September 23, 2016
Dear St. Joseph Parishioners,
Greetings. These have been the most amazing Fall days.
- “Lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus.” The power of Jesus’ teaching is it leads to so much more than guilt. Recognizing those in need—and sometimes our powerlessness to meet the need—is uncomfortable, uneasy and tinged with guilt—unless we have hardened our heart and mind. Jesus, though, did not blame or insult those with less. He connected the gift of the Kingdom with a new measure of God’s love and the change to those who believe is to put it into practice. Practically, there can be any number of responses to poverty. It is no easy task and eludes painless solutions. Talking with respect and remembering that each of us—have and have not, poor and rich—share in the image and likeness of God is the baseline. Whether as individuals or political parties, the poor are not the enemy. We are all neighbors (to echo Jesus’ teaching on showing mercy).
- Deacon John has the homily in English at Saturday at 5pm and Sunday at 9:30am. I have all the Masses and the homily in Spanish.
- The Youth Night Wednesday was great. The Diocese sent three leaders and both our parish youth groups (Anglo and Hispanic) participated. Regular gatherings continue, check with Patty (English) or Alfredo (Hispanic) for details.
- Our Anglo Youth Group goes to Tulsa after Mass a week from Sunday (2 Oct), for a meal, the Bishop Kelley play (“Fiddler on the Roof”) and time for 40 Days of Life, a peaceful pro-Life presence at the Garden of Hope—across from Eastern Oklahoma’s abortion clinic.
- Both Hispanic and Anglo Youth Groups look forward to DCYC 2016 later in October. This Diocese-wide all day Saturday event draws 2000 youth. Details with Patty and Alfredo.
- The Anglo Youth Group is selling popular St. Joseph t-shirts, by pre-order. There’ll be a Youth Group breakfast on a week from Sunday (2 Oct).
- The Muskogee Police Department is hosting a meet and greet and forum in our parish hall here at St. Joseph a week from Sunday (2 Oct) after the 12noon Mass in Spanish.
- St. Joseph School welcomes a new student this week; remember we offer open enrollment.
- Yesterday, there was a theater production for all the students.
- Inquiry Classes continue on Tuesdays at 7pm. This week we look at Catholics and Scripture. We have a lively group forming and are still searching for non-Catholics (all our Inquirers so far are baptized Catholics seeking to learn more about their faith).
- A special shout-out to the Muskogee Phoenix which featured on a column today: “How to Pray the Rosary (Section B, p. 1 9/22/16).
- Our neighbors at St. Brigid in Tahlequah are celebrating their 50th Anniversary this weekend. This is where I became a Catholic in 1980. Fr. Jeff Polasek—a graduate of NSU—and I are two Tulsa priests with ties to St. Brigid, as does Alessandro, currently a seminarian at Conception Seminary College in Missouri. The day includes many activities including Evening Prayer at 4:30pm.
It’ll be a quiet Friday as all of our local teams and Bishop Kelley are at away games. Safe travel to and from home for all our athletes, musicians and families.
May God bless you and all you love (and all you should),
St. Joseph Church and School