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Marriage. Not for Wimps.

Except for our relationship with God, marriage is the most important relationship in all of human affairs.

Think of it. It is because of you and your spouse we have the human race at all. Sure, we know the various ways human conception can take place without a marriage union; but the “call of nature” put in us by God will always require a man and a woman to bring forth a child.

And . . . a human child (again by God’s design) requires at least 20 years of nurturing, education and character formation. So “making babies” is only the beginning of the work of making men and women.

And . . . the work of leading a child to adulthood needs, in the best environment, a mother and a father.

And . . . mothers and fathers, in order to be their best for the child, need the support of a spouse. A loving wife. A loving husband.

Now I don’t know, since I’m not married with children; which is deeper, the love of husband and wife OR the love of parent for child? I suppose it’s different for each family. I don’t think there are any rules here. One wife and mother corrects me by saying, “They’re each different. I love them all (spouse and children) totally. Each in their own way.”

What I do know is that the human heart wants to give both spousal love and parent love. They each have their own season. Most marriages reach a stage when personal fulfillment becomes secondary to the needs of the children. In this sense parental love can (for a while) come easier. The urgency of a child’s need can delay one’s response to their spouse.

Spousal love began a long time ago in a moment we call “falling in love”. Your Senior Prom (a New Year’s celebration, a moonlit night, whatever) brought a moment of choice for this person who overwhelmed you with their beauty or charm. (Engaged couples need to test the strength of this love. Are they kind, honest, hardworking, faith filled, gentle?)

Married life has a way of revealing what love really is. It grows because of the various struggles along the way.

The beauty or charm that drew you to each other has, over time, become a love of their character: their kindness, their generosity. The fire of “first love” has become a deep and abiding peace.

Moments of disappointment, misunderstanding, selfish- ness (they happen to all of us, don’t they?) bring the false message that you’ve made a mistake; that love is gone. Not true!! Don’t listen to that.

In fact here’s where love earns its wings. You are on the verge of discovering what it’s all about! It’s in the dying to yourself for your spouse that you prove your love for them. It’s when you say to your wife, “My Queen”. . . to your husband, “My King”. And then lay yourself down for them.

So how can you make this switch from “what about me?” to “I’m yours.” It happens because you realize you’re involved in something bigger than yourself and the hard feelings you’re having at this time. God is here. He gave you this partner. He wants you two to win.

It happens when you begin to realize that Christ IS your love for your spouse. That’s right. Your love for your husband, your wife, brings Christ to them. You are Holy Communion for your spouse!! That’s the power of the sacrament you received. You become God’s love for each other.

What does that love look like? Christ on the cross. The crucifix hanging in your bedroom . . . that’s your love for each other.

Don’t feel it? God will give it to you. It’s called prayer. And it’s critical. “Ask and you shall receive . . .”


Anyway we want to honor our married couples this winter with some fun and informative events. Save the date!! February 4. It’s a Saturday night in Murphy Hall. It’s a catered supper (need your reservation) with cocktails and music. We have a guest speaker that night that will teach and make us laugh about the “Art of Marriage”. Stay tuned married couples. More to come.

God bless your Advent. Go slow.

Fr. Tim


CMA. Half Way Home.

A little over a month ago the parish finance committee reported that Holy Trinity is in relatively good shape financially. What you contributed in the Sunday collection paid for all of our bills (heat & light, insurance, maintenance, salaries, Catholic Schools assessment, religious education, etc.).

We had a little left over which we’ll put in savings to meet the upcoming lighting and fire alarm projects. In short we’re paying our way. No big deal. You do it at home every week.

But guess what? That was last year. What will we do this year? The new fiscal year began July 1. And, as always happens, our yearly responsibilities repeat themselves. We heard the report about the Catholic Ministry Appeal last month. Bishop Matano and the Diocese of Rochester is asking Holy Trinity to support the charitable work of the Catholic Church with a goal of $142,000.

(This number comes from a diocesan formula that considers, 1. The number of registered families in the parish, 2. Average mass attendance, 3. Average Sunday collection, 4. Average yearly household income in this region.)

But those are just numbers. The Catholic Ministry Appeal is about people, people in need. We can’t solve all the needs in the diocese here at Holy Trinity. But together, we can make a huge difference in the lives of people we may never meet. Can I show you where your contributions go?

** Seminarians study for priesthood. (yearly tuition averages over $45,000 times 13 sems! That’s $585,000 needed per year.)

** La Casa, safe housing for migrant workers in Wayne/ Ontario Counties.

** Food and clothing shelters throughout the 12 counties of our diocese.

** Pro-life ministries helping expectant mothers find alternatives to the tragic choice of abortion by providing counseling, medical assistance, baby needs, and support along the journey.

** CYO (coaches and “CASE” training to insure safety for minors).

** Maintaining professional staffing at the Pastoral Office to help parishes with expertise in building maintenance, religious education programs, youth and campus ministry.

** Tuition assistance through the Office of Catholic Schools.

** Provides help to college campus ministries to insure a Catholic presence for young students far from their home parishes.

** Catholic Charities aid for refugee families. And much more!!


So what do we want from you? Well let’s do the math.

Rounding it off to large numbers, if 2,000 registered households at Holy Trinity each gave $70 we would make our goal. But that’s not going to happen for lots of reasons.

So what are we asking from YOU? Maybe a conversation with your spouse or children, something like, “what shall we give to help the spiritual and physical needs in our diocese?”

But then what? How much Fr. Tim?!! Each of us must decide. I have to give more for two reasons: 1. I know better than you all the good the CMA does – so I have to help. 2. I get free room and board at Holy Trinity (thanks to you!), so I’ve got some money to give to those who don’t have free room and board. (The most frequently offered pledge last year was $100.)

How about you give what one month’s cable TV/internet costs you? In the end I know you will do what you are able. God has blessed us with so much. As always (this giving thing never ends!) we need to give back in proportion to what each has received.

This is such a generous parish. I have no worry that we will do our duty.

Bless you each day.

Fr. Tim


Starting to pray (again!)

(10 little hints to help you start again and perhaps to help your prayer time be more effective.)

1. The very thought or desire to pray is a personal gift to you from God.

No one can say “Jesus is Lord” (1 Cor. 12:13) without a grace from God. So every time your heart is lifted, however faintly, to look toward God – – – it is God actually reaching out to you. Let this be an encouragement. God loves you and wants your friendship. He’s begins the conversation.

2. Prayer is about Friendship and Trust in God.

So how do friends speak and listen to each other? Honestly, straightforward, without fear of offending, with humor, and of course with affection. Things like, “Lord, I’m sick and tired of …” or “Dear God, I did it again. Help me.” Or, “Why won’t you take this away Lord?” Or, “Show me what I need to do.” Or anything else your friendship needs to say.

3. God is invisible, so . . . images help. (hand extended, shepherd in the distance, etc.)

God made our minds to work by way of images. Pictures of loved ones keep them more clearly in our minds and hearts. But God we cannot see so – – – images help. Some- times I image God by a hand resting on my shoulder, or sometimes a person in a darkened room. Jesus said he is a Good Shepherd; picture that. Water springing forth in the desert. A calming voice, etc. Let yourself find an image that helps you to trust his presence.

4. Start where you “are” not where you “should be”.

This is very important. You don’t “get holy” and then start to pray. We start right where we are. Sinful, lazy, selfish, lustful, angry, happy, . . . whatever. Give yourself to God just the way you are. That’s what friends do. But remember . . . He’s the Lord. His will is the path to life. End your prayer by submitting to God’s will. Jesus did in the garden.

5. Be honest with God about what you REALLY are thinking and feeling.

Again, “holy” thoughts are not what God wants. God wants YOU! In all your imperfections and failures.
He’ll begin to show you a new path but it starts right where you are!

6. Warm up to prayer (a memory of sometime you know God helped you. Go back to that time, feel the help it brought you. Thank God again.)

There was a time I was in a real pickle. I tried and tried to get myself out of it but nothing worked. This thing just wouldn’t leave me. I remember asking God about a hundred times to take it away and guess what? It took a while but He did!!

So it helps me to begin my prayer remembering that in the past he freed me from some messes of my own making. What has God done for you that you can thank Him for at the beginning of your prayer? (It takes about 10 minutes to shake off the noise of the world and get down to business with God.)

7. Find YOUR way of praying not someone else’s.

Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Each of us brings a unique way of talking and feeling. Don’t be phony. Talk to God as you would a friend who knows all your gifts and your quirks.

8. We learn to pray by praying.

No one ever learned to play the piano by reading about it or seeing a video. You learn by putting fingers to the keys. So too with praying . . . just do it. There’s no one there to grade you. God will take whatever you offer him and magnify it. Remember the Mustard Seed? (Mt. 4:31)

9. Listen to your heart.

After you’ve read scripture or spoken your feelings to God, it’s time to listen. How does God speak? God speaks to us by touching our minds with thoughts and memories and our affections with sentiments that move our will to want what God wants. Often times it’s only later in the day (or week!) we realize what God has done in our prayer.

10. Don’t get discouraged. Stay at it!

Just know that the smallest of gestures toward God brings his blessing. God loves you. You are his child. Keep on trusting, keep on asking, keep on looking for signs of his hand. “Seek and you shall find.” (Mt. 7:7)

Prayer. Just do it. It’s what love does.

Fr. Tim


Letter to a Young Person:

Dear Friend,
I call you friend. I hope you don’t mind. You see I’m just your grandfather’s age and I have this tender feeling for any young person trying to figure out what life is all about. So I want to tell you how wonderful this life is while at the same time warn you about some pot holes to avoid.

I guess by now in your teenage years you’ve had some experiences that send the message about how to succeed in life. Let me guess what a few of those might be.

** “Try as best you can to be cool.” Don’t let anything get under your skin. Looking like you don’t care is a hall- mark of “cool”. What the world admires about cool people is that they don’t seem to be struggling with life the way we are.

** “Pretty” and “handsome” (those are old school terms, what are yours?). These two attributes are to die for. Life is happy if you’re good looking. It stinks if you’re just plain or a little goofy like most of us.

** Find your group and learn to fit in. (This is a really hard one because we all desperately want to be accepted.) You know you’ve found it when, what everyone else is doing is what you must do.

** Don’t be too smart. If you do you’ll stand out and that’s not cool.

** Sex is a way to prove you’re all grown up. Don’t let anyone know how awkward and self conscious you feel. That’s not cool either.

** Religion is for geeks and losers. Who knows if there even IS a God? And if there is, it’s got nothing to do with me because I only deal with what I can see and touch.

** Money is very cool. Eventually you’ll find it is the biggest factor in determining what I do. “Do I have enough? How can I get more? If I’m going to live the way I want, I’ll need more money”.

** If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing. Long days of trying hard with little success to show means I should quit and do something else. Why? Because life should be fun.


You can probably add other societal beliefs you’ve bumped into along the way. These “lessons” point to a way of living that only a few can achieve. And those who reach “success” in these ways (you’ve got to trust me here) are headed for unhappiness. Why? Because they’re not the fuel the human heart was built to run on. And what is the fuel that drives us? The truth about who we are. See what you think . . .

** You’re not the captain of your ship. You don’t even belong to yourself. You belong to God who made you out of his love. God gave you life. You didn’t order it up. He’s running this show (forget that and it all gets messed up).

** The key to being a successful human being is learning how to love. Why that? Because love is our purpose. It’s what God had in mind when he created us . . . “if I do all those things but have not love, I am nothing.” 1 Cor. 13. The eye is made to see. We are made to love.

** Your love and work will have an effect on the world beyond what you know. Acts of kindness have a ripple effect. Your work, your children, your friendship will shape the world in a way that pleases God.

** Fastest, strongest, prettiest, richest, most popular . . . are all prized in the world and there is nothing wrong with them . . . but they are not what make us “good people”. Goodness brings happiness. (That’s just the way it is!)

** As the poet says, “We pass this way but once.” This is not a dress rehearsal— this is it! No “do-overs”. Make your life say something. Make it beautiful. God will show you. I promise.

Lots more to share, but I see your eyes glazing over!

Much love,
Fr. Tim


Mary. What a gal.

I mentioned to you some time ago that it’s taken me a long time to understand, in a personal way, Mary (The Blessed Mother) and her role in my life.

To be sure I’m properly educated in what the Church teaches about Mary. She is: Mother of Jesus and Mother of God and Mother of the Church. She is Our Lady of the Rosary, Mother of Sorrows, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and the Immaculate Conception. Some call her Mediatrix of Grace and Co-redemptrix. Whew!

I believe all these things (though I don’t fully understand the last two). And that’s the way it’s been for most of my life . . . I know what the Church teaches about Mary but it’s been on a theological level. She’s been someone to study; a holy woman who did a great job with her son Jesus. But that was all long ago.

What’s been missing is a personal relationship with her. I always thought that was for me and Jesus. (I didn’t want to go to Mary when I could go right to her son.) In other words, what does Mary have to do with me? Can I talk with her? Does she know who I am? Can she teach me what I need to know? Will friendship with her take away from friendship with Christ?

So for years I ignored Mary.

Then it happened. I was praying on retreat one night in chapel. Sitting in the silence for some days had become quite frustrating and I had grown increasingly restless.

For a reason I can only call God’s grace, it suddenly came to my imagination that someone was kneeling in the dark up by the tabernacle. My thought then led me to consider that it was Mary, praying as she had that day at the foot of the cross. (This is called “meditation” in the spiritual books).
Being the “wise guy”, I decided to challenge this woman and in my mind (or perhaps out loud, I can’t remember), I said to her, “Your son is awfully quiet tonight.”

At this moment I can only remember her face, partially covered with her veil, turning slightly and with a smile that was fresh and young and confident, she said: “Don’t worry. He knows you’re here.”

All questions stopped. There was no need for further conversation. “Mary, if He knows I’m here that’s all that matters. Thanks.” The chapel returned as it was, dark and empty.


What had just happened? As I say, it was a grace. And the grace was not so much that I had this conversation (it was a lovely experience), the real gift was what followed in the days after.

I was given to realize that for all her exulted titles, Mary was my “prayer partner”. She prays with me. And she prays with much greater clarity about God’s will for me than I do. Her smile that night in chapel continues to tell me that as quiet as Christ seems in my life – he is with me and it pleases him that I want to be with him as well.

Lastly, and best of all, I now have Mary to “take things to Jesus for me”. I figure hey, if she is so certain he’s with us, then she knows his mind better than I do. (Here’s where a mother’s knowledge of her son is her gift to me).

So I think, why not ask her to talk to Jesus about what he wants me to do? Something like, “Mary please let me know your son’s plan for me. What does he want me to do?” Or, “Mary tell your son how weak I am and slow to understand. Mary, tell Jesus to make it clear for me.”

This is not , as I once feared, taking away from Jesus. In fact Mary intensifies our relationship with Christ. What she adds is her “partnering” with me. I’m not alone in this sometimes confusing search for God in my life. Most times I begin my prayer straight to Jesus or God the Father. But I try at some point to include a little word to Mary my “prayer partner”, “What should I tell your son Mary?” “Does Jesus even know who I am?”

“Don’t worry.” She says. “He knows you’re here.” God is good.

Fr. Tim

PS. All this the Catholic Church has always taught about Mary. I’m just late for the party!


Bishop Matano’s Catholic Courier Column

Bishop MatanoFaith guides us in all things


Hope. How to give it.

Most of us look on the word “hope” as referring to a feeling that somehow things will turn out happily. (I hope it’s sunny for the picnic. I hope the Indians win the World Series. I hope I don’t get sick.)

This common kind of “wishing” has nothing to do with Christian Hope. These “hopes” serve more as a barometer of what my bodily wants are at this particular moment. I hope for what I want.

Christian hope is different. It is an expectation that our life here on earth is for some purpose. And that purpose, though we can’t see it yet, will somehow be realized. What makes it a different kind of hope is that it is given to us by God. It’s not something humans could ever have thought up. It’s beyond any reasonable human expectation. It comes from God who had this in mind when he made us.

So where does this hope come from? It comes from the love of God revealed in the death of Christ for us. “This hope does not disappoint, for the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us . . . now justified by his blood . . . will we be saved by his life.” Romans 5:1-5,8

Jesus, according to St. Paul, has unlocked a door to God we never knew existed. “Through Christ we have gained access to this grace (God’s love) in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God.” Vs. 2

Why is our hope a certainty? Because it’s based on the love of God “poured out” into us. The promised hope all hangs on Jesus’s death on the cross. It is there God, if you will, proves his love for us. Darkness and evil did their worse on Jesus. They killed him. But (and here’s our hope), Jesus was raised from the dead.


So how do we give this hope to our children?

** First of all GOD wants to give it to them! The Holy Spirit is constantly “poured out” on them in moments of happiness, challenge, goodness, sorrow etc. Trust that. Tell your children, “Watch for God today, he’s going to whisper to you.”

** Parents/Grandparents – you are the biggest giver of hope to your children. How you live on a weekly basis, the hope you exhibit in your conversation, your positive response to society’s problems, your prayers at dinner and before bed . . . . all are moments your children watch to see if you have hope.

** Share your burdens as an adult (in an appropriate way of course). Ask for their prayers about a particular intention. This gets the children involved in real faith situations. Plus they want to “help” mom and dad.

** Don’t shy away from hard situations involving suffering. Someone you all know is sick. Pray for them. Someone has died. The older children might go to the wake with you (you decide when they are ready). Let them know that Jesus himself died so we didn’t have to be afraid – – – because we are going to God.

** Maybe you have to do a little work on yourself. Perhaps you need to ask God to help you with those human situations that cause you fear or worry.

** In all things just know that God has given you your children just as they are. He will help you teach them the way of hope. Don’t be afraid.
Lastly hear the words of St. Paul as he was held in prison, facing death for witnessing to Jesus Christ.

“What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or . . . peril or the sword? . . . For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor powers, nor present things, nor future things, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39

What makes us so sure? Jesus Christ is risen from the dead!

Fr. Tim


Star Program 2016

Our Christmas Star Program, which began 31 years ago, is now a joint effort with HOPE and 4 inner city parishes to provide Christ- mas to families in need. We provide gifts, a holiday meal, food and basic supplies to those who would otherwise go without.

Food collection will begin Oc- tober 29 and go until Decem- ber 11th. While we welcome any donated nonperishable food item, we have our gro-
cery list below. Collection baskets will be located at all church entrances.

Weekly Collection Items

PastaRiceStuffing

October 29/30

Pasta/Sauce | Rice | Stuffing

Instant PotatoesCanned VegetablesCerealFruit

November 5/6

Instant Potatoes | Canned Vegetables | Cereal | Canned Fruit

FlourSugarGravyCorn

November 12/13

Flour | Sugar | Gravy | Corn

ShampooSoapToothpasteDeodorant

November 19/20

Shampoo | Soap | Toothpaste | Deodorant

CrackersPeanut ButterJam/JellySoup

November 26/27

Crackers | Peanut butter | Jelly | Canned Soup

Canned MeatGranola BarsBoxed Cookies

December 3/4

Canned Meats | Granola Bars | Boxed Cookies

Laundry SoapDish SoapKleenex

December 10/11

Laundry Soap | Dish Soap | Kleenex


TURKEYS and HAMS

TurkeyIf you would like to donate a turkey or ham, please contact Anne Riley @265-1517. If you leave a message, please indicate if you are donating a turkey or ham and your name and phone number.


GIFTS

StarsGift Stars will be available at all entrances to the church and on the Christmas tree in the Gathering Space on the week- end of November 19/20. The wrapped gifts with stars at- tached will be due back to church on December 10/11.


VOLUNTEERS

We are seeking volunteers for many facets of this wonderful ministry. If you are able to help with:

  • Setting up our “Store”
  • Grocery Shopping for families (Week of December 12th)
  • Drivers for distribution (Saturday morning of December 17th)
Please contact Kasey Baker at kbaker@dor.org or (585) 265-1616

This information will be available throughout the STAR season on the Holy Trinity website.


Grandparents. A Second Wind

My old college friends are by now well launched into their grandparent stage. I never thought the day would come, when my golfing buddies would throw me off for a day at the zoo with their grandchild – – and do it happily!!

I have to admit that feelings of “grand parenting” have crept into this old priest’s heart as well.

What is it that happens to us as we approach and live out our seventies and eighties? I think we finally realize the proper proportion things should have in our life. Things that were . . . pardon this! . . . HUGE when we were younger are now not so big.

I mean really, how important is the Disneyland vacation now? That promotion? The tattoo? The six pack abs? Perfect hair? The first place finish? That college acceptance? The right car/home/kitchen? They’re not nearly so important as we seniors look ahead to our final years.

Those things get smaller. What gets bigger? People get bigger. And not just friends and family; humanity, wherever it exists, becomes the most important thing in the world. We belong to each other. Can’t you feel it?

There’s this deep hunger, so hard to explain. A hunger that wants to see humanity at peace. A sickened feeling when we see a child ill fed or in tattered clothes. A deep connection to the mother or father who holds a crying child. The grief of parents and siblings weeping over the tragic loss of a young person. It all touches us now because we finally realize . . . they are a part of us. The Human Family.

There’s this feeling like, “Dear God, we’re better than this. How did we get HERE?!” And perhaps most important, “What can I do to make this better?” Perhaps for the first time in our life we see how serious it is for us to think of others. Maybe we see how wasteful and selfish has been our use of time and the earth’s limited resources.

A new wind starts to blow at this stage of life. There is a felt need “to give back.”

Our parents and grandparents were children of the great depression and two world wars. They devoted themselves to making life easier for their children than it was for them. “To have what we couldn’t”. They succeeded.

Times have changed since then. These days many parents/ grandparents are unable to help lift their children to greater economic security. The new wind that blows isn’t about economic prosperity. It’s about Hope. We know something about life that the young ones don’t . . . (as St. Catherine of Siena said) . . . “all will be well.”


How can we say such a thing? “All will be well.” It’s a fair question. In a world so troubled on so many fronts, how can one have hope for the future?

What comes next will only make sense if you believe in God (or something good much bigger than yourself).

It’s this . . . “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.” Jn. 3:16. God’s Love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails . . .” 1Cor. 13ff And . . . “All things work together for the good for those who love God.” Rm. 8:28. And, “Jesus Christ is risen from the dead.”

What do these words of sacred scripture tell us but that God started this world out of love, we messed it up, Christ came to “bear all things” and conquer sin and death. And now ALL THINGS will, eventually, work toward the to- tal victory of God’s plan of love.

Do you believe that? If you do, then you believe that for all the seemingly impossible problems of war, poverty, racism, violence against women, Zika, terrorism, etc. etc. . . . that God would never allow the ultimate destruction of the human experiment.

Now this hope is what we need to give to our children. Next week: “How to Give Hope”.

All will be well.

Fr. Tim


Am I a Catholic? . . . Do You Want to be? Join us Sunday’s at Noon. RCIA

Do you remember the day the world witnessed the election of Pope Francis? I remember it very well . . . Francis greeted the world with his first words, “Bona Cerra.” Good evening. He bowed his head and asked that we pray for him right then and there. He seemed kind and humble.

The news reporters, many of them hardened journalists, distant from their Catholic upbringing, seemed almost exultant in reporting the event. One after another happily confessed to the cameras that “I myself am a Catholic and I have never seen such joy, etc . . .” Or, “I was raised Catholic and this moment is very important to us.” They were almost anxious to have you know that . . . THEY WERE CATHOLIC!

Maybe it was the same feeling that “everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day”. But I don’t think so. Something deep was stirred that day. This is the Church Christ has given us, a church that is for every race and culture and country. This church is the hope of humankind in times of darkness and trial.


So you’re reading this bulletin . . . you came to mass today. What does that mean? Are you looking for God in your life? Has the Catholic Faith called out to you? What is a Catholic anyway? . . . Here’s a partial list of things that are Catholic. There’s a whole lot more to mention, like joy, peace, forgiveness, etc. But here are some basics. See if you hold to these.

  • Catholics are Christians.
  • We believe Jesus is the Son of God.
  • Baptism begins a life of union with Him.
  • Catholics believe most everything other Christians believe but sometimes more.
  • Catholics believe Jesus is the head of the Church and we are the Body (So there is only one church).
  • Catholics believe Jesus wanted someone to “steer the ship” through human history, so He gave us Peter and the apostles (and their successors, the pope and the bishops).
  • Catholics believe Jesus gave us seven sacraments to experience God’s grace (love) when we receive them.
  • Catholics follow a moral code given by Jesus and guided by the teaching of the church.
  • Catholics are sinners and need God’s mercy.
  • Catholics go to Confession when they have sinned and Jesus forgives them right then and there.
  • Catholics have to go to mass on Sunday. Keep holy the Lord’s Day.
  • Catholics believe the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ at mass. Jesus feeds us with Himself. (This part is really Catholic !!)
  • Catholics are generally no better than anyone else and sometimes we’re worse! But God holds us responsible for more.
  • Catholics believe this life on earth is a preparation for union with God in the eternity of the Kingdom.

So what if I’m not there? What if I don’t believe all that stuff? I was baptized but nothing much ever came after that . . . am I Catholic?

The answer is YES. The grace of Baptism will never go away for you. You are forever a Child of God with Christ as your light. But the question back to you is DO YOU WANT TO BE CATHOLIC? Do you want to start again the Catholic walk?

May I suggest something to you? Just come. Just walk right in and sit down. There is no test to pass, no money to pay. This church is just as much yours as anyone’s. Call this place your spiritual home and COME! (Perhaps you need to refrain at first from receiving Holy Communion if it’s been awhile – – talk to Fr. Tim or Fr. John about this).

God will do the rest. God will come to you with His grace to show you the way. Give God a chance ok? Listen to the music. Hear the gospel and say the prayers (ask the person next to you to help you with the book). Welcome!! You’re home. Watch now what God can do!

Thinking about becoming Catholic? Join us each Sunday in the Marian Rm. at 12 noon to discuss what Catholics believe and why. Get your questions answered!

Fr. Tim


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Parish Pilgrimage (Oct. 23)

The Year of Mercy has been a wonderful time in the church. For the past 10 months we have been reflecting this godly virtue. Our Lenten retreat with Fr. Paul English explored how each of us and Holy Trinity Parish as a whole can better witness to this most gracious of human interactions.

To mark the coming end of the Year of Mercy, we are planning a parish pilgrimage to Sacred Heart Cathedral and our entrance through the Holy Doors.

For centuries, pilgrimages to designated “Holy Places”, shrines, cathedrals were concluded by a dramatic and sometimes emotional entrance through open doors at the site. This “passing through” symbolized our leaving the “old person” we have been, the one given to selfish and unkind behavior.

We literally enter a holy place. There we kneel in prayer and petition for grace needed to live a better life. There too the Church bestows to pilgrims special graces to leave the past behind and begin a renewed walk with Christ.

A Plenary Indulgence is given to any pilgrim who fulfills the following conditions; a. Attendance at mass and reception of Holy Communion, b. reception of Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession), either before attending mass or shortly after (within two weeks), c. while at the Holy Place prayers for the intention of the Holy Father (Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be).

A Plenary Indulgence is a special grace of God’s Mercy, administered by the Church, to give total remission of guilt and punishment for sins committed. Think of your computer. It’s like deleting “all your cookies”. It’s a total do-over! God’s Mercy all around.

So join us for our caravan on Sunday, October 23 at 12:15 pm. We leave from Holy Trinity north parking lot and travel across the Bay Bridge to the Cathedral. —– OR—- – drive yourself and meet us there (directions in church). Festivities end around 1:30 pm. at the cathedral. Join us!!

Anointing Mass. Friday, October, 14 at 7 pm.

One of the most debilitating things about sickness is not the pain, or the fatigue, or the fear (each of these are, of course, part of the cross sickness brings). No. One of the biggest sufferings is how illness separates us from those around us, our families, friends and community at large.

It may mean being confined to home or quarantined from those closest to us. It may mean being unable to participate in everyday activities that bring us together with others. Perhaps most upsetting is the feeling of being “set apart”, different from others. (The thought, “I’m sick.” Everybody else is “ok”.)

Holy Trinity Church has scheduled a Eucharistic Celebration with the Anointing of the Sick. This is the chance to bring some of your health concerns to the Lord in the context of mass and this faith community.

You are not alone! The Lord and Holy Trinity hold you dear to our hearts in prayer.

There will be special seating for those who wish to be anointed that evening. Likewise transportation will be provided for those who contact the Parish Office beforehand.

WHO SHOULD BE ANOINTED? The guidelines for the sacrament say “any persistent and serious concern for one’s health . . . “is reason for someone to request the anointing.” Health concerns such as depression, anxiety addiction, spiritual doubt and chronic pain are all sufficient to receive the anointing. There will be no questions asked. Simply indicate your wish to be anointed.

Come by yourself or better . . . bring a friend. Experience the healing and comforting Hand of God working through the Sacrament of the Sick and the care of this parish.

God bless you.

Fr. Tim