Blog & Pastor Letters

Move Towards Jesus in the Sacraments

08-25-2019From the Parish Administrator’s DeskRev. Victor C. Yakubu

Dear Parishioners,

Peace be with you! The peace I desire for you is the peace that Jesus brings to us at Mass especially at the breaking of bread in the Eucharist. This peace is important toward enhancing our individual lives and our community living.

At St. Mary's, I have seen the zeal in the hearts of men and women for Jesus. I have seen how they approach the sacraments with love and reverence in their hearts knowing that every step brings them closer to Jesus. At the confessional, they approach Jesus for strength to carry on with the journey of life. At the daily celebration of the Eucharist, they never fail to seek Jesus as their bread of life. They know that the Church is a place that connects them with the divine and this is the ultimate joy of serving as a priest.

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Striving to Enter by the Narrow Gate

08-25-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

After spending years doing missionary work in South America, Africa and in Eastern Europe, Paul Washer published the book Narrow Gate Narrow Way (Reformation Heritage Books, 2018) detailing his experiences in these locations. Using Matthew 7: 13- 27 as a leading text, Washer reminds Christians to lay a solid foundation based on the teachings of Jesus as the Master. Without following the examples of the Master, some Christians live a vain Christian life because it is not based on the teachings of Jesus as found in scriptures. Also, Washer argues that the way of Jesus is the narrow gate and only a few strive to go by that road.

The book of Washer deals with other topics on how to walk in the narrow way, pursue real holiness and gain a fruitful profession of faith. The gospel of today from Luke 13: 22- 30 discusses these topics with the question of how many will be saved. As Jesus entered Jerusalem, someone confronted him with a question about how many will be saved. He replied , "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, 'Lord, open the door for us.' He will say to you in reply, 'I do not know where you are from.' " This reply by Jesus is scary and fearful about how some people will be treated at the end of time for their non-adherence to the principles he taught.

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Living the Parish Life

08-18-2019From the Parish Administrator’s DeskRev. Victor C. Yakubu

Dear Parishioners,

Greetings in the name of Jesus. After four weeks, a few things are evident in our parish of St. Mary Roman Catholic Church. The desire for the Eucharist remains strong and the attendance at the daily and Sunday Masses show a rise in numbers. This is a testimony to our faith as Catholics. We are encouraged by your presence at every liturgical celebration.

In addition to the attendance at every liturgical celebration, I have noticed an improved participation in the singing from the congregation. The hymnals in the pews are useful in assisting congregants sing and I am impressed with the enthusiasm to praise God. More so, the choir gives us familiar songs in familiar tunes which help the congregants to participate.

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Christianity and the Power of Changing Society

08-18-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

James Davison Hunter's To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, & Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World (Oxford University Press, 2010) explores how the Christian faith influences the modern world. Do Christians living in this modern world positively influence the attitude of others in the world towards living a godly life? These questions may seem academic, but they are also pastorally inclined because the divisions within our relationships make them relevant for a general discussion.

Hunter's book is even more relevant when we consider the desire of conservative Christians in America that there is need for a revival due to low pew numbers. By returning to the old-fashioned practice of religion, families refrain from imbibing neo-liberal ideas that portray Christian values in a different light. The irony of this thinking is that it is too late to return to the old-fashioned religion. However, adherence to the values of the Christian faith is necessary toward witnessing to the name of Jesus in public and private life.

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Living the Parish Life

08-11-2019From the Parish Administrator’s DeskRev. Victor C. Yakubu

Dear Parishioners,

Greetings in the name of Jesus. After four weeks, a few things are evident in our parish of St. Mary Roman Catholic Church. The desire for the Eucharist remains strong and the attendance at the daily and Sunday Masses show a rise in numbers. This is a testimony to our faith as Catholics. We are encouraged by your presence at every liturgical celebration.

In addition to the attendance at every liturgical celebration, I have noticed an improved participation in the singing from the congregation. The hymnals in the pews are useful in assisting congregants sing and I am impressed with the enthusiasm to praise God. More so, the choir gives us familiar songs in familiar tunes which help the congregants to participate.

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The Gulf Between Heaven and Earth

08-11-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Abraham Skorka's On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the Twenty-First Century (Image Books, 2013) is a dialogic exchange between then-Cardinal Bergoglio and Argentinian Rabbi Skorka. In this book, both Bergoglio and Skorka express their opinions on different topics affecting Jews and Christians such as God, religion, fundamentalism, politics, the holocaust, and the relationship between Jews and Christians in the story of salvation.

In the 21st century, the dialogue about heaven and earth is still also relevant because the hope of every Christian is to share eternal life with God in heaven. The personal dialogues of now-Pope Francis and the Jewish Rabbi give us an understanding of what Jews and Catholics believe in. Although the fundamental basics could be expressed differently, the core belief systems point to an understanding of a life after this life. A common heritage between Jews and Christian is the bible, a sacred book that contains Jewish historical lifestyle and the story of the messiah. Both respect the Word of God as revealed through the ancient prophets and the work of inspired writers. The pointers in the bible offer us undeniable openings to the realization that earth is temporal while heaven is permanent and eternal.

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The Vanities of Human Life

08-04-2019Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

This week witnessed more disturbing events around the world. All of them are pitiful. The shootings in Gilroy in California that killed 6 including a child, the shootings also in Chippewa, Wisconsin that killed six, and other bizarre events.

A few years ago, there was a shooting in a church in France that ended in the murder of 84-year old Fr. Jacques Hamel in the suburb of Rouen in northern France. Fr. Hamel was celebrating morning Mass when his two attackers rushed on the altar in a most indescribable way and martyred him. The Church is the last unusual place anyone would expect an attack of this kind. But don't be deceived, the world in which we live in is capable of surprises. There are ready elements waiting to visit mayhem on their targets, and the Church is the least you would expect. This is truly unfortunate for the 21 st century.

Such bizarre actions to the most vulnerable and harmless within the confines of their comfort zones are the most despicable under the sun. Today's readings illustrate to us the vanity of life by reminding us that life has a finality. All the toils and labors of daily life have an end.

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