two candles joined tegether in the form of a cross.

As someone said, “Let’s be thankful that the pro football season is nearly over. We’re tired of violence on television.”

Fr. Jim Shea C. Ss.R.


Pastor’s Notes – January 24, 2016

Father Shea

Father Shea

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

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Here are eight things you will mever hear in church: 1) “Hey, it’s my turn to sit in the front pew!” 2) “I was so enthralled with your sermon I didn’t even notice that lasted over half an hour.” 3) “Personally, I find listening to sermons much more enjoyable than playing golf.” 4) “I’ve decided to give our church $100 a month – the same amount I used to send to TV evangelists.” 5) “I volunteer to be the permanent teacher for the Junior High CFF program.” 6) “I love it when we sing hymns I’ve never heard before.” 7) “Since we’re all here, let’s start the Mass early.” 8) Nothing inspires me more than a capital campaign.”

Archbishop gustavo wrote to all us saying, “the parishioners of St. Gerard parish are truly a blessing to the Archdiocese and to the many men, women and children who are helped each year by the ministries supported by the Archbishop’s Appeal.”

It is the policy of the Archdiocese to give a rebate to each parish that exceeds its Appeal goal. The rebate consists of one half of the amount that exceeded the goal. St. Gerard received $11,242.

B.C. Abadie had a big heart for the poor. During B.C’s wake and during his funeral Mass we took up a collection for the poor. The $2,490 collected was evenly divided amongst three of his favorite charities: The Catholic Worker House; the Food Bank and St. Gerard Food Pantry.

You might have noticed that the sacred vessels on the altar – the chalices and ciboriums – are shining brightly. Over the years the gold plating wears thin. Janilla Kilborn, the president of teh Altar Holy Name society, sent the chalices and ciboriums to Koley Replating in Omaha, Nebraska. We are grateful to the Altar Holy Name Society for covering the cost of having these vessels re-plated. And thanks to Janilla for handling this matter.

Surely, you have noticed the new wine decanter on the altar. The old one got bumped off the table in the sacristy. It did not bounce. Lillian Franckowiak donated two new decanters that we will be alternating for the Masses.

A high-browed American businessman arrived in Cologne, Germany. He hailed down a taxi and headed off to his hotel. the cabbie drove past a large building. The American asked bout the building. “Oh, that’s city hall,” replied the cabbie. The American asked, “How long did it take to build it?” “Oh, I think it was bout four years,” said the cabbie. With an air of superiority the businessman said, “In America, we could build it in two years.”

They passed another building. The businessman asked what it was. “Oh, that’s the opera house,” saind the cabbie. “And how long did it take to build it?” asked the businessman. The cabbie said, “About six years.” And the businessman said, “In America we could build that in two and a half years.”

They finally drove past Cologne’s magnificent Gothic Cathedral. The tourist gazed in awe at this architectural masterpiece. “What is that building?” asked the businessman. The taxi driver, a bit disgusted with his passenger’s arrogance, smugly said, “I don’t know. It wasn’t there last night!”

Last Monday night, the ‘Restoration Committee’, met to discuss the future of the buildings on our campus. They reviewed the minutes from our Town Hall meeting. They identified the major needs in the parish: 1) Classrooms for religious education for our youth. 2) Social meeting space – parish hall.

The committee recognized that the cost of restoring the school building would not be feasible. They also concluded that a complete renovation of the Parish Center would not be feasible. They felt that ther would be too many hidden costs once we begin structurally changing either building. The committee agreed that a new social hall across the street and adapting the ‘nuns’ cells’ in the parish center into classrooms would not be the route to go.

It is important that we retain the same number parking spacees. By using the space where the portables are now standing, as well as the grassy area at the south end, we would provide the same number of parking as we have now.

The committee will be studying the new social hall and classrooms. They will report back at our March 8th meeting. The persons obtaining information regarding the new building: Daniel Reyes, Daniel Thatcher and Tommy Pawly. Information regarding the classrooms: B.J. Klar, Larry Klar, Jim Worswick and Clarence Elley. Regarding avenues for raising money: Tony Lopez and Fr. Shea. You are welcome to speak to any member on the committee regarding your ideas.

‘Called to Proclaim the Mighy Acts of the Lord’ (cf. 1 Peter 2:9) is the 201 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The wek actuallly began last Monday, January 18th. It will conclude this Monday, January 25.

The prayer for Christian Unity: “God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may you give to all Christians, and especially to those entrusted with leadership in your church, the spirit of wisdom and revelation. With the eyes of our hearts may we see the hope to which you have called us: one body and one spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one god and Father of us all, who is above and through all and in all. This we ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns withyou, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one god,, now and forever, Amen.

A reporter asked Win Arn what she liked best about being 102 years old. Win said, “No peer pressure.”

Fr. Jim Shea, C.Ss.R.

Pastor’s Notes – January 10, 2016

Father Shea

Father Shea

By: Father Janes E. Shea, C.Ss.R.

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

Thow priests were traveling through France. One Sunday morning, both dressed  in their clerical suits, they attended Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral. Since the Mass was in French and nither of them knew French, they decided to sit behind a dignified -looking gentleman and do what he did.

During the Mass the priest made an announcement from the altar. The dignigied gentleman stood up. The two American priests religiously stood up. The congregation immediately snickered and giggled.

After the Mass the two American priests introduced themselves to the French priest, who spoke English. The Americans inquired about the snickering and giggling. The French priest politely said, “I announced that a baby would be baptized and I asked the father of the baby to stand up.”

Today we celebrate teh Baptism of the Lord. It is the sacrament which many children receive shortly after birth. Many adults receive this sacrament after they complete the RCIA program. This sacrament welcomes the person into the family of God.

A well-known politician left his car parked in a restricted zone for days. A patrolman recognized the car. He noticed the keys were still in the ignition. So, rather than having it towed away, the officer decided to drive it to the politician’s home. Whe the politician discovered the car in his driveway, he called the chief-of-police and asked for the patrolman’s name. The Chief replied, “Why do you want to know. Are you trying to have him fired?” “Heck no!” answered the politician, “I’m dying to find out how he got the darn thing started.”

When a person is baptized, he jump starts a new life, for Baptism washes away original sin. When an adult receives Baptism, all his/her sins are washed away. Baptism makes everyone adopted children of God.

Baptized people become partakers of teh divine nature which is God’s life within them. They are co-heirs of Jesus Christ. They are temples of the Holy Spirit.

Baptism makes us members of the Body of Christ. Therefore, we are members of one another. We are all part of one family which transcends our human family, our nation, culture, race or sex. St. Paul says, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.”

Next weekend we will be announcing Archbishop Gustavo’s Annual Appeal. Our theme this year is  “United in Mission.” There will be a colorful flier in the bulletin, telling us about the many ministries of the Archdiocese. Archbishop Gustavo invites us to participate in these new ministries with our donation to the appeal. Our parish goal this year is $11, 922.

Next Sunday afternoon there will be a Citywide Interfaith Worship Service. Men and women of many different faiths, Christian as well as non-Christian, will be a present. To begin the service I will extend a welcome and a call to worship. Our Archdiocesan choir will sing. Archbishop Gustavo will give the invocation.

There will be the blowing of the shofar (Ram’s Horn), a prayer of understanding, a Buddhist Chant and a Jewish prayer for peace. All are invited.

Our parish mission will be January 23-26. Father Pat Martin will preach the mission. Father Patrick Martin is an apostle, in touch with God – on fire with the Good News – in love with people. Since he was a young child he has not been able to see. He says that blindness is a gift from God, making him an extraordinary person of very special vision.

he wil lbegin by preaching at all the Masses Sat/Sun, January 23-24. He will be available on Monday and Tuesday morning from 9-11, for counseling and/or confessions. Then, in the evening he will celebrate a mass at 7 pm and preach a mission sermon. The theme of the mission: “God’s Love in Our Broken Lives.”

Next weekend we celebrate the Wedding Feast of Cana. A widow spoke about her deceased husband. “I’ve always known him as a difficult man. When we attended a marriage enrichment seminar we filled out a form which clearly showed how different we were. Afterwards, we had to discuss our differences. He was ‘fix it’, I was ‘let it be.’ I wondered how I hung in there with mister ‘fix-it’ for all these years.”

Years later as he was dying we shifted roles. His cancer was eating away. I tried to fix it. One time I got into bed to hold and comfort him. He said, “Hon, we can’t fix this. Let’s just ‘let it be.'”

A young lady was engaged to a man with money, good looks and a vibrant personality. The gal said to her mom, “He’s got everything i want, but he doesn’t believe in hell.” Her mother responded, “Don’t worry. Go ahead and marry him. Then, you and I will convince him.”

Fr. Jim Shea C.Ss.R


Pastor’s Notes – January 3, 2016

Father Shea

Father Shea

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

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

We begin the New Year with words of thanks. To the many people who painted and decorated the cafeteria for our Christmas party, I say, “Thank you.” To all the people who prepared the food for the party, I say, “Thank you.” To all our catechists I say “Thank you.” To all the people who contributed to St. Gerard throughout the year, I say, “Thank you.” To all our volunteers, I say, “Thank you.” To all the people who brought gifts to the less fortunate folks, I say, “Thank you.” For all the Christmas cards, I say, “Thank you.” Two little words. Words filled with mercy and love: THANK YOU.

The couple decided to see a marriage counselor. During the first session the counselor asked them to identify what seemed to be the root of their problems. The wife responded, “It all started when we thought it would be cute to make New Year’s Resolutions for each other.

Some people get all the bad breaks. Others get all the good luck. And then there are those who say “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I would have no luck at all.” As we celebrate the New Year we not only widh others ‘Happy New Year,’ but we also say, ‘Good luck in the New Year.’

Max Gunter wrote a book called, ‘The Luck Factor.’ He researched why some people are luckier than others. He discovered that those who were lucky more often tried things more frequently than those who did not. These folks increased their chances of success. He concluded that the more times you cast your net into the water, the better your chance of catching a fish.

Some folks believe in symbols for luck, like the four leaf clover which is a mutation of the normal three leaf clover. The Druids in medieval Europe believed there were special powers in the four leaf clover, or a rabbit’s foot. With rabbits living underground,, and rapidly multiplying, the Celts thought that they were in secret communications with the netherworld. The Etruscans used the wishbone – the collar bone of a hens and cocks. After laying an egg the hen squawked while the cock’s crow heralded each dawn. The people saw mystical powers in these birds.

Many cultures knock on wood, believing that the noise would ward away the evil spirit which spoils anyone’s luck. The horseshoe on the wall is crescent shape which resembles the new moon, an ancient symbol for the procreative powers of women. The horseshoe over the door symbolizes the forces of life of death.

As we begin the New Year we all dream of being happy, prosperous and successful. We want the forces of good to overcome evil. But we cannot bank our future on a roll of the dice. There is power within us. We need to make a choice to use that power to bring about good in our lives and in the lives of others.

There is a toy of a small wooden bird called the ‘Foogie Bird.’ Around the Floogie Bird’s neck is a label reading, “I fly backwards. I don’t care where I am going. I just want to see where I’ve been.”

Rather than wishing you Good Luck in the New Year, I will toast the New Year.

May you have:
Enough success to keep you eager,
Enough failure to keep you humble,
Enough joy to share with others,
Enough trials to keep you strong,
Enough hope to keep you happy,
Enough faith to banish depression,
Enough friends to give you comfort,
Enough determinations to make each day better than yesterday.

Thank you for all the blessings you bring to St. Gerard.
Happy New Year,

Fr Jim Shea C.Ss.R.