This week we look closely at the desert, and particularly God using the desert to bring His people away from distractions and into an encounter with Him. Lent is our desert time to be “free from” the things that distract us to be “free for” God, who is trying to get our attention. God has always wanted us to Himself. He is jealous for our heart.Read More
Alpha was a way to connect with parishioners with whom I have been going to church for years. My group turned from acquaintances to meaningful relationships. We were able to share our thoughts and feelings openly without judgment.Read More
As “cradle” Catholics we are beginning to feel that yearly sense of dread. It begins to set in somewhere after we leave that last parade or eat that last piece of king cake. Maybe it starts a little earlier than that for you. Perhaps you don’t experience it until the early morning of Ash Wednesday. Regardless of when it sets in, we all know it.
Lent is coming....
Every Lent, we are invited by the Church to enter the practices of prayer, almsgiving and fasting. These disciplines imply a denying of time, food or resources that I would otherwise spend on myself. However, the key to these disciplines is the transfer of focus from self to another. ....Read More
Last May, I was finishing my first year of teaching, preparing for marriage, I committed to hosting an Alpha group for young engaged and married couples. My now husband, Josh, and I invited a hodgepodge of friends, acquaintances, and strangers into our home, and it has changed our lives. When Alpha was first introduced to the parish....Read More
Why is Sacred Heart putting all this time and energy into a small group movement? It’s very simple. They work. We live in a world where people are increasingly more distant from each other. Social media and the Internet have given us a false sense of connection to the world around us. The breakdown of the family unit over time has also increased this feeling of disconnect. If we take a look at what fueled the early church, it was a small group of people that lived in a close community....Read More
As we wrap up our series on Returning to Nazareth, let’s talk about some practical steps we can take in the home to progress towards nurturing a holy family. There are countless good intentions that go unfulfilled because of a lack of steps taken. Joseph and Mary have invited us into their home that fosters trust in God and relying on His providential care. There was the time in the home for quiet, conversation, and teaching of the Scriptures. The Holy Families home in Nazareth was a safe place that allowed Jesus to grow freely to hear His Father’s voice.Read More
“Let it be done to me according to your word (Luke 1:38).” These are words that convey a great deal about the one saying them and about the one to whom they are said. Mary says these words from vulnerability and availability. They also come from a place of profound trust in God. Mary is essentially saying here is my life and here is my body, do with it as you see fit. Perhaps only at a wedding does a woman come close to saying these words.Read More
This week we looked at men, Father’s and St. Joseph. St. Joseph was the foster father of Jesus and significant masculine model for him in his life. Joseph is a model for men in the family who in the hour of danger, “took the child and his mother by night” (Mt 2:14) and brought them to safety. Father’s today are called to model this courage and faith towards their own family, protecting their wife and children from the harm of this world.Read More
As we see and feel the commercial side of Christmas pervading this season, let us be intentional on slowing down and prayerfully consider what we are “preparing” to celebrate. Christmas is about celebrating our God coming into the world and becoming one of us. This entering into the world came as part of a family with Mary and Joseph as earthly parents.Read More
One sure way to grow in our spiritual life is to receive God’s mercy more often. God’s mercy and forgiveness are offered to us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation or as we commonly call it “Confession.” Many people will say that they can go straight to God with their sins and that is enough. We can ask “why do I have to go to a priest?” Perhaps this will help. The Sacrament not only is a place where we experience God’s forgiveness through grace...Read More
A definite way to move forward is to stop looking back. Often in our spiritual life when we encounter resistance we tend to revert to our old comfortable patterns of behavior. We turn back instead of enduring the purification of our heart. Growing often comes with pains. Sometimes these pains are from sacrifices that are necessary. Other times it can be from withdrawal effects from our past sinful habits...Read More
Yes, prayer is something we all want to do, but don’t all seem to have time to do. However, if we want to grow in our faith, we have to be intentional with prayer. Prayer is when we have a conversation with God. It looks different for all of us, but what is common to all is that it is essential to growing in relationship with God. Pope Benedict XVI says that prayer is the life breath of the soul.Read More
Pope Francis recently said that he is calling “all Christians everywhere at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting Him encounter them.” We can hear the Pope’s heart and genuine rally cry for Christians to come in close to the heart of Jesus and listen to Him.Read More
Take a minute to think of two people that have significantly impacted your life. I think of my Grandfather often with this question. How did he affect my life? It was the time we would spend together fishing where he would share stories from his life with me; especially ones dealing with his time spent serving our country. As he told the stories, I felt like I was there. These times with Grandpaw shaped my life and who I am. They were true Encounters with a great man.Read More
At this point, many of you have decided to jump into Discipleship Groups. We have launched this endeavor full scale at the parish, and we believe in their ability to transform our already beautiful parish into a community of passionate missionary-minded disciples. As we begin with Alpha and look down the road into the Parish Life Cycle, there is a growing sense of joy but also an increasing sense of purposeRead More
So by now, you are faced with the lingering question of joining a Discipleship Group. For the first two weeks, we have laid out what these groups can do for you in your journey with Christ. The struggle with fitting them into your schedule is real. Time is not something we seem to have in great abundance. However, the effects these groups can have on us individually has proven to be undeniable.Read More
So if, at this point, you are intrigued by the prospect of joining a Discipleship Group, you are probably asking some questions. What’s in it for me? What am I going to get out of it? What’s it going to cost me? The short answer is that it won’t cost you anything!Read More
So What’s Next?
It’s a common question that gets asked around here, and it’s a great one to ask. If you find yourself wondering “what’s next” here at Sacred Heart you are in the middle of what we call the Parish Life Cycle. Remember that thing?
We’re going to keep talking about it. A lot. We aren’t just going to talk about it though, we’re going to put it into practice. Here’s a brief reminder...Read More
Dear young people, let yourselves be taken over by the light of Christ, and spread that light wherever you are.” St. Pope John Paul II
If we look at one of the greatest saints in the 21st century, we see a cry for young people to encounter Christ. What St. Pope John Paul II is asking is for young people to walk with and in Christ daily. To encounter Him in the real presence to allow their hearts to be converted and for a desire to learn about their faith and share this entire journey with all those they encounter.