Dear St. James Family,

This Sunday is traditionally known as Good Shepherd Sunday which brings up the question about how you respond to Christ shepherding you. During my homily I will be especially digging into the question of why it is that Christ choses to shepherd through faulty and sinful men, such as his bishops and priests, the leaders through which he cares for his flock. This issue of obedience and being shepherded can be a dicey topic, but one which has opportunity to open the way to great growth in sanctity. Come and discover the way that you think about the Church, challenged, and your faith stretched. 😊

Welcome New Candidates Preparing to Become Catholic
This past Sunday, April 23, 2023 at the 10:15 AM Mass five adults were accepted as candidates to enter the Church: Nancy and Rex Setzer, Sierra and Caleb Gibson, and Charles Morgan. These individuals have been studying and meeting with me and their sponsors to learn about the teachings of the Church and now that they are candidates, this means that they are making it public that they are seriously discerning entrance into the Catholic Church. This also allows you to be praying for them and to offer encouragement and any assistance to them that you can provide during this time. If all goes well and they do not change their minds, they will be entering the Church around the end of May or shortly thereafter. Please keep them in your prayers.

Why are you Sprinkling Everyone at the Beginning of Mass?
Throughout Eastertide (the fifty days following Easter Day) the Rite of Sprinkling is especially appropriate. Sprinkling with holy water at the beginning of Mass reminds you that your life in Christ began with baptism. At your baptism you were renewed and given new life in Christ which points forward to that day when you will share with him in bodily resurrection (Romans 6:4)! Because resurrection is a strong theme of Eastertide it makes sense to recall your baptism through the Rite of Sprinkling.

The Rite of Sprinkling traces its roots back to Jewish times. Our Jewish forefathers were known for ceremonial washings (Luke 11:37-41,John 2:6) and it is from this foreshadowing that Christian baptism would come to be. The Rite of Sprinkling, which recalls one’s baptism has its origins at least as early as the ninth century with Pope Leo IV.

When you are being sprinkled this Sunday I would encourage you to thank the Lord that you have been baptized into the Body of Christ and that one day you will physically rise with him. To help you do this, listen to the words that are sung during the Eastertide sprinkling. They begin with “I beheld water issuing out from the temple on the right hand side” (Ezekiel 47:1)which is a picture of the cleansing waters that flow out from Christ, the true temple. Historically this text has also been seen as referring to the waters that gushed out of the right side of Christ when he was pierced while hanging on the cross. The cleansing waters of baptism get their power through his work on the cross. The song then moves to Psalm 118: “O give thanks unto the Lord…”which is exactly what you are to do when you recall all that the Lord has done for you. So, while you are being sprinkled this Sunday, give thanks to the Lord.

Will You Help Our Seminarians on their Path to Priesthood?
This Sunday, April 30, our community will have the chance to join all the Parishes and Parochial Communities across the Ordinariate in supporting the Seminary Formation Fund for the education and formation of our future priests. Donation cards and pre-addressed envelopes will be provided. Checks should be made payable to “Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter.” You may place your donation card and gift with the second collection or you may mail your gift directly to the Chancery using the envelope provided. You may also give online. Please prayerfully consider making a gift!

Finance Update for March
Giving for March: $7,950.57  | Monthly Average Giving for past twelve months:$7,083.19 (average giving at this same time last year: $5,135.61)
March Expenses: $5,589.45 | Covers quarter of priest’s support, half of pension, travel, liturgical supplies, music, building rent and liability insurance, advertising, bishop’s tax, almsgiving, hospitality
Our Own Space: help us increase our monthly average giving to $11,000 in order to move into a leased space allowing for daily Mass, 24/7 tabernacle access, classes, gatherings, meetings, space for children’s ministry, an office for Fr. Mayer. At our current growth rate, we hope to meet this goal during 2024.

Understand the Mass so that Christ can Set Your Heart on Fire
Do you sometimes feel as though you are simply going through the motions at Mass? Learn about the meaning of the Mass and how to allow the Lord to engage you through this ancient liturgy, in order to set your heart on fire.
Listen to this and my other homilies at StJamesCC.org/Homilies or by searching “Fr. Mayer’s Preaching & Teaching” wherever you get your podcasts

Other Upcoming Dates

Faithfully, your pastor,
Father Mayer
Parochial Administrator