February 28, 2021

I always associate the Transfiguration of the Lord with the theological virtue of hope.  As the three apostles are permitted to see Jesus’s glorified body, we along with them see what we can become if we persevere in faith and the life of grace.  What belongs to Jesus by his divine nature is offered to us by grace.  We hope to realize that glory one day.

There are smaller hopes that are limited to this world, but they can still be important hopes: a good job, recovery from illness, a visit from a friend.  Many parents hope for a better life for themselves and for their children.  Some will even leave their home for another country in search of that hope.  I encourage you to learn about how our current immigration policies affect someone hoping to work in the U.S. or to become a U.S. citizen.  Also, hear from a few people who have come here in hope of a better life.  Join us by ZOOM on Saturday, March 6 from 10am-noon.  More info inside; call parish office to register.

In this month of March, we will celebrate confirmation for students from St. Joseph and from St. Peter’s.  St. Peter’s will get to experience the broader church by keeping our Confirmation Mass with the archbishop at the cathedral on Sunday, March 21.  During this year in honor of St. Joseph, St. Joseph families will have confirmation on Thursday, March 18 and Friday, March 19.  March 19 is the feast of St. Joseph, Spouse of Mary.  St. Julie’s will have a confirmation in April and another in May.  Pray for our students who are preparing for confirmation!

Remember during Lent Stations of the Cross are prayed on Wednesdays at St. Peter’s and on Fridays at St. Julie and St. Joseph.

What a joy to know, love, and serve the good God.

In Christ,

Fr. Rob

February 21, 2021

This past Tuesday I finished “Pastor Boot Camp.”  It was not as tough as it sounds, in one sense.  It showed me areas to work on to lead with discipline, wisdom, and courage.  I valued the four sessions over zoom that were hosted by The Amazing Parish.  It was warm here when compared to the five or six pastors in the Minnesota area (they woke up to -30 degrees, but broke 0 degrees by late morning).  It was not painful as one would associate with boot camp, but it left me wanting to do better.  Let us pray for one another.

 

The Church truly is a wise and loving mother.  She gives us the season of Lent to prepare ourselves for the joy of Easter.  I do need this invitation to refocus on our Lord and following him with discipline in the small ways.  “Begin again,” as St. Teresa of Avila would say to her Carmelite sisters.  My resolutions will include writing in a journal every evening (self-knowledge) and going to bed at a decent hour.  I have not yet decided to what extent to include fasting; in the past it has impeded my ability to work during the day.  Since I have shared them with you, you can ask me how I am doing on them.  I encourage you to try something that will help you grow in self-knowledge: where are you strong? Where are you weak?  Are you willing to share them both with the Lord?  I remind you that Stations of the Cross are a grace-filled practice during Lent – Wednesday or Friday.

 

I am happy to be meeting with several engaged couples over the next few weeks.  I will also have two meetings regarding Hispanic Ministry, which is a rich inclusion within the Catholic Church in the U.S.  Next Saturday I hope to catch part of the E-6 Men’s Conference online (registration required) between my morning confession time and afternoon confession time.  I will

 

What a joy to know, love, and serve the good God.

 

In Christ,

 

Fr. Rob

February 14, 2021

We finally had a real snow!  I hope the school students enjoyed the snow day on Tuesday.

Happy Valentine’s Day!  We also conclude National Marriage Week.  Marriage is God’s plan for a love that sustains us in good times and in bad.  It is also the necessary foundation for a free society.  As a sacrament it is a sign of Jesus’s faithfulness and assists us with grace to grow in our ability to love, even when it includes suffering.  On the occasion of National Marriage Week I call to mind my grandpa and grandma who celebrated their 50th anniversary when I was in seventh grade.  Congratulations to all married couples, and God bless your families!

We all need reminders and “tune-ups” sometimes to remind us to put forth our best effort.  Coaches help with this.  Lent can help with this.  Lately, I have been watching motivational videos on YouTube featuring Matthew McConaughey and Denzel Washington.  With God all things are possible.  Are we willing to put in the preparation to make our best self closer to reality?

Lent begins on Wednesday.  Remember to abstain from meat on Fridays.  I, like you, am sad that we will not be able to enjoy parish fish fries again this year.  We will again have Stations of the Cross on Wednesdays and Fridays.  See inside for schedules and for Ash Wednesday Mass times.  For the health and safety of our students, we are encouraging parishioners to attend the Masses offered in the afternoon or evening.

Parishes have pastoral councils.  The archdiocese also has a pastoral council (laity) and a presbyteral (priest and religious) council.  I recently began a five year term as a representative on the presbyteral council.  We met last Monday.  In an update on Beacons of Light we were informed to look for a guiding document on parameters and principles in the near future.

What a joy to know, love, and serve the good God,

In Christ,

Fr. Rob


¡Felicidades día del amor y la amistad!  En la iglesia, concluye la semana del matrimonio.  El matrimonio es el plan de Dios para un amor que persevera los tiempos buenos y los tiempos malos de la vida.  Cuando se casan por la iglesia es sacramento y señal de la fidelidad de Jesucristo.  Reciben gracia para mantener la relación y para crecer en el amor, incluso el sacrificio para el bien de la otra.  Por la semana del matrimonio recuerdo mis abuelos que eran casados por más que cincuenta años.  Este abuelo murió el 17 de febrero 1997 cuando yo asistía la preparatoria.  ¡Felicidades a los casados y la bendición de Dios sobre sus familias!

Recuerden también que el Encuentro Matrimonio Mundial ofrece un retiro para parejas el primero fin de semana de marzo.  Contacto a Omar y Nallely Corral para enterar más.

La cuaresma empiece este miércoles.  Celebramos dos Misas a las 7:30 por la tarde – una en el templo, otro en el Fenmont – como en los domingos.  Rezaremos juntos la Vía Crucis todos los viernes a las 6:45, antes de la Misa a las 7:30.  Caminen con los sufrimientos de Jesús.  Sufrió por amor de nosotros.

En Christo,

P. Rob

February 7, 2021

This weekend is the CMA commitment weekend.  You will be invited to make a pledge to support St. Rita School for the deaf, retired priests, seminary formation, Catholic Charities and Catholic Social Services, the Center for the New Evangelization, and chaplaincy in hospitals, college campuses and in prisons.  If we exceed our parish goal 50% of the donations over the goal come back to our parish.

In our second reading, Paul writes to the Corinthians, “I have an obligation to preach the gospel, and woe to me if I do not preach it!”  That verse, that sense of purpose inspires the young adult ministry of Renewal Ministries in Ann Arbor.  We invite young adults, and all parishioners, to our next Praise and worship night at St. Peter’s, this Thursday at 7pm.  I am thankful for the many ways that Deacon Jeff continues to say “yes” to his ministry of the gospel; he will speak during the Praise and Worship night.

After last weekend it was brought home that “God did not make death nor does he rejoice in the death of the living.” (Wisdom 1:14)  St. Joseph buried three long-time parishioners on Friday and Saturday of last week, including Bud Brown, from the local funeral home.  What really stings was the death of a 58-year-old mother of five.  Her children are grown, but she is dearly missed.  Our hope is for eternal life, and that does give us courage and consolation born of hope.  In our grief, it is good to know that God did not make death, nor does he delight in the death of the living.  My prayers continue to be with all widows and widowers.

Lent will be here soon.  It is a time to renew our walk of discipleship.  It is a time to lay aside some comforts, so as to seek God’s face with greater ardor.

What a joy to know, love, and serve the good God,

January 31, 2021

It seems to me that we undervalue the vocation and the beauty to live as a religious sister or nun.  My friend, Adam, sent me an article about a 36-year old millionaire, who will leave her wealth and take a vow of poverty to live with an order of contemplative nuns.  Montserrat Medina Martinez (Montse) grew up in Spain and attended Stanford University in the United States.  She created a Silicon Valley startup that sold to PayPal for several million dollars.  After that she became a partner with Deloitte consulting firms.  She had achieved great business success.  In a letter to her colleagues explaining her resignation, she writes, “For years I wanted to say Yes to Jesus, but did so only quietly and interiorly.  While I postponed my full response…I made use of the gifts I received from God seeking my interest alone.  And I lied to myself because, far from making me happy, this attitude only spurred a greater emptiness inside.”  Montse explains that she pursued the will of God in Catholic groups, in volunteer work, and even considered establishing a non-profit organization, but none of those things brought her peace.  She says that she has made the most important and at the same time simplest decision of her life to “set aside investing in my future on earth and begin to invest in my future for eternal life.”

I am thankful to God for speaking to this young woman’s heart.  I am thankful that she had the courage to say “Yes” to God’s call in her life.

Here in Hamilton, this past two weeks I have been reminded of the dedication of our volunteers and our parents.  The pandemic has introduced unique challenges for parents, for teachers, and for catechists.  I am happy for the strength and versatility that you have shown.  It has not been easy.  I am glad for the strength and care you continue to show.

What a joy to know, love and serve the good God.

In Christ,

Fr. Rob

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Hay una belleza y valor de la vida religiosa que a veces no percibimos porque nos falta tiempo con ellas.  Mi amigo, Adam, me mandó una cuenta de Montse Medina Martínez.  Ella es española y consiguió éxito en el ámbito de negocios.  Creó una startup en Silicon Valey que se vendió por varios millones y fue fichada como socia de Deloitte.  Decidió dejar de todo para entrar en un Monasterio.  La noticia esta contado en el periódico, Religión en Libertad.  Montse escribió que fue “la decisión más importante y al mismo tiempo más sencilla de su mí vida.”  En sus propias palabras, “La inquietud de mi alma me ha llevado a buscar la Voluntad de Dios en comunidades Católicas en voluntariados, hasta planee fundar una ONG…, pero no encontraba la Paz en ninguno de estos proyectos.  Ahora, secundando la llamada a ofrecerme al Señor en la vida consagrada contemplativa, he encontrado la Paz del corazón.”

Estoy agradecido a Dios por habar en el corazón a esta joven.  Estoy agradecido a ella, Montse, que respondió a llamada de Dios a pesar de la cuesta.

Aquí en Hamilton, estoy agradecidos a nuestras padres.  Entiendo que había retos y dificultades tener los niños en casa tanto tiempo por la pandemia.  A pesar de esto, siguen a ayudar sus niños en su escuela y sus clases de PREP, aún por Zoom.  Gracias.

Estoy contento servir con ustedes.  Dios les bendiga!

En Christo,

P. Ro

January 24, 2021

Both our schools have their open house this weekend!  We have a lot to be proud of at both St. Peter in Chains school and St. Joseph Consolidated school as we prepare our young children in faith and in virtue.

Last year was the first time that Pope Francis called for a Sunday as the Celebration of the Word of God – now celebrated each year on the third Sunday of ordinary time.  The bishops of the Vatican Council II promulgated a document by the Latin name Dei Verbum, or Word of God.  We see that Jesus himself is the Word of God and the fullness of God’s self-revelation to us.  The Bible is one way that we encounter Him.  This weekend is a good occasion for me to renew my commitment to pray with the Word of God.

Tomorrow is a feast of St. Paul and the close of the week of prayer for Christian Unity.  We have not given this as much attention as it deserves.  Each year it is near Catholic Schools Week, the Catholic Ministries Appeal, and just after our parish celebrations of Christmas.  Please offer a prayer today to express a desire for greater unity among all who are baptized into Christ Jesus.

Tomorrow we celebrate the conversion of St. Paul.  He was always “all in” for God.  However, it was his encounter with the Risen Jesus on the road to Damascus that clarified his vision of who this God is.  What a gift that God has revealed Himself to us!  Paul never lost his zeal.  The zeal with which he served God as a Pharisee was now the zeal with which he served God as a slave of Christ Jesus (to use his own phrase).  Just as the scales fell from Paul’s eyes, may the same Holy Spirit give us clearer vision in our own day.

What a joy to know, love, and serve the good God.

 

Fr. Rob

January 17, 2021

Next weekend is the annual Celebration of Word of God.  Pope Francis initiated this celebration last year to deepen the appreciation, love and faithful witness to God and his Word in the lives of all the baptized.  With that in mind, it is encouraging that the #1 podcast on Apple charts has been “Bible in a Year” with Fr. Mike Schmitz and Ascension Press.  Look him up (and invite your children, too) on YouTube!  If it is #1 that means some of you have already downloaded or listened to his podcast.  I am happy at that thought.

On January 1st, the feast for Mary, Mother of God, I spoke of the love of her motherly heart, and the great care she has for her children.  A line from our second reading reminded me of a plea from a fatherly heart.  St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, and that you are not your own?  You have been purchased at a price.”  In 2014, then Bishop of Arlington, Bishop Paul Loverde wrote a letter called “Bought with a Price.”  He published it on the feast of St. Joseph to underscore the plea of a fatherly heart.  In the letter he shines the light of Christ on the damage caused by pornography, and calls on us to reject what has become commonplace in our culture.  If you have struggled or are struggling with this, consider the Sacrament of Reconciliation, professional counseling or the resources below.  Awaken to God, ask and he will strengthen you!

St. Peter’s pastoral council met this past week.  St. Julie’s is scheduled to meet this week, and St. Joseph the week after.  On account of COVID-19, the meetings are via Zoom.  We are in the process of unifying our parishes’ web pages with the intention of keeping information more up to date, including minutes of pastoral council meetings and the names of representatives to pastoral council.

What a joy to know, love and serve the good God.

 

Fr. Rob

 

“Bought with a Price”

E-6 Catholic Men’s Conference.  Live seats are sold out.  Virtual seating still available.  https://www.e6catholicmensconference.com/

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El próximo fin de semana es la Celebración anual de la Palabra de Dios. El Papa Francisco inició esta celebración el año pasado para profundizar el aprecio, el amor y el testimonio fiel de Dios y su Palabra en la vida de todos los bautizados. Con eso en mente, les recomiendo el podcast # 1 en las listas de Apple “Biblia en un año” con el P. Mike Schmitz y Ascension Press. ¡Búscalo (e invita a tus hijos también) en YouTube! Si es el número 1, eso significa que algunos de ustedes ya han descargado o escuchado su podcast. Me causa alegria que eso sea realidad.

El 1 de enero, fiesta de María, Madre de Dios, hablé del amor de su corazón maternal y del gran cuidado que tiene por sus hijos. Una línea de nuestra segunda lectura me recordó una súplica de un corazón paternal. San Pablo escribió a los Corintios: “¿O es que no saben ustedes que su cuerpo es templo del Espíritu Santo, que han recibido de Dios y habita en ustedes? No son ustedes sus propios dueños, porque Dios los ha comprado a un precio muy caro.” En 2014, el entonces obispo de Arlington, el obispo Paul Loverde escribió una carta llamada “Comprado con precio”. Lo publicó en la fiesta de San José para subrayar la súplica de un corazón paternal. En la carta, él ilumina con la luz de Cristo el daño causado por la pornografía y nos pide que rechacemos lo que se ha convertido en un lugar común en nuestra cultura. Si ha luchado o está luchando con esto, considere el Sacramento de la Reconciliación, el asesoramiento profesional o los recursos a continuación. ¡Despierta a Dios, pide y él te fortalecerá!

El consejo pastoral de San Pedro se reunió la semana pasada. Está previsto que St. Julie’s se reúna esta semana y St. Joseph la semana siguiente. A causa de COVID-19, las reuniones se realizan a través de Zoom. Estamos en el proceso de unificar las páginas web de nuestras parroquias con la intención de mantener la información más actualizada, incluidas las actas de las reuniones del consejo pastoral y los nombres de los representantes del consejo pastoral.

Qué alegría conocer, amar y servir al buen Dios.

 

  1. Rob

January 10, 2021

Today we close the Christmas season with the baptism of the Lord.  The scene for Christmas is a stable, not a cathedral, or even a small country church.  Yet, what happened in that stable was amazing!  Faith was present in Mary and in Joseph.  God was truly present in the Christ child.  Shepherds, angels, and magi all came to adore God’s True Presence in that place.  God’s glory shown in the angels singing.

Here in Hamilton, we have large churches, not a stable.  Do we have the faith of Mary and of Joseph?  We have God’s True Presence in the Eucharist.  But who is coming to adore Him?  We show God’s glory in our buildings, but when can people enter them?  To the extent that we do not have faith, to the extent that we do not have adorers, maybe we need more stables and fewer churches.

Between Bethlehem in Judea and Hamilton in Ohio, we have lost something, not entirely, but in part.  Will you be among those helping to recover what has been lost?  Will you commit to coming to the church one hour each month to adore, to pray?  Where there is a will there is a way.  If you communicate a commitment to the parish office, we will see what we can do to have an open place to pray.  Come, let us adore.

 

The truths of faith are eternal, but the structures for expressing the faith grow, adapt, or recede with the circumstances of the times.  Our archdiocese has changed a lot in the last sixty-five years.  Fewer priests.  Fewer faithful.  Fewer resources.  We are overdue in adapting to this new situation.  The archdiocese has initiated a two phase planning process, Beacons of Light, to guide the necessary steps.  Look for updates from the process next week and in the months ahead.

 

In Christ,

Fr. Rob

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Hoy cerramos la temporada navideña con el bautismo del Señor. El escenario de la Navidad fue en un establo, no una catedral ni siquiera una pequeña iglesia de campo. Sin embargo, ¡lo que sucedió en ese establo fue asombroso! La fe estaba presente en María y en José. Dios estaba verdaderamente presente en el niño Jesús. Pastores, ángeles y magos acudieron a adorar la Verdadera Presencia de Dios en ese lugar. La gloria de Dios se muestra en los ángeles cantando.

Las obras de Dios no necesitan sitios grandiosos.  Muchas veces las encontramos de manera sutil y entre los humildes, incluso en nuestra casa, cuando la fe vive en nosotros.

Con el bautismo celebrado por Juan, Jesucristo inicio su ministerio público.  Semejante a nuestra fe que nació en nuestro corazón la cual nos lleva a realizar buenas obras.

 

Hace meses nuestra arquidiócesis está planeando un programa que se llama Faro de Luz para continuar el ministerio de Jesucristo y la misión de su iglesia. Tendremos información más adelante. ¡Este pendiente!

 

En Cristo,

Fr. Rob

November 22, 2020

Today we celebrate Christ the King of the Universe.  Yet in our readings this weekend we do not see the majestic palace, the splendid fashions, and the court of flatterers and admirers.  Rather we see a shepherd.  There are other passages that will direct us to the glory of God.  But this weekend as we recognize his kingship, we turn our attention to what he does.  This King, Jesus, takes care of his people.  We need him now as much as ever.  We need his example of using authority well.  Jesus is not in his position for pride, nor out of fear.  Rather, he brings a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love, and peace.

On Monday I received word that my grandma, who is 90 and in a nursing home tested positive for COVID.  Yes, we are concerned and praying.  As I write this, I do not know what will have come by this weekend.

Thursday is Thanksgiving Day.  I expect that for many of you, it will look quite different this year.  Even so, give yourself time with family, perhaps only immediate family.  Give yourself time to think what is one positive change you want to make: for work-life balance, for giving your best and not something less, or for reminding others that they matter to you.  What a gift to have a day for giving thanks!  Gratitude is an important part of prayer.  It changes how we view our circumstance and opens us up to see who God is and opens us to stepping up when an opportunity presents itself.

Thanksgiving Day Mass for our pastoral region will be 9am at St. Peter in Chains.

St. Joseph’s pastoral council will meet on Monday of this week.

Jesus Christ is our hope,

Fr. Rob

November 15, 2020

During this month of November continue to pray for the poor souls in purgatory.  Remember that we, too, will one day stand before the Lord.

In our gospel we hear the parable of the talents; they are entrusted to the stewards, each according to his ability.  Jesus speaks this parable in Jerusalem during the week leading up to his passion.  He knows that he is “going away,” but that his mission must continue.  We are the servants who carry on his mission after his ascension until his return in glory.

We are expected to use the talents, the gifts, that we have been given.  The mission of the laity is to transform and order society, so it refers to how you witness to integrity among coworkers and in the workplace.  There are also ways that we witness and serve as a parish, as a pastoral region, as a community of faith.  I realize that I need to be intentional about inviting people to volunteer their time for the work of our pastoral region.  At the recommendation of pastoral council, I have compiled a list of needed and desired volunteer positions within our pastoral region.  More information on this in two weeks.

Amid the pandemic, children are still being born, families are growing, and parents are presenting children for baptism.  That is a beautiful thing.  English language classes are on the first and third Saturday of each month.  Spanish language classes are on the third Saturday of each month.  Contact Lisa Stricker at 863-1040 for more information about infant baptism.

A reminder that I will be away this week; I am going to visit Fr. Richmond in Iowa and return to Hamilton Friday evening.

This week the Tuesday Holy Hour is at St. Julie’s at 7pm.

Jesus Christ is our Hope,

 

Fr. Rob

 

Durante este mes de noviembre, continue en rogar por las almas pobres en purgatorio.  Recuerde que nosotros, también, tenemos que presentarnos frente al Señor.

En el evangelio, escuchamos la parábola de Jesús sobre los talentos; están encargado, cada uno según su habilidad.  Jesús dijo esta parábola mientras su última semana en Jerusalén antes de la crucifixión.  Sabía que la misión tuviera que continuar después de su tiempo en este mundo.  Nosotros somos los servidores que continúan la misión después de la ascensión hasta la venida gloriosa en el fin de los tiempos.

Gracias a los padres que cuidan por sus hijos y muestran la vida Cristiana y dan una crianza dentro de la fe Católica.  Gracias a los trabajadores que practican la integridad y hacen lo que es justo.  Y gracias a los ministros, y especialmente los coordinadores en el consejo.  Comparten en una manera particular la misión de nuestra parroquia y nuestra región pastoral.

Durante la pandemia, sigamos a celebrar los sacramentos y preparar padres y niños para los sacramentos.  La próxima clase de bautismo para los padres y padrinos es próximo Sábado, el 21 de noviembre (y el tercer Sábado de cada mes).

La hora santa este martes está aquí en Santa Julia a las 7pm.  Salgo por un retiro esta semana y regreso para la Misa el viernes a las 7:30pm.

Señor Jesucristo es nuestra esperanza.