Consider Consecration

05-26-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Every two years priests of the Diocese of Phoenix gather together with their bishop and reflect on the important topics concerning the life of the Church. Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, who brought us the Do-It-Yourself Retreat, 33 Days to Morning Glory gave three conferences to us on the last day—and I am still harvesting fruitful reflection from his talks. I keep hearing him say those, "Go in to the Desert", which was a reference to how the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness for 40 days where he could be alone with His Father, gathering strength through His fast before beginning his public life.

I am drawn to those words anew, eager to implement the lessons and inspirations of those days. Since then, I have given more importance to observing exterior silence at home and office—not that I enjoy it for silence's sake but to be attentive to things that God may not want me to miss.


Fr. Dan Vanyo

05-19-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Many of you know and enjoyed Fr. Dan’s sojourn through Holy Cross over the last several months. Before he entered the seminary he was actually one of our parishioners and helped out our youth program while working as an RN. I am grateful to my brother priest for the generous support he gave us over the past year. We wish him all the best and please remember to offer prayers of supplication on his behalf as he gets settled in his new assignment as Parochial Vicar at San Francisco de Asis Catholic Church and the Northern Arizona University associate chaplain, both in Flagstaff.

Your Pastor,
Fr. Larry


Your Talents

05-12-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Some have said that photography is for those who can't create art for themselves. And while there is some truth to that, photography has multiple variables that require just as much attention to detail and patience as any artist: iso levels, shutter speed, aperture settings, white balance, composition, ambient lighting, attractive subject, focus stacking, rule of thirds, bokeh, etc…

But if you want to see real talent, take a look at one of our parishioners rendering of Holy Cross' first pastor, Fr. Bill Mitchell—and it's true to form. Now that's real talent! If you ever get a chance to meet our fellow parishioner, Joe Sell, over coffee and donuts, just ask him, "How did you do that?" I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with his answer.


Parish Needs

05-05-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Do you remember Pixar's heart-warming movie Up? The tender love between Ellie and Carl always shined through life's disappointments. Recall that they weren't able to have children of their own, and so they planned a dream trip they shared since childhood: The Spirit of Adventure trip to Venezuela. They save their pocket change but as their married life ran its course, what savings they earned they later had to spend on life's necessities. We certainly can relate to this story. In our own homes, things break down and wear out. The experience within our own Parish Family is no different.

My maintenance personnel and staff have kept me up to date with several needs that could adversely upset the parish budget over next year as these were not anticipated in our annual budget nor is this another campaign. A few things have just broken down. With that in mind, I am designating the 2nd Sunday of each month to take up a second collection at the end of mass to help offset these needs. Please help the Parish Family as you can. They are:


Divine Mercy

04-28-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Sr. Faustina Kowalska once said, “The Holy Spirit does not speak to a soul that is distracted and garrulous”, and garrulous would be someone who is rather chatty, especially about superficial topics. Is there a relationship between the high-tech info broadbands and our inability to pray? Surely there is! The encroachments are all around us never allowing us a moment of rest unless we’ve made it a point to turn it all off and quietly retire to some place where we can think for ourselves.

If you’ve ever walked through a forest or a beautiful flower park, the quiet stillness has a tremendous effect for those looking to steal a moment of solitude. That’s why I enormously enjoyed my visit to the Queen Elizabeth Gardens of Vancouver. As I strolled through a visual feast of floral shapes and pastels, praising God and thanking Him seemed more natural and long overdue. I was reminded just how simple this was.



04-21-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

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.


Crucified and Risen Lord

04-14-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

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.

Your Pastor,
Fr. Larry


Desert Belle

04-07-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

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.