Dear friends on the journey,
As I write this, I am preparing to visit the Holy Land. On May 13, Fr. Patrick and 41 parishioners departed for a week-long journey, visiting the holiest of places, the land where Jesus was born, lived, died and resurrected. I’m wondering what it will be like to see, feel, taste, and smell all of Israel. Will we encounter Jesus there like the people of his time did?
In today’s gospel, at the Last Supper, Jesus sums up his mission and message with one commandment… love one another as I have loved you. As the apostles journeyed throughout Israel with Jesus, they witnessed firsthand his examples of love and we see it for ourselves in the stories of Jesus’ healing the blind and the lame, touching lepers, welcoming children, forgiving sinners, being with the outcast of society and laying down his life on the cross. This is the mission Jesus charged his apostles and its our mission too as 21st century disciples.
So what does that look like for us now?
Love one another is a simple statement but not always simple to live. Our discipleship is lifelong, complicated and challenging but when we don’t love well, we have the gift of starting again in the next moment, the next day. Thank God for that! Jesus’ mission field was Israel. Our mission is Ventura County.
This week as I travel through Israel, I will be praying for all of you and your journey of discipleship so that we too may love others as Jesus loves us and that all those who meet us will see and feel Jesus’ love through our actions and words!
Faith Life Minister
Dear Parish Family,
Today is known as Good Shepherd Sunday because each year of the liturgical cycle on this 4th Sunday, the Gospel is always taken from the 10th chapter of John where Jesus speaks of himself as the “Good Shepherd.”
Today’s Gospel challenges us to TRUST in God and never be despaired no matter the ugly events of our lives, because
our Shepherd is always there to lead us to greener pastures. He knows us and our needs, much more than we know ourselves. That is why the responsorial psalm reminds us that “We are his people, the sheep of his flock.” That means, as a shepherd never departs from his flock or allows them to be endangered, Jesus will never depart from us or allow us to be endangered. As a shepherd leads his flock to greener pastures, Jesus is leading us to a better life here on earth and to an eternal life there in heaven.
We must also be “listening sheep.” Jesus emphasized the qualities of his sheep when he said: “My sheep hear my voice... and they follow me.” As the sheep of Christ’s flock, do we listen to his voice in the words of the Sacred Scripture and in the teachings of the Church? Do we have compassion for the poor as he did? Do we pray as he prayed and do we have passion for the things of God as he had? Are we answering his call?
This Sunday is also Vocation Sunday, when we pray for our priest and Church leaders who are caring for the souls, who go out and gather the lost sheep to bring them back to God’s loving embrace. And for all the many good shepherds in our lives, who are given the responsibility of caring for others. May we all be his good sheep, listening attentively to his voice, and follow his example of self-giving love. Inspiring others to follow him especially in the vocation of priesthood or religious life.
On this Mother’s Day weekend I want to wish all the mothers who so diligently give of themselves in every way for their children, a bouquet of blessings.
Faith Formation Minister
Dear Padre Serra Parishioners,
As you’ve observed, Shea Homes has been working for some time to construct a new neighborhood on the north and west sides of our parish. There will be a new street, providing access to this new development, running immediately along the west side of our property. Because It isn’t safe to have an exit immediately next to such a busy street, we have been asked to close our Western entrance, and reroute it onto that new road. We will also lose a strip of our property for a right hand turn lane onto that new road.
On the one hand, this new road would provide us with a second left hand turn lane with a signal for eastbound traffic, which will be helpful, but will require some inconvenience while Shea reconfigures our parking lot. Their plans provide us with the same number of spaces, and they have a landscape architect working on how to replant whatever is removed during construction. This construction will inevitably be very inconvenient for us, especially if the West gate gets closed for any portions of the work before the new entrance is completed.
I apologize to you in advance, and ask for your patience!
I have asked them to do all this work during Summer months. We were under the impression that this project wouldn’t start until next summer, but we just learned that they hope to complete most of our parking lot these next months.
This Monday, construction for the removal of ground cover and electrical and sprinkler systems will begin on the west entrance and exit to the church parking lot. This will include the removal of some trees – I have been promised that they will be replaced. The west entrance should remain open during this phase of construction.
If you have any questions, we will do our best to answer them.
1930 - 2019
Vigil Friday, May 17 at 7:00 pm
Griffin Family Funeral Home
1075 E. Daily Drive Camarillo, CA 93010
Funeral Saturday, May 18 at 10:00 am
Padre Serra Parish
5205 Upland Rd, Camarillo, CA 93012
Tickets will be available for purchase at the door on the day of the event.
For more information please contact the school office (805) 482·2611.
Also visit: Scouts
Padre Serra Parish presents
Dear Faith Family,
After two years of formation, our teens have finally received the Sacrament of Confirmation. For those who don’t know, the 2 year process involves classes, small groups, ministry work and a weekend retreat. The purpose of the process isn’t to just educate our teens, but rather, it is meant to be an opportunity to encounter Jesus Christ.
While our program does conclude with Confirmation, in regards to the newly confirmed candidate’s faith, it truly is just the beginning. Throughout the classes we are taught that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are strengthened when we receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. But what are the purpose of these gifts that are given to us?
In reality, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to us to bring others closer to God. The gifts of Knowledge, Understanding, Wisdom, Right Judgment, Courage, Reverence and Wonder & Awe are the best tools to share God with others. And as
Dominic MaCaller reminded the newly confirmed at one of our sessions, the reality is that we are given these gifts already at Baptism, they are simply made stronger when we receive the Seal of the Spirit.
Sometimes to fail to realize that as Baptized and Confirmed Catholics, our mission is pretty straight forward: “Make Disciples of all Nations”. The gifts that we have already equip us the passion and the direction to do so. We are not alone in this commission, God wants to be with us step by step as we accomplish it.
I am so proud of our newly confirmed teens. Their willingness to break out of their comfort zones and to dedicate time to hear others is amazing to me. Holiness is needed to change this world and I’ve encountered so many holy teens within these
last 2 years. There is no doubt in my mind that our Church had become stronger on Saturday.
Youth and Young Adult Minister
Registration Open Now!
Sunday, June 30
Second Wednesday of the month
Photo by Julius Acero
July 8 to August 16
1940 ~ 2019
Vigil Tuesday, May 7 at 6:00 pm
Viewing at 5:00 pm
Chapel of the Hills - Conejo Mountain Funeral Home & Memorial Park
2052 Howard Road, Camarillo, CA 93012
Funeral Wednesday, May 8 at 11:00 am
Padre Serra Parish
5205 Upland Rd, Camarillo, CA 93012
August 11 - 17
Our High School Teens and Young Adults are invited to take part in this inaugural pilgrimage to St. Martinville, Louisiana. This will be a life changing, cultural faith experience.
The Sacred Heart Servants Mission is an opportunity for hands on service to the poor. Participants will work directly with families in need, learn about the committed religious life of our hosts, participate in the Fete-Dieu de Teche eucharistic boat procession and experience the unique food and culture of this region of Louisiana.
For more information contact
Tere Delgado, firstname.lastname@example.org
Howard Durand, email@example.com
In the first of this weekend’s readings, from the Acts of the Apostles, we hear an account of how many people came to faith in the risen Jesus Christ through the testimony of Peter and the other apostles, and through witnessing signs and wonders done in their midst “at the hands of the apostles.”
In the second reading, John, caught up in the spirit on the Lord’s day, is told by one that he sees in a vision “like a son of man” to “write down, therefore, what you have seen, and what is happening, and what will happen afterwards.” Again, testimony.
And in the gospel, again, we hear of signs and wonders, and testimony. Despite locked doors, the risen Lord Jesus comes and stands in the midst of the disciples, saying “Peace be with you.” He shows them his wounds and gives them their mission: “as the Father has sent me, so I send you.” On Pentecost the fullness of the Holy Spirit is given to them and they are able to carry out their mission with astounding effectiveness, as is illustrated in today’s first reading.
The thing is, it’s our mission too to preach the good news, to be, as St. Teresa of Avila said, Christ’s body to be his hands, his feet, his compassion on earth. By baptism we are part of an unbroken line of succession, going back to the earliest apostles who walked the earth with, and received the mission from Jesus himself, risen from the dead.
But Thomas wasn’t there that night and he wasn’t going to believe on the testimony of his fellow apostles alone. In fact, in words he may later have regretted, he declares that he will never believe without seeing and probing Jesus’ wounds for himself.
When I was younger and first heard this story, Thomas’ standing seemed to be portrayed as “less than” that of the disciples that were there: “blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” What we can never know, though, is how any of the other disciples might have reacted if they were the one absent that night. And what about us? Are we among the blessed because we have not seen yet have believed?
I have always identified with Thomas and his obstinate insistence on evidence. What I love about this gospel story though is another sign and wonder: Jesus already knew Thomas’ heart when he appeared again and invited him to probe his wounds. The Lord knew what Thomas needed to come to belief and in his love provided it. Thomas went on to evangelize, faithful to the mission given by Jesus Christ. India was where he ended up, and the community of Christians he founded there still exists today. It is concentrated in the Indian state of Kerala, boasting an impressive eight million members, according to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association*. Not too shabby for one who doubted, eh? So take heart if you struggle with doubt and ask the Lord to give you what you need to be faithful to the mission. He will, though you may not immediately “see” it.
* This information courtesy of catholicexchange.com
Our religious yearnings can leave us stretching in new ways. So if you come to this Easter Sunday a searcher, let me encourage you to seek the answers to your life’s questions in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. He is for us the
answer to our uncertainties, the light that shines even when all else is dark, the voice that calls us to growth and challenges us to love yet more.
Jesus’ death was a share in our human destiny. His resurrection is the bright promise for us of future union with God the Father. So, if you have brought any sorrow or heaviness to this Easter Day, I invite you to lay it at the foot of Jesus’ cross, and allow new life, His life, to be reborn in you.
Jesus’ victory over darkness and death can be ours…can be yours. The Easter egg, itself, is a symbol of life arising from unexpected places. So, if you come here troubled, with fear, or facing huge dilemmas, let the Lord’s victory over death take root in your life, leading to your renewal.
And if, by blessed chance, you come with joy in your heart, I encourage you to celebrate with full voice and heart. To be able to do that would be the very essence of Easter – celebrating what God the Father has done, conquering
death through the resurrection of His Son from the dead.
On this wonderful day of celebration, my prayer for you is
- that every dry, arid corner of your life might be watered by God’s life giving grace and spring forth with new life;
- that you might feel deeply the Father’s enduring love for you;
- that sadness or loneliness in your life might be banished;
- and that God’s Spirit will dwell within you, bringing joy.
I’m so pleased that you are here, and that together we can rejoice in what God has done for us. Every Easter blessing to you and those you love.
We gather. We pray. We write.
New members are welcome anytime to our friendly group. We explore and practice different types of writing and read our work to one another each week. Some days we do “free writing” for ten minutes on a chosen topic. Other weeks we read our prepared pieces (up to 500 words) on a designated subject. Our topics are not overtly “religious,” but give us an opportunity to express the concerns of our souls. Many consider the experience to be healing. We encourage humor and playfulness; we laugh a lot. We inform each other about writing resources, and we share equally the responsibility for the successful working of the group.
This is as much a faith sharing group as it is a writing group. We pray together. We take care of one another. Our comments on one another’s writing are constructive and honor the deep feelings that are expressed.
Also visit: Adults
Sue Powers and Margaret Vesprini
Photo By Julius Acero
We invite you for friendship and fellowship with Catholic moms in Camarillo. Some of our activities include providing meals for moms after delivery, Catholic book club, and mom's/couples night out. Join our email list or for information. Email Melissa Ronan
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