Were you married in St. Stephen Church?

If so, would you donate a simple framed photo of your wedding in the church for our collection? (Max size  5”x7”)   We now have a beautiful, antique cabinet from a parishioner's estate in the room we use for brides and would like to display wedding photos of our brides over the years.  Please deliver to Paige Saleun in the rectory M-F 9-4:30pm.  We’d love photos from the earliest days! … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – July 25, 2021

Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.  When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.  When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” (Jn 6:11-14) If you regularly attend Mass in Good Shepherd Parish, you know that it is rare when I don’t mention the Blessed Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist in a homily.  Since Mass is divided into two parts, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, I want my … [Read more...]

Marriage and Sexuality

The desire to love and be loved is the deepest need of our being.  We long to be known, accepted, and cherished by another. Yet, the ability to fully give or receive this love is unattainable on our own. As Catholics we believe Jesus Christ has entered our broken world to conquer sin and restore us to new life. Throughout every age he continues to invite all women and men to follow him through his Church, to whom he has entrusted his teaching authority, so that all can know and follow him. Only God can give us the unconditional love and acceptance that we desire. Yet, he has created marriage, a holy union, to mirror this supreme love on earth. At the heart of their married love is the total gift of self that husband and wife freely offer to each other. Because of their sexual … [Read more...]

Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola – July 31

Ignacio López de Loyola was born in Spain in 1491, the youngest of 13 children. In 1506, he adopted the last name "de Loyola" in reference of the Basque city of Loyola where he was born.  In 1509, Ignatius took up arms under the Duke of Nájera and participated in many battles without injury to himself.  However, on May 20, 1521, in a battle against the French, a cannonball wounded both of his legs.  During his recuperation at Loyola, Ignatius read the Life of Christ by Ludolph of Saxony, a commentary on the Gospels with extracts from the works of over sixty of the Fathers of the Church; the book influenced his whole life.  Ludolph proposes that the reader place himself at the scene of a Gospel story and visualize the scene in a simple contemplation. During his recuperation at Loyola, … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – July 18, 2021

When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. (Mk 6:34) Although the image of a shepherd and his sheep is found throughout both the Old and New Testament, many Catholics have a negative reaction to being compared with “sheep.”  As I said once in a homily, sheep are stupid, smelly animals who are defined as “classic prey,” in that they are the food of a great deal of predators, most particularly wolves, wildcats and even birds of prey.  But once you study a little about sheep, you find analogies to human behavior.  For instance, sheep are incredibly social animals.  Sheep have a natural tendency to gather into a flock, and they can become very agitated and nervous … [Read more...]

Mission to the Holy Spirit – “Making a Difference for the Future”

Coming August 9 – 13, 2021 Each night: Confessions 6:15 – 6:45pm Musical performance 6:30pm Mass at 7:00pm More information coming soon! … [Read more...]

Good Church Etiquette

An instructive reminder Remember to keep your Eucharistic fast by abstaining from food and beverages (water excluded) for an hour before Mass. Always dress modestly and appropriately. Arrive early to allow for personal prayer and/or read the readings of the day. Turn off all mobile devices while still in the vestibule. This is your time with God and His people. Use the restroom before or after Mass. Men remove hats or caps before the Lord. Deposit all water bottles in the waste receptacles. Make the sign of the cross with Holy Water upon entering. Genuflect with great reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle before entering your pew. If unable to genuflect, a profound bow is respectful. Refrain from chit-chat which distracts others who are … [Read more...]

Feast of St. Henry Mass

The Vigil Mass on Saturday, July 17 will be celebrated at St. Henry Church to honor one of our patrons on his feast day. St. Henry (6 May 973 – 13 July 1024) was the fifth and last Holy Roman Emperor of the Ottonian dynasty, from his coronation in Rome in 1014 until his death a decade later. He was crowned King of Germany in 1002 and King of Italy in 1004. He is the only German king to have been canonized. Henry was the son of Henry, Duke of Bavaria. As his father was in rebellion against two previous emperors, he was often in exile. This led the younger Henry to turn to the Church at an early age, first finding refuge with the Bishop of Freising, and later being educated at the cathedral school of Hildesheim. He succeeded his father as Duke of Bavaria in 995 as Henry IV. Henry's … [Read more...]

From the Pastor – July 11, 2021

In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ. (Eph. 1:11-12) The readings for this Sunday are about the idea of “mission.”  The word “mission” comes from the Latin verb “mittere,” which means “to send out.”  The obvious “sending out” in this week's Gospel is Jesus sending out the Apostles.  In fact, the word “apostle” literally means “those sent out” in Greek.  The Apostles are sent out on a “mission.”  And the idea of “mission” is part of the continuing work of the Church.  Every year we have a “mission appeal” in the parish, where we hear about the mission of the church in different countries. However, the … [Read more...]

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel – July 16

Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order. The first Carmelites were Christian hermits living on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land during the late 12th and early to mid-13th century. They built in the midst of their hermitages a chapel which they dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, whom they conceived of in chivalric terms as the "Lady of the place." Our Lady of Mount Carmel was adopted in the 19th century as the patron saint of Chile, in South America. Since the 15th century, popular devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel has centered on the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, also known as the Brown Scapular, a sacramental associated with promises of Mary's special aid for the salvation of the devoted wearer. … [Read more...]