Our dear St. Philip Neri Parishioners,

Greetings and blessings from Fr. Mike and Fr Bill

HOPE is a vital part of life. Hope is as important for the spirit as bread is for our body. We spend a great deal of our lives longing, waiting, hoping for one thing or another. It is impossible to live when one is completely without hope. Our strength, our commitment, depends to a great extent on the degree and quality of our hope.

(Mother) St. Teresa of Calcutta describes for us a glimmer of HOPE. “Our deepest desire: to be able to welcome Jesus at Christmas-time … not in a cold manger of our heart, but in a heart full of love and humility, a heart so pure, so immaculate, so warm with love for one another.”

Dad had promised his little girl that they would spend some time together when he came home from work. However, being totally immersed in his work, his preoccupation to finalize some projects, his attention was not towards his little girl. He complained, “I just have to finish some work, then we can spend time together! Here, read one of your favorite books, then we can be together.”

Of course, time went by, and he was not available to her. In frustration, he remembered that there was a large map of the world in the latest National Geographic magazine. He cut the map into little pieces, and again promised, “Put the map together, and then I promise!”

It was in no time that she had put the map together. “How could you do this so fast?” “Daddy, it was easy! On the back of the map were the faces of little children. I knew that if I could put all their faces together, the world would be one!”

John the Baptist came to announce the presence of the Messiah – the one who promised that “the world would be one”. Where the wolf would live with the lamb, the leopard with the kid, with the calf and the lion together … and with a little child to lead them. Let us pray: “Lord, look not on our sins but on the faith of your Church, and grant that all of God’s children may enjoy the peace and unity of your kingdom, where you live for ever and ever.”

During Mass we not only ask God – “Lord have mercy”. But also, just before Communion we again ask, “Only say the WORD, and my soul will be healed.” Jesus wants to not only forgive our sins, but he also deeply desires to heal our soul. However, for our souls to be healed, it takes a radical change of perspective – a metanoia, a commitment to live in HOPE. Hope is our trust that God will fulfill his promises in his way and in his time. To live in hope is to “live the moment”, with the knowledge and trust that all of life is in the hands of God. This hope enables us to keep one foot in the world – as it is – and the other foot in the world – as it should/could be. Then we can truly believe and live that God is good … all the time.

Something from the Parish:

OUR INVITATION: Come experience the (peace of Christ) in the Sacrament of Reconciliation: Tuesday, December 6 at 7 pm. Reconciliation comes from the Latin words (re) which means (again), and (conciliare) which means (to come together) … to come together, again. The implication is that at one time or another, there was a togetherness, but with the trials and foibles of life, that relationship has been strained or broken. The power of God’s love in the Sacrament of Healing renews and strengthens the relationship … with God or another person in my life. The gift of reconciliation is the gift of peace, that deep inner sense that all is well – again.

Praise be Jesus Christ … and Mary Immaculate

St. Philip Neri … pray for us

St. Eugene de Mazenod … pray for us

St. Kateri Tekakwitha … pray for us

Wherever you go, go with God … Whenever you go, go make a difference.

Fr. Mike Dechant, OMI & Fr. Bill Stang, OMI