Being Part of the Family of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

06-04-2023From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

As we go through life we meet and encounter many people. Our first encounter is clearly with our family. We are welcomed and become a source of joy and love when we are born. New life does not lessen the love we have for others, but expands our generous and joyful hearts. When difficulties, problems, sickness, and death occur, we seek to comfort one another because of our common family bond. When we meet new people and let them into our lives they come to see the power of our family bond and we see theirs. As children we “fight” or disagree with each other at times, but as we mature we come to see the goodness and love in each other and experience the joy of one another’s presence, love, and company.


Companions, Not Competitors

05-28-2023From the Pastor's DeskRev. Msgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

One of the ways we entertain ourselves is by participating in or watching competitions. Sports is good to learn team work and help our physical well being. Lifegiving friendships are formed. On collegiate and professional levels sports are a huge business that generate tremendous amounts of money. On TV we have sports channels and so many other channels that broadcast games in the different sports seasons. Sports is so enveloping that it takes time, energy, and hard work for children and their families who juggle schedules to get everything else besides done. One of the “competitors” that has taken over our Sundays is between going to Mass and going to sports competitions. Sunday is a prime day for the different media channels to beckon us to watch whatever competitors we like. How far civilization has come from observing the Lord’s Day by focusing on Him and His presence to not finding enough time to fit the Lord in on His Day.


Comfort Zones

05-21-2023From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

There are certain people, places, and situations where we feel very comfortable. It is encouraging to be accepted, respected, and loved and to be with people we love, accept, and respect. But we are not in a comfort zone every moment of every day. Some days and situations make us uncomfortable. It is in those situations that we need the courage and wisdom to be who we are in the best sense possible. When we are in a controversial place, our challenge is to respond with the courage and Spirit of who we are as followers of Jesus Christ, that is, to respond with His courage and Spirit. Jesus Himself faced many challenging people and situations. He responded with His inner trust and love for the Father and the inner hope and love He had for those He was with. The Gospel passages these past Sundays have come from the Last Supper accounts of St. John’s Gospel, chapters 13-17. In the ever hastening moments of the suffering and injustice He was about to face and endure, Jesus met the challenge with unconditional love for the Father and us, trusting and hoping we would accept and embrace Him and His love.


Holy Mother Church

05-14-2023From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Every day I begin praying the Divine Office in my breviary by taking the holy cards from my mother and father that I use as book markers and hold them to my heart, thanking God for them and asking them to pray for me. It fills me with joy and gratitude to think about and pray for them. They are a great source of hope for me as I begin my prayers every day.

Today we celebrate Mother’s Day and thank our mothers for all they have done for us. As I have mentioned many times before, at Christmas and on her birthday my mother would say, “Don’t buy me any gifts, just come to see me.” Being with those we love is a tremendous source of joy, hope, and gratitude, especially with those who have given us their hearts, minds, and souls. May we always know the blessing our mothers are to us.


Be Prepared

05-07-2023From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

There are many attractions, places, and people we think about seeing at different points in our lives. One of the most beautiful and interesting places I have been is on a cruise to Alaska. It was amazing to see the wonder of glaciers, whales and salmon jumping out of the water, and just the pristine beauty of nature there. But there is one place we all want to go, but not yet: the Kingdom of Heaven when we die. Jesus speaks about the preparations He has made for all of us in the Gospel for today’s Mass (John 14:1-12): “"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way."


Our Good Shepherd

04-30-2023From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

In order to keep our wits about us and to find strength and courage to live truly good lives is not always easy. There are good days and challenging days. The good days are a joy while the challenging days can bring much fear, anger, worry, and sadness. Last Sunday we listened to the Gospel from Luke 24:13-25 where two of Jesus’ disciples were leaving Jerusalem three days after Jesus had died. Obviously they were filled with disappointment, worry, and sadness. They were wrapped up in their personal confusion and seeking peace. But they were going in the wrong direction. The Crucified Jesus was no longer their shepherd and guide. But He was! The Risen Jesus approached and walked with them and finally revealed Himself to them. At that point they turned around and went back to Jerusalem no longer as the place of defeat and death of their Savior, but the place where He rose from the dead and showed His power over sin and evil, the power we so sorely need in our world and in our personal lives.


Truly Living

04-23-2023From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

One of the things I enjoy is doing crossword puzzles. It is interesting to put words and clues together. As I read the Gospel for this Sunday (Luke 24:13-35) the word LIVE came to mind. In this passage the Risen Christ appeared to two of His disciples who were leaving Jerusalem on the Sunday after Jesus was crucified. They were leaving the scene of a terrible tragedy and disappointment. These two were in a state of confusion as they saw Jesus rejected, crucified, and buried. They had heard that He had risen, but they were skeptical and disoriented. Jesus did not condemn, abandon, or dismiss them but met them where they were - not just physically but mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. They wanted to LIVE as we all want to LIVE, with hope, purpose, meaning, security, and love. And Jesus enabled them to come to the light of hope, purpose, meaning, security, and love by His presence to them.


Hand in Hand

04-16-2023From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

Back in the 1970s there was a folk song sung at Masses entitled “Put Your Hand In The Hand Of The Man Who Stilled The Water.” Those lyrics came to mind when I read the Gospel for Mass (John 20:19-31) today as I was preparing my homily for this weekend’s Masses. This passage gives us the account of two post resurrection appearances of Jesus to His apostles. In the first appearance the disciples are behind locked doors as a group, for fear of those who crucified Jesus. The Risen Jesus came and took away their fears with these powerful words: “Peace be with you.” He repeated that greeting a second time and showed them His hands and his side which bore the scourge of His crucifixion. The disciples were overwhelmed and filled with joy. When they told St. Thomas of this appearance he refused to believe. The Gospel for today continues with the account of Jesus’ second appearance to them where He said to St. Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” 


04-09-2023From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

Happy Easter! How good it is to be alive, to be loved, and to be a source of love for those entrusted to our care and presence. Every day there are challenges and opportunities to rise beyond our own concerns and needs and be a positive force for others. Life is a gift. To see life as a gift is to “rise” above and beyond feelings of entitlement, ignorance, a desire to be in control, anger, disappointment, and a host of so many other negative feelings. It is not always easy to see the goodness and need for love in others and ourselves. Our society is bursting with reports of the faults and failures of public and not so public people. The almost blasé verse from Ecclesiastes 1:9 comes to mind: “What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun!”