My Dear Parish Family,
Advent is only three weeks away! If Advent is the time to prepare for Christmas, this must be the time to prepare for Advent! What needs to be done? Today’s Gospel spells it out for us in two action items.
First, be present. How can we receive an invitation if we are not there or not reachable or not known? “Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.” Here I am Lord, pick me, use me. I am yours. Be present.
Second, be ready. This is not idle time, waiting, this is active time, living a Christian life every single day. “Those who were ready went into the feast.” Beyond get ready, be ready.
Here is the ‘lineup’ at Padre Serra for things that will help us be known to Jesus and be ready for his invitation:
Little Books – one of my favorite things – will be available beginning next weekend in the narthex (church lobby). These little blue books offer a short, rich reading and reflection for each day of Advent. The perfect accompaniment to that first cup of coffee or tea in the morning and a great way to be known and present to Jesus in prayer and have hearts that are ready for his invitation.
Additionally, next weekend please find opportunities to support Life Centers and St. Vincent de Paul through poinsettia plants and See’s candies and help people in need at home and in third world counties through the Angel Tags on the trees in church and Concern America crafts in the courtyard. Give the gift of life through blood donation right here on campus next Sunday.
In recent weeks, I have been enjoying watching reruns of the Andy Griffith Show from the 1960’s. Invariably, the characters end up on the front porch, usually after ‘supper’ singing songs, or reminiscing, or recapping their day. It is peaceful presence they have together, a gentle connectedness found among family and friends. Let’s identify the ‘porch moments’ in our lives … coffee in the courtyard on Sunday mornings, hospitality after the penance service, dinner and a concert, finding Jesus at every turn.
Let’s set our focus on Jesus. Enjoy our family over the Thanksgiving holiday, seeing Jesus in each person gathered. Taking the opportunity to be attentive and focus on relationships. Let’s talk about our bucket lists and what in our life has given us great satisfaction. I think a lot of living well and being ready has to do with having our priorities in order. Articulate them.
The church gave us the whole season of Advent! An entire season to prepare, to make ready, to be about Jesus. Hallmark and the retail industry want us to think it is Christmas before Halloween. I am going with the wisdom of the Church. In the bigger life view, Advent is the time that helps us prepare to see God someday. I want to spend my Advent being present to the people around me, helping in small and big ways every day and with my heart set on Jesus in all I think, do and say.
On that eventual day when the Bridegroom comes, it is a matter of ready, set, go.
Parish Life Minister
Friday, December 15
Our annual parish Christmas Concert featuring our Children's/Middle School, Youth/Young Adult, and Adult Choirs, our instrumental ensemble enhanced with extra players, and perhaps a surprise.
Tickets will be available on December 2 after 5:00pm mass in the San Juan Capistrano room.
Reserved seats are $15. General seats are $10. Dinner $10.
Wednesday, December 6
The U.S. Bishops have asked us to take up a combined collection for the victims of the recent hurricanes as well as the earthquake in Mexico.
Make checks payable to Archdiocese of Los Angeles. If you wish your donation benefit a specific area, please indicate in the memo line.
Our Bishops also ask for continued prayers for all.
Also visit: Giving
Sunday, November 12
Today we are reminded of the greatest commandment, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (Jn. 13:35) This defines out Catholic Christian Identity, seems easy, right?
For some of us loving God is easy; however, loving our neighbors may come with conditions. I will love my neighbor as long as they do not cut me off on the freeway. I will love my neighbor as long as they do not get on my nerves. I will love my neighbor as long as they are loving in return. We are called to love them even when they are unkind to us, when it takes our all.
Our Love of God finds its fulfillment in our love of our neighbor. “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matt. 25:40) Only then, are we being true to the commandment of loving God with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind.
In the last several months, as we all have experienced the pain of our brothers and sisters that have been affected by the hurricanes, earthquake and fires, we have been witnesses to the action of Loving our Neighbors. We have seen real love, sacrificing love, in big and small ways. Let us not wait for extraordinary events to come to the aid of our brothers and sisters. Sometimes a warm smile or holding the door open for someone can be life changing. As Mother Teresa of Calcutta would say “do small things with great love.”
Faith Formation Minister
Sunday, December 17
Thanksgiving Day Mass
Begin November 18, 2017
Help over 1,100 children or adults have a very special Christmas morning!
This year we are collecting gifts for St. Francis Parish in Fillmore, the San Salvador Mission in Piru, the RAIN project, OASIS, Immaculate Conception Parish in New Cuyama and the Ventura County Youth Correctional Facility.
How to participate: simply select a tag from the trees in church, buy at least one of the items listed, wrap it, and attach the ANGEL TAG firmly to the outside of the package and return to the church no later than 9:00am on December 10.
Also visit: Charity
Fr. Jim Clarke
November 7, 2017
Because our faith in God and our love for our church is so important to us, we are always eager to share what we have discovered with others. But our busy lives often get in the way: we have good intentions but little time.
Spend a precious hour with Fr. Jim for some new and insightful ideas about how evangelization (“sharing our faith”) can become part of our everyday way of life at home, work, school, and everywhere we go.
Sunday, October 29
Would you consider blessing a family through our Adopt-A-Family program?
To participate call Melissa Romero (818) 640·1790.
In Loving Memory of Our Faithful Departed
Saturday, November 11
Followed by reception in San Juan Capistrano room
This Sunday’s Gospel’s is one of my favorites. Generally, in scripture, it is hard to decipher the intent of those who encounter Jesus. When they ask questions, you usually have to question whether the people either mean well or if they are trying to trap Jesus. The reason why this Sunday’s Gospel is one of my favorites, is because the intent of those asking Jesus questions are perfectly laid out.
Before we dive into the passage further, I do have a question for all of us to ponder. Do we ever try to trap God with our own prayers? I know it sounds like only malicious people would do such a thing, but I feel that sometimes we only pray to get something from God.
I am not saying asking God for things is wrong, that is definitely untrue. In any worthwhile relationship, it is healthy to ask our loved ones for help when we need it. Sometimes though, the trap of only asking and never giving can hinder the strength of any relationship.
I know in my spiritual lulls, I tend to ask God for a lot of things, but within this same lull, I fail to let God know that I love him, and I also fail to ask God what he needs from me. When my prayer life is not strong, my friendship with God is not strong either.
Now, I’m not saying God doesn’t want to give to us. Like any good Father, God wants to and will provide, regardless of our current relationship. And I guarantee that God does provide even when we are simply asking Him for assistance. With that said, it is vastly important to simply spend time with our Father. He yearns for us and when we yearn back for him, our relationship grows stronger.
In the Gospel, it was obvious that the Pharisees have terrible intent. Christ knew it too. Notice though, that Jesus still answered their question, even though the Pharisees were trying to trap Him. God will always provide us with the right answers, even when we aren’t at a strong relationship point with Him because He loves us and wants us to know the truth.
So please friends, continue to ask God questions, ask him for assistance, ask him for anything, He will always provide. But let’s take some time to just be with God as well, because he wants to be with us.
Youth and Young Adult Minister
If there is a defining characteristic of an altar server, it is youthful service during our liturgies.
There are focal points during our liturgies. The first point is the altar, where the Liturgy of the Eucharist takes place. Another point is the ambo from which the word of God is proclaimed: Old Testament, Responsorial Psalm, New Testament, and the Gospel. A third focal point is the presider’s chair. It is from the chair that the presider leads the assembly in the opening and closing prayers, penitential rites, Gloria, Creed and the Intercessions. Because our liturgies are dynamic, we need individuals who can assist and meet the needs of the presider, deacon, cantors, psalmists, lectors and Eucharistic ministers, at and around the focal points. These individuals are altar servers.
During the entrance procession, a server carries the processional cross with two other servers carrying torches. The remaining servers in procession give body to the procession, making the statement that we are in a very important time and place. Processions give us a sense of transition and mission and our altar servers are involved in all of them: entrance, gospel, offertory, communion and exit processions.
When the altar servers post their torches at the ambo, it designates that point as important. Later, during the gospel procession, two altar servers retrieve the torches from the ambo and accompany the Book of the Gospels during the gospel procession and return back to the ambo for its proclamation.
When it is time to celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist, many servers are involved simultaneously: posting lighted torches at the altar, escorting the gifts to the altar, assisting with the reception of the gifts, bringing sacred vessels to the altar and placing them in their proper places and washing the presider’s hands. The servers perform all these tasks with reverence and never cause undo attention to themselves.
We are called to restore to creation all its original value, where creation is governed by the life of grace drawn into the Risen Christ. The Paschal Mystery (Christ’s saving Death and Resurrection) is the central focus of every liturgy. Our servers help us keep our focus.
The altar server is an icon of service and dedication. Each altar server functions as a model of what it means to have full, conscious and active participation in our liturgies, in essence to stay focused on the Paschal Mystery and how it is celebrated throughout the liturgy. It is my hope that our altar servers will spend a lifetime serving the Church in many other ways and remember this ministry as a time when God gave joy to their youth. This Sunday we will install 12 new altars servers. They will join the already installed brown alb servers, bringing our number to 120 active altar servers.
Director, Altar Server Ministry
Sunday, October 15 2017
Contact: Teresa Runyon
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