From the Pastor

Pastor Chat video reflections

March 22, 2020 (Fourth Sunday of Lent)

03.22.2020 Fr

March 15, 2020 (Third Sunday of Lent)

03.15.2020 Fr

March 8, 2020 (Second Sunday of Lent)

03.08.2020 Fr

From The Pastor's Notepad

July 12, 2020

Dear I.C. Parishioners,

It’s my pleasure to introduce myself to you and request your prayers and cooperation as I have been assigned to join this precious family of God as parochial vicar effective July 1.

Jesus said to his disciples, “Whenever you enter, first say May God’s peace be on this household”, so do I (Luke 10:5).

Being so excited and with all enthusiasm, I arrived at I.C. on June 30th at 10 a.m. I received a warm and wonderful welcome from both the pastor, Fr. Don, and the staff.

My home diocese is in Tanzania, East Africa, where I have been in both parish and office ministry for over 22 years. I will celebrate 25 years of priesthood on September 8, 2021.

In early 2018, I participated in a sabbatical study program in San Antonio, Texas at Oblate School of Theology which ignited my desire for even more knowledge and experience. My learning in the CPE Program in Providence, Alaska and Oschner Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana served to further empower my pastoral capacity for ministry and fueled a desire for improved performance in the Church. Thus, I decided to join this diocese before I return back to my home country’s diocese to minister as a Hospital Chaplain.

I look forward to sharing our Christian/Spiritual journey so as to build the Kingdom of God here on earth.

I am open to feedback and advice as I am aware this community is a different culture from mine. I am open to learning as I believe, as a missionary, I need to know and understand the language and culture of the people whom I am ready to serve. For this reason, I welcome all parishioners to help me grow spiritually while serving at I.C.

Fr. Benedict, Associate Pastor

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Past columns from the Pastor's Notepad

July 5, 2020

Welcome to Fr. Benedict Chagula who is our new Associate Pastor here at Immaculate Conception. I am glad to have him here among us to serve our parish family.

This weekend I am delighted to say we have restored our 9 am Mass to our weekend Mass schedule: i.e. Saturday 5 pm, Sunday, 7:30 am, 9 am, 10:30 am and 5 pm. Sanitizing and social distancing protocols remain in place to protect the more vulnerable. We will resume our 6:30 am weekday Mass as soon as possible, probably the middle of July.

Personally, I, Fr. Don, will be going into the hospital this Monday, July 6, to remove a spot of cancer on my tongue. Hopefully I will be back after 1 1/2 weeks of recovery. I would certainly appreciate your prayers.

As we celebrate July 4th, Independence Day, please continue to pray for justice for all and for peace in our nation.

The readings this Sunday focus on humility. Take my yoke and learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart.” Humility is simply being honest about our God-give gifts and talents and realize thankfully that they are indeed God-given.

Fr. Don, Pastor

June 28,2020

Dear IC Parishioners,

My how time has flown by! It’s hard to believe that I’ve been here almost 1.5 years already, and now my time here has come to a close.

I know that it is very rare for a “native son” to be assigned to his home parish, so I am grateful to have had this opportunity even if it was only “part-time” and for a short period of time.

I fall back to the verse from John’s Gospel that helped me in my discernment in my own vocation:

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16)

How true this is! Our God is a God of adventure and not of boredom. True, authentic holiness is exciting; sin is always boring. One of my favorite quotes is from St. Augustine, who literally tried everything that the world had to offer and found that life with God on this earth is the only thing that will and has ever satisfied. He writes, “To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him, the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.”

Yes, within any walk of life there are always difficulties, trials and persecutions. Married couples experience moments of tremendous obstacles and so do priests. However, Saint Paul reminds us that love "endures all things".

So it is important for us to focus on the saints of the Church, and not her sinners, and it is essential that we strive to be among those saints. It is easy to complain and to point fingers; it is difficult to live out the gospel with authenticity and maturity.

My prayer during this time of transition and moving forward is that I may persevere until that day when the Lord, who has called me to follow him as his priest, calls me to be with him in eternal rest. On that day, I too wish to proclaim with Saint Paul: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith".

Please know of my continued prayers for you all to grow closer to Jesus, especially His presence in the Eucharist. I leave you with a couple long-term challenges – Pray for the priests in your life (Baptism, Confession, Eucharist, etc.), pray for and encourage more vocations to the priesthood from your parish, from our parish. Please help our youth recognize and realize that: "To fall in love with God is the greatest of romances, to seek him the greatest adventure, to find him the greatest human achievement."

Father Duncan, Associate Pastor

June 21, 2020

The patroness of our diocese is Mary under the title of The Immaculate Heart of Mary. Since the feast falls on Saturday, we, as a diocese, have transferred the feast to our Sunday celebrations. We call on Mary to be our advocate to call out to God for his protection and healing for our country during this time of pandemic and social unrest. We also trust in her love and graces for our individual needs. Mary, pray for us!

This means special prayers and readings.

Those prayers and readings are included in this bulletin for your prayer and reflection.

On another note, at our Masses, please consider “teaming up” with other person(s) with whom you feel comfortable sitting next to. This will help us continue to maximize our seating.

A new decree from our Bishop has extended to September 11 the dispensation from physically attending Mass because of the pandemic. Live-streaming will also continue during this time. You are strongly encouraged to “keep holy the Sabbath” via live-streaming, I.C. Facebook and website, family rosary, reflection on the readings, etc. The recommended age, per the diocese, for participation/ministry has been raised from 60 to 65 years of age. Mask for coming into Church and social distancing will still be required.

I am so excited about our Church being open on Saturday/Sunday for Mass!

May God continue to bless us all through all of this!

Fr. Don, Pastor