Father James Wallace

The Canaanite Women

 

Letters from a Pastor to His People- August 16, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Have you asked or hoped for something recently and not received? Then you are in company with the Canaanite woman from the Gospel.

Let me quote at length words from Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, who is the preacher of the papal household.

The Order of Elijah

Letters from a Pastor to His People- August 9, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

One cannot think of Elijah without thinking about the Blessed Virgin Mary. Elijah was the first contemplative monk. He lived atop Mount Carmel in prayer and asceticism. He drew others to follow him. It was said when he prophesied rain to relieve Israel in the midst of a terrible drought, he saw a cloud in the shape of a foot rising from the sea. He understood this as the sign that the drought would end, but more importantly that the Messiah would come. Elijah saw this foot as the foot of the Virgin Woman, who would be the mother of the Messiah. She, the immaculate cloud, would rise from the blue sea of humanity.

When In Trouble, Run To God!

Letters from a Pastor to His People- August 2, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

To quote Michael Jordan, "I'm back."  (No, I'm not comparing myself to Michael Jordan.  If anything I'm like Jud Buechler...at best--no disrespect to Jud.) I have returned from my 30-Day silent retreat.  Thank you all for your understanding and support, and thank you especially to Father Emanuel and the parish staff who kept the place running.

            Speaking of staff, I would like to welcome again the new principal of Saint Juliana School, Ms. Cathie Scotkovsky.  Cathie started July 1st and has been hard at work getting ready for the new school year.  She is an SJS alum herself and we are very excited for her leadership of our school!

The Best Journey of Your Life

Letters from a Pastor to His People- July 26, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Like I wrote a month ago before I left for the 30-Day Retreat, Jesus is the love of my life and I seek to follow him with all my heart. I have surrendered everything for him, and happily so. While spending 30 days in silence with God on retreat might seem like madness, to me it is not. I actually enjoy it, for it is what I truly want: to be with God.

The Gospel parables therefore very much resonate with me. "The kingdom of heaven," says Jesus, "is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field" (Matthew 13:44).

Are You Wheat or A Weed?

Letters from a Pastor to His People- July 19, 2020


Dear Parishioners,


I am currently in the "Third Week" of my 30-Day Retreat according to the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Though I wrote this bulletin article back in June before departing, I know that what I am about to say is true: I have been praying for you all and for your intentions.

Take a 30-Day Retreat With Me

Letters from a Pastor to His People- July 12, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Just a reminder, I am away currently and will be for the entire month of July making a 30-Day Retreat.  I wrote this week’s letter, and the upcoming letters, ahead of time, just to offer a little spiritual reflection on the readings.  I would also, however, like to provide some wisdom from St. Ignatius of Loyola.  Perhaps you could do a little "30-Day Retreat" with me.

Jesus provides in our Gospel this week the classic parable of the Sower.  We are the ground.  Jesus sows his grace and his word upon us.  The question is, what kind of ground are we?  Are we a path, rocky ground, a field with thorn bushes, or rich soil?

The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius

Letters from a Pastor to His People- July 5, 2020

 

Dear Parishioners,

If you missed my bulletin letter from last week, I explained how I am away currently and will be for the entire month of July making a 30-Day Retreat.  Just a reminder, I will not respond to any messages, so if there is an emergency, please contact the parish office or Father Emanuel. I wrote this week’s letter, and the upcoming letters, ahead of time, just to offer a little spiritual reflection on the readings.  I would also, however, like to provide some wisdom from St. Ignatius of Loyola.  Perhaps you could do a little "30-Day Retreat" with me.

Luigi and Marie Beltrame Quattrocchi

Retreat is a term we do not like. We think of it as failing or quitting, with an accompanying sense of shame. Surrender, which of course is linked to retreat, is also very difficult.

But it is to the ideal of surrender that we are called in the spiritual life. We are called to retreat. We are not to be like Ulysses S. Grant, who famously wrote in May 1864 to the War Department of his plans to do anything but retreat against Lee's army. "I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer," he said. Christ surrender on the cross. So too are we.

My Modus Vivendi

Letters from a Pastor to His People- June 28, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

As a priest, I have taken to heart the Lord's words from the Gospel, "whoever loses his life for my sake will find it" (Matthew 10:39). This is my modus vivendi, if you will; my philosophy, my operating procedure, my ethic. I love God more than anything in the world and have been called by him to completely follow him, abandoning everything for him. I seek to lose my life, so I can live for God. As John the Baptist said, "I must decrease, he must increase" (John 3:30). Or, in the words of Saint Paul, "it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).

Angel of Auschwitz

It is in the midst of terrible suffering that God brings forth tremendous graces.  It was seen in the year 261, when a plague broke out in Alexandria and a group of Christians tended to the sick and dying when no one else would.  They were executed for this heroic deed and later canonized.  The Martyrs of the Plague of Alexandria, as they are called, have been praying for us.