Dear Beloved of St. Francis Xavier Parish:
Happy Pentecost! Today we celebrate the Spirit of God which energizes and gives life and renewal to us as a people of faith.
Last week we Jesuits received a letter from our provincial which posed a piercing question: We are facing the greatest humanitarian and economic crisis our world has seen since the Great Depression, the largest unemployment in 100 years, and are likely on the verge of wide-spread famine. We are seeing the biggest spending packages ever passed; we are seeing who gets included, and who gets left out in response. In 20 years, what do we want to look back and say we did in this moment? How do we lead our people from a mind-set of recovery and returning to normal, to a mind-set of renewal to a better future?
I share this question with you because I feel it is important that as Arizona begins its cautious reopening, we as a faith community begin to ask ourselves: how will we be different; how do we want to be?READ MORE
Last week I went to the dictionary to find out the root meaning of quarantine. To my surprise the first definition (and root) was simply “a period of forty days”. Nothing about staying at home, social distancing or face masks.
Curiously, the number 40 appears dozens of times in the Bible, always indicating a time of testing and trial.
Our current quarantine has lasted more than forty days but it has certainly been, and continues to be, a time of testing and trial. But perhaps there is some good news when we examine the scriptural references to the number.READ MORE
Last week you heard from Simon Zachary. I’m the “other guy” in the back row. My name is Nick Russell, and I’m a novice in the Society of Jesus. Novitiate is the first step for Jesuits who are in formation for the priesthood. It’s a two-year process in which we undergo a series of different “experiments” to test out our Jesuit vocation. These experiments include making the 30-day Spiritual Exercises retreat, serving in a hospital, making a pilgrimage, performing “humble tasks” around the novitiate, teaching in a school, and preaching (usually in the novitiate and on our experiments). My teaching experiment has brought me here to Phoenix, where I am teaching Scripture to first-year students at Brophy College Preparatory.READ MORE
If you've recently been tuning into our streamed Masses, you may have wondered who some of the younger guys (without grey hair) in the back seats are. My name is Simon Zachary, SJ, and I like to call myself a teenage Jesuit. I have been in the Society of Jesus for seven years now, and am approaching my last three years of formation, aka training, before priestly ordination. My current work involves teaching across the parking lot from St. Francis, over at Brophy. I teach, and hopefully don't bore, juniors and seniors with coursework in economics and international politics. I also moderate a handful of clubs, which are basically an excuse to get to know students just a bit more.READ MORE
Where is Jesus? Is he hiding until the Pandemic is over?
After the first Easter Sunday, the early Jewish-Christians continued to worship in the Temple on the Sabbath, but they also got together again on the Lord's Day to celebrate how they had experienced Jesus present in their lives throughout the week. Some didn't recognize Jesus at first because they weren't looking for him with eyes of faith.
Long after Jesus' Ascension, we Christians continue to gather on the Lord's Day to celebrate Jesus' presence among us.
Almost 2,000 years later, looking carefully with eyes of faith, we find Jesus present among us in the Eucharist, in the Sacraments, in our prayer, and in our loving care for one another.READ MORE