Tag Archives: St. Gabriel the Archangel

Sunday Sermon and the St. Gabriel Church Picnic

8 Oct

“God doesn’t send you the obstacles, He guides you through the hurdles.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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“There is a difference between giving up and knowing when you’ve had enough.”

Unknown

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It was a gloomy dark morning with rain threatening. Oh no! Today was the St. Gabriel annual church picnic at noon. I greeted at the door before 9 o’clock Mass with Jerry and Mary. I had a small stuffed animal for Avery in one pocket of my sweater and a Matchbox car for Liam in the other. Little Avery gave me a big hug, but today, my young friend, Liam, had a gift for me along with his hug. I was honored. A rock and two tree seeds or nuts. Not sure what kind, but they are very pretty.

Today’s Gospel Mark 10: 2-12 was about, well, one of my least favorite subjects, DIVORCE. The Pharisees were testing Jesus and asked Him if it was lawful for a husband to divorce his wife. We are all familiar with His response, usually a quote used in most wedding ceremonies.

“But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother

and be joined to his wife,

and the two shall become one flesh.

So they are no longer two but one flesh.

Therefore what God has joined together,

no human being must separate.”

In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this.

He said to them,

“Whoever divorces his wife and marries another

commits adultery against her;

and if she divorces her husband and marries another,

she commits adultery.”

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That was over two thousand years ago, and it still applies. The concept may still apply, but the world hasn’t changed, and people still get divorced, all too easily and often. It hits pretty close to home. It has been over five years that I’ve been struggling with this, and being Catholic, it’s not an easy concept to deal with. That’s why I’m still in the process of getting an annulment, because according to my church, even though I’ve been divorced for four years, I’m still married. That hurts. But, as I said. He didn’t send the obstacles, He helps me through the hurdles. I get stronger every day. Pretty soon, I’ll be able to leap over those hurdles with ease. After the Gospel reading, instead of getting all misty with tears slipping down my cheek, today I felt stronger and empowered. Yay!

The church picnic started at noon, but I went over early to take my brownies and to volunteer at the Bella House Ministry table with Mary. All the many church

ministries had tables in the gym to share information for volunteer opportunities.

The rain not only held off, but the sun burst through, and it was a beautiful sunny day. There was plenty of food, fun for the children, and time to visit with friends and families.

It was a good Sunday, a fun picnic, then later in the evening, the dark gloomy clouds returned. The warm day cooled into a pleasant night, and all is well.

HAPPY SUNDAY TO ALL.

Friendly Farewell To Father Charles

27 Jun

“The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature.”

Antoine François Prévost

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Today, at St. Gabriel’s, Father Charles celebrated his last morning Mass. Our beloved Father will be going to St. Francis soon. During his homily, he thanked all the people who made him feel so welcome during his years at St. Gabriel’s. We have become his family, and will always remain family. Fortunately, he won’t be too far away.

After Mass, people gathered to say farewell and get in some last minute hugs. The children, especially, will miss the kind and friendly Father.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHlYqqWwFP0

Farewell lunch for Fr. Charles

Sunday, July 1, 2018, 12:00 PM
Location: Community Center
Say goodbye to Fr. Charles as he moves to his new assignment at St Francis and JP II High School. We will have a lunch for him after the 11am Mass. The Kenyan Choir will also sing at the 11am Mass. You will also be able to give him a card and say goodbye after each Mass. We will miss you Fr. Charles! Thank you for your sincere service to the people of St. Gabriel.

Thank you, Father Charles.

Sunday Sermon and CRHP Sisters Singin’ Karaoke

24 Jun

“We hang out, we help one another, we tell one another our worst fears and biggest secrets, and then just like real sisters, we listen and don’t judge.”

– Adriana Trigiani

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The early morning was overcast with helpful clouds, but by 10am, we went from tolerable to oppressive. Welcome to Texas. This morning, greeting before Mass with Jerry and Mary, we gave out a LOT of hugs. It was a huggy kinda morning.

Today’s Gospel according to Luke was about the birth of John the Baptist. Everyone thought that Elizabeth would name her baby Zechariah, after his father. There was no John in the family. All were surprised when even his father wrote on a tablet, “John is his name.” Then the father spoke, his tongue freed, and everyone knew this would be a special blessed child, and they wondered…

“What, then, will this child be?”

For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.

The child grew and became strong in spirit,

and he was in the desert until the day

of his manifestation to Israel.

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My take on it… John the Baptist was destined to be a special child and blessing to the world. But, you know what? Don’t we all wonder when we have children, what “this child will be?” Each and every child brought into this world should be given a special name of honor, and be a special blessing. One of my favorite quotes is, “Your perception is your reality.” You are what you believe you are. Perhaps if everyone believed they were special from the start, a gift from God, and was put on this earth to be great, loving and a blessing, then maybe it would be a much better world.

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After church, I made some brownies to take over to our CRHP 28 Sisters luncheon hosted by our sister, Theresa. These lovely ladies and I have shared so much in the past year or so since we first met at our St. Gabriel’s women’s retreat. We try to get together every month or so. Theresa was kind enough to invite us to her home for food, fun and…yes, karaoke.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAiYFqyleI4

Sisters that sing together, cling together.

Wednesday:) Honoring Our First Responders

17 May

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.

~Ambrose Redmoon

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This evening, St. Gabriel the Archangel hosted a special Mass at 6 pm to honor our First Responders and their families. George Fuller and his wife Maylee also attended, along with other local officials.

Father Don welcomed the attendees and expressed the community’s appreciation for the sacrifice and commitment of not only the Responders, but also their families. After Mass, all in attendance applauded and gave a standing ovation. I don’t know why, but I always get a little misty when we sing “God Bless America.”

Father Don and Father Charles walked outside to say a prayer and bless the fire trucks, emergency vehicles, and police cars.

Father Don blessed the vehicles with holy water. There were also Responders and vehicles from Plano, and nearby cities.

A reception with punch and cookies followed the blessing. During these turbulent times, it’s very nice to know that we have so many people serving and protecting our community. But also, it’s important that we show our appreciation.

Thank you!

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

27 Nov

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

Anonymous, Holy Bible: King James Version

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Another beautiful Sunday morning in McKinney. Mary wasn’t there at the door for greeting with me this morning, so I flew solo. I’ve made so many friends at St. Gabriel’s and love all the smiles and greetings before Mass. what a fine way to start the day.

Today’s Gospel from Matthew was about when the Son of Man comes in his glory, he will keep the sheep on the right and the goats on the left. The sheep were the good people who helped the poor and needy, the goats were the ones who ignored the needy and thought only of themselves. Both groups questioned the the words… ‘ For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.”

The sheep did these things for strangers, and the goats did nothing. The king responded, And the King will answer, “In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”

Then he will answer, “In truth I tell you, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.”

And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the upright to eternal life.’

My take on it… when you see someone in need, hungry, or thirsty, you should treat them as if they were a friend, family member or even a king. Treat others as you would like to be treated. The old, do unto others.

We had a baptism during Mass and welcomed a new baby to our parish.

After Mass, the Knights of Columbus hosted a fine pancake breakfast. I very rarely eat breakfast, but it was nice to visit with friends.

The volunteers arrive early in the morning to make the batter, cook the sausage and hash browns, and set up tables complete with orange juice and fixin’s. I made sure to thank each one. We have a great community spirit at church.

After breakfast, I stopped at Sprouts, Walmart, and some other running around. The best part of my evening was my traditional Sunday phone call from my son, Joe. Today, he asked if I wanted to FaceTime with my sweet grand-baby. Why yes! I get to see the baby, Lindsay and Joe.

I sure love my Sundays.

Sunday Sermon:) A Sunrise and a Sunset

3 Sep

“If you want to be reminded of the love of the Lord, just watch the sunrise.” 

― Jeannette Walls

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A lovely warm morning here in McKinney. I’m doggie sitting for Bella, so I was up by 7 to get her fed and out the door for a walk. I don’t always get a chance to take a picture of the sunrise, so today was the perfect opportunity.


Mary and I were greeting at the door of St. Gabriel’s before 9 o’clock Mass, and we kept noticing people looking over at the new construction of the church. One lady said, “The sun looks like it’s casting a beam of light over the new sanctuary.” I guess it looked pretty majestic bathed in the morning sun.


The Gospel, MT 16, for today was about Jesus telling his disciples to “take up his cross, and follow me.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay all according to his conduct.”
My take on it… the most important part being that famous quote, “What profit would there be…” what good is it to have all the wealth and riches in the world, if you lose your soul? At the end of your life, you will be judged according to how well you lived, how your loved, and how you treated others. That is how people will remember us and how God will judge us. This is how we take up the cross. This is how we follow the work and the word of Jesus. We aren’t expected to physically give up our lives and die, although many have. It really isn’t a horrible sacrifice. Just be kind, be good, love thy neighbor, and follow the commandments. 

Another fine way to celebrate a beautiful Sunday and a fine Mass, a little baby girl, AliciaFavila, was baptized today, and welcomed by the entire congregation. (Tough picture angle, but you get the idea.)


Now, here is my sunset from last night. It’s only 3 in the afternoon now, so I haven’t taken one for today yet. I try and get a picture just about every evening because each sunset is special and different and glorious. 

Sunday Sermon and Sustenance for the Soul 

31 Jul

“The soul is imbued with a yearning that is carried, like a torch, from incarnation to incarnation. It burns with a curiosity about life and it’s true identity. Souls live, strive, and evolve, driven to seeking the truth about the world and themselves.” 

― Stefan Emunds

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My two day CRHP retreat at St. Gabriel’s this weekend was nothing less than extraordinary. Did I learn anything new about myself during this wonderful experience? No, not really. I already know myself. (The good, the bad, and the ugly.) But, what I did learn was how I, Toni, can become a better me. How I can learn to see the world and other people through different eyes. I learned how total strangers can embrace you and love you, making you feel like a very important person. We are all children of God. He thinks we’re all special. We should do the same.

The common denominator here is faith. This happened to be a Catholic retreat, but I believe that faith, trust in God, no matter what you call Him or where you worship, is the glue or the foundation. A faith that can build a strong soul or heal a heavy heart. 

This morning, we all got up early and attended 7a.m. Mass. Getting over forty women up, dressed, and ready all before 7 is a miracle in itself. But, it happened.

The Gospel for today was about the kingdom of heaven. A person finds a treasure in the field, or the merchant in search of the perfect pearl. They give up or sell everything to obtain it. 

My take on it…once you’ve found something special, that wonderful treasure, don’t let go. Do everything you can to hold on to it. Hold on to your faith, your family, your friends. Those are the treasures on earth, and will also lead to the kingdom of heaven. 

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Gospel MT 13:44-52Jesus said to his disciples:”The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field…..

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All my wonderful experiences of my CRHP retreat are too many to share, but also, it’s kinda like Vegas. What happens at CRHP stays at CRHP. That’s so all the people who haven’t attended yet will have the same great surprises and life changing experiences. 

I made some beautiful new friends this weekend, and I know these new “sisters” will be a part of my life for a long time.