Welcome to St. Thomas More Parish

Our mission is to become the real presence of Christ through prayer, education, worship and service

"Lead Me Lord, Send Me"
Fr. Stephen Okumu
Pastor

 

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Please be advised that if you receive any email from the following: fr.okumu0@gmail.com asking for iTunes gift cards, or anything else, that this is a nationwide scam. This is not our Pastor, Father Okumu's email address. Please do not respond, delete the email immediately.

Weekend Masses
Saturday 5 PM
Sunday 8:30 AM
Sunday 10:30 AM


Reconciliation
Saturday 3:30-4:30 PM
or by appointment

Weekday Masses
Tuesday 9 AM
Wednesday 8:30 AM(Sept.-Mid June)
Wednesday 9:00 AM(Mid June-August)
Thursday 9 AM
Friday 9 AM

Parish Office Hours
Monday-Thursday 9 AM-5:00 PM
Friday 9 AM-1:00 PM

 

 

 

 

Bringing Communion to a Family Member

Currently, a parishioner may request a consecrated communion host for a family member when coming forward to receive Communion themselves using a pyx to bring the communion host home to a family member unable to attend Mass.

Beginning July 7-8 at all Masses Saturday and Sunday, the Parish will implement a new practice that includes a prayer and “sending forth” at the end of Mass for those who are bringing communion to a family member.

Starting on July 7-8 please place your pyx on the plate at the rear of the church where the hosts and wine are set out for procession to the Altar before Mass begins. A consecrated host will be placed in the pyx during the Eucharistic Prayer. Following the Prayer after Communion, you will be invited to come forward to receive your pyx and a blessing from Father Okumu.

 

                    

Rejoice and Be Glad (Gaudete et Exsultate)

Pope Francis’ new Apostolic Exhortation on Holiness in the Contemporary World

We very rarely think of ourselves as holy. We might refer to a very religious person, or a saint, even a grandmother as holy, but to describe ourselves as holy is unlikely.  After all, Pope Francis reminds us that “we are all sinners.” And yet, we are created in the image and likeness of God. We are the disciples of Jesus; his hands and feet. So, how are we to receive this Apostolic Exhortation?

First, an apostolic exhortation is considered the second highest form of papal teaching after an encyclical letter. This is Pope Francis’ third exhortation. The first two are the “Joy of the Gospel” (2013) and “The Joy of Love” (2016). In the introduction to the exhortation, the Pope tells us the goal of the teaching is to “re-propose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities.”

The Holy Father tells us “do not be afraid of holiness…We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer.  We are called to be holy by living our lives with love and bearing witness to everything we do,  wherever we find ourselves.”  He goes on to identify two false paths to holiness. The first is manifested in those who believe they have the truth, and see themselves already as saints, better than others. They believe they are saved by the power of their intellect, by what they know. The other false path is followed by those who believe they are saved by the power of the will, of human effort. These false paths can be expressed the Pope says by “an obsession with the law, an absorption with social and political advantages, a punctilious concern for the Church liturgy, doctrine and prestige, a vanity about the ability to manage practical matters, and an excessive concern with programs of self-help and personal fulfillment.”

True holiness is when “we let ourselves be guided by the Spirit rather than our own preconceptions” and not just those who agree with our way of thinking. At the heart of this exhortation, Francis addresses each of the Beatitudes that helps us better understand how we can be holy and how we can put our holiness into practice. Pope Francis tells us “the Beatitudes are like a Christian identity card… We can only practice them if the Holy Spirit fills us with his power and frees us from our weakness, our selfishness, our complacency and our pride.”  The Holy Father sums up this chapter stating, “our Lord is very clear that holiness cannot be understood or lived apart from these demands, for mercy is the beating heart of the Gospel.”

While the Beatitudes as outlined in the 25th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel guide us toward holiness, there are challenges we need to be aware of. The Pope highlights two of them. First is when we separate the Gospel demands of mercy and our own personal relationship with the Lord, treating them as two separate things. The second is when we minimize the concerns of social engagement or when we believe only one particular issue to be important.

Pope Francis goes on in chapter 4 to discuss five spiritual attitudes we might call the fabric of our lives as disciples of Jesus, of genuine spirituality and holiness. These five spiritual aptitudes are necessary to understand how to best put Jesus’ teachings into practice. The first, perseverance, patience, and meekness. This is a fidelity born of love and can only come about through humility, without which there is no holiness. Second, joy and a sense of humor. The Pope shares that “the saints are joyful and full of good humor…the necessary result of love of charity is joy.” Third, boldness and passion. He says “complacency is seductive; it tells us that there is no point in trying to change things.” Fourth, in community. Francis reminds us that “growth in holiness is a journey in community, side by side with others…that the common life, whether in the family, parish, the religious life or any other is made up of small everyday things.” Fifth, in constant prayer. Lest we forget, holiness consists in the habitual openness to the transcendent expressed in prayer where “we can discern, in light of the Spirit, the paths of holiness to which the Lord is calling us.”

The Exhortation concludes with the realization that “the Christian life is a constant battle.  It is a battle not only against a worldly mentality and our human weaknesses and proclivities, but also a constant struggle against the devil, the prince of evil.”  To fight this “spiritual combat,” Pope Francis reminds us of the “powerful weapons that the Lord has given us: faith-filled prayer, meditation on the word of God, the celebration of the Mass, Eucharistic adoration, sacramental Reconciliation, works of charity, community life, missionary outreach.”

For us to accomplish the mission entrusted to us at our baptism—the mission to be holy—requires the gift of discernment. “We must remember that prayerful discernment must be born of a readiness to listen: to the Lord and to others, and to reality itself, which always challenges us in new ways,” Francis tells us.  He continues later, “discernment is not about discovering what more we can get out of life,” but about recognizing and acting our essential mission in life.

This new papal exhortation links holiness to prayer, serving others, to mercy , to social justice, to community spirit, to the common good. It is a roadmap, a practical guide, to a spiritual holiness we might never have foreseen or realized.

Note: “Gaudete et Exsultate” may be purchased from Amazon for less than $10 or download the PDF file on-line.

                                                       

 

 

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CATHOLIC WEB LINKS

www.marriageuniqueforareason.org

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