Category: Front Page News

Jesus Knocking

In my homily for Simbang Gabi on Thursday night I mentioned the picture of Jesus Knocking on a door.  The door has no knob or key hole that is visible.  The door must be opened from the inside.  At the dinner following the mass some people asked me about the picture.  I found some on the web and I am posting one for those who have not seen this picture.

Jesus Knocking

Pope Francis: The Mass needs silence, not ‘chit-chat’

.- On Wednesday, Pope Francis called out the common habit of chatting with people around you before Mass, stressing that this is a time for silent prayer, when we prepare our hearts for an encounter with the Lord.

“When we go to Mass, maybe we arrive five minutes before, and we start to chit-chat with those in front of us,” the Pope said Nov. 15. However, “it is not a moment for chit-chat.”

“It is a moment of silence for preparing ourselves for dialogue, a time for the heart to collect itself in order to prepare for the encounter with Jesus,” he said, adding that “silence is so important.”

Continuing his new catechesis on the Eucharist, the Pope recalled his message the week prior, that the Mass is not a show, but a place where we encounter the Lord. In this encounter, he said, silence is what “prepares us and accompanies us.”

But to really understand this, first we have to answer a question, he said. And that is: What is prayer?

Prayer is, “first and foremost dialogue, personal relationship with God,” he said. And in prayer, just like in any dialogue, it needs moments of silence “together with Jesus.” This, he said, is because it is only in the “mysterious silence of God” that his Word can resound in our heart.

Francis explained that to pray is not difficult, and is something that Jesus himself taught us to do first of all by example, when in the Gospels he withdraws to a secluded place to pray. And second, he teaches us again when he tells his disciples that the first word in knowing how to pray is “Father.”

This is “so simple,” the Pope said. “So we have to learn, ‘Father.’” Then, we must take on the attitude of a small child before his or her parents. One full of trust and confidence, knowing that God “remembers you and takes care of you,” he said.

The second attitude we should take is one of childlike surprise and wonder. The child, he said, “always asks a thousand questions because he wants to discover the world; in our relationship with the Lord, in prayer, wonder,” he said, telling pilgrims to “open the heart to wonder.”

When it comes to prayer, he noted that often we are busy with many different activities or projects and say we don’t have time. “We lose sight of what is fundamental: our life of the heart, our spiritual life, our life of prayer with the Lord.”

However, Jesus surprises us in truth by loving us and calling us even in our weaknesses, he said, adding that just as Christ called his disciples, he also calls us to him at each Mass.

“This is therefore the greatest grace: to be able to experience the Mass, the Eucharist. It is the privileged moment to be with Jesus, and through Him with God and his brothers.”

This is from Catholic News Agency 

Advent play list

I found this list of 50 songs you might want to listen to during this advent season.  It was posted on the Fifth Column blog and provided by Jeff Miller

Adjuvabit eam
Alma Redemptoris Mater
Angelus Ad Virginem
A Maiden Most Gentle
Benedixisti Domine
Christ Whose Glory Fills The Skies
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (18th Century)
Come, thou long-expected Jesus
Come Thou Redeemer Of The Earth
Comfort Ye My People (Messiah)
Conditor alme siderum
Creator Alme Siderum
Creator of the Stars of Night
Dies Irae – Tuba Mirum (Messa Da Requiem)
Every Valley Shall Be Exalted (Messiah)
Gabriel’s Message
Hail to the Lord’s Anointed
Hark The Glad Sound!
Hark! A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding
High O’er The Lonely Hills
Holy is His Name
I Sing of a Maiden
I Wonder as I Wander
In The Bleak Midwinter
Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent
Lift Up Your Heads Ye Mighty Gates
Like The Dawning
Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending (Hymn)
Long ago, prophets knew
Lord, Thou Hast Been Our Refuge
Maria Walks Amid The Thorn
Novissima hora est (The Dream of Gerontius)
O Come, Divine Messiah
O come, O come, Emmanuel
O Heavenly Word Eternal Light
O Magnum Magisterium
O Quickly Come, Dread Judge of All
O Radix Jesse
O Word That Goest Forth On High, Plainsong 7th Century Latin
On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry
People Look East
Praeparate Corda Vestra
Prepare the Way
Regnantem Sempiterna
Rejoice All Ye Believers
Rorate Caeli
Savior Of The Nations, Come
Sleepers, Wake! (Wachet Auf, Ruft Uns Die Stimme )
The Angel Gabriel
The Cherry Tree Carol
The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns
The Lord Will Come And Not Be Slow
There is no rose of such virtue
Thy Kingdom Come O God
Thy Kingdom Come On Bended Knee
Veni Redemptor gentium
Veni Veni Emmanuel (Latin version)
Vox clara ecce intonat
Wake, Awake for Night is Flying
Watchman (Watchman, Tell Us of the Night)
Zion hört die Wächter singen – Choral: “Zion hört die Wächter singen” J.S. Bach: Choral

14th Annual English Tea was a success

A lot of people put in a lot of effort to make the annual English tea a success.  A lot of people drank a lot of tea and ate a lot of food.

Al Carlson took a lot of pictures of both the behind the scenes preparation work and of those enjoying the tea and food. Those pictures are at located here

Caravaggio’s painting of the calling of Matthew

Calling of Matthew

In his homily this morning for the Feast of St. Matthew, Fr. Joe referred to the Caravaggio’s painting of the calling of Matthew.  This is a copy of the image he was talking about

Calling of Matthew

Caravaggio’s calling of Matthew

In his homily Fr. Joe referred to the painting and said.

“If we continue to reflect on the calling of Matthew, with the shade and the dark color in the picture, Caravaggio wants to express a kind of darkness covering the life of Matthew.  At the time when Matthew was focused on money, social position and other earthly things, Jesus came and said “Follow me.”  Jesus’ words wakes Matthew up from a sleep of earthly desires and possessions.  Jesus’ words touch the deep meaning of his present life.  “Follow Me” implies a giving up and coming after.  Giving up all earthly desires, Matthew’s life is empty enough to be filled up with something completely new that is a divine calling and mission.

Funeral services for Esther Esmilla Taylor

Mon., Aug. 28, Sunset View Cemetery and Mortuary
4-5 pm Quiet Hour Viewing
5-6 pm Rosary
6-8 pm Memorial Service
8 pm Refreshments at Taylor Residence

Tue., Aug. 29
11 am Funeral Mass at St. John the Baptist Church
1:30 pm Interment at Sunset View Cemetery and Mortuary
2 pm Funeral Reception at Hillside Community Church

Taylor Residence: 1414 Navellier St., El Cerrito, Ca 94530
Sunset View Cemetery and Mortuary: 101 Colusa Ave., El Cerrito, Ca 94530
St. John the Baptist Church: 11150 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito, Ca 94530
Hillside Community Church: 1422 Navellier Street, El Cerrito, Ca 94530

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace.

Letter about the parish festival

(The following letter was mailed to all parishioners several days ago. ) 

July 2017

My Dear Parishioners and Friends,

I hope you are enjoying your summer and looking forward to our annual Parish and School Festival.  This year the October FunFest is actually going to be a “fun weekend!”  In addition to our traditional Games and Food Faire, we are bringing back the Saturday night dinner after several years of not having one.  Festival weekend begins with a barbecue dinner Saturday evening, September 30 (6 – 10 p.m.).  Then on Sunday, October 1 (10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) we will come together to enjoy the traditional festival activities.  We are working hard to make this year’s event the best yet in terms of fun, relaxation and camaraderie.  Our main focus is on building community: fellowship with others, through our sharing of common attitudes, interests, and goals.

In today’s world, it is easy to forget that we are not only members of a natural family but also members of a faith family.  Sometimes the greatest witness for Jesus Christ is a warm smile and the hand of sincere friendship.  I hope you, as members of our Church and School, will extend both an invitation and a warm welcome to all neighbors and families who might join us this year.  We look forward to seeing everyone at the barbecue dinner, game booths, multi-cultural food court, special bazaars and musical entertainment.