From Pastor's Desk
From Pastor's Desk
Sunday, September 19, 2021 – XXV Sunday in Ordinary Time Readings: Wisdom 2:12, 17-20, Psalm54 “The Lord upholds my life”, James 3:16 - 4:3, Mark 9:30-37
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, National Hispanic Heritage Month is held annually from September 15 through October 15 and celebrates the culture and recognizes the achievements and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans. Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off in mid-September because it’s when more than a half-dozen countries celebrate their independence from Spain. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua celebrate on September 15 while September 16, or Sixteenth, is when Mexico celebrates its independence and September 18 is Chili’s independence day. Let us celebrate and enjoy the National Hispanic Heritage Month. We as a church blessed with the cultural diversity of people from all over the world, and we thank our brothers and sisters with Hispanic Heritage for your contribution in diverse ways to the church. In today's gospel Mark tells us how the disciples responded to the second prediction of the passion of Jesus Christ. But the disciples did not understand what he said and they were afraid to ask him instead they started their own discussion group about power and prestige. When they got to Capernaum, Jesus asked them “what were you arguing about on the way?” they remained silent. It is in that silence that Jesus takes a little child, sets him in front of them, puts his arms around the child, and challenges his disciples to accept the little one. When they can welcome that little child, they can welcome the real Jesus.
Jesu compares himself to the little child, the one who cannot resort to power tactics when threatened or maltreated. Jesus’ protection is his father; his trust is placed in the God who will ensure his protection. When suffering comes, Jesus refuses to abandon trust in the Father. That trust makes him vulnerable, like a little child, but unless the disciples can come to welcome that vulnerability they will never understand the way of Jesus. Jesus offers a permanent challenge to his followers to welcome the powerless, to take to heart the weakest members of the community. He places himself in their company. Special hospitality should be offered to those from whom we can benefit the last. Their vulnerability is something that Jesus not only shares but values. May the Lord bless us with his presence, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Fr. Paschal Chester, svd
Readings: Job 38:1, 8-11, Psalm 107 “Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting.”, 2 Corinthians 5:14-17, Mark 4:35-41
Happy Father’s Day
“Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you.” (Exodus 20,12)
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6,4)
Today we honor our fathers and recognize the contribution that fathers make to the lives of their children. We salute all the wonderful fathers who have made the difference the lives of many in the family. We appreciate your existence and the impactful and significant role you have played in our lives.
Father is a person who Let’s you experiment life in your own way and pulls you up when you fall. Let’s you get angry on him and loves you more after that. Is with you always, especially when you need him! They have always been the one reliable man in our lives, and they have always treated us with a stern yet loving hand. We will never cease to follow their footsteps and will always make the right decision like they have taught us. No matter how famous or successful we are, but our first identity is that of someone’s son or daughter. Thank you for being great fathers.
A day to remember our Heavenly Father.
Father’s Day is a day to remember, acknowledge and appreciate the “World’s Greatest Dad,” OUR HEAVENLY FATHER (Rom. 8:15, Gal. 4:6) Who is our spiritual Daddy, actively involved in all areas of our lives. It is He on Whom we lean in times of pain and hurt; it is He on Whom we call in times of need. Many of us pray the “Our Father” day after day, without paying attention to, or experiencing, the love and providence of our Heavenly Father. Let us pray the Our Father during this Holy Mass, realizing the meaning of each clause and experiencing the love of our Heavenly Father for us.
May all earthly fathers draw strength from their Heavenly Father! On this Father’s Day, please don’t forget to pray for
us, your spiritual Fathers, men who are called to be Fathers of a large parish family through the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
We congratulate and pray for all the father’s parishioners collaborators of St. Eugene Catholic Mission and Student
Center. God Bless You All.
Rev. Dilip K. Soreng SVD
Readings: Acts 2:1-11, Psalm 104 “Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.” 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13, John 20:19-23
My dear brothers and sisters,
what we celebrate at Pentecost is the coming of the Advocate, the one who enables the apostles to be witnesses to Jesus’ claims in the world. Before the coming of the Spirit, the apostles were incapable of acting as witnesses; they were frightened men who were too confused and hurt to act as effective witnesses on behalf of Jesus. With the help of the Spirit they are graced with a new courage. The Spirit continues to be the Advocate, calling on generations of Christians to come forward as witnesses to the Good News.
We read in 1 Peter 4:10 “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace”. We are reminded to share our gifts with others in building the community of God. On this day of Pentecost, as a parish we the members of St Eugene Catholic Mission and Student Center are having a stewardship or ministry day. During which we request parishioners to sign up for various ministries in the church. Projects and grounds, choir, outreach, youth group, Catechists, grief support, altar servers, catholic student association, Ushers, Lectors, fundraising and events flower arrangement, men’s group, and marriage, Christmas decoration, our lady of Guadalupe celebration, help of the sick and those in need or any other ministry that a person is called to for the good of the community in fulfilling our mission.
May the Lord bless as we pray the year’s catholic sharing appeal prayer. “Lord, hear our prayer as we seek to be good stewards of the many gifts you have bestowed on us. Give us wisdom to discern Your will for us, strength to meet the challenge, and the grace to be steadfast in our commitment to you. Let us use our time, talent, and treasure for your greater honor and glory.
In Your name we pray.
Fr. Paschal Chester, svd
Readings: Acts 4:32-35, Psalm118 “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting”, 1 John 5:1-6, John 20:19-31
My dear brothers and sisters, on this Second Sunday of Easter, the church celebrates the Sunday of Divine Mercy. The first reading and the gospel remind us of the importance of the community. We read in the first reading that “the community of believers was of one heart and mind and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common.” A community founded on these principles did not go unnoticed and they were accorded great respect. This community was built on Christ, the risen Lord. The author of Acts wants to teach us how an authentic Christian community, led by faith in the Risen Lord should live.
In the gospel, the meeting of the Risen Lord is always on “the day of the Lord,” Sunday. The Lord begins his greetings with the words: “Peace be with you”. What gathering of disciples is John referring to? It was the weekly meetings held by all Christian communities, that Jesus shows himself alive to his disciples. Whoever is not there will not hear the words of the Risen Lord, nor receive his peace, sample his joy or receive his Spirit. We experience this presence in the Risen Lord in our community assemblies. Where Jesus waits for us every week. What about the behavior of Thomas?
Did he go wrong? He believed because they saw the Lord. All Thomas wanted was to see him too. Thomas is the symbol of those difficulties to be encountered by others before they believe in the resurrection of Christ. Being in the community helps a lot in this discovery. In the community we find support.
On this Sunday of the Divine Mercy, we are reminded to feel part of the community of the Risen Lord and to lead others in encountering the Risen Lord. We can do that by being messengers of mercy: words and actions. Forgiving one another, praying for one another and trusting in the Lord. Jesus, I trust in you.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit,
Fr. Paschal Chester, svd
Colossians 3:1-4, John 20:1-9
Jesus is Risen! Yes, he is truly risen! On Friday, we gather ed her e to celebrate the passion and death of our Lord. He died the violent death of a criminal outcast. He died with a question and with a scream “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” After they buried Jesus in the tomb, they rolled a stone to seal the entrance and then guards were put there. The gospel tells us that on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early in the morning and found it empty. She was still sad about what had happened, she was wondering who was going to roll the stone for her. Then she got there and the stone was rolled away.
My dear brothers and sisters, today, Alleluia is our song. Because the question of Zeus on the cross “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”; is answered by the empty tomb. It is God’s answer to his Son’s suffering and death. The empty tomb is God’s stamp of approval on all that Jesus said and did: his proclamation of the Kingdom of God, his treatment of the poor, sinners and outcasts, his acts of compassion, healing, liberation, his understanding of forgiveness, his preaching, his intuitions, and his parables, they became validated, vindicated!
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:14 that “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is useless and your believing is useless too”. And in Romans 10:9, “if you admit with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”. So we have a reason to be happy. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to each one of you for journeying with us during the Lenten season and sharing in the resurrection of our Lord. Thank you for your continuous support to the St Eugene Catholic Mission and Students Center. May the resurrection of Christ permit every part of your life.
May you and all your dear ones share in the joy of the risen Lord. Happy Easter!!!
Fr. Paschal Chester, svd
Readings: Mark 11:1-10, Isaiah 50:4-7, Psalm 22 “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”, Philippians 2:6-11, Mark 14:1 - 15:47
Dear brothers and sisters,
May the grace and peace of the Lord be with you. May your heart sing with the joy and hope of the Lord as we enter the Holy week. This Sunday is Palm Sunday and our song is “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come! Hosanna in the highest!”
St Andrew of Crete, in his sermon 9 on Palm Sunday says “Come, and as we make our way up to the Mount of Olives, let us go out to meet Christ, who is returning today from Bethany, and of his own will makes haste towards his most venerable and revered passion, whereby he will bring to fulfillment the mystery of the salvation of mankind.”
This week, we recall the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and we hear again the story of the passion. But why should we remember the passion of Jesus? Why keep alive the memory of such anguish and pain? Aren’t we supposed to forget about the past pain and hurt, and let them disappear if they can?
As Christians we are committed to be a people who remembers the passion of Jesus. Remembering it encourages us to take the decision that this should not happen again. There should be no innocent victims. That memory also serves to make us aware of the crosses that are in our midst. It encourages us to pay attention to the suffering of others. But above all it reminds us of what God has done for us. As we enter into this Holy Week, I would like to encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities the Lord has gifted us. Receive most devout Our Blessed Lord in the Holy Communion on the great days of the week, Holy Thursday and Good Friday, and surely on Easter Sunday, that your peace and joy may be as full as possible. I wish to thank you sincerely for your kindness and generosity at this time.
Have a blissful Holy
Fr. Paschal Chester, svd
Sunday, March 21th, 2021 – Fifth Sunday of Lent - Cycle B
Readings: Jeremiah 31:31-34, Psalm 51“Create a clean heart in me, O God”, Hebrews 5:7-9, John 12:20-33
May the peace and love of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you. I wish to thank each one of you for your dedication and love to our parish. With your support and labor, we were able to put in the church the new carpet. May the almighty bless and replenish your zeal and generosity a thousand-fold.
Friday March 19thwas a special day as we celebrated the feast of St. Joseph in the Year of St. Joseph. The Church grants plenary indulgence for the year of St Joseph. So that during this period, the faithful have the opportunity to commit themselves “with prayer and good works, to obtain, with the help of St. Joseph, head of the heavenly Family of Nazareth, comfort and relief from the serious human and social tribulations that besiege the contemporary world to-day.”
The plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the Pope’s intentions). The Plenary indulgence is granted to those who will meditate for at least 30 minutes on the Lord’s Prayer, or take part in a Spiritual Retreat of at least one day that includes a meditation on St. Joseph. Also, by those who, following St. Joseph’s example, will perform a spiritual or corporal work of mercy. The recitation of the Holy Rosary in families and among engaged couples is another way of obtaining indulgences. Those who entrust their daily activity to the protection of St. Joseph, and every faithful who invokes the intercession of St. Joseph so that those seeking work can find dignifying work can also obtain the plenary indulgence. The plenary indulgence is also granted to the faithful who will recite the Litany to St. Joseph or any other prayer to St. Joseph, for the persecuted Church ad intra and ad extra, and for the relief of all Christians suffering all forms of persecution.
St. Joseph “encourages us to rediscover the value of silence, prudence and loyalty in carrying out our duties”. May he
intercede for us. Amen
Fr. Paschal Chester, svd
Forth Sunday of Lent - Cycle B
Readings: 2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23, Ps 137 “Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you! ”, Ephesians2:4-10, John 3:14-21
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday we celebrate the fourth Sunday of Lent, which is traditionally called Laetare Sunday from the opening words of the Entrance Antiphon. “Rejoice with Jerusalem and beglad for her, all you who love her”. This Sunday speaks to us of joy, because as we journey to the Calvary
with Jesus this Lent, we are reminded that the moment of our redemption is coming closer. Joy has a spiritual origin, arising from a heart that loves and feels itself loved by God. Today, rose-colored vestments are permitted in place of purple. In this way the church reminds us that joy is perfectly compatible with mortification and pain. It is sinlessness and not penance which is opposed to happiness.
In today’s Gospel, a Pharisee talks to Jesus about God. Nicodemus went to Jesus under the cover of darkness. Through their encounter Jesus tells him and us that “God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son”. God’ supreme gift was given out of love, not out of desire to humiliate or condemn the world. The Gospel expresses the hope that if we really believe God loved us we would surely emerge from our darkness. It the dark and it is difficult to see God; it is difficult to think about him. Perhaps we would come into the light more readilyif we believe that the light we are entering is not the light of condemnation. As we celebrate the love of God in the sacred liturgy let our hearts be filled with joy. The joy that no one or nothing can take from us.
Fr. Paschal Chester, svd
Readings: Exodus 20: 1-17, Psalm 19 “Lord, you have the words of everlasting life ”, 1Corintios 1: 22-25, John 2: 13-35
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we just had our parish Lenten retreat with the theme “The year of St Joseph: aninvitation to the desert.” I believe that those who were able to participate found it uplifting and very resourceful as Idid. I wish to express our sincere gratitude to our retreat directors: Fr Justin Arockiasamy, SVD (English retreat), and Mr. Jose de Jesus Garcia Padilla and Mrs. Norma Velez de Garcia (Spanish retreat). On March 19, the church celebrates the feast of St Joseph.
Pope Francis with his apostolic letter “Patris corde” (With a Father’s Heart), recalls the 150thanniversary of the decla-ration of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To mark that, he proclaimed a “Year of St Joseph” from December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021. The Holy father wrote “Patris corde” against the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic, which, he says, has helped us see
more clearly the importance of “ordinary” people who, though far from the limelight, exercise patience and offer hope every day.
In this, they resemble Saint Joseph, ‘the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence,”who nonetheless played “an incomparable role in the history of salvation.”He describes St Joseph as a beloved, tender, obedient father. He welcomed the will of God by accepting Mary uncon-ditionally. He is a creatively courageous father, example of love: he was able to turn problem into a possibility by rusting in divine providence. St Joseph is a father who teaches the value, dignity and joy of work. He is a father “in the shadows”, centered on Mary and Jesus.
In his letter, Pope Francis notes how, “Every day, for over forty years, following Lauds [Morning Prayer]” he has“recited a prayer to Saint Joseph taken from a nineteenth-century French prayer book of the Congregation of the Sisters of Jesus and Mary.” This prayer, he says, expresses devotion and trust, and even poses a certain challenge to Saint Joseph,” on account of its closing words: “My beloved father, all my trust is in you. Let it not be said that I invoked youn vain, and since you can do everything with Jesus and Mary, show me that your goodness is as great as your power.”
St Joseph, intercede for us. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Fr. Paschal Chester, svd