Monday, June 27, 2011

Announcements: 14th Sunday Ordinary Time Yr A

Dear Holy Rosary Parishioners, here are some announcements:

Holy Rosary Collection: The collection for Sunday, June 26, 2011 was $153.00.

New Altar Servers: Three new altar servers are preparing, Katelyn, Alethia, and Lotus. Hopefully they will be up and running in the next couple of weeks.

Prayers: Please keep my friends Eric and Dawn in your prayers. Dawn's mother passed away Sunday, June 26. Also, pray for Pat Durbin as he is having a check up done in Anchorage. Pat should be back June 29.

Fr. Nelson's Adventures: While visiting in Bristol Bay, Fr. Nelson was able to fly to King Salmon twice, Naknek, Clarks point twice, and Ekuk. We managed to get locked INSIDE our Cherokee Warrior II and could not get out. We blessed a fishing camp, moved a wood stove into Saint Peter the Fisherman in Clarks Point, and caught a net full of Red Salmon. Please see our website for more:

Mission Definition: Financially, Holy Rosary has three budgets, one for Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Dillingham, one for Saint Theresa (a mission of Holy Rosary), and one for Saint Paul Mission (includes all the other villages in the area).

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

Homily and Readings:

14th Ord A 2011, Debt, Zechariah 9:9-10; Romans 8:9, 11-13; Matthew 11:25-30
(Show Credit Card) Isn’t it easy to get into financial debt these days? Being a priest, I am not immune from debt. Diocesan priests do not have to take a vow of poverty. However, we must strive for simplicity of life. As a diocesan priest, the parish pays for my car expenses, housing, and food. I am only responsible for my personal expenses, such as entertainment, running shoes, cloths, books, and toothpaste. So I don’t have a lot of large expenses except for my I Alaska student loan.

Currently I receive a stipend of about 1,400 per month after taxes. Two years ago it was 700 per month. I get more, but I have to pay small business tax, which comes out to about 450 per month. I try to save half of my stipend for my retirement. I have five IRA Roth mutual funds. I also own five acres of land in central Oregon, which overlooks the Cascade Mountains.

Before becoming a priest, I was always in debt. Financial debt dictated my life. Financial debt stresses me out. When I am in debt, I panic, and worry…it is like a huge weight on my shoulders.

We deal with debt everyday. Believe it or not, our spiritual lives are based on debt. We are all in debt to God. God chose us to belong to him. We are dependent on God for everything we need.

Being in debt financially means the deeper in dept the worse off we are. Spiritual debt is different. The deeper in debt we are, the better off we are. Here is why.

By definition, debtors are the poor of spirit, the humble, and the meek. The poor cannot own, rule, or conquer. God prefers the childlike and the powerless. The poor are truly deep in dept to God for everything.

In the reading from Romans, Paul tells us “because we have the Spirit of Christ we are debtors of God.” We are under obligation to God alone…we belong to God…Everyone is in God’s debt!

There is immense hope when we are in debt to God. Spiritual debt is fantastic because it has huge payoffs. God will NEVER abandon us. Our sins will always be forgiven if we are sorry for them and we ask. The deeper in spiritual debt we get, the more we rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance…the more we pray…the more truly we believe…the more strongly we hope…the more generously we will receive.

Being in debt to God is the only true freedom in life. Debt actually frees us.

Here is a thought…the more spiritual debt we get into, the less financial debt we have…well, its just a thought. It definitely held true for me.

In the gospel Jesus is talking to those of us who have very little spiritual debt. He tells us, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened and you will find rest.

One thing is for sure: it is easy to get into financial debt. It is a bit tougher to get into spiritual debt. But here is how we do it! We do it by sticking up for our Catholic Faith…By being generous with our time and our God given gifts. We get deeper into spiritual debt by loving our enemies.

Here is how to max out our spiritual visa cards: The greatest offering we can make to God is to strive for peace and harmony among fellow Christians. Work toward being united with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

This week, get deeper into debt with God and get a huge refund. For my yolk is easy…says our lord…and my burden is light (611 Words).

Zechariah 9:9-10
Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion, shout for joy, O daughter Jerusalem! See, your king shall come to you; a just savior is he, Meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass. He shall banish the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; The warrior's bow shall be banished, and he shall proclaim peace to the nations. His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Romans 8:9, 11-13
But you are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit that dwells in you. Consequently, brothers, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Matthew 11:25-30
At that time Jesus said in reply, "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him. "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Announcements: Body and Blood of Christ

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

Gospel: The Bread and Wine is the best offering we as humans have to offer God. Please see the Homily and Readings below.

Fr. Nelson's Visit: Father Nelson visited Bristol Bay for the first time this last week. He will be leaving June 27 to go on vacation back to the Philippines and will return to Bristol Bay in August to start ministry here.

The picture below was taken Friday June 17 at Clarks Point. In the picture are Julian (far left), Shay (far right), Mariano (bottom), and Fr. Nelson (top).

Around the Bush: Fr. Nelson and I flew our Cherokee Warrior II to Clarks Point and King Salmon for Mass. Also, I flew to Ekwok to help a person prepare for Baptism on June 15. This week Fr. Nelson and I plan to fly to Ekuk to bless a fishing camp.

Father's Day Blessing: All the Fathers received a special Father's day blessing during the Mass last Sunday. Thank you to all our Fathers!

Thank you: Thank you to Lotus who altar served for the first time at Mass Sunday June 19th. You did an excellent job Lotus!

Snow Plow: Fr. Nelson had a crash course in snowplowing this week. Although there was no snow, we back-plowed the parking lot gravel and got rid of some chuck holes.

Thank you: Thank you all who prepared food for our potluck last Sunday. It was a great success. Our parishioners were able to welcome Father Nelson and get to talk with him about his time in Alaska.

Sunday Collection of June 19th: Holy Rosary Catholic Church was $170.00.

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

Homily and Readings:

Body and Blood of Christ A DLG 2011, Deuteronomy 8:2-3&14-16; 1Corinthians 10:16-17; John 6: 51-58

Today we celebrate Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ. What we receive during the Eucharist is about sacramental nourishment, spiritual strength, and eternal life. To understand this, let us take a closer look at the bread and wine.

Dieing and Rising: Wheat and grapes grow and “die” only to “rise” again as flour and grape juice. They die and rise again as bread and wine. Bread and wine die as food and rise as nutrition for us giving us life. Jesus died and rose to give us eternal life.

The Best We Have to Offer: When we offer up the gifts at mass, we bring the best that we as human beings have to offer to God. We give bread and wine, which represents communal human effort at it best.

For example, bread is harvested by workers in the field, transported to market by drivers, made into dough by bakers, delivered to stores, marketed, and sold. Bread represents people working together as one to nourish our society.

God and Us: Our gift of bread and wine also represents God’s help. We provide the labor. God provides the atmosphere, the rain, and the miracle of growth. Without God’s touch, there would be no wheat or grapes, no bread, no wine.

During the Consecration, we offer up the bread and wine to God. What does God do? Because God loves us so much, he gives it right back to us…as the body and blood of His only Son, Jesus Christ. Catholicism is the only Christian religion that believes the bread and wine is transformed. It is not a representation. The priest acts as the person of Jesus, transforming the bread and wine into the ACTUAL body and blood of Christ.

Show and Tell
Before – Loaf of Bread and host
After – Body of Christ – Ciborium – Tabernacle – Pix – Monstrance

When we ingest the actual body and blood of Christ we become Christ-like. This is how we nourish the spirit within us. Spiritual strength comes from having faith that we become Christ-like. Henry Nouwen says, “The Eucharist can be seen only by those who already love the Lord and believe in his active, loving presence to us.”

When we believe, trust, and have faith that we consume the actual body of Christ, it will nourish and strengthen our spirits. The Eucharist becomes armor for going into battle against corruption, injustice, and temptation. We stand together as one baptized community, strengthened by the Eucharist, prepared to go out into the field and fight for our Christian beliefs (421 Words).

Eat This Bread, Breaking Bread

Eat this bread, drink this cup, come to me and never be hungry. Eat this bread, drink this cup, trust in me and you will not thirst.

I am the bread of life, the true bread sent from the father
Your ancestors ate manna in the desert, but this is the bread come down from heaven.
Eat my flesh and drink my blood, and I will raise you upon the last day.
Anyone who eats this bread, will live for ever.
If you believe and eat this bread, you will have eternal life.

Deuteronomy 8:2-3&14-16
Remember how for forty years now the LORD, your God, has directed all your journeying in the desert, so as to test you by affliction and find out whether or not it was your intention to keep his commandments. He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger, and then fed you with manna, a food unknown to you and your fathers, in order to show you that not by bread alone does man live, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of the LORD. you then become haughty of heart and unmindful of the LORD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery; who guided you through the vast and terrible desert with its saraph serpents and scorpions, its parched and waterless ground; who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock and fed you in the desert with manna, a food unknown to your fathers, that he might afflict you and test you, but also make you prosperous in the end.

1 Corinthians 10:16-17
The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.

John 6: 51-58
51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." 52 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?" 53 Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever" (John 6:51-58).

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Announcements: Holy Trinity For June 19, 2011

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

Fr. Nelson: Fr. Nelson will be visiting Bristol Bay from June 15 until June 27. He will then vacation in the Philippines for a month or so and return to start ministering to our Bristol Bay Communities. He will spend the first two weeks of each month at Saint Theresa in King Salmon/Naknek and the last two weeks of each month at Holy Rosary in Dillingham.

Potluck: Let us have a potluck for Father Nelson after Mass on Sunday the 19th, this Sunday. Please bring your favorite dish.

Gospel: The Holy Trinity is difficult to understand. Please see Homily and readings below.

Thank you: We developed a few more leaks in the sink in the bathroom and also the drain was pugged up. Pat Durbin spent a few days figuring it out and fixed the problem. The problem came about after fixing one leak, then others started. The joys of a 65 year old rectory. Thank you again Pat for donating your time and talent!

Around the Mission: I flew to Clarks Point and King Salmon in our Cherokee this week. Next week I plan to fly to Ekwok to make preparations for a baptism and to Ekuk on the 21st of June to bless the Ingram fishing camp. I also will fly to Clarks Point and since the weather has warmed up I will have Mass in the small Saint Peter the Fisherman church for the first time this year (it has no heat so I must have mass in people's homes during the winter/Spring).

Have a wonderful week...Fr. Scott

Homily and Readings:

Trinity Sun A 2011, DLG Sand, Ex 34:4-6&8-9; 2 Cor 13:11-13; John 3:16-18

There is a well-known legend that St. Augustine of Hippo, while he was planning his great work on the Holy Trinity, was once walking on the seashore when he saw one boy carrying water from the sea and pouring it into a hole which he had dug in the sand. "What are you doing?" said the bishop. "Emptying the sea into this hole." "But how can you empty the sea into that little hole?" "And how can you", said the boy "understand the doctrine of the Holy Trinity with your finite human mind?"

Today is Trinity Sunday. Trinity is about unity. Explaining the trinity is not easy. It is the greatest mystery of our faith. It is tough to explain and understand. It is not mathematics. The Holy Trinity is a divine mystery.

Mathematics are finite. They can be figured out. Humans make mathematics. Math is something that is completely within our knowledge. We can use logic to figure it out.

A divine mystery is infinite. We can only partly understand them. Human arguments must be expressed in symbolic language. Our arguments are finite. Humans cannot fully understand Infinite…the unlimited…the endless.

In whatever way we use to portray God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, it will always be inadequate and incomplete. How can God have three faces and yet exist as one being…one nature and three persons?

Our Catechism states, “The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself.” This is tough stuff!

The trinity is three persons but one nature. Here are a couple of inadequate and incomplete ways to think about the relationship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

One – The love of the Father and the Son was so great that it brought forth the Holy Spirit.

Two – The Father and the Son exist in a relationship of love. That bond of love that binds them together is the Holy Spirit.

Three – Similarly, the love between a wife and a husband is so great that it brings forth a child.

Saint Patrick famously used the three-leaf shamrock to explain the unity of God in three persons.

Intellectually, we can never solve the problem of one nature and three persons…the Holy Trinity. But, the mystery of the Holy Trinity does not have to be solved. The Holy Trinity is an experience of faith that we are called to encounter throughout our lives.

What most of our founding church fathers settled on when trying to explain the Holy Trinity is this: God is not an idea or a principle. God is a loving relationship. We are invited into that relationship. The idea is to open our hearts to the love of the Holy Spirit. By doing this we are drawn into the loving relationship that exists between the Father and the Son…the very Holy Trinity itself.

The degree to which we understand the feast of the Trinity will be shown in the care we take in our many and varied relationships, be they social, intimate, professional, civic, or international.

Every time we do anything to form new and good relationships, mend those that are broken, help other relationships to be deeper and richer, or just enjoy the ones we have, we get drawn deeper and deeper into the mystery of the Holy Trinity (562 Words).

Exodus 34:4-6&8-9
Moses then cut two stone tablets like the former, and early the next morning he went up Mount Sinai as the LORD had commanded him, taking along the two stone tablets.
Having come down in a cloud, the LORD stood with him there and proclaimed his name, "LORD." Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out, "The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity, Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship. Then he said, "If I find favor with you, O Lord, do come along in our company. This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardons our wickedness and sins, and receive us as your own."

2 Cor 13:11-13
Finally, brothers, rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the holy ones greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you.

John 3:16-18
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Announcements: Pentecost For June 12, 2011

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

Baptism: Justine Wassily holds Trista Jean Nicole Wassily, the newest member of our Catholic Church. Esther Floresta (left) is the Godmother. The baptism took place at Holy Rosary in Dillingham, June 5, 2011.

One Bread One Body: Thank you for all of your generous support. We have almost reached our goal of $2,000!

Fr. Nelson: Fr. Nelson will be coming for a two week visit starting June 15. He will than leave to go on vacation to the Philippines and return August 14 to begin his assignment here.

Gospel: Pentecost is about receiving the Holy Spirit. God took stock in us to protect His investment. He did that by sending us the Holy Spirit. Please see the homily and readings below.

Fleet Blessing: Thank you Angela and Robert Clark for organizing the 24th annual Dillingham Blessing of the Fleet. It was a wonderful occasion for all. I was very pleased with the turn out of the community, especially for the support of all the pastors.

Have a wonderful week...Fr. Scott

Homily and Readings:

Pentecost, DLG. 2007, God Stock; Acts 2: 1-11; 1 Corinthians 12:3-7&12-13; John 20:19-23

Today is Pentecost. It’s the day when God sent his spirit among the people. Why did he send his spirit? I would like to explore this question by using an analogy of the Stock Market. Imagine for a minute that we are Stocks that God owns

If we were God’s Stock in OT times, we might have been called preferred stock. After all, there were only a few chosen people that God bought stock in, for example, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and King David to name a few.

Being God’s stock in the OT meant that if we did not follow God’s rules, God would give us another chance, buy us back, or redeem us. The Israelites, on the way to the promise Land, lost faith in God and turned to sin many times. But the merciful God was always there to buy back his shares and give his chosen another chance.

During Jesus’ life, God’s Stock portfolio expanded. Jesus message was that God wanted to buy stock in every human individual, not just a few chosen people. In the financial industry, the term “diversified portfolio” is used when a smart investor buys several different types of investments, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

God’s new portfolio was well diversified because it included people from all over the world. It included people of every age and race. And God paid a high price for us. His only son, Jesus, died for our sins on the cross and redeemed us.

This brings us to Pentecost. In the finance industry, I might say that God sent the HS to protect his stock, that is, each of us. In a sense, he did. God has to protect each of us so we don’t go astray, so we don’t become lost.

In the spiritual world, I think God sent the HS at Pentecost because he loved us so much. The HS is a gift to help us gain eternal life. The HS gives us the strength to stave off anything life has to throw at us. It helps us to sift through the garbage in our daily lives and choose what is right, and true, and good. The HS nudges and badgers us to do the honorable thing.

Have you ever been in a situation when you knew you had to do something but you really didn’t want to? Have you ever had to confront a person at work who has been bothering you? Have you ever needed a change in your life but you couldn’t quite put your finger on what it was you needed to do? Well I have. Should I quit my job and go to college? Should I go to the seminary? Should I say something about the unethical acts going on in the work place?

If we are in touch with the HS and if we allow this free gift from God to work through us, to guide, strengthen, and teach us, then we will have the answers and the motivation to take the right action.

To conclude, ask yourself, how am I performing in God’s portfolio? Am I increasing in value, decreasing, or staying the same? Do I call on the HS in times of confusion and actively seek the good? Or do I just do what everybody else is doing? Heavenly Father may the HS you sent us at Pentecost inspire our actions and lead us to everlasting life (575 Words).

Acts 2: 1-11
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, "Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his own native language?
We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God."

1 Corinthians 12:3-7&12-13
Therefore, I tell you that nobody speaking by the spirit of God says, "Jesus be accursed." And no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the holy Spirit. There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.

John 20:19-23
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. (Jesus) said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."

Friday, June 3, 2011

New Catholic Priest Coming to Bristol Bay

Fr. Nelson Marilag from the Philippines, who is assigned to the Archdiocese of Anchorage for one more year, will be assigned to Bristol Bay.

Fr. Nelson will be visiting Holy Rosary Mission the last two weeks of June. I will be introducing him to the communities of Saint Theresa, Saint Peter the Fisherman, and Holy Rosary. He will then fly to the Philippines for a little over a month for a vacation. He will return to Holy Rosary Mission the second week in August.

The plan is to have Fr. Nelson stay at Saint Theresa in Naknek the first two weeks of every month and then stay at Holy Rosary in Dillingham for the second two weeks of every month.

Have a wonderful week...Fr. Scott