Msgr. Richard

Pastor’s Corner 6/24/2018

Let’s all join in: HAPPY 2051st BIRTHDAY JOHN THE BAPTIST!

In the meantime (say it’s not true), this is my last official weekend at St. Rita’s.  You have already bid me farewell with a most loving and amazing Mass and Reception on The Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of the Lord (Corpus Christi), last June 2nd.  Since then, there have been many “mini farewells,”—almost non-stop—in the form of breakfasts, lunches, and (my favorite), the Der Wienerschnitzel Truck.  For all of these I am profoundly grateful!  —if not a little overfed.

As I ride off into the desert, here are some parting thoughts:

Pastor’s News Notes 4/29/2018

My Very Dear Parishioners,

To say the least, these final weeks I have remaining at St. Rita, as pastor, are so precious; I find myself trying to milk every hour of extra minutes that just are not there. This past week I have received so many urgings to “come by the house” – “we need to get you over before you leave” and “we’ll call Paula and get you on the calendar.” Folks, I just can’t.  Simple truth, I feel overwhelmed; I want to say ‘yes’ to everyone, but it is just impossible. YOU ARE ALL VERY SPECIAL TO ME.

Pastor’s Corner 4/29/2018

“I am the Vine.  You are the branches.”

It is no accident or coincidence that Baptisms, Confirmations, and First Holy Communions happen during the Easter Season.  For a Christian this is a springtime of faith and new hope in the Risen One. As a faith community we enjoy seeing our faith shared and our life in Christ embraced by our children and youth.  Last Sunday we spoke of how sacramental life is the principle way that The Good Shepherd continues to tend his flock. This Sunday we reflect on how we are vitally linked as branches to Christ, the vine.

Pastor’s Corner 4/22/2018

This is GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY and the Good Shepherd declares that he lays down his life on his own and that “I have the power to lay it down and the power to take it up again.” We do not often consider these words and this claim made by the Good Shepherd; rather we are drawn more to the pastoral image of his tending the flock, carrying the strayed lamb on his shoulders and returning it to the flock, and seeking out the lost sheep.  And yet it is ultimately the Good Shepherd’s power to lay down life and take it up again that really counts the most and gives meaning to all else that he does as a good shepherd. The laying down and taking up again is his power to promise us and give to us the risen life.

Pastor’s Corner 2/4/2018

As we live in times of significant uncertainty and unrest, the Prophet Job’s question becomes more than ever our own:

“Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery?”

Indeed it is.  And Job’s fabled patience is needed in heavy dose.  The rampant dilution of moral conscience in society and the forces that are set on dividing us, one against the other, create an environment that pulls on the heart strings of those that would wish to raise a child today.  Ask any parent—here, or almost anywhere in the world.

Pastor’s Corner 2/11/2018

Are you a fraud?  Have you betrayed someone you vowed to love? Have you been the perpetrator of abuse?  Yes? –Well then, take your clothes off, put on only a gunnysack with holes for your head and arms, go to the corner of Sierra Madre Boulevard and Baldwin and, while wearing a large sign hanging around your neck announcing the same, shout out for all to hear, “UNCLEAN! UNCLEAN!  UNCLEAN!” Ah, let’s hear it for good old public shame.  In some world cultures it is still expected and in recent years some of our own judges have resurrected it from the bench.  “And besides three months of public service removing graffiti, you will wear a sign to school that says “I am a tagger, vandal, and a thief.”

Pastor’s Corner 2/18/2018

One of the things Jesus quotes to the devil is:

The Lord Your God
Shall you Worship
and Him Alone Shall You Serve!

This being said, LENT is certainly about “getting back on track” and HIM ALONE SHALL YOU SERVE is certainly the track we need to get back on.  For the next forty days every tendency for decision making and action taking that we have should be up for examination and review. All should be carefully scrutinized as acceptable because it is in service to the Lord alone or as unacceptable because, in truth, it is part of some other agenda in service to whatever else.

Pastor’s Corner 2/25/2018

This Sunday we recall (first reading) how Abraham was praised and rewarded for not holding back from offering his own son at God’s command.  Then with Paul (second reading) we appreciate that God did not hold back offering his only son as well; in this case the son was not spared, but allowed to be delivered into the hands of those who would crucify him.

Pastor’s Corner 3/4/2018

This Sunday I am reminded of a very dear priest friend of mine, Fr. Ken, who shall we say, is no wilting violet—no “Casper Milk Toast.”  In particular I think back on a time when in the middle of a wedding as he stood before the couple, a man made the near fatal mistake of parking his ice cream truck right in front of the open front doors of the church (it being a very warm day) and turned up the volume of his loud speakers which were playing a jingle version of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

Pastor’s News Notes 3/11/2018

Last October, I knew that come March 2018 I would be nearing my final weeks as pastor of St. Rita and that it would be wise to take some time for some days of retreat. To that end, I carved out of the calendar March 11th, after Mass, through Saturday, March 17th. Now I am realizing the true wisdom and gift of the Holy Spirit in making that decision.

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