Loving God, Loving Our Neighbor

10-31-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

“I told you once and now I am telling you again, what you need to hear for you own good.” How often have we heard or spoken those words? In both the first reading (Deuteronomy 6:2-6) and the Gospel (Mark 12:28-34) for Mass today we hear the same words twice: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” One of the most nourishing parts of life is the people who love us and the people we love. We are strengthened, sustained, and inspired by the love of others as they are by our love for them. We never tire of hearing we are loved and experiencing the goodness of those we love. In seeking to love God, we recognize how blessed we are. His presence opens our minds and hearts to the power of His loving presence, His unconditional love, His life-renewing mercy, and the gift He is to us and the way He sees us as a gift to Himself.


With God in Russia

10-24-2021Formed Suggestion of the Week

Well known for his heroic story of surviving 24 years in Russian prison camps, this film about the great Jesuit Fr. Walter Ciszek traces his incredible endurance and struggle for survival. It highlights his tremendous faith in God, and the remarkable impact his life has had on the resurgence of Catholicism in Russia, as seen with on location footage from around the world.

Seeing Through the Eyes, Mind & Heart of Jesus

10-24-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

“Leave Jesus alone!” Who would ever say that? That is exactly what people are telling the blind man Bartimaeus in today’s Gospel. (Mark 10:46- 52) Obviously Bartimaeus has heard about Jesus and is reaching out to Him as he is walking by. How sad it is to see people trying to keep him from encountering Jesus. But Bartimaeus persists and Jesus responds: “What do you want me to do for you?” Bartimaeus responds, “Master, I want to see!” Jesus’ response is: “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Then the scriptures tell us: “Immediately he received his sight and followed Him on the way.”


St. John Paul the Great by Jason Evert

10-17-2021Formed Suggestion of the Week

Discover the five great loves of Pope Saint John Paul II as Jason Evert, renowned Catholic speaker and author, shares remarkable stories about this saint's life from those who knew him, including bishops, students whom he taught, and Swiss Guards who interacted with him daily. Jason presents a wealth of insights about this holy man who promoted devotion to Divine Mercy and Marian consecration, helped defeat communism in Europe, wrote the Theology of the Body, and embraced young people like no other.

True Greatness

10-17-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Who was Stanislav Petrov? He was a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Air Defense Forces. On September 24, 1983, during his watch that night, the computer report from a satellite reported America had launched five nuclear armed missiles against Russia. His responsibility was to call his superiors and ultimately get Yuri Andropov, the Soviet Premier at that time, to prepare a nuclear strike in return. But he did not. He thought it might be a false report and waited five minutes. He felt that if there really was an attack far more than five missiles would have been launched. Soviet radar on the ground had no indication that missiles were on the way. If the missiles were on the way they would strike in twenty-five minutes. He made the right choice. If not for him we would be in a nuclear disaster area, millions would have died, and who knows what else. Instead of being praised for his decision not to report the initial warning, which was false, he was reprimanded for not reporting it.


Radical Faith

10-10-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

“What must I do to inherit eternal life?” That is a question a man asks Jesus in today’s Gospel (Mark 10:17-30). The older we get, the more questions about what life will be like when we die come into our minds. Thinking about life after death is not to escape from the present moment but to put it into focus. Jesus responds to this man and his question by telling him to keep the Ten Commandments. The man replies that he does keep the commandments but knows in his heart that is not enough. There is something missing. Jesus tells him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven, then come follow me.”


John XXIII: The Pope of Peace / Saint Teresa of Avila: A true Reformer

10-10-2021Formed Suggestion of the Week

John XXIII: The Pope of Peace

This movie tells the whole life story of John XXIII from his youth through his young priesthood, episcopacy, life as a cardinal, and eventually his life as Pope. Elected supposedly as an "interim Pope" who would just keep the status quo and listen to the advisers around him, John XXIII proved to be his own man when he surprised the Church and wolrd by calling for the Second Vatican Council

Saint Teresa of Avila: A True Reformer by Christopher Blum

Dr. Christopher Blum unfolds the inspiring life of St. Teresa and her important role in the Catholic Reformation. After having already been a nun for twenty years, she had a radical transformation in her own life and then became one of the most powerful forces for bringing about conversion and positive change in the history of the Church. Listen and learn about this Mystic, Doctor of the Church, and True Reformer.

Motherly Joy

10-03-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Last Monday we celebrated the feast of St. Vincent de Paul, a priest who was deeply concerned about the poor. In the breviary prayers for that day there were these words from his writings: “Although in His passion Jesus almost lost the appearance of a man and was considered a fool by the Gentiles and a stumbling block to the Jews, He showed them that His mission was to preach to the poor. He sent me to preach the good news to the poor. We ought to have this same spirit and imitate Christ’s action, that is, we must take care of the poor, console them, help them, support their cause.”


Clare and Francis

10-03-2021Formed Suggestion of the Week

This outstanding movie is unique among films about St. Francis because of the historical accuracy of the story and its authentic spirit of joy and piety so characteristic of Francis, as well as the major role played by Clare, who is given equal stature with him. Both found major religious orders, and together they inspire many to follow their radical call to live the Gospel. Their impact has reached across the centuries to change the world.

Looking Beyond Ourselves

09-26-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Recently I received a short video of President Ronald Reagan that showed him speaking about religious values. I was inspired by these words from him: “The first amendment was not written to protect people and their laws from religious values; it was written to protect these values from government tyranny.” Peace will only come into our hearts when we live in and share the light of pure love which is founded on pure goodness, truth, and forgiveness. Without such love we all too often get to the point where we say, “Enough, I can go no further! Enough I will go no further!” Jesus combined pure goodness, truth, and forgiveness with a love that gave humbly to the fullest extent humanly possible. But that love did not stop or disappear because He rose from the dead, appeared to His followers, ascended into heaven, and sent us His Holy Spirit. Jesus made it very clear not only that He loves us with a pure love, but also that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life in this world that leads to eternal life with Him forever in heaven.


The Sacrament of Penance

09-19-2021Formed Suggestion of the Week

Speaking on reconciliation, Fr. William Casey, Superior General of the Fathers of Mercy, reminds us that confession, the forgotten Sacrament, is the ordinary means for the forgiveness of mortal sins after baptism and a veritable treasury of graces and spiritual strength for us in our daily struggles against temptation and sin. Discover how this Sacrament can transform your life if you allow it!

Living Who We Are as Catholics

09-19-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

A week ago Saturday, September 11th, we marked the 20th year since the terrorist attacks in which 2,977 innocent people and rescuers were killed and more than 6,000 people were injured. We mourned the loss of the victims and prayed for them and their families. Since then we have been ever more vigilant to potential future attacks on innocent lives. Countless times the sentiment, “We will never forget!” was proclaimed and rightly so. We mourn because loved ones had their lives unjustly and suddenly taken. And we continue to do all we can to be vigilant in the present and in the future. This horrible attacks united all the people of our nation in horror, anger, and determination to do everything possible to head off future terrorist attacks.


The Dignity of Human Life

09-12-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

One of the most powerful and vital organs in our human bodies is our hearts. Over the course of my lifetime there have been many advances to bring failing hearts back to good health. There are bypasses, valve replacements and even heart transplants. We have AEDs in our school and church for emergency situations. But once our heart fails our bodies die and we leave this world.


The Saints and Heroes Collection - For the Kids!

09-12-2021Formed Suggestion of the Week

Who do your children look up to? Give them some real heroes with The Saints and Heroes Collection. The Stories of real-life Saints and Christian Heroes all come to life in CCC of America's award-winning animated film series. Featuring authentic role models today's child can truly believe in.

Loving and Serving the Poor

09-05-2021Formed Suggestion of the Week

How do we view those less fortunate than us? How do we love them, serve them, and help them encounter Christ? These questions are challenging, and honestly, much easier to avoid by dropping a few dollars into a special collection for the poor. While this act is generous, Christ calls us to so much more: a life fully alive in service to others.

Let Franciscan friar Fr. Mark Mary Ames, CFR be your guide to clarity around this challenging topic with stories, ideas, strategies, and challenges for Catholics of every background. His course will truly transform your mind, heart, and life as a disciple on mission and as a Christian in service to others.

Life is Good

09-05-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

With all that is going on in the media about the violence around the world and in our nation, it is good to be refreshed and encouraged by good news. At the beginning of this past week I went over to the school and spoke with two ladies on our staff. One was there with her one-year-old son. How beautiful to see the joy on her face as we spoke about him. A second member of our staff pointed to her stomach and joyfully announced she was pregnant with a second child who will be born in January. Whenever someone announces a pregnancy we cannot help but be touched by their joy, wonder, and enthusiasm. I am also happy to see young children at Mass with their parents and am grateful to speak a few words to them as they leave and to be touched by their happy, inquisitive faces.