Sunday, December 26, 2010

Announcements: Epiphany (Jan 2, 2011) Year A

Dear Holy Rosary Mission parishioners, here are a few announcements:

Nativity Narrative: Thank you to Bernina and all involved in the Christmas Eve nativity play. It was the first time we have ever tried it and it was excellent. Holy Rosary was packed to e overflowing. Here is a picture of the rehearsal the day before. The play starred twelve children from ages 4-10.

Thank you: Thank you to the Clark family who came by on Christmas eve before mass and decorated the outside Christmas tree with lights and star. The tree was donated by Cindy, who won it from Ducks Unlimited.

Thank you: Our music during Christmas eve was beautiful. Bernina Venua played her flute for the presentation and communion hymns, while Brian Venua played music on the piano for the entrance and recessional. The was the fourteen year old Brian’s fist time taking responsibility to be the musician at Mass. Thank you for helping to make our liturgy prayerful and spiritual.

Note from the Pastor: For a priest like me, where this is my first assignment as a priest, it is such a blessing to see so many Catholics come to the Christmas Eve mass. My heart was warmed! I did not count the people but there was standing room only. I am thinking between 125 and 150 people attended Holy Rosary in Dillingham. At Saint Theresa’s Christmas Eve mass there was also a good turnout of around 40 to 50 people. Thank you! Have a very Merry Christmas Season.

Gospel: Epiphany: (Please see Homily and readings below) Just what is an Epiphany? It is a Christian feast celebrating the manifestation of the divine nature of Jesus to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi. Epiphany is a revelatory manifestation of a divine being. It is a sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something. Epiphany can be a comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization: “I experienced an epiphany, a spiritual flash that would change the way I viewed myself” (Frank Maier).

Have a great week and see you Sunday, Fr. Scott


Epiphany Jan 2, 2011, Yr A, Isa 60: 1-6 , Eph 3: 2-3a, 5-6 Mat 2: 1-12

Story: When I first came to Alaska I had a job as a construction worker. It fizzled out six days after I started. I started painting houses. A person’s house I was painting worked at Arco Alaska. She told me I should apply for a job. I got a job as computer graphics specialist in the exploration drafting department. After awhile, I felt I was in a dead end job.

I came to a new understanding. I started thinking about college. I prayed about it. I decided to attend UAF. It meant quitting my high paying job. It meant suffering because of the income loss, the transition, and moving away from friends. Finally, I received a business degree and became a Confirmed Catholic. I thanked God for turning my life around.

What made me quit my job at Arco and go to College? I call it an Epiphany. An Epiphany is spark of spiritual inspiration. It is an intuitive grasp of reality through a simple and striking event. It is a divine sign spurring us into action. In the gospel the very idea of Gentiles coming to celebrate the birth of a Jewish Messiah is an Epiphany.

We can all have Epiphanies. They appear when we recognize the light of Christ in our lives? Epiphanies enlighten us to a new understanding causing us to change to a holier way of life.

For example: You dropped out of college years ago, but you recently made plans to return. I had friend in college. He kept looking at x rated websites. He took out the modem card, broke it, and chucked it out the window.

Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh clues us in on the events that take place during an epiphany.

Gold is symbolizes a new understanding. It represents new wisdom.

Frankincense represents divinity and prayer. It points to a holy way of living that has come into the world in Jesus Christ.

Myrrh tells of the suffering involved in changing our way of life. It foretells the cross. It reminds us always of the price we must pay for anything worthwhile.

How does an epiphany work?

GOLD is a reminder to call on the Holy Spirit for openness to a new understanding or Epiphany. Ever had a real tough decision to make? Struggling with that decision may be an Epiphany in the making. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you in that decision.

Frankincense reminds us we have to pray. Pray everyday about that new understanding…that inspiration…that epiphany you have received. Is that new understanding something that will make our life better and holier?

Myrrh reminds us that an Epiphany requires us to do something…make a change. That usually involves suffering. Call on Jesus to help you through that suffering.

Finally, thank God for that better and holier lifestyle (468 Words with story).

Isaiah 60: 1-6
Rise up in splendor! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; But upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory. Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance. Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you: Your sons come from afar, and your daughters in the arms of their nurses. Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow, For the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you, the wealth of nations shall be brought to you. Caravans of camels shall fill you, dromedaries from Midian and Ephah; All from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and proclaiming the praises of the LORD.

Ephesians 3: 2-3a & 5-6
Brothers and sisters, you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for your benefit, (namely, that) the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly earlier, which was not made known to human beings in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Mat 2: 1-12 – “When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem saying, Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage. When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel. Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word that I too may go and do him homage. After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.”

Research for homily:
Caspar, Balthasar, and Melchior were three astrologers…men who studied the stars and discovered the meaning of human life on earth. They believed that solar marvels accompanied the birth of great kings. Modern astrologers tell us that there was an unusual solar phenomenon around the time of Jesus’ birth. This unusually bright star led the three wise astrologers to where this great king was. They read the signs in the stars and recognized the true identity of God’s light to us…the Christ Child.

Frankincense is a fragrant, aromatic resin, or gum resin, burned as an incense in religious rites or for medicinal fumigation. It comes from East Indian trees, of the genus Boswellia; and from the Norway spruce (Abies excelsa). The frankincense of the ancient Jews is still unidentified.

Myrrh is a gum resin, usually of a yellowish brown or amber color, of an aromatic odor, and a bitter, slightly pungent taste. It is valued for its odor and for its medicinal properties. It exudes from the bark of a shrub of Abyssinia and Arabia. The myrrh of the Bible is supposed to have been partly the gum above named, and partly the exudation of species of Cistus, or rockrose.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Announcements: Christmas & Holy Family Year A

Dear Holy Rosary Parishioners, here are a few announcements:

CLARKS POINT CHRISTMAS: On Friday, December 17th, I was able to fly to Clarks Point for a Christmas Mass. It was an ecumenical celebration. The children put together a nativity scene puzzle and the adults who were not Catholic came forward for a blessing. Below, in the Gym at Clarks Point, children wait for the Mass to begin.

Clarks Point community members sing the opening Christmas song, "O Come all Ye Faithful." (December 17, 2010). We were fortunate to have the village elder Mun (bottom row third from the right), a 90 year old Yupik, attend the Mass.

CHRISTMAS MASS SCHEDULE: During Christmas there will be a Christmas Eve Mass beginning at 7:30 PM, Friday, December 24th. There will be no Mass Saturday, Christmas Day. We will celebrate Mass on Sunday, December 26 at 12:30 PM (the Holy Family).

NATIVITY PLAY PRACTICE: Please come to the rehearsal for our Christmas Play. The rehearsal is for all children between the ages of three and eight. It will be at Holy Rosary Parish, Thursday, December 23rd, at 2:00 PM. Please call Bernina Venua for more info, 842-1275.

THANK YOU: Thanx to all who helped decorate the Church on Sunday. It looks wonderful.

AROUND THE MISSION: While in Clarks Point on Friday I lost all of my avionics. My engine was still running fine so I took off and flew the 12 miles to Dillingham. I am in the process of pinpointing the short. I also lost my GPS in Clarks Point. It fell out of my Pack. I had the whole town of Clarks looking for it. I finally found it under the pilots seat in the airplane.

HOLY ROSARY MISSION HATS: I ordered 30 more Holy Rosary hats today. Let me know if you are interested.

INTERNET DONATIONS: On our website we have a donation button. This last month I received two donations totaling $200. The Archdiocese of Anchorage is also developing some forms we can use so parishioners can donate on-line or directly to the bank, if they so choose to do so. There are people now who have never signed a check and will probably never have a checkbook.

GOSPEL: Our nativity scene and Christmas card portray the birth of Christ as very neat, clean, and tidy. Most of my Christmas celebrations have never been that orderly. Please see Homily below.

Merry Christmas!! Have a fantastic week and see you Friday! Fr. Scott


Christmas, 2010: God Meets us in our Humanity:

Today Christmas looks very neat and clean. The Christmas carols we sing and the cards we send make the Nativity look beautiful, and refreshing.

Christmas’s I have experienced in my life have been a little messy. How about yours?

One year I was trying to figure out the present my Grandfather got me. I accidentally ripped it open. It was a holster and two toy six shooters in all of their glory. My Dad was not a happy camper.

Another time my brother and sister and I, I was about 12 years old, decided to get my mom a blender. We saved all our money and got the lady at Brandis Drug Store to give us a huge discount. While at the dinner one evening before Christmas I blurted out, Mom, I can’t wait until you open your blender!

My mom had a new camera. She set the timer, ran over to sit with us in front of the Christmas tree, and fell backward right on top of the tree. Ornaments shattered, lights shorted out, tinsel floated to the ground. My mom was floundering around trying to crawl out from the tree. My eyes were like saucers as I couldn’t believe what happened. Then everyone started laughing.

The birth of Jesus was a little messy as well. Mary and Joseph traveled several days across bandit infested wastelands. Nineteen year old Joseph had to help his fifteen year old wife have a baby. They had the child in a dark and cold manger. The smell of animals must have been nauseating.

The Birth of Jesus is about our God meeting us in our humanity. Jesus meets us as we are. Then, he takes us by the hand and helps us find the way to a life that has meaning and purpose. He takes us as we are and prepares us for eternal life.

This Christmas in the midst of the over-spending, of over-eating and excessive drinking: in the midst of being human, don’t forget what is important:

Bring God’s life to bear on the world every day. Don’t be afraid to bring up God at school, in the work place, at home with the family, in ordinary places you go every day, or in midst of utter chaos.

Christmas is the feast day when we are given the grace to search for an even deeper faith. It is the time of year to respond to everyone we meet with compassion because that is precisely what God did for us in Jesus.

This Christmas no matter how you feel, how stressed out you are, whether you are alone or with friends at Christmas, re-introduce yourself to our Lord and Savior. Let Jesus meet the real you. And then let him lead you down a path of peace, joy, and everlasting life. Merry Christmas everyone (472 Words).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Announcements: 4th Week of Advent Year A

Dear Holy Rosary Parishioners, here are a few announcements:

CONGRATS: Congratulations to George and Ruth Barnard who celebrated a con-validation of their marriage Sunday December 12, 2010. There civil marriage was on December 9th sixteen years ago.

CHRISTMAS EVE MASS: Mass will be at 7:30 Christmas eve, December 24th. There will be no Mass on Christmas day.

CHRISTMAS DECORATING: If possible, please stay after Mass this Sunday and help us decorate for Christmas. Your donations of time will be greatly appreciated.

CHRISTMAS TREE: Our Christmas tree is being donated by Cindy, who won it in a raffle from Ducks Unlimited. Thank you so much Cindy!

CHRISTMAS PLAY Rehearsal This Sunday: Here are the parts for the Christmas Narrative that will be during Mass on Christmas Eve.

Mary: Annalee C.
Joseph: Jacob B.
Wiseman: Alethia B., Madeson S., Satie T.
Angels: Katelyn S., Skylar T
King Herod: Logan Ho
Shepherds: Kenzie J., Karis W.
Inn Keepers: Whitney W., Reyna T.

Please contact Bernina Venua for more information (907-843-12750. The first rehearsal will be after Mass, December 19 (this Sunday). There is room for two more children if they would like to volunteer to help out. No memorization of parts is needed. (SEE THE NATIVITY NARRATIVE BELOW)

GOSPEL: The Gospel is the beautiful story about the Annunciation and the plight that Joseph was faced with. Below is the gospel in my own words.

LECTOR BOOKS: New lector books for 2011 have been ordered and should be here this week.

KENMORE RANGE: The new Kenmore self-cleaning electric cooking range should be shipped this week on Evert’s Air Cargo. The cost was $404 for the 30” range and about $150 to $200 for shipping.

Have a fantastic week of Advent and see you Sunday…Fr. Scott

HOMILY: 4th Week of Advent, Year A, 2010, Gospel in my words

In our Catholic Christian tradition, we have a story. We have a true story about how our lord and savior came into the world.

Marriage was a bit different 2000 years ago. People back then took engagement very seriously. Engagement was like being married. Mary and Joseph were betrothed to each other.

Betrothed means that a formal contract of marriage had been made between two people and then blessed by the church. To be betrothed is similar to what we think marriage is except for one thing: Mary and Joseph had a waiting period before they could actually live together and start having children.

So, although betrothed, or married, they could not live together. During this waiting period something happened…of all the bad luck.

God decided to stir up their lives. God sent down the Holy Spirit to impregnate Mary, which is know as the annunciation. The lives of Mary and Joseph would never be the same.

It was not a pretty sight. Joseph’s true colors showed when he heard of Mary’s pregnancy. He did not believe Mary at first. Joseph thought that she had another boy friend.

But, being the solid, caring, religious man that he was, he did not want to shame Mary. Even though he thought Mary was not telling the truth about how she became pregnant, he kept things very quiet. He did not want to humiliate her. He loved her that much.

But the real problems came about after people found out. The members of the community began to shun Mary.

In the mean time, an angel appeared to Joseph. The angel basically told Joseph that, “I know it’s a little hard to believe, and it has never happened in the history of the planet, but your wife Mary has conceived threw the Holy Spirit. In her womb is the Savior of our world.”

He told Joseph to go ahead and take Mary as his wife. He also said to name the baby Jesus. “Jesus,” the angel said, “Will save us from our sins.”

Keep in mind that in the days before Jesus, most everyone knew the Old Testament inside and out. Before the angel of God left, he told Joseph something very interesting. The angel asked Joseph to recall an Old Testament scripture from Isaiah. Isaiah said, "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us."

It finally downed on Joseph the huge responsibility before him. He had encountered God. He trusted God so much that all other considerations were put aside. He listened to God and made the right decision, even though it was a difficult one.

For Joseph, his faith finally came through very strongly. He was compassionate and he did not condemn harshly. He followed the law of God. He had the moral courage to seek to do the right thing, even though it is not necessarily the Law of Man. He was able to discern the right path forward by listening to what God wanted. The End…which is really the Beginning (515 Words).

Isaiah 7:10-14
Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz: Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, "I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!" Then he said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.

Romans 1:1-7
Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised previously through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel about his Son, descended from David according to the flesh, but established as Son of God in power according to the spirit of holiness through resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith, for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles, among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 1:18-24
Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us." When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

Nativity Story

About two thousand years ago, in the town of Nazareth, there lived a young woman named Mary. She was engaged to be married to Joseph, a carpenter. One day an angel appeared before her and told her she had been chosen to nave a special baby. The baby would be God's son and she must call him Jesus.

Soon after the angel's visit, Mary and Joseph were married. Mary was due to have her baby when they were told they had to go on a long journey to Bethlehem, which was where Joseph came from. his was because they had to pay a special tax. Mary had to ride on a donkey for a few days over the hills of Gallilee.

At last Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem. It was crowded with other people who needed to pay their taxes. Mary was very tired and needed a place to stay. At each inn, the story was the same. There was no room for them. Eventually, one kind innkeeper said he had a stable where he kept his animals. They were welcome to stay there.
And so it was that a few hours later, Mary gave birth to her son in that stable. She wrapped Jesus in strips of cloth and laid Him in a manger full of hay.

At the same time, on a hillside overlooking Bethlehem, some shepherds were watching over their sheep. A bright light appeared in the sky. They were very afraid. It was an angel sent by God. The angel told them not to be afraid, because he had some good news. He said the Son of God had been born and they would find Him in Bethlehem.

The shepherds wanted to go and see the baby. When they arrived at the stable, they were filled with joy at seeing Jesus lying in the manger. They knelt down and worshipped Him. They told Mary and Joseph how the angel had appeared in the sky and told them that Jesus was to be the Savior of the world.

Far away in the East, Wise Men saw a new star shining high in the sky. These men studied the stars and they knew this was a very special star. They studied their scrolls where it said that whenever a bright new star appeared it meant that a great ruler had been born.

The Wise Men decided to find this new ruler. They went to Jerusalem to see King Herod, as they thought the baby would be in the palace. They asked to see the child that would be King of the Jews. The king was troubled. He thought this new king may take away his throne. He told them to return when they had found the baby so that he could worship the child himself.

The Wise Men set off to find the baby. They were guided by the star to the stable in Bethlehem. Here they knelt down and worshipped Jesus. They gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. That night, the men had the same dream where an angel warned them that King Herod wanted to kill Jesus and told them not to go back to his palace.

The Wise Men went back to their own country without calling to see Herod. Soon after Joseph had a dream where an angel told him to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt as King Herod had ordered that Jesus be killed. They left Bethlehem right away so they did not find Jesus as he was safe.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Announcements: 3rd Sunday of Advent Year A

Dear Holy Rosary Mission Parishioners, here are a few announcements:

Stained Glass: Thank you Mateo for the beautiful stained glass window of St. Francis and the Alaskan animals.

Marriage: George and Ruth Barnard will be celebrate the sacrament of Marriage during Mass this Sunday. During this marriage con-validation there will be prayers for the couple at the beginning of Mass, they will say their vows after the homily, and then at the end of Mass there will be a final nuptial blessing.

Potluck: After the Mass and Marriage on Sunday there will be a potluck. Please bring your favorite dish (not a requirement to attend, there will be plenty of food whether you bring something or not).

Rejoice: The rose candle will be lit for the third week of advent. The third candle, usually for the Third Sunday of Advent, is traditionally Pink or Rose, and symbolizes Joy at the soon Advent of the Christ. It marks a shift from the more solemn tone of the first two Sundays of Advent that focus on Preparation and Hope, to a more joyous atmosphere of anticipation and expectancy. Sometimes the colors of the sanctuary and vestments are also changed to Rose for this Sunday. As noted above, in some churches the pink Advent candle is used on the fourth Sunday to mark the joy at the impending Nativity of Jesus.

Around the Mission: Last week I celebrated Mass in King Salmon/Naknek and Dillingham. I flew to Clarks Point to give communion to one of the elders. Currently I am in Anchorage attending finance and canon law meetings.

New Range Purchase: While in Anchorage I purchase a Kenmore 30” self-cleaning electric range for $404. Pat Durban donated half of the cost for the range. Thank you so much Pat! I also picked up a cord to plug it in. The current range is about 30 to 40 years old and 24 inches.

Have a great week and see you Sunday…Fr. Scott

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Announcements: 2nd Sunday of Advent Year A

Dear Holy Rosary Mission Parishioners, here are a few announcements:

Christmas Schedule:

Holy Rosary: 7:30 PM Christmas Eve, Dillingham, AK

Saint Theresa: 4:00 PM Christmas Eve, King Salmon/Naknek

Saint Peter: 11:00, Friday, Dec. 17, School, Clarks Point

No Mass at the above villages on Christmas Day

Prayers: Liz Gardener died Tuesday, November 30, 2010 in King Salmon, AK. Please keep Ed Fundeen, the Gardener family, and all Liz’s friends and family in your prayers.

Marriage/Convalidation: George and Ruth will be married in the church during the Mass on Sunday, December 12. There will be a potluck to follow. Congrats George and Ruth!

Nativity Narrative for Children: During Mass on Christmas Eve Bernina and gang will introduce a children’s narrative. If you have children between the ages of 3 and 8 years of age, please contact Bernina Venua.

Christmas Mass at Clarks Point: There will be a Christmas Mass Friday, the 17th of December at 11:00 AM at the school gym in Clarks Point.

Gospel: Please see the Homily below, which describes the Advent Wreath.

Hope you all had a pleasant and wonderful Thanksgiving. See you Sunday…Fr. Scott

2 Week Advent A Sun DLG 2010, Is11:1-10; Rom15:4-9; Mat 3:1-12

The first part of Advent (December 1 – 16) highlights his Second Coming at the end of time, and the second part (December 17 - 24) emphasizes his coming into human history at the time of his birth in Bethlehem. This liturgical season features joy, hope, repentance, expectation and preparation for the coming of Christ.

The coming of God's Son to earth is an event of such immensity that we need time to prepare for it…hence, we have the four weeks of Advent. During Advent season, our Catechism states, “God awakens in the hearts of those who don’t attend church and gives them an idea of how great the birth of Jesus is (Christmas).” It goes on to say that St. John the Baptist is the Lord's immediate forerunner, sent to prepare his way.

Our advent wreath is meant to remind us of the coming of Jesus. As a review I thought I would go over it again.

Purple/Violate: Purple signifies expectation, purification, and penance. A purple or violet color is to remind us that Advent is a season of preparation. We should be spiritually preparing our souls to receive Christ on Christmas.

Rose: Rose, only used the third Sunday of Advent, is symbolic of the Christmas joy. It means rejoice. Mixing violet with white makes the rose color.

Candles: The purple candles symbolize the prayer, penance, sacrifices, and goods works. The rose candle symbolizes an element of rejoicing in the midst of our penitential preparation.

Light: As candles are lit, the light increases. The birth of the Light of the World is coming closer. So may our souls grow brighter in their love for, and anticipation of, the Christ Child.

Circle: The wreath is always in the form of a circle. Circles have no beginning and no end. The circle of the wreath, symbolizes the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul, and the everlasting life found in Christ…not a dead end.

Evergreens: Evergreens are “ever green” or “ever alive.” They symbolize Christ, who died, but is now alive, and who will never die again. Evergreens point to never ending life, strength, and healing. The Evergreens depicts the immortality of our soul and everlasting life promised to us through Christ.

Pinecones: Pinecones or nuts used to decorate the wreath symbolize life and resurrection.

Holly and Red Berries: The prickly leaves of Holly remind us of the crown of thorns. Red berries, entwined in the Holly symbolize the blood shed by Christ for all mankind.

Blue Bowls: The blue bowls to hold the candles are to remind us of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, who bore Jesus in her womb and brought Him forth into our world on Christmas.

Advent is about preparation…about reforming our lives so that we can live in God’s peace. By reforming our lives, we can let justice flourish.

Advent is about anticipation…about waiting for God to come into the world because he offers us peace, forgiveness, and healing.

Advent is about God comforting us and seeking out those who are lost or who have gone astray.

Advent is about patiently yet joyfully waiting of Jesus to save us (567 Words).

Why four weeks? Here’s a Question.

What do the for weeks of Advent Represent? Each week represents one thousand years: the 4,000 years from Adam and Eve until the Birth Jesus.

Isaiah 11: 1-10 - But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide, But he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land's afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips. Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair. There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea. On that day, The root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, The Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Romans 15: 4-9 - For whatever was written previously was written for our instruction, that by endurance and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, to confirm the promises to the patriarchs, but so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written: "Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles and sing praises to your name."

Mat 3: 1-12 - In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: "A voice of one crying out in the desert, 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'" John wore clothing made of camel's hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Announcements: 1st Sunday of Advent Year A

Dear Holy Rosary Parishioners, here are a few announcements:

Christmas Eve Mass: Time for the Christmas eve Mass will be 7:30 PM, Friday, 24 December.

Thank you: Once again severe conditions kept me from Mass in Dillingham this Sunday. Freezing rain closed down the runway in Dillingham and also the flying. Thank you Aileen for your second week in a row of offering a communion service. By the way, I changed the Mass time in King Salmon to Saturday at noon, which will hopefully allow me to have a better batting average in Dillingham.

Nativity Narrative: Bernina is working on a narrative for the children. Please contact her if your child would like to be involved in the play during Mass Christmas Eve.

Around the Mission: I was able to fly to Togiak, New Stuyahok, and Clarks Point this week. I took Penair to King Salmon because the weather was IFR when I left.

Happy Thanksgiving: I pray all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I will be in Bend, Oregon eating turkey with my family this week. Currently I am stuck in Seattle in, GET THIS, a snow storm!!!

Have a great week and don’t forget to check our our website, Scott

Monday, November 15, 2010

Announcements: Christ the King

Dear Holy Rosary Mission Parishioners, here are the announcemtents for the week of Christ the King.

Gospel: Christ the King will one day be asking for our Passports. Please see Homily below.

Around the Mission: Due to fog last week I had to cancel going to Clarks Point on Friday and I missed Mass in Dillingham at Holy Rosary on Sunday because after mass in King Salmon I was fogged in. I did manage to fly to Togiak and back on Wednesday.

Thank you: Thanx to Aileen who celebrated a communion service Sunday. I called her from King Salmon 30 minutes before mass began in Dillingham. She did a great job with only 30 minutes notice.

Bend, Oregon: I will be traveling to Bend for Thanksgiving with my family and will be gone from Nov 22 to Dec 2.

Nativity Narrative: Bernina is choosing narratives for the children's nativity play during Mass on Christmas Eve. Please contact her if you have a child between the ages of four and nine, give a take a year or two.

Have a great week and see you Sunday...Fr. Scott

Christ the King C DLG 2010, 2 Kings, 2 Samuel 5:1-3; Colossians 1:12-20; Luke 23:35-43

Whenever I travel out of the United States I need a Passport. To travel around the world, everyone needs a passport. A passport is an official document that says I belong to the United States. I am subject to the laws of the United States. The USA will protect me when I am outside the country. It says that our laws may be a little different than another countries law. That means that if I do something against the law in one country, I have to be judged according to the laws in the United States.

The gospel tells us the kind of passport the King will ask us for. The details are a little different from this passport. Our passport to enter the Kingdom of heaven may not necessarily have our race, age, nationality, or culture.

Our passport to heaven will not have stamped on it “I was a member of Holy Rosary Catholic Church.” It won’t say I was married for 50 years and raised ten children. It won’t go into detail about how many Hail Mary’s I said each day.

The way we pray, worship, and what we believe are all important in our lives here on earth. These are all stepping-stones and landmarks that lead us to do what is really important.

The King of Heaven will ultimately judge us on what is REALLY important…that is, our behavior in relation to our neighbor who is in need. How do we relate to our neighbors?

Christ the King is our example: During his life on earth, he took pity on the poor, helped the defenseless, and was kind to outcasts.

One of the most difficult things for me before I became a priest was changing my Business oriented thinking. I set goals for myself. I used physical, financial, and social objectives to meet those goals. Setting goals is a great way to get along at work, at home, and at school. Goal setting works!

Goal setting does not work in the spiritual world. We cannot say that if we go to church every Sunday, if we pray everyday, then we will go to heaven. It does not work that way. We cannot have our visas stamped when we go to church, donate money, or join a prayer group.

When I decided to become a priest I had to get it through my head that goal setting does not work. I could not do something good and expect to get an immediate result. Treasure in heaven means just that: we may not experience the fruits of our labor until after we die. I had to learn that spirituality is something we grow stronger in everyday.

Spirituality has no immediate end. Our spirituality is eternal. It goes on forever, even after we die.

Probably the toughest thing for me to learn about spirituality was to let things go. It is easy for me to want to blame myself for all my faults and for the good things I do. In reality, it should be that God and I work together…share, in building up this Kingdom.

As we grow in our spiritual lives we learn a language. Our heavenly visas will be stamped with that language.

I hope the language stamped on my visa says this: I allowed Christ the King to be my shepherd. I learned to trust and follow God. I walk where the Lord leads. I lead others to the restful waters, to healing, and to love.

The idea is this: If we allow Christ to be our King, he will guide us along the right path. He will protect us outside of this world. He will admit us to the kingdom where he reigns, to the glory of god the Father (625 Words).

2 Samuel 5:1-3 – All the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said: "Here we are, your bone and your flesh. In days past, when Saul was our king, it was you who led the Israelites out and brought them back. And the LORD said to you, 'You shall shepherd my people Israel and shall be commander of Israel.'" When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron, King David made an agreement with them there before the LORD, and they anointed him king of Israel.

Colossians 1:12-20 – Giving thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross (through him), whether those on earth or those in heaven.

Luke 23:35-43 – The people stood by and watched; the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said, "He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Messiah of God." Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, "If you are King of the Jews, save yourself." Above him there was an inscription that read, "This is the King of the Jews." Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us." The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Announcements: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Holy Rosary Mission Parishioners, here are a few announcements:

Gospel: The gospel is about the end-time. Please read the Homily below.

Nativity Narrative Play: Please contact Bernina Venua to get your 4 to 8 year old signed up for the nativity narrative that will be held on Christmas Eve at Holy Rosary Parish during Mass.

Thanksgiving Prayer: Thanksgiving is drawing near. Here are a couple of prayers that one can use for the Thanksgiving dinner blessing:

Prayer 1
Our Father in Heaven,
We give thanks for the pleasure
Of gathering together for this occasion.
We give thanks for this food
Prepared by loving hands.
We give thanks for life,
The freedom to enjoy it all
And all other blessings.
As we partake of this food,
We pray for health and strength
To carry on and try to live as You would have us.
This we ask in the name of Christ, Amen

Prayer 2
Thank you God for all the wonderful blessings,
For our daily meals and for clean drinking water.
Thank you for family, friends, and good health.
Thank for our lives.
Thank you for giving us your only Son Jesus.
On this Thanksgiving, we also give thanks for countless other
things you provide us with on a daily basis.
We pray for those less fortunate than ourselves who may have nothing to eat this day.

Prayer 3
Father in Heaven, Creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon us and receive our heartfelt gratitude in this time of giving thanks. Thank you for all the graces and blessings. You have bestowed upon us. Thank you for our food and shelter, our health, the love we have for one another, our family and friends. Dear Lord, in Your infinite generosity, please grant us continued graces and blessing throughout the coming year.
This we ask in the Name of Jesus, Amen

Around the Mission: On Thursday this week I was able to do some practice GPS approaches into New Stuyahok, Koliganek, and Levelock. After flying to Clarks Point on Friday I prayed the Rosary with Louise Gardner then had lunch with the children at the Clarks Point School. Saturday, because of fog, I waited and had Penair fly me to King Salmon and Naknek where I scheduled a house blessing with a parishioner from King Salmon and Had Mass Sunday at 9:00 AM. I then flew back to Dillingham for Mass at 12:30 on Sunday.

It was such a nice day Friday that I walked up to the village of Clarks Point after I landed on the dirt strip. Here are couple pictures I took:

Have a fantastic week and see you Sunday…Fr. Scott


33rd Ord C DLG 2010 End Time, Malachi 3:19-20;2 Thessalonians 3:7-12;Luke 21:5-19

Within 100 years after Jesus’ death, the earliest Christians thought the end of the world was near. We call that the end time or doomsday.

The end time is the final Judgment. The first judgment will be when we die and go to purgatory. The second judgment will be the final judgment or end-time. The final judgment is a general judgment when all are assembled before God and their relationship to God is made public.

A doomsday prophet is a person who predicts this final judgment. For example, because of the higher number of hurricanes, cyclones, and earthquakes this year, the end is near.

During the cold war in the 1960’s, people made bomb shelters in case the Russians nuked us. People were afraid. They were really scared that a nuclear attack would end the world.

Remember President Clinton and Y2K in 1999. Imagine, the entire world shutting down, planes crashing, warheads going off all around the country, and no electricity, water, or food…the end time. One guy I knew bought 30 bags of wheat to store in his basement in preparation for Y2K. The turn of the century is always a great time for doomsday prophets to emerge.

Regardless of whether or not the end time comes in our lifetime there are three realities we live with: (1) the end time will come, we just don’t know when and (2) we will always have war, famine, natural disasters and followers of Jesus will always be persecuted (3) Jesus tells us that we will know, without a doubt, when the end-time is near.

The readings give us advice on how to live our lives knowing that the end time is inevitable.

About doomsday, Jesus tells us not to follow the doomsday prophets. He says, “Awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.” When the end-time is near, we will know it.

Paul, in Thessalonians, gives us advice. Paul believes in teaching by example. By living a good Christian life, Paul felt that others would see his example and follow it. You have heard the saying “like father like son.” Paul believed that his good actions would rub off on others.

Here is the advice he gives us about living with the end time looming over us: Work and earn the food you eat. Do not be lazy. Live in a spirit of harmony and unity with people. Do not let peer pressure sway you from your Christian beliefs. Hostility from others is not an excuse for us to be hostile ourselves. We are to persevere in holiness of life. Leave judgment to the Lord.

The message of the day is not a timetable for disaster. Our message is about happiness while we are living our lives on earth. We do that by putting our faith and hope in Jesus. By anchoring ourselves to Christ in these end times, we can turn a crisis into opportunity.

As we come forward to receive communion, let us take into our hands the anchor of our faith…the body of Christ. It will enable us to endure in hope until the end of time…whenever that may be (524 Words).

For lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, And the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts. But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays; And you will gambol like calves out of the stall

2 Thessalonians 3:7-12
For you know how one must imitate us. For we did not act in a disorderly way among you, nor did we eat food received free from anyone. On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you. Not that we do not have the right. Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us. In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat. We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business of others. Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and to eat their own food.

Luke 21:5-19
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, he said, "All that you see here--the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down." Then they asked him, "Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?" He answered, "See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and 'The time has come.' Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky. "Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Announcements: 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Holy Rosary Mission Parishioners, here are a few announcements:

Gospel: Resurrection gives us hope for life after death. Please see the Homily and readings below.

Gray Water System: The gray water system has been repaired. Check out the story and pictures on Thank you JD Bennis for donating your time and talent. While the heavy equipment was being unloaded, Jerry, a neighbor, come by with his dog to apply for some work. We hired him on the spot.

Children’s nativity Narrative: During the homily this Christmas, children will be acting out the nativity. If your children would like to have a part, i.e. shepherd, angel, wise man, Mary, or Joseph, please contact Bernina, Angie, or Diana.

First Communion: May 22nd, 2011, will be a First Communion Mass. If you have a child six years or older please let me know so I can start training. We already have three children signed up.

Have a great week and see you Sunday…Fr. Scott

32nd Ord C DLG 2010 Heaven 2 Mac 7: 1-2, 9-14; 2 Thes 2:16 – 3:5; Luke 20:27-38

What happens when we die?
The Sadducees believed that when you died, that was it…blackness….A kind of hell. We believe that Hell awaits those who do not have a friendship with God, do not believe in God, and condemn the Holy Spirit.

In the Gospel, Jesus makes it clear that there is life after death. Jesus believes in the resurrection. In the gospel Jesus says, “Resurrection is not the continuation of this life, but its complete transformation by the living God.

When we die, Catholics believe that living a Christian life insures that our soul will go to purgatory. Purgatory, according to the Catechism says, “Those who die in the state of friendship with God but are not fully purified, are assured of their eternal salvation. However, they must undergo a final purification to obtain the perfection of love and holiness needed to enter heaven.” In other words, everyone will spend time in purgatory, some longer than others.

When Jesus comes to earth for the second time, our Creed tells us, He will come again to judge the living and the dead.” The last line says, “We look for the resurrection of the dead.”

All the dead will rise when Jesus comes again to judge the living and the dead. In the final resurrection, our bodies will be transformed, though we do not know precisely how. The manner of our resurrection exceeds our understanding and imagination and is accessible only to our faith.

What is Heaven like?
The Church teaches that, “Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the stat of supreme, definitive happiness. There will be perfect communion with the Holy Trinity, the Blessed Mother, the angels, and saints.”

We do not really know what heaven will be like…it is beyond our human imagination. Many scholars have tried to describe it;

1. The physical body will be replaced by one that cannot decay…it will last forever. So, a main reason to marry is to raise children…to keep the Christians from dying off. In heaven, no one dies…so getting married and having children is not necessary.

2. Relationships will exist. We will probably be reunited with people who we knew on earth. However, there are new relationships in heaven. We will be united with countless brothers and sisters in Christ. Something we can never achieve on earth.

3. We will be like angels, says Jesus. That means that we will probably have a different kind of body, real, and recognizable, yet not restricted as it is now. Paul says it best in the second reading today, “the future is bright, real, and fulfilling, however tough life is now.”

So when we think about your own death or grieve over those loved ones who have died, let these readings today give you hope.

The resurrection of Jesus assures us that death is not the end of existence…a dark nothing. Have hope that when our loved ones die, or when we die, our resurrected life will be qualitatively better than life on earth; our bodies will never die, and our relationships will be transformed.

Let this hope of resurrection provide comfort and strength to face the difficulties of life and the loss of people we love (539 Words).

2 Maccabees 7: 1-2, 9-14
It also happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king, to force them to eat pork in violation of God's law. One of the brothers, speaking for the others, said: "What do you expect to achieve by questioning us? We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors." At the point of death he said: "You accursed fiend, you are depriving us of this present life, but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever. It is for his laws that we are dying." After him the third suffered their cruel sport. He put out his tongue at once when told to do so, and bravely held out his hands, as he spoke these noble words: "It was from Heaven that I received these; for the sake of his laws I disdain them; from him I hope to receive them again." Even the king and his attendants marveled at the young man's courage, because he regarded his sufferings as nothing. After he had died, they tortured and maltreated the fourth brother in the same way. When he was near death, he said, "It is my choice to die at the hands of men with the God-given hope of being restored to life by him; but for you, there will be no resurrection to life."

2 Thessalonians 2:16 – 3:5;
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word. Finally, brothers, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified, as it did among you, and that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people, for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. We are confident of you in the Lord that what we instruct you, you (both) are doing and will continue to do. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ.

Luke 20:27-38
“Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to him, saying, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us, 'If someone's brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless. Then the second and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her. Jesus said to them, "The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called 'Lord' the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Announcements: 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Holy Rosary Mission Parishioners, here are a few announcements:

Gospel: Zacchaeus, a man short in stature, climbed a tree to see Jesus. Please see the homily and readings below.

Nativity Play: This year during Mass at Christmas, Holy Rosary will have a Children’s Nativity play. Three people at Holy Rosary have volunteered to organize it. If you would like to be a part of this, please talk with Angie Venua, Bernina Venua, or Diana Swaim.

Calendars: The Catholic Extension 2011 Stewardship calendars this year have a picture of the mountains behind Dillingham, Alaska. I have ordered about 50 of these calendars and will offer them to the people in our mission. The front of these calendars list the Mass times and villages served in our mission. They will be available in a few weeks.

Villages served this Week: Tuesday of this week I was trying to fly to Ugashik and Pilot Point but had to turn around in Egegik because the fog closed in on me. I flew to Clarks Point on Friday, King Salmon/Naknek on Saturday, and back to Dillingham on Sunday.

Have a great week and see you Sunday…Fr. Scott

31 Ord C DLG 2007 Rich Official vs. Zacc, Wis 11:22—12:2; 2 Thess 1:11—2:2; Luke 19:1-10

The tax collector in the gospel, is short in stature. He reminds me a little of our own Pat Durbin.

I would like to compare and contrast two gospel stories. They are stories about rich people. They are stories about people like you and I.

One story is about a rich official (Luke 18: 18-23). He asked Jesus, “What shall I do to inherit eternal. Life?” “Keep the commandments,” said Jesus. “I have,” said the Rich Official. Then Jesus had said, “Sell what you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven.” The rich official balked…he could not do it. He went away sad.

One chapter later, is today’s gospel, Luke 19:1-10…The story of Zacchaeus climbing up the tree.

Rich Young Man and Zacchaeus
Both are very wealthy…have lots of money
Both looking for more in life
Money has not brought them happiness/Peace

Differences (Rich Official)
Kept commandments from his youth
Considered a Son of Abraham
Responds with Sadness to sell and give to poor
Wealth more important than following Jesus
Did not answer the call from Jesus
Result: Chose wealth over God
Result: Cannot find happiness and peace
Result: Did not realize faith in God was better
Result: Cannot experience fullness of God’s love
Result: Chose not to change while visiting Jesus

Differences (Zacchaeus: The Tax collector)
Extorted taxes, outcast, hated by many
Not considered a son of Abraham
Was not a very religious person
Responds with joy to give to the poor
Following Jesus more important than wealth
Answered the call from Jesus
Result: Choose God over money
Result: Found happiness and peace
Result: Realized faith in God was better
Result: Can experience the fullness of God’s love
Result: Chose to change while visiting Jesus

Here are a few of my conclusions:

No matter what you have done in the past or who you are today, you can change for the better.

Jesus welcomes everyone, not just those who have been raised in the Church.

Every single person on earth has a chance at eternal life, happiness, and peace.

Choosing Christ is an everyday decision.

We all have something we need to change in our lives that will make us better Christians.

This week, like little Zacchaeus, I want all of you to make a change for the better. If Jesus were to come to your house today, what would you change (410 Words)?

Wisdom 11:22—12:2
Indeed, before you the whole universe is as a grain from a balance, or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth. But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things; and you overlook the sins of men that they may repent. For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned. And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you? But you spare all things, because they are yours, O LORD and lover of souls, for your imperishable spirit is in all things! Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little, warn them, and remind them of the sins they are committing, that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD!

2 Thessalonians 1:11—2:2
To this end, we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith, that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ. We ask you, brothers, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling with him, not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly, or to be alarmed either by a "spirit," or by an oral statement, or by a letter allegedly from us to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand.

Luke 19:1-10
He came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner." But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Announcements:L 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Holy Rosary Alaska Mission Parishioners, here are a few announcements:

Congratulations: Congrats to Pat Shryock from Naknek, Alaska. The 16 year old flew solo in their Cessna 172, Thursday, October 14, 2010, at South Naknek. Pat actually flew solo in the airplane before receiving his drivers license. After Mass Sunday I asked the young aviator about his first solo flight. The young Pat said, “I was REALLY excited.”

Gospel: The Gospel this week asks us to ground ourselves. Grounding makes us humble. The arrogant Pharisees need to be grounded. (Please see homily and readings below).

Potluck: The potluck will be Sunday, October 31, not Sunday October 24. Please bring your favorite dish and join in a good time after Mass, downstairs, at Holy Rosary Parish.

Confirmation: If you know of anyone between the ages of 10 and 100, who are baptized Catholic yet have not been confirmed, please let me know.

First Communion: A first communion celebration will be Sunday, May 22, 2010. If you know any children who are six or seven years old and have not had First Communion, please let me know.

Have a fantastic week and see you Sunday, Fr. Scott

HOMILY: 30Ord C DLG, 2010, Grounded, Sir35:12-14,16-18;2Tim4:6-8,16-18;Lk18:9-14

Have you ever been grounded as a child? It’s not fun…no phone, no internet, can’t drive the car, can’t go out with your friends…etc. A teenager is basically shut down from the most important thing in their life at the time…friends and socializing.

We are grounded for a reason. The reason is, we start to act like the Pharisee does in the gospel. Being grounded equates to doing something that is a bit out of the ordinary. Doing something that is not good, such as being reckless, immature, or immoral. In the Pharisees case, he was arrogant. The Pharisee needed to be grounded.

The Pharisee was a successful person but he let it go to his head. He made himself feel important by putting others down. In prayer, he reminded God just how great he was compared to others. He trusts too much in himself and very little in God.

In football, intentional grounding is when the quarterback goes back to through a pass, can’t find a receiver, and throws the ball into the ground. A well grounded person is someone who has a firm foundation. A pilot who has poor vision can be grounded, meaning they cannot fly anymore.

Believe it our not, grounding means to be humble. From Humility comes the Latin word humas, meaning “close to the earth.”

For example, the tax collector in the gospel lived close to the earth. As a result, he was open to conversion and being lifted up by God. The Pharisee was far from the ground. He was so far from the earth that he was closed of from conversion. He had an attitude sickness from taking the high moral ground.

Most of us find ourselves somewhere between the grounded tax collector and the highflying Pharisee. Being humble is the best way to be. Here is what being humble means:

A humble person does not think he or she is better than someone else. A humble person does not try to look better than someone by putting others down. A humble person honors others by sharing their gifts. This enables others people to benefit from the goodness of God.

The best way to ensure that we remain humble is to be grounded in reality like the tax collector. Here is how to do that.

Be open to people in your life who make demands on you. They might be economically disadvantaged, disabled, elderly, or sick. It is not necessarily easy to be with them, but that is the point.

Our response to these friends makes us grounded, draws out gifts we sometimes did not even know we had. At the very least, our response to these friends reminds us how grateful we should be for the gifts we have received. Others can tell a lot about us by the company we keep, and the people we shun.

I went to fill up our Cherokee Warrior II with 100LL at ACS in Dillingham this week. I started to fill the tank and stopped. I forgot to ground the plane first.

Don’t forget to ground yourselves before every week. The Body and Blood of Christ does just that. As you come forward for communion today think of how the Eucharist will help humble us so we can use our gifts and talents to help others.

By remaining humble, we can expect to be filled with life and life abundantly. So, here is a direct order…you are all grounded for life (577 Words).

Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18;
For he is a God of justice, who knows no favorites. Though not unduly partial toward the weak, yet he hears the cry of the oppressed. He is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint; He who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens. The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, Nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right.

2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18;
For I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance. At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Luke 18:9-14
He then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. "Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity--greedy, dishonest, adulterous--or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.' But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.' I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Annoucements: 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Holy Rosary Mission Parishioners, here are a few announcements:

Gospel: The readings this Sunday are about being persistent. Be persistent not only in bettering yourself, but also in prayer. Please see the homily and readings below.

Potluck: The next potluck after Mass will be October 31, the last Sunday of the month. All are invited and welcome to stay after Mass for fellowship and food. Bring your favorite dish if you can.

Flying: Last week I was able to fly to Clarks Point, Igiugig, and King Salmon. I was also in Anchorage for three days.

Here are a couple pictures from may flight to Clarks Point this week. Fall is certainly here.

New Missal: I have some great information about the new missal.

Here is the first of several lesions about the new Roman Missal, which will be used next year for Advent, i.e. 2011

New Roman Missal Information:

Lesson 1 – The new Roman Missal will have biblical roots

 The texts will express more clearly why we pray, why we hope, and how we present ourselves to God
 This will create a greater connection of the Missal to the Lectionary
 The prayers will express more nuances of meaning, reflecting a more extensive meaning and depth of the original Latin texts
 The style will be more formal than ordinary conversation
 The new translation will add a freshness to the sound of the Missal while avoiding needless repetition of well-worn words
 This translation brings us into closer alignment with other languages translation (French, German, Spanish, etc.) throughout the world.

Have a fantastic week and see you Sunday, Fr. Scott

Homily, 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Persistence, Exodus 17:8-13; 2 Timothy 3:14—4:2; Luke 18:1-8

When I was looking for part time work during High School, I took some advice from my next-door neighbor, Buck Dyer. He said, “Scott, if you want to get a job, you have to be persistent.” So, I set my sights high…a box boy at Wagner’s Grocery Store. Then I made a plan. First, I learned that the manager’s name was Ron Lakey. Next, I visited Wagner’s everyday. I would walk right up to Mr. Laky’s office, knock on the door, and ask for a job. The fifth time Mr. Laky said, “Well Scott, I can see that I am not going to get rid of you, so…I might as well hire you.” I was overwhelmed with joy. I never gave Mr. Laky a reason to regret his decision to hire me. Persistence pays.

In the Gospel, the old widow was persistent, and it paid. She believed strongly about getting a just decision. After a while, the widow’s determination moved the corrupt judge to say, “Lady, I shall deliver a just decision for you, lest you finally come and strike me.”

In the first reading, when Moses raised his hands in the air, the Israelites fought better. When he lowered them, Amalek got the better of the fight.

So Moses had to be persistent in keeping his hands up. Ever held your hands up for any length of time…they get really tired. So, what happened? Moses’ arms began to get tired. Some of his warriors kept propping them back up again. The warriors saw Moses’ risen hands as a sign of never ending prayer to God. That motivated them to win the battle. Once again, persistence pays.

Jesus wants us to be persistent in prayer. What counts is not the length or quality of our prayer. What counts is that we are persistent. Start out small with maybe one Hail Mary or one our Father…but say it everyday. Then let God help you expand at your own pace. The result: Prayer keeps us centered on Christ and brings peace to our chaotic lives.

Mr. Laky put his trust in me and hired me at the grocery store because I was persistent. When we are unrelenting and determined like that old widow, even a corrupt judge may learn to trust us and take our good advice.

Normally, being persistent applies when we want to excel in school sports, get good grades, or land that perfect Job.

But it also applies to our spiritual lives. Jesus begs us to be persistent in our spiritual lives. For example, persistence in pursuing fairness will bring about justice. In struggling with our sins, persistence enables us to become holier people.

Persistence in praying to God does not necessarily change God. It changes us! Some think that prayer changes God’s mind; he then intervenes, and makes something good happen. That might be true, but here is a spiritually healthier way to think.

Persistence in prayer changes us. Prayer such as Fasting, abstinence, pilgrimages, and retreats change us. They make us more open to what God is really trying to tell us. We can then work with God to make good things happen.

So, keep those arms elevated in prayer. Then, take it from the Old Widow…be persistence, it pays (543 Words)!

Exodus 17:8-13 - At Rephidim, Amalek came and waged war against Israel. Moses, therefore, said to Joshua, "Pick out certain men, and tomorrow go out and engage Amalek in battle. I will be standing on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand." So Joshua did as Moses told him: he engaged Amalek in battle after Moses had climbed to the top of the hill with Aaron and Hur. As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight. Moses' hands, however, grew tired; so they put a rock in place for him to sit on. Meanwhile Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other, so that his hands remained steady till sunset. And Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

2 Timothy 3:14—4:2 - But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, and that from infancy you have known (the) sacred scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work. I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.

Luke 18:1-8 - Then he told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, "There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, 'Render a just decision for me against my adversary.' For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, 'While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.'" The Lord said, "Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"

Monday, October 4, 2010

Announcements: 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Holy Rosary Mission Parishioners, here are a few announcements:

Prayers: Please keep the Belleque family in your prayers. Johanna’s mom died Friday, October 1st in Koliganek, Alaska.

Gospel: The gospel is about getting second chances in our lives. Please see readings and homily below.

Anchorage Visit: I will be going to Anchorage this Tuesday through Thursday to participate in the pastoral day (learn about the New Missal) and to train in the canon law tribunal.

Thank you: Thank you to Katelyn Swaim (daughter of Michael and Diana) for making and coloring the North Star for the Christmas Eve Homily. At that time the children will be helping put together a Nativity puzzle.

Gray Water Problem: We are still waiting for the metal to arrive on the barge so Osborn tanks can make the 1000 gallon tank for our Gray water drainage. We plan to make the tank with holes in it and Jackson McCormick is going to make a drain system for the tank.

Have a blessed week and see you Sunday...Fr. Scott

28 Ord C DLG 2010, Metanoia, 2 Kings 5:14-17; 2 Timothy 2:8-13; Luke 17:11-19

In the gospel, the story of the one leper who returned is about second chances. If it is God’s will that you be cured you get a second chance.

Second chances in life are numerous. We are always getting second chances. I have had so many second chances I have lost track of them all.

The second chances that counted most to me were the second chances at life. I could have died several times in my life but was given a second chance.

When I was about seven years old, I almost drowned in a swimming pool. I got in over my head and couldn’t swim. An old lady about 79 years old, saw me struggling for air, waded over to me, and pulled me out.

A couple years later, after I learned how swim, I was swimming in the river…my dad’s Labrador Spike wanted to play. He swam out to me and started jumping on top of me.

Driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks I rolled my friends Jeep near Nenana. We hit a snowdrift. We rolled four times and landed upside down. It was 40 below zero outside. I got a second chance.

We have all dealt with life and death. The lepers were in that same situation…they were all cured…they all had a second chance at life.

What become important to them after they were cured? Starting a new life believing in Christ or The lepers could have started a whole new life believing in Christ, or getting back to the life the way it was.

Ultimately, the story of the leper is about seizing or not seizing second chances. How do you react when you have a scare in life? How do you react when it turns out OK? Getting a second chance to nine of the lepers meant going back to the same old way of life. Sure, they were happy at first. Sure they were grateful for a little while…but how soon they forgot.

Only one came back to show his gratitude. Only the Samaritan came back. Only the Samaritan wanted to start a new and better life following Jesus. Only the one Samaritan leper seized the second chance.

The second chance for the Leper launched a new insight…a deep praise for God…a relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus will sustain this grateful man for the rest of his life.

In the first reading from Kings, God gave Naaman a second chance. It changed his life.

After being cleaned of leprosy, Naaman said to the prophet Elisha, “I will no longer offer holocaust or sacrifice to any other god except to the Lord.”

For you and I, second chances don’t have to come from life and death situations.

We may get a second chance to repair a hurt relationship. We might get a second chance to give back something we took that was not ours. We may get a second chance to tell the truth to someone we lied to. Take that that second chance.

Like the one leper, when we take that second chance we experience Metanoia. Metanoia is a Greek word meaning: conversion and the continual life of inner change and growth. The next time you get a second chance…seize it. Experience Metanoia. Grow closer to Jesus because of it, be grateful to God for it, and enliven the Holy Spirit to help you (561 Words).

2 Kings 5:14-17 - So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times at the word of the man of God. His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. He returned with his whole retinue to the man of God. On his arrival he stood before him and said, "Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel. Please accept a gift from your servant." "As the LORD lives whom I serve, I will not take it," Elisha replied; and despite Naaman's urging, he still refused. Naaman said: "If you will not accept, please let me, your servant, have two mule-loads of earth, for I will no longer offer holocaust or sacrifice to any other god except to the LORD.

2 Timothy 2:8-13 - Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David: such is my gospel, for which I am suffering, even to the point of chains, like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, together with eternal glory. This saying is trustworthy: If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him. But if we deny him he will deny us. If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.

Luke 17:11-19 - As he continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met (him). They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, "Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!" And when he saw them, he said, "Go show yourselves to the priests." As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?" Then he said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Announcements: 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Holy Rosary Parishioners, here are a few announcements:

Revised Missal: Starting in Advent 2011, the New Roman Missal will be used. That will give us a year to get use to the idea and to learn about the changes. The changes are a better English interpretation of the original scriptures. Here are a few of the changes:

Greeting, Sign of Peace
Present wording: The Lord be with you. And also with you

New wording: The Lord be with you. And with your spirit.

Present wording: We believe in one God…

New wording: I believe in one God…

Present wording: Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth.

New Wording: Glory to God in the highest4, and on earth peace to people of good will.

Present wording: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might…

New wording: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts…

Mystery of Faith form A
Present wording: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

New wording: We proclaim you death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.

Anchorage Trip: Speaking of the New Missal, I will be in Anchorage Tuesday – Thursday to learn about the new Roman Missal and to start learning how to be a judge in the Marriage Tribunal.

Gospel: One of the messages that comes from the readings this week is Faith. Please see the homily and readings below.

Baptism: Here are a couple pictures of our newest member to the Catholic Church, Blake Ashton Turnbull. He was baptized Sep 26, 2010.

Prayers: Please keep Archbishop Hurley and Father Dick Tero in your prayers. Archbishop Hurly will be having heart surgery today, Sep 27, 2010 and Father Tero had heart surgery two days ago.

Wild flowers: The Tennyson’s planted wild flowers on the grave of William Tennyson. This picture was taken last week.

Have a great week and see you Sunday, weather permitting! Fr. Scott

27 Ord C DLG 2007, Habakkuk 1:2-3&2:2-4; 2 Timothy 1:6-8&13-14; Luke 17:5-10

Habakkuk tells us the just man, because of his faith, shall live. Timothy asks to take listen to his words and have faith they are true. In the gospel Jesus says, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to (this) mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.”

A mustard seed is very small. Take a look at this seed. You can’t even see it. Faith this size can change our lives.

Faith is something totally spiritual, it’s not physical or social, or psychological. We cannot see or feel it. Faith breaches the separation between the earth and heaven. It is a way humans comprehend those things which we cannot explain.

Take the Eucharist for example. We believe that a priest, with the help of the Holy Spirit can change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. We believe in this, have faith in this, and therefore it is a spiritual truth.

When so many of God’s children have faith in something for two thousand years and believe it to be true, then the only explanation is that it is the truth. Our faith caused it to be true.

Abraham, in Hebrews defines faith like this, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Catechism 146).

Our Catechism states that, Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and all that God has said and revealed to us, because God is truth itself (Catechism 1814).

Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to people. Can we lose our faith? St. Paul indicated to Timothy that we can. Paul says, "Wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made a shipwreck of their faith” (Catechism 162).

How do we live, grow and persevere in the faith until the end: nourish your faith with the word of God; in prayer, ask the Lord to increase your faith; True faith must be working through charity, abounding in hope, and rooted in the Church (Catechism 162).

Personally, I have faith that there is life after death. I have faith that God is a loving God. I have faith that the Eucharist is truly changed into the body and blood of Christ and strengthens us to be loving Christians. I have faith that the Holy Spirit lives within us. I have faith that the Catholic Church, through the seven sacraments, offers the best way to prepare us to meet God. I have faith that strong faith can quiet a storm (440 Words).

Habakkuk 1:2-3&2:2-4
How long, O LORD? I cry for help but you do not listen! I cry out to you, "Violence!" but you do not intervene. Why do you let me see ruin; why must I look at misery? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and clamorous discord. Then the LORD answered me and said: Write down the vision Clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; If it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late. The rash man has no integrity; but the just man, because of his faith, shall live. Wealth, too, is treacherous: the proud, unstable man--

2 Timothy 1:6-8&13-14
For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard this rich trust with the help of the holy Spirit that dwells within us.

Luke 17:5-10
And the apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith." The Lord replied, "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to (this) mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you. "Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, 'Come here immediately and take your place at table'? Would he not rather say to him, 'Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished'? Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'"