Father James Wallace

The Two Popes

I watched the Netflix movie The Two Popes recently and, I must say, I was not impressed.  Aside from it being unhelpful fiction, a profound spiritual lesson was distorted.  Towards the end, Benedict XVI, played by Anthony Hopkins, explains to Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio why he desires to retire.  God has abandoned him.  Benedict feels nothing in prayer.  He asks, he pleads, and "Silence!" is all he receives in return.  This abandonment the pope takes as a sign that God no longer is with him and no longer desires him to lead the Church.  He must resign.

St Juliana Book Club

I'm starting a new Saint Juliana Book Club. The goal is to read a book every month or so.


February 2020 Selection

Our inaugural book will be The Devil’s Advocate by Morris West.  A novel written in 1959, the story follows a dying English priest sent by the Vatican to investigate an individual being proposed for sainthood.  The book sold over three million copies, received several awards, and was staged on Broadway.  The New York Times called it “a reading experience of real emotional intensity.”Please obtain a copy of the book yourself.  For those interested and able, we will meet to discuss the book on Saturday, February 1st at 9:30am in the parish center.


March 2020 Selection

Our next book will be The Road  by Cormac McCarthy, to be discussed on Saturday, March 14th at 9:30am in the parish center.

Called to Be Holy


Thank you to the church sacristans for their good work preparing for Mass

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

 

Dear Parishioners,

 

Called to be holy.  That is what Saint Paul says in our second reading from First Corinthians.  He tells the people they have been sanctified in Christ Jesus and are called to be holy.  What does holiness mean?

 

Let me answer by giving you what some folks, far holier and smarter than I, have said about the topic.  By the way, in my reading whenever I come across a definition or description of holiness, I write it down.  This is from my catalogue...

The Baptism of the Lord


Talking with the pre-school students about baptism

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

 

Dear Parishioners,

 

On this feast of the Baptism of the Lord, a quote by Saint John Henry Newman comes to mind.  I used this quote recently in a homily at a wedding on New Year’s Eve, thinking of ends and beginnings.  "Fear not that thy life shall come to an end," says Newman, "but rather fear that it shall never have a beginning."

 

The Sacrament of Baptism, like Marriage, is both an end and an beginning.  It's the end of a former way of life; the beginning of a new life in God's grace. 

 

Jesus Christ As Leader

After I became pastor, I found myself reading biographies.  The stories of the great figures of history gave me just the advice and encouragement I needed.  Biographies on Abraham Lincoln were particularly insightful.  But I also found interesting the stories of LBJ, Napoleon, Douglas MacArthur, Harry Truman, Andrew Jackson, Al Smith, Cardinal Bernardin, George Washington, and Ulysses S. Grant, just to name a few that I have read over the past few years.  I have been given many books on leadership and administration from parishioners, but the best I have received have been these biographies. 

What Type of Leader Are You?

After I became pastor, I found myself reading biographies.  The stories of the great figures of history gave me just the advice and encouragement I needed.  Biographies on Abraham Lincoln were particularly insightful.  But I also found interesting the stories of LBJ, Napoleon, Douglas MacArthur, Harry Truman, Andrew Jackson, Al Smith, Cardinal Bernardin, George Washington, and Ulysses S. Grant, just to name a few that I have read over the past few years.  I have been given many books on leadership and administration from parishioners, but the best I have received have been these biographies. 

The Gift of Peace

In a press conference to announce his cancer was terminal and he would die by the end of the year, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, the Archbishop of Chicago from 1982 until 1996, said to reporters that he was "at peace." Death was his friend and peace was a gift God had given him.  In fact, a compilation of his reflections from the last three years of his life, which not only saw his battle with cancer, but also a false accusation of sexual abuse, was put together in a book titled "The Gift of Peace."

 

The Epiphany

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

 

Dear Parishioners,

 

Ah, the Epiphany.  Christ's display of divinity; his manifestation to the gentiles.  Jesus Christ is God indeed.  He is God of all peoples.  That is what we celebrate this feast today.

 

But there is something about us that we recognize and celebrate too.  Saint Paul says that we are "coheirs" with Christ (cf. Ephesians 3:6).  Because we are grafted on to Christ, when we celebrate Christ, there is also something we are called to celebrate about us.  That is, we celebrate the divinity within us

St Joseph the Tekton

Letters from a Pastor to His People- December 29, 2019

Dear Parishioners,

Saint Joseph is often in the background of Nativity Sets and we know little about him, so let's reflect a little on "the second greatest saint." 

We can surmise Joseph was a man of moderate wealth.  He and Mary could not afford a lamb for the presentation of their son in the temple—they sacrificed two pigeons instead.  And yet, after Joseph's early death, there is no record of Mary working.  Joseph had earned enough in his life so that Mary did not need to work.  Also, they made the trek up to Jerusalem each year for Passover and other festivals.  These trips were not cheap.  But they rode in a caravan, since they could not afford their own protection from highway bandits. 

Oh Come Oh Come Emanuel

Letters from a Pastor to His People- December 22, 2019

Dear Parishioners,

I'd like to "dedicate" this letter to our very own Father Emanuel.  Why?  Well, first of all, Father Emanuel is just awesome, so why not?  Second, because Father Emanuel's birthday is December 25th (that's right, he shares Jesus' birthday!).  And, third, because we hear the name Emmanuel mentioned in our readings this 4th Sunday of Advent and on Christmas.  Isaiah prophecies, "the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel" (Isaiah 7:14), and Matthew repeats this passage.

Catholic Schools Week 2019

Catholic Schools Week 2020

January 26–January 31

Open House

Sunday, January 26

Family Mass · 9:30am

Bake Sale - 8:00am - 2:00pm

School Open · 11:00am–2:00pm