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In this photo you see me with our new deacon, Juan Carlos Castro, and his wife, Anita. Juan Carlos was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate by Bishop Vann during a beautiful Mass at Christ Cathedral on Saturday, October 23rd. Along with Deacon Mike Stock and Deacon Victor Samano, Deacon Juan Carlos will be serving our parish in the many ways that deacons can serve: assisting the priest at Mass, preaching, celebrating Baptisms, presiding over Weddings and Funerals when these occur outside of Mass, and in general supporting the spiritual and sacramental life of the parish.


It is a great blessing to have Deacon Juan Carlos in our parish. Last Sunday he assisted and preached at the 10:00 am Mass at San Felipe de Jesús and the 1:00 pm Mass at St. Edward the Confessor. We had a wonderful time congratulating him and showing our appreciation for his dedication to the Church in general and our parish in particular. Although Spanish is his first language, Deacon Juan Carlos and his wife Anita also speak English, and I am eager for you to get to know them as I have.


On an unrelated note, I would like to comment on our Evening of Encounter, which took place on Thursday, October 21st. It was well attended, and it was an awesome experience for all of us. Matt Zemanek (of St. Timothy Parish) gave an outstanding, inspiring talk on our encounter with the love of God through Jesus Christ. We adored the Eucharist; prayer partners prayed with those who wanted individual prayer; Confession was available for those who wanted it. And I must not leave out the beautiful music supplied by Johnny Oskam and other music ministers. We will definitely have such an evening again. In the meantime, if you were present at the Evening of Encounter, I would like to hear from you. Please email me (psmith@stedward.com) with your reaction to the evening.


Gratefully yours,




We are all here for a reason. Ultimately, that reason is to give glory to God and to become saints in heaven. It’s important to take a step back from our other goals in life to remember the final goal. It gives meaning and purpose to our lives. Of course, in striving to become saints we do encounter obstacles. Most likely, we fall from time to time in various ways; then, hopefully, we allow the mercy of God to pick us up, free us from sin, and help us to move onward and upward.


One of the great masters of the spiritual life, St. Francis de Sales, reminds us that the most effective way to avoid sin is to cultivate virtue. Focusing on leading the virtuous life keeps us positive as we work towards our heavenly goal. And where do we start? There are seven principal virtues in the Christian life; all other virtues come under the heading of one or more of these seven. First, there are the three theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity. They are called “theological” because they deal principally with our relationship with God (although Charity certainly should be part of our relationships with one another). Then there are the four cardinal virtues, so called because the Latin word cardomeans “hinge,” and many other virtues depend on these four as a door depends on its hinge. They are Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance.


As with all things Catholic, I refer you to the Catechism of the Catholic Church for more information on the virtuous life. (See especially Part Three, Article 7.) Also, remember that you can get lots of good information on Catholic living from the website “Formed.” Together let’s journey forward in living the virtuous life!


Gratefully yours,




In this picture you see me with our new Director of Faith Formation, Dr. Anne Herrick. Anne joined our parish staff last Monday. She will be teaching RCIA and Adult Confirmation class, and will be supervising the rest of our Faith Formation staff. Anne comes to us with excellent academic credentials, extensive experience as a teacher and catechist, and great devotion to her Catholic Faith.


An Arizona native, Anne earned her B.A. at the University of Arizona. She went on to earn her Master’s degree and Doctorate at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She has taught religion in various Catholic high schools; she has also taught on the university level, and she is currently on the faculty of the Diocese of Orange Emmaus Institute. She has wide experience of various aspects of parish life.


All of this reminds us to pray for Anne and for all who are involved in Faith Formation in our parish. It’s so important for all of us to keep growing in our faith, and the ministry of Faith Formation helps people to do just that. We are truly blessed to have the gift of faith; let’s keep it going and keep it growing.


Gratefully yours,



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