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.