Category: From the Pastor

First Down with Fr. Eric (May 30, 2021)

Dear Friends,

We recently heard from the Hospital Chaplains from Honor Health at Shea and Thompson Peak, and we began a discussion about having our Ministers of Care return to bringing Communion to patients. There will be some new procedures to consider in returning, and we will need to work with the hospitals on how that may work.

In the meantime, we will be contacting Ministers of Care on our roster to see if they would be willing to return to the ministry. Two things we are asking at this time is that ministers be vaccinated, and secondly, to be sure the Safe Environment Training be completed. We will have our own training on visiting patients in our hospitals. The goal will be to have the hospital coverage up and running before moving into the area of visiting health care facilities, and eventually, homebound visits. This will take some time.

Some people may be ready to return to this ministry, while there are still people not ready to return for a number of reasons.

I told my staff at the beginning of this pandemic that we will need to start from scratch to rebuild our ministries. It will take some patience, but we will be moving forward. We are also open to any new people who may be willing to come forward and visit the sick in this important ministry. Please contact us for more information.

Peace in Christ,
Fr. Eric

First Down with Fr. Eric (May 23, 2021)

Dear Friends,

Ten years ago our Parish Leadership made the decision to hire a Parish Nurse. I really was not sure exactly how this position would develop. We hired Sandy Meyers and she thought she could give two years. The time she served us grew into ten years. She has decided it is time to retire from her position, but she will still be with us in the parish and be involved with the mental health formation and grief support.

Sandy has been a great resource as a nurse for our community. She has developed a strong Mental Health formation program where many people from across the Valley come to St. Patrick to attend sessions on how the Church community can support and learn more about Mental Health issues. Sandy also worked with our grief support group and was in contact with other grief support organizations to offer resources to those in need.

Sandy guided our staff and parish to be sure we made good decisions for the good health of all, and she has been a great resource for us in offering, through her research, the most accurate information in dealing with COVID.

Not every parish can have, or chooses to have, a Parish Nurse, but I have come to believe the position is so vital to the Church to not only care for the spiritual needs of people, but also the physical and mental health of everyone.

We say thank you to Sandy Meyers and we are grateful that she can still be a resource we can call upon when we need support and direction.

Peace in Christ,
Fr. Eric

First Down with Fr. Eric (May 16, 2021)

Dear Friends,

One of the most powerful blessings of belonging to a community is there is an opportunity to experience that people can and do care for others.

One way that is a very visible sign at our parish is the many parishioners who constantly bring non-perishable food items to the parish and place them in our green bins. As people go about their daily lives, they remember others who might be struggling to get food on their tables. It is a simple, quiet act in terms of people simply placing the food in the bins. When the food is taken to the different agencies we support, it is a big sign to others. The ability to help those who are hungry and need assistance is the added benefit of belonging to a community.

To those who constantly bring their gifts, to those who give financially to such organizations to support their mission, and to those who make a commitment to take the food to the agencies, we are all grateful. Through your generosity and gift of food, St. Patrick has been able to reach out and deliver food to a wider population of organizations throughout the Valley including: Vista Del Camino, Paz de Cristo, Native American Connections, St. Mary’s Food Bank, Desert Mission Food Bank, Phoenix Rescue Mission, and Family Promise.

To all parishioners, this has been going on for many years, and if you have not been aware of this act of charity, please consider being a part of helping to feed the hungry.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric

First Down with Fr. Eric (May 9, 2021)

Dear Friends,

We have begun another Sunday Mass with our 8:30 am Sunday Mass. We are returning to the original time since our parking lot is much bigger and we can easily clear the parking lot before the 10:30 am Mass. With three Sunday Masses and no registration, there will be room for more people to come to an in-person Mass.

We remember that the Diocese still has in place the dispensation from in-person Sunday Mass for those who feel it is not yet safe to return. The Sunday Communion Distribution will now be in Fenlon Hospitality Center from 9:15-10:15 am. Parish staff members will be outside to guide those who are coming for Sunday Communion Distribution.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is on Wednesdays from 5:30-7:00 pm in the church. A staff member will greet you in the Narthex and guide everyone who comes for Confessions.

Holy Water bottles are still available throughout the Easter season. You may pick them up at Masses, at Sunday Communion, or come by the Parish Office. There are plenty for everyone. We remember our baptism by blessing ourselves with the holy water. Bless your family members before the day. Bless your homes to make it a place of peace and a dwelling of Jesus. You may refill your holy water bottles from the baptismal font anytime.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric

First Down with Fr. Eric (May 2, 2021)

Dear Friends,

We congratulate Deacon Jim Hostutler who celebrated the 35th anniversary of his ordination to the Permanent Diaconate. Deacon Jim serves our community through assisting at Funerals, he celebrates the Sacrament of Baptism, assists at our Liturgies, oversees our Annulment Ministry, and these are only some of the ministries he participates in. We thank Deacon Jim for his service to our community.
Deacon Lou Cornille and our newest deacon, Deacon Joe Herrera, are part of our parish staff. Deacons are ordained by the Bishop. Permanent Deacons can be married, and they assist at Liturgies including proclaiming the Gospel and preaching. They can baptize, officiate at weddings, and offer blessings.

Becoming a deacon is a vocation that some might want to discern and pray about. There is a process of formation that one would enter. If anyone might want to explore this calling, please feel free to contact any of our deacons to talk about this vocation.

CONFESSIONS ARE ON WEDNESDAYS WITH THE NEW TIME OF 5:30-7:00 pm in the Church. Great care is taken to ensure that each person has privacy and they are socially distanced from the priest in the Church (not the confessional). A parish staff member greets everyone in the Narthex and lets one person in at a time. The Church has music playing in the background and the person can go to confession behind a screen or face-to-face. Confessions are always possible by making an appointment with the Priest.

Sunday Mass at 8:30 am is happening now, along with our 10:30 am and 5:00 pm Sunday Masses. We invite parishioners who feel they are ready to return to in-person liturgical ministry for our Masses, to please contact the Parish Office so we may have you on our list. We look forward to more people returning when they feel safe.

Our Sunday Communion continues as the Dispensation from In-Person Sunday Mass attendance is still in effect. The time is now 9:15-10:15 am in Fenlon Hospitality Center. Signs and our parish staff will be in front of our Church to guide everyone to Sunday Communion.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric

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

Dear Friends,

The sunset is getting later each day at this time of year, and people who need to drive during daylight can be out a little longer. Our Confession time has changed to 5:30 to 7:00 pm each Wednesday in the church. This will allow people who cannot safely drive at night, and those who can come to confession in the evening, to celebrate the sacrament.

A parish staff member will be at the door to greet and guide parishioners. Masks and social distance are still in place as Covid has not been fully defeated yet. One person at a time is admitted inside the church to meet with the Priest, either face to face or behind the screen. No one is permitted inside the church while a person goes to confession, and music is playing low. This guarantees total privacy for each person coming to confession.

When our health officials help us determine it is safe, we can reenter the confessionals as before.

As before, Confessions may also be done by appointment by calling the Parish Office and making an appointment with the Priest. For those who cannot safely come to the church during Covid, be assured of forgiveness of sins and making a good examination of conscience.

The Lord is so merciful and understanding during Covid times.

We hope this new time for confessions will be a good invitation to many parishioners.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric

First Down with Fr. Eric (April 18, 2021)

Dear Friends,

I am grateful that we made it through our second Easter with the challenges that have been placed before us. It has not been easy for many of us, yet we went from our first Easter with no one present to having a good number of people at our four-hour Sunday Communion and the three Easter Masses.

As we move forward, we are putting our plans into place about the upcoming future. With the vaccine helping to protect many people, health experts are expressing hope that late this summer people will be out and about. Even though plans may change, we are expecting to increase our Masses, ministries and outreach in September. So this means that we are asking our lay ministers to consider the possibility of being ready to minister by informing us, doing good training and making sure their Safe Environment Training is completed. In order to increase our ministries, we need our people ready to return when it is safe.

In the weeks ahead we will inform the parishioners of the next steps. It will be different for a while, but we will find our way through and reimagine how our community will continue its mission of serving the Lord.
Again we are looking at September, the time when many people return from vacations and rest, to restart fully our mission. I am hopeful we can get there, and our staff will continue to do what we can to keep moving forward. Your support has meant the world to us and it has been vital in keeping the spirit of many strong. I am very grateful to the many who have remained steady.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric