Parish Life

11-26-2017The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Here's another shot at the Payson Rodeo. The five cowgirls competed against each other at calf roping. What I found remarkable was that even though these ladies came together from different parts of the country and probably met up at many events throughout the country in the course of several years, they were still all available to cheer each other on—a family experience of sorts.


How to Handle Holiday Preparations

11-26-2017On the Caregiving Journey…

The holidays can be very stressful for everyone including caregivers and care receivers. The Caregiver Alliance provides tips on how to handle holiday preparations and reduce stress. Some of their tips are as follows:

  1. Include your loved one in some of the preparations focusing on his/her strengths.
  2. When decorating, try to keep the clutter to a minimum to decrease confusion.
  3. Maintain the furniture arrangement to prevent disorientation and tripping and falling.
  4. Schedule the major activities earlier in the day leaving quieter activities, such as visiting with guests, for the latter part of the day when your loved one is more likely to be tired.

For more tips on holiday stress for caregivers, go to

God’s Crown of Creation

11-19-2017The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Here’s a picture of the Manoa Falls Park on the Island of Oahu, a place teeming with sights and sounds like thoseprior to the security breach at Jurassic Park. After packing up my gear but before walking up the trail to the Falls, Itook another mental picture, a paused meditation. It spoke to me of Genesis, ‘Then God said, “Let the waterteem with an abundance of living creatures, and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky”. Ofcourse, the picture of creation is not complete without the insertion of God’s crown of creation in the world—man.(By the way, Mary is God’s most precious jewel in that crown.) The thought crossed my mind to put sweaty, dirty,unshaven me in the frame. In the end I chose to spare you an ordeal with the giggles.

  • Your Pastor,
  • Fr. Larry

Caregiver Burnout

11-19-2017On the Caregiving Journey…

One of the greatest challenges that caregivers face is caregiver burnout. As caregivers devote more hours to provide increasingly more complex care for their loved ones while still managing all their other responsibilities, burnout, or compassion fatigue, starts to set in. How does a caregiver know he/she has compassion fatigue? There are many indicators that include being irritable, resentful, angry, depressed, annoyed, exhausted, frustrated, sarcastic, pessimistic, apathetic and overwhelmed. If you are experiencing one or more of these on a frequent, regular basis,then you may be experiencing compassion fatigue.

What is to be done about caregiver burnout? The best thing caregivers can do is to take a break from their caregiving duties. While a longer break is desirable, shorter breaks (30 minutes to a couple of hours) can help a caregiver feel refreshed and re-energized.

Veteran's Day

11-12-2017The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Saturday, November 11th is Veterans Day. Here’s another great moment at the Payson Rodeo. Our Catholic Churches justly display an American Flag in our Church. I have placed our Flag more prominently in the sanctuary to remind us that our country has been largely free from strife on our borders because of the men and women in uniform. Never take freedom for granted, even in this country, especially our right to public worship. By public, I mean not restricted to merely a private gathering that has nothing to offer the rest of civil society. The percentage of Catholic young believers continues to decrease over the longer analysis but that doesn’t mean faith is out of style. It might mean that some people think it is possible to have faith only in themselves. But sooner or later, that sort of faith runs dry. In the end, the fullest sense of who we are and what we are supposed to become happens when we accept Jesus on His terms of friendship.

  • Your Pastor,
  • Fr. Larry

The New Reality of Being a Caregiver

11-05-2017On the Caregiving Journey…

Most caregivers do not plan to become caregivers. Instead through a series of events that affected the independence of their loved ones, they find that they have acquired the position and title of family caregiver. With accepting this new reality, many caregivers find themselves learning the job as they do the job. In an ideal world, family members would have the opportunity to learn more about caregiving and develop a plan of care before assuming the role of caregiver. It is NEVER too early to start thinking about providing care for a loved one.

Rites of Passage

11-05-2017The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Every Summer Payson hosts the 'World's Oldest Continuous Rodeo'. The event began with the 'Mutton Busters'. Somehow kids have managed to get their parents' permission to be thrown from sheep. Some of the kids looked a little shook up but most stood up to brush the dust after the standoff with Mary's Little Lamb. I likened it to a Western rite of passage: 'You ain't a man until you ride the sheep'. There was plenty of staff on hand to console the little ones.

Catholics have their own Rites of Passage. These are the sacraments of initiation: baptism makes us members of God's holy people, confirmation emboldens us to live out our baptismal character in this world and the Eucharist is our spiritual life food by which Jesus carries us on to victory over sin and death.


Contemplating a Vocation?

10-29-2017The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Deacon Juan Lucero lives with his lovely wife Corrine in New Mexico. He is a special and dear friend. As I was transitioning from religious life into diocesan priestly life I spent much time with his family. They had 14 children, and one among the bunch became a fine Salesian Priest who is my age. Although God’s paths took me elsewhere I will be forever grateful to Juan as a spiritual confidant of sorts. I was happy to learn from him recently that two younger men of the parish have entered the diaconate program for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe—which brings me to my point: currently Holy Cross has only one married man actively discerning the diaconate. Men! If you have ever seriously contemplated a vocation to serve please share with me what God might be putting on your heart. Please, no hesitations with this matter.

  • Your Pastor,
  • Fr. Larry

Caregiver's Emergency Card

10-15-2017On the Caregiving Journey…

So you are a caregiver, and YOU know that you are a caregiver. However, who else knows that? What would happen if you were hospitalized for a serious situation and could not communicate? Who would be there to look after your care receiver? Who would know that someone is depending upon you?

While this may be a hypothetical situation, it can easily become reality. Your loved one could be left stranded without any caregiving support if something were to happen to you. This unfortunate situation can be avoided with a very simple solution - carry a Caregiver’s Emergency Card with you at all times to alert emergency personnel that you are a caregiver. Fashion your card for your wallet using an index card. Make sure you provide the following information: name, address, age of your care receiver; your relationship to the care receiver; phone number of another caregiver or family member; and whether or not your care receiver can be left alone. In addition, write the same information on a sheet of paper and place it on your refrigerator. Paramedics automatically check refrigerators for information. If you are caring for your loved one in your home, also place both your loved one’s medication list and yours on the refrigerator.

The Caregiver Action Network (CAN)

10-08-2017On the Caregiving Journey…

In today's busy world we talk about one-stop shopping which makes life easier. This concept also applies to the busy caregiving world in which caregivers can benefit from one-click access to resources. If you are a caregiver with very little time to do research resources, then you may find the Caregiver Action Network (CAN) website to be very helpful. The website has a section that is devoted to various resources and information designed to support caregivers that are only a click away. This section contains links to information on nutrition tips, nutrition counseling for those with cancer, technology for caregivers, handling incontinence, managing medications, how to talk with doctors, managing the cost of care, understanding Medicare, advance directives, Alzheimer's caregiving, respite care for caregivers, caregiver depression and free clinical tries in addition to other topics.

To get to this one-click page on the CAN website, go to

Abo Salina Ruins

10-08-2017The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Over the summer I visited some friends in New Mexico. Just outside of the township of Mountainair lies the Abo Salina Ruins, and next to the ruins of this old mission church lays an amazing structure. In 1622, Franciscan Father Francisco Fonte took up the task of building next to the main church pictured here a convento which was the residence where he lived. What is remarkable about the convento is that there is a circular kiva inside suggesting that the priest understood and respected the local customs of the tribe. Kivas were circular chambers, often times built underground and used by indigenous males for ceremonial rituals. I can't imagine the Spanish European seminary where Fr. Fonte offering classes on how to build Kivas. My hunch it that is was from a real love for the people that he looked for ways of integrating his culture with theirs. The lesson comes from the great missionary St. Paul who tried to become all things to all men (1 Corinthians 9:22).

  • Your Pastor,
  • Fr. Larry

Dells in Prescott

10-01-2017The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

The Day Summer Hikes with the children of our parish have been extremely helpful in allowing me to get toknow them without all the intimidation of the larger adult settings at the Parish. So just a heads up, I amplanning to take our youngsters on another trip next summer to the Dells in Prescott. When the stress is up Ilike to spend my days hiking around the Dells Lake. It’s noiseless, soothing—the kind of place tospontaneously pray without interruption. But bring mosquito repellent.

  • Your Pastor,
  • Fr. Larry


10-01-2017On the Caregiving Journey…

Compassion fatigue, also known as caregiver burnout, is a common problem among caregivers. As caregiving responsibilities become more complex and require more time, caregivers find themselves stretched in many directions as they try to manage other responsibilities. There may even come a point when the caregiver is so exhausted that she or he just wants the caregiving journey to be over. How does a caregiver know he/she has compassion fatigue? Some of the signs include being irritable, resentful, angry, depressed, annoyed, exhausted, frustrated, sarcastic, pessimistic, apathetic and overwhelmed. If you are experiencing one or more of these on a frequent, regular basis, then you may be experiencing compassion fatigue.