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Silence is God's language. Centering Prayer is a method of contemplative silent prayer that opens us up to experience God's presence within us. Both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship, Centering Prayer serves to enhance other prayer forms. Come and rest with God!
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The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe commemorates the apparitions of Mary, the Mother of God, 500 years ago to San Juan Diego. The course of events which transpired can readily be found through any internet search. I would like to convey what this feast means to me today. The appearance of this Palestinian woman is significant in her resemblance to the people of Mexico at a time when imperialistic dismantling of indigenous cultures brought their humanity in question, let alone whether those people had a soul. The hymn of La Guadalupana states her bearing and face were Mexican. The Mother of God is like us!
The significance of La Morenita is in the accompanying presence of Jesus. Her “Yes” to God’s role for her implies Christ’s presence in our “Yes” to God’s role for us. My role as a fire chaplain is one of accompaniment and witness to our human reaction of irrevocable loss. The reaction of the Marine’s mother at Borderline and the reaction of the wife of the campesino crushed by equipment in a strawberry field were elicited from the permanent physical separation of a loved one. To this I give witness, the separation at the border gives the same result. However, this border condition is impermanent and reversible. The dreamer that I am, imagines the day when the travesty of injustice at the border is humanely solved, to the delight of our Father, sisters and brothers.
Holy scripture for this feast speaks of a dragon wanting to devour a child and the mother fleeing to a place prepared by God [Rev. 12: 46] and Mary greeting Elizabeth in the Gospel of Luke. I ask you to join me in prayer. Walk alongside me as I walk my dogs, that the dragon is defeated and families can visit one another without fear, and safely walk in streets. My Marian devotion consists of reflection of the mysteries of Mondays and Thursdays are days when I fast and pray for families: pregnancies, births, baptisms, marriages and the preparation of couples of those people that come to mind. The other days I
prayerfully call to mind the individuals and families sorrowing through death, illness, and insecurity interspersed with praise and gratitude. The mood may vary from Let It Be, Good Day Sunshine, or Imagine. Pray for the reformation of laws and policies that separate us from one another and from God, is my default mode.
I believe Jerusalem does not need another wall. I believe that we have responsibility for our collective role as a country for the conditions at the border. If you think detention and deportation is the sole solution, please read the government publications I have listed. It is from such the alien is in our midst. I believe with God’s help we can make Jerusalem the city where the tribes go up.
May this Advent Season bring us to the Word made flesh dwelling among us.
Deacon Arnold Reyes
The Evolution of Los Zetas in Mexico and Central America: Sadism as an Instrument of Cartel Warfare apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a599872.pdf
Gangs in Central America fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL34112.pdf
1926 - 2019
Vigil / Rosary
Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019
Conejo Mountain – Chapel of the Hills
Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019
Padre Serra Parish
5205 Upland Rd, Camarillo, CA 93012
Dear Faith Family,
Happy New Year!
As you may know, with the beginning of Advent in our Church, we also celebrate the liturgical new year.
During our normal New Year’s celebrations it is not uncommon to have a countdown to midnight while sharing quality time with friends, but the most common tradition for New Year’s is the resolutions we keep for the betterment of ourselves. Might I suggest we do something similar for Advent?
Obviously, Advent is the countdown for one of our greatest feasts: Christmas! The birth of our Lord is obviously crucial for the loving Redemption that God has for us, but the celebration of Christmas is also such a wonderful opportunity for us to grow closer to God and to become better disciples.
In what ways can we spend more quality time with God? And what type of “New Year’s Resolutions” can we do during Advent? (It is the New Year, after all.)
Thankfully, we at Padre Serra are so blessed to have so many opportunities to dive into the season of Advent, and one of the most beautiful events is our Advent Penance Service on Wednesday, December 4.
For those who have not gone in a while, I can assure you that it is worth it. Whether is has been years, or days, I have never known a priest at our service to be upset with the length of time it has been since someone has gone to Reconciliation. In fact, I know plenty of stories of priests celebrating when people overcome their fears and go to Reconciliation. If you feel called to go, but are a little scared, I can assure you, IT IS NORMAL TO BE AFRAID OF RECONCILIATION.
During my time here at Padre Serra, I have been blessed to run the Year 2 Confirmation retreat. At most retreats, we offer Reconciliation for the candidates. The anxiety of the teens when they find out that the Sacrament is available is palpable, but every year the teens still go. It’s quite amazing. What is even more amazing, though, is the peace they have once they go and receive the grace of the Sacrament. It’s one of my favorite moments that I look forward to every year.
Again, if you are worried, I just want to assure you that you are not alone. If you haven’t gone in forever and forgot how it works, that’s fine! Reconciliation can be a scary thing. Even as someone who goes frequently, it is still a scary thing for me. But let me tell you, it’s definitely worth it.
I look forward to celebrating “the most wonderful time of the year” with all of you! With all of you, I am counting down the days to Christmas and am looking forward to another encounter of Christ.
Youth and Young Adult Minister
Those of us who have been Catholics all our lives take the symbols and rituals of Advent for granted. But for those who are seeking to join the Church, the pre-Christmas season presents an opportunity to immerse themselves more deeply into the Catholic way of life.
They catch the spirit of joyful anticipation as they worship with us on Sundays. They are full of questions about the Advent wreath, the liturgical colors, the Parish Reconciliation Service, and the meaning of the scriptures chosen for Advent. They learn the Catholic way of preparing for Christmas by attending our parish events and participating in works of charity like Angel Tags.
The Catholic-seekers among us can be models of wonder and awe for those of us who may have become a little less enthusiastic about the season. Invite your non-Catholic Friends and relatives to attend Mass with you. It may refresh your sense of this meaningful time of year.
If you or anyone you know is interested in finding out more about the Catholic Church, please contact Catherine Shadduck at (805) 482·6417 x331 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Residents are advised that phone scammers have been targeting residents impersonating Ventura Police Employees. The scammers are using a device that makes it appear to the victim that the phone call is coming from the Ventura Police business line of (805) 339·4400. The scammer is telling residents that they have an out of county warrant and need to pay a fee or face arrest. Please be advised that the Ventura Police Department does not request personal information over the phone and would not solicit this type of information.
The community is urged to be vigilant and aware of these scams to avoid falling victim. Never follow directions from someone on the phone that requests personal information or money. If you believe you have been the victim of a scam in which you have suffered financial loss, contact the Ventura Police Department at (805) 339·4400. If you have not suffered financial loss and you have not provided any personal information by phone, please report the call to the Federal Trade Commission at 1 (877) FTC·HELP or visit ftc.gov/complaint
The community is also advised to be aware of additional phone scams that have impacted residents: