If there were such a thing as a Prophets-of-the-Bible awards ceremony, our prophet today, Amos, would surely take home two of them. Hands down he would win the “doom and gloom” award for the harsh manner in which he told the Israelite people that God rejected their luxury lifestyle, their burnt offerings, and that their infidelities would lead to their destruction.
Amos would also likely win the “justice” award for his bravery in calling people to task about the gaps he saw between the luxurious lives of the rich, and the heavy taxes on the poor.
Sr. Phyllis Jaszkowiak
July 1, 2018
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
My sister told me this story. In April, while I was gone, she flew to Portland for a professional meeting, and decided to take the MAX since it stopped right in front of her hotel. At one of the stops, along the way, a woman got on and asked if she could sit next to her. My sister said yes. Then the woman began to tell her story of being alone and not knowing what to do or where to go for help. Her husband had died two years ago and her boyfriend had left her and she was all alone and not knowing what to do and could she help her, wringing her hands the entire time. My sister, who is tech savvy, found the address of the Portland Rescue Mission and that the MAX stopped close by. So she told the woman she would take her there. They got to the stop, found the Rescue Mission, but were in the basement and had to climb the stairs to reach the office. The woman complained that she didn’t think she could climb the stairs, but with the encouragement and help of my sister they made it to the office. However, that office was for the men. So they had to cross the street to the women’s office. There the woman was warmly welcomed and taken in with the promise of help. Then my sister had to find her hotel which is another story.
June 17, 2018
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time
In 1950, the St. Charles parishioners who planted two cedar seedlings over on Killingworth to mark the driveway entrance into the parish and school never imagined that those trees would grow to such heights that 67 years later they were crowding power lines and buckling the sidewalk.
Sr. Phyllis Jaszkowiak
June 10, 2018
10th Sunday in Ordinary Time
This April I made a Pilgrimage / Retreat in Assisi, Italy. One of the places we visited was Greccio, the small mountain town where St. Francis first enacted the Birth of Christ with live people and animals. One of the displays was a room of Christmas crèches from around the world. As I looked from one crèche to another, I finally began to notice that the people in the crèche, Mary, Joseph, Jesus, shepherds, angels, looked like the country from which the crèche was sent. Those from South Africa, Japan, Native American, countries of Europe, the people looked like people from that country and wore the clothes of that country.
May 27, 2018
Feast of the Holy Trinity
Lucy, my daughter loves her accessories! Lol, to get her out the door with only two purses, 5 dolls, a bucket, 1 hat, 2 pairs of sunglasses, and 5 kinds of snacks, is a 10 minute negotiation! At two years old, appropriately, she doesn’t yet know what she really needs and so she wants everything. What Lucy really loves is to go for walks, go to the park, and to go to St. Charles. Those are the things that make her really happy! but she misses out on so much of these experience because she spends too much time trying to gather and hold all of her babies, sunglasses, and purses in her arms, which turns into a hilarious, but never-ending, dilemma of dropping one while trying to pick up the last one she dropped.
May 13, 2018
Ascension of the Lord (and Mother's Day)
You have likely heard some form of the adage that “faith is more caught than taught.” And, while teaching the basics of faith is important, the adage is, for the most part, true. And along these lines, recent studies show that faith transmission—passing faith to the next generation—is primarily a family affair. Our faith and religious practice are transmitted to the next generation primarily via the home and the family. The stuff we do here at church supports and enhances family faith transmission.
April 29, 2018
Fifth Sunday of Easter
What do you notice about the first reading each Sunday during the Easter Season that is substantially different from the rest of the year?
Right. It comes from the Acts of the Apostles, not the Old Testament. This is the season when we are introduced to the earliest Christian communities from the only book of the Bible that tells us how the early church was formed.
April 8, 2018
Second Sunday of Easter
I know that Easter is here, and we are supposed to move past all the talk about pain and suffering! But now a week into Easter it is clear that the struggle is still very real. The burdensome demands of the roles we play do not disappear. Permanent war, racism, sexism, ableism, all of the “isms”, the prison industrial complex and school to prison pipeline, the destruction of our atmosphere, oceans, and biodiversity, poverty, deportations, homelessness. If the only Easter message the church has to offer, is the glorious vindication of Jesus and the Joyful faith of the disciples, if every Easter becomes a ritual in denial of pain to move to the” bright side of things”, what Sr. Joan Chittister calls the “fairy-tale” Easter. then we miss the point, then we miss the salvific transformation that the Easter offers as Hope to the world.
Sr. Phyllis Jaszkowiak
March 30, 2018
We come to reverence, to venerate the Cross
and love the One who gave His life,
for the poor, the forgotten, the vulnerable of this world.
He was killed because he preached against power over others,
against exploitation of others,
against grabbing all the things of earth
so most have nothing with which to live.
“What killed Christ is what continues to crucify today:
disregard for human life and human dignity,
lust for power, materialism, [racism], violence.
What gives life is faith and love.” (Verna Holyhead)
April 1, 2018
A telling of a story from the Gospel of Mark
My name is Salome, and I have been with him since the beginning of the movement, nearly three years now. I am the wife of Zebedee, the mother of James and John. I’ll never forget the day he came and beckoned my sons to follow him, and they immediately dropped their fishing nets and went after him. You may not know this, but so did I.