A few weeks ago, I was in a home improvement store (that rhymes with "Foam Sleep Show") looking for some outlet covers and I forgot that every solitary time I walk in this place, the staff seem to hide from me before eventually sending out the "new one" who doesn't know where anything is. I searched for another few minutes before leaving and heading to an Ace Hardware (I recieved no free lightbulbs for this plug) where the peope actully walk up to you and know where evrythign is.
I don’t think I’ll go back. I’m not a big fan of asking guidance from someone as clueless as myself.READ MORE
Before I dive into this weekend’s readings, I’d like to address something... I’ve had two different people tell me they cut excellence and spiritual growth. For more out this column and send them to family members who live elsewhere. This is very humbling for me—and completely unnecesssary for you.
If you believe this column would help someone else’s faith, 1) praise God! 2) encourage them to visit www.oloj.org and scroll down just a bit. My column is found toward the bottom of our website’s landing page. Hope this helps.READ MORE
This Sunday’s readings seem particularly challenging for people who live in Carefree, Cave Creek, or North Scottsdale.
"Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours."
“Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied.”
“Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.”READ MORE
It’s funny, I am often asked questions that end with. for children in grades K-8. We focus on academic “Besides prayer, what can I do? ”excellence and spiritual growth. For more information or to take a tour, please contact our There are times when it is about their concerns, like “I have a friend who has left the Faith. Besides prayer, what can I do?"
Other times, they are reaching out to me, as in “I hear your family has Covid. Besides prayer, what can I do?”
I understand this implies prayer is already part of their plan, but I think if we are honest with ourselves, many of us struggle with the feeling that in addition to prayer we actually need to DO SOMETHING... as if prayer isn’t actually doing something tangible.READ MORE
I struggle with the “Comparison Game.”
Even professionally, I often fall into the trap of thinking others might’ve done a better job. I know the two good men who held the title of Director of Faith Formation before me. They are amazing dudes! I mean—sure—I booked Patrick Madrid for our Parish Advent Mission, but Leighton Drake probably would’ve snagged Jonathan Roumie (Jesus in THE CHOSEN) and Carlos Gonzales would have probably gotten Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
...and they both have much better hair.READ MORE
So many non-Catholic Christians are pretty concerned about our “obsession with Mary.” And who could blame them?
We have a statue of her in our church. She has her own shelf in our parish library (next to the parish office). The rosary is frequently said across our campus. And—of course—our particular parish is named after the (Holy) Woman!
Why so much attention on her when we could be focusing entirely on the Lord?!READ MORE
Here is an insider secret: there are times when I have to write these columns weeks in advance. This is one of those times. As I write this, Christmas of 2021 hasn’t even occurred yet. As you read this, Christmas is a memory and you are more than a week into the new year.
For all I know (as you read this), the Omicron variant has been replaced by the Phi Beta Kappa variant, the murder hornets we were promised have finally arrived, Bishop Olmsted has retired, parachute pants have made a comeback, and I’ve passed away. (If this is the case—I want a memorial plaque next to a storage closet or the men’s restroom.)READ MORE
Gold. Frankincense. Myrrh.
Three magi all brought gifts for Jesus. None of their gifts were the same.
A simple fact that the vast majority of us have known since childhood, yet virtually none of us have pondered.
1 Corinthians 12 explains who gave us our gifts in the first place. Some of us are given wisdom. Some receive knowledge. Others have been given faith. There are those who have the gift of healing. And still others receive miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, the gift of tongues, or interpretation of tongues.READ MORE
We are almost there! Christmas is just around the corner! Are you ready?
Come on... by now you know I’m not asking if you’ve got those decorations up and purchased all your gifts.
Is your heart ready? Have you prepared a home for the Lord in your heart?
Many people in this current world seem to have been broken down into anger, bitterness, discouragement, sadness. These callous the heart. They harden the heart, thus making it difficult to penetrate. And this is tragic.READ MORE
In this Sunday’s Gospel, the crowds ask John the Baptist, “What should we do?”
He responds, “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none.”
Oh no! Was he John the Communist?!
Not at all. But it is interesting to note, he didn’t say, “Whoever has two cloaks, interview people who have none and make sure they will use it properly. Ensure they don’t sell it to buy alcohol. Satisfy yourself in the knowledge that you aren’t giving your extra cloak to someone who should be able to afford their own cloak, but they spent their money on an extravagant donkey to ride. And above all, make sure they will use it precisely the way you would.READ MORE
This weekend’s Psalm says, “The Lord has done great things for us, we are filled with joy.” This is indeed true of our parish.
I have many relatives who faithfully attend their local parish. Their parish priest does all he is able to hold down the ship of two rural parishes with the help of a secretary, less than a handful of part-time employees, and a core of well-meaning volunteers. They do what they can to maintain quality liturgies every Sunday and weekdays - if and when possible. They make sure babies are baptized and the Lenten Fish Fry raises a few dollars. All other sacraments are celebrated and funerals bring the town together.READ MORE