Blog & Pastor Letters

The Lord is Close to the Brokenhearted – Psalm 34: 18

07-31-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Victor C. Yakubu

By the time you are reading this, I would be in the airplane on my way to Nigeria with Fr. Ishaya Samaila, Fr. Raymond Ogboji and Dr. Susan Moravec, a friend to our diocese. As you have known, I am returning to Zaria, my home diocese, to pay my respects to Most Rev. George J. Dodo (1956-2022) the first bishop of our diocese. He died on July 8th of natural causes. Eternal rest unto him.

I thank the generality of parishioners for their financial contributions last weekend enabling me to make this journey. My appreciation to all of you for supporting me through this period of grief, especially the Finance and Parish Councils for their roles in helping me pass through these difficult moments of losses around me.

While away, I shall also celebrate Mass with family on my father’s first year memorial on 21st August. My family also lost Uncle Michael, my dad’s elder brother on 30th May and another Uncle Peter on 21st July. I lost friends in some of the parishes I worked in before coming to the USA. These are sad events, but God knows why. I also know the two priests kidnapped and killed in Kaduna which has pained my heart deeply. They are martyrs for Jesus.

I urge you to remember Nigeria in your prayers. I am returning to Nigeria to mourn with the brokenhearted and strengthen my family with my presence. As the Psalmist has said, “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and save those who are crushed in spirit.” (Ps. 34: 18). I am hopeful that we shall pay our respects to the death and return with renewed hope to our different ministries.

In my absence, Fr. Jovi Aneke, a Nigerian priest from the Diocese of Enugu will assist with the daily and weekend Masses for the month of August. Fr. Mike Reinhart will cover for the Masses on 31 July weekend. I urge you to offer them hospitality and love as they do their work. I hope to return to the parish by early September.

Due to low numbers, we shall halt the Sunday Adoration from 4:00-5:00pm for now. For those who have been faithful in attending, I offer my apologies for halting this because you have shown dedication in this endeavor. The available alternative for you is to go to the Chapel. Choose any time suitable to you and attend your adoration. If you need help, call the office, and speak with Amelia.

The important event of our diocese is the installation of Bishop John P. Dolan, the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix on 2nd August 2022 at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish Avondale. The majority cannot attend. However, you can watch the event live on AZTV Channel 7, and on the webpage of the Diocese of Phoenix on Facebook and YouTube. Remember to pray for the new bishop and the tasks he has ahead. He will be leading 1.1m Catholics in this diocese and this is a heavy responsibility. He has strong support in Bishop Eduardo Nevares, the auxiliary bishop in Phoenix since 2012.

We are seeking volunteers to help in the Religious Education training of our kids in the parish. If you feel you can volunteer 2 or 3 hours a week to assist, please call and speak with Amelia, the Parish Secretary or Donna, the Parish Manager.

Thanks for your support of the parish. We look forward to greater things ahead. See you in September.