Blog & Pastor Letters

The Holy Spirit’s Fire Transforms Us Forever

05-28-2023Weekly ReflectionDouglas Sousa, S.T.L.

Once the Holy Spirit transforms us, we are free to proclaim the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection of Jesus.

One of the most powerful symbols used to describe the Holy Spirit is fire. It is the reason why we wear red on Pentecost. By depicting the Holy Spirit as fire, the Scriptures teach us about the effects that he has on the lives of believers. Like fire, the Holy Spirit transforms us, purifies us, and sets us aflame with love of God.


Be My Witnesses

05-21-2023Weekly ReflectionAllison Gingras

For my 40th birthday, I wished only for a fancy pedicure — a real indulgent one complete with a massage where I could relax and escape the stress of life. On my way to the appointment, I stopped for a coffee and, while in line, this nudge to be open to sharing my faith if the opportunity arose stirred in my heart. Only moments into my birthday treat pedicure — reclined, eyes closed and prepared for an hour of quiet, I hear, "Oh, you wear a crucifix, you must be Catholic. I left for a church that follows the Bible." Opening one eye and peering toward heaven, I smirked with a wry acknowledgment of recognizing the day's earlier prompting to be open to being a witness of faith. While I wouldn't say I liked the timing, I obediently sat up and offered my attention to engaging in a friendly dialog about my faith.


Conversations with Jesus

05-14-2023Weekly ReflectionBr. John-Marmion Villa

How familiar are we with God’s Presence in our lives … I mean, really?!?! We say that we are because that’s the right answer to the question.

Recently, I came across a story of an old man dying of cancer.

"The old man’s daughter had asked the local priest to come and pray with her father. When the priest arrived, he found the man lying in bed with his head propped up on two pillows and an empty chair beside his bed. The priest assumed that the old fellow had been informed of his visit. ‘I guess you were expecting me,’ he said. ‘No, who are you?’ ‘I’m the new associate at your parish,’ the priest replied. ‘When I saw the empty chair, I figured you knew I was going to show up.’ ‘Oh yeah, the chair,’ said the bedridden man. ‘Would you mind closing the door?’ Puzzled, the priest shut the door.


5th Sunday of Easter

05-07-2023Weekly ReflectionRev. John P. Cush, STD

Let’s look at the recent history of our Church: On a chilly winter day, January 25, 1959, Angelo Roncalli, guiding the Barque of Peter known as John XXIII, stood at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, and gathered members of the Roman Curia, and called for a Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. The church historians Giuseppe Alberigo and Joseph Komonchak describe the reactions of most as “stunned silence.” And, on October 11, 1962, the first session of Vatican II began, a work which John XXIII did not live to see completed, but a work that has profoundly influenced not only the Catholic Church, both Western and Eastern, but the Orthodox Church, most of the Protestant ecclesial communions, and indeed, the course of history. This is an act of the Holy Spirit.


4th Sunday of Easter

04-30-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Christopher O'Connor

In August 1993, the Catholic youth of the United States and the world were given a gift. St. John Paul II came to Denver, Colorado for World Youth Day. During the week of celebrations, catechesis and liturgy, the media covered the event. Many of them had a recurring theme: the youth loved John Paul II but not the teachings of the Catholic Church. The media tried to get many of the youth to say that on television or for the newspapers, but they failed miserably. One young lady responded that they were there because they believed in what the Church taught. Many reporters were left scratching their heads. A hint into this rationale comes from today’s Gospel, which was the theme of the 1993 World Youth Day: “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”


Third Sunday of Easter

04-23-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Christopher O'Connor

Why were the two disciples heading to Emmaus? They had heard that Jesus had resurrected and yet they made the seven-mile journey to Emmaus. They were downcast, sad, disappointed. They had believed that Jesus would be the Messiah but then Good Friday happened. In their minds, it was over. They had heard the good news of the Resurrection but in their grief, they did not believe it.

Jesus then chastises them for their lack of faith, but he does not give up on them. He breaks open the Word of God for them, starting with Moses and the prophets, to show them all of this had been foretold. He gives them the impression that he is going to keep walking, but they ask him to stay with them. It was like a test, to see if his words had any effect, and they did. They wanted more. Then he took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to them. He gave them the Eucharist to fortify their faith.


Divine Mercy Sunday

04-16-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Christopher O'Connor

What would you say to your closest friends if they betrayed you? If you were having a very difficult time, a severe illness, lost your job, going through a breakup or another kind of traumatic experience and they were not present to you, what would you say after it was over? There are many responses: “Where were you? How could have abandoned me? I thought you loved me! You are dead to me! I will never forgive you!” For how many of us would the response have been “It is okay, I understand?”


Easter Sunday

04-09-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Christopher O'Connor 

Alleluia, the Lord is risen! Alleluia, indeed he is truly risen! The darkness and sadness of Good Friday gives way to the glory of Easter for our Lord Jesus Christ is truly victorious, he has conquered the power of death and open the gates of heaven for us. The liturgy helps us to raise our voices and cry out “Alleluia” after not singing it for forty days. This a time of rejoicing as our churches our decorated with Easter lilies and other beautiful flowers, a new Paschal candle is lit, like a pillar of fire to show us that our Lord is with us. Let us rejoice in the glory of Easter and cast behind us the darkness of the world.


Participating in the Mysteries

04-01-2023Weekly ReflectionBr. John-Marmion Villa

The African American spiritual, “Were You There?” is deeply moving and widely used especially at this time in the liturgical year. We’ve heard it so often in churches over the years, but I fear that some (perhaps even me) have lost touch with the meaning behind this spiritual. We will participate venerating the cross during the Good Friday liturgy, but I fear that others (perhaps me included) may have fallen into the mechanics of the ritual without heartfully reflecting on the deeply piercing question from the song, “were you there?”


Fifth Sunday of Lent

03-26-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Edward Linton

Somebody was telling me recently about looking for a parking place. He had been driving around for some time looking, looking, looking for a place to park when he saw a man loading the trunk of his car. My friend rolled down the window and asked, “Are you leaving?” The man looked up and said, “Yes.” Then he closed the trunk of his car and walked away. Literal thinking is not very helpful! In fact, being too literal can even destroy a relationship. I am thinking of the husband whose wife asked him on their anniversary, “Do you love me?” To which the husband responded, “You know that I love you. I told you last year!” How do we nurture a deep and personal relationship with Jesus?


Fourth Sunday of Lent

03-19-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Edward Linton

In the first reading from the book of Samuel, we hear that Samuel was instructed by the Lord to go to the house of Jesse. There, the Lord would choose one of Jesse’s sons to replace Saul as the anointed king of Israel. One by one Jesse’s sons were brought in to stand in front of the prophet.

Each son seemed to have all the physical traits that one would expect for a king. And looking at each, Samuel thought, “Surely this one is the one.” However, after each of the seven sons came before Samuel, the Lord said, “Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance, but the LORD looks into the heart.”


3rd Sunday of Lent

03-12-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Edward Linton

Every Christmas morning, in a parish where I was pastor for many years, we had a reception for homeless people. The parish served a great Christmas lunch to about 150 homeless men, women and children. One Christmas it was especially cold and wet. A long line of homeless people formed outside our hall. I strolled up and down the queue trying to keep up the spirits of those waiting to get in. One man showed me his shoes. They were old and the sole was coming apart from the rest of the shoe. He asked me if I had another pair of shoes for him. I told him I didn’t have another pair of shoes, but he should keep on asking because I was certain that someone who was helping with the lunch would definitely have a pair of shoes for him. “You have an angel here,” I told him. “You have to find the angel who has your shoes.”


The Transfiguration

03-05-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Edward Linton

The Renaissance artist Raphael painted the Transfiguration scene that we hear in the Gospel today. If you have been to the Vatican Museum in Rome, you have seen this painting. If you have been Saint Peter’s Basilica, you have seen a mosaic copy of this painting to the left of the baldachin. If you haven’t been to Rome, google “transfiguration” and you will see it immediately. Many call this the greatest work of art ever painted!