Happy Easter! Can I let you in on a little secret to celebrate it well? Our celebration would not be complete unless we reflect on how this victory has shaped our lives and led us out of habitual sin or indifference to God. God seduces the open-hearted. He redirects the humble soul to His Church quietly preparing his faithful to grow anew in virtue and holiness. There are only so many Easters we can celebrate as part of an annual trip to the local church.
Easter celebration is most meaningful if it becomes the occasion to personally confirm our decision to live close to God and His Church throughout the year. If we find ourselves already doing this, God has found less resistance pulling us into His embrace. Our Easter Celebrations on earth will come to an end at some point, and then—the real celebration begins for His elect.READ MORE
If you are reading this on, Sunday, April 14th, tonight’s the night! This evening at Holy Cross Church, an ecumenical chorus of Christian believers from around Mesa comprised of some of our own parishioners will be offering God a hymn of praise and a tribute to Jesus’ sacrifice. It is only fitting that such a tribute should start us on our journey through Holy Week. Come and hear the voices of those who have been busy preparing their hearts and minds since November to offer us a scripturally based composition by one of our very talented parishioners, Mrs. Evelyn Sanchez Fink. Welcome anything that can help us along in our devotion to the Crucified and Risen Lord. I hope to see you there.
I snapped this image of our Crucified Lord at an on-going formation conference last year at Boyton Beach Regional Seminary, Florida.
Here's our embarkation group photo for the Saguaro Lake Cruise last February. We all had experienced two and a half days of cold drizzle and rain up until we left the Church parking lot as the sun began to peak through the clouds. The week before, I feared there would be some to cancel their participation at the last moment. Twice that week, the opportunity to cancel presented itself. The Desert Belle steamboat was willing to reschedule us. Earlier that week, the Diocese canceled the annual youth retreat in Williams due to record snowfall.READ MORE
Just West of Loop 101 in Avondale Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery hosts a large Mosaic of Christ displaying his absolute power over death. We are well into our Lenten observance and I hope and pray that you are giving your very best to offer our Lord a pleasing sacrifice. He will use it if you really give it to Him. I imagine the Church has taught many of you, if not most of you, from your youth that Jesus is pleased and so is His Blessed Mother to take our sacrifices and apply them to those who can't be saved otherwise. Let's revisit that teaching in Number 2100 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.READ MORE
Here's an image from Spook Hill off of Brown Road and North Loop 202. Brown Road leads to the foot of the Superstitions. What other year do you remember there being that much snow on top? Please tell me. I've only lived through a few Arizonan winters myself.
At any rate, it would seem that the snow came right to our back door. Everything beyond those ranges and to the north has seen a record-breaking winter. Those of us who chose to winter here chose wisely. With no snow shovels in our garage we are still betting that we will see it only from afar and not up close. But we were affected, mostly with the temperature dips. More layers went on and some of us went out to buy winter clothes out of necessity. We told ourselves, 'it doesn't get that bad down here.' And so, some of us found that we weren't prepared for a winter like this one.READ MORE
After I read the February 4th declaration on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together signed by Pope Francis and Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, if you follow Catholic news, especially where this document has sparked a debate about the singular salvific role that the Holy Catholic Church plays as God's instrument of salvation for all mankind, I was interested in forming my opinion about it, especially where the parties who drafted the document stated, "Al-Azhar and the Catholic Church ask that this Document become the object of research and reflection in all schools, universities and institutes of formation". So here are my two cents.
As some of you know very well, the document stirred up controversy in the Catholic blogosphere at the following passage:
The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.READ MORE
I figured that with this cold and drizzly weather on President's Day, the turnout at the Renaissance Festival would not compare to other years. I was right. With less people around I was able to get in some tight shots. The afternoon Falconer's Show gave me the opportunity to shoot the Eurasian Eagle Owl, the largest owl on planet earth. I let out a 'who?!' so that Mr. Owl would pose for me. And that's exactly what this bird of prey did.READ MORE
I imagine that many families watch EWTN at some point during the week. This is another picture of the reporters’ booths at the Vigil for Eucharistic Adoration where the Holy Father presided. Notice on the second floor the faces of EWTN show hosts appear quite distinctly. You may recognize some of them. Against the silhouette of the other media, only EWTN show hosts were lit. The printed bulletin you hold in your hands doesn’t do justice to this image. I wish I could show you a professional print at 300%. The more I examined this image in post the more I thought, ‘EWTN is certainly God’s instrument of bringing much light into the world’. And the light is written on their faces—at least in this photo.