Fr. Rick’s Pastoral Messages 5/22/22

Return of ‘Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible

We will begin our study this Thursday, May 26, at 8:40 AM.  Since almost everyone who plans to be in attendance is already familiar with the format and methodology, we will start with Session TWO (2), ‘The Early World’.  Please consider page 7 of your Student Guide to help prepare for the first session.  Questions? Ask Fr. Rick.

Next Sunday, May 29th is the 5th Sunday of the Month and as always we will take up a collection for the local Community Outreach Fund.  Lately we have been focusing on stocking the local Care and Share food bank where needs seem to be increasing.  We will also be considering the needs of the Children’s Justice Center.  Thank you as always for your generosity.

Bishop’s Appeal, aka Diocesan Development Drive 

We seem to be stuck at just above the half-way mark with 10 households so far chipping in.  Our tiny community simply doesn’t function without the many administrative and educational services provided by the Diocesan Pastoral Center.  Also, the total salary and insurance package for your ‘ooool local Padrecito is completely funded by the Diocese.  What a deal!!!  Please chip in.

Unfortunately, many have become so enamored of the gifts the Great Giver of Life has dropped on the roadway of life that they build their cities around the gift, and forget the Giver.                     Bishop Fulton Sheen

Hospitality Remember that we are a ‘Hospitality Parish’ with a major outreach to our many visitors along with providing sacramental and social opportunities for our primarily ‘retired’ local parishioners.  Please sign up to help host our Sunday morning Coffee and Muffin gathering.  Sign up list is in the gathering space.  You might even be tempted to discuss some deeply insightful and inspiring point from the fabulous homily!

Book Recommendation:  For those of us who live in or visit Southern Utah, there is a particular allure to the big vista and the big quiet.  Surely the scenery is a pure pleasure to behold, but there is something else happening.  I have recently been rereading the book, The Solace of Fierce Landscapes: Exploring Desert and Wilderness Spirituality, by Belden Lane.This scholarly but very personal reflection helps us understand the desert and wilderness motifs which run through our Scriptures and those of the other great world traditions.  The desert is a place of purging, enlightening, strengthening and transition.  In a biblical sense this place of barren emptiness is essential for new beginnings, true freedom and the abundant life that Jesus promises us.  If you are just visiting, please consider slowing down as much as possible to feel the power in this sacred place and hear the quiet.  You might even read this book before your return visit.  This book could almost be considered required reading for Catholics living in this sanctuary.  A future book discussion??!!

Homily Reflection:  ‘Not as the world gives peace…’  This week you might give some serious thought to what is currently causing you the most distress.  Stock market, personal health or health of a loved one, ecological sustainability, inflation, civil unrest, political gridlock and polarization, depression and anxiety among the youth,…….  In what or whom have we put our trust and given our attention?  If it’s not The Way, The Truth and The Life, we now know the corrective.  We might have to do a little (or A LOT) of time in the ‘desert’ to prepare for a new reset or remake.  There’s simply no avoiding it.

For a little extra inspiration, you might also consider reading this book that was mentioned in the homily today, A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by Mary Ann Glendon.  What could have made this small international group of crafters and writers at all hopeful during this turbulent and confusing time in world history?  This Catholic writer, who was a Harvard Law Professor and the first woman U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, can show us how deeper prayerful thinking can help us rise above the partisan pettiness which creeps into our cultural dialogue. A World Made New.  It almost sounds biblical!