Monday, November 25, 2013


We wish all of you a very blessed Thanksgiving. For those of you with an "empty seat" at the table, I understand and my prayers are with you.
St. Stephen - St Edward School Mass of Thanksgiving - Wednesday at 9:00 a.m.
St. Stephen's Parish Mass of Thanksgiving - Thursday at 9:00 a.m.

Notes - Parish Office closes on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.
The office will remain closed on Thursday and Friday.
School 1/2 day Wednesday. Religious Ed no classes on Wednesday & Saturday.

Pastor's Health

So many of you ask, so I thought I'd give an update!
In November, I had:
- A complete physical. All numbers are good!
- A colonoscopy. He said see you in five years!
- A heart check. EKG is perfect & see you in six months!
- My eyesight continues to slowly deteriorate, so I have gone back to the bookstand on the altar.
So, my health is as good as it can be! Thanks for your prayers!

Memorial Mass - Frances Batz

A Memorial Mass will be offered for the repose of the soul of Frances Batz on Friday, November 29 at 10:000 a.m. Please pray for her and for her family.

Monday, November 11, 2013

"Gravity" Homily Nov. 9 & 10

Sometimes asked  -- what Bible should I buy?
Suggest a Catholic Bible -   aren’t all Bibles the same?
No – they are not - 
Most Protestants do not believe in Purgatory  -  the journey ends at death
Heaven or hell
Catholics believe the journey continues after death – a process of purification – growth –of preparing to see God face to face.
So, because certain books like Macabees speak of prayers for the dead, they are not in the Protestant Bible
Sad, because Macabees  -   is  also one of the first Jewish books to speak of resurrection!
Just saw absolutely frightening movie  -  Gravity -   my heart was pounding
Without giving away too much – let me say that
Dr Ryan Stone has experienced a catastrophe in space as she works on repairing the Hubble Space Telescope.
Already filled with deep sadness – her 4 year old daughter has died in an accident.
She is now on the edge of her own death – she says:
“No one will mourn for me
No one will pray for my soul.
I’ve never prayed  . . . nobody has taught me how.”
She is lost ,  helpless,  alone  -    truly experiencing the absence of God.
But then, we hear her offer the very first prayer of her life. She begins her journey of rebirth.  Interesting – camera focuses on  image left by the Russian astronauts of St. Christopher carrying the Christ child.
She prays for the intercession of a fellow astronaut who has died – to look after her 4 year old daughter – and that she plans to see her again.
Hope – Resurrection  -   and why? -  Jesus has  broken the power of death!
Christ has died   Christ is Risen   Christ will come again!
Things are during dark,  leaves mostly fallen.
But we know spring will come  -  new life
What will that new life be like?
Going through dad’s things – came across letter written by his mother to him in 1952.
After my ordination in 1981, I traveled to Ireland.
I felt as if I had been there before.
Growing up, I heard all the stories and saw the pictures of the farms that mom & dad grew up on.
When I finally got there – I said to myself    “My God, I know this place – I am home”
Somehow, I think crossing from this life into eternal life will be similar. I will be home.
And for this – I would say the final words of the movie  “Gravity” are most appropriate.
It certainly seemed like a prayer to me – she said  -  “Thank You”