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
Next series begins Monday, February 24
Fairways to Heaven
Congratulations to Our New Catholics!
On Sunday, February 23, James Burgoyne, Rachel Naumann, and Jim Shields were received into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church. Already one with us as baptized Christians, they made a Profession of Faith, were confirmed and received Holy Communion for the first time during a beautiful ceremony at the 11:00 am Mass.
We are grateful to God for them and the gifts they bring to our parish community!
For more information about the process of becoming Catholic, please contact Catherine Shadduck at (805) 482·6417 x331 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Also visit: Becoming Catholic
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:
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
Due to the rain Taco Tuesday is next week, March 17.
2nd Tuesday of the month
Friday, February 21 -
Saturday, April 4
Photos by Julius Acero
Congratulations to our Catholic Charities Partners in Service Honorees!
On Sunday, February 16, Padre Serra joined with other parishes in Ventura County to honor and thank parishioners for their dedication to ministry and life as Jesus' disciple. Padre Serra proudly honored Laurie Nichols and Terri Korell.
Laurie Nichols and her husband Jim joined Padre Serra when it was established in July 1988. Over the past 32 years, Laurie has been an engaged parishioner and disciple of Jesus. In the early years, she was a faith formation catechist, children's liturgy facilitator, alter server leader, and confirmation retreat volunteer. In the past 15 years, Laurie has served on the baptism team, as a Eucharistic Minister and, with her husband Jim, on the married couples retreat team. She has led our parish Welcome Team from its inception five years ago and currently leads the 44-member lector team. Through it all, she has sung in the alto section of the adult choir, which brings her tremendous joy.
Terri Korell's life of ministry began in high school, where she was president of the Young Catholics in Action at San Gabriel Mission High School in San Gabriel, CA. She received her degree in nursing and had dedicated her working life to caring for the health needs of her patients for 46 years. Since 2002, she has served as a Eucharistic Minister. For the last twelve years, she has been a member of our parish's St. Vincent De Paul conference, where she has served as the Vincentian conference and district recording secretaries. Most recently, she has served as our conference's president.
Also visit: Adults, Giving, SVdP, Volunteer
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.
- Don't judge. We must judge, and that's good. But don't condemn anyone.
- People are bad judges of themselves. We tend to excuse ourselves for what we don't let others get away with.
- Agree to disagree. Continue to disagree until together, after a long dialogue, we reach the truth together.
- Golden Rule: Treat others as you want to be treated. That's okay, so long as you do want is what you should want.
- Forgive and forget. Advising forgiveness is useless without explaining concretely how it's done.
- Have no regrets. Unless, of course, you did something bad, in which case absence of regrets is bad.
- Let go of what you cannot control. Often something we thought was outside our control isn't. We tend to think something is outside our control if doing it is hard
- Be grateful. Keep a gratitude list; add 10 items a day for a month.
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
All couples are encouraged to participate in this opportunity to enrich and strengthen your marriage, sacrament and relationship with one another and God.
The Catechism teaches that "Christ’s grace in the Sacrament of Marriage protects the essential purposes of marriage: the good of the couple and the generation and education of children. These purposes are protected and fostered by the permanence of the marriage bond and the mutual fidelity of spouses” (United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, 283).
A new married couples enrichment series begins this Lent. Visit: United in Love, United in Christ
Also visit: Groups, Retreats, Spiritual
Become a Knight!
There is no more effective evangelization tool than regular, everyday people choosing to live their faith in their homes, councils, community, and parish. Through our programs and resources, we provide opportunities to live and spread the Catholic faith. To learn more visit our parish’s Council 5272 representatives in the courtyard.
Men’s Ministry: Tony Likovich, Dave McCormick, Lee Pasaraba. Knights of Columbus: Paul Collier, Steven Loeffler.
Photo by Julius Acero
Knights of Columbus is a Catholic fraternal organization founded by Fr. Michael J. McGivney in 1882 has served the Church and its parishes and communities for 130 years! Today it is the world's largest Catholic men's organization dedicated to upholding the teachings of the Catholic Church, helping people in need and fostering a bond between members.
As a Knight, men 18+ have the opportunity to strengthen our parish, give back to the community, and grow in faith. Joining our local council doesn’t mean sacrificing quality time with your family; volunteering an hour here or there with your family can make a real difference.
Our local Knights of Columbus Council #5272 is made up of men from Padre Serra and St. Mary Magdalen parishes. They coordinate and carry out fundraising and social events to support a variety of charitable causes and Catholic education.
For more information or to become a Knight, please visit Council 5272's website.
Follow the Knights of Columbus Council #5272 at Facebook @kofc5272
Due to Covid-19 and for the well being of our parishioners, our March 16 gathering is cancelled. We will resume on April 20. Thank you for your patience.
SEEDS (Sisters ~ Embracing ~ Enlightening ~ Daughters of Faith) is a monthly evening of spirituality for women to meet in fellowship to share the Word of God and grow in faith.
The new year brings a new series for our monthly women's spirituality group...Joyce Rupp's "Boundless Compassion: Creating a Way of Life."
With master teacher Joyce Rupp, we will discover compassion from science, medicine, theology, spirituality, sociology, and psychology, and we will be encouraged to explore personal and professional expressions of compassion and re-energize our ability to offer loving kindness to those around you.
Fraudulent emails and texts are being sent by an individual posing as Father Patrick. Please do not email or text with the individual, divulge any personal information or provide money/credit card/gift card payments. Father Patrick will never request money from any parishioner by email or text. We have alerted the authorities of this continuing problem. Please forward any questionable emails/text screenshots claiming to be from Father Patrick to email@example.com
Phishing/Spoofing Prevention Tips
To report potential e-scams, please go the Internet Crime Complaint Center and file a report.
Shamrock Sponsor $500
On Monday, March 16, at Las Posas Country Club, your
Tee sign will be displayed around the putting green as golfers arrive, then moved to a hole for the rest of the day.
For your kind donation and support you will receive:
All sponsorships include a Tee Sign. With opportunities ranging from $500 to $10,000, Padre Serra’s Fairways to Heaven has a sponsorship package that ideally suits your business and offers plenty of exposure-generating opportunities and amenities.
To order your tee sign contact:
Pam Kingsley, (805) 482·6417 x330, firstname.lastname@example.org or
For more information:
Paul Collier, (805) 233·2810, email@example.com or visit
Third Wednesday of the month
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Illuman is a ministry for men, by men, to honor the uniqueness of male spirituality and committed to support who are seeking to deepen their spiritual lives. Bimonthly group gatherings are designed to help become better, more authentic men.
Illuman Retreat 2020
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