Category: The Latest

Hurricane Harvey

We are one family. Right now, many of our family members are suffering greatly from the effects of Hurricane Harvey.

If you are looking for a way to help in response to Hurricane Harvey and the devastating effect it is having on Houston and the surrounding area, you can do so through Catholic Charities.

Donate through Catholic Charities: As the country continues to see the devastating and heartbreaking images from Hurricane Harvey, Catholic Charities agencies are rolling their sleeves and providing on the ground support. Catholic Charities USA is working in conjunction with the local agencies and parishes to setup shelters, distribute supplies, and are creating canvassing teams to go door to door to check on families. In addition, Catholic Charities USA is sending their newly commissioned Mobile Response Center vehicle to provide further disaster relief assistance. Catholic Charities USA is the official domestic relief agency of the Catholic Church. Block by block and brick by brick Catholic Charities is committed to providing help, healing, and hope to the people and communities who have lost homes and loved ones, but we cannot do it alone.

Here is how you can help:

Pray: God of hope and mercy, we lift up to you all victims of Hurricane Harvey, and those responding with assistance and aid. Protect all who are in any form of danger; provide practical help to all those in need; strengthen the weary; console the grieving and heal the suffering; and bless those engaged in disaster relief efforts with safety and courage. Help all people of goodwill to respond with compassion and generous hearts. Amen.

Give: Help relief efforts in wake of Hurricane Harvey by texting CCUSADISASTER to 71777 or click below. You can also give by calling 1-800-919-9338 or by mail: PO Box 17066 Baltimore, MD 21297-1066 and put “Hurricane Harvey” in the memo line of the check, or online at Funds raised will go towards Catholic Charities agencies’ efforts to assist families and individuals with shelter, food, and other immediate and long-term recovery needs.

We thank you for your time and generosity. Your donation to CCUSA’s Disaster fund supports disaster response and recovery efforts including direct assistance, rebuilding, and health care services.

Sacrament of Marriage

In Christian marriage, spouses model the love and self-gift of Christ. By giving of themselves and serving one another, their family, and community, they help one another live out Christ’s call to discipleship, love, and service. The Sacrament of Marriage provides a foundation for a family committed to community, solidarity, and Jesus’ mission in the world.

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Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick

In the Church’s Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, through the ministry of the priest, it is Jesus who touches the sick to heal them from sin – and sometimes even from physical ailment. His cures were signs of the arrival of the Kingdom of God. The core message of his healing tells us of his plan to conquer sin and death by his dying and rising.

The Rite of Anointing tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. A careful judgment about the serious nature of the illness is sufficient.

When the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given, the hoped-for effect is that, if it be God’s will, the person be physically healed of illness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the Holy Spirit’s gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age.


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Father Eric Tellez and Kevin McGloin explore the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.

IMG_0733In the Roman Catholic Church, the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist are called the Sacraments of Initiation.  These sacraments lay the foundation of every Christian life.

We are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the Sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life.

Join Father Eric Tellez, pastor of St. Patrick and Kevin McGloin, Director of Liturgy & Youth Ministry in this three part podcast series as they explore the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.

Sacrament of Baptism-

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Sacrament of Confirmation-

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Sacrament of the Eucharist-

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Building a Home Field Advantage

Great teams know what it means to have a home field advantage. We will build ours by strengthening the pillars of our community – Hospitality, Liturgy, Stewardship, Social Justice, and Formation. Take a listen to the keynote and workshop given by Joel Stepanek, as we continue building a home field advantage. Thank you to everyone who attended and all the staff and volunteers who helped make it happen.

Keynote Speaker- Joel Stepanek

We are not simply guests of God, but sharers in the mission of inviting everyone to God’s table. The time for silence is past; it is time to become a voice of hope.2Y6A8221

Joel Stepanek has been actively involved in ministry for over ten years and is currently the Director of Resource Development for Life Teen International where he creates engaging youth ministry resources for middle and high school students. He is the author of two books, and received his Master’s degree in religious education from Fordham University in New York City.



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Our Epiphany Story

The Epiphany story is one of my favorites. A star, mysterious magi from the East, an evil king, all the elements of a good story. Yet we celebrate more than a story. The Gospel of Matthew, like Jesus, uses stories to teach us something essential to being Christian. Here we have foreign wise men seeking, journeying far from home, following a gift of the natural world to find the promise of God. They find that promise in a child living in a remote village with a carpenter and his young wife. Later in the story, this couple and child must flee to the land where their ancestors had been enslaved. Obedient to God, they would undertake a dangerous journey to seek protection and peace in another land, unfamiliar and sometimes hostile – all to protect the child, the promise of God.

The story is a familiar one. Parents leave home, threatened by violence and death to find safety and peace for their children. Yet there is something more in this story. This is the story of Emmanuel, God-with-us. The magi don’t just find a family with a young child, they find the promise of God. They experience the reality of God-with-us, present and real in the child. Their response is worship.

This story teaches us something essential to being Christian. It teaches us that God is here with us, that God is for all the world, including foreigners. It teaches us to recognize God-with-us in others, especially the poor and vulnerable. God calls us to recognize him in those who suffer, both near and far.

The Epiphany story tells us of wise men from the East searching for the promise of God. The wise men were most likely travelers from present day Iraq and Syria, once a place of wealth and culture. Today, it is a place of violence and suffering, a place where 3.2 million Syrians have fled searching for life, peace and safety. Just as the holy family fled to Egypt seeking to protect the promise of God, parents in the Syria and Iraq travel long distances seeking safety and peace for their children. The majority of registered Syrian refugees are women and children. 51% of these refugees are children under 17 and another 23% are women. Catholic Relief Services, UNESCO and other organizations are working hard to bring food, medicine, shelter and healing to these families. CRS is working with refugees in Lebanon, Greece and Serbia and you can learn about their work with children and families and more information about the Syrian refugee crisis at Their work needs our support.

Each Epiphany at St. Patrick we invite parishioners to reflect on how we personally recognize the face of God in our world, our God-with-us. Again this year we invite you to take an ornament from the Epiphany trees in the narthex. On these ornaments we offer stories of refugee children and families and resources to learn, pray and act for these little ones, these suffering ones, these children and families fleeing their homes to find peace and safety, people choosing life. These resources come from Catholic Relief Services and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops who have proclaimed the week of Epiphany National Migration Week. They call us to pray and act on behalf of migrants and refugees around the world, and those victimized by human trafficking. God is truly with us, inviting us to love our neighbor. May your new year and this Epiphany be blessed with peace.

Cathy Olds, Coordinator of Social Justice and Outreach Ministry

Something to Trust

Throughout Advent at St. Patrick, we sing that well known hymn, O Come O Come Emmanuel. Both its imagery and its melody permeate our weekly worship. So, it’s not a bad idea to give the lyrics some of our attention, given that they capture two key ideas that can be insightful for us during this season.

Originally written in Latin in the 12th century and translated into English seven centuries later, in 1851, the hymn carries two major requests. It first entreats the Savior–whose name, Emmanuel, means “God-with-us,” to ransom captive Israel, and to release the people from their exile. Secondly, it begs God’s intervention so that there be victory over the grave, so that “death’s dark shadows” are put to flight.

Let’s take the first one, the imagery of a people bound in captivity. Why is this one a biggie? Because it is absolutely the central spirituality of the Old Testament. Over and over again the Pentateuch narratives (the stories of the first five books) and the preaching of the prophets remind the people of Israel that our God is a liberating God. It’s as if they say, on God’s behalf, “Remember? I’m the God who brought you out of Egypt. I’m a God who saves. Wherever and whenever the people of a community cry out in pain, I am here, to liberate, to set you free from whatever captivity holds you bound!” Throughout all the adventures of the people of Israel–the invasions by foreign powers, mis-directions, wanderings, misunderstandings, betrayals and losses, trials and tribulations–God’s voice roars out, “I’m here! Count on me! Trust in me! I am the One who Saves!”

What a marvelous spirituality for us today, during these turbulent times! It demands our trust that God does not let us down. Never has, never will. And while demanding our trust, it simultaneously offers us comfort and hope. We need never despair, because the Almighty One never, but never, lets us down.

The second theme of the hymn is on the darker side: Death casts a long shadow over life. How true … It does, doesn’t it? Our yearnings are real in that respect: we all sincerely hope that in some way there can be victory over the grave. This is where the Christ event matters, for we have received the invitation to eternal life. Great news indeed.

But I wonder is there an added nuance that can be of benefit to our spiritual life here? If death has been overcome, then there’s nothing to fear. If the greatest single force of destruction to our lives has been rendered powerless, then no other disruptive event can have power over us.  We enter into a life with no fear. Imagine that. Neither animosity nor violence nor hatred nor disregard nor exclusion nor neglect can conquer us. Now there’s something to trust in Advent!

How sweet it is!

Tricia Hoyt
Director of Evangelization, Family Ministry and Adult Formation