Priesthood Sunday

09-24-2023Weekly Reflection

Priesthood Sunday is a special day set aside to honor priesthood in the United States.

It is a day to reflect upon and affirm the role of the priesthood in the life of the Church as a central one. This nationwide event celebrated on the last Sunday of September is coordinated and sponsored by the US Council of Serra International. Catholics are invited to observe other events, such as World Day of Prayer for Vocations and World Day for Consecrated Life, National Vocation Awareness Week and National Catholic Sisters Week. Priesthood Sunday, however, specifically honors priests, without whom the Mass could not be offered and Sacraments could not be celebrated.


Be Merciful like the Master

09-17-2023Weekly Reflection© LPi Fr. John Muir

When I was in second grade, my prized possession was a metal Star Wars-themed lunch box. After school one day, another student ripped it from my hands. I helplessly watched in horror as my classmate threw it to the ground and violently stomped it into an unrecognizable heap of junk. I came home covered in tears of shame and rage. After a few months, I never thought about it again … until I was almost thirty years old and on a retreat to prepare for ordination to the priesthood.


Love and Truth

09-10-2023Weekly Reflection© LPi Colleen Jurkiewicz Dorman

I think even the most devout, the most pious Catholic reading this could summon to mind, if asked, one or even two examples of Catholic teaching for which they have desperately looked for a loophole.

Don’t worry, I won’t make you share with the group. But bring it to your mind now: the doctrine you once resented, or perhaps still do. The commandment you don’t fully understand, the one you bristle against. The rule you find the hardest to follow. The belief you hate explaining to your friends.


Don't Scorn the Weight of the Cross

09-03-2023Weekly Reflection© LPi Fr. John Muir

Isn’t it easy to relate to Peter? One moment Jesus announces Peter’s deep communion with God the Father. The very next, when he rejects the logic of Jesus’ suffering and death, Jesus calls Peter Satan. We Christians shouldn’t be too shocked when we experience both spiritual highs and lows, when we perceive breathtaking contradictions in our hearts.


There is a Time for Everything

08-27-2023Weekly Reflection© LPi Colleen Jurkiewicz Dorman

Just this week, my husband and I signed our wills, and the lawyer was careful to couch our transaction in gentle, abstract language: “When we lose you” she kept saying, instead of “When you die.”

It’s very uncomfortable to dwell on our death. But the Christian life does not just encourage us to do so: it demands that we do.

I once came upon a prayer consecrating the last two hours of life to the Blessed Mother. I have since found variations of the prayer online with different phrasing, but the sentiment of them all is the same: let me not be caught sleeping. Let me be ready.


The Prayers God Always Answers

08-20-2023Weekly Reflection© LPi Colleen Jurkiewicz Dorman

When I was a child, my mother bought a book called “The Prayers God Will Always Answer.” I remember my anticipation as I cracked the spine and turned to the first page.

I had been spending a lot of time asking God — begging God, actually — over and over again for some specific things that were not materializing. Frankly, it was beginning to feel a lot like that time I asked Santa Claus for a new house, only to wake up on Christmas morning to find ordinary, non-house-shaped presents under the tree — and a growing sense of suspicion that my faith had been ill-placed.

To the great disappointment of my pre-teen heart, my mother’s book was not a directory of magical phrases God is compelled to obey. It was a list that included things like “Forgive me” and “Help me.” I tossed it aside, disappointed.


Distinguished Honor for Our Very Own Pastor

08-16-2023Weekly ReflectionMrs. Toni Tavano

Dear Parishioners,

We are filled with immense pride and joy to share that our beloved Pastor, Fr. Emmanuel Ihemedu, has been nominated and will be honored with the 2023 Distinguished Catholic Elementary School Pastor of the Year Award! This commendation recognizes not just an individual, but the collective hard work, faith, and dedication of our community. Through Fr. Emmanuel's visionary leadership, our parochial school, St. John Paul the Great Academy, has undergone a beautiful revival.


Trust in the Lord's Grace

08-13-2023Weekly Reflection© LPi Fr. John Muir

A man at my parish was struggling to overcome a habitual sin. He said to me, “Father, I know the chance that I will commit sin again is really high. Why should I keep confessing my sins? Isn’t that dishonest?” Anyone who has felt the tyrannical power of sin — and who hasn’t? — has pondered this kind of question.

I responded to him, “What was the probability Peter would walk on the stormy water?” After some silence, he said, “Zero. But when Jesus called, he did it.” I could tell my penitent friend was re-framing the question from his own weakness to the greatness of the Lord’s love for him. The question for us should not be one of human probabilities about our sin, but rather whether or not we will trust the Lord’s grace in our lives.


Be Open to Transfiguration

08-06-2023Weekly Reflection© LPi Fr. John Muir

What is Christianity finally about? These days if you ask almost anyone who doesn’t know the Bible you’ll probably hear an answer like this: “Being a good person” or “following the golden rule.”

No offense to the golden rule, but our faith is simply much stranger than that. This week’s feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord is a luminous example of this. Jesus becomes radiantly and overwhelmingly beautiful. The glory of God literally shines forth from his body and even his clothes.