WE ARE FAMILY! Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth. As we meditate on that most perfect family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph it is the PERFECT opportunity to reflect on the state of our own families. And beyond each of our biological families I propose a reflection on the state of our faith family as well. In case it hasn't been noticed I quite frequently refer to our grouping of four parishes as a FAMILY. That is a VERY DELIBERATE choice on my part, brothers and sisters! (Did you get that subtle reference?!) Of course, anyone with even a glancing familiarity with Sacred Writ understands that from beginning to end Scripture is suffused with familial language an


WE HAVE EYES, BUT DO WE SEE? Our first regional Penance Service was celebrated the Monday before last at Saint Florian Church in United. As I began hearing confessions I noticed a young man on crutches, patiently waiting for his turn to confess. I couldn't help but wonder why the people ahead of him didn't invite him to the front of the line. After all wouldn't that have been the Christian thing to do? And shouldn't people waiting to con-fess their sins want to do the CHRISTIAN thing? A moment of reflection, however, turned my eye from the behaviour of "them" to MY own behaviour. How many times have I - due to impatience, carelessness, self-absorption, or any other of a myriad of excuses - f


CASH BASH IN DUNBAR: A fortnight ago Saint Aloysius had a very suc-cessful Cash Bash fundraiser. So successful, in fact, that they were running out of seats for people! At least that's what I was told; unfortunately I was unable to make it. Try as I might I haven't yet mastered the art of bi-location! (I was at an event at which Nick Bell's Geibel Showstoppers were performing.) I want to thank Tony Bartok, a parishioner of Saint Mary in Union-town and a friend of Father Micah. He had organised Cash Bashes for Father at Saint Mary and continued to do so for him at Saint Aloysius. When I wrote him asking if he would be willing to do the same for Saint Al's new Pastor he graciously acceded to


THE GRINCH WHO STOLE THE HOLYDAY MASS: se days attend the first Mass on Christmas Eve, and the earlier the BETTER. To be honest I "You're a mean one, Fr. Bob You really are a heel, You're super-duper sassy, taking away St. Johnny's Mass-y, Fr. Bob You're a bad banana with a greasy black peel! Having given a detailed rationale for the Christmas schedule last week, I now must give a rationale for the Holyday schedule this past weekend, as I have heard some grumblings of discontent due to the fact that there was NO Mass at Saint John the Evangelist. For inquiring minds who want to know, allow me to explain. Let those who have ears hear ... Our practice has been to have ONE Mass at each of the


CHRISTMAS SCHEDULE: With the beginning of Advent it is time to announce the Mass schedule for Christmas. Of course a new wrench was thrown in this FUNFILLED yearly "holiday tradition" with the addition of Saint Aloysius to our family. Fortunately, it wasn't a GREAT BIG, CHAOS-CAUSING WRENCH O'DEATH! I was able to more or less replicate the 2015 schedule and simply add in two Masses in Dunbar. As we move into the future the Christmas schedule will change to a four year rotation instead of a three year one. (At least until we have 5, or 6, or 7 parishes in our community!) As you will notice it is Saint Rita's year to have only one Mass and that Mass will be the Midnight Mass. I anticipate that


THANKSGIVING: This past Thursday we celebrated the uniquely American feast of Thanksgiving, a secular holiday thoroughly DRENCHED in and STUFFED with religious yumminess. However, due to an early holiday bulletin deadline I am actually writing this an entire week PRIOR to TurkeyThursday. Thus you are reading this AFTER the holiday and I am writing it WELL BEFORE. We are ALL disoriented here! Hopefully you will bear with me. As It SHOULD for all of us, this holiday prompts me to reflect on - and give thanksgiving for - the many, many blessings with which I have been showered. This week I thought I would devote this space to sharing some of my "thanksgivings" with you. First and foremost I am

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