Lord and Giver of Life

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There is no salvation through anyone else,nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved. ~ Acts 4:12

Grace to pray for this week: To see my the person in front of me, particularly the person who rubs me the wrong way, through the eyes of Jesus.

Dear Friends in Christ,

It was in these day before the Ascension that the Disciples were becoming acquainted with the Risen Jesus. This was a different experience than they had with him before the Crucifixion. Relating to the Risen Christ is something unfamiliar to them and it’s clear that Jesus does not appear to everyone. Their eyes continue to be opened to a deeper understanding of his truth. As the Ascension draws near he admonishes them not to cling to him because a “fulfillment” is forthcoming. He’s getting their hearts ready to receive “all truth” in the person of the Holy Spirit.

This weekend we are beginning a homily series on the Holy Spirit called Lord and Giver of Life. We’re going to learn who the Holy Spirit is, the gifts He gives, and how to allow Him to work in our lives. The easiest way to understand who is the holy spirit is to look at God the Father and God the Son. God the Father is the eternal source of all life. From all eternity he has poured forth life to his beloved Son. The Son receives the Father’s love and loves him totally in return. The perfect love between the Father and the Son is the Holy Spirit.

We celebrate the Easter season so that we can receive the same life from Christ as his first followers. So, in these days as we encounter the Risen Jesus – in the Eucharist, His Word, and in one another – He is preparing our hearts to receive “all truth” on Pentecost.

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This weekend Matt Hoesing (chair of the Parish Finance Committee) and I are giving an update on Parish finances as we head into the last quarter of fiscal year 2014-2015. All in all we are well situated to finish the year in strong fashion. Remember, stewardship is not about money but sacrificial giving is a part of living the stewardship way of life. Everything we have is a gift from God. Everything! The more we receive God’s lavish gifts (in prayer, fellowship, Eucharist) the more free we will be to give away in the form of using our talents, making ourselves available, tithing, and countless other ways. It’s not necessary to count the cost of being a disciple because God always outdoes us in generosity.

God love you!

In the Risen Christ,

Fr. Dan Andrews

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Heart speaks to Heart

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“So, what’s next?” That’s a question I’ve heard in a few places. Now that the church is (almost) finished, what do we do next? The temptation is simply to return to the former way of life; to go back to my comfortable routine. We do this after Lent without thinking about it. You may have experienced tremendous growth in your relationship with Christ over 4o days but now that Easter has come…it’s back to normal. Seems kind of silly. Why not build upon the growth and go deeper?

Our Parish Renewal continues during the Easter season. The risen Jesus is present among us. He has power to save us, in every way. His desire is to have our heart become one with his. That’s it. That’s home for us.

On June 13th, Archbishop George Lucas will be here to celebrate Mass with us for two reasons: to give thanks for our renewed church and to lead us in prayer of consecration, surrendering the heart of our parish to the hearts of Jesus and Mary.

“Consecration” means to make sacred, and it only something God can do. He shares his holiness with us, allowing us to have his life which is grace. Consecration can also be considered as our response to God. When we surrender to His desire to transform us, we consecrate ourself to him. This is what we will be doing on June 13th: asking God to make our hearts one with him through the prayers of Mary, model of all consecration.

Please offer the following prayer daily in preparation:

Prayer of Consecration

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, we consecrate our lives, our families, and our parish to you. We offer to you our hearts: All that we are, all that we have, and all that we love, without exception. May all members of my household and our parish choose the path of Discipleship – in hospitality, prayer, formation, service and evangelization to one another and to the poor. May we stand strong against all evil by growing in faith and in trusting obedience to the teachings of Jesus and His Bride the Church. May we shine as a beacon to all with the light of His wisdom and love. Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, keep our parish close to your Immaculate Heart, and wrap us in your protective mantle in union with Jesus your Son. We ask this in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.

Divine Mercy 2015

The Second Sunday of Easter is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday. On this day we celebrate the abundance of God love that he gives to us, especially in the Eucharist and Confession. This will be the first Divine Mercy in a renewed St. Mary’s. Please join us!

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Paschal Mystery – From death to Resurrection

So was it your best Lent ever? I heard many people say it was. We hear about the “Paschal Mystery”. What is it? The Paschal Mystery refers to Jesus’ passage through suffering, death, to Resurrection. In going this way Jesus shows us the way to eternal life. We can always trust in the Pascal mystery. For every death we experience there will be resurrection in some way. If we avoid death we can’t experience resurrection.

Easter Vigil and Sunday were so tremendously moving. I was honored to baptize 6 people and receive 3 into full communion with the Church. Over and over people raved about the amount of light in the church and the improved sound. This was the main driver for the church renewal. Nothing was better though than seeing God’s people come together again in St. Mary’s. If you were there you’ll never forget it.

Happy Easter. Jesus has risen as he said – Alleluia!

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Easter Homecoming

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My, how far we’ve come. After five months of pilgrimage we are ready to return to our spiritual home for Easter. I must acknowledge first the diligence of dozens of contractors who pushed themselves to help us finish enough of the church to celebrate this weeend. They wanted to see this happen and deserve our gratitude. We will need another 2-3 weeks to finish a few things.

Our church looks amazing and now it’s adequtely equipped to help people encounter Christ. Now it’s time for you to experience it for yourself. Notice where your heart is stirred as you celebrate the beautiful Easter liturgy in this sacred space. This is the prize – meeting the Risen Jesus and sharing in his definitive victory over sin and death.

Please know that you are welcome to celebrate with us. It doesn’t mattere where you been in life or what you’ve done. Jesus wants everyone to come to him and be satisfied. It’s the high honor of Sacred Heart Parish to have you join us in worship.

As the hour of the Vigil draws near it’s probably okay to say it: Happy Easter! Jesus has risen from the dead. Alleluia! He is truly risen. Alleluia!

God love you.

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Sacred Heart Parish Easter Mass Times

St. Mary’s

• Saturday Vigil – 8:30 pm; Sunday – 7:30 am, 9:30 am, 11:30 am

Sacred Heart

• Sunday – 10 am (English), Noon (spanish)

Holy Week 2015 – Good Friday

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We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

Come, let us worship.

Stations of the Cross – 3 pm, Sacred Heart Church

Good Friday Liturgy – 7 pm, St. Mary’s