An Opportunity to Deepen Our Faith

11-27-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

Happy New Year! Today we begin a new Church year with the first Sunday of Advent. This is our time to prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas. As much as we buy and receive gifts the ultimate gift we all share is Jesus. Two thousand years ago the long- awaited promise from God to send a Savior was fulfilled as Jesus, the Son of God, came into our world. A good thought to contemplate as we get ready for Christmas is how much of a gift is Jesus to me personally, to us as the Church communally, to our nation, and to our world. We are challenged to focus our thoughts on the ultimate meaning of Christmas when we get too caught up in all the activities of gifts, cards, presents, and gatherings. Christmas is the birth of Jesus. He is the ultimate source of our hope, life, and peace.

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The Boundless Mercy of God

11-20-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

I thank all who have listened to the appeal I made with the help of our Parish Finance Committee and trustees concerning our financial situation as the Parish of St. Patrick the past three Sundays. Your response has been very encouraging and inspiring. I thank you for thinking about your contributions and whatever you are able to give financially. As we share our time, talents, and resources together we continue to nurture the faith of one another, offer hope to one another, and grow in our love for God and one another. In other words we are the Church. How blessed we are for and with one another.

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Who Will I Love Today, And How Will I Love Them?

11-13-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

I thank you for your patience, concern, and receptiveness the past two weekends and today as we are speaking about our parish financial condition. I thank you for whatever you can do to help us keep all we are doing in our parish family as we pray together and share who we are and what we do with your financial support.

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Love Never Says: "I Have Done Enough"

11-06-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

The Gospel today (Luke 20:27-38) speaks about life after death and most importantly heavenly existence. We do not anticipate life after birth when we are in the womb but are truly grateful for the gift of life and all those who have enriched, guided, and sustained us with their love. This Gospel passage calls us to trust that God will take care of us and we will be at peace with Him and one another.

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May We Be Agents of Truth

10-30-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

 We all are gifted with many resources, concerns, and responsibilities. Some of the basics are time, faith, love, energy, and money. How good it is when we use these resources well for our own good and the good of others. While we feel stretched at times we always know in our hearts when we have enriched others and ourselves. As the pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish, a gift where God has given you to me, I have been and continue to be enriched by you every day and hope I am doing the same for you. My main responsibility is to do everything I can to nourish and strengthen the spiritual lives of all who come here.

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Sacrificing the Most Innocent

10-23-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

It is amazing to see parallels in history. I just finished reading “The President and the Freedom Fighter” by Brian Kilmeade, subtitled “Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Their Battle to Save America’s Soul.” After much thought and reflection President Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 which freed the slaves in the “rebellious states” but left it legal in union states and southern states under northern control. Frederick Douglas was a runaway slave who got his freedom and dedicated his life to publicly speaking about the injustice and evil of slavery. Slavery as a whole was finally ended legally in our nation with the passage of the 13th Amendment on January 31, 1865. Obviously slavery is evil because it allows one human being to own and use another. Besides all those poor souls who lived and died as slaves, the Civil War took the lives of more than 620,000 soldiers, adding the losses of both the North and the South together. Americans fought and killed Americans. That number of fatalities is more than all the Americans killed in battle in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Viet Nam war combined. The evil and injustice of slavery was ended at the cost of many lives.

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God's Redemptive Love

10-16-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

It was exciting for baseball fans to see Aaron Judge hit his sixty-second home run and break the record of Roger Maris. When he comes to bat you can hear the cheer - “All rise!!” Whenever we go to court we see this acted out when the announcement is made as the judge comes in: “All rise.” That is a sign of respect for the judge and the office that he or she represents and a source of hope for justice. In today’s Gospel (Luke 18:1-8) Jesus tells the parable about a corrupt judge who finally delivers a verdict in favor of a woman who kept pestering him. He was not so much being just as seeking to get rid of her. Every Sunday in the Creed we recite together we say, “He (Jesus) will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.” We do not emphasize that as much today as when I was growing up in the fifties. We recite this truth not to put fear into our hearts but to put our thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions into practice every day because it is by them that we vindicate or condemn ourselves. In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus spells out simply and clearly the criteria that will be used to judge us: “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’” This sounds almost too simple.

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Humble Gratitude

10-09-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

Attitude and gratitude are two words that are very closely connected. Our attitudes are determined by many things and the challenge we face is to rise above wallowing in anger and confusion to see the positive we have and the positive that we can do. In the Gospel for today’s Mass (Luke 17:11-19) we see Jesus curing ten people who had the disease of leprosy. But only one of the ten comes back to thank Jesus for the cure. The others were surely happy that their disease was cured and they were no longer social outcasts, but their failure to express gratitude deprived them of the joy God’s blessings bring. Another word we deal with in our society today is entitlement. Our government entitlement programs are designed to be a safety net to help those in need. Entitlement Programs of the federal government include Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Unemployment, and welfare programs. Entitlement programs are rights granted to citizens and certain non-citizens by federal law. It is good to use our resources to help those in need.

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The Challenge is Great

10-02-2022From the Pastor's DeskMonsignor Ellsworth R. Walden

To say the least, it is very challenging to live as Catholics in our nation today. But is there any other way to peace in our hearts and peace in our world? In the Gospel for today’s Mass (Luke 17:5-10) the Apostles say to Jesus: “Increase our faith.” The stronger our faith, the more our lives are centered in Jesus and His presence in our lives and our presence in His life.

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