Blog & Pastor Letters

A Crisis of Identity

05-29-2022Weekly ReflectionRev. Mark Suslenk

It’s all out of control. Inflation, the economy, violence, oppression, greed, morality, and tensions are all escalating as people scurry about for a sense of stability and well-being. Power seems to win the game and self-aggrandizement appears to be the order of the day. Love gets watered down to tolerance and accepting whomever and whatever is presented. The axis around which meaning and truth are found is twisted. Human beings appear to be engaged in an identity crisis of vast proportion, not certain whether standard, acceptable, and appropriate protocols exist any longer. We are lost. When one nation feels entitled to the goods of another and feels justified using any means possible to obtain them, we are in trouble.


Living In Love

05-22-2022Weekly ReflectionBr. Silas Henderson

Before becoming a brother in the Society of the Divine Savior (the Salvatorians), I was a Benedictine monk for more than a decade. And, as a Benedictine, I was immersed in the very practical wisdom of St. Benedict and the Rule he wrote for his monks more than 1400 years ago. One of the defining characteristics of this great saint was his balanced understanding of the human person and of community dynamics. We see this at work in the third chapter of his Rule and his insistence that the abbot of the monastery call the community together whenever there was important business to discuss: “Let the Abbot call together the whole community and state the matter to be acted upon… The reason we have said that all should be called for counsel is that the Lord often reveals to the younger what is best.”


A Love That Is Unconditional, Sacrificial, and Permanent

05-15-2022Weekly ReflectionDouglas Sousa, STL

We are called to love as Jesus loved, even when it hurts.

One of the untold stories about our country’s armed forces is of the priests who serve the spiritual needs of those who defend us. One priest who served bravely and faithfully was Fr. Emil Joseph Kapaun.

A few years after he was ordained, he decided to serve as an army chaplain and was eventually sent to minister to the troops fighting in Korea in 1950. During one especially fierce battle, he was given the opportunity to fall back to a safer location in the field.


Learn to Hear with Your Heart

05-08-2022Weekly ReflectionBr. John-Marmion Villa

When a friend describes a beautiful sunset, a picture is created in your mind. The words enable you to make meaning. When a parent reacts to a child’s artwork, meaning is created between child and parent, which can affect the child’s self-concept for a lifetime. Likewise, when a lie is spoken, a false reality is constructed that, once discovered, can rupture relationships.


Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference Statement On Governor Ducey Signing Bill to Improve Religious Accommodations for Dying Patients


For the first time since 2014, Arizona is currently preparing to resume executions in the very near future. Unfortunately, once these executions begin it is likely many more will come in relatively quick succession.


What We Bring to the Fire

05-01-2022Weekly ReflectionColleen Jurkiewicz Dorman

Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore, full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. – John 21:10-11

One of the stories that has earned the place of legend in my family lore is “The Time Colleen Made the Johnnycakes.”


The Divine Mercy of Jesus

04-24-2022Weekly ReflectionAllison Gingras

Sometimes, it may be hard to remember that we live in Jesus’ victory over sin and death, we are not waiting on it. And we, who have not seen and yet believe, are truly blessed (John 20:29), as Jesus so compassionately proclaims to Thomas in today’s Gospel.

Jesus showed his Apostles great mercy, even after they abandoned him in his greatest hour of need, running and hiding in fear — only St. John the Evangelist (along with some of the women) remained and stood at the foot of the cross. However, Jesus’ greeting as he stands among the Apostles is not a chastisement but instead, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19).


The Mission Did Not Fail!

04-17-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Mark Suslenko

You’ve had the vision in your mind for quite a while. You’ve found the perfect place to build a seasonal garden with a fountain. Excited to bring your vision to life, you painstakingly design the plans, secure all the materials, purchase a stunning fountain, and clear your schedule to complete it. As you begin preparing the land, you realize there is one thing you failed to consider: the magnitude and density of boulders, as solid as blocks of concrete, preventing you from doing anything! Unable to even insert the spade into the ground, you are left dumbfounded, angered, and disappointed, wondering whether you will ever realize your vision. Boulders can weigh things down, block things off, prevent movement, and stymy the achievement of dreams. They are also the perfect way to seal a tomb.


Humility, Freedom, and the Undercover Boss

04-10-2022Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

I love watching the Undercover Boss. The pain of the boss at the end of each episode makes me cry. He does not rely on hearsay, neither does he reply to office gossips. He undertakes the process of finding out the pain of every staff. He notes down the serious and the unserious staff. Each will be surprised with the revelation of this newbie they snub, disrespect, and call names. This newbie is the boss in the whole establishment. His mission is to go low to find out who is representing best the interests of his company. Not all bosses go undercover. Some sit in the Oval Office and ride on the Air Force One to any part of the world. To be presidential is to stay in touch with the affairs of the nation and work for the interests of America. When traveling to meet other leaders of the world, the president enjoys the joys of an advance team to ensure his safety. This is usual with most presidents of the world and it gives us joy to see our leaders representing our common interests.


The Love that Casts Out Fear

04-03-2022Weekly ReflectionDouglas Sousa, STL

In Jesus, we do not find condemnation but restoration and healing.

The fullness of the love and mercy which Jesus came to bring is on display in this Sunday’s gospel reading. A woman who had been caught in adultery is dragged before Jesus. The penalty for her sin is that she be stoned to death. We can only imagine the shame and fear she felt. However, while the crowd stands in judgment over her, Jesus takes another posture. He stoops down. He brings himself down to her level. He refuses to stand in judgment of her. It was not to condemn sinners that Jesus came, but to bring them the Father’s love and mercy. And so, he scatters the crowd with his famous words, “Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone.”


The Kindness of a Father

03-27-2022Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

Imagine your son takes your precious items in the house and sell them without your knowledge. It could be your 2022 Ferrari FF model or your jewelry worth a fortune. You bought your Ferrari as a gift to yourself after retirement after thirty-five years of meritorious service to your nation. This car means so much to you because you enjoy driving around town and you feel cool among your friends.


Confession and the Fig Tree

03-20-2022Weekly ReflectionColleen Jurkiewicz Dorman

Most of the sins I confess when I approach God through the Sacrament of Reconciliation are sins I committed on the way to approaching Him in the Eucharist.

Listen, I’m not proud of this, and I’m not making excuses. But it’s really hard getting a family of five out of their beds and into a church pew on a Sunday morning. Everyone has to be wearing clothes (usually clothes they don’t particularly enjoy).


It Is Good We Are Here

03-13-2022Weekly ReflectionAllison Gingras

Jesus guided Peter, James, and John up the mountain to pray. There Jesus was transfigured before them — showing his glorified self with his face changing in appearance and his clothes becoming dazzling white — a foreshadowing his heavenly appearance. What a glorious moment for all to behold, and for us two thousand years later to witness as we read the detailed description offered through the Scriptures. The Lord’s “face shone like the sun,” (Matthew 17:2), and “His garments became white as light” (Matthew 17:2); “dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them” (Mark 9:3).


Growing Pains

03-06-2022Weekly ReflectionRev. Mark Suslenko

We forget that to be human means to accept our growing pains. We are incomplete, works in progress. Our lives are never entirely integral, whole, and perfectly constructed creations but a diverse collection of broken pieces. If not welcomed with love, our necessary incompleteness can propel us to consistently, and sometimes compulsively, seek control and satisfaction.