Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This past week on the Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross and the 30th anniversary of St. John Paul II's historical visit to the Arizona desert, I formally announced to the public a campaign to strengthen evangelization and discipleship efforts in the Diocese of Phoenix.
Click here Bishop Letter to read the Bishop's complete letter in English and Spanish.
“Lord, I love your commands.” Only those who have experienced God’s love will be able to say these words, “Lord, I love your commands.” Only those who have understood the ways of God can say these words with conviction. Only those who have tasted the love of God can truthfully proclaim these words of wisdom. Solomon asked not for power, wealth, or health but for wisdom and understanding and the Lord was pleased to give them all.READ MORE
By this time the three shepherd children were feeling quite a bit of opposition from their family, the village elders, their neighbors and local leaders. Some believed the little children were lying to gain attention or fame. Even Lucia’s Mother begged her to “tell the truth” and made her again, visit the local priest to confess her lying. Added to this turmoil, many people were flocking to the little village, congregating in or near the homes of the children and disrupting the peace and harmony of their homes and the routine of the village.
As the oldest of the children, Lucia had a heavy heart and felt the enormous responsibility of what she had seen. In fact, she was reluctant to visit the Apparition site on July 13th. Nevertheless, she felt the burden lift when she decided to go. She gathered her two cousins and they walked to the holm oak tree, the site of the two previous Apparitions.READ MORE
A Conversation with Father Felix
During June, you may have celebrated Mass with Father Felix Odesanmi, who graced OLOJ with a one-month visit from St. Michael’s parish in the town of Ado Ekiti, Nigeria. A parish priest since 2004, Fr. Felix’s flock at St. Michael’s now includes 125 families. Father Felix also serves as Vicar General for the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti, and oversees the Diocesan Project Committee, implementing charitable works throughout his Diocese.
“Odesanmi” means “hunting pays well” in Fr. Felix’s native Yoruba language. True to that name, he has “hunted” for souls for Christ in Nigeria and in the Phoenix area, where he has visited the last few years. We recently caught up with Fr. Felix and asked a few questions.READ MORE
A letter from Andy Miller, former administrative assistant for Fr. Jess. Andy left Our Lady of Joy in August 2016 to enter the Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Nebraska.
Dear Parishioners at Our Lady of Joy,
The first year of seminary formation (called “year of spirituality” or “candidacy”) is considered a “year of probation.” During this year we are watched very closely by our superiors. This includes peer evaluation, work reports, and monthly meetings with our novice master. We focus on learning Scripture, spirituality, liturgy, Latin, Gregorian Chant, and catechism, as well the constitutions and history of our order, The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. They also give us plenty of work to do (callouses before chalices!) At the end of the year, the priests at the seminary meet and vote on all of the first year seminarians to determine if we should continue on with formation. I am pleased to announce that the priest council voted and favorably and I will be allowed to continue.READ MORE
The 2nd Fatima Apparition occurred on June 13, 1917, the Feast Day of St. Anthony who is the Patron Saint of Portugal. This day was a test for the children, especially for Lucia, because many festivities were planned for the day. In the end, the children went to the Cova de Iria but they were accompanied by a group of people who had traveled far to see the site of the previous month’s apparition.
Our Lady’s arrival was announced by lightning. She told the children to continue to pray the Rosary daily and she asked Lucia to learn to read and write. She revealed that Jacinta and Francisco would die soon but that Lucia would live longer. Toward the end of this Apparition, Our Lady said to Lucia, “Don’t lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.” As Our Lady spoke these words, she opened her hands and for a second time, she communicated to the children the rays of that immense light emanating from her hands. According to Lucia, “We saw ourselves in this light, as it were, immersed in God; Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be in that part of the light which rose to Heaven and I, in that which poured out on the earth.” In front of the right palm of Our Lady’s hand was a heart surrounded by thorns seeming to pierce Her heart.” The children understood it to be the Immaculate Heart of Mary, offended for the sins of humanity and desirous of reparation.READ MORE
Mary’s first Apparition to the three shepherd children was on May 13, 1917. While the children were playing in the Cova de Iria a few miles from their home, a flash of light appeared to them above a holm oak tree. Within the light was a beautiful lady dressed in white. She told the children, “Do not be afraid. I will do you no harm.” When asked where she was from, the Lady replied, “I am of Heaven.”
Our Lady then told the children that she wanted them to come to this same place on the 13th of each month for the next six months so that she could speak with them again. She told the three children that they would go to Heaven. She asked them to pray the rosary daily and to make sacrifices for the reparations of sin and the conversion of sinners. After saying these things, the Blessed Virgin opened her arms for the first time and a very intense light poured forth from her hands. The children fell to their knees and repeated, “O Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee. My God, my God, I love thee in the Most Holy Sacrament.”READ MORE
Dear Family of God,
Beginning this May, we will be trying to learn the Messages of our Lady of Fatima in order to commemorate the 100th Year Anniversary of her apparitions and her concern for us, her children. We will culminate this celebration on October 13th.
“The year 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady to the three shepherd children (Blessed Francisco and Blessed Jacinta and Sr. Lucy) at Fatima, Portugal, where the Blessed Mother appeared once each month from May 13 until October 13, 1917.READ MORE
Temptation is not a sin. It will only become sin when we act on it. It is like an inclination to like or do certain things that appear to be good but in truth are harmful to us. We may be inclined to eat half pound of steak, but we don’t do it, so we are more healthy and free. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said: “At the heart of all temptations is the act of pushing God aside because we perceive him as secondary.”READ MORE