May We Be Agents of Truth

10-30-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

 We all are gifted with many resources, concerns, and responsibilities. Some of the basics are time, faith, love, energy, and money. How good it is when we use these resources well for our own good and the good of others. While we feel stretched at times we always know in our hearts when we have enriched others and ourselves. As the pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish, a gift where God has given you to me, I have been and continue to be enriched by you every day and hope I am doing the same for you. My main responsibility is to do everything I can to nourish and strengthen the spiritual lives of all who come here.


Sacrificing the Most Innocent

10-23-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

It is amazing to see parallels in history. I just finished reading “The President and the Freedom Fighter” by Brian Kilmeade, subtitled “Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Their Battle to Save America’s Soul.” After much thought and reflection President Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 which freed the slaves in the “rebellious states” but left it legal in union states and southern states under northern control. Frederick Douglas was a runaway slave who got his freedom and dedicated his life to publicly speaking about the injustice and evil of slavery. Slavery as a whole was finally ended legally in our nation with the passage of the 13th Amendment on January 31, 1865. Obviously slavery is evil because it allows one human being to own and use another. Besides all those poor souls who lived and died as slaves, the Civil War took the lives of more than 620,000 soldiers, adding the losses of both the North and the South together. Americans fought and killed Americans. That number of fatalities is more than all the Americans killed in battle in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Viet Nam war combined. The evil and injustice of slavery was ended at the cost of many lives.


God's Redemptive Love

10-16-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

It was exciting for baseball fans to see Aaron Judge hit his sixty-second home run and break the record of Roger Maris. When he comes to bat you can hear the cheer - “All rise!!” Whenever we go to court we see this acted out when the announcement is made as the judge comes in: “All rise.” That is a sign of respect for the judge and the office that he or she represents and a source of hope for justice. In today’s Gospel (Luke 18:1-8) Jesus tells the parable about a corrupt judge who finally delivers a verdict in favor of a woman who kept pestering him. He was not so much being just as seeking to get rid of her. Every Sunday in the Creed we recite together we say, “He (Jesus) will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.” We do not emphasize that as much today as when I was growing up in the fifties. We recite this truth not to put fear into our hearts but to put our thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions into practice every day because it is by them that we vindicate or condemn ourselves. In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus spells out simply and clearly the criteria that will be used to judge us: “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’” This sounds almost too simple.


Humble Gratitude

10-09-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

Attitude and gratitude are two words that are very closely connected. Our attitudes are determined by many things and the challenge we face is to rise above wallowing in anger and confusion to see the positive we have and the positive that we can do. In the Gospel for today’s Mass (Luke 17:11-19) we see Jesus curing ten people who had the disease of leprosy. But only one of the ten comes back to thank Jesus for the cure. The others were surely happy that their disease was cured and they were no longer social outcasts, but their failure to express gratitude deprived them of the joy God’s blessings bring. Another word we deal with in our society today is entitlement. Our government entitlement programs are designed to be a safety net to help those in need. Entitlement Programs of the federal government include Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Unemployment, and welfare programs. Entitlement programs are rights granted to citizens and certain non-citizens by federal law. It is good to use our resources to help those in need.


The Challenge is Great

10-02-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

To say the least, it is very challenging to live as Catholics in our nation today. But is there any other way to peace in our hearts and peace in our world? In the Gospel for today’s Mass (Luke 17:5-10) the Apostles say to Jesus: “Increase our faith.” The stronger our faith, the more our lives are centered in Jesus and His presence in our lives and our presence in His life.


An Opportunity to Share Our Faith Journey Together

09-25-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

Last week I wrote about the upcoming retreat we will have in our parish the first week in Lent next year. I am looking that far in advance because it is the most engaging and enriching retreat experience I have ever sought to offer to the people of the parish. It will not only involve three nights of presentations, it will open the door to meeting weekly during the next year to grow in our faith. Am I trying to open a door that seems too intense or time consuming? One of the common answers we give when people ask how we are doing is: I am busy. That is good. But what can we do in all this busyness that will really enrich us. We are in the midst of Major League Baseballgames, National League Football games, and College Football. Whether you watch sports on TV or attend in person, the games from beginning to end take approximately three hours. There are 162 baseball games for our favorite team plus additional games for teams that make the playoffs. There are 17 regular season games in the NFL followed by the playoffs. College football has about 12 games per team plus the playoffs. Each of these games takes approximately three hours of our time to watch. To go to a game takes much more time than that, plus the expense of tickets and refreshments. To watch 20 games of our favorite teams would consume about 60 hours of our time. That is more time than we would spend coming to Mass and Holy Days in one year.


Two Important Parish Projects

09-18-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

In the next six months there will be two important projects in our parish. The first will happen the last two weeks of October and the first week of November. It will be an outreach to you, the people of the parish, thanking you for your financial support and asking you to consider making an increase in your weekly donations. I know this is a very trying time financially with the price of almost everything going up. You experience it in your homes and we experience it in our parish. There will be mailings and words spoken at Mass on those weekends explaining where we are financially and where we are looking to go. This is a big parish plant: we have 19 acres, four buildings, and almost 100 employees on our payroll between full time and part time people. For the past 19 years I have been amazed and inspired by your financial support and I thank you for it.


Keeping Our Inner Peace

09-11-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

It is one thing to lose things, another to lose peace of mind. In the Gospel for today’s Mass (Luke 15:1-32) we have three parables. The first two present people who lost something tangible. In the first, a man loses one of his one hundred sheep and searches until he finds it. He brings it back full of joy. In the second parable a woman loses a coin and searches her house until she finds it. She too shares her joy. The third parable has much more to think about; it is the parable of the prodigal son. Today we mark the 21st year of the terrorist attacks by four teams of suicide terrorists who crashed into both towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a fourth plane which the passengers overtook and forced it to crash into a field in Pennsylvania. We remember with great sadness and mourning all who lost their lives (2,996) -passengers on the planes, people in the buildings, and the brave men and women who attempted to rescue and save them as the Twin Towers fell. How horrible it was to watch this disaster live on television and to live with the mourning and pain, then and still. No matter how good things were that morning at 9:00 AM, that fateful day put an inner fear and sadness in all of us. Dear loved ones were taken from us and it changed the way we think as we travel, especially by air. In our love, we pray for those innocent souls and their families in a heartfelt way today.


Living and Speaking the Truth

09-04-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

Profiles in Courage was a book written by John F. Kennedy in 1955, fives year before he was elected president in 1960. In his book he spoke about eight people who were unsung heroes at different points in our nation’s history. This past Monday we celebrated the feast of the Passion of John the Baptist, a well known saint and true man of faith. He had the courage to live and speak the truth. Some of the lines from the Gospel for that day (Mark 6:17-29) said, “Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet liked to listen to him.” Sadly, when Herod was given an opportunity to see the light of truth he closed his eyes and had John beheaded because of a promise he made to give his wife’s daughter anything she wanted.


Giving God our Undivided Attention

08-28-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

Whenever we are invited to a special occasion in a banquet hall, the first two things we look for is who we are going to sit at table with and how close we will be to the speakers. Every week we come to church and probably have our favorite seat or section. But the real treasure is being able to focus on who we are there for and who we are there with. In the Gospel for today’s Mass (Luke 14:1, 7-14), Jesus tells the parable about choosing a seat at a wedding banquet. It is not really about choosing a seat but why we are there and how we will be part of the banquet. Coming to Mass is not about choosing a seat but why we are there and how we are part of the celebration. The moment we walk in the door Jesus is our welcome host. He is delighted we are there and speaks His words to us from the Scriptures, listens to our prayers of praise, thanks, sorrow, and petition and feeds us with His very self in Holy Communion. How delighted are we when we come into our church building and into the very presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament?



08-21-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

At times it is good to know the right people in the right places. They give us information we need and entree to places or people we wish to see. Children know and have complete confidence that mom and dad will take care of them and their needs. As we get older we assume responsibility for ourselves and others.


The Way of Truth

08-14-2022From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

We build and progress on what those before us have discovered and done. We see the pluses and minuses. In Jesus we see beyond innovation and scientific progress to the basic core and truth of who we are and the ultimate good we are capable of. Jesus did not complain about his doubters, critics, or enemies but lived who He was as one of us to the fullest extent possible. He rose above doubt, skeptics, and opponents to live pure truth and to be a human being in the best sense possible. In Him we see it is not what we can do or want to do, but what we should do and be to be fully alive in the very image in which we have been created - the very image and likeness of God Himself.


Entrusted with Much

08-07-2022From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

I am always struck and caused to reflect when I read these words from the Gospel for today’s Mass (Luke 12:32 -3-48): “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” What have we been entrusted with in the first place? First and foremost is the gift of life. How blessed we are to have been given the gift of life from our parents and for all the love that they have nurtured us with. In spite of all the anger and chaos in our nation we are truly blessed to live in America, especially those of us who are citizens.