Tag Archives: St. Gabriel the Archangel

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

20 Apr

“To believe with certainty we must begin with doubting.”

~Stanislaus I

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This morning I was able to sleep in a little because there was going to be a very special live streaming Divine Mercy Sunday Mass at 11 am at St. Gabriel. But, as is my custom, I still attended Mass in my jammies. The service was officiated by Dallas Archdiocese Bishops Burns and Kelly. Bishop Kelly was our original founding pastor at St. Gabriel back in 1996, so it was a special service.

Today’s Gospel was the “Doubting Thomas” story. The disciples were all locked away in a room after the resurrection, fearing for their lives. Jesus appeared before them saying, “Peace be with you, ” and showed them His wounds. Thomas was not with them, and when they told him that they saw Jesus, Thomas said he wouldn’t believe unless he could see and touch the wounds himself.

Eight days later, Jesus appeared in the closed room, and invited Thomas to touch the wounds so he could believe.

28 Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’

29 Jesus said to him: You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.

My take on it… sometimes you have to believe in things that you can’t see or don’t have physical proof of. That’s what faith is. You can’t see the air, but you know it’s there and you breathe. You can’t see love, but you can feel it.

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Bishop Kelly gave a wonderful homily comparing how our situation today is similar to how the disciples were locked away in fear of the unknown, but they still had faith. We are locked away in our homes, uncertain of our future and our safety, so we must remain faithful. He also reminded us what Pope Francis said. During these difficult days, we need to help one another and the less fortunate.

“We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other,” he said during his homily in front of a rainy St. Peter’s Basilica, before an empty square and a single priests.

It was a beautiful Mass with a wonderful message and amazing singing.

Bishop Burns gave his final blessing to all.

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Then of course, the highlight of my Sunday is getting to FaceTime with my little granddaughters and watching them grow right before my eyes.

Saturday:) Catholic Bingo~ Nobody Does It Better

23 Feb

“Bingo isn’t really gambling when all the proceeds go to charity, and everything is donated for a worthy cause. It’s a Catholic thing.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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A fun night of bingo with a Mardi Gras theme at St. Gabriel this evening. This was my first time attending, and I didn’t realize how huge and elaborate it would be.

It was a sold out event sponsored by the St. Vincent de Paul Ministry.

Thousands of dollars were raised for this wonderful ministry. SVdP provides appropriate assistance to anyone needing food, clothing, rent assistance, utility assistance or other emergency needs.

Guess who I ran into on my way in? Father Don.

There were all kinds of raffle prizes, silent auction, donation boards, a 50/50 raffle, tons of food, and the grand finale was a huge double sided bar of wines and spirits to be raffled. We Catholics enjoy our alcohol. One person won all of these bottles.

I didn’t even purchase a raffle ticket for the booze. What if I won? Even I don’t have that many friends to drink all that. But, I did donate a print of one of my paintings, and I got to talk to the lady who won my silent auction donation. She loved my angel.

I sat with several friends as we played eight different games of bingo. Not just the plain old kind, but things like H shaped, X, outer box, inner box, etc. Way to much thinking for me. But, we had a good time, and as I said, a lot of money was raised. Even the winner of the 50/50 raffle, which was over $1,200, donated their winnings to the St. Vincent de Paul Ministry.

These are the lovely ladies that I sat with this evening. As you can see, there was plenty to eat and drink, and a good time was had by all.

Look at all these nice people gathered together for a wonderful cause. As I’ve always said, “If a lot of people give just a little, so much can be done for many.” This evening, a lot of people donated a little time, a little money, and a lot of heart. Plus, we all had a lot of fun.

Sunday Sermon and 60+ New Friends

21 Oct

“Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.”

~Henri Nouwen

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Another beautiful Sunday. I love greeting before Mass, getting lots of hugs and handshakes. I passed out little cars and a beanie baby to my little friends, and ran over to welcome the Chateau bus. I gave each senior friend a big hug and a piece of chocolate candy from my Halloween stash.

Today’s Gospel was Jesus telling his disciples about the necessity to always pray, using the parable of an unfair judge who kept denying justice for pleading widow. The judge finally gave in, saying that he didn’t fear God nor respect anyone, but the widow kept bothering him so he would finally render a just decision “lest she finally come and strike me.”

The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.

Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones

who call out to him day and night?

Will he be slow to answer them?

I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.

But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

My take on it… the parable is telling us that the Lord will make sure justice is quick to those who are faithful and constant, but when the final day comes, will God find any faithful? I sure hope so. Don’t give up or give into the ways of sin, greed, and corruption.

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Well, I just took a short break from writing here because the tornado sirens went off. Scary! I grabbed a big pillow, blanket, flashlight, and cell phone and took cover. I called my sister and talked to her until the sirens stopped. Now, we are just under severe thunderstorm warnings. So far, so good.

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Back to Sunday. After Mass, Helene and I had volunteered to dispense our parish picture directories in the cafeteria. Very nice books. Everyone was impressed. They looked like high school year books. We joked around saying that we should bring our books next Sunday and get autographs and ask friends to sign our books like we did in high school. “Good luck next year.” “2 good 2 B forgotten.” Remember those? They were also passing out the baby banks, where we put in our loose change and cash for a few weeks to support various children’s groups.

I got home in time finish up my pasta salad and divide into containers. I was invited to a friend’s house for a potluck barbecue at 1 o’clock Wow! Lots of great food and even better company.

Then, Helene and I had joined a church group called 60+ that was meeting at 5:30. We didn’t even know such a group existed, but we saw the sign up sheet at the church picnic a couple of weeks ago, and we decided to check it out. The only requirement is being 60 years old or more. Well, we’ve got that covered.

We met at Dave Manders’ gorgeous home in McKinney. There were probably 40 to 50 people there, with so many wonderful folks and delicious food. It was so nice to talk to people that I see every Sunday at church, but never knew their names or get to chat. Then, there were new friends to meet. We were welcomed with open arms.

Father Don was there to give the blessing before we ate, and to join us for fellowship, food, and conversation.

I feel so blessed to be part of such a loving church community. I’ve made so many good friends at St. Gabriel the Archangel, but more importantly, I’ve become even stronger in my Catholic faith. I like this quote below. “Church is who you are. Church is what you do.”

Sunday Sermon and Our Parish Picnic

7 Oct

“Life is like a picnic. You make preparations, spread out the blanket, open the basket, and assemble the guests. Then, the ants invade and it pours down rain. Grab your stuff and run like crazy!”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Today was a special day at St. Gabriel. Not only were we going to have our Parish Picnic at noon, but Bishop Kelly, our former Pastor, was officiating at 9 am Mass. He was there for the dedication of the Bishop Kelly Center, formerly our old sanctuary and offices.

I had a little trouble comprehending today’s Gospel. Hmm? You tell your servants to prepare your meal while you eat and drink after they’ve tended the fields? Do you thank the servant for doing what was commanded? Hmmm…? I probably would say, come on in and have supper with me after they worked the fields and tended the sheep. That’s just me.

Lk 17:5-10

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

“Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the servant for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless servants; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”

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My take on it… long and short… God expects us to do much more than just the minimal amount of what is expected. If you are a good and faithful servant, you will honor your master above and beyond the call of duty. Go the extra mile.

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After Mass and the dedication, Helene and I went over to the parish hall where they were setting up for the picnic and ministry fair. We didn’t sign up for a special duty, we were “gophers.” The gym was lined up with tables of all the different ministries available, and members had info and sign up sheets. I’m already part of the Welcome ministry, but I signed up for the 60+ group. I guess the only criteria is you have to be over 60. Well covered there. They just meet once a month for fellowship. I can do that.

The Knights and men’s groups cooked the hamburgers and hot dogs out back, and the rest of the food was a pot luck. The women’s club set up and other volunteers helped out wherever they could. There was a ton of food. Catholics like to cook! Almost as much as we like to eat and socialize. There were all kinds of fun things for the kids to do, with bounce houses, slides, games etc. oh, and face painting was a big hit.

It was a fun and informative afternoon. My friend Lynn asked Father Don how he came about to becoming a priest after he had graduated with a degree in electrical

engineering. He felt the call after realizing that engineering was not his true calling. We are very fortunate that he answered that call.

A great day at St. Gabe’s. Happy Sunday my friends.

Sunday Sermon and My CRHP Sisters

28 Jul

“The need of the immaterial is the most deeply rooted of all needs. One must have bread; but before bread, one must have the ideal.”

― Victor Hugo

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After a late night at the Elvis concert Saturday, and getting ready for this morning’s early rise for serving breakfast for our new CRHP sisters, the four or five hours of sleep I think I got, wasn’t that refreshing. But, I happily jumped out of bed before the 6 am alarm, so I could get to church by 7:30.

I individually prepared the two dozen roses, each in a plastic baggie with a wet napkin at the stem, then tied with twine, so each new CRHP retreat sister could have a red rose and remembrance with their breakfast. I had baked three fruit upside down cakes, (one for my Fire station) bought 24 Yoplait yogurts, brought a couple bottles of apple juice, and had a rose for each lady. There were enough roses so our CRHP 28 sisters could have one too.

If you’re not familiar with CRHP, it stands for Christ Renews His Parish, and there are two men’s and women’s spiritual retreats each year. I went a couple of years ago, and it was a wonderful life changing experience. The previous retreatants are then asked to provide meals for the new groups. I made such wonderful friends at my retreat.

There was SO much wonderful food. We could have fed the entire parish. Not, really. We have thousands of parishioners.

Just a few of my CRHP 28 sisters.

Father Don stopped by for a quick bite before 9 o’clock Mass.

The ladies all had a fine breakfast and when they finished and left, our group sat down to eat. It was 8:30 by now, and I asked my sisters if they wouldn’t mind if I ducked out early before clean-up so I could walk across the way to church, then I could greet and attend Mass. I thought we wouldn’t get done till 10 or so. Perfect timing. I still got to greet at the door, go to Mass and stop for coffee with Jerry and Helene afterwards.

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So, the Gospel reading message for today was quite appropriate: Share bread with your friends. When we were asked to provide and serve a meal for this retreat, most of which were strangers, everyone went above and beyond the call of duty, and we loved every second.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus was asked by the disciples how to pray. That’s where we get the “Give us this day our daily bread” from. He uses the example of a man knocking on his neighbor’s door in the middle of the night wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. He had a visitor but no food to offer. What if the friend turns him away? Persistence and a good heart will have the friend get up and give the bread.

9 ‘So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.

10 For everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened.

My take on it… always share your blessings with others. Not just share, but share from your heart and with love. Just like you take care of your children and friends, when you ask God, your Heavenly Father, for something, you will receive it. It also mentioned you have to be persistent. I think sometimes you have to do a lot of “knocking” before your prayers are answered. All in God’s good time. (I’m still knockin’ Lord!)

Happy Sunday my friends. (PS- I took a little nap when I got home. I was exhausted. Now, to clean up my messy kitchen. 🤦‍♀️)

Sunday Sermon and Maestro Hector Olivera

29 Apr

“When in doubt, throw doubt out and have a little faith.”

E. A. Bucchianeri

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Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus appearing to the Apostles in a locked room after His resurrection. Thomas was not there, so he did not believe them. He said he would have to touch the wounds himself to believe. Eight days later, Jesus appeared to them again, and Thomas was there. Jesus told Thomas to touch His wounds. Then, Thomas believed. (Thus, inspiring the quote “Doubting Thomas.”

29Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” 30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

My take on it… sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind and just have faith, blind faith. That’s a good analogy. You can’t always see the things you believe in, but you still believe.

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe,”

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Last night, the parishioners of St. Gabriel the Archangel had the great honor of hearing an amazing concert by Maestro Hector Olivera for the dedication of the beautiful Allen Organ. Born in Buenos Aires, Mr. Olivera began playing the pipe organ when he was three. At age five he played for the legendary Eva Perón; at twelve he entered the University of Buenos Aires and by eighteen had performed for heads of state and celebrities throughout Latin America. When offered a scholarship at the renowned Juilliard School of Music in New York, he moved to the United States. Three years later, Mr. Olivera’s outstanding professional concert career was launched when he won the AGO’s National Improvisation Contest.

I guess the best way describe his talents is to let you hear for yourself. Amazing!

Maestro, please…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-su3sRvpPo

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiShAn8zDdE

Wednesday:) Where Angels Wing

20 Feb

“We all have a Guardian Angel who is loving, kind and caring, who’ll be there when we need someone to share the load we’re bearing.”

― Anonymous

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The gloomy grey skies from yesterday burst into glorious sunshine today. You know why? This morning was the ribbon cutting ceremony for the brand new Catholic Church in McKinney. The Angels would not allow a gloomy rainy day. Parishioners, staff, friends, family, neighbors and local dignitaries gathered on this beautiful Wednesday morning for the ribbon cutting ceremony at St. Gabriel the Archangel. Dedications and Masses will begin this weekend.

A beautiful new church for a beautiful caring community.

Angels guide and guard the way.

Stunning stained glass windows surround the sanctuary to brighten even the gloomiest day. But today, the sun illuminated the interior.

May your Guardian Angels guide and protect you always. I know mine do. I have a few, but my angel mother is and has always been my champion.