Category: First Down

Homilies – 1st Sunday of Lent (4 homilies from 4 visiting Crosier priests)

On the 1st Sunday of Lent the Crosier Religious Community joined us for masses. We were blessed with 4 good homilies from 4 Crosier priests. We invite everyone over Lent to listen to them for great spiritual insights. Enjoy.

(Homily from the Saturday night 5:00 pm Mass)

(Homily from the Sunday morning 8:00 am Mass)

(Homily from the Sunday morning 10:30 am Mass)

(Homily from the Sunday night 5:00 pm Mass)

First Down with Fr. Eric (March 1, 2020)

Dear Friends,

Many Christians received ashes on their foreheads on Wednesday as we began the 40 days of Lent. Each year we have asked the question to those coming forward to receive ashes, “Will you turn away from sin, and be faithful to the Gospel?” This question requires a response. In saying “yes” or even “I will try”, it means that we will address those areas of our lives that need a change in direction or attitude. A turning away from selfish ways.

Registered Parishioners received their Lenten mailing that contains a schedule that includes many opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. During Lent, those same resources are in the Narthex, so entering or leaving the church anyone can pick up these resources: this includes our almsgiving table with ways to help your neighbor in need, as Jesus invites us to do at this time.

I invite everyone to consider going to this sacrament early in Lent. It shows our willingness to work on things during this season and it carries us through Easter. We know with many things in life, we wait until the last minute. With Reconciliation one may think they are not clean or pure with God at the last minute for Easter. The real idea is having worked on things during Lent so that prepares us to enter into the Easter season. That is powerful witnessing to the mercy of God.

Lent is a journey, not an endurance of giving up things. It is in our prayer, penance and almsgiving that we find joy in living the life of Christ.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric

First Down with Fr. Eric (February 23, 2020)

Dear Friends,

Next Sunday is the 1st Sunday of Lent. We again have invited the Crosier priests to join us at all our weekend Masses. After every Mass they will be offering the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick to anyone in need of healing. For many years, we have preached on this powerful Sacrament and how healing from God can be physical, emotional, mental and, more importantly, spiritual.

I would invite anyone who knows someone who is struggling with health issues to consider bringing them to Mass if that is possible. We remember in the scriptures of the paralytic man being brought to Jesus through an opening in the roof. What a powerful sign of his friends not being discouraged, but determined to bring a friend to Jesus for healing. We can do the same for others. Many at our parish are familiar with the Crosier religious order. They have a house in South Phoenix and another one in Minnesota. Their ministry includes healing, visiting those in prisons, and working with immigrants. They assist us at St. Patrick for confessions during the Advent and Lent seasons.

This is a powerful way to begin our 40 days of Lent. The road to healing begins with opening one’s heart to conversion, and turning away from sin. May God bless everyone during these days of preparing for the great season of Easter.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric

First Down with Fr. Eric (February 16, 2020)

Dear Friends,

In about two weeks we will begin the season of Lent. Ash Wednesday is February 26. The ashes that we receive are outward reminders that we are called to conversion, meaning to turn away from sin in our lives.

There is something about Christians wanting to receive a sign from God. Many churches are filled with people wanting the ashes placed on their foreheads. Parishioners might begin the day with ashes and wear that sign to work, school, or even the marketplace. Even people on television wear the ashes. It is a powerful day of sign and symbol to the world.
Whether one is Christian or not, most know about the 40 days of Lent. It is a time of fasting, maybe giving up or taking on things in our lives. A large majority of people are aware that Catholics do not eat meat on Fridays during Lent. (Even McDonald’s, with their fish sandwiches knows this).

I am inviting everyone to start thinking about what spiritual things will happen during the Lenten season. It might begin with attending a Word Service or a Mass on Ash Wednesday. There will be Liturgy of the Word Services at 6:30 am, 10:00 am and 4:15 pm with ashes and Masses at 8:00 am and 6:00 pm with ashes.

Our hope is that the ashes we receive become powerful reminders of hearing the call to die to sin and to selfishness in our lives. These 40 days are preparation for the great season of Easter.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric