The second reading for the Masses this weekend stresses the unity within the Body of Christ. At the same time, there is great diversity. “We are many parts, but one Body.” St. Paul stresses that this diversity can be rich; it does not need to be an obstacle to unity.
Even though Christians today share a common Baptism and belief in the Lordship of Jesus, we have divisions within the Body of Christ. We are broken into many “denominations” and we even criticize and attack one another. As Pope St. John Paul II has said: “This is contrary to the will of Christ.”
All the popes of the 20th and 21st centuries, in addition to a strong challenge from Vatican II, have called for all Christians to work together to promote greater understanding and cooperation within the Body of Christ. This has been dubbed “the ecumenical movement.”
I remember one of my theology professors in the seminary defining “ecumenism” as the movement of the Holy Spirit to bring about greater unity among the People of God. He told us that we need to recognize that there is more that unites us than there are things that divide us.
During the month of April, I will be teaching a course on ecumenism to the graduate students at Loyola School of Theology in Manila. This is the school where I used to teach while I was in the Philippines. Through the wonders of the internet, I will be teaching them from the comfort of my office (Zoom, of course). My challenge will be to help them understand that Protestants, Orthodox and other Christian groups are not the enemy. They are brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to reach out, to dialogue, to pray together, to understand each other better, to work together.
I had hoped that this January our parish might be able to observe the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with other churches of Carlsbad. This pesky pandemic has forced me to push off that dream until next year. In previous parishes where I have served, we had some beautiful experiences. Stay tuned for next year!
During my years as a prison chaplain in Buffalo, I was blessed to be able to work in an ecumenical prison ministry. When I went on to graduate studies, I was able to get my doctorate in an ecumenical setting. In both places my faith was enriched through dialogue and prayer with Christians of many denominations. I came to know better all that we share in common. I was also better able to appreciate the uniqueness of our Catholic tradition more.
With the Lord Jesus, let us pray: “Father, may we be one.”
Enjoy a fresh arrangement of this classic hymn which is often associated with prayer for Christian unity. It is a hymn that is used in Catholic and Protestant churches around the English-speaking world.
What is a Synod?
Pope Francis is inviting all of the world’s Catholics to participate in a consultation about how the Church journeys with them. He is inviting our authentic communication in a way that listens to our concerns, hopes and dreams for the Church.
This consultation will bring together people from various backgrounds and levels of participation. The process is called a “synod” which is a word that simply means an assembly or a gathering. We are being asked to gather together, to listen to one another and to reflect on where we called as a Church to go.
Our diocese is participating in this process. Our parish will hold listening sessions in March to provide us with a forum for expressing our hopes, our dreams, our disappointments. More information will be shared in the coming weeks.
Catholic Schools Week Mass
Our parish celebration of Catholic Schools Week will begin with a Mass at 9:00 am on Sunday, January 30. This Mass will be celebrated on the covered court of the school and is open to all parishioners and visitors. It is open not only to school families but to the entire parish. Come and celebrate the gifts of our young people as our school students proclaim the readings, lead us in prayer and provide the music.
This is an opportunity to support our parish school and pray for those who have worked so hard in these difficult times to maintain the excellence for which St. Pat’s is famous. You are also invited to join the Open House which goes until 11:00 am. Come and take a look at our school.
Note: On January 30, there will also be the regular 9:00 am Mass in the church.
Funeral for Elaine Montesano
The Mass of Christian Burial for Elaine Montesano, the sister of Fr. Bill Rowland, will be celebrated in our church this Thursday, January 27, at 11:00 am. She died last September 2021. Fr. Bill invites parishioners to join him for this celebration of new life.
Masses on January 22- 23
Once again this weekend, we will celebrate the 11:00 am Mass (English) and 1:00 pm Mass (Spanish) outside on the covered court of the school. The other five Masses will be in the church.
There will be no singing at any of our Masses.
This adjustment to our Mass schedule applies to this weekend and will be evaluated in the coming week. An announcement will be made in next week’s parish e-newsletter.
Face masks are required at all Masses and any indoor gathering at St. Patrick’s until at least February 15, 2022.
If you are feeling ill or believe you may have Covid-like symptoms, please stay at home. We continue to livestream Masses for every day of the week. These Masses are automatically recorded and available on the parish YouTube channel.
Misas del 22 al 23 de enero
Una vez más este fin de semana, celebraremos tanto la Misa de las 11:00 am (inglés) y la Misa de la 1:00 pm (español) en el patio de la escuela. Las otras cinco misas serán en la iglesia.
No habrá canto en ninguna de nuestras Misas.
Este ajuste a nuestro horario de Misas aplica para este fin de semana y será evaluado durante la semana próxima. Se hará un anuncio en el boletín electrónico parroquial de la próxima semana.
Se requieren cubrebocas en todas las Misas y en cualquier reunión bajo techo en St. Patricio hasta al menos el 15 de febrero de 2022.
Si se siente enfermo o cree que puede tener síntomas similares a los de Covid, quédese en casa. Seguimos transmitiendo misas en vivo todos los días de la semana. Estas misas se graban automáticamente y están disponibles en el canal de YouTube de la parroquia.
Thank You to all who supported our parish during 2021 through donations to our Sunday collection, ministries, Capital Campaign, Gold Envelope Fund and other collections. The annual tax letters which summarize your 2021 giving were mailed out last week to all parishioners who donated to our church during the last year. Please call the Stewardship Office at 760-729-0717 if you have any questions.
We Are One Body
This song was written by a popular Christian singer named Dana Scallon. It was written as the theme song for World Youth Day 1993 and has been very popular ever since.
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"Catholic Trivia”... not because they are trivial but because these might be things that not everyone knows. Test your knowledge by reading the five questions, remember your answers (or jot them down), then click the link below to find the answers.
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Paul explains that all were baptized into the one body of Christ.
Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21
In the synagogue at Nazareth, Jesus reads aloud from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and announces that this Scripture is now fulfilled.
Background on the Gospel Reading
Today's Gospel reading combines two separate passages taken from the Gospel of Luke. First we hear the opening verses where Luke establishes the purpose of his Gospel. His style is typical of polished Greek and Roman literature. In this passage, we learn that Luke may have written to a specific person, Theophilus; but the word Theophilus may also be a general reference, functioning as the phrase “Dear Reader” might in contemporary writing. In Greek, the word Theophilus translates as “lover of God.”
Today's Gospel reading then skips several chapters in which one would find the Infancy Narratives, Jesus' baptism by John, the temptations Jesus faced in the desert, and the beginning of Jesus' public ministry. In chapter four of Luke's Gospel, we hear that Jesus is in his hometown of Nazareth, attending the synagogue on the Sabbath, which is said to be his custom. In this account, we find another important clue that Jesus lived as a faithful, observant Jew. We will continue to read from Luke's Gospel in sequence for the next two Sundays.
As Jesus stands in the synagogue, he reads from the scroll handed to him; it contains the words of the prophet Isaiah. At this early moment in his ministry, Jesus announces his mission in continuity with Israel's prophetic tradition. This reading from Isaiah defines Jesus' ministry. We will find more evidence of this as we continue to read from Luke's Gospel throughout the year. Jesus' ministry will include bringing glad tidings to the poor, liberty to captives, healing to the sick, freedom to the oppressed, and proclaiming a year acceptable to the Lord.
Through this text from Isaiah, Jesus announces God's salvation. The “year acceptable to the Lord” is a reference to the Jewish tradition of Sabbath years and jubilee. The Sabbath year was observed every seventh year. It was a year of rest when land was left fallow and food stores were to be shared equally with all. A year of Jubilee was celebrated every fiftieth year, the conclusion of seven cycles of Sabbath years. It was a year of renewal in which debts were forgiven and slaves were freed.
This tradition of Jubilee is the framework for God's promise of salvation. And yet in Jesus, something new begins. Jesus not only announces God's salvation, he brings this salvation about in his person. Jesus is Yahweh's Anointed One, filled with the Spirit of God. The Kingdom of God is now at hand. It is made present in Jesus, in his life, death, and Resurrection. Jesus will send the Holy Spirit so that the Kingdom of God can be fulfilled.
The Holy Spirit is Jesus' gift to the Church. The Holy Spirit enables the Church to continue the mission of Jesus. When we do what Jesus did—bring glad tidings to the poor, liberty to captives, healing to the sick, and freedom to the oppressed—we serve the Kingdom of God.
Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of the Unborn
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), no. 373, designates January 22 as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children: it shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.
Pope St. John Paul II mentioned this kind of day in his encyclical on human life: A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer.
The over 60 million abortions since the 1973 decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton reflect with heartbreaking magnitude what Pope Francis means by a “throwaway culture.” However, we have great trust in God’s providence. We are reminded time and again in Scripture to seek the Lord’s help, and as people of faith, we believe that our prayers are heard.
On Saturday, January 22, our 8:00 am Mass will include prayers for an end to abortion and legal protection for the lives of the unborn.
Ecumenism – Christian Unity
The Catholic Church teaches that the Body of Christ extends beyond those who belong to the Catholic Church. We share one Lord, one faith and one baptism with Christians across denominations. Yet, our unity is incomplete. There are differences in belief, practice, worship and structure which result from a variety of historical circumstances. The Church believes that the Holy Spirit is calling us to work for greater unity across denominations.
The attached article is drawn primarily from the US Catholic Bishops’ website and gives a basic idea of the why and how of ecumenical relations.
Frequently Requested Statistics on the Catholic Church
The Center for Applied Research on the Apostolate (CARA) is an outstanding and highly-respected resource for the Catholic Church in the United States. It is a national, non-profit, Georgetown University affiliated research center that conducts social scientific studies about the Catholic Church. Founded in 1964, CARA has three major dimensions to its mission: to increase the Church’s self understanding; to serve the applied research needs of Church decision-makers; and to advance scholarly research on religion, particularly Catholicism.
CARA has almost 60 years of experience in quality social science research on the Catholic Church. It offers a range of research and consulting services for dioceses, parishes, religious communities and institutes, and other Catholic organizations. CARA’s longstanding policy is to let research findings stand on their own and never take an advocacy position or go into areas outside its social science competence. All CARA researchers have advanced degrees in relevant academic disciplines as well as pastoral experience. CARA researchers are active in the academic community publishing and presenting research about the Catholic Church.
The following link summarizes some of the most interesting and most requested statistics on the Catholic Church in the United States. Take some time to browse and see the trends that have taken place over the last 50 years.
Jesús entro a la sinagoga… y leo, “El espíritu del Señor esta sobre mí, porque me ha ungido para llevar a los pobres la buena nueva, para anunciar la liberación a los cautivos y la curación a los ciegos, para dar libertad a los oprimidos y proclamar el año de gracia del Señor”. Enrollo el volumen, lo devolvió a los encargados… después dijo, “Hoy mismo se ha cumplido este pasaje de la Escritura que acaban de oír”.Imagínense lo que les pasaba por la mente en aquellas personas que escuchaban Jesús decir, “Hoy mismo se ha cumplido este pasaje de la Escritura que acaban de oír”. El Pueblo Judío esperaba al Mesías, a esa persona que los iba a liberar, que iba a restaurar todo para ellos, su Templo y su poder. Ellos esperaban a un gran guerrero, tipo del Rey David. Dios cumple su promesa.Jesús, es el gran guerrero, él que viene a restaurar y redimir al Pueblo Judío. Pero Jesús les habla de otro tipo de restauración y poder, de uno que inicia en el corazón. Hemos mirados a muchos ricos que tienen muchas posesiones, casas y carros grandes, mucho dinero, pero no hay paz en sus corazones y muchos mueren con su tristeza. Jesús viene a ofrecernos su Reino, y no tenemos que morir para vivir en su reino, lo podemos vivir ahora en nuestras vidas cotidianos. A vivir en su Reino aquí es vivir con los “ojos abiertos y un corazón palpitante”. Vivir con Jesús el corazón, es darle todo de nosotros, es darle nuestros errores y tristezas. Confiando que Jesús nos da lo que necesitamos para seguir caminando en su Reino aquí que lo viviremos en su totalidad cuando morimos.
Por favor escuchen a los enlaces proveídos, espero que les ayude en su meditación.