March 17 Bulletin: My Dear Parishioners,
I am excited about a new opportunity for our families at St. Agatha! I am proposing to start the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, now that we have families with younger children (preschoolers and kindergarteners) who are looking for help to pass on the faith to their youngsters. It just happened that a friend of mine of many years who is an experienced and certified catechist has just stepped up and offered to help me. Let me quote from a well-known author, Simcha Fisher, from an article she wrote for the National Catholic Register about this catechesis: "… this Montessori-based program for children has given the kids something I could never be sure I was conveying: a simple, synthesized, profound involvement with the Gospel and with the liturgical life of the Church. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd was founded in the 50's by two Italian laywomen, one a scriptural scholar and one an expert in Montessori education. Together they conceived of a simple, attractive method for sharing the richness of the Faith with children, who are uniquely capable of accepting the beauty of God's love. The program is presented in three levels, and includes time in the "Atrium," which is a quiet environment where children learn through tactile play.
Catechesis of the Good shepherd emphasizes quiet contemplation and -- imagine this -- "the enjoyment of God." The children hear Bible stories and watch them acted out with simple materials; they learn songs and prayers, and are encouraged to play quietly with simple and meaningful objects. One mother explained that CGS "cracked the code" of the Mass for her son, as he learned to become alert to the details of the liturgy: the significance of color, the names and purposes of the various vessels and tools on the altar." Rosemary, my catechist friend, will be here this Sunday at 9:45 to speak with interested families in the Parish Hall.
One more thing, I am working with Communion Liberation, the Ecclesial Movement I am involved with, to bring help to some families in Venezuela. If you are interested, please let me know. Have a most Blessed Lent!
March 10 Bulletin: My Dear Parishioners,
The Lenten regimen is built upon the three pillars of prayers, fasting, and almsgiving. Fr. Larry Richards, nationally-famed Catholic priest and great spiritual author and speaker, has suggested a useful way to manage the Lenten discipline to his people. I am going to pass it on to you! For each of the three Lenten practices - prayers, fasting, and almsgiving - ask the Lord for guidance on what to do in each category. List different activities for each of the three categories and pick one of each with the help of the Holy Spirit! Don't expect too much. Don't settle for the minimal. Just ask the Holy Spirit to move your heart to one particular activity in each category - prayers, fasting, and almsgiving - and run with it!
Remember how many Lents have come and gone, and ask yourselves if you have changed at all for the better? May this Lent witness your progress in the spiritual life towards greater love of God and neighbor!
March 3 Bulletin: My Dear Parishioners,
This coming week we celebrate an important monument of the Liturgical Year: Ash Wednesday. Please make time to attend Mass if you can on this day - the beginning of the penitential season leading to Easter Sunday. I would like to propose something for your spiritual plan for Lent: before you decide to do anything extra or to give up something, please consider having more silence in your life! We are surrounded by all kinds of noises that are not conducive to a healthy life - mentally, physically, and spiritually. The Psalms insist on having silence as part of our spiritual endeavors - "Be still and know that I am God!" Only in the stillness of the heart can we being to listen to God's whisper! Before anything else, please observe silence - in the home, in the car, waiting in line! Use every opportunity you have to be still, quiet, reflective, so that you become more and more in tune with the supernatural, so that you become trained and be able to recognize what it is that God is saying to you, here and now, for your life!
February 24 Bulletin: My Dear Parishioners,
This weekend we take up our pledges for the Archbishop's Catholic Appeal and send them on to the Archdiocese. I am not sure if I have convinced you of the worthiness of this appeal, but I have done my best and leave the rest in God's hand! For me, it's simple: we have an opportunity to show our gratitude to those priests who had served us faithfully, and we help secure our future for our children! Gratitude and loyalty to the past help pave the way for confidence and trust in the future!
Our goal is around $27,000. Please look into your hearts and see what you could do to help! Please also pray for our effort in this regard! It matters if you participate. Any amount is appreciated, but the Archbishop is also asking for your participation. As your priest, I am grateful that you would consider!
February 17 & February 10, 2019 Bulletin: My Dear Parishioners,
Our parish along with all the parishes of the Archdiocese of Portland will take up a special collection for the Archbishop's Catholic Appeal at all the Masses of the last weekend of this month, February 23-24. This Appeal is very crucial for funding’s for the Retired Priests and for the Education and Formation of Seminarians. By participating in this Appeal, you and I (Yes, I am also contributing this this Appeal!) are making a statement! We will not abandon our elderly priests who have given their lives in service to the Church in Western Oregon. At the same time, we also keep our eyes fixed on the future by assisting with the cost of educating our Seminarians.
You have been asked to help with many things and causes and programs - all worthwhile, including our Preservation Project! But please look interiorly and pray, so that your hearts may also have affection for these two groups of people: the Retired Priests and the Future Priests! Please say YES to the Archbishop's Appeal, so that our Shepherd, Archbishop Sample, may have the resources to take care of those have given their whole life to God in serving you and those who are embarking on the journey toward the same ministry of priestly service in the future.
Please do what you can to help me reach the goal of raising $27,612 for this year's Appeal. Your prayers are critically needed if we want to succeed in this worthy endeavor and any other worthy endeavors! As for me, I shall leave the success of this Appeal in the hands of the Blessed Mother! May God bless you and reward you abundantly!
February 3, 2019 Bulletin: My Dear Parishioners,
We are looking for potential adorers who would sign up to keep watch with our Eucharistic Lord in the Adoration Chapel. The benefits of an hour with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament are beyond measure. Just ask one of the veteran adorers such as Emma Bosco or Elizabeth Meyer! Lately, some regulars are no longer able to fulfill their commitments due to illness and age-related problems. Their hearts ache to be here but their bodies cannot comply! That is where you would come in!
Please look at your schedule and ask yourselves if you could find an hour a week to keep watch with the Lord, to keep company with Him, to seek His consolation, at the Adoration Chapel.
May God inspire you to say YES!