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Rev. André-Joseph's blog

From the Pastor 04/30/17

This is the second week of my four part series on the Four Cardinal Virtues. The theology presented is of course from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas. This week is the second installment with the Virtue of Justice.

The Virtue of Justice

Justice is the virtue whereby we give to each person what is due to him, and we do this consistently, promptly and pleasurably. For a simple example, a just person wants to pay his bills on time, and he has a feeling of satisfaction when he is able to do so. Justice is the social virtue. It concerns right relations with others in society. What is just is summed up in a simple motto: to each his own, but it is not always easy to establish what we owe to others. The simplest obligations are defined by the natural law, and that is based on the natural inclinations of each man, for example, to stay alive, to be part of society, to grow in knowledge. We have obligations therefore not to deprive others of life or health. We should not deprive others of the necessary means to stay alive, even though this may involve complex social issues. We owe the truth to others, and at least a basic minimum of friendship as members of the same society. By the same token, others owe these things to us. A further conclusion: If I have a right to life, I also have the right to use the necessary means to defend my right against an unjust aggressor. There are certain goods that we may value as much as life itself: material goods of great value: things necessary to support life or maintains our state in life, personal liberty, chastity, integrity of our bodies. If there is any progress in Western Civilization it is in an increased knowledge and recognition of human rights.

From the Pastor 04/23/17

A Blessed Divine Mercy Sunday to all! Don’t forget that we will have Divine Mercy Devotions and Confessions beginning at 2:30pm this Sunday. We have six friars for confessions, and as you know there will be a lot of people going to confession. As always to accommodate everyone and to be kind to our generous priests, please as always, “Be Brief, Be Bold, Be Gone.”

We had such a wonderful celebration of Easter Sunday. The Masses were very full, the music was beautiful, and all our priests worked very hard to serve all of you. May we continue to enjoy this most blessed season of Easter all the way to the celebration of Pentecost.

Congratulations are also in order to all our Confirmation Candidates who recently received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Archbishop Dennis Schnurr on the Saturday of Palm Sunday weekend. Their names are printed in this weekend’s bulletin.

For the next four weeks I would like to speak to you about the Four Cardinal Virtues. The theology presented is of course from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas. This week is the first installment with an Introduction to the Cardinal Virtues and then specifically the Virtue of Prudence.

From the Pastor 04/16/17

Christ Has Risen, Alleluia! Truly He is Risen, Alleluia! Alleluia! On behalf of the entire Dominican community of friars and novices, and our Dominican sisters, who are so blessed to serve you here at St. Gertrude, we wish you and your families a most Blessed Easter.

Beginning today, and for the next eight days, the Church celebrates the Easter Octave, culminating with Divine Mercy Sunday. These eight days are the highest liturgical days in the entire Church’s calendar as we celebrate Christ Risen and the new life we each have received through His Passion, Death and Resurrection.

I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to many who have worked so hard to make the celebration of Easter most blessed. A special thanks to Fr. Gregory Pine, O.P., and Rev. Br. Bonaventure Chapman, O.P. for a wonderful Lenten Parish Mission a few weeks ago, and to the Dominican friars who heard confessions during the mission and also during Holy Week. Special thanks to our sacristans, liturgical coordinators, ushers, lectors, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, servers, and decorators. A big thank you to Catherine Fishlock and the choir and cantors for a beautiful Triduum filled with sacred music.

From the Pastor 04/09/17

Holy Week is upon us, and today we once again visit the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ. Once again we act out the supreme irony of our faith. One minute we are praising God; then on the next we turn our backs on Him.

On that first Palm Sunday, the people also honored Jesus verbally: “The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’” In their praise of Jesus, the Jewish crowds were quoting Psalm 118:25–26, an acknowledged prophecy of the Christ. The allusion to a Messianic psalm drew resentment from the religious leaders present: “Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’” However, Jesus saw no need to rebuke those who told the truth. He replied, “I tell you ... if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Some 450 to 500 years prior to Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem, the prophet Zechariah had prophesied the event we now call Palm Sunday: “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” The prophecy was fulfilled and it was indeed a time of rejoicing as Jerusalem welcomed their King. Unfortunately, the celebration was not to last. The crowds looked for a Messiah who would rescue them politically and free them nationally, but Jesus had come to save them spiritually. First things first, and mankind’s primary need is spiritual, not political, cultural, or national salvation.

From the Pastor 04/02/17

Nobel Prize Winner Sigrid Undset, Ida Elizabeth, on the topic of Purgatory:

All that talk about purgatory and so on ― perhaps that is where he has gone now, to a place where he may learn to understand, to love and fight, and that is what makes him radiant, almost as though triumphant.
Perhaps that is what happens to us when we are dead, that we get to understand, and though it may be painful, that is the way out of the mists into clarity ― how do I know? But understanding, that must be the best of all, for love itself fails simply because we understand too little.

This book and Undset’s famous trilogy Kristen Lavransdatter, for which she won her Nobel Prize, are in our parish library. Anyone who reads Undset will experience the trials of life in the midst of the struggles of faith. It is a must read for all serious Catholics.

From the Pastor 03/26/17

Next Saturday, April 1 is the Parish CleanUp Day: After consulting with the staff and some ministries, I am pleased to announce a new initiative for our campus: a day to invest in our wonderful infrastructure, both indoors and outdoors. On April 1, (see flyer in bulletin), I invite families, ministries, and individuals to join your parish family for fellowship in service to your church. We will undertake a variety of indoor and outdoor jobs for parishioners of all ages. A light breakfast will be served before we get underway. This is in keeping with the Holy Father’s encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si, which I encourage you to read. Our maintenance team will appreciate the assistance!

As I often do, or am asked to do, I am providing updates and reminders about certain parish policies and guidelines:

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