Monday Message, January 22, 2024

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I respectfully request more prayers for Carmela and her family. Upon returning from burying her father, the mother of Carmela’s daughter in-law collapsed and died. While that was happening, the father of Carmela’s daughter in-law suffered a stroke. Finally, the daughter in-law herself collapsed in exhaustion. Please pray for all those in Carmela’s family.


Lenten posters arrive on Wednesday. If you ordered them, please make plans to pick them up at the Catholic Center. Digital versions will be available on the resource page by Wednesday.

We have a Parish Leader Check In tomorrow at 11. Link is here.

The Rite of Election is February 18th. Remember that those adults who lack only Confirmation are not among the elect and their Confirmation should not be on the Easter Vigil. All information you need is here.

Adult Confirmation information is available here. New cohort forming now.

Save these dates:

  • March 13 – Bishop and Joe Paprocki on the Directory for Catechesis (books go in the mail today)
  • April 20 – Ministry Day at All Saints School
  • September 14 – Fall Forum with Bishop Caggiano at the Catholic Center
  • There are some great webinars coming up if you haven’t seen them. Check this page out.

Our friends at Lifelong Learning are hosting a webinar on Understanding Suicide and Mental Health. Details are here. If you are an approved SPX parish, Foundations in Faith has offered tot pay for you and your team to attend. Please contact Kelly if you have questions.

Congratulations to the parishes of St. Luke, St. Francis, and Assumption in Westport for a great evening with parents, young people, and the bishop. Word on the street is the event was a powerful experience.

If you are an Ambassador and missed this update, take a moment to read this letter.


We celebrate a few great feasts this week. Today is the day for prayer for the legal protection of the unborn. Wednesday is the feast of St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Thursday is the Conversion of St. Paul and Friday is the Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, who were bishops in the early Church. Lots of great teachable moments.

Plus, we have some great readings this week. I especially love when Jesus takes the time to explain the parables he’s just taught the crowds. Like any good teacher, he wants to make sure the lesson does not fall on deaf ears and, like anyone who has ever stood in front a classroom, my hunch is he began to see people’s eyes glazing over, people looking off in the distance, and a general disconnect starting to form.

So he paused, rearranged the narrative, and made sure everyone understood.

If you have teenagers, you have lots of practice with this. You ask your teen to do something, retrieve something, go somewhere and complete a task – and you are confident you are speaking in a language he or she understands. But as soon as the instructions are delivered, your teen looks at you and says, with a completely straight face: “What?”

They heard it all but they comprehended nothing.

So you repeat it. You tell them to put the phone away and really listen this time.

“Okay,” says the teen.

Then they walk away and do absolutely nothing.

The more I reflect on Mark 4 from Wednesday’s Gospel, the more I am thinking this was Jesus’ turn with the teens in Jerusalem.

“What?” they said after he taught them.

Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables?”

Great question.

It turns out in two thousand years, the content hasn’t changed, only the context.

This week, I will practice the patience of Jesus and avoid gritting my teeth as I explain to my four teenagers the same thing over and over and over.