In my last two articles and candid messages, I expressed great optimism regarding a return to the public reception of Mass and opportunity to receive Holy Communion. My optimism seems to be unfolding as expected. Yesterday, we were able to offer Holy Communion to those who attended the morning live-streamed Mass from 8:30-9:30 am. It was a moving experience, to say the least! I want to thank all those who came to receive our Lord for their compliance with the safety procedures such as coming with masks and for those who could, with hand sanitizers and for maintaining reverence throughout the process. I also thank my Parish Leadership Taskforce for assisting to make the whole process as smooth as it was. We will also offer Holy Communion this Sunday after the 10:00am livestream Mass from 11:00am-12:00pm. We look forward to seeing many of you then!READ MORE
I have some good news to share with you all today, along with a renewed request for your continued support. As I have expressed in my video messages and in last week's Friday Flash article, I have been blown away by the generosity of you, St. Andrew! You all are truly embracing Living Stewardship as a Way of Life; of this I am certain. I have come into contact with parishioners who are able to volunteer their expertise in any number of ways. From assisting in the groundskeeping of our campus, dropping off items for our caring ministry, to providing significant financial gifts.
Please be assured that as your Pastor, I take being a steward of these gifts seriously. Each and every one of us has something to offer our Lord and our Church and I am grateful that you are increasingly realizing this reality. I am here, along with our incredible staff and councils (Pastoral, Stewardship, and Finance) to assist you all in continuing to realize that truth and become the disciples we are all called to be.READ MORE
We know that this is an unprecedented time during which our lives have been almost turned upside down due this coronavirus pandemic. Our family lives and other aspects have been redefined in new ways. Nevertheless, I want you to know that the staff of St. Andrew, of our ministries, councils, Frs. Teilo, Edward, and I, miss you all- and we mean it! We wish we could see everyone next week, for the Holiest of Weeks in our Liturgical year. Unfortunately, this will not be possible. However, I want to encourage you to focus more on what we can gain during this period, rather than on what we will miss because even though this year will be different, it will be no less sacred and important.READ MORE
So much serious stuff has been going on around us this past couple of weeks that I would like to lighten it with this equally light and less serious article, hoping that it will distract you somewhat. In the meantime, even as I attempt to do this, dear friends, know that I love you and miss you very much St. Andrew, and that I can not wait to have you back in our pews and campus!
With the current COVID-19 pandemic targeting, among others, older folks, at least going by some of the statistics, aging might seem to not necessarily be a blessing at this time.
While I was young, I looked forward to growing old, but no one ever warned me about the other frustrations that come with age as I have increasingly come to realize recently. I noticed this very clearly when I was on vacation this year, among my fellow "old men" in Uganda. I suddenly realized that I was among the old, as most of those a little older than me and even my age had died. In Uganda, the average life expectancy is only 59 years. You see, there are characteristics, I found out, that define a typical Ugandan man who is coming of age and much of that is, more often than not, frustration, endless whining, and forgetting things easily. Sound familiar?READ MORE
One of the strange things about us human beings is that we are rarely, if ever, truly satisfied. We always seem to want more and more. Enough is never really enough for us. We want things to be better and faster. We are always seeking the new, the different, the more desirable. No wonder the electronic industries such as those producing phones and computers are thriving by always producing "newer" versions to satisfy our craving for the new and more. This is precisely because we often confuse wants with needs and in the process, we spend money on the wrong things and unnecessarily. I do not know about you, but I am very guilty of this.
Secondly, we are a bundle of complaints! When things don't go our way, we begin to complain. We complain to friends, to our co-workers, and to those who are close to us- often with toxic consequences; and we even sometimes complain to God and about God! However, in all of our wanting and complaining, we usually forget how fortunate we are in so many ways. There are always others who have much less than we have, others who are far worse off than ourselves, whether that be physically, emotionally, or economically. We also forget the many blessings that we, sadly, take for granted! Again, I often catch myself in this situation and I feel ashamed!READ MORE
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
"Peace be with you!" With these words, the Risen Lord greeted his frightened Apostles in the Upper Room on the day of his Resurrection. They were troubled, anxious, and fearful—much like each one of us at some point in our lives. Christ repeated the words, "Peace be with you." But then he added, "Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them" (Jn 20:19-23).
What an extraordinary gift! The Risen Lord was proclaiming that all the suffering he had just endured was in order to make available the gifts of salvation and forgiveness. He wanted the Apostles to receive these gifts. He wanted them to become apostles of this forgiveness to others.READ MORE
“We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This year the Lord grants us, once again, a favourable time to prepare to celebrate with renewed hearts the great mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the cornerstone of our personal and communal Christian life. We must continually return to this mystery in mind and heart, for it will continue to grow within us in the measure that we are open to its spiritual power and respond with freedom and generosity.
1. The paschal mystery as the basis of conversion
Christian joy flows from listening to, and accepting, the Good News of the death and resurrection of Jesus. This kerygma sums up the mystery of a love “so real, so true, so concrete, that it invites us to a relationship of openness and fruitful dialogue” (Christus Vivit, 117). Whoever believes this message rejects the lie that our life is ours to do with as we will. Rather, life is born of the love of God our Father, from his desire to grant us life in abundance (cf. Jn 10:10). If we listen instead to the tempting voice of the “father of lies” (Jn 8:44), we risk sinking into the abyss of absurdity, and experiencing hell here on earth, as all too many tragic events in the personal and collective human experience sadly bear witness.READ MORE
Greetings to you all, St. Andrew the Apostle! I am so happy to be back from my vacation and with you all again. Over the last several weeks, I was able to visit with my family and spend some much-needed time with those I love whom I do not see very often. During my time, and especially at family meals, I was able to reflect on the immense benefit of family. As you all know, I suffered the loss of my parents at a young age and lived as an orphan with my siblings and close family growing up. This, naturally, is one of the many reasons why I am committed to supporting those young ones who find themselves in similar situations, especially through initiatives like E3 Africa and Grow Haiti's Children.READ MORE
So, the tongue is a little member and boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire.
As we finish celebrating the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ during this Christmas season, many have begun to make their new year resolutions. I have never been big on new year's resolutions because, to be honest, I often fail at keeping them. But there is one very important resolution that I know I need to make this year and I ask all who are reading this to help me in doing so. It is to refrain from all forms of gossip.READ MORE
In my last article, I rejoiced over the great things that God blessed us with this past year and for which we should be grateful. As we begin this new year, I am grateful to God for you St. Andrew as my beloved family. Even though currently I am away in Uganda with my biological family members, enjoying their love, I am deeply aware of how you have become an intimate part of my life both spiritually, emotionally and materially. During this past four years as your pastor, I have grown to love you more and more as I connected with you during both your happy and sad moments. I have had the joy of baptizing your children, celebrating your marriages and anniversaries. I also had the privilege of sharing in your most trying moments such as during loss of dear ones, illnesses, broken relationships and so forth. For all of these and more, you have become, and you are my family and I am grateful to God.READ MORE