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.READ MORE
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.
Traveling the caregiving journey can be a very lonely experience. As caregivers realize that caregiving can require a huge amount of time, they often put their own lives on hold to have more time to take care of their loved ones. As a result, caregivers experience a variety of emotions ranging from anger to frustration to regret to guilt and sadness. Many caregivers have discovered that very few people are able to understand what they are going through.READ MORE
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.READ MORE
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:READ MORE
Being a caregiver can be overwhelming and stressful. There aren’t enough hours in the day. Tools to keep you organized can make a difference. But, which ones are user friendly, password protected, free, and available across multiple platforms including iPhones, iPads and computers?
AARP has a YouTube video (https://www.youtube.com ): “Apps to Keep a Caregiver Organized” that provides information. Note-taking Apps are like a file cabinet to store your notes. File-sharing Apps are useful to share lists of doctors and medical information with family members. To do reminders can be created on list Apps.READ MORE
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.READ MORE
Are you a long-distance caregiver caring for a loved one who lives some distance from you? While long-distance caregiving may not be the ideal situation, it is workable if handled correctly and if a number of things are in place. According to AARP, one of the most important things to do is to arrange for communication with medical, legal and financial professionals. You will need to have your loved one fill out and sign forms giving professionals permission to discuss your loved one’s situation with you. Without permission, you will not be able to keep tabs on your loved one’s needs. Also important is to have a discussion with your loved one about his/her finances so that a plan can be developed for long-term care and how it will be financed. Along with this discussion comes the task of establishing a durable power of attorney for financial and health care issues. It is important to exchange contact information with your loved one’s neighbors and to know how to get into your loved one’s home in case of an emergency. For more information on becoming a long-distance caregiver, go to the AARP website at www.aarp.org/home-family/caregiving/care-guides/long-distance-caregiving/#step1.
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
Caregivers are giving, loving people and often find it hard to justify taking time for themselves. However, this is vital to your well-being and health. The issue is further compounded by the fact that it is often difficult and cost prohibitive to find someone to transfer caregiving responsibility to and allow for a break.
The Caregiver Action Network (CAN), a non-profit organization providing education, peer support and resources, has a National Respite Locator posted on the Respite Care section of their website: https://caregiveraction.org/family-caregiver-toolbox. Click on the state, enter the age of the caree as well as the city and mile range. The search results in a list of facilities, including city, phone and email. Click on the map or view option. The latter provides additional details on the facility.