Historical Rome

11-24-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

One needs a good pair of hiking legs to venture into historical Rome. The endless negotiation between pedestrians and scooter s plays out every minute of every day on its cobblestone alleyways. But, of course, Rome has historically been Catholic since t he days of Constantine. Although 15%, maybe 20% actually attend a Sunday Mass regularly. There are different studies on the topic. Frescos of saints, cherubs, and religious landmarks overlook street corners at every turn. While on pilgrimage, I want ed to take things slower, look up, see if I could guess whose portrait it was this time. It seemed only visitors, tourists and pilgrims cared to look at them. You had a sense that the locals knew it was there too, somewhere, and that 's all.

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Cupola of St. Peter’s Basilica

11-17-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

I set the tripod on the Ponte Sant'Angelo around 6pm and captured the Cupola of St. Peter's Basilica bathed in Golden Light. The Tiber River runs through the heart of Rome connecting Old City to New City. Several important converts have used the image to convey their eventual conversion to Roman Catholicism. If you've never read Crossing the Tiber: Evangelical Protestants Discover the Historical Church by Steve Ray, and Professor Scott Hahn's, Rome Sweet Rome, you're missing out on highly motivational reading that may enhance your dialogue with those live outside Holy Mother Church, and yet, look at us with some curiosity. Rome is the seat of Catholic Wisdom. It is a listening post for men and women of influence throughout the world. It is the city of many saints and martyrs, in ages past but even now today. What I mean by that is a matter for coffee and donuts after Sunday mass. Hope to find you there and elaborate on the reality of Rome's contemporary saints and martyrs.

Your Pastor,
Fr. Larry

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The Eldercare Handbook

11-17-2019On the Caregiving Journey…

There may come a time when caregiversrealize that their loved ones can no longercare for themselves safely in their own homesor the caregivers can no longer provide theneeded care. Caregivers are then faced withthe issue of trying to convince their lovedones of the necessity to live elsewhere. If notapproached appropriately, a power strugglewill ensue between caregivers and care receivers with thelatter insisting on remaining in their homes. How can this topicbe discussed without becoming a bitter divisive issue? According to Stella Henry, R.N., author of The Eldercare Handbook, the conversation needs to start early before a crisis situation has developed. In addition, caregivers should makethe conversation about their own feelings such as: “I’m reallyconcerned about your safety; it worries me to see you livingthis way” OR “I’m worried that I can no longer give you all thecare you need.” This approach has greater potential forencouraging a dialogue than just demanding and insisting on achange. Once the dialogue begins, caregivers can explorevarious options with their care receivers.

Borghese Chapel

11-10-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Here's the first photo gem from the Ordination Pilgrimage to Italy last month. The Borghese Chapel at Rome's Saint Mary Major Basilica offers a stupendous visual feast to help the adorer enter more captivatingly the beauty of the Catholic liturgy. Around the image of our Lady (Madonna Salus Populi Romani) is the largest slab of blue marble ever put into art called Lapis Lazuli, brought in from Afghanistan several centuries ago. It's the only privately owned property on the Vatican State. Even though St. Mary Major is located several miles from Vatican City, you enter Vatican State when entering it. But this Chapel, till this day still belongs to the Borghese Family. We are getting close to beginning the remodel of the Sanctuary. It will be done to enhance our own worship of God, in good taste, using finer art, and looking to put front and center the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. Please pray, in earnest, that this project will soon begin.

God Bless,
Fr. Larry

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10 symptoms of Alzheimer’s

11-03-2019On the Caregiving Journey…

Are you caring for someone with memory loss? According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 50 million people worldwide are suffering from some form of dementia which involves the loss of memory. The most common form of dementia (a term used to describe a set of symptoms) is Alzheimer’s. Over 5.8 million people in the USA are living with Alzheimer’s which is the 6th leading cause of death in this country. Every 65 seconds, someone is diagnosed with this brain degenerative disease.

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Pastoral Council

11-03-2019The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

These parishioners sport blue badges. They are members of the Pastoral Council. When I am not available to take suggestions, the next best thing is to see one of them with your idea. Michelle, Luis, Patricia, Edna, Tomás, Darlene and Armindo were hand-picked to help me identify needs and strategies to better welcome, form and launch the lay membership of our parish. They are among some of the most dedicated people in the parish who serve generously in other ministerial capacities. Again, if you´re not able to always see me, they will listen to you and get back to me.

Your Pastor,
Fr. Larry

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