Somebody's Son

Dear Parishioners,

There’s a short story by Richard Pindell called “Somebody’s Son.” It opens with a runaway boy, named David, sitting by the side of the road. He’s writing a letter home to his mother. The letter expresses his hope that his old-fashioned father will forgive him and accept him again as a son. The boy writes:

Dear Mother, In a few days I’ll be passing our property. If Dad will take me back, ask him to tie a white cloth on the apple tree in the field next to our house.”

Days later, David is seated on a train rapidly approaching his home. Two pictures flash back and forth in his mind: the tree with a white cloth tied on it and the tree without a white cloth. As the train gets closer, David’s heart beats faster and faster.

When the train passes the tree, David can’t believe what he sees. The apple tree has a white cloth tied to practically every branch!

This story is an example of what Jesus teaches us in today’s Gospel. God our Father loves us and wants us to be with Him in Heaven. Even though we’re sinners, all God asks is that we recognize our sins and come to God seeking forgiveness. Then we will see that God is all loving and all forgiving.


Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Keeper of the Flame

Dear Parishioners,

I remember reading a newspaper article about a young man from New York named Charlie DeLeo. He grew up as a “tough kid on New York’s Lower East Side.” After returning from Vietnam, he got a job as a maintenance man at the Statue of Liberty.

When asked about the work he does, Charlie said that part of his job is to take care of the torch in the statue’s hand and the crown on the statue’s head. He has to make sure that the lights are always working and the 200 glass windows in the torch and the crown are always clean. Pointing to the torch, Charlie said proudly, “That’s my chapel. I dedicated it to the Lord and I go up there and meditate on my breaks.”

Charlie does other things for the Lord as well. He received a commendation from the Red Cross after donating his 65th pint of blood. After hearing about the work of Mother Teresa in India, he has given over $12,000 to people like her. Charlie listened to Pope John Paul II speak at Battery Park and prayed fervently for the success of the Pope’s visit to the United States.

Charlie DeLeo said, “I don’t socialize much, don’t have fancy clothes, but I have fun. The thing is, however, I don’t have enough money to get married. I don’t keep any of my money. After I got my job, I sponsored six orphans through those children’s organizations.”

Charlie ended the article by saying that he calls himself the “Keeper of the Flame” of the Statue of Liberty. Later a park guide said, “Everybody knows Charlie is special. When he first gave himself that title, people smiled. But we all take it seriously now. To us, he’s exactly what he says: ‘Keeper of the Flame.’”

Charlie DeLeo began his life as a tough kid on New York’s Lower East Side. Then he decided to put God first in his life. That decision changed his life forever. Charlie is a living illustration of the two points Jesus makes in today’s gospel:

the decision to put God first in our life,

the decision to live out that choice.


Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Humility

Dear Parishioners,

I bet we’re all saying, “I can't believe it’s Labor Day already! Time really does fly!”

We’ve enjoyed the summer in many different ways. Of course students have had vacation from school. So many of us use this time of year to enjoy some free time.

Some of us may have traveled during the summer, gone to the shore or enjoyed a swimming pool. Summer always gives us the opportunity to take a break from routine and enjoy time with family and friends.

Now it’s time to go back to school or work. The vacation season is coming to an end. Hopefully we go back feeling refreshed.

As always, we want to thank God for His Blessings, for watching over us as we enjoyed our summer. We also want to ask God to continue to watch over us as we move through the upcoming year.

Jesus talks to us in today’s Gospel about humility. He tells us not to be concerned with places of honor. Instead, He teaches us about loving our neighbor as ourselves.

As we look back on our vacation time, let’s thank God for all of His gifts and ask for His continued blessings. Let’s be sure we listen to Jesus in our love for one another.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Be Prepared

Dear Parishioners,

It’s the last full weekend in August, and we’re preparing for the end of summer. We had a little bit of a break in the very hot weather this past week, giving us signs that Fall is near.

Students will be going back to school and many of us will be finishing vacation and returning to work. Everyone will be discussing their vacations with one another while looking back and enjoying the memory of the summer.

As we come together again with co-workers and friends, we can enjoy the time with one another. In today’s gospel, Jesus speaks to us about being prepared. We don’t know when Jesus will come a second time and we will receive our final judgment. As we stay true to Jesus’s teaching of love for God and one another, we’re preparing ourselves for that day.

So as we’re looking ahead towards the summer coming to an end, let’s keep in mind what Jesus teaches us. In all of our relationships with one another, we can follow Jesus’s teaching of love.


Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Mary's Example

Dear Parishioners,

This past Thursday, August 15, was the celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We celebrated how the sinless Virgin Mary was taken body and soul to be with God our Father in Heaven.

Mary was a true example for all of us of faith in God and obedience to following God’s Will. The faith-filled Virgin Mary was chosen by God to bring Jesus our Savior into the world, without losing her virginity. Because Mary said “yes” to God, we can receive the gift of eternal life. 

The Lord asks us to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. By practicing our faith, in our love for God and one another, we’re following Mary’s example of faith in God and obedience to following God’s Will.

Sincerely in Christ,

                                       Father Dominick 


Journeys

Dear Parishioners,

Each of us is making his or her own journey. It might be toward graduation from school. It might be toward marriage or toward a new career. It might be toward improved health, toward retirement or just a matter of trying to survive the stresses of each day.

Whatever it is, time is moving us along. We are unable to stand still in life. If we try, we’ll eventually discover that we’re going backwards. We know from everyday experience that if it is a better place we’re moving toward, we need to adequately prepare ourselves for it.

In our journey through life, there is an event for which we definitely need to prepare. That is the day we are going to meet the Lord. On that day, we will meet the Lord not just in prayer or in the sacraments but in a visible, unmistakable way at the end of life’s journey.

The Lord warns us to prepare for that day. He warns us because He loves us and He wants us to share in all the blessings He has for us. Being prepared is not something we can make happen at the last second. It’s the way we live our lives in faith and love. It’s the way we live our lives every day the way Jesus taught us.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Blessings

Dear Parishioners,

It’s already August! Summer is flying by, as usual. We’ve recently experienced a heat wave. Hopefully it didn’t get in the way of anyone’s plans.

As time passes quickly and we enjoy our summer, let’s be sure we keep God present in our life. Today’s gospel speaks to us about being prepared. Following God’s Will is going to require sacrifice, but this is how we prepare for the gift of eternal life.

We can also recognize God’s Gifts as we follow His Will. Although this may require sacrifice, we will see how God is present to us and how we receive His Blessings.

Most Richly Blessed

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve,

I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health, that I might do greater things,

I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy,

I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men,

I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life,

I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing I asked for –

but everything I had hoped for.

Almost despite myself, my

unspoken prayers were answered.

I am, among all men,

most richly blessed

Anonymous Confederate Soldier


Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick

Prayer, Patience and Persistence

Dear Parishioners,

Do we ever find ourselves asking for God's help but not giving Him the chance to respond? Do we try and settle things all by ourselves? Jesus teaches us in today’s Gospel to pray persistently.

God our Father wants us to come to Him with our needs. When we show God how much we need Him, we show God how much we love Him. What is necessary is that we give God a chance to respond. We need to be patient with God, who doesn’t turn His back on us.

Many times God is responding to our prayers, but the answer is not the one for which we are asking. This is why it is so important to stay open to God so we can recognize His response.

Jesus teaches us in today’s Gospel to pray with persistence. If we pray persistently, are patient with God and are open to His response, we will see that God never turns His back on us.

Sincerely in Christ,

Father Dominick