“Mondays with Mary” – 40th Annual Arizona Rosary Celebration in Phoenix, Arizona

Yesterday I attended the 40th Annual Arizona Rosary Celebration in Phoenix, Arizona, with my mom and cousin. I felt the need to attend this year’s Rosary celebration for two reasons: first, mom and my cousin both lost their husband’s this year. For our side of the family, losing Dad has been pretty rough, but we definitely have been able to see God’s hand in all of it. I wanted both of them to have the chance to spend a couple of hours in prayer with the particular church of Phoenix. The second reason why I wanted to attend was simply because I hadn’t been in a couple of years. As the Director of Adult Evangelization and Catechesis, it’s important for me to attend these events.

The Arizona Rosary Celebration is one of the largest events that shows honor to the Blessed Mother and the Holy Rosary in the United States. This year, the celebration displayed devotion to our Blessed Virgin Mary under her title of – Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Many of the parishes from the Diocese of Phoenix are in attendance as well as the Marian ministries that find their home in these parishes. This year, there were three bishops in attendance – Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, Auxiliary Bishop of Phoenix, Eduardo Nevares, and Gerald N. Dino, Bishop of the Holy Protection of Mary Eparchy of Phoenix. The keynote speaker was the Redemptorist Priest, Rev. Dennis Billy, C.Ss.R.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

One of the big attractions of this event is the massive procession that walks around the civic center hall. Participating are the parishes, ministries, Arizona Knights of Columbus Councils and Assemblies, and Los Matachines. The parishes and the Knights of Columbus carry and wave their banners, while Los Matachines dance to the beat of the drums. I love being Catholic in general, but being Catholic in the Southwest United States has a whole different element to it. Many of the Los Matachines have a great devotion to the Blessed Mother under her title of – Our Lady of Guadalupe.

After Fr. Billy’s teaching on the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, everyone in the hall prayed the Glorious Mysteries of the Holy Rosary in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese while we adored the Blessed Sacrament in Eucharistic Adoration. We concluded Adoration and 40th Annual Arizona Rosary Celebration with Solemn Benediction.

As we made our way back to my vehicle, we stopped outside to watch the Los Matachines dance and venerate an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I realized how very blessed we are to live here in Phoenix. We have such faithful and holy Bishops who are willing to attend such events and lead us in prayer assisting us to deepen our relationship with Jesus Christ and Blessed Mother.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help…Pray For Us. 

175th “Mondays with Mary” 

Year of Faith Begins at Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Here are some of the events and activities that are occurring at the parish that I work at in Scottsdale, Arizona – Our Lady of Perpetual of Help. Realizing that many people have many wonderful ideas already planned for the next 13 1/2 months, I wanted to provide with you some of our events. If you find yourself in Phoenix during this Year of Faith, I invite you to come and visit us. Please take at look at reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church through the Year of Faith. There is nothing better than reading the Catechism and understanding the “menu” of our faith. It is a great tool for the Catholic Church and we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of it’s release this year as well.

YEAR OF FAITH 2012-2013 – Thursday Nights from 7:00-8:30pm 

October 18 – The Dangers to Religious Freedom from the HHS Mandate, Presenter: Nikolas Nikas, President and General Counsel of Bioethics Defense Fund 

October 25 – Voting with a Catholic Conscience, Presenter: Brad Hahn, Allied Attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom

November 1 – A Night with the Saints (After Solemnity Mass), Presenters: Fr. Chad King and Tom Perna

November 8 – The Basics of the Second Vatican Council, Presenter: Fr. Chad King

November 15 – The New Evangelization, Presenter: Tom Perna

Other Events throughout the Year of Faith:

November 10-11: Weekend of Adoration with Michael John Poirer

December 8: Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration – Festival of Roses

December 10-12: Advent Parish Mission, Mission Diretor: Mr. Michael Cumbie 

January – May 2013:  Ongoing Adult Faith Formation, The Mass Explained, and Workshops in Prayer

February 2: Candlemas for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

February 7: Ash Wednesday

April 3: Anniversary of the Dedication of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church

April 11: Treasures of Faith

If you have not already, I would also encourage you to view the Official Year of Faith websites for the Vatican, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Diocese of Phoenix and your own diocese. Also, Fr. Robert Barron has taken the Catholic World by storm with his series, Catholicism. Follow him on his website – Word on Fire and you will appreciate your faith even more. We live in exciting times and this upcoming Year of Faith is a great opportunity for us to grow in our love for the Catholic faith and to bring those individuals we know who have left the Catholic Church back into the fold.

Pray with me an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be…for all Catholics around the world this day, especially those brothers and sisters who have “fallen away” from the Catholic Church.

Come Holy Spirit!

The Year of Faith…Are You Ready For It?

The Year of Faith…Are You Ready For It? There are so many exciting events happening in the Catholic Church over the next year throughout the world. As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican II Council and as the Synod on the New Evangelization takes place as we speak, we are at the forefront of some very exciting times over the next thirteen months. There is really no reason for me to write heavily on the Year of Faith since so many people have read Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Letter – “Motu Proprio Data” – Porta Fidei. Many other bloggers more popular and better than me have written on this topic already. If you have not read this document, I would encourage to do so. This is the blue print for the Year of Faith.

My next post will consist of the many events and activities that we have planned at the parish that I work at in Scottsdale, Arizona – Our Lady of Perpetual Help. It is my hope that many of your parishes already have events planned, but if you don’t or are looking for more ideas, we are here to assist you in those potential activities.

Before I end this, I wanted to share a quick story about Our Lady of Perpetual Help that was recently share with me. One of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of Eucharist told me that Blessed John Paul II had a great devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help when he was a child growing up in the town of Wadowice, Poland. Everyday before school, the young Karol Wojtyla would enter the church in his town and pray to Our Lady of Perpetual Help at her side altar. I found this story to be profound in my own life since I am a big fan of Blessed John Paul II and I now work at a parish that is named for Our Lady under this title.

Here we go Catholics…Start your spiritual engines…It’s GO TIME!

THE YEAR OF FAITH IS HERE…

“Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Parish

On Wednesday, August 15, I attended the Newman Center at Arizona State University for the Solemnity of the Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary. Before Holy Mass began, I offered up my before Mass prayers to the Blessed Mother’s intercession. Besides praying for my family, which is usually my first prayer, I asked for a new job here in Phoenix. I was getting worried that I wasn’t finding anything and nothing seemed to be opening up either. After Mass and sitting in Barnes and Noble for an hour, I spoke to my friend who is a seventh grade teacher. She asked me to come over and assist in her classroom as she unpacked books for the upcoming school year. I spent nearly 2 hours with her in the classroom and as I was preparing to leave, we ended up going to the front office, where I met the Principal and Assistant Principal of the elementary school. While talking about family, life, and work, the Principal asked me if she could have my contact information and share it with the Pastor of the parish. They had been praying for a development director, I had recently applied for that position at another school, and she felt that I would be a good fit for the parish and the school. Over the past two weeks, I have been speaking with the Pastor about potentially becoming the development director of the parish. After 3-4 informal interviews and 2 meetings at the diocese, the Pastor formally offered me the position on Friday. I accepted whole-heartedly. Beginning tomorrow, I am the new Director of Stewardship and Advancement at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. I will be able to use my Masters in Theology since our focus will be on Stewardship. Stewardship is a Biblical concept and 19 of Jesus’ parables are about Stewardship. As I think about starting work tomorrow, I am excited and nervous. There are so many ideas in my head right now. Please pray for me, as this is a new adventure in my life. Please ask Our Lord and Our Lady to guide me in this new direction. So, you were probably wondering why this post was titled Our Lady of Perpetual Help, right? Well now you understand since I will be working at a parish that is dedicated to Our Blessed Mother under this title. I imagine God has a hand in this since my friend asked me to help her, then I met the Principal, who then introduced me to the Pastor and as they say…the rest is history or in this case – Providential. As I reflect on the past two weeks, there are a few other factors that have gone into me attaining this position, however, I will refrain from sharing those with you now. I will say that Our Lady of Perpetual Help is tied into the Byzantine Rite of the Catholic Church. Last Sunday, I attended St. Stephen’s Byzantine Cathedral here in Phoenix and loved it. Although I could never leave the Latin Rite, I have a newfound appreciation for Eastern Catholicism (been going to the Maronite Rite for 1 ½ years) and will continue to attend frequently. I would encourage you read about Our Lady under this title via the link above. You can also view the pilgrimage site for her in the United States as well here and about the Sisters of Saint Basil. Our Lady of Perpetual Help…Pray for Us!