Pastor's Page


Father Peter Mactutis
Parish Priest 

 

 

4/14/19

Dear Parishioners,

This coming week we have the holiest week of the entire year! There are no short cuts through it. All of the parts are equally necessary, just like all of the parts of Jesus’ mission are equally necessary. Holy Thursday we, as a church, receive a model of leadership as servants and disciples through the washing of the Apostles feet (see John Chapter 13.) We receive the same Body and Blood of Jesus that he offered his disciples and would offer on the cross. We journey into the garden that fateful night and pray with Jesus. On Good Friday we walk with Jesus. We fall with Jesus. And we get back up and continue to the end. We adore Jesus side-by-side with Mary and John. At the Easter vigil and Easter day we share in the fruits of faithfulness having persevered and loved Jesus to the end, and now to the new beginning. Please come.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

4/7/19

Dear Parishioners,

Every once and while I will read a Wikipedia article on a particular topic about the faith. The other day I wanted to get an insight into Jesus’s triumphal entry in to Jerusalem, also known as Palm Sunday. Wikipedia quotes a couple of different theologians that say that the waving and throwing down of the palms before Jesus is reminiscent of the Maccabean victory procession into Jerusalem after liberating it from their oppressors. So, there is a feeling of power, victory, success in this moment of Jesus life. But, we must remember that Jesus is different. This is not a victory won by the sword.

There is another quote in the article that states that there is a reason Jesus rode in on a donkey, as opposed to a horse. The horse is an animal used in war. If he had ridden in on a horse it would have been a declaration of war to the earthly forces opposed to Jesus. However, the donkey often symbolized peace, and was the animal Jesus instructed his disciples to bring. Thus, we have the two realities of palm Sunday, namely, that Jesus will be victorious and it will be brought by peace.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

3/31/19

Dear Parishioners,

There is a video on FORMED.ORG called “Crux”, which is part of the ANIMA series. In the video Bishop Joseph Hying says, “that if there is no God, if there is no fundamental purpose to life, if there is no love at the heart of the universe, then I have to be my own god, I always have to be right, I always have to be strong.” Basically what he is saying is that if there is no God, then we are truly alone in a world that is intrinsically chaotic. But our hearts tell us that this is wrong. Our desire for order, companionship, love, unity and peace all betray the lie that says there is no God.

One of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit is Fortitude. Fortitude is courage and strength. This is a great gift that God gives to us each day. With it we can speak boldly to the world that has become blind to the beautiful truth that God is real, He is present to all of us, and that He loves us.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

3/24/19

Dear Parishioners,

It is really neat how we celebrate the Solemnity of St. Joseph and the Annunciation of Mary within a few short days of each other. The Solemnity of the Annunciation is this Monday, March 25th. To celebrate this event, we will have a bilingual Mass at 6pm on Monday.

There was an article in the National Catholic Register newspaper several years ago by John Clark in which he said that the Annunciation is the moment in history when “even the angels held their breath”. Everyone was complicit in the fall, in some manner. You could imagine that even the good angels felt bad for the fall of their brethren. But there, in that little house in Nazareth, God placed all his love and hope for the new beginning of his people, of all creation, on Mary’s shoulders. From the moment Gabriel uttered the wishes of God upon her, there was a deep hushed silence that came over the heavens. The angels waited…... What would she say? What would she do? And then, almost as though Mary knew that all the angels in heaven were rooting for her, that God was loving her, that all the peoples to come would be eternally grateful, she said, “may it be done to me according to your word”. And in that moment she, by the power of the Holy Spirit, became the Mother of the living God. And the angels rejoiced!!

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

3/17/19

Dear Parishioners,

First, thank you all so much for your participation in our Lenten holy hours of Adoration that you are all doing in church. Every time I go into the church there are people praying. It is so beautiful. This is the remedy for so many things going on in our world. It will bring peace to our world and to our parish and to your families.

Second, this coming Tuesday, March 19th, is the Solemnity of St. Joseph. We will celebrate it with Mass at 6pm and then a little Ice Cream social after Mass. I don’t know why the monks at the seminary I attended always did this for St. Joseph’s feast day, but it seems like nice way to celebrate him. I think it is partly because his feast day is always during Lent, so we celebrate it as a break from the Lenten sacrifices. Also, St. Joseph is a model for all parents, especially our dads, in purity and tenderness toward their children. It is just a nice way for the whole family to be together.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

3/10/19

Dear Parishioners,

Last week I talked about the power of each of us spending time in silent prayer in the church, praying before the Blessed Sacrament. I also shared how that impacted my life. There is a quote from St. Augustine that also captures the powerful effect of this quiet prayer.

He said in his Confessions:

“Your best servant is he who is intent not so much on hearing his petition answered, as rather on willing whatever he hears from you.”

In other words, we are not at our best when we are asking God for all of our own wants and desires, but we are at our best when we are seeking what God wants and what God desires. For many years I never asked God what He wanted, I always prayed for what I wanted. It was not until I spent time in quiet sitting with Jesus in the church that I began to even think about God as God, and me as his servant. In fact, before I treated God like my personal servant, He was supposed to do everything I wanted. The deeper we go in prayer, the closer we come to the burning and purifying truth of God’s love, and know His awesome wants and desires for us.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

3/3/19

Dear Parishioners,

Lent is almost here! This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday! As we are all planning how we can truly enter the season, I would like to propose something we can do together as a parish family.

First, let me explain a little bit. Many years ago, before I was even thinking about becoming a priest, a person in my parish asked me to commit to spending one hour in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I agreed, not really knowing what I was supposed to do, or why I was doing it, but it seemed a bit adventurous, so I was excited to try. My time was 2:00 am every Friday night. At first, in Adoration, I was like a distracted little child. I could not sit still, I felt like I was wasting my time, or worse yet, wasting God’s time. After 10 minutes I had run out of things to say. And so, there I sat blankly looking at the Tabernacle. Despite my spiritual immaturity, I wanted to keep trying. I came back week after week. Slowly, and I mean slowly, my spiritual ears began open. As I sat there, in the middle of the night, I began to hear Jesus speaking. It was no longer me just sitting there, but each Friday night, it was my turn to sit next to Jesus. My heart slowly began to soften. The silence in the chapel was no longer filled just with my distracted thoughts, but became a truly wonderful peaceful time with Jesus. I now know, without any doubt, that if I had never accepted the invitation to do this, I never would have become a priest. This is for one very simple reason; I never would have heard God speaking to me.

This Lent, I would like to propose that all of us commit to pray one hour a week before the Blessed Sacrament in our Church at St. Mary. What this means is that each family, or each individual, will sign-up on a slip of paper that will be provided at Mass to commit to coming to the church at a specific time on a specific day of the week for the duration of Lent. You can pick any time you want. It is fine that we could have multiple people signed up for the same time. Actually, that is part of the beauty, to be in a silent church with others offers a certain feeling of comradery in that silent prayer.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

2/24/19

Dear Parishioners,

With the Abuse Summit this weekend at the Vatican, I have been fighting the temptation to think that nothing will change and no good will come from it. I truly hope that the leaders of our beloved Church will create a system of holding bishops, and all those responsible, accountable for their grave mistakes. The damage and hurt done directly to the victims is horrible, but our leadership’s lack of ability to hold bishops and other leaders accountable is terribly frustrating and makes it that much more hurtful.

 

St. Ignatius of Loyola has some good advice in his Spiritual Exercises; he says that one of Satan’s favorite lies is to convince us that nothing will ever get better. By doing this, Satan hopes we will give in to despair, or just wallow in frustration and anger. Therefore, we must fight that temptation, and not give up fighting for the same thing Jesus Christ desires, that the Church is a place that all people can come close to God and encounter His peace, truth, justice, mercy and love.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

2/17/19

Dear Parishioners,

I want to offer a word of encouragement to all of our families that are in the Faith formation program and preparing their kids for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. Thank you all for the hard work you have been putting into teaching your children. I am so impressed by your efforts. Once you complete packet #4, your child will be ready to do their First Reconciliation (Confession). If there are some families that are having difficulties, I would suggest just slowing down and letting your kids and you learn at the speed that works for you. I know that you all are very busy and your time is precious. There is no rush. As we get closer to May, we will set dates in June, July and beyond for First Communion. Your child will make it!

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

2/10/19

Dear Parishioners,

This Monday, February 11th, is the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes. I have always been impressed by the events of our Lady’s appearance to St. Bernadette many years ago.

One detail from the apparition that seems very unique is the command that Mary made of Bernadette. In front of everyone watching, Mary told Bernadette to “eat of the plants and to wash.” The only plants were the weeds growing next to her. So, out of complete obedience she started to eat the weeds. To wash she was going to go down to the river, but Mary corrected her and told her not wash in the river but to do it right there. There was not water, but only a patch of really wet mud. So, out of complete obedience she started washing herself with the mud. Everyone thought she was going mad. In washing herself she was being washed clean of any pride, or concern what other people thought about her. She became a hero of true humility. It would only be a short while before people began to understand how powerful was her faith and beautiful her obedience. Soon a spring of water grew from the muddy spot that she washed. That spring of water is still flowing today.

St. Bernadette, pray for us.

Blessings,

Fr. Pete

 

 

 

2/3/19

Dear Parishioners,

There is a Catholic tradition to pray the “Angelus” prayer at 6:00am, noon, and 6:00pm. There is a famous painting that depicts this moment in the life of two farmers out in the field. You can see the church bell tower in the background. Using your imagination, you can hear the church bell ringing at noon. The two farmers have their heads bowed in prayer, saying the Angelus and listening the bells tolling in the distance. This was one way the people were united in prayer even when they were working.

  • V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
  • R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
  • Hail Mary, full of grace etc...
  • V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
  • R. Be it done unto me according to Your Word.
  • Hail Mary, full of grace etc...
  • V. And the Word was made flesh,
  • R. And dwelt among us.
  • Hail Mary, full of grace etc...
  • V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
  • R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
  • Let us pray:
  • Pour forth, we beseech You, O Lord, Your Grace into our hearts;
  • that as we have known the incarnation of Christ, your Son
  • by the message of an angel, so by His passion and cross
  • we may be brought to the glory of His Resurrection.
  • Through the same Christ, our Lord.
  • Amen.  

 

 

1/27/19

Dear Parishioners,

The evening of February 8th we will be having our One Faith, One Community celebration. One part of this will be to learn how to say some of our prayers in the native languages of your fellow parishioners. There are many people here that would like to learn the prayers in English and others that would like to learn the prayers in Spanish, or Vietnamese, or Tagalog. What better way is there than to practice with each other… There will also be games for the kids and great food. Please mark your calendars. St. Pope John Paul II was fluent in many languages. He had a gift that many of us do not have. But the most important thing he had was a desire to share Jesus with others and not let different languages be an obstacle to that. Let’s share in that desire to reach out to each other.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

1/20/19

 

 Dear parishioners,

Here is a beautiful addition to our memorial to the unborn.

The statue of Mary and the angel were donated by some very generous parishioners and was installed just recently by the Knights of Columbus.

Thank you all, it is very beautiful.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter 

 

 

 

1/13/19

Dear Parishioners,

Facility update: We are looking into the possibility of cutting down the really tall trees that are on the backside of our property. This will only include the trees that are along the property line between us and the mobile home park that is directly behind us. The pastoral council has already discussed this issue and has agreed to move forward with it. We have also received consent from the owner of the mobile home park to do this. Also, we had a survey firm come in and survey the property line to make sure we know exactly where the property line is. We are now getting a second estimate on the logging of the trees. We will make $10,000-15,000 in doing this, although that is not reason for it.

There are several reasons we are looking into logging the trees. First, they are very tall and a danger to the mobile homes, the rectory and the food bank, especially during wind storms. Because of this they are a liability. Second, the trees cast a constant shadow over the property in the fall, winter, and spring. It is quite depressing living in the rectory and never seeing the sun except in the summer. Third, safety is a concern on our property. The wooded area in the back has been a place of illegal activity and is difficult to monitor. Finally, the food bank and the rectory may be ideal locations to use solar power. The food bank is discussing this as an emergency back-up alternative. We are also looking into the possibility of installing a solar system for the rectory. The rectory does not have gas, therefore the heating/electricity bills can be quite high. Removing the trees would make these options possible. After the logging and clean up we are planning to plant a hedge along the property line to act as a visual barrier. Also, with some of the proceeds we are looking into installing fencing on the property in a few locations to cut down on the cross traffic through our property. I will talk about that issue later.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

1/6/19

Dear Parishioners,

Like the shepherds that encountered the host of Angels and went to see the baby Jesus, so too do the Magi go to see the baby Jesus. Both return back to their homes changed by the encounter. They did not stay there, at the Nativity scene in Bethlehem. But they carried the experience with them for the rest of their lives. This is what we call an “Epiphany event”.

Our own encounter with Jesus changes us. We continually change, by God’s grace. So even though we continue to live in the ordinariness of our daily lives, we change what we do and how do it and why we do it, as long as we carry the Nativity event with us.

Epiphany Blessings,

Fr. Peter