Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
After showing us an example of her unselfish love by helping her relative Elizabeth who was also with child (Visitation), she gave birth miraculously to Our Lord in the humble surroundings of
These mysteries of our faith (as well as many others) are found in the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary--meditations which are meant to have us reflect on some of most important aspects of our faith. Together with wearing the Brown Scapular (of
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
The religious education of our children is a very important concern of mine. With Catechetical Sunday upon us (September 20, 2020), I think it is good to reflect on the faith of our children and young adults.
What is frustrating to religious education teachers, to priests and to others involved with the religious education of youth is the “disconnect” often present when it comes to formal religious instruction and to living out the faith on a daily basis. Too often, in so many of my former parishes, students were dropped off for class but were not present in church for Mass on a regular weekly basis. Let’s face facts. We inevitably do not see anywhere near the same number of children at Mass as we may see registered for and coming to religious education classes. Their absence is even more apparent during times like summer vacation and especially now during this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.
What do we do? An hour or two of religious education each week for several months each year is not and has never been an adequate solution. The Church has said continually that parents are the first educators of their children when it comes to religious faith and practice. When we bring a new life into the world we realize that we have to feed, clothe, and educate our children. We want the best for them if we love them. Hopefully we realize that we are also responsible for an immortal soul and the eternal salvation of a person as well. We cannot leave this responsibility to chance in an often amoral--if not immoral--world.
Do I teach my children to pray and pray with them at various times daily? Do I read Bible stories to them or teach them what Jesus said and did? Do I take them to confession and show them (by my own example) that the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is important? Outside of these extenuating circumstances, do I normally take them to Mass weekly? Do my children understand that Jesus is truly present in the Most Holy Eucharist?
What has been said for students in religious education programs is also true for our students who attend a Catholic school. There must be a connection with the local parish, with weekly Mass attendance and with the everyday living out of the Catholic faith.
I have been a priest long enough (over three decades) to see the rapid decline of those who actively participate in the faith life of their parish. (I also understand there may be multiple reasons for this.) Unfortunately, however, each subsequent generation seems to know less and less about even some of the essential teachings of the Catholic faith. This should be troubling for all believers.
I always welcome your ideas and suggestions concerning how we can continue to close this gap and have our young people more active and involved in the life of the Church.
Fr. Ed Namiotka
Sunday, September 6, 2020
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Sunday, August 30, 2020
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Monday, August 24, 2020
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Years ago, I was informed and educated about ad hominem attacks in class during my college seminary days. In such an attack, the person himself or herself would be ridiculed or demoralized, instead of focusing on the person’s position or argument. The issue would get pushed aside in favor of trashing the person.
Let me tell you I love a good debate. I can also become extremely passionate about my point of view. However, what is happening too often today is a shutting out of opinions (and even sometimes hiding or distorting facts) with which a person or group of people may disagree. It happens on social media frequently. Sometimes a person may be defriended or doxed as a result of a controversial or politically unpopular point of view. A “cancel culture” has resurfaced in our society where, according to the New York Post we find “the phenomenon of promoting the ‘canceling’ of people, brands and even shows and movies due to what some consider to be offensive or problematic remarks or ideologies.”
Unfortunately, people can sometimes be unwilling to listen to each other and to hear each other’s opinions or thoughts. In general, people deserve a hearing. Everyone needs some time and attention at some point. In doing so, however, we should be respectful of appropriate times, places and topics of conversation. Sadly, I have found some people also may have hidden agendas, ulterior motives or even sinister intentions.
While I may disagree with another person or persons, I do believe people generally have a right to be heard. Wanting people to be completely silenced, censored or cancelled is as dangerous as letting free speech go unchecked, go unchallenged or to morph into violence and looting. In the entire process, there needs to be some checks and balances. We need both mutual respect and law and order in a civilized society.
Obviously, God gave us two qualities that have us resemble Him: intelligence and free will. We can think and reflect or we can rush to judgment. We can react and confront immediately or we can walk away. We can choose to listen or can turn someone off. How we act or react will always be our choice. No matter the choice, it needs to be done civilly and respectfully.
With the election season upon us once again, sadly I suspect that there will be more polarization within our society. Ad hominem attacks will come out. Some people will shout others down. Protests of some sort will inevitably occur. Some may stir up civil unrest. I cannot wait! . . . Not!
May I suggest that we all take a good look at traditional Church teaching, party platforms, a candidate’s past performance (usually a good indicator of future possibilities) and remain civil towards one another.
Here is something else to consider:
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. (Mt. 5: 43-45)
Fr. Ed Namiotka
Monday, August 17, 2020
Sunday, August 16, 2020
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
As I began a new calendar year annually, I customarily entrusted and consecrated my parish family (wherever I have been pastor) to the care of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Rather than waiting until the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God on New Year’s Day, I have decided to make this consecration on the evening of August 15th (the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary). I give this parish and all of you, its parishioners, over to the loving care of the Mother of God. I can think of no better way to begin my time as pastor here.
In addition, the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, now in the sanctuary, will be officially blessed. My sincere thanks to all who made this statue possible.
Why not take the time to entrust your individual families to the Blessed Virgin Mary’s maternal care as well? Parents, you can (and should) pray for your children and families at home daily. Here is a prayer of consecration to help:
of Consecration of the Familyto the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Oh, Mother Most Pure, we come to You as a family and consecrate ourselves to your most Immaculate Heart.
We come to You as a family and place our trust in Your powerful intercession.
Oh, Dearest Mother Mary, teach us as a mother teaches her children, for our souls are soiled and our prayers are weak because of our sinful hearts.
Here we are Dearest Mother, ready to respond to You and follow Your way, for Your way leads us to the heart of Your Son, Jesus.
We are ready to be cleansed and purified.
Come then Virgin Most Pure, and embrace us with Your motherly mantle.
Make our hearts whiter than snow and as pure as a spring of fresh water.
Teach us to pray, so that our prayers may become more beautiful than the singing of the birds at the break of dawn.
Dear Mother Mary, we entrust to Your Immaculate Heart of hearts, our family and our entire future.
Lead us all to our
homeland which is Heaven.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
My Masses and prayers are continually offered for your spiritual well-being. Please remember me as well so that I have the graces necessary to live up to my responsibility as your pastor.
Monday, August 10, 2020
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Sunday, August 2, 2020
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Someone told me that Pope St. John Paul II would literally spend hours in prayer preparing to celebrate Mass. It was said that he became oblivious to his surroundings, so deep was his spiritual communication with the Lord.
I also think that the same quiet, reflective time needs to be honored immediately after the reception of Holy Communion. With the rearrangement of the reception of Holy Communion after the conclusion of Mass, I worry about the practice of people taking off right out the door after receiving Holy Communion. It seems to be so contrary to what I have been instructing people for the past decades concerning the necessity of making a proper thanksgiving after receiving Our Lord. I deliberately take time after Holy Communion, once everything is settled, just to be quiet and to pray. It is also important to remember that the faithful should make a Spiritual Communion, if they are unable to receive Holy Communion for some reason.
The Lord is often found in the silence at the depths of the heart.
Sunday, July 26, 2020
Friday, July 24, 2020
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Monday, July 20, 2020
Monday, July 13, 2020
Sunday, July 5, 2020
Friday, July 3, 2020
One of the most difficult times for me as a priest is when I have to say goodbye to people that I love. Maybe they move away. Perhaps I am being transferred to a new rectory or assignment. Then there are those times when death strikes—undoubtedly the hardest goodbye of them all. I admit that I am not good with these circumstances. I would rather avoid the situation and just move on. Maybe it will cause less pain.