Fragments from the Word: Mark 1: 40-45

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Gospel MK 1:40-45

A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said,
“If you wish, you can make me clean.”
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched the leper, and said to him,
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.
Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything,
but go, show yourself to the priest
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them.”
The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.
He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.
He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

Baptism of the Lord: Homily from January 13, 2019, Mass at 7:30am at Sacred Heart

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Gospel  LK 3:15-16, 21-22

The people were filled with expectation,
and all were asking in their hearts
whether John might be the Christ.
John answered them all, saying,
“I am baptizing you with water,
but one mightier than I is coming.
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

After all the people had been baptized
and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying,
heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him
in bodily form like a dove.
And a voice came from heaven,
“You are my beloved Son;
with you I am well pleased.”

Baptism of the Lord 2019: Prayers of the Faithful

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January 13, 2019

Baptism of the Lord

Let us pray as the baptized of God to become a light to the nations, to offer sight to the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us listen attentively to the Holy Spirit as we live out our baptismal call within the delicate fabric of our families, and among the complicated relationships of our workplaces.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray unceasingly for the mission and renewal of the Church. May our baptism come alive in the world for people facing terminal disease, unexpected hardship and lasting loneliness.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray that nations may work together to protect clean water and provide adequate drinking water for all people. Let us rely on God for our basic needs so to live with hope for tomorrow.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for all of our children and grandchildren who have been baptized this past year. Let us accompany God’s beloved through moments of doubt, hardship and turmoil. May we become prophetic witnesses of hope for all people.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for our brothers and sisters who have died, that the Holy Spirit may guide them into their eternal home. For all people who grieve and those who search for meaning and hope here on earth. At this Mass…

We pray to the Lord.


Text and Painting: Ronald Raab, CSC

Baptism of the Lord 2019: Bulletin cover and column

jan. 13, 2019 bulletin coverDear Believers,

We celebrate the Baptism of the Lord today, a feast that marks the end of the Christmas season. This feast propels Jesus into his ministry and we will follow him into his life of miracles, healings and parables. Jesus’ baptism foreshadows our life in Christ, through his passion, death and resurrection.

Baptism is our second birth. We belong to Christ. Our relationship with Christ through baptism forms our identity as Christians. As we listen to today’s gospel, Luke 3:15-16, 21- 22, John the Baptist is leading us to Jesus’ baptism. John expresses his humility and shows us that Jesus will be baptized in the Holy Spirit and fire. We also hear the voice of the Father, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Jesus’ baptism closes out the season of the Incarnation. Jesus is already thirty years old. The message here is that the Incarnation is continually revealed within us through the Real Presence of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit through our baptism. We live out our commitment to Christ every day in our prayer, our actions and our posture toward justice and peace.

The Father calls Jesus his beloved Son. This message is in the depths of our own baptism. We are loved by God, called to reveal the mission of the Church in our generation, in our time and circumstances, within our lives and relationships. Each of us is the beloved of God. This message is incredibly important. Along the way, many people have received just the opposite messages from the Church. People have been told that they do not belong in the Church because of their economic status, because of the language they speak or because of the color of their skin. None of those things are our Christian identity. Our baptism tells us a different story; we belong in Christ Jesus through our baptism.

When we enter our churches, we dip our hands into the baptismal or holy water font. This action shows us that we belong to Christ. Over and over again, we live for others because of the sacrament of baptism. We live in our world striving to remain connected to God, connected to our communities that serve without reservation. The sacrament of baptism connects us to Christ, heals our divisions, forgives our sins, and shows us how to believe in God throughout our lives.

I invite you to Vespers this Friday, January 18, 2019. Friday begins the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The service will be at Sacred Heart Church beginning at 6:30pm. Andy Barton, from Catholic Charities, and Kristy Milligan, from Westside CARES, will speak during our prayer. I hope you can join us to celebrate our common baptism, the ways in which we all belong to the mission and healing power of Christ Jesus.

We desperately need to foster our common voice as Christians to work for our common good. We need to ponder the depth; the mystery of our own baptism lived in our world. Our common identity as Christians, no matter our denomination shows the world that Christ is alive and thriving in our world.

Blessings to you,

Fr. Ron


Epiphany: Homily from 9:00am Mass at Sacred Heart, January 6, 2019

Here is a link to my homily today, for Epiphany.  (The first few sentences are missing. This is an experiment with technology today)

Gospel Mt 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea,
for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel.”

Then Herod called the magi secretly
and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,
“Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word,
that I too may go and do him homage.”
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.

Saint Andre Bessette: Video clip from “God’s Doorkeeper”

Brother Andre died on January 6, 1937. He was canonized on October 17, 2010. I invite you to view this six-minute clip from “God’s Doorkeeper,” an hour long documentary of Brother Andre, created by Salt and Light Media in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The documentary clip is the portions taped at Saint Andre Church in Portland, OR. Permission granted for this clip from Salt and Light Media.

Saint Andre’s memorial is January 6. However, because today is Sunday, it is celebrated tomorrow, January 7. We will show the full documentary today after the 9am Mass at Sacred Heart Church. Below is the clip:



Saint Andre Bessette: Painting by Ronald Raab, CSC. Image published in AIM Magazine 2018

Saint Andre held people’s suffering in his heart. He met hundreds of people daily. He slept only a few hours nightly because he spent the night praying for people whom he had met that day.

Andre is a spiritual mentor of mine. I ache for such healing in our world today. I pray for the mentally ill, the desperate poor, the lonely heart and the angry soul to meet the promise of God’s love and healing grace.

Today, I invite you to pray for such healing, for your own life and for those whom you have never met. Saint Andre, pray for us.

Epiphany 2019: Prayers of the Faithful

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The Epiphany of the Lord

January 6, 2019

Let us pray to open our eyes to the splendor of Christ Jesus. Let us put away our deeds of darkness and uncover hope for all people on earth. Let us use our gifts for the well being of others.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for the healing mission of the Catholic Church. That we may learn to touch our human suffering of physical hardships and mental illness, where Christ Jesus shines on our poor and forgotten.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray to live the prophetic life of the Gospel. Let us wake up from our human complacency and bear the mystery of justice and love for all people. May hope live on our earth.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for our pilgrimage of faith on earth. Let us learn to follow the light of Christ Jesus when darkness overwhelms us. Let us journey to Christ with service to our neighbors.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for the Congregation of Holy Cross and the intercession of Saint Andre Bessette. Let us offer our suffering to the Cross of Christ. When we are weak and tired, let us cling to God’s healing love and mercy.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us find comfort and consolation as our loved ones journey to the light of heaven. We pray for all our beloved dead. At this Mass…

We pray to the Lord.