Dear Faith Family,
We are now 4 days into our change in eating habits. Chocolate companies are officially prepared for a decrease in sales in their most beloved products and fast food chains are now offering fish sandwiches at a discounted rate. Yes friends, it is indeed the first Sunday of Lent and our Lenten promises are now in full swing. I know like many of you, this is a go to Lenten sacrifice for me. There is something about 40 days of healthy eating that seems to be a wonderful benefit. While it is good to do this, every year I do ask myself, “why?”
Yes, it is proper to give up certain foods during this season and while the healthy result of this fast is indeed a good thing, sometimes we forget the reason why we give up the “good stuff” during Lent. It is in preparation for the glory of the Resurrection and also an opportunity to understand that all good things come from God.
In my mind, giving up certain foods or material pleasures aren’t a declaration that you are cleansing yourself from them, but rather, it is removing a thing from your life to replace with God, with the intent of creating more time and appreciation for our Creator. Hopefully at the end of our 40 days, we recognize that God is so great to allow humans the ability to provide and create these goods, allowing God’s imprint to be evident in all that we are surrounded by.
I know that it’s been said a million times, but the Lenten season is truly an opportunity to be with God further. And while giving up things can be very healthy, both spiritually and physically, we must remind ourselves to add an element to these 40 days that give us more intentional opportunity to be with God. Whether that is an increase in dedicated prayer at home, in the car, at the workplace or even an attempt to go to daily Mass, we must remember that this is not the season of taking away, but rather, a season of fasting, giving and prayer.
When we offer up the things we love to God, he cannot help but to smile. Our gifts of the world may seem so small compared to God, but I know our Father looks down on us with pride when we offer up these things to him.
So, good luck this Lenten season! I can’t wait to be celebrating the Resurrection with all of you while holding a Twix bar and a Double Double.
Youth and Young Adult Minister
Dear friends on the journey,
Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “change is the only constant in life.” But who likes change? I generally do not, unless it involves moving furniture! Change can often bring discomfort, fear and uncertainty. The thought of any of my kids or family moving away is gut wrenching. Anything that disturbs our daily comforts is overwhelming. On the other side of that same coin, change can bring us new people, adventures, experiences, joy and personal growth, both on the surface and deep down.
One constant change are the seasons. In the next few weeks spring will arrive, bringing a new earth, new light and new life. This Wednesday our liturgical season changes too. Lent begins our annual 40-day spiritual retreat, a time to reflect on our spiritual life and relationship with God. If done right, that reflection can lead to change, the positive kind, the kind that transforms our hearts and minds to be more like Jesus.
Jesus is constantly challenging us to change. To be his disciple means to shed our old ways and move closer to living the gospel values. Today’s readings are a perfect example of the radicalness of Christian discipleship. The readings are bookended by Lord telling the Israelite through Moses to “be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy” and Jesus telling his disciples (the apostles and us) to “be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” How can we possibly be holy and perfect? In Luke perfect is synonymous with merciful. Well, in the middle we’re given part of the formula:
What old way of yours is God calling you to change? Is it an unhealthy habit or addiction, a quick temper, too much time on a smart device? Is it an old grudge, impatience with your nextdoor neighbor or the store clerk, rage on the road, a family member with a different political opinion? Is it a lack of tolerance for the outorwork man at the off ramp, the indifference to the homeless, the judgment of immigrants, the condemnation of those of other races, religions, sexual orientation?
This Lent is a good time to pray on your own area of growth and reflect on the new way, the transformational change to which God is calling you to be holy and merciful and love your neighbor as yourself.
Faith Life Minister
Last October I had the opportunity of facilitating a Serra Seniors gathering on the “wisdom of seniors” and the following is a reflection on the experience.
In the bible, Job 12 says this: "Is wisdom with the aged, and understanding in length of days?" The question is rhetorical, because the answer was obvious: of course (or in today's lingo, "Duh!"). What was so obvious to other generations and other cultures has gotten lost in our generation and our culture. Older Americans have accepted the condescending and dismissive narrative that they are permanently in weekend mode, that now is the time for endless play and being entertained. Your services, your insight, your wisdom -- in short, you -- are no longer needed.
But in almost every society, the elderly are revered and consulted for their wisdom. All the great thinkers like Aristotle in the west and Confucius urge consulting the elderly on how to live or what gives life meaning, Don't consult the young; they have not lived enough. When Jesus is praised by the crowd for speaking with authority (Mt 7), they were perhaps praising him for having wisdom beyond his years, as Jesus was praised as a 12-year-old (Lk 2) for having wisdom beyond his years.
Retired people don't have to be retired. They don't even have to be tired! Sometimes an old person is asked to tell her life story. The old person can also be asked to tell what she has learned about life by living. The old person can be consulted for his philosophy, not just for his biography.
Here's advice from a popular self-help book: "Be true to your word." You need to buy a book for that? Old people don't have to read self-help books; they can write them. Seniors don't have to be told what to do; they know. The goal is not to feel better, but to think better.
Wisdom cannot be reduced to little sayings. Those little sayings need explanation, examples, and support -- as well as warnings about when they should be ignored. Each of these little sayings is the beginning of an insight, not the insight itself. Here is a small sample of wisdom from seniors here at Padre Serra, with suggestions on how to continue the insights.
You don't have to be old to start systematically questioning your own beliefs -- not so that you will give them up, but so that you understand them.
That verse from Job we started with is followed immediately by this one: "With God are wisdom and strength; God has counsel and understanding." Any wisdom we have is a gift from God. Pray for wisdom. When God favors you with it, write it down. Consult God, not a self-help book. Here is the final piece of advice. Have a regular prayer time each day that cannot be interrupted by anything.
Dr. Janice Daurio
Padre Serra’s annual golf tournament fundraiser, Fairways to Heaven, is just around the corner: Monday, March 16, at historic Las Posas Country Club here in Camarillo. Now in its fourth successful year, this fun-filled, all-day event features:
In advance of the event, everyone can participate in:
Whether you’re a golfer, sponsor, young, old, parishioner or new friend, this fabulous event is a lot of fun for everyone involved!
All Fairways to Heaven proceeds will benefit educational resources and technologies for our youth and young adult ministries.
The tournament committee needs your help to ensure this year’s tournament is the most successful yet! We are still looking for goods, services, vacation homes, sporting event tickets, unique experiences, a wine refrigerator, and much more to make our silent and live auctions even more spectacular, as well as additional golfers, dinner attendees, and sponsors at all levels.
The best part is that everyone can participate, even if he or she isn’t at the event. Whether it’s an auction donation, tee sponsorship, helicopter ball drop or dinner raffle ticket purchase, the more we all help and participate, the better!
Finally, this is a fantastic opportunity for your company or employer to sponsor a dinner table for eight, golf foursome,
or both as a team-building activity or department reward.
Thank you, everyone, for your support, and we look forward to seeing you at Fairways to Heaven on Monday, March 16!
Peace and blessings,
Paul and Eve Collier, Fairways Cochairs
Luke Cardella, Tournament Coordinator
Deserie Tyree and Mark Milner, Auction Coordinators
And the whole amazing committee!
1957 - 2020
Vigil / Rosary
Wednesday, February 19
Padre Serra Parish
Wednesday, February 19
Padre Serra Parish
Also visit: Knights of Columbus
Padre Serra Parish is proud to charter a Boy Scout Troop and support three Girl Scouts units.