02-23-2020The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

When our Knights of Columbus hosted Bunco Night, I had no idea of the fun for us 200. I received a few invitations to sit down and have a go at the dice. I deferred. Allow me to apologize to all those ladies who invited me to sit down at their tables. Who else was going to snap outstanding pictures? Mike Grimes? He’s good. But he could be great! (Enough of my competing flair.) I enjoyed taking these shots just as much as I enjoyed the chit chat and seeing the parish family at play. I can’t thank enough the Knights and their lovely wives for making the atmosphere one of family. Let’s do something else. Anyone got new ideas? If not, when’s the next Bunco match?


Count your Blessing

02-16-2020The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

A handful of breadcrumbs unleashes chaos at the Riparian in Gilbert. This image puts on full display survival of the fittest instinct. When our Blessed Lord walked among his people, he had them sit on the ground in small groups to receive the fish and loaves and so, have them all receive more easily his teaching. His gifts of grace came to those who showed first self-restraint and patience. Likewise, the observance of the Law in today’s Gospel requires strength of will and character. Those who love the Law and respect it do so not from fear but from love. It is said that the 10 Commandments are real demarcations for true happiness. Because we have been designed to recognize and reciprocate love for God, we are, in fact, ‘worth more than many sparrows’. Count your blessings from God every day. We have much to be thankful for.

Your Pastor,
Fr. Larry


Resources for New/First-time Caregivers

02-16-2020On the Caregiving Journey…

Very often, caregivers start their caregiving journey without any advanced warning often because of an unexpected change in a family member’s health situation. When this happens, new/first-time caregivers may not have any idea of the various resources available to them. One excellent way to access caregiving resources is to check out the Phoenix Area Agency on Aging Caregiver Resource Zones which are located in several places in the Valley including the Mesa Public Library Red Mountain Branch at 635 N. Power Road, the Mesa Public Library Main Branch at 64 E. First Street and the Southeast Regional Library at 775 N. Greenfield Road in Gilbert. Another way to discover resources is to view the Area Agency’s Elder Resource Guide online, available here. A third way is to call the senior help line at 602-264-HELP (4357) which is the 24-hour information and assistance resource and central intake of the Area Agency on Aging. 

Mass in the Wilderness

02-09-2020The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

Am I precocious in thinking the worst of winter is behind us? If it does snow again like it did around this time last year, well, it won’t stick. There’s lots of water in certain low-lying desert places. And on such occasions, I like to get the truck muddy. So when out for a day and a night, I remember to bring the mass kit along and offer a Eucharistic celebration wherever I camp out. Some would say ‘but that’s work for you, isn’t it?’ No. Here’s why…

Years ago, I read something from Bishop Sheen that always stuck in my mind, ‘We were never better men, better priests, than when we prayed the mass.’ When I set up to celebrate, I am my own sacristan, server, cantor and congregation within the little cabin. The day is simply different when the celebration takes place. It’s hard to put this into words. It just is. Something took place to sanctify the world. Rather than work, its celebration.


Caregiver Action Network (CAN)

02-02-2020On the Caregiving Journey…

Very few caregivers have the medical knowledge they think they may need to be an effective caregiver for their loved ones. Caregivers often ask: What do I need to know about the disease my care receiver has? How can I best assist him/her? What should I watch for in my loved one’s condition? To where can I turn if I need assistance? One resource that can assist caregivers is the Caregiver Action Network (CAN) website which contains videos on different diseases in their online caregiver video resource center. This is one place to go if you are looking for information on Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, COPD and Huntington’s disease. In addition to the videos, the website contains a list of disease-specific and health-related agencies and links to their websites. The list is comprehensive including many diseases and health situations that caregivers may encounter with their care receivers. To access these resources go to their website at www.caregiveraction.org/community. Click on “Caregiver Videos” and “Agencies and Organizations” which are located on the left side of the home website page.

Antonietta Meo

02-02-2020The World in View from a Believer’s PerspectiveFr. Larry Merta

In the Church of the Holy Cross near the St. John Lateran Basilica you will find the walled tomb of little Antonietta Meo. She died at 6. She had been diagnosed early on with Osteosarcoma which spread throughout her bones and eventually led to the amputation of her left leg. God gave her tremendous insight into the value of suffering.

When she was old enough to attend elementary school, her prosthetic bothered her greatly. However, she offered it all to Jesus: “May each step that I take be a little word of love”.