Only One? Where Are the Others?
We know the story well. Ten lepers, persons who were outsiders and marginalized, all ask for healing. All are healed. Only one comes back to Jesus to express gratitude.
What happens to the others? I wonder! They just seem to walk off after receiving the same gift of healing. It’s a miracle; they are healed and they are free to go about their business.
How often do we take for granted the blessings we have been given? It’s not so much that we aren’t thankful. We just forget to stop and express our gratitude, to recognize and praise the source of all goodness, and to act differently because we know we have been healed.
So what does gratitude look like today? God continuously pours grace into our lives. We are regularly healed in numerous ways. Are we paying attention? Are we responding? What change in attitude comes to us?
The attitude of gratitude usually means that we are attentive to the ways that we can help to heal the wounds of others. We want our own healing to be an impetus to assist the healings of others. Can we see Jesus in every excluded person, in persons who are hungry, thirsty, or naked? Can we see Jesus present even in those who are blessed by God but who have turned away from the practice of their faith? Can we see Jesus in the imprisoned, the persecuted, refugees, the unemployed—all who encounter discrimination! Will we be like the “only one” or like the nine others? Finding the Lord, seeking connectedness in worship and study and service, diving deeper and growing in maturity in our relationship with Jesus—these are the attitudes of gratitude.
Jesus intentionally and consistently sought the company of people who for one reason or another were forced to live on the fringe of society. These were the special objects of his attention.
We have modern day lepers, persons who suffer from “skin” that makes us feel dis-ease, to feel fearful or ill at ease. Our labels of persons continue to divide us, and they are more than skin deep. Demonstrations and riots abound. Borders are closed. Refugees die at sea. Healing is needed. And then the words of Scripture remind us that the one who expressed gratitude to Jesus was, in fact, the enemy, the hated one, the other.
How will we respond? Will everyone be welcome? What “foreigners” among us will we embrace? What healing will we ask for this weekend as we gather at the table of thanksgiving, the Eucharist?
Increase Our Faith
Is quantity really an issue when it comes to faith? Or is it the quality of the faith? Jesus makes the apostles think, and his challenge is great. Jesus likens faith to a mustard seed—in its smallness and in its power. Jesus promised that faith the size of a mustard seed, one mustard seed, could move mountains. With God all things are possible!
Do you know people with incredibly strong faith who have moved mountains? Who are they? What have they accomplished? Can your faith help you to do the kinds of things they did? How does faith help us overcome obstacles?
Faith in God provides a vision of hope, a vision of strength, a vision of power, even in smallness. Faith is a gift to be asked for and then acted on. The Gospel connects the power of even a little faith with Jesus’ call to willing and obedient service to God. “Thy will be done” are the four words we pray in the company of our community of faith before we receive Jesus in the Eucharist. The Eucharist gives us the power to be sent forth, to do incredible things in sharing our faith openly and whole-heartedly!
This weekend, as we celebrate the feast of our patron, St. Francis of Assisi, we too ask for an increase in our faith! We ask that the seeds planted in our church community 36 years ago continue to grow and move mountains. May all be possible, as we ask for faithfulness in being attentive to God’s will in our lives and then ACTING on it. Happy Feast Day, everyone!
February 20, 1932 – September 29, 2016
Thomas M. Halloran of Hollywood Park passed away September 29, 2016, at the age of 84 after a battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Alverne Oakes Halloran; sons, John Halloran, Michael Halloran and wife Sharon, Craig Oakes and wife Lori, Troy Oakes; daughters, Ann Halloran Hetrick, Colette Oakes Hardin, and Colleen Oakes Turner and husband Todd. Tom enjoyed and was beloved by his Grandchildren, David and Andrew Halloran and wife Priscilla, Robert Oakes, Logan Hardin, Hannah and Sarah Turner and Azure Ayres, as well as Great Grandsons, Paxton Halloran and Jude Kreusel. He is also survived by his brother Robert Halloran, sisters Arlene Murphy and Karol Baumeister, as well as brother-in-law Eugene Rancone, sister-in-law Iris Halloran and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was born on February 20, 1932, in Willmar, Minnesota and raised in Bird Island, Minnesota where he attended St. Mary’s School, graduating in 1950. He was preceded in death by his parents, Veronica Hillemeier Halloran and Michael Patrick Halloran; brother, William Halloran and sister, Bernardine Rancone, as well as brothers-in-law, Arthur Baumiester and James Murphy and sister-in-law Bessie Halloran.
Tom served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War as a B29 Flight Engineer/Crew Chief. After his service, he was employed by Hayes Aircraft Corporation and later retired as a Contract Administrator from Kelly Air Force Base after 32 years of service.
Tom served as a member of the Hollywood Park City Council as well as Chairman of the Zoning Commission. He was a charter member of St. Mark’s the Evangelist Catholic Church, member of Knights of Columbus #7613, past president of Spring Branch Hermann Sons Lodge #127, life member of Bracken Bowling Club and active in the Boy Scouts of America, Boy Scout Troop #286 of St. Gregory’s Catholic Church and Troop #271 of St. Matthews Catholic Church, serving as an Assistant District Commissioner and inducted into the Order of the Arrow and Wood Badge. He also was a Lifesaving & Water Safety Instructor and First Aid Instructor for the American Red Cross.
He and Alverne enjoyed traveling with friends throughout the United States and to Monzanillo, Mexico as well as taking many adventurous cruises. They cherished their frequent trips to beautiful Minnesota to visit family. Tom enjoyed the outdoors taking pride in maintaining his yard in Hollywood Park as well as hosting friends and family in Spring Branch on the Guadalupe River. He always followed sports, especially the Vikings and the University of Minnesota. He loved deer hunting, bowling, woodworking, and was always up for telling a good story.
A vigil and rosary will be held at 7 pm on Monday, October 3 at Porter Loring North. The funeral Mass will be held at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church at 10 am on Tuesday, October 4. Interment will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery.
Donations may be made to St. Mary’s School, P.O. Box 500, Bird Island, MN 55310 or charity of your choice.
The Rich Man and Lazarus
Heaven or hell? Have’s and have-not’s! The story of the rich man clothed in purple and the beggar, Lazarus! Have you ever been amazed at which one actually has a name in this story? Surprised?
The story of the rich man and Lazarus invites us to reflect on some harsh realities in life today. What was your first reaction to hearing the Gospel story? With whom did you identify? Why? And now, think about what it would be like to be the other character.
When I read or hear this Gospel, I think of so many who are brought to our doors, to the end of the table—those who need assistance even to get there. And what is our response? To offer scraps? To identify with the poor, the sick, the victims of injustice? To understand the plight of the sex-trafficked woman, the homeless and mentally ill? To work for change, for conversion of attitudes that make us indifferent to the plight of our brothers and sisters? To be advocates? To be change agents?
The reading from Amos warns us about our attitudes that say “we deserve” our blessings. When we truly realize that everything we have and everything we are is a gift from God, we can begin to live with all women and men as our brothers and sisters. And we can know, perhaps for the first time, that we are simply neighbors who never met.
Our parish pictorial directories have arrived and are ready for pick-up in the parish office. If you took your photo for the directory (or submitted your own photo), you can pick up your directory for free in the office. If you did not have your photo taken for the directory, you may purchase a directory for $10. Thank you for your patience during the duration of this project.
Gloria R. Guerrero passed away peacefully at home, after struggling with Alzheimer’s, on September 28, 2016 at the age of 88. Preceded in death by parents Francisco Rodriguez and Herminia C. Flores. She is survived by husband of 64 years, Arthur P. Guerrero.
Her beautiful life will forever be cherished in the lives of her children: Kathy (Dan) Hassenger, Margie (Bobby) Rosas, Sandy Guerrero, Roselle Smith, Larry (Peggy) Guerrero, Kenny Guerrero, step-sister Diane Monsalvo. Grandchildren: Monica, Lauryn, Alex, Nathan, Marshal, Bryan, Tabitha; great grandchild Jacob.
Visitation: Monday October 3, 2016, 5:00 p.m., Celebration Service 7:00 p.m. at funeral home.
Mass of Resurrection: Tuesday October 4, 2016, 10:00 a.m. at St. James Catholic Church.
Interment will follow at San Fernando Cemetery#2.
Robert, 59, passed away on September 19, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. He was born April 11, 1957 in San Antonio, Texas to Lucy and Robert Bishop Sr. He attended John Marshall High School in San Antonio and graduated from Texas State University in 1979 with a degree in Business Administration (Marketing). He began his career at Bealls in 1979, where he rose to acting credit manager. Rob joined USAA in 1985 where he remained until 2007. Rob began in new member sales at USAA and advanced to New Member Solutions Manager in 1996. After being selected to join the USAA management team opening the Phoenix operation in 1996, he relocated to Phoenix. In 2007, Rob embarked upon a major career change and enrolled in the Scottsdale Culinary Institute a Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Program. He was then hired by Carefree Resorts as their first ever Pastry Chef.
Rob had a deep love of history and reading. His home, and even his car, was filled with a diverse variety of historical books. Anyone who knew him knows he was never without a book. He also loved old television shows and movies and could expound on trivia for hours. His interest in family history led him to collect and post interesting historical photos of many ancestors for his extended family. Rob’s other passion was with social and political issues. Beginning as early as 1979 Rob was writing letters to his local representatives and newspapers. With the advent of the internet and social media, he posted and reacted often through his online presence, frequently with comments reflecting his dry sense of humor – something else for which Rob was known. Rob could take any situation and find something unexpectedly humorous.
While at USAA, fellow employees have remarked about his talents as a manager who truly cared about his people. He was a wonderful guy and a great person to work with. Friends have commented how he taught them the meaning of true friendship, and even though he might have disagreed with someone, he always remained kind to and respectful of them. A friend commented that one of Rob’s last Facebook posts dealt with Betty Lynn and the Andy Griffith Show. In it Rob said, “One of my all-time favorite TV shows for its focus and respect for individuals and human relationships.” Steve went on to say, “Wow, just loved this small reflection, and truly you see a small portion of Rob’s heart for people and relationships in his quote.”
He was preceded in death by his father Robert Sr. and grandmother Iris Bishop and grandfather Garland Bishop. He is survived by his mother Lucy Bishop; sisters Joni (Rick) Beal and Terri (Mac) Perry; brother Greg (Nanette) Bishop; nephews Daniel Perry, Jacob Perry, Brandon (Whitney) Beal, Ryan Beal, and Layne (Genia) Beal, and nieces Stephanie (Scott) Mussell and Sarah Perry.
There will be Memorial Services in both Phoenix, Arizona and San Antonio, Texas. The Phoenix service will be held at 3:00 PM, Monday, September 26, 2016 in Hansen Mortuary located at 8314 N. 7th St., Phoenix, Arizona (602-944-1561). The San Antonio service will be held at 1:30 PM on Thursday, September 29th at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 4201 De Zavala Road, San Antonio, Texas (210-492-4600).
Please feel free to make a donation to your favorite charity in Rob’s memory.
We are very excited to offer Pre-School Faith Formation on Sunday mornings during the 8:30 and 11:15 am Masses. Pre-School Faith Formation is intended for children 3-5 years old who may not be ready to attend Mass with their family on a regular basis. Parents drop their children off before Mass begins and pick their children up when Mass is over. The Pre-School classes offer a lesson based on Sunday’s Gospel as well as age-appropriate activities, songs, and crafts. No registration is necessary. We are still seeking catechists and assistants for these classes. Volunteers will need to commit to attending another Mass and teaching on a regular basis with flexibility based on the availability of the team. We need catechists on December 2, January 13, March 3, April 7, and May 5 at 8:30 am.
Everything Belongs to God
Do I really believe that everything I have belongs to God? What are the implications of realizing that what belongs to me, belongs to God first?
I, like many of you, am an adult orphan. My parents are both enjoying eternal life with God. For me, the most powerful lesson in understanding that everything belongs to God comes at the end of every funeral Mass, when we raise the bowl of incense in blessing the earthly remains and entrust the soul of our loved one into God’s hands. We rejoice with profound gratitude for the time on earth that we had. And we also lovingly give back to God what was on loan to us. Everything belongs to God!
We are stewards of what God has given us. God owns it; we use it. So how do we use those God-given talents we enjoy? How do we use the time that we have on earth, before we return it back to God?
Sometimes, I think that I am most generous in volunteering service hours at church and in spending time at church at Mass. I pray for others and I take good care of my family. I think I am being exemplary in my understanding of what it means to give time and talent. Additionally, when that basket gets passed around at the Offering of Gifts (that is what it is called), I put “something” in.
The rest of my talents, my time and my money are mine to do with as I please? Not exactly. Everything belongs to God! So God should be taken into consideration in everything I do.
And so I pray: Dear God, you provide for all that I need. Let me be free of my need to call them my gifts, my time and my talent. May I be generous in serving all, in giving generously and may I be blessed with the realization that what I have and what I am will always be enough with you as the center of my life. Let me live in gratitude for all of your gifts to me.