On the Journey

Weekly messages from Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Christ the King

11-26-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

What can be more inspiring than knowing that the Lord cares for and watches over us? He is a good Father, Provider and Giver of all things.

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose." (Psalm 23:1)

"Besides restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul. He guides my paths for his name's sake." (Psalm 23:2-3)

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Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

11-19-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

When asked what inspires you, many people might answer: God's love and teachings inspire me. Some will say their spouse and children are their inspiration or motivation. Others may say acts of kindness. Though, many might say that finding inspiration is hard these days.

I encourage all of you to make time during the upcoming holiday season to think about what inspires you to be the best person you can be. Below are a couple of psalms to get you started thinking about it.

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Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

11-12-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Last week I wrote about the meaning of the word inspiration according to the Holy Scriptures. If you look up inspiration in the dictionary you will find several definitions. Merriam Webster lists the following meanings for inspiration:

A divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation; the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions; the act of influencing or suggesting opinions; the act of drawing in; specifically: the drawing of air into the lungs; the quality or state of being inspired; and an inspiring agent or influence.

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Thirty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time

11-05-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

The Catholic Church in the United States celebrates National Vocation Awareness Week from November 5-11. An annual celebration dedicated to promoting vocations to the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life through prayer and education, and to renew our support for those who are considering one of these vocations.

Let us pray for the people in our community and around the country who may be inspired to respond. Pray that they respond generously with open hearts and willing spirits if the Lord calls them to the priesthood, diaconate or consecrated life.

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Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time

10-29-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Today's scriptures speak to the way God expects us to behave and treat each other. Mathew tells us that when Jesus was asked which commandment was the greatest, he responded saying: "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the greatest and first commandment. He then said, the second commandment is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

For the past few weeks I have shared some of my thoughts and understanding of the word "respect", as well as some different points of view. It pleases me to know that many listened to the suggestion I made earlier this month, and that several of you have been discussing the meaning of the word respect with your families and friends. Those of you who took time to look up respect in the bible will may have noticed that respecting, honoring and loving God the Father and His Son Jesus are essential characteristics to following Jesus.

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Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

10-22-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Today's scriptures are a reflective teaching on respect. The first reading set the tone, "I have called you by name, giving you a title, though you knew me not. I am the Lord, and there is no other God but me."

When you look up the word respect in a dictionary, you can find several meanings. The definition I want to bring up today is the following: Due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others –"respect for others". You will also find several synonyms: politeness, courtesy, civility, deference –" he spoke to her with respect".

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Twenty-Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time

10-15-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

The Church has marked the month of October as Respect Life Month. The 2017-2018 Respect Life theme is "Be Not Afraid". A powerful message to remember that God is with us always! Following are a couple of excepts from the statement issued by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Chair of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities; for you to ponder.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we know that our identity and our mission are two sides of the same coin; like the apostles, we are called to be missionary disciples. We are not only invited to follow and take refuge in God, our stronghold, but we are also commissioned to reach out to one another, especially to the weak and vulnerable.

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Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

10-08-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Starting this week, we will be sharing some thoughts on what the word RESPECT means. The intention is to inspire parishioners to think about the meaning of this word, both in a social context and as one of our values. One of the meanings of respect is treating everyone with equality and dignity and being true to our Catholic traditions.

Peter summarizes the Bible's teaching on respect in his first letter: "Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king" … (1 Peter 2:17). Loving the brotherhood of believers, means to love all believers, regardless of color, nationality, or beliefs; and we are called to demonstrate that we love all our brothers and sisters in Christ.

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Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

10-01-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Catholic Social Teaching is a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness within the challenges of modern society. The depth of our Church's teaching has traditionally been articulated through papal, conciliar and episcopal documents. Nevertheless, there are several key themes or values at the core of our Catholic social tradition which I will briefly highlight below.

Life and Dignity of the Human Person - Human life is sacred and the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. We believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is weather it threatens of enhances the life and dignity of the human person.

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Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

09-24-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

In today's first reading we are called to let go of trying to fit God into our own comfortable way of thinking. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways", says the LORD. In the Gospel, Jesus' parable of the landowner and the labourers teaches us about mercy, for among God's people, there is no such thing as "first come, first served".

This parable tends to stir mixed feelings for many, especially for those listening to the story of for the first time. The topic of receiving a just pay for a day's work is something so many people have and continue to deal with even today. However, this story is not about labor justice as we think of it today. It is about God's merciful love and generosity.

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Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

09-17-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Today’s readings speak to us about forgiveness. Peter’s question is one that many people wonder about often. Perhaps not in the same words but it is still the same question: How often must I forgive someone who has wronged me?

The Lord answers Peter’s question saying: “not just seven times but seventy-seven times”. This does not mean that we are to count a person’s wrongs and forgive him/her up to seventy-seven times. It simply means, that we are to forgive those who sin against us but they repent and ask for forgiveness. Just as the Lord forgives us when we repent and ask for his forgiveness.

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Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

09-10-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Today's readings remind us that God wants all of us to look out for one another and He summons us to pray together: "Amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

All Christians, men and women alike, are meant to be present for one another in prayerful support. Consequently, we always look for ways to foster fellowship opportunities at Holy Spirit Catholic Community. Our parish has offered annual bible studies and one-day women retreats, with great participation, for many years. However, it took a while for us to find the right program for the man of our parish until TMIY -That Man Is You!

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Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

09-03-2017On the JourneyFr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

This weekend it pleases me to welcome Sean Curtis, our new Echo apprentice. Sean is an energetic and engaging individual who enjoys meeting people. So, stop and say hello when you see him around. Following is a note from Sean, please join us in giving him a warm welcome.

  • On the journey,
  • Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Hello, my name is Sean Curtis, and I will be serving as an Echo apprentice at Holy Spirit for the next two years. I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. While I grew up, I became immensely involved in the youth ministry program at my local parish. I was first inspired to live out my Catholic faith through the program, and I made some of the most important friendships of my life within it. Once I left to attend the University of Portland, I started to notice just how much of an impact my youth minster had made upon me. After reflecting on that impact, I was inspired to change my major to Theology and pursue a career in ministry. Along the way, I have encountered many Echo alumni who helped draw me to the program.

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