On the Journey

Weekly messages from Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Second Sunday of Lent

02-25-2018On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

As we continue our Lenten journey, an important way to bring the Lord into every aspect of our life is to fast from talking and feast on listening.

"From the shining cloud, the Father's voice is heard: This is my Son, listen to him."

This Sunday, I wish to echo the call made by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to stand with the vulnerable, including our immigrant brothers and sisters and participate in the National Call-In Day to Protect Dreamers.

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First Sunday of Lent

02-18-2018On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Most people wish to feel comfortable and have peace of mind in everything they do. It is also natural for people to want a comfortable life. Wanting to achieve this, may be one of the reasons children and young adults in our communities are encouraged to study hard and prepare for a great job with a comfortable salary. However, it is important to recognize that God makes us uncomfortable when he wants us to grow, just as Jesus must have been uncomfortable during the 40 days he was out in the desert.

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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

02-11-2018On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season. Lent is a time to seek the Lord in prayer and scripture; it is a time for almsgiving, self-control and sacrifice. The tradition of abstaining from meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent is a long-standing Catholic tradition.

Additionally, there are many ways to practice self-control and fast throughout the Lenten season. We will share some thoughts on this in the weeks to come. For now, I encourage all of you to read Pope Francis' message for Lent 2018: "Because of the increase of inequity, the love of many will grow cold" (Mt 24:12). Following is an excerpt from the Holy Father's message which he extends to all men and women of good will, who are open to hearing God's voice.

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Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

02-04-2018On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Throughout the past few months, I have shared some thoughts on three fundamental values: Respect, Inspiration and Compassion. These values are part of Holy Spirit Catholic Community’s guiding principles which were defined by our parish pastoral council, several years ago.

As we prepare to start the Lenten Season in a couple of weeks, I encourage all of you to think about these three values. How do you apply these values in your daily lives?

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Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time

01-28-2018On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

"Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed." Is this year's theme for National Catholic Schools Week which starts this Sunday, January 28 and runs to February 3rd. Schools observe this annual celebration with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. All events are centered on highlighting the value Catholic education provides to young people and the contributions it makes to our church and communities.

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Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

01-21-2018On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

"Your Right Hand, O Lord, Glorious in Power." is the theme of this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. For the past 100 years, the week of prayer has traditionally been celebrated January 18 – 25, between the feasts of St. Peter and St. Paul.

Every year, ecumenical partners in a region of the world, are invited to produce a basic liturgical text on a biblical theme. Then, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches (WWC) review the text and jointly publish it after an editorial team of the WCC and Roman Catholic representatives has edited it.

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Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

01-14-2018On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

This Sunday marks the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, and from January 7 to the 13, the U.S. Catholic Church celebrated National Migration Week. This year's theme "Many Journeys, One Family, draws attention to the fact that we are all migrants."

Each family in the United States has a migration story. Many of these stories are recent. However, most migrant stories in our country started in a very distant past. Some stories have even been forgotten. Nevertheless, regardless of where we are and where we came from, we remain part of the human family. All family stories are important. We are important.

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Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

01-07-2018On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany of The Lord, and the arrival of the Magi to the place where Jesus Christ was born. The Gospel describes the Magi as being overjoyed at seeing the star that had led them to the new born child. When the Magi saw him with Mary his mother, they fell on their knees and worshipped him. Then, they offered him the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh --symbols of Christ's royalty, divinity and eventual suffering and death.

In giving these gifts, the Magi recognized that Jesus was born to be our Savior. May we too recognize Jesus as our Savior in all that we say and do.

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The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and joseph

12-31-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

As we start the New Year, may we follow the Holy Family’s example and welcome the Lord into our lives. May God guide every step of our journey.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

12-24-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

This Sunday's Gospel, Luke 1:26-38 brings us the story of the Annunciation: the angel Gabriel announced to a virgin named Mary that she would bear a son, and she would name him Jesus. On that same day, the angel informed Mary that her cousin Elizabeth, who was called barren, had conceived a son in her old age. With this news, the angel emphasized that nothing was impossible for God.

Can you imagine what must have gone through Mary's mind? Listen carefully and notice Mary's confusion in the questions she asked the angel. Then listen to Mary's response once she had accepted all he had to say: "May it be done to me according to your word". Mary's unconditional faith in the Lord is the kind of faith all of God's people are called to cultivate throughout their life.

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Third Sunday of Advent

12-17-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

The messages and images we placed around the Narthex and in the Worship areas these past three weeks, are intended to catch your attention during this busy season. I hope you have taken the time to be still and listen to the sounds of the season while you have been preparing to celebrate the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Earlier this week, Pope Francis spoke of letting go of the bitterness and negativity that sometimes prevent people from experiencing the joy God intends all of us to feel in our hearts. The Holy Father said this as part of his homily on December 11, which he focused on Isaiah 35:1—10. A scripture that speaks to the glory of the Lord, who will come with vindication and divine recompense, to save us.

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Second Sunday of Advent

12-10-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

People often ask priests about the real purpose of Advent. Perhaps, you too, have asked –What is Advent? The quick answer is: Advent is a time of preparation and joyful expectation to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is also a time to renew our hope as we wait for the second coming of our Lord.

Advent Traditions prepare us to celebrate the anniversary of our Lord's first coming into this world. I welcome you to put aside a few minutes of each day during the next three weeks to reflect on how the Son of God assumed our flesh and dwelt in our midst to save us.

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First Sunday of Advent

12-03-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

During the past four weeks, I shared some views on the different meanings of the word inspiration. One of the thoughts I shared with you was about the origin of inspiration which comes from two Latin words: "breath-in".

I also referenced the teachings of the Catholic Church about inspiration: God is the author of Sacred Scripture. "The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit."

Additionally, I shared other meanings of the word inspiration in a social context, and I hope that I was able to motivate you to think about what inspires you.

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