Hopes and Dreams

08-29-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Hopes and dreams are part of our lives. To have hope is to look ahead for something that has not happened yet. As we started to come out of the woods of the restrictions from the coronavirus we now have to deal with the new Covid 19 Delta variant. How does that affect the way we work, go to school, travel, gather, and our daily routines? We cannot give in to frustration but need to work together as we have for over a year now to get beyond the burden the coronavirus imposes on us. We cannot bury our heads in the sand and ignore the facts. Mutual concern for one another is key to finding the path to fulfill our hopes for meaningful lives. Hopes fulfilled does not mean we will have no problems, difficulties, or obstacles to deal with, but that we will have the presence of God’s Holy Spirit guiding, sustaining, and strengthening us.


Light in the Darkness

08-29-2021From the Pastor's Desk

Patrick Lencioni is the founder of The Table Group and the author of 10 books, which have sold over 4 million copies and been translated into more than 25 languages. Additionally, The Wall Street Journal called him one of the most sought-after business speakers in America. In this talk given at the FOCUS National Conference, Patrick provides a hopeful yet cautionary lesson about the dangers of living a partially Christian life.

Living Fully and Completely

08-22-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

The word assume has two meanings. To assume something is to suppose to it be the case, without proof. The second meaning is to take on a responsibility or role. The readings at Mass today speak to us about assuming a role. In the first reading the Jewish people have now come into the Promised Land and Joshua asks them to make a choice. They choose to assume, to take on the role of being the people of God and putting their faith in Him. In the second reading St. Paul speaks about the roles of husbands and wives. To assume those roles is to give themselves to one another in love as Christ has loved us. In the Gospel some people are no longer putting their faith in Jesus. Jesus asks His disciples if they are going to leave also. Peter answers in their name and says that they will gladly assume the role of being His followers.


Restless Heart

08-22-2021Formed Suggestion of the Week

Filmed in Europe, this first full-length feature movie on St. Augustine uses a historic backdrop to tell the true story of one of the Church's most beloved and well-known saints. Its message of sin, conversion, and redemption is as timely today as it was in the fifth century. It is the story of a gifted man who pursues fame and fortune without a moral compass—and the dramatic changes that occur in his soul when challenging events lead him to see the light of truth. It also chronicles the collapse of the Roman world and how Augustine laid the intellectual foundations of what would later become Europe. Alongside Augustine, the stories of two other great saints, Monica and Ambrose, are also portrayed.

The Wealth of Poverty

08-15-2021Formed Suggestion of the Week

What is the true meaning of "to be rich?"

This mini-documentary created from interviews and footage, examines the question of where true wealth lies and celebrates the life St. Francis of Assisi and his dedication to the poor.

Assuming God into Our Lives

08-15-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

We certainly have come long way from the restrictions imposed on us by the coronavirus this past 15 months. But now we have another offshoot virus to contend with. The past few weeks at daily Mass, the first reading has been from one of the first five books of the Old Testament. We have been listening and reflecting on how the Jewish people were freed from slavery in Egypt and had a forty-year journey to the Promised Land. In spite of their uncertainly and panic in times of thirst and hunger, God was very patient with them. When they began their journey out of slavery, they were slow to see how patient God was with them and how present He was to them. While they did not always trust Him or see His hand, God never gave up on them. Every single day they had everything they needed not only to survive, but to live in the light of God’s light, providence, and care.


The Early Christians

08-08-2021Formed Suggestion of the Week

How did the religion of Love survive paganism and barbarianism? The Empire persecuted the Christians and was eventually converted. The Barbarians sacked Rome, but were converted too. How did the religion of Love manage to survive against paganism and barbarianism? How did the first Christians live? Who were their most terrible enemies: idols, lions, Jews... or heretics? How did they defend their faith? How did they propagate it? The blood of the martyrs was the seed for new Christians. But after the persecutions of the Romans and the barbarian invasions came another grave danger for the new religion: heresies... They would not be lethal. On the contrary, they provided the opportunity to define the essential truths of Christian faith, consolidating the roots of a millennial Church. This in-depth new film series produced in Europe explores this amazing story of the witness of the early Christians and the spread of Christianity.

Stand Firm in the Faith

08-08-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

“I give up! I quit!” Who or what causes us to think these words or to act on them? How do we get beyond them? In the first reading at Mass today (1 Kings 19:4- 8), we see that this is the attitude of Elijah the prophet. He had just finished defeating the power and falsehoods of pagan prophets and shown the people the power of God. But Queen Jezebel, who promoted the false prophets, sought to kill him. Elijah says, “This is enough, O Lord! Take my life.” Elijah knew he was doing what was just and right, that he was being faithful to God, and that he was sincere, concerned, and caring for the people he spoke to. But there were no positive results, only the seemingly constant power of evil pursuing him. But God miraculously sent him food in the desert, renewed his spirit, and led him to a mountain where He spoke to Elijah. Elijah got up and went on, sustained and supported by his faith in God and God’s love for him.


Let Us Go to God's House

08-01-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Every day we are bombarded with tons of information. Our electronic devices are a source of constant information and communication of thoughts, ideas, and news. Where is the good news? What is the good news? For the past year and a half we have been dealing with the coronavirus and its effects. Schools were closed, businesses had people working remotely, we could not visit patients in hospitals, restaurants closed, and our churches were closed. Now everything seems to be opening up as the devastating force of the coronavirus is waning. We have the feeling that our freedom to do what we want to do and go where we want to go is returning.


Solanus Casey: Priest, Porter, Prophet

08-01-2021Formed Suggestion of the Week

This extraordinary film explores the heroic life of a remarkable, modern-day mystic, Father Solanus Casey, who was relegated to doing little more than being a simple doorman in his monastery. But God would transform the role his superiors assigned him, appointing it a far greater significance to be continued even beyond his earthly life: that of prophet, healer, and intercessor.


Something Other than God

07-25-2021Formed Suggestion of the Week

Jennifer Fulwiler told herself she was happy. Why wouldn't she be? She made good money as a programmer at a hot tech start-up, had just married a guy with a stack of Ivy League degrees, and lived in a twenty-first-floor condo where she could sip sauvignon blanc while watching the sun set behind the hills of Austin.


World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly

07-25-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

There are many things in our lives that we run out of. We run out of time, energy, patience, and money to name but a few. And we don’ want to waste time, energy, patience, or money. As we look at the first reading at Mass today (2 Kings 4:42-44) and the Gospel (John 6:1-15) we see that a small amount of food is multiplied to feed a large number of people. In both readings not only are the crowds satisfied, there is a lot of the multiplied food left over. The one thing that we never run out of is the ability to love. We encounter obstacles with disappointment, anger, rejection, and harsh criticism. But the one thing that is clear from the Passion and Death of Jesus is that these negative reactions could not empty His heart of love for us. In the same way we have a tremendous treasure trove of love in our hearts and we know when we love with all heart, soul, mind, and strength we are energized and grateful for the opportunity to touch the lives of others in such a positive, helpful, and life giving way. While our love can seem limited, the passing of time reveals that no matter how many people we encounter we always have the capacity to love. One of the blessings of the Old Testament was living to a ripe old age and seeing your children’s children. In Psalm 128 we have these words of blessing: “May you see yREAD MORE

The Passion of Saint Joan of Arc

07-18-2021Formed Suggestion of the Week

The Passion of Saint Joan of Arc is a documentary that has been released on the centennial of the canonization of the Maid of Orleans (May 16, 1920). This brave young woman with a unique mission reminds us just how important it is that Jesus Christ be the King of our nation, of the entire world, and of our hearts. She carried out her mission in absolute fidelity and confidence in God’s will, revealed to her by her “voices”. Hers is not a life of mere heroism, but rather a model of holiness, of complete surrender to God’s will to the point of sacrificing her own life at only 19 years of age.

Caring for the Most Vulnerable Among Us

07-18-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

One of the joys in life is sharing our time, talents, and resources with family, friends, and those whose needs touch our hearts. In the Gospel for Mass today (Mark 6:30-34) we see the apostles had come back from the mission Jesus sent them on to preach, teach, and heal. They were delighted to spend time with Jesus to recount the wonders and joys they had experienced. Jesus saw their joy and took them to a deserted, out of the way place to rest and renew themselves with Him. But people saw them leaving and followed them. When they disembarked from the boat taking them to a quiet place, the crowds were there waiting for them. Jesus immediately put His needs aside and the rest His apostles were looking for and shared the Good News with the crowds.


Lessons from the Early Church Fathers

07-11-2021Formed Suggestion of the Week

Our individual identities are shaped by and linked to our parents and the stories of our families. As a Church, our identity is linked to and shaped by our fathers and mothers in the faith, the earliest Christians. What do those early Christians have to say that is of relevance to the contemporary Church? How is our understanding of liturgy shaped by what Jesus' followers in the first centuries believed and practiced? Have the changes in the Eucharist brought us closer to the ancient church or separated us from our roots? These are some of the questions Mike Aquilina, St. Paul Center's Executive Vice President, Carl Sommer and Rod Bennett, will address in this five part series as they examine the faith, and particularly the liturgy, from the vantage point of the early Christians. Tackle those questions and more in "Lessons from the Early Church."

Lay Your Burdens Down

07-11-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

One of the joys we have is traveling. We look forward to traveling to see people we love and who love us. We look forward to seeing different natural wonders and different places. One of the tasks for traveling is packing enough of what we will need. Most times we probably over pack, “just in case.” The excess baggage weighs us down, but we carry it around nonetheless.


St. Maria Goretti

07-04-2021Formed Suggestion of the Week

On Tuesday, July 6th, we celebrate the feast day of St. Maria Goretti. This video recounts the true story of this young virgin's ultimate act of love. On her deathbed, eleven year old Maria Goretti forgave Alessandro Serenelli, the man who mortally stabbed her because she resisted his attempted rape. Alessandro was sentenced to thirty years in prison for murdering Maria, and after eight years in jail, he had no remorse. But he eventually converted after Maria miraculously appeared to him in a dream.


Choosing Good or Evil

07-04-2021From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

Happy Fourth of July! It is good to celebrate and remember those courageous people who declared our independence from British rule 245 years ago. Theirs was a bold move that laid the foundation of our nation. Over the course of those 245 years much has happened. We have gone from 13 states to 50 states. We have gone from an original population of 2.5 million to more than 330 million people today. We have defended our liberty and others in wars and we have had a Civil War.