Category: From the Pastor

First Down with Fr. Eric (September 12, 2021)

Dear Friends,

I want to invite more parishioners to follow St. Patrick on Instagram. One can begin to follow us through @stpatrickscottsdale. Our Parish Instagram has daily Bible verses, inspirational messages, photos of events at the parish and throughout the community, Fr. Eric’s homily highlights and other items to keep our followers connected to our parish family. Next Sunday we will invite parishioners to get on their phones before Mass begins and connect to our parish Instagram account.

This Sunday we have commissioned our parishioners to be disciples who go out into the world and serve God’s people. The Gospel of St. Mark, the main Gospel we hear during this current liturgical year, uses the sandal as a metaphor for discipleship. We have invited parishioners to bring or wear their sandals, or their work shoes, or shoes they use to serve others. We are blessing the sandals/shoes after the homily to commission all parishioners to go into a world where it is most in need of God’s mercy and love. Many church studies state that churches/parishes that concern themselves with people outside the building are ones that are alive and grow. It’s hard work, yet we are reminded that Christian Disciples are servants of all. This Sunday’s blessings give encouragement, grace and strength to deal with many challenges that people find in their lives.

Today’s homily can be seen on our online Mass (our YouTube channel, Facebook or website) and the homily gives more details of the significance of the sandal and the mission of disciples. Those who watch the Mass online may also hold their sandals/shoes as we bless them during our online Mass. May God bless the feet of those who bring the Good News.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric

First Down with Fr. Eric (September 5, 2021)

Dear Friends,

All Christians can be familiar with the term, “service for others.” Jesus often speaks of offering oneself for the service of God’s people. To be great in the Kingdom of God is to place oneself at the service of others. Keeping this in mind, we Christians can see our work as placing our lives at the service of others. To have a healthy outlook on our work, our profession, our vocation, is to know there is value to others in what we offer.

There are times when our work, our jobs, can be stressful, not fulfilling, maybe only seeing it as a means to pay bills or care for our families. Over a lifetime we might have experienced such emotions or outlook. We might need a renewal in our outlook of serving others in our jobs. We might need to recall the value we can bring to others. We might even need to pray for courage to think that maybe changing jobs could be the path to find fulfillment in what can bring us joy. Whatever you and I bring to the table to serve others is blessed by God. Even if we are tired, bored, feeling lost, overwhelmed or not valued, God knows our hearts. He sees everything we do, and he is ready to bless what we do to serve others.

Today we celebrate Labor Day, an opportunity for Christians to reflect on our work and to know that God blesses our work that we offer for others. I pray that we can know the blessings of God in our daily work. Blessings on this Labor Day.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric

First Down with Fr. Eric (August 29, 2021)

Dear Friends,

For the year 2021, our Catholic faith has been hearing mainly from the Gospel of St. Mark. Mark is the earliest written Gospel and the shortest. Jesus is making his way towards the city of Jerusalem where he will meet his destiny, the cross. Those who follow Jesus are to follow him to meet our destiny, the cross, which leads to resurrection.

In Mark’s Gospel, sandals are used as a metaphor for discipleship. He sends the disciples out by two’s to bring the Good News to the world.

We are Christian Disciples in Mission and we are planning a special commissioning of all Disciples the weekend of September 11-12 at all our Masses. We are asking parishioners to bring their sandals, work shoes, shoes they use to do ministry out in the world. We will talk about our sandals and how disciples live the Gospel in the world. We will bless all sandals, work shoes, shoes we minister in, at our Masses to commission us for another year of ministry into the world. No doubt our ministry is needed in our world today, and we look forward to blessing everyone’s shoes to minister to others.

SUNDAY COMMUNION – with COVID numbers rising again and some parishioners who are vulnerable or have vulnerable people in their lives, we will CONTINUE SUNDAY COMMUNION for the time being. Every Sunday, 9:15-10:15 am in our Daily Mass Chapel, we will offer communion. Parishioners can follow the signs to the Chapel, receive communion and even pray before returning home. We encourage you to watch our Sunday Mass later on that day to pray with the community online. We are offering this for people who still are not ready to be in large crowds at this time.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric

First Down with Fr. Eric (August 22, 2021)

Dear Friends,

The seven sacraments of our Catholic faith are powerful ways we encounter God in the midst of our community. These sacraments are not the only way we experience the presence of God, yet the seven sacraments are unique moments that the community has a role in participating. They welcome the newly baptized, eat at the table with others, witness the sealing of the Holy Spirit, know that the community is reconciled with the penitent, the ill are prayed for, the married witness to the community, the ordained serve the community.

The sacraments were still celebrated at St. Patrick when the pandemic began, and it still continues today. We are reminding parishioners that sacramental preparation continues for baptisms, confirmation, reconciliation, marriage and eucharist. The Formation Registration is ongoing, and we are inviting parents to register their children. We are moving forward and still use creative ways to form our parishioners if the pandemic is still a struggle. The parish still celebrates the sacraments for its people and will continue to do so.

For those who are participating in Sunday Communion from 9:15-10:15 am in our Daily Mass Chapel, with the COVID numbers rising and some feeling they need to be careful, we will continue with Sunday Communion for the time being. For now we still need to offer this for those who need to avoid large crowds because of health concerns. We will keep the community updated on any changes that may arrive.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric

First Down with Fr. Eric (August 15, 2021)

Dear Friends,

One of the greatest testimonies to community faith lived out is when parishioners see a need of another person in the pews and they respond. I have heard countless stories of how parishioners have taken it upon themselves to offer friendship and welcome to others or how they met an emergency situation with car trouble or assisting the family when the paramedics are called. Friendships grow by checking on others, comforting people who are afraid or need support of listening. When parishioners take care of each other or simply are open to creating a safe and welcoming environment, that is exactly what faith community living should be.

During this challenging time we find ourselves in again, there is the opportunity for each parishioner to see the needs or comfort in others. For people who have children not vaccinated yet, people with vulnerable people in their lives, when people who are simply fearful of what is happening, it is amazing when parishioners go the extra step to care for one another.

Wearing a mask can be annoying for some. For others there is a willingness to be inconvenienced to help people to come to Mass safely. This is not the easiest of times for us. Yet this time has been made for Christians who care for one another. This is what we do. So the CDC has recommended in large gatherings that masks should be worn. At St. Patrick we are stating it is Highly Recommended that we wear masks out of concern for others. Please pray about discerning what we can do for others who need our extra support.

When I am in close contact with others I will wear a mask so that anyone feels they can approach me. We move forward knowing that all our lives are important to God, to our faith community and to our loved ones.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric

First Down with Fr. Eric (August 8, 2021)

Dear Friends,

This summer as families approach me after Mass, they inform me that one or more of their children are preparing to head off to college this fall. What feelings go through the family members when one of their own is ready to move out of the house and begin a journey of moving away from the everyday presence of other family members. We are so blessed in our community and area to have our young people be able to attend some great learning institutions across this land.

We are so hopeful this year as schools begin to regather their students onto their campuses. As the college students leave for school soon, please feel free to ask for a blessing from me after the Masses. We offer a school blessing every year and some college students might leave early or have already left for school. We ask God to bless all our students, instructors, and all who work in a school setting for this coming school year.

In August we will have a school year blessing at all our Masses and we ask for protection for everyone in the school setting.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric

First Down with Fr. Eric (August 1, 2021)

Dear Friends,

The Lord and our parishioners have blessed us with an abundance of resources at St. Patrick. The giving of the people to be Christian Disciples in Mission has been ongoing even in this challenging time. In being good stewards with these gifts, we make sure that we spend with care on the things that help our Parish bring Christ into the world.

We also strive to make sure we have a reserve to help when unforeseen events come forth. There is so much equipment and building maintenance that is required to maintain and avoid being caught off guard and having to spend a large sum of money.
Being proactive and responsible is a must in being good stewards of people’s gifts.

We are also able to share our resources with those who need our support. One example is that we gave a $25,000 gift to St. Joseph Parish in Phoenix, who is building a new worship space as they recover from the fire that destroyed their former space. We have set aside for years this amount to make sure we have a resource to turn towards when unexpected things occur. We are donating one month’s savings to St. Joseph Parish to help in their need for items inside their new space.

St. Patrick also shares with other parishes, groups or organizations when a need is presented and we can support them. As we ask parishioners to be generous in their stewardship, it is important that our Parish also be generous to support others. Support is not only financial, but with spiritual, physical presence, and other resources we have to share.

We are grateful for the continuing giving from many parishioners and we look forward to more parishioners sharing generously their blessings with the Parish family to bring Christ to all people.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric

CLICK HERE TO READ THE LETTER OF THANKS FROM ST. JOSEPH PARISH

First Down with Fr. Eric (July 25, 2021)

Dear Friends,

Statistics tell us that there is still a significant number of people who use Facebook for their social media. St. Patrick has a good number of followers on our Facebook account.

I am very grateful to the staff members who have helped with our weekday 3 o’clock prayer on Facebook. It is a wonderful opportunity to take a brief moment in our day to stop, reflect and pray together. Each staff person brings in great insights into our spirituality, the scriptures, prayer, devotions and personal stories. I would invite parishioners to know they can join in at 3:00 pm every weekday, or view the prayer at any time after 3:00 pm.

YouTube is a well known app and St. Patrick has its own channel on YouTube to which you can subscribe. Our Sunday Mass, videos from St. Patrick Studio guest speakers, and formation videos are some of the options to view.

We will be inviting parishioners to sign-up for our Instagram account for updates on parish happenings, spiritual insights, homily highlights and lots of pictures of what is going on at the parish. You can go on our parish website and click the Instagram icon to use your Instagram account to view St. Patrick social media.

Our Parish Website will be getting a much-needed update and new look this fall. Our staff members have been working with a website and social media company to update our website so that it will be more effective on phones and other devices.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric