Building the Kingdom

Dear Parishioners,

When we come to church, we thank God for His many gifts as we listen to His Word. When we leave church, we want to take God’s Word with us. This is how we help build God’s Kingdom here on earth.

By our prayer life, we help build God’s Church. By our faithfulness to the liturgy and by following the Lord’s message of love, we’re helping to build God’s Kingdom here on earth.

We can also pass on the Lord’s teaching. When we follow the Lord’s message of love, we’re passing on His Word to one another. When our faith is represented by the way we live our lives, we’re spreading the Gospel message.

God calls each of us to be His Disciples. As we grow in our relationship with God and stay true to following His Message, we, too, can pass on the Lord’s teachings and build God’s Kingdom here on earth.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Mothers and Children

Dear Parishioners,

I’d like to begin by wishing a Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers. This is a special day when we honor our mothers and show our appreciation for all that they do for us.

This Saturday evening at our 5 p.m. Mass and Sunday at our 9:15 a.m. Mass, eighteen children from our parish are receiving their First Communion. It is a very special day for them as they receive Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time.

We are privileged to watch these children receive their First Communion. It is an exciting time to see them all dressed in their First Communion outfits. Witnessing them reminds us of our own First Communion and how blessed we are to meet Jesus in the Eucharist.

We should be as excited to be nourished by Christ as the boys and girls who receive Him for the first time. Let’s keep in mind this gift that Jesus has given to us. As we faithfully receive the Eucharist every Sunday, we prepare ourselves to one day receive the gift of eternal life.

Sincerely in Christ,

                                      Father Dominick


Always With Us

Dear Parishioners,

As we celebrate the Easter season, that Jesus is risen, we celebrate God’s never-ending love for us. Jesus has died for us, risen to new life and will now return to His Father in heaven. Jesus will always be with us, watching over us and helping us to grow.

In today’s gospel, Jesus is with His disciples after He has risen from the dead. Three times He asks Peter the question, “Do you love me?” Three times Peter assures Jesus of his love, and three times Jesus gives Peter the job of caring for His Church.

When Jesus was on the road to His crucifixion, three times Peter denied that he knew Jesus. In this gospel, Jesus gives Peter the chance to make up for this by three times having Peter say that he loves Jesus. Peter, our first Pope, was then given the job of caring for the Church on earth.

Jesus is risen and is present to us all. His love for us is never ending. Jesus will always be with us, watching over us and helping us to grow.

Sincerely in Christ,

                                      Father Dominick


Easter Review

Dear Parishioners,

Last Sunday we celebrated Easter. Jesus is truly risen! Here at St. Joseph’s, many parishioners came together and we had beautiful celebrations of the liturgy, remembering Jesus’s death and celebrating His resurrection.

In the Holy Thursday liturgy, the oils that had been blessed by Cardinal Tobin at the Chrism Mass were presented. The Sacred Chrism, Oil of Catechumens and Oil of the Sick will be used here at St. Joseph’s in the coming year for the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Anointing of the Sick.

As we reenacted the Last Supper, the washing of the feet took place during the liturgy. Many parishioners took part in the presentation of the oils, the washing of the feet and the other liturgical ministries.

The Good Friday service recalled Jesus’s crucifixion. Everyone present was able to come to the altar and venerate the cross. The Living Stations of the Cross were organized and presented Friday evening by our Youth Group. We listened to beautiful music along with a reading and reflection for each station.

The Easter Vigil was celebrated on Saturday evening. The liturgy began in darkness and the congregation held lit candles. The new Paschal Candle was presented and blessed. New holy water was blessed at the baptismal font.

On Easter Sunday, we celebrated Jesus’s resurrection! At each of our liturgies, we celebrated that Jesus is truly risen.

Our parishioners decorated each day of the Triduum and the church was decorated beautifully on Easter Sunday. Throughout the Triduum, many of our parishioners participated in many different ways in each liturgy: Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, Ministers of Hospitality and Altar Servers.

The music was beautiful throughout the Triduum. Our organist, leaders of song and choir led us in singing for our celebration of Easter.

We truly came together as a parish family to celebrate the Lord’s resurrection. Let us continue to celebrate that Jesus is truly risen.

Sincerely in Christ,

                                      Father Dominick


Happy Easter

Dear Parishioners,

Happy Easter! Today we celebrate that Jesus is risen as He said He would. Today we celebrate the gift of eternal life, won for us by Jesus.

The risen Christ is present to us. In fact, He is always present. If we stay open to the Lord in our lives, following His will and asking for His guidance, we will recognize His presence.

In today’s gospel, Mary of Magdala and two other disciples were at Jesus’s tomb and wanted to see Jesus. The tomb was empty. But the first disciple who arrived saw it was empty and believed.

Jesus is present to us in the same way. Like Mary of Magdala and the disciples, Jesus asks us to believe in Him. With true faith in Jesus, let’s celebrate the risen Christ; let’s celebrate the gift of eternal life!

A Blessed Easter to all parishioners and your families.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick


Giving

Dear Parishioners,

Today we celebrate Palm Sunday. We remember how palms were placed in front of Jesus as He entered into Jerusalem.

We also listen to how Jesus was taken to His crucifixion. The crucifixion reveals the Lord’s love for us. It allows us to see to what extremes the Lord will go in order to save us from sin.

Because of the suffering and death of Jesus, there is no more barrier between us and God. We are freed from sin and have received the promise of eternal life. This is the meaning of the events of Jesus’s passion. They mean that God’s love for us is so great, He will do anything not to lose us.

As we listen to the passion of Jesus, we want to ask ourselves how we should show the Lord our love for Him. Everything we have is a gift from God. As we prepare to celebrate Easter, we’re preparing to celebrate the Lord’s greatest gift, the gift of eternal life.

When Jesus was crucified, He gave us everything He could, His body, His blood, His life and His love. Let’s each ask ourselves, “To what extent have I given Jesus everything I could? What keeps me from giving Him more?”

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Stopping a Chain Reaction

Dear Parishioners,

One evening during rush hour, a man named Bruce Larson was running to get in line for a bus. Suddenly a woman shoved in ahead of him. She almost knocked him to the ground.

In mock apology Larson said to her, “Pardon me! I didn’t mean to smash into you like that.” The woman’s reaction to Larson’s insincere remark was amazing. She really thought he meant it. “I’m so sorry,” she said. “How can you be so kind to me after I was so terribly rude to you?”

Now it was Larson’s turn to be confused. He didn’t know what to say. The woman had responded to his counterfeit kindness as if it were real. Larson mumbled something like, “It doesn’t hurt to be nice to people.”

Bruce Larson began to see that responding with kindness to someone who has done wrong benefits both parties more than a negative response. When we respond with kindness, we release kindness where it is needed most. We stop the chain reaction of wrongdoing and replace it with a chain reaction of kindness.

Jesus tells us in today’s gospel not to judge others who have sinned. We hear Jesus say, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Jesus is teaching us to replace sin with kindness.

Sincerely in Christ,

                                      Father Dominick


Prodigal Sons and Reconciliation

Dear Parishioners,

Story telling has been popular ever since human beings learned how to put words together to form sentences. In ancient times, few people were able to read or write. Whenever they wanted to teach something important, they made up a story about it. This made the teaching not only easy to learn but easy to remember.

Jesus probably told more stories than most teachers. His stories are called parables. A parable is described as an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.

The parable in today’s gospel is The Prodigal Son. After asking for his inheritance, the prodigal son wasted all of the money and had nothing. When he returned home, his father greeted him with great happiness and had a celebration. This parable teaches us that God feels that same kind of happiness over one repentant sinner.

There are three weeks remaining in Lent. This is a great opportunity to come to God in the sacrament of Reconciliation. Jesus died for us and rose again three days later. Our celebration of Easter is that Jesus gained from us forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick