WELCOME TO ST. EDWARD THE CONFESSOR PARISH!
If you are new here, or if you have been attending for a long time, we want you to know that your presence is vitally important to us. This is a community dedicated to living out the Christian message of love as a House of Prayer and a House of the Poor. Everyone is welcome and accepted here, no matter who you are or where you have been. We would like the opportunity of getting to know you and serving your spiritual needs and desires.
If you would like to become a member, simply email us, call us, or fill out the online registration form and we will get back to you.
If you would like to know more about our parish school, Faith Formation programs or are interested in becoming a Catholic, simply click on the Faith Formation and/or Parish School tabs on the main menu on this website for more information.
If you would like to worship with us, please locate the daily mass schedule by clicking on the “Contact Us” tab of the main menu. We also broadcast our 9:00 a.m. Sunday mass and archive it on YouTube. Click the “Stedcast” tab to access.
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:12-13
LETTERS FROM FR. BRENDAN
February 12, 2017
I remember being a young lad in the seminary and reading John Paul II’s
powerful document Familiaris Consortio (The fellowship of the Family) in
which he wrote: “humanity passes by way of the family”. While the family
is the foundation of humanity, marriage is the foundation upon which all
families and, therefore humanity, are built. As a parish we’ve been striving to live out our call to be a House of Prayer and a House of the
Poor by increasing our service to the spiritually and materially poor (ourselves included) but we’ve also been trying to improve the way that we care for them. When I look “upstream” seeking the roots of poverty, I often find broken families. There’s no doubt that by strengthening marriages, we
strengthen families, and by strengthening families we strengthen humanity. In fact, one of the best tools in preventing and alleviating spiritual and material poverty is Christian marriage. For that reason, the Catholic Church, and our parish in particular, encourages married couples to continually foster the growth of their marriage. The most effective thing a couple can do is to pray together – as a couple – every day, including
celebrating Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation regularly. Secondly, married couples should never get too busy for a regular date night. Third, participate in an outreach ministry together. Couples are better parents when they are strong couples. Be a joyful steward of your marriage! Here are some other opportunities to grow in love:
Marriage Preparation at St. Edward: We have a wonderful marriage
preparation program at St. Edward the Confessor. If you or a
family member is thinking about getting married, please contact the
parish office for information. Remember, Catholics can marry non-
Catholics in the Catholic Church.
Marriage Enrichment Ministry at St. Edward offers a time and
space for couples to focus on each other and gather with other couples. Marriage Enrichment meets monthly on the first Thursday, 7:30 – 9:00 pm in the Parish Room of the Parish School. Topics include communication in marriage, living our Catholic faith, and meeting the challenges of
being married and raising a family in the modern world. Each topic is intended to affirm the ways we enrich our marriages and help us to improve where we can do better. Husbands and wives of
all ages and years married are welcome. To verify the next meeting, see the church bulletin or simply contact Bob & Mary Dausch (949) 481-1102 email@example.com
Small Faith-Sharing Groups at St. Edward: Join, or let us help you form, a small faith-sharing group with other couples of the parish. Small groups help form long-lasting relationships and friends
with people who share your faith and values. Please visit http://stedward.com/small-faith-sharinggroups-
sign-up or call Liz Iorio at the Office of Faith Formation for information at (949) 496-6011.
December 25, 2016
Whether you are here today as a founding member of the parish, a visitor, or a reluctant attendee, we welcome you and invite you to journey with us —our community of St. Edward. Pope Francis reminds us “you cannot be a Christian outside the Church, you cannot follow Jesus Christ without the Church, because the Church is our mother, and makes us grow in love for Jesus Christ.”
Each Christmas, we are asked to enter into this beautiful story of Christ’s birth. We hear about this couple Mary and Joseph wandering in the hills of Bethlehem trying to find a place for their baby, Jesus, to be born. In a way we too are wanderers. We find ourselves looking for answers to the only questions that ultimately matter. Why am I here? Where am I going? How do I get there? In an age of connectivity, are our lives more isolated and fragmented than ever? We need a place to call home. We need a church community that is far from perfect, but a place to grow together through our imperfections. A place where we are united in Christ through prayer and service and are constantly re-discovering the joy of being a disciple of Christ.
Please visit our website at www.stedward.com and look through this bulletin. You may discover that “church” is not what you thought it would be.
This Christmas, and each day forward, we hope you find a place in your heart for Jesus to be born anew.
Merry and Blessed Christmas,
“For just as each of us has
December 18, 2016
Welcoming Christ in our Neighborhood
Las Posadas is a 500 year-old tradition that started in Spain and continues today throughout much of Latin America. Beginning on December 16th, Christians gather on nine consecutive days to commemorate the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The faithful reenact the pious tradition of Mary and Joseph looking for a posada, an inn or place of lodging and welcome, for their new family. According to this reenacted custom, each night of the nine-day journey the Holy Family is rejected by various innkeepers and are unable to find a place to welcome and adore the newborn king. Finally, on the ninth and final night, December 24th, they find refuge and welcome in a cave. When Christ was born, many strangers – shepherds, kings, rich and poor – went to the humble dwelling of the Holy Family asking to join them in worshiping the infant king. That manger in Bethlehem was truly the first church. Like the Holy Family, we spend this final week of Advent waiting in joyful hope for the second coming of Jesus Christ and to commemorate his birth. Beginning on December 24th many “regulars” and visitors will be coming to our church, our manager, wanting to adore the Lord with us. Let us welcome them just as the Holy Family did. At Mass we not only worship the presence of God in the Word and Sacraments, we are called to recognize and reverence him in one another: the “regulars” and especially the visitors. The Christ we adore at Mass reminds us not only to look for him in a manager or altar but also in the stranger “for when I was a stranger you welcome me”. (Mth 25:35)
Parking will be hectic and “your” regular seat will probably be taken by someone who only comes to church once or twice a year. Instead of becoming annoyed, let’s ask ourselves what we can do to let them know and feel that they are truly welcome at our parish and that we want them to come back.
Here a few ideas for welcoming the stranger and taking some of the stress out of Christmas Mass:
Attend one of the less-attended Christmas Masses (December 24th at 8 p.m. and December 25th at 7:30 a.m.) in order to make room for visitors at the more crowded Christmas Masses (December 24 at 4 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and December 25 at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.)
Park in the neighborhood and let visitors park in the church parking lot.
Go to Mass at Knight Hall (December 24 at 4:00 p.m.) so that more visitors can attend Mass in the church.
Introduce yourself and welcome the person next to you.
After Mass, let others leave the parking lot first
May everyone who walks through our doors this Christmas receive from us the same welcome and hospitality that
Mary and Joseph offered to their guests.
November 20, 2016
Today’s solemnity of Christ the King marks the last Sunday of our church year
as well as the closing of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. What an incredible journey this Year of Mercy has been! We emphasized and reflected on mercy in homilies; we embraced an Advent program that focused on prayer and compassion; we learned about mercy through FORMED.org, our free online learning center; and 1,700 children and youth in our faith formation programs were taught about God’s infinite mercy and how we are called and empowered to practice mercy through spiritual and corporal works of mercy. We didn’t just talk and learn about mercy, we also practiced mercy. Parish volunteers – adults and young people – shared generously of their time and treasure to serve the poor in our
community and beyond. Parishioners contributed $600,000 dollars to outreach efforts to help those in need last year which is the largest amount of money we have ever contributed to the poor in one year. We also expanded our care for those in need in our community and improved the way we care for them.
The number of people seeking God’s mercy through the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (confession) increased notably this year. One of this year’s highlights for me was when hundreds of parishioners joined me and Fr. Armando in prayer at the Mission Basilica’s Door of Mercy, obtaining plenary indulgences. Likewise, it gave me great joy and hope to watch several
hundred of our Parish School students walk as pilgrims of mercy to the Mission Basilica where they prayed and then walked to Serra’s Pantry where mercy is practiced in service to the poor. I know that many parish groups and families have also made this pilgrimage seeking and celebrating mercy. As this Year of Mercy comes to an end, we pray that mercy has taken deeper root in us so that we may be more effective witnesses and instruments of God’s mercy.
Next week we begin the season of Advent. As I wrote in last week’s bulletin, it will take spiritual discipline to live Advent as a season of preparation for Christmas, instead of four weeks of Christmas commercialism. To help you prepare for Christ’s birth, we invite you to Share the Light with prayer and service this Advent. You can learn more about Share the Light on page 9 of
today’s bulletin and plan to pick up your Share the Light Crown after Mass next weekend, November 27, the first Sunday in Advent. Having prepared well in Advent for the coming of Christ, we will experience the profound joy
of Christmas on Christmas day.
November 13, 2016
Christian Burial: During this month of November we renew our fellowship with the saints in heaven and the souls in purgatory. It seems fitting, then, that Pope Francis chose this time to remind us of our beliefs and traditions in regards to Christian burial. Despite making headlines, the letter from the Vatican did not issue any changes but was meant to address developing abuses in regards to the care of the bodies of the deceased. Here are a few excerpts:
By burying the bodies of the faithful, the Church confirms her faith in the resurrection of the body, and intends to show the great dignity of the human body as an integral part of the human person whose body forms part of their identity. While cremation has long been permitted, the ashes of the faithful must not be scattered in the air, on land, at sea or in some other way, nor may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewelry or other objects. Likewise, ashes should not be kept in private houses. Instead, the ashes of the faithful must be laid to rest in a sacred place, that is, in a cemetery or, in certain cases, in a church or an area which has been set aside for this purpose. If you have ashes of a deceased person in your possession, please contact a Catholic cemetery. The Catholic cemeteries are a ministry of the church and a ministry of mercy. They will be honored to work with you.
Christmas: Christmas music and commercials are already here. Please try to avoid getting sucked into the commercialism of Christmas. Instead, journey with the spirit and rhythm of the church as we approach Advent, a time of preparation for the Christmas season. Our parish will provide many opportunities to pray and serve and even some great Christmas gift ideas. But let’s get to Advent first.
Church Etiquette 101:
Bow or genuflect? When entering St. Edward the Confessor Church, and before entering the pew or crossing in front of the altar, we bow to the altar, which is symbol of Christ. In churches and chapels, like San Felipe de Jesus, where the tabernacle is located in the sanctuary, we genuflect to Christ in the tabernacle instead of bowing to the altar.
Silence or Talking? Ideally, our church would have a foyer where we could gather before and after Mass to talk, laugh and enjoy each other’s company. But we don’t. When entering St. Edward Church, we should acknowledge the person sitting next to us and greet them unless the person is clearly praying, Other than that, please maintain a prayerful silence which is not simply the absence of sound, but the opportunity to listen and talk to God as you prepare to give yourselves to each other as an offering at Mass.
Communication & Announcements: Communication is critical in any relationship including ours. The bulletin and the website are the main ways we communicate parish and diocesan information, ministries, events, opportunities to serve, and scheduling changes to our Mass schedule and confessions. Please read our bulletin so you can be informed.
The announcements at Mass focus primarily on the current week’s information or events of particular importance, including funerals, that might not be in the bulletin. Instead of interrupting Mass by making announcements after Communion, we have been making our announcements before the entrance song. If you come late to Mass, you are missing important information and may be distracting people. If you leave Mass early (before the final blessing and dismissal) you are missing important graces. Our website, stedward.com, is the most up-to-date source of information and also includes the bulletin.
October 30, 2016
This weekend we pause to reflect upon and celebrate God’s generosity to us andto share how we as a parish have responded to God’s gifts. Many see and experience the parish from a singular vantage point; however, today’s annual stewardship report gives us a bird’s eye view to help us better appreciate the impressive scope of what we do as a large and vibrant parish consisting of a church, chapel, and school. We have a lot to celebrate and be proud of. We have been focusing on being a House of Prayer, a House of the Poor, and generous stewards of God’s gifts. The first part of this bulletin presents some important information about our parish and our ministries, and it celebrates how we have grown in prayer, service and stewardship over the last year. The second part of the bulletin contains our annual financial report and demonstrates how the parish and its ministries are supported.
From the time of Abraham, God’s people have been called to give back a tithe, or 10%, to God. Jesus Himself spoke about tithing and, instead of revoking it, the New Testament invites us to go beyond tithing. It is not the amount of money that is important to God but the proportion of our giving – for God asks each of us to give back in the measure we have received. Not many of us have 10% left over at the end of the month. However, God doesn’t want our leftovers. He wants us to trust him by giving from our “first fruits”, that is, “from the top”.
As we look back over the past year and celebrate our stewardship, each of us is being invited to make a new commitment to God for the year ahead. Instead of deciding how much to give back to God, please consider what percentage of your income you are going to return to God. What percentage do you feel is right and just and expresses your faith and gratitude for God’s generosity? St. Paul told his parish in Corinth “each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor 9:7). Please complete a commitment card today…with a cheerful and grateful heart.
October 23, 2016
God blesses each of us with gifts and talents and asks us to give back by serving His people. We invite you to share your gifts by serving in one of our parish ministries. You will find descriptions of our ministries and contact information for our Ministry Leaders on our website under Parish, then Ministries. You will find a list of ministries below that are currently seeking volunteers. There isalso a list of events/activities that give families and individuals the opportunity to help or serve others.
Media StedCast– Operates the Computer/projector in church and Knight Hall for liturgies and special events. Contact: Donna Couch firstname.lastname@example.org (949) 496-6011
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at Mass – Contact Rocco Falabella (949) 240-8037
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion for the Sick and Homebound – Contact Arlene Dutchik
email@example.com (949) 940-6463
Ushers – Contact Kennie Arriola firstname.lastname@example.org (714) 404-2933
Altar Guild – washes altar server robes once a month. Contact Anne Stokes (949) 661-6434
Bereavement Ministry – Helps plan and assist at funeral liturgies. A separate team of volunteers serves at funeral receptions and provides cookies for them. Contact: Sue Donley (949) 413-1862 email@example.com
Social Justice – Advocates for Catholic social justice to address structural causes of injustice, e.g., the causes of
poverty, hunger, etc. Does charitable works – short-tem, emergency assistance, e.g., providing meals for the
homeless. Contact: Cindy and Chuck Brauer (949) 388-8219 firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Vincent de Paul Society – Helps the poor and marginalized through outreach work. Contact: Bob and Jane Blain (949) 492-2839
Hospitality – Assists with Hospitality events at our parish. Contact: Roseann Armienti (949) 218-7062
Youth Ministry Core Team- Core team members devote themselves to witnessing Christ for the teens of our
parish through relational ministry, planning and executing retreats, events, prayer nights and service and
social opportunities. Please contact Laufa Schuberg (949) 496-9719 Lschuberg@stedward.com
June 5, 2016
Great News about the Pastoral Services Appeal (PSA)
Four months ago we began our annual PSA Appeal which supports thousands of people in Orange County through a variety of ministries and services. Each parishioner was invited to do two things: (1) make a commitment to pray for one of the PSA ministries and (2) to make a financial offering, large or small. Last year, only 423 of our parish families supported PSA; therefore, I’ve been trying to encourage all parishioners to participate. You might recall that I also expressed my desire to engage in a playful PSA competition of charity with Our Lady of Pillar Catholic Church in Santa Ana. Our Lady of Pillar raised the most money and had the highest number of PSA pledges last year despite being half the size of our parish and located in an economically depressed area. Our parish ranked #19 out of the 62 parishes in the Diocese of Orange last year in terms of parishioner participation. So how are we doing so far this year? Great!
Although we are a long way from being #1 in the diocese, we’d probably win the Most Improved Parish Award, if there were one. The number of parishioners who have participated so far this year is up over 40% from 423 families to 608! We reached our goal of $235,000 in seven weeks and, as of May 27th, 613 families have pledged $298,732, an increase of over 30%, or $55,000 from last year’s total. We also earned the $5,000 incentive award for increasing pledges by 30%.
Every PSA dollar collected above our goal comes back to our own parish. As promised in January, we are going to use some of this money to refresh our 40 year-old kitchen in Knight Hall which is heavily used and in desperate need of some improvements. We have already purchased a new coffee maker for the kitchen using a portion of our $5,000 incentive award.
I truly want to serve those who benefit from PSA so I asked the students at our parish school to help. They were asked to choose a PSA ministry listed on the pledge card and to make a commitment to pray for that ministry each day. We know that prayer, and especially the prayer of children, is a powerful gift that “moves mountains”. Although we can measure the number and amount of PSA pledges in terms of money, we can’t fully know the effect of our ongoing prayers have on thosewho pray for. Surprisingly, many of the students even put some of their own money in their PSA envelops. What a beautiful and inspiring example! The amount of PSA donations have ranged from $1 (a kindergartener) to $10,000 (not a kindergartner),this reflects well the principle of a giving in proportion to which we have received.
Jesus said that “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (Jn 13:45). Our prayers and sacrifices in serving others through PSA is clear proof that we are, in word and deed, disciples of Christ.
More and more, St. Edward the Confessor is becoming known by its love and service to others; that makes me proud to be the father of this parish.
If you haven’t made a commitment to pray and to give a financial gift, large or small, please do so today at https://orangecatholicfoundation.org, through Parish Pay, by using the PSA envelope, or contacting the parish office. Thank you!
May 29, 2016 – Solemnity of the Body of Blood of Jesus Christ:
What is the Holy Eucharist?
The Eucharist is a sacrament, a sacrifice, and a sacred banquet. Under the appearance of bread and wine our Savior Jesus Christ is entirely present in this sacrament: body, blood, soul and divinity. In this sacrament He offers Himself in sacrifice to the Father, and is received as spiritual nourishment.
Why is the Eucharist the center of Catholic life?
The Eucharist is the center of Catholic life precisely because Christ is the center of all our life. In this sacrament Christ gives Himself totally, that we might share His life and be bound together in His mystical body.”
Do I have to go to confession before receiving to Communion?
To receive the sacrament of Communion worthily one must be a baptized Catholic in the state of grace and believe what the Church teaches about this sacrament. One conscious of having committed a mortal sin must make a sacramental confession before receiving communion. A mortal sin is any sin whose matter is grave and which has been committed willfully and with knowledge of its seriousness.
Do you have to fast before Mass?
Yes, the Church directs us to abstain from food and drink (except for water and medicine) for at least one hour before Communion.
Can you receive Communion if you are divorced?
By itself civil divorce is not an obstacle to Communion. However, in fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ—”Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery”—the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was valid. For this reason, a person who divorces and remarries cannot receive Communion unless theChurch declares that a person’s prior marriage was not valid (i.e. it was nullified by the Church). At the same time, Pope Francis reminds us that “it is important that the divorced who have entered a new union should be made to feel part of the Church. They are not excommunicated and they should not be treated as such, since they remain part of the ecclesial community.”
How do I get more out of Mass?
We will get more out of Mass if we give more of ourselves to God at Mass. Mass is a holy exchange: God not only changes bread and wine into His Body and Blood but He also wants to transform us. In order for that to happen, we need to freely and intentionally offer and unite ourselves to Christ together with the bread and wine. We give ourselves to God at Mass when we give him our personal prayers, joys, suffering, and intentions. The offering of money is also important because it is the fruit of our work and a vital source of our livelihood. Giving back to God not only reflects the fact that everything belongs to Him but it is a way of entrusting our life, our livelihood, to Him. Get more out of Mass by giving more of yourself to God at Mass. What are you bringing to God today?
May 8, 2016 – Feast of the Ascension of the Lord
Today’s feast of the Ascension of the Lord, traditionally 40 days after the Resurrection, commemorates when Jesus “was lifted up, and a cloud took him from [our] sight” (Acts 1:9). Jesus did not leave us when he ascended into heaven for he told us quite clearly “I will be with you always until the end of time.” (Mth 28:20) The apostles
and disciples of Jesus – Christians – continued to follow Christ even after he ascended into heaven. The Ascension reminds us of the living presence of God among us. We are called and gifted to be able hear and follow Jesus through daily prayer and service until we too are taken up into heaven. As daily disciples of Christ, our challenge is to keep our hearts and souls lifted up and focused on heaven while our feet are firmly fixed on earth. God has
granted us great guides and mentors to help with this challenge: mothers. The Ascension of the Lord and Mother’s Day are a perfect pairing for the Christian life. Pope Francis reminds us that “mothers are indispensable to society and the church, showing the world what it means to generously give oneself for others, to respect life and to display tenderness and moral strength even in times of trouble.” As the inertia of worldly and material things tend to pull our hearts down to earthly concerns, it is often Christian mothers who lift our hearts up to heavenly things by teaching us to pray, praying with and for us, and modeling humble and selfless service to others. While fathers and, indeed, the whole Christian community share this privilege and responsibility, mothers seem to do so with warmth and strength that uniquely reflect the love and warmth of God. Pope Francis tell us quite frankly (pun intended) that “a world without mothers would be “inhumane because mothers always know how to give witness –
even in the worst of times – to tenderness, dedication and moral strength.”
The month of May is traditionally dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God and our mother. Through various
Marian apparitions, Mary regularly calls on us to pray the rosary as individuals and as a family. To pray the
rosary is to place ourselves in Mary’s arms as she walks us through her son’s life so that we may more closely imitate Christ and, after our brief journey on earth, share eternal life with him in heaven.
Finally, I want to thank those who don’t normally come to Mass on Sunday but have come today as a gift to
your mom. While you have gifted your mom with your presence at Mass, she has given you a greater gift:
she has led you to Christ who is truly present in the Eucharist and who wishes to give you the gift of himself.
That’s what moms do. To love our mothers is to listen and follow their lead of daily prayer and service
not just today but each and every day.
Happy Mother’s Day!
EASTER SUNDAY MARCH 27, 2016
50 Days of Joy: The Journey Now Begins
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead strengthened His followers and converted many doubters and spectators into disciples of Christ. A disciple of Christ is someone whose whole life is oriented toward – and entrusted to – Jesus Christ. A disciple is not free from the struggles of life but he lives through them in peace andeven experiences a supernatural joy because he knows by faith that God is with him. The Easter eason begins today: 50 days of joy. Whether you are visiting our parish today or are a long-time parishioner please join us on this journey of Easter joy.On our website (stedward.com) and in this bulletin, you will find several ways to discover or rediscover the joy of being a disciple of Christ. The journey now begins.
Fr. Brendan Manson, Pastor
February 28, 2016
A Lenten Check-In: A Procrastinator’s Guide
How’s your Lent going? For those (like me) who are counting, we’re on day 16 of our 40-day
Lenten journey. In case you’d like to enrich your journey, or for those haven’t yet begun
their Lenten journey, allow me to offer a few suggestions.
House of Prayer
1. Attend daily Mass.
2. Visit our Lord in Eucharistic Adoration. (1st and 3rd Mondays of the month at St. Edward. 1st Friday,
March 4th from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at San Felipe de Jesus Chapel.)
3. Celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation (see penance service list on page 4)
4. Pray the Stations of the Cross (see page 4)
5. Sign up to receive a free daily Lenten mediation text message written by parishioners of St. Edward.
Just send a text message to 84576 and type “steward” as the message.
6. Go Small: Go to our website, email, or call us to inquire about small faith-sharing groups
in our parish. Go to: http://stedward.com/small-faith-sharing-groups-sign-up or email Liz Iorio in the Faith
Formation Office: Liorio@stedward.com. Just try it!
7. Substitute one hour of T.V. with one hour on FORMED.org where you will find dozens of free
online programs, movies, and e-books about our Catholic Faith for adults, teens, and children.
(OUR PARISH ACCESS CODE is 68K27J) If you need help, just give us a call). I recommend:
Bishop Barren’s “Catholicism” series
“Symbolon” which is a course in Christianity and the Catholic way of life
“Who is God” for teens
“Beloved”, a marriage enrichment course.
House of the Poor
1. Feed the Hungry: Join us on March 13rd as we pack 100,000 nutritious meals which go to a poor
community in Swaziland (See Kids Around the World on page 7.)
2. Feed someone’s soul: Talk to someone about Jesus, invite someone to Mass, Confession, or any of
our parish programs and events.
3. Volunteer your time to serve someone in need.
4. Pastoral Services Appeal: Make a spiritual and financial gift to PSA, our largest outreach project.
5. Give a care-giver a break: If you know someone who is a care-giver for a physically or mentally ill
person, offer to give them a break.
6. Comfort the lonely. A lot of people are – or feel – isolated such as the elderly who live alone or in
nursing homes, as well as some people we work with and go to school with. Comfort them.
7. Go to the St. Patrick Day dinner on March 19th (Ok, I just put that in there because I’m Irish!
February 14, 2016
To the sick and homebound of the parish,
I think about you a lot. I realize that on this first Sunday of Lent and the World Day of Marriage I should probably write about either or both of these important things. However, it is you who are onmy mind. The old adage “out of sight, out of mind” couldn’t be farther from the truth when it comes to you. Although you may not be seen in the church, please remember that you are the church wherever you are. You are just as much an active and important member of the parish as a parishioner who generously volunteers his or her time serving in church ministries. The first and most important ministry in the church is to pray and offer ourselves – our joys and sufferings – for others. Wherever you are becomes a House of Prayer through your faith and prayers. As the prayers of children pierce the heavens because of their purity and simplicity, your prayers likewise pierce the heavens because you share a particular closeness to Christ in your suffering. Please never underestimate your important role in the spiritual life of the parish.
Every day I am reminded of you because of the Eucharistic Ministers who come forward after Communion to
bring you the same Eucharistic Lord that we have received. Throughout the day – every day- Eucharistic Ministers come and go, coming to get our Lord from our church to bring Him to your domestic church. Whether
you receive the Eucharist at St. Edward, San Felipe, at home, or at an assisted-living or skilled nursing facility,
we all share the very same feast. When I visit you, I almost always see a church bulletin laying around. I know that the bulletin is an important link between us and so I am using it to reach out to you. Sometimes the sick and homebound have a deep desire to go to Confession but are unable to. You don’t have to go to Confession, Confession can come to you – just give me a call. If you would like to celebrate the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick or have me visit – I’d be honored to. My direct phone number is 949-429-2880.
Finally, I want to thank the family members, church volunteers, and health care workers who love and care
for you. Pope Francis tells us that:
“At times this service can be tiring and burdensome, yet we are certain that the Lord willsurely turn our human efforts into something divine. We too can be hands, arms and hearts
which help God to perform his miracles, so often hidden. We too, whether healthy or sick,
can offer up our toil and sufferings like the water which filled the jars at the wedding feast of
Cana and was turned into the finest wine. By quietly helping those who suffer, as in illness
itself, we take our daily cross upon our shoulders and follow the Master (cf. Lk 9:23). Even
though the experience of suffering will always remain a mystery, Jesus helps us to reveal its meaning”
Have a blessed Lent and joyful Year of Mercy.
Fr. Brendan Manson
January 31, 2016
Pastoral Services Appeal (PSA) – Reaching Out Together as One Church To Know, Love and Serve
As an individual parish, we are continually engaged in serving the less fortunate in our neighborhood and
around the world. This weekend, however, we join the 61 other parishes that make up the Diocese of Orange
to provide support for thousands of people in Orange County through the ministries and services funded
by the Pastoral Services Appeal (PSA).
What is Pastoral Services Appeal (PSA)?
The Pastoral Services Appeal is an annual campaign of the Orange Catholic Foundation held on behalf of the Diocese of Orange that grants funds to support ministries and services that serve all parishes and the local community. It also gives parishes the opportunity to raise significant capital funds by earning rebates over their own individual parish goal.
Who does PSA serve?
PSA supports eleven important ministries & services which assist the poor, the incarcerated, the Catholic deaf community, lay leaders, clergy and seminarians, among others. Please see the PSA brochure in the church pews and page 6 in this bulletin for more information.
Why should I give?
We all share in the responsibility of caring for those who benefit from PSA. We know by faith that we are good stewards whenever we share with others what God has entrusted to our care. Without PSA, over 2,000 children would not be able to receive a Catholic education; 165,000 people would not be able to find assistance through Catholic Charities; lay ministers, religious, priests, deacons and seminarians would not have the necessary education and formation to serve the church in their God-given vocations; the incarcerated and the victims of crime would not receive the compassion they deserve; and, the Catholic deaf community would not be able to participate in the Church through American Sign Language.
Another reason to give is that 100% of all payments over our parish goal will be returned to our parish on a monthly basis for our project: Refresh the Kitchen! (see bulletin)
How much should I give?
The people who benefit from PSA count on every Catholic to contribute through prayer and a financial support. Prayer really does make a difference. I am asking every adult and child to make a commitment to pray for one of the ministries supported by PSA. Please express your commitment by filling out the Prayer Commitment Card which is inside the PSA envelope. Circle the PSA ministry you are going to pray for this year, put your name on the PSA envelope, and return it to the parish. Financial Gift Ministries require money. Our parish has always been generous when responding to those in need. The Pastoral Service Appeal is by far our parish’s largest outreach campaign. It is not a second collection; it is annual fund, so your financial pledge can be fulfilled at one time or over the course of this year. Trying (imperfectly) to lead by example, I am making a commitment to pray for the detention ministry and I will give $250, paying $25 each month over ten months. Please make an offering in proportion to your income. At the least, please, give something!
Is it true that St. Edward the Confessor Parish raises more money through the PSA than any
No, last year several parishes in our diocese raised more money than we did. In addition, many smaller parishes had much higher participation from their parishioners than we did. Only 423 families of our parish’s 6,800 registered families, or 7%, contributed to PSA. This year our parish does have the largest PSA goal, $235k; however, the goals are calculated so that every parish gives in equal proportion according its size and income. Therefore smaller, poorer parishes have lower goals while larger, more affluent parishes like ours have higher goals. Let’s take a leadership role in our diocese by doing what we do best – reaching out to others, not just as one
parish but together as one church. And, let’s refresh that kitchen!
January 17, 2016
A House of Prayer
After God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, He told him to build a tabernacle, saying “they shall make me a sanctuary and I will dwell in their midst” (Ex 25:28). Moses did as God commanded and built a tabernacle in which was placed manna from the Exodus, the staff of Aaron, and the Ten Commandments. The tabernacle, a Hebrew word meaning “residence” or “dwelling place”, was a sacred place where God chose to meet his people. The new tabernacle in our Blessed Sacrament Chapel will be blessed today at the 12:30 Mass by Bishop Vann. Located behind the crucifix and glass rererdo (wall), the Blessed Sacrament Chapel is a sacred place where God continues to meet us, His people. Unlike the tabernacle of the Israelites, the tabernacles in Catholic Churches contain the true and living presence of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. One of the most powerful gifts we have to help us develop our prayer-life and our relationship with God as individuals, families, and a parish is to spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. If you haven’t seen the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, please visit it today. Jesus is always there in the tabernacle as God, friend, and counselor saying to us as He did to Moses “here, I will dwell in their midst”.
The House of the Poor
Our worship of the Body of Christ in the Eucharist leads us to recognize, love, and serve Him in His other body: the tabernacle that is the human person, created in God’s very own image and likeness. Authentic worship leads to service and authentic Christian service is the fruit of prayer. I want to express my gratitude to the many individuals and groups who have been generous and joyful stewards of their time, talents, and treasure by serving the body of Christ in the “least among us”.
January 3, 2016
Today’s Gospel reveals a beautiful encounter between the three magi and the infant Jesus, Mary,and Joseph. Three foreigners left their home country on a long pilgrimage to find and adore the newborn King. I can imagine the calm and silent night as the magi walk in procession to present the best they have to offer: gold, frankincense, & myrrh. However, the calm and silent night would be quickly shattered by a disturbing message from an angel who appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him” (Mth 2:13). And so, the three kings return home and the Holy Family quickly becomes the Three Refugees. No one would make room for the Holy Family when Mary was pregnant in Bethlehem and now that the Baby Jesus is born, they are forced to flee to a foreign country as Jesus’ life is in serious jeopardy.
The number of refugees fleeing Africa, Asia, and the Middle East is the largest-scale exodus since World War II. In his visit to the U.S., Pope Francis told the House of Representatives and the Senate, that the solution to therefugee crisis is for other countries to follow the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children?” Later, the Pope again addressed the plight of refuges saying, “We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome.
Instead, when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past, we must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our neighbors and everything around us.” Let us be merciful as our heavenly Father is merciful by welcoming the stranger, the refugee and the immigrant.
December 27, 2015
On the weekend of September 27th, I presented our parish goals at all of the Masses. One of our goals is
to grow more and more into a House of the Poor where the “least among us” will find in each of us as
individuals, families, and a parish, the spiritual and material support they need. However, our goal is not
simply to do more; instead we have been re-envisioning our purpose and approach to outreach.
On the next page of this bulletin, Deacon Al Scaduto announces a new and exciting step we are taking
towards this goal. Please read it and consider how you would like to get involved. This Jubilee Year of
Mercy is the perfect time to recommit ourselves to the poor by sharing the time, talent, and treasure
that God has entrust to us.
New Outreach Council – In Service to God and the Poor
Jesus’ twofold commandment of loving God and neighbor is fulfilled primary through worship and service.
Our parish has a Liturgy Committee lead by Fr. Dave Gruver and consisting of liturgical leaders such as
lectors, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, ushers, music ministers, and altar servers. The
purpose of the Liturgy Committee is to help foster our full, active, conscience worship of God through
liturgical prayer (primarily the Mass). In order to help us better live out the commandment of loving our neighbor with a focus on the poor,I recently formed an Outreach Council.
The Outreach Council is a consultative body which assists the Pastor in his stewardship of the poor inlocal, national and international communities. The incipient Council will create and recommend a
structured plan that:
(1) includes short and long-term chartable priorities and goals
(2) creates guidelines to – and will itself – evaluate and respond to requests for outreach assistance
(3) focuses on outreach opportunities which provide systemic change/improvements
(4) communicates the Outreach Plan and progress to parishioners for the purpose of providing transparency
and encouraging every parishioner to be good stewards of the poor by sharing their God-given
time, talent and treasure with those in need.
The members of the Outreach Council are: Deacon Al Scaduto (Chairman), Maria Schinderle, Kim Thress,
Jesse Perez, and Bob Smart.
December 13, 2015
A Day of Rejoicing, a Year of Mercy
This third Sunday of Advent is called Gaudete Sunday, meaning, Rejoice! And, last Tuesday, the Catholic Church began an extraordinary jubilee year called the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
What is a jubilee year?
The practice of a jubilee year has ancient roots in the Jewish tradition and evidence for it can be found in the Old Testament (for example, see Leviticus 25). The jubilee year was called every fifty years and was a time for forgiveness. It stood as a reminder of God’s providence and mercy. The dedication of a year for this emphasis provided the community with a time to come back into right relationship with one another and with God. As the practice of the jubilee year was adopted into the Catholic Church, these themes of mercy, forgiveness, and solidarity continued.
How is this Jubilee different from other Jubilee years?
The Jubilee of Mercy that Pope Francis has called, from December 8, 2015 – November 20, 2016, is an Extraordinary Jubilee. This designation as an “Extraordinary Jubilee” sets it apart from the ordinary cycle of jubilees, or holy years, which are called every 25 years in the Catholic Church. By calling for a holy year outside of the normal cycle, a particular event or theme is emphasized. For example, Pope Francis called this particular Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy to direct our attention and actions “on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s actions in our lives . . . a time when the witness of believers might grow stronger and more effective.”
Why a Jubilee of Mercy now?
Pope Francis tells us: “Here, then, is the reason for the Jubilee: because this is the time for mercy. It is the favorable time to heal wounds, a time not to be weary of meeting all those who are waiting to see and to touch with their hands the signs of the closeness of God, a time to offer everyone, the way of forgiveness and reconciliation.
May the Mother of God open our eyes, so that we may comprehend the task to which we have been called; and may she obtain for us the grace to experience this Jubilee of Mercy as faithful and fruitful witnesses of Christ.”
How do we live out the Jubilee of Mercy in our daily lives?
Pope Francis emphasizes the need for the Church and all her members to live out the loving mercy that God has for us. Our response to God’s loving mercy towards us is to act in that same way to all those we meet. The Holy Father reminds us that “Mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life. All of her pastoral activity should be caught up in the tenderness she makes present to believers; nothing in her preaching and in her witness to the world can be lacking in mercy. The Church’s very credibility is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love.” As members of the Body and Christ, our lives should reflect this witness of mercy to those we meet on a daily basis.
Where do I start? What are some key resources for the Jubilee of Mercy?
1. A good place to start is to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (Confession). Our parish opportunities to celebrate the sacrament of mercy. December 14 is our parish Penance Service.
2. Continually visit our parish website (stedward.com) for a list of resources.
3. Read the Pope’s beautiful letter, Misericordiae Vultu, about the Year of Mercy. Visit our website for the link.
4. Be merciful!
December 6, 2015
Called & Gifted – “Unwrapping the Gift”
In addition to celebrating the second Sunday of Advent today, we also commemorate the feast day of St. Nicholas, who is famously associated with gifts. This holy season of Advent is a wonderful opportunity to discover, unwrap, and share our spiritual gifts, also referred to as charisms. At Baptism and Confirmation, God in all His graciousness grants each and every one of us spiritual gifts. (1 Cor 12:4-11) What a joy it is to receive a gift, especially from God! Do you know what particular charisms God has given to you? If not, come and discover them by attending the Called & Gifted Workshop at St. Edward in Knight Hall on Saturday, January 16. Even if you are aware of your God-given charisms, I encourage you to attend because you will learn at a deeper level how those charisms can work best in your service to others. You might want to consider bringing a friend or family member to this workshop, or giving the gift of this workshop to someone special. One of the things that I love about our charisms is that they are proof that we have been individually “touched” and called by God. They are also the tools we need to accomplish our unique mission for God. Unlike other gifts, spiritual charisms are not so much given to us as our possessions but rather, they are God’s gifts which He shares with us to receive with gratitude, cultivate, and share with joyful hearts as stewards. You will find great joy in discovering and sharing the spiritual gifts God has entrusted to you. Please mark your calendar for the Called & Gifted Workshop on January 16. There is more information on the next page of this bulletin, including how to register. I think you may discover that your best Christmas gift is not under the tree, but is waiting to be unwrapped by you at this workshop.
November 22, 2015
Advent: Making the Holidays Holy, not Hectic
This time of year is commonly called the “Holiday Season” among Christians and non-Christians alike. “Holiday” is simple an old-English word for holy day. However, I think many people would call this season the hectic days. In order to make these holidays holy and not hectic, we need to begin by making the firm decision that we want to set these days aside as sacred.
Advent is a time to prepare to commemorate the birth of Jesus 2,000 years ago, but it is about much more than that. Advent is also a sacred time to prepare and repair our hearts so that our Lord will find a renewed and longing heart for Him. The third aspect of Advent, which is equally important, is a time to “wait in joyful hope for the coming of our savior Jesus Christ” at His second and final coming.
Here are a few recommendations to make the holidays holy, not hectic:
- Decorate your home and office using the Advent color of violet
- Place an Advent wreath at your dinner table or your prayer corner. (You can find a prayers for the Advent wreath online).
- Listen to Advent (See http://catholic-resources.org/Lectionary/Seasons-Advent-Christmas.htm)
- 25 Days of Prayer and Compassion– Free book and online version available in English and Spanish.
- Little Blue Books – Available in English and Spanish
- House of Prayer Videos – A couple of time each month before the closing prayer at Sunday Mass, we will be showing a short video on ways to pray.
- The Sacrament of Reconciliation: In addition to our regular Confession times, we will also have an Advent Penance Service on December 14th at 7pm.
- Advent with Our Lady: Celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Masses (Dec 8th) and Solemnity of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th.
- formed.org: Free parish online resource. Here’s a small sample of what’s available:
- Movie: The Story of the Nativity
- Movie: The Reluctant Saint
- Video Programs: The Bible and the Virgin Mary
- 33 Days to Morning Glory: a do-it-yourself Marian retreat
- Just for Parents: a great resource for parents with teenagers
- Book: Because God is Real
November 15, 2015
Not long after coming to St. Edward it became clear to me that most parishioners consider this parish to be a really important part of their lives. For priests a parish is also our spouse and family. This weekend, we continue developing our spirituality of stewardship by focusing on our stewardship of money as an offering to God
and a support to our parish family.
Receiving with Gratitude Stewardship begins with recognizing that everything we are and have belongs to God. We are not owners; we are stewards. As stewards, we receive everything with gratitude and work diligently to cultivate it and then return a portion to God.
From the time of Abraham, God’s people have been called to give back a tithe, or 10%, to God. Tithing
is not a reference to charitable giving in general; it is money that we give back to God through our parish.
Jesus Himself spoke about tithing and, instead of revoking it, the New Testament invites us to go
beyond tithing. In other words, tithing is the starting point to giving, not the end! God asks each of us to
give back in the measure we have received be it a mite or a million dollars. Tithing is an important expression
of our faith and trust in God.
Giving First Fruits (not Leftovers)
Not many of us have 10% left over at the end of the month. In fact, some have nothing left over. However,
God asks us to give back to Him from our “first fruits,” not our leftovers. “Honor the Lord with
your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and
your vats will be bursting with wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10) Where does our Sunday offering to God rank
on our list of spending priorities? First fruits or leftovers?
Preparing and Presenting your Gift to God
When we give a gift to someone we love, we put a lot of thought into it. Even the way we wrap a gift
can be an expression our love. And, proud of the gift we’re giving, we write our name on it. Our Sunday
offering to God is similar. We offer a well thought-out gift (prepared before we come to Mass), and
wrap it in an envelope with our name on it (or through electronic giving). For millennia, families have been placing their first fruits in a basket and bringing them proudly and joyfully to the temple as an offering to God. What sacrificial gift are you committed to returning to God at the offertory today?
Making a Commitment
As we recall God’s abundant blessings and receive them with gratitude, I am asking you to complete an
offertory commitment card that reflects the first fruits that you will be returning to God as your Sunday
offering. I realize that tithing may require a big leap of faith for some. Please take the leap; God simply
will not be outdone in generosity.
November 8, 2015
The word “vocation” comes from the Latin word meaning “to call”. God, our Father, calls and invites every single person to a particular state or vocation in life: single life, married life, the priesthood, the diaconate, and religious life. First and foremost, a vocation is a gift from God. We do not create a vocation. We receive our vocation. God calls and offers us the gift of our vocation, and we choose to accept it or not. Just as we read in the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord, from all eternity has a plan for our lives. And His plan is what will bring us true and authentic happiness. How do we know our vocation? We ask the One who made us. Only in the silence of prayer do we come to know His plan and our vocation. Will we ask Him? What is stopping us from receiving the greatest gift of our lives? (St. JP II Newman Center) In addition to asking God what His plan is for us, God often uses us to help someone hear God’s call in his or her life. For example, many people met their spouses through friends or family members who introduced them to each other. Vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and religious life work the same way. I think many of us know someone who we think would be a good match for these special vocations. Please, tell them! Being called to the priesthood, diaconate, and religious life is no less joyful than finding your future spouse. This “matchmaking” is a godly way of being good stewards of vocations. -Fr. Brendan Manson Please visit our Vocation Faire today, November 8th in Knight Hall from 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
October 25, 2015
During this month we focused on the joy and responsibility of being stewards of creation, particularly, human life. Among other things, we blessed expectant mothers at Mass, celebrated wedding anniversaries, shared “pennies from heaven”, and blessed animals for the feast of St. Francis. We began offering FORMED (formed.com), a free online Catholic resource center, as a way of growing in our knowledge of God and fostering our prayer-life. Continuing our focus on the poor, we participated in the F.A.M. Hunger Walk last weekend and installed a sculpture of “Homeless Jesus” to remind us to see, approach, and serve Christ in the poor. Today we are invited to send our prayers and offerings with our parish missionaries who are going to serve the poor in Jamaica. As a way of fostering unity among our diverse parish, all parishioners were invited to Mass and a Prayer Breakfast on October 2nd with Bishop Vann. Over 450 people came to the parish Movie Night and enjoyed Despicable Me 2 with hotdogs and popcorn under the stars. On October 13th, we celebrated the feast of our patron saint, Edward the Confessor, with two solemn Masses, a presentation on St. Edward with St. Joseph Radio, and a night of praise music in English and Spanish together with Eucharistic adoration followed by a reception. Last weekend, we hosted a welcome reception for the 170 new parishioners who have registered in the last six months. Please take a look at this bulletin and the November calendar on page 6 and make plans to join our parish family in the upcoming ministries and events.
October 18, 2015
I share with you the following letter from Deacon Al Scaduto about our upcoming missionary trip to Jamaica:
Gentle people of St. Edwards,
Seventeen of your fellow parishioners will be traveling to the slums of Kingston, Jamaica on November 2nd to volunteer with the Missionaries of the Poor. They will care and share their love of Christ with truly, “the least among us,” severely handicapped children and elderly who have been left on the streets to die. They invite you to join them spiritually on their pilgrimage.The group will take your special prayer intentions with them so the missionary brothers may pray over them daily. Additionally, everyday the brothers feed and care for 400 people in their apostolic shelters plus another 500 living on the streets. The brothers are in constant need of medical supplies, diapers and food. Here is a partial example of daily expenses: 800 lbs of rice, $240, four cases of Spam, $312 and 200 diapers, $50. It is understandable how supplies can be depleted rapidly and so costly to maintain. Therefore, we are appealing to you for a “love donation” that will aid the brothers in obtaining these desperately needed critical supplies. Please help them if you can.
There will be a second collection for your prayer intentions and/or donations at all the Masses
on October 24th & 25th. Checks can be made out to St. Edwards with a note: “Parish missionary trip.”
Finally, please keep us in your prayers.
In His service,
Deacon Al & Linda Scaduto
October 11, 2015
In 2007, I was living in Morelia, Mexico, for a month doing my best to improve my Spanish. There seemed to be a Catholic Church on every corner. On several evenings, I heard the sound of church bells ringing unceasingly followed by fireworks and music. I asked my Spanish instructor what was being celebrated and why only some of the churches were celebrating and not all of them. She laughed and told me that they were celebrating their fiestas patronales, the feast of their patron saint. Sometimes the celebration lasts one day, sometimes it lasts nine days (called a novenario). The streets are decorated and proud parishioners carry a statue of their patron saint through their neighborhood, singing and praying. This Tuesday, October 13th, we celebrate the feast day of our patron saint, Edward the Confessor. (Many of our Hispanic parishioners reasonably assume that the feast of St. Edward is in May because that’s when we have our parish fiesta). We haven’t traditionally done much to celebrate our patron saint day, so let’s change that. We won’t have rides or fireworks Tuesday, but there will be opportunities for us to come together to praise God and thank St. Edward for interceding for us as a parish family.
October 4, 2015
During the month of October, we celebrate with renewed reverence, joy, and gratitude the gift of life that God has entrusted to our care. Despite the absolute majesty and beauty of God’s creation, nothing compares to the splendor and sacredness of human life for only human beings are created in God’s very own image and likeness. Read and pray the psalm below written by a man 1,000 years ago who was in awe of this very fact. (Psalm 8) All life is created by God therefore, all life belongs to God. Water, air, mountains, plants, and animals – everything is His. Our “own” life, the life in a womb, a disabled life, a mentally ill or terminally suffering life – all life – belongs to God. As St. Paul boldly tells us: “You are not your own.” (1 Cor 16:19) And yet, God has not kept everything to Himself. Instead, God has entrusted what is His – everything – to us as His stewards. So what do we do? We receive all life with joy and gratitude; we cultivate it, increase it, and share it. In today’s bulletin you will find several opportunities to celebrate life this month. Here are a few: Pennies from Heaven + Blessing of Life in the Womb +Wounded Warriors’ Dinner + F.A.M. Hunger Walk + Attend Baptisms + Support the Scouts + Blessing of the Animals + Go to daily Mass + World Mission Sunday + Make a spiritual and/or material donation to the Parish outreach trip to Jamaica Collection + Sign up at www.40DaysforLife.com/ Orange to pray for life +Go to parish movie night + Go to Confession and bring someone else to receive healing and celebrate mercy + O LORD, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth! I will sing of your majesty above the heavens with the mouths of babesa and infants. You have established a bulwark* against your foes, to silence enemy and avenger. When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you set in place— * What is man that you are mindful of him, and a son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him little less than a god, crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of your hands, put all things at his feet: All sheep and oxen, even the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth! (Ps 8) Homeless Jesus You might have noticed a homeless person sleeping on a park bench on the grassy area between the entrance and exit of the church. It is Jesus. Sculptured by Timothy P. Schmalz, the bronze figure is shrouded in a blanket and the only indication that it is Jesus is the visible wounds on the feet. The sculpture is a beautiful and somewhat unsettling visual reminder that Jesus is not only found, loved, and served within the walls of our House of Prayer, the church, but we are called and sent to recognize, love, and serve Jesus in one another, particularly in the poor and marginalized. We enter the church to pray, and we leave to serve. May the homeless, faceless, man on the bench inspire us to recognize Jesus in His many disguises and to serve Him, for He tells us, “whatever you did [or did not do] for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did [or did not do] for me.” (Matthew 25: 40,45)
September 13, 2015
Although our parish is named St. Edward the Confessor, it could also be affectionately called Big Ed’s. The size, scope and daily activity of our parish family – church, school, and chapel – is something quite spectacular. Even if you are a long-time active member of the parish, you may be surprised to learn just how much we do. We are God’s stewards. A steward is someone who takes care of what belongs to someone else, like an administrator or trustee, not an owner. Christian stewards recognize that everything really belongs to God and that we are called to give an account of how we have used the many gifts that God has entrusted to our care. The Parish Report, which is included in this week’s bulletin, is an account of our stewardship. Part I gives an account of the gift of money that we have returned to God by giving to our parish. Part II shows how our time, talent and treasure have been received, cultivated, and generously transformed into ministries which serve God and our neighbor. As parishioners of St. Edward the Confessor, we are family, a big family and it gives me great joy to be a member of it.
August 9, 2015
Church Renovation Financial Summary:
In October 2014, the parish Finance Council approved an initial renovation budget not to exceed $3 million. The actual cost of the renovations to date has been approximately $1.964M. As you have read in the bulletin (June 7th, 21st), the City of Dana Point is requiring us to make substantial upgrades to ensure that our facilities are code compliant. These upgrades will be completed in two phases. The first phase, which will cost roughly $250k, is almost complete. It includes two van accessible parking spots, truncated domes in front of the church, slope and grade corrections in the arched walkway, filling in the planter around the sculpture in front of the church, and replacing the railing in the choir loft. The second phase will be completed within the next three years. However, at this time, the necessary scope (and therefore the cost) of the second phase is uncertain. Accordingly, further updates will be provided once there is more clarity.
For more information on parish finances please visit our website at stedward.com/finance-council or contact
Barbara Belavic (email@example.com), the Business Manager, or Randy Redwitz (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Chairman of the Parish Finance Council.
Rev. Brendan D. Manson
One reality of faith that guides and comforts me is that we are always where Godwants us to be. As Bishop Vann installs me as Pastor of St. Edward the Confessor Parish and San Felipe de Jesus Chapel this Sunday, I am comforted to know that it is Divine Providence who has put us together. Being a Pastor doesn’t come with a how-to manual any more than being a parent does. I rely on your prayers and the support and counsel of many people, particularly you, the parishioners. I am grateful to the parish staff who, though often in the background, are the source of so much good that happens in this parish. The past two years have been a time of transition and change. During this time, I have relied greatly upon the wisdom and guidance of the Parish Pastoral Council and the Finance Council. They have been an invaluable and fruitful expression of collaboration between the clergy and laity. Finally, at the heart of the parish are several hundred parishioners who share their time and talents serving in a variety of ministries. I am grateful.
I encourage and invite every parishioner – young and old – to recognize and exercise the gifts and charisms that God has given you. God has enriched every member of our parish with unique gifts – great and small – which, when shared, contribute to the renewal and building up of the Church.I feel very blessed to lead you and walk with you on our journey of faith.
Fr. Brendan Manson, Pastor
EASTER SUNDAY MESSAGE April 5, 2015
On Easter we gather together with immense joy because, like the first disciples, we have come to believe that Jesus Christ has conquered death and restored us to life. Jesus’ resurrection turned spectators, doubters and cynics into believers. However, Christ invites each of us to move from a safe and static state of believing to a life-changing daily decision to be disciples and followers of Jesus. Whether you are a “cradle” Catholic, a CEO (Christmas and Easter Only Christian), a convert or were just baptized at the Easter Vigil, discipleship is a daily journey of walking with Christ through prayer, worship and service to others. Christians have gathered together on Sunday for two millennia to listen to the Word of God and celebrate the Eucharist. This gathering of Christians is called the church and Pope Francis reminds us that Jesus and the church are inseparable. The church is a home for saints as well as a hospital for sinners. So, either way, you’ll fit right in. Regardless of whether you have been away from the church, attend church occasionally or weekly, I invite you continue celebrating the Easter season with us both at church and online. We will be celebrating Easter with “50 Days of Joy” online at 50DaysOfJoy.com. May God bless you and your family with Easter joy.
March 8, 2015
You are invited to participate in the solemn Dedication Mass of the Altar at St. Edward the Confessor on Saturday, March 14 at 8:15 a.m. The dedication Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Vann and will include the rites of anointing, incensing, covering, and lighting of the altar. In addition, the relics of eight saints will be deposited in the base of the new altar. It is important that we see beyond the exterior signs and symbols that we use in the church and in our liturgies and enter into the deeper spiritual realities that they communicate and make present. Since December, a twenty-eight page renovation guide has been published on the parish website not only as a practical guide, but also for our spiritual renewal.
February 22, 2015
Lent: It’s about Transformation
Here we go again: Lent, a time in the liturgical year when we pray, fast and give alms. Some observe Lent as an endurance test to see if they can give something up 40 days. The most popular things that people give up for Lent are chocolate, swearing, alcohol, soda, social networking, sweets, and fast food.
But Lent isn’t about endurance or even following traditions, it’s about transformation. For Christians, the word transformation is about an inward change that takes place in our being as we feed on Christ as our spiritual food and drink. As we are transformed more deeply into the likeness of Christ on the inside, we begin to express Christ more and more in our daily life through our words and actions.
Lent is powerful time of grace when we choose particular forms of prayer, fasting, almsgiving that bring us into a unique relationship with God and is at a different place on our spiritual journey, what we do for Lent should also be unique.
Prayer: Set aside a fixed time each day and talk to God in your own words.
Fasting: What is getting in your way from getting closer to God? Are you too busy, harboring
a grudge, holding on to a sin or a bad habit? Give that up for Lent.
Almsgiving: Our relationship with God is intrinsically linked to our relationship with others,
Do something different for Lent this year so that after the 40 days of Lent .
to God in your own
February 1, 2015
I would like to address a newspaper article that was written Sunday, February 1. A parishioner has filed a lawsuit – and injunction – against the diocese, the bishop, our parish and me. The suit falsely claims that money raised in the parish capital campaign in the year 2000 has not been used for the purpose for which it was intended which was to (1) expand the school, (2) purchase additional property adjacent to the parish and (3) build a new parish center. The injunction seeks to stop the work of the renovation of the church. I addressed this concern in the November 16th bulletin and the chairman of our parish finance council, a long-time parishioner and respected business owner, also addressed this concern with the parishioner suing us. Each October we publish a summary of the parish’s finances, and offer to give more detailed information to anyone who is interested. We had a voluntarily independent audit conducted when I came to the parish in July 2013 and all of the financial matters of the parish are discussed and decided collaboratively with our parish finance council and the parish pastoral council. I have always encouraged parish interest and involvement in the renovation plans. The process was guided by our pastoral council and finance which represents all of the 6000 St. Edward’s registered families. In a parish this size, we cannot expect that everyone will be completely pleased with the result of our process, but I am disappointed that the few who did not embrace our community-generated plan are seeking to stop the process for everyone. I will keep you updated and I ask for your prayers and support.
Q: Weren’t there plans to build a new Eucharist Chapel?
A: Yes. After consulting with Fr. Steve Sallot and the parish renovation committee, the liturgical consultant, Robert Habiger, presented two options for the renovation project. Both options were more extensive and, therefore, more expensive than the scope of work we are undertaking. Including a 15% contingency that is added on to all parish construction projects, the total cost of the renovation with a new Eucharistic Chapel was estimated to at $5.5M. After consulting with various parish councils, I decided to reduce the scope and cost of the renovations which is estimated at $2.3M.
Q: I noticed that the pews are not padded. Will the kneelers be padded?
A: Yes. (Visit the parish website if you are wondering: (1) Why are we purchasing new pews instead of refurbishing the old ones? (2) Will there be more wheelchair-accessible seats? (3) Will there be pews in the balcony? (4) Where are the old pews going?)
Q: There seemed to be issues controlling the temperature in the church. Are you addressing that?
A: Yes. Before deciding to move forward with the renovations the church’s heating and air conditions system was evaluated. New thermostats and directional vents will be installed in the church to better control the temperature and direct the air.
Q: What is the color scheme for the church?
A: Color plays an important role in our liturgical worship. Color is used to distinguish and highlight various liturgical seasons, celebrations and areas within the church. In addition, color can affect our mind, body and spirit. The ceiling will be painted a light cream color. A palette of warm, golden, sand tones were selected for the walls to accent our beautiful ocean view. Additionally, river pearl grey and a pecan canyon brown will be incorporated in the carpet and flooring to tie the entire color scheme together.
Q: Will we have the hearing aid system in the church as we had before?
A: Yes! In addition, new speakers are being installed to improve the quality of the spoken and sung Word of God.
Q: How are the renovations going?
A: As of Monday, January 26th, the renovations are on schedule and on budget.
.January 25, 2015
Q: Are there any plans to renovate San Felipe de Jesus Chapel?
A: San Felipe de Jesus Chapel is being constantly maintained in a spirit of good stewardship and has received some much-needed upgrades in recent years. This summer, we plan to paint the exterior of thechapel, the hall, and offices, replace the old worn-out sign and improve the landscaping.
Q: Who was involved in the decision-making of the renovations?
A: •Parish Renovation Committee consisting of parishioners, staff members, ministry representatives
•Parish Operations Manager •Parish Finance Council •Parish Pastoral Council •Parish Business Manager and Finance Manager •One-on-one conversations with parishioners and Fr. Steve Sallot •Bishop Kevin Vann •Diocesan Design and Renovation Committee •Diocesan Construction Board •Liturgy Design Consultant Robert Habiger of Dekker/Perich/Sabatin who produced a 50-page Liturgical Program, a document consisting of renovation recommendations and considerations • Fr. Brendan Manson
(Answer is reprinted from our parish website December 11, 2014)
Q: Is any of the money that was raised in the Parish Capital Campaign in the year 2000 being used to renovate the church?
A: No. (For more information, please see the November 16th bulletin which addressed this question in more detail.
Past bulletins are available on the parish website, or you may contact the parish office with any questions).
Q: Is the church going to have carpet or tile?
A: The renovated church will have carpet where there was carpet and tile where there was tile with two exceptions. The sanctuary and Mary’s Chapel will be tiled.
Q: How’s the renovation going this week?
A: As of Monday, January 19th, we are still on schedule to celebrate our first Mass in the church with Bishop Vann on Friday March 6th. However, there will still be some work to do after March 6th. For example, as anticipated, the tabernacle and processional cross will be finished in June (and well worth the wait).
Interesting Fact: The space where the faithful gather is called a nave. The nave is important because
Christ is present in the baptized who are gathered in his name. However, the Christian family is a domestic churches and they too have a nave, that is, a place to gather. Our parish family gathers in church to pray and sing. Where in your home does your family pray together? Our parish family has a variety of devotions such as the rosary, the Stations of the Cross, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. What devotions do you practice in your domestic church?
Did you miss the last week’s renovation timeline and Q&A? Please visit stedward.com for past bulletins and more information about the renovations. If you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com. The bulletin is submitted for printing on Monday mornings.
January 18, 2015
As we celebrate our third weekend in the tent, I want to express my gratitude to the parish staff and volunteers who have worked so hard to make our “revival” tent a beautiful place of worship. Last week the tent also served as Noah’s Ark during the rain. Despite some discomforts, it was so edifying to me to see your joy.
As of January 12th, the renovations are going very well. To most parishioners, it may appear that the renovations almost happened overnight, but it has actually been a long thoughtful process. Here is a timeline of the renovations:
2012: Fr. Steve Sallot, former pastor of St. Edward the Confessor, hired a liturgical consultant and formed a committee of staff members and parishioners to discuss options for renovating the church.
May 2012: Liturgy Design Consultant, Robert Habiger, submits a 50-page document to Fr. Steve consisting of renovation recommendations.
Spring 2013: Fr. Steve Sallot is named Vicar General of the diocese and Fr. Brendan Manson is named Administrator of St. Edward the Confessor.
July 2013: Fr. Brendan begins at St. Edward the Confessor. The renovation project is put on hold during the transition of pastors.
February 2014: An assessment of the church roof, electrical, plumbing and HVAC is conducted.
Spring 2014: Fr. Brendan studies the renovation recommendations, discusses them with the Parish Pastoral Council, Parish Finance Council, Diocesan Construction Board, parish staff and some of the members of the original renovation committee that Fr. Steve formed.
Summer 2014: Parish Finance and Pastoral Council recommends moving forward with the renovation of the church. The scope, cost, and timing of the project are considered.
September 21: Bulletin announcement discusses the history of the renovation plans and that permission is being requested from Bishop Vann to pursue the renovation of the church in the winter of 2015. During this time, the scope is being refined in consultation with some parishioners, staff, and parish and diocesan councils and committees. Bishop Vann visits St. Edward to discuss the renovations including his desire to erect a rererdo in the sanctuary.
October 26: A full-page announcement in the bulletin announces the renovation project is moving forward. The announcement addresses three questions: (1) what is going to be done, (2) what is it going to cost and who’s paying for it, and (3) when it the renovation going to begin.
November 16: An announcement is made at the end of all Masses regarding the full proposed scope and timing of the renovations. A written explanation is given in the bulletin regarding the monies raised from the parish capital campaign of 2000.
Dec 5: Bishop approves renovation project.
Dec 14: Bishop’s approval is announced in the bulletin together with an updated estimate of the cost of project. The bulletin also states that that parish will still have money in reserves after the project. Parishioners are directed to the parish website to see renderings and for a thorough explanation of the renovations and how to renovate our own homes, the domestic church.
December 29: The renovations begin.
March 6: Renovations scheduled to be completed with a Solemn Mass to dedicate the new altar by Bishop Kevin Vann at 7pm.
January, 2015 Happy New Year!
We are currently underway with the renovation of the church as all of you can see when you attend our Sunday liturgies in the large tent constructed in the parking lot. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. If you would like to know more about what we are doing and why, please click on the link below:
December 21, 2014
La Posadas – a Place of Welcome
Las Posadas is a 500 year-old tradition that started in Spain and continues today throughout much of Latin America. Beginning on December 16th, Christians gather on nine consecutive days to commemorate the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem. The faithful reenact the pious tradition of Mary and Joseph looking for a posada, an inn or place of lodging, for their new family.
In today’s first reading, King David expresses his desire to build a house for God. “Here I am living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent!”(2 Sam 7:6). However, in the Gospel, Jesus chooses his own dwelling place: the Blessed Virgin Mary. Through baptism, God continues to make His home in us. We are God’s preferred posada.
When Christ was born, the Holy Family welcomed a lot of strangers: shepherds, kings, rich and poor. Some came to honor the newborn King, others came out of mere curiosity, but everyone was, no doubt, welcomed by Mary and Joseph.
Like the Holy Family, we spend these last days of Advent waiting in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ, but we also prepare to welcome the thousands of visitors who are coming to our parish for Christmas. Let us welcome them with the hospitality of Mary and Joseph. Parking will be hectic and “your” regular seat will probably be taken by someone who only goes to church once or twice a year. Instead of becoming annoyed, let’s ask ourselves what we can do to let them know and feel that they are truly welcome at our parish and that we want them to come back. Here a few ideas:
- Attend one of the less-attended Christmas Masses in order to make room for visitors at the more popular Masses.
- Park in the neighborhood and let visitors park at the church
- Go to Mass at Knight Hall so that more visitors can attend Mass in the church.
- Introduce yourself and welcome the person next to you.
- After Mass, let others leave the parking lot first
May everyone who walks through our doors this Christmas find the joy of Christ in us, the dwelling place of God. Let’s give them a reason to come back.
December 14, 2014
After extensive reviews, site visits and conferences with Diocesan personnel dating back to August 2010 and detailed financial reviews and recommendations by our Finance Council, on December 5th we received approval from Bishop Kevin Vann and the requisite diocesan committees to proceed with the renovation our church. Our Finance Council recommended to me that the total renovation should not exceed $3M in order to maintain adequate liquidity reserves at our Parish level and I accepted that recommendation.
With the current scope and pricing of our renovation work, the actual cost is estimated to be $2.3M and that includes a 15% contingency. In addition, some parishioners have expressed a desire to donate toward the renovation which will, in turn, reduce the need to expend $2.3M of Parish reserves.
The renovation of the church will begin Monday, December 29th, and will be completed on March 6th. During the renovation, the church will be closed. Bishop Vann will celebrate Mass at St. Edward the Confessoron Friday, March 6th at 7pm, which will include the dedication of the new altar.
For pictures and up-to-date information, please visit the parish website at stedward.com – just click on the box directly under the banner headings.
Please note the following changes which are effective December 29, 2014 – March 7, 2015
Sunday Masses, including the Saturday 5:30pm, Mass will be held in a heated tent located next to the school field. With a seating capacity of one thousand, the tent will provide a comfortable space for everyone.
Daily Masses will be celebrated at our chapel, San Felipe
November 30, 2014
We generally don’t like waiting…for anything. When we’re at the store, we look for the shortest line, we like FastPass at Disneyland, FasTrak on the freeway, and sometimes we’ll even pay a heavy premium to skip the line all together. Waiting can be a painful experience that tries our patience. Advent, which means “He comes” or “He is coming”, is a time of waiting, watching, and longing. And, we might just prefer to move right on to Christmas. After all, “Christmas” arrived in stores, the radio, and commercials long ago. Meanwhile, we, as Christians, are just beginning twenty-five days of preparation for the season of Christmas. So why wait? Waiting does not mean that we stand idle. Instead, waiting, watching and longing for God are powerful ways to prepare and expand our hearts for God who wishes to renew us. If we do these things, our joy on Christmas day, during the Christmas season, and beyond, will greatly exceed the passing joy that comes with “skipping the line.” Daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Rosary, and the “Blue Book” are just some ways to live the spirit of Advent. We are also trying something new this year. Consider taking part in 25 Days of Prayer & Compassion, a 25-day journey aimed at helping us see and serve Christ in those in need. Each day is designed to bring about an awareness of those living in poverty and give us a way of walking in solidarity which them through prayer and small activities. A limited number of 25 Days of Prayer and Compassion booklets are available in the parish office; however, the entire journey is available at online HouseofPrayerandPoor.com. You are encouraged to post pictures and comments of you daily journey on the website as we journey together to see and serve Christ, who comes to us in prayer and in the least among us. November 23, 2014 We generally don’t like waiting…for anything. When we’re at the store, we look for the shortest line, we like FastPass at Disneyland, FasTrak on the freeway, and sometimes we’ll even pay a heavy premium to skip the line all together. Waiting can be a painful experience that tries our patience. Advent, which means “He comes” or “He is coming”, is a time of waiting, watching, and longing. And, we might just prefer to move right on to Christmas. After all, “Christmas” arrived in stores, the radio, and commercials long ago. Meanwhile, we, as Christians, are just beginning twenty-five days of preparation for the season of Christmas. So why wait? Waiting does not mean that we stand idle. Instead, waiting, watching and longing for God are powerful ways to prepare and expand our hearts for God who wishes to renew us. If we do these things, our joy on Christmas day, during the Christmas season, and beyond, will greatly exceed the passing joy that comes with “skipping the line.” Daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Rosary, and the “Blue Book” are just some ways to live the spirit of Advent. We are also trying something new this year. Consider taking part in 25 Days of Prayer & Compassion, a 25-day journey aimed at helping us see and serve Christ in those in need. Each day is designed to bring about an awareness of those living in poverty and give us a way of walking in solidarity which them through prayer and small activities. A limited number of 25 Days of Prayer and Compassion booklets are available in the parish office; however, the entire journey is available at online HouseofPrayerandPoor.com. You are encouraged to post pictures and comments of you daily journey on the website as we journey together to see and serve Christ, who comes to us in prayer and in the least among us. November 9, 2014 On one of the many occasions when Jesus entered the temple, he said “my house shall be a house of prayer” (Is 56:7; Lk 19:45). Many, if not most of us consider our parish an extension of our own home. Some of our most treasured memories take place here: baptisms, First Communions, Sacrament of Confirmation, weddings, anointing of the sick and funerals. The church is also a place of life-long learning for children and adults. Our parish home is a meeting-place of friends and a refuge where we are sure to find Christ, our friend. Prayer is a beautiful dialogue between God and us in which we listen and speak to each other.Through our baptism we truly become a living house of prayer as St. Paul says “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit” (I Cor 6:19). Over the course of this year we will be renovating our house of prayer with a fortified foundation of communal and personal prayer. Two thousand years ago one of the disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Lk 11:1). Through our liturgies, homilies, retreats, website and bulletin resources, bible studies and faith formation programs, our Lord will teach us how to pray and to discover in prayer a place of “light, happiness, and peace” (Roman Canon). However, God’s house, our house of prayer, must extend beyond the walls of the church. Shortly after his election, Pope Francis told journalists “Ah, how I would like a church that is poor, and for the poor.” Throughout the year, each of us will be given several opportunities to embrace the joy and responsibility of responding boldly and generously to this call to be a house of the poor. Jesus told us that the greatest commandment in the law is to love God and your neighbor as yourself. And so, will journey together this year to rediscover the joy of living this twofold commandment by becoming: A House of Prayer and a House of the Poor. November 2, 2014 – A LIFE CHANGING & SOUL STIRRING TRIP
Life changing would not fully describe our recent visit to Kingston, Jamaica to serve with the Missionaries of the Poor (MOP). Soul stirring seems far more appropriate. Between October 13th &18th, twenty parishioners had the distinct privilege of working along side “the mops”, “the cleanup men who pick up humanity left on the streets, cast off or forgotten by society”. The brothers recognize each person, no matter how broken they may be, as a precious gift from God and deserve to be treated with dignity and love. So many of us read the Bible. So many of us study the Bible. How many of us truly LIVE the Word? Sometimes it takes seeing others actually doing this to realize the difference. The Brothers showed great wisdom beyond their years. They were grounded in Christ and had no interest in the “riches” we take for granted and often treasure in the states. They choose to focus on eternal rewards rather than mere, fleeting pleasures. They find strength to do the most difficult jobs through a day disciplined by constant prayer. They incorporate God-filled music to lift their souls and to keep them nourished as they work.
How often we go to a Third World country proudly thinking we will teach them our ways. We found out very quickly that the tables were turned and that we were the learners. The Brothers and the disabled and the impaired were our teachers instead. They taught us the real meaning of joy. They shared with us the paradox that “Peace is found on the Cross”; all you need is Christ.In their beautiful worldview, love is not carnal and self-indulgent but true love is found in self-sacrifice. The Brothers are called to imitate Christ- and to teach others how to love. They do their job so incredibly well! What can ONE person do to make a difference? Father Ho Lung, founder of MOP, might have wondered that same thing at age 40. Thirty-five years later, this “Ghetto” Priest’s “Joyful Service with Christ on the Cross” has attracted over 500 Brothers.Like Jesus, he calls us to follow him and to make a difference too, to light a candle in the darkness.
October 26, 2014 As we proceed with the planning process of renovating the interior of our church, St. John Chrysostom reminds us that we must renovate both our house of prayer and the house of the poor. St. John Chrysostom Do you want to honor Christ’s body? Then do not scorn him in his nakedness, nor honor him here in the church with silken garments while neglecting him outside where he is cold and naked. For he who said: This is my body, and made it so by his words, also said: “You saw me hungry and did not feed me, and inasmuch as you did not do it for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did not do it for me.” (Mat 25:34ff) What we do here in the church requires a pure heart, not special garments; what we do outside requires great dedication. Let us learn, therefore, to be men of wisdom and to honor Christ as he desires. For a person being honoured finds greatest pleasure in the honor he desires, not in the honor we think best. Peter thought he was honoring Christ when he refused to let him wash his feet; but what Peter wanted was not truly an honour, quite the opposite! Give him the honour prescribed in his law by giving your riches to the poor. For God does not want golden vessels but golden hearts. Now, in saying this I am not forbidding you to make such gifts; I am only demanding that along with such gifts and before them you give alms. He accepts the former, but he is much more pleased with the latter. In the former, only the giver profits; in the latter, the recipient does too. A gift to the church may be taken as a form of ostentation, but an alms is pure kindness. Of what use is it to weigh down Christ’s table with golden cups, when he himself is dying of hunger? First, fill him when he is hungry; then use the means you have left to adorn his table. Will you have a golden cup made but not give a cup of water? What is the use of providing the table with cloths woven of gold thread, and not providing Christ himself with the clothes he needs? What profit is there in that? Tell me: If you were to see him lacking the necessary food but were to leave him in that state and merely surround his table with gold would he be grateful to you or rather would he not be angry? What if you were to see him clad in worn-out rags and stiff from the cold, and were to forget about clothing him and instead were to set up golden columns for him, saying that you were doing it in his honour? Would he not think he was being mocked and greatly insulted? Apply this also to Christ when he comes along the roads as a pilgrim, looking for shelter. You do not take him in as your guest, but you decorate floor and walls and the capitals of the pillars. You provide silver chains for the lamps, but you cannot bear even to look at him as he lies chained in prison. Once again, I am not forbidding you to supply these adornments; I am urging you to provide these other things as well, and indeed to provide them first. No one has ever been accused for not providing ornaments, but for those who neglect their neighbour a hell awaits with an inextinguishable fire and torment in the company of the demons. Do not, therefore, adorn the church and ignore your afflicted brother, for he is the most precious temple of all. October 19, 2014 God Owns it All-Responding to God’s Generosity- Two thousand years ago, St. Paul asked his Christian community: “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor 4:7). Their response – and ours – would have to be: “nothing.” When we truly recognize and believe that everything we are and everything we have is an unearned gift from God, our hearts and our lives are forever changed. Our first response to God’s goodness and generosity is gratitude and joy. Our second response is a desire to respond to God’s love. Aware that everything we have is a generous gift from God we too join the psalmist in asking “How can I repay the Lord for all the good he has done for me?” (Ps 116:12). We can never repay God, because everything belongs to Him. In fact, even our desire to thank God is itself God’s gift to us; however, we can respond to God’s love by generously and joyfully sharing the gifts He has entrusted to us. We call this Christian stewardship. Over the last several weeks, we have been encouraged to be good stewards of our God-given time and talents by sharing them with parish and community outreach ministries that serve God in others. Today, in a spirit of gratitude and joy, we respond to God’s love by making a commitment to return a generous portion of our treasure to God. How Much to Give Back? We give because we have received and we give in the measure in which we have received. The Old Testament tradition of tithing, or giving 10%, is a good start. After all, the fact that God gives us 100% and only asks for 10% is a pretty good deal! However, stewardship goes beyond percentages. As Bishop Fulton J. Sheen said, “never measure your generosity by what you give, but rather by what you have left.” Please take a moment to consider what percentage of your income you are giving to God in your Sunday offering. One recommendation is to give 5% to the church and 5% to parish and community outreach ministries such as Christian Services, second collections, PSA, and missionary appeals. If you are currently giving 2% or 3% of your income, please consider increasing it by 1% or 2% each year. If you are already tithing, thank you. Perhaps you could live with a little less so that those with nothing can have a little. How Should I Give? When we give a gift to someone we often place it in an envelope, a bag, or nice paper, and we write our name on it. Clearly none of this is necessary; the recipient would gladly accept an unwrapped gift. Nonetheless, the thought and care that goes into preparing a gift becomes part of the gift itself and shows that the recipient is important to us. In the same way, we can put our cash or check in the collection basket at church and it too will be gratefully received and wisely used. I ask that you think about using your church envelope as a way of preparing your gift for God. Like the gifts we give to others, we wrap them up, sign our name and give them with pride and joy. Many of us take care of our most important financial commitments through electronic giving. Our financial offering to God and our church should be among our primary commitments, giving back to God from our “first fruits,” not our left-overs (Cf. Prov 3:9). Please consider supporting your church home by signing up for electronic giving today. God owns it all. Let’s respond with gratitude, joy and generosity. October 12, 2014 Our Lord teaches us through several parables that he has made us stewards, not owners, of his many gifts and that we are called to give an account of how we have used these gifts for his glory and the service of our neighbor. In that spirit, today’s bulletin includes our parish annual report which will illustrate how your gifts of time, talent and treasure have been used to do wonderful things. As is required when there is a change in pastor, an independent financial audit of the parish was conducted last year. The audit confirmed that we are using best practices in our stewardship of money. In addition, our parish finance council, which consists of parishioners who have expertise in finance and accounting, reviews our financials and meets with me monthly to offer their recommendations. Neither your family nor our parish family exists in order to make money. Instead, both types of families work in order to obtain the things we value – such as food, shelter, education, and recreation – and to provide them for the people we value such as ourselves, our family and the poor. We express our values by how we spend our resources. Today’s bulletin is not only meant to provide financial transparency but also to communicate who we are as a Catholic Community and what we value by illustrating how we have used the resources entrusted to us. I write this letter with a grateful heart to all of the parishioners whose generosity of time and treasure have helped us accomplish great things in the name of Christ. I am confident that you will read this bulletin with pride and a renewed spirit of gratitude for the great things God has done through us. Renewing our Commitment The Scriptures remind us that everything belongs to God. Next Sunday, each of us will be asked to renew our commitment to return a generous share our time, talent and treasure with our parish family. As a visible sign of our commitment to God and our church, each of us will be asked to complete a commitment card next weekend indicating the amount we plan to offer God in the Sunday offering in the coming year beginning in January. Our ability to continue and increase the good work we have done is 100% dependent on the contributions of parishioners. As we consider what amount and proportion of our time, talent and treasure we are committed to returning to God and our parish, we join the psalmist in asking, “What shall I return to the LORD for all his goodness to me?” (Ps 116:12) “What shall I return to the LORD for all his goodness to me?” (Ps 116:12) October 5, 2014 During the month of October we celebrate Respect Life Month. This time gives us the opportunity to reflect upon and respond to the wonderful reality that every human being is a masterpiece of God’s creation. With so much violence in the world it is vital that we counter a culture of death by fostering a culture of life. Our call to respect life begins from the moment of conception and must continue throughout every stage of life like a seamless garment. Among the many life-issues, abortion often takes center stage because it is a lethal attack on the most innocent and defenseless: the unborn. Our parish Pro-life ministry focuses on protecting the life of the unborn while also supporting parents before and after the birth of their child. Our parish also financially supports Birth Choice Health Clinics which provides free professional medical consultations, pregnancy tests, obstetrical ultrasounds, STD testing, HIV/AIDS testing, counseling, and parenting classes. Today we begin the Pennies from Heaven Campaign which raises money for clinics and shelters like Casa Teresa, Mary’s Shelter, and the Precious Life Shelter which support pregnant women in crisis. Last year, our parish embraced life by giving over $21,000 in “pennies”. Our parish ministries and our many second collection reflect our desire to celebrate and support life not only in the womb but at after stage thereafter. Two weeks ago the parish took up a second collection and contributed over $8,000 to provide immediate and long-term aid to Christians and other minorities in the Middle East. Last weekend, we emphasized many of the parish ministries which help weave the seamless garment of life such as our outreach programs to the poor and homeless, Eucharistic Minsters to the sick and homebound, the annual campaign for people with intellectual disabilities, prison ministry, marriage and family ministries, and bereavement ministry. This weekend the Knights of Columbus are selling tickets to a parish dinner that will raise funds to support our wounded warriors who were injured in the service our country. Today you are invited to participate in our parish missionary trip to Jamaica by entrusting your prayers to those going on the trip and/or by giving a donation which will be used to buy much needed supplies for those who are abandoned in the streets. Your spiritual and financial offerings can be placed in the baskets located in the sanctuary after Communion or given to the parish office. Let us celebrate and embrace life. September 28, 2014 On Saturday, September 27, we celebrate the memorial of the “Great Apostle of Charity, St. Vincent de Paul. Although he died almost 400 years ago, the Vincentians and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul continue his work today by serving Christ in the poor. At the entrance of Knight Hall is located a very important parish office, the Office of Christian Services. Open three days a week, it is staffed by one part-time employee and several volunteers including members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Each year, over 2,400 people come to our parish and receive a variety of services including food, help with rent, utilities, storage (for the homeless), gas money, bus passes, assistance with medical bills and prescriptions, and a motel for the night. Throughout the year, parishioners are encouraged to support Christians Services through food drives, volunteering and financial assistance. Last fiscal year, parishioners contributed $56,000 to Christian Services However, Christian Services is but one of several dozen ways that the parish assists the local, national and international community. Over the last four years, St. Edward the Confessor Church has given over $800,000 in aid to various charitable organizations. As Catholic Christians we realize that loving God and neighbor form one inseparable commandment. St. Vincent de Paul addressed his fellow priests and brothers who were annoyed by the poor who would approach them while they were attending Mass and praying: “when you are called from your prayers or the Eucharistic celebration to serve the poor, you lose nothing, since to serve the poor is to go to God. You must see God in the faces of the poor.” Our Church is both a house of prayer and a house of the poor. The poor in our area and beyond know that they are welcome here and can find in us the spiritual and physical support they need. They find Christ in us and by serving them we see the face of God. In today’s bulletin you will find a wide range of opportunities to serve others. Each and every Christian is called to be is a house of prayer and a house of the poor. Serving the poor should be a regular part of our lives for, as St. Vincent de Paul tell us: “the poor are your masters. You are the servant.” Pray to God in the very words of the Great Apostle of Charity: “Lord, help me to make time today to serve you in those who are most in need of encouragement or assistance.” And, make a commitment this week to serve. __________________________________________________________________ September 21, 2014
Recent studies have shown that one of the most significant factors contributing to employee happiness is one’s relationship with co-workers. Even employees who reported a negative relationship with their direct supervisor but a positive relationship with co-workers reported had a high level of overall happiness.
Perhaps today’s gospel parable of the landowner hiring laborers to work in his vineyard was on St. Paul’s mind when he wrote “we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building” (1 Cor 3:9). What an honor, joy and responsibility for each of us to be called by God to work with Him in fulfilling his mission of announcing the reign of God and transforming the world in the light of Christ. All of the baptized are called to work toward the transformation of the world. Most do this by working in the secular realm…others do so on a limited and voluntary basis: for example, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, readers, choir members, catechists, pastoral council members, visitors to the sick and needy, and those who serve in programs such as sacramental preparation, youth ministry, including ministry with people with disabilities, and ministries of charity and justice. (Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord, U.S.C.C.B.,2005)
How are you living out your call to be a “co-worker in God’s service” in the secular world as well as in your parish? On this Catechetical Sunday, we thank and bless those of our parish who have responded to God’s call to work with Him in the ministry of teaching. Not only has God called us to work with him; he has also called us to work with one another. St. Paul called his fellow Christians “my co-workers in Christ Jesus” (Rom 16:3-16). I, too, call you my co-workers and rely on your help, no less than St. Paul did, in sharing in the work of serving God and others through the sharing of your time, talents and treasure. In God’s house, there is work for both new and long-time parishioners as well as the young and the old. In today’s parable, the landowner found people standing around and asked them “Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They answered, “Because no one has hired us.” He said to them, “You too go into my vineyard.” Consider yourself hired! If you are looking for a way to use your God-given time, talents and treasure please contact me or the Director of Parish Ministries, Joan Fleming, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-542-4311.
The most significant factor that will contribute to your happiness is responding to God’s generous invitation to work with him and others in transforming the world in the light of Christ.
Your co-worker in Christ Jesus, Fr. Brendan ______________________________________________________________ September 14, 2014 Hello Friends, When students study the history of the United States they learn about the American Revolution, the Founding Fathers, and the Constitution of the United States. In California, students also learn about Blessed Junipero Serra and the California Missions. However, to appreciate the greatness of this country we must include – and extend our gratitude to – the religious sisters and nuns who have blessed this land. Religious sisters have played a significant role in this country since the days of Columbus in the 15th century. St. Rose Philippine Duchesne was born in France in 1769 and later joined the Religious Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1818, Duchesne joined four other religious sisters and left the comfort of their homes to evangelize the Native Americans. With little more than the clothes on their back a lot of faith and courage they made their way to Missouri where they established the first free school west of the Mississippi. In 1841, at the age of seventy-one, Duchesne was chosen by a Jesuit priest, Fr. Verhargen, to lead a new mission in Kansas. Some questioned his choice of leaders because Duchesne lacked physical strength and the ability to speak the native language. However, Fr. Verhaegen explained: “Sr. Rose may not be able to do much work, but she will assure success to the mission by praying for us.” Because of her prayerfulness, her students called her Quahkahkanumad, which means “Woman Who Prays Always”. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is a true daughter of the American Revolution, born August 28, 1774, just two years before the Declaration of Independence. Reared a staunch Episcopalian by her mother and stepmother, she learned the value of prayer, Scripture and a nightly examination of conscience. At 19, she married a wealthy business man and had together they had five children. At 30, Elizabeth was widowed, penniless, with five small children to support. Having witnessed Catholicity in action through family friends she became a Catholic in 1805. This incredible woman and mother opened the first American parish school in Baltimore. She also founded the first American religious community for women, the Sisters of Charity and established the first American Catholic orphanage. She did all of this before dying at the age of 46. Elizabeth Ann Seton is honored as the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Rose Philippine Duchesne are just two phenomenal women in a long list of other religious sisters like St. Francis Cabrini, St. Katharine Drexel, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Marianne Cope and St. Mother Théodore Guérin who greatly blessed our country. Today we honor all religious sisters who are powerful examples of what it looks like to be “A House of Prayer and a House of the Poor.” Fr. Brendan Manson _________________________________________________________________
September 7, 2014
On one of the many occasions when Jesus entered the temple, he said “my house shall be a house of prayer” (Is 56:7; Lk 19:45). Many, if not most of us consider our parish an extension of our own home. Some of our most treasured memories take place here: baptisms, First Communions, Sacrament of Confirmation, weddings, anointing of the sick and funerals. The church is also a place of life-long learning for children and adults. Our parish home is a meeting-place of friends and a refuge where we are sure to find Christ, our friend. Prayer is a beautiful dialogue between God and us in which we listen and speak to each other.
Through our baptism we truly become a living house of prayer as St. Paul says “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit” (I Cor 6:19). Over the course of this year we will be renovating our house of prayer with a fortified foundation of communal and personal prayer. Two thousand years ago one of the disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Lk 11:1). Through our liturgies, homilies, retreats, website and bulletin resources, bible studies and faith formation programs, our Lord will teach us how to pray and to discover in prayer a place of “light, happiness, and peace” (Roman Canon).
However, God’s house, our house of prayer, must extend beyond the walls of the church. Shortly after his election, Pope Francis told journalists “Ah, how I would like a church that is poor, and for the poor.” Throughout the year, each of us will be given several opportunities to embrace the joy and responsibility of responding boldly and generously to this call to be a house of the poor.Jesus told us that the greatest commandment in the law is to love God and your neighbor as yourself. And so, will journey together this year to rediscover the joy of living this twofold commandment by becoming: a House of Prayer and a House of the Poor.
Fr. Brendan, Administrator
A House of Prayer and a House of the Poor: To get started, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where you will find daily reflections by parishioners, including Fr. Brendan