During these days our Holy Father is visiting Poland. You have to admire someone his age taking on such a grueling trip. He is doing it to honor his predecessor, Pope John Paul, and to strengthen the faith in that vital Catholic country. The visit of a German pope to Poland also has great historic overtones. It will evoke memories of World War II and of the Jewish Holocaust. The Holy Father described the purpose of his trip in these words:
"I am taking this trip in the footsteps of the great Pope John Paul . . . We will end up at the Auschwitz extermination camp, thinking of all the dead and to learn about how man can really fall beneath his dignity and trample on others. We hope that right here [in Auschwitz] is born a new sense of humanism and also a vision of man as the image of God to make sure similar things don't happen again in the future."
We are also facing an historic moment in our country regarding the question of immigration. I ask you to join with me in making this coming Wednesday a Day of Prayer for Immigrants and Hosts. Besides a special prayer service in our school, we will have the presence of Bishop Eusebio Elizondo at our 6:00 p.m. English and 7:00 p.m. Spanish Masses. Please make every effort to attend one of those Masses. Also, during the day, our church will be open for prayer before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
I am convinced that only prayer will bring a solution to the terrible situation we are in. To try to stop immigration is something like attempting to shoot raindrops out of the sky. As long as people live in desperate economic straits and as long as we have the need for workers, people will come, no matter what measures we take on the borders. Besides praying for a solution to the terrible economic problems in Mexico and other countries, we need to pray for our legislators that they will develop some workable way of receiving immigrants. The present situation is obviously bad both for our country and for immigrants.
Sometimes a single raindrop is plucked out of the sky. Recently, one of our parishioners was picked up by immigration. He had been in the United States for about twelve years, and six years ago I performed his wedding. Although he attempted to return to his wife and children, he decided that for now it was best for them to be together in Mexico. Many of our parishioners live with the fear that at any time the husband or wife could be picked up and sent back to Mexico or some other country. I do not know what the solution is, but I am praying that our legislators will come up with a fair and reasonable approach. Please join the Day of Prayer for Immigrants and Hosts, this Wednesday, May 31 - Feast of the Visitation.
On June 10 Archbishop Brunett will ordain seven young men to the priesthood. Among them is Deacon Peter Mactutis from Holy Family Parish. The newly ordained Fr. Mactutis will be with us on June 11 for the 11:00 a.m. Mass. You are cordially invited to attend that Mass and the reception following it.
During the week of June 19, we will begin the demolition of the rest rooms on the ground level of our parish school. As you know, we will not only be installing new rest rooms, but two new classrooms and an accessible parish hall. I wish to thank all those who are supporting the parish Capital Campaign, which is making possible these and other improvements to our facilities.
Also, I would like to remind you of the importance of supporting the Annual Catholic Appeal. This Appeal helps to make possible the training of seminarians, the care of retired priests and sisters, as well as many other works of the Archdiocese, including the pastoral ministry of our auxiliary bishops Eusebio Elizondo and Joseph Tyson. This weekend Bishop Tyson will be with us for the Confirmations of a number of young people at our 11:00 a.m. Mass. It is a pleasure to welcome Bishop Tyson, and we are grateful for his being with us for this important event. It is significant that we are celebrating Confirmations on Ascension Sunday as we look forward to the great feast of Pentecost.
This weekend is also a civic holiday, Memorial Day. On behalf of Fr. Velasco, Deacon Ted and all the parish staff, I encourage you to remember loved ones who have died, especially those who have given their lives in the defense of our country.
Finally, let me give a word about The DaVinci Code. Someone asked film critic, Barbara Nicolosi, why she was concerned about it, “after all, it is only a movie.”
Barbara responded with this question: “Suppose someone made a movie about Martin Luther King which depicted him as torturing small animals?”
The person responded, “That would be horrible.”
“Why?” asked Barbara.
The person replied, “It would be an outrageous lie.”
Something similar applies to a movie which depicts Jesus as so incompetent that he couldn’t communicate a rather trite message to his disciples - but that twenty centuries later a high school English teacher has finally uncovered the truth! If you are interested in sorting fact from fiction, I encourage you to attend the talk sponsored by our parish Catholic Evidence Guild, June 5, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. in the Sharon Carriere Libraryy.
Felicidades a todos los niños que recibieron su Primera Comunión el sábado pasado. Abajo hay fotos de los dos grupos. Tambien un recordatorio para los que todavía no hayan devuelto su sobre de la Peticion Annual (Annual Catholic Appeal). Favor de Favor de hacerlo esta semana. Entre otras cosas, la Peticion Anual apoya el ministerio de nuestros obispos. Este miércoles el Monseñor Eusebio Elizondo estará con nosotros para el Día de Oración por Imigrantes y Huespedes. Celebrará y predicará en la misa de 7 p.m. No la pierdan.