"Christ loved the

church and gave himself up for her"

                                                                   -EPHESIANS 5:25

things, in the House of God, with other members of the Body of Christ, what chance to we have to change the secular, immoral world.  If we can’t change the culture of the parish, we can’t change the culture outside of her. Jesus asks us to love our enemies, but we seem to have a hard enough time, even noticing, acknowledging, greeting, or finding out the names of those other members of God’s family, some of which we’ve seen week after week for many years.


       We cannot fail to do our part, to along with the other families of God’s family, act more like a family. We become a much better place, and a stronger Christian family, when everyone comes together for a family meal and eternal sacrifice every Sunday, and don’t just rush out, unaffected, as if nothing happened, without even a word to the other members of God’s family. Aided by the great reverence for and graces from the Holy Mass, we must align our perspective of our parish closer to God’s great plan for us, and treat the members of our parish as members of our own family of faith. For families know, care for, communicate with, always welcome, help, teach with charity, and love each other, whether they always agree with each other or fall short in certain areas, as we all do.


       Once we realize that the mission of this parish family is to be holy, humble, joyful witnesses of Christ in order to achieve salvation not only for ourselves, but for all our other family members, even bringing others into the fullness of this family of Christ, then our whole parish culture will change. Once each of our families begins to work toward this common God-given goal of both loving God and neighbor, right in our own parishes, be it at Mass, School, Religious Education as well as every parish ministry, function, and event, we will be not merely a “functional family”, but the living example of what it means to be a family according to the design of our Creator. Beginning this year, let us work to bring this family of families closer together by getting to know and genuinely care for each other, as Christ did, strengthening this family of God so that one day we may be united with Him in heaven.


       That’s why God gave us the family. And just as salvation of the world came through the family, its reclamation shall also come through the family, through faithful Catholic families transforming their parishes into places not only of worship, but of Christian hospitality, community, fidelity and support. Once we begin to transform our parishes into the unified, joyful, dynamic, places they were meant to be, reinvigorating the practicing Catholics and seeking out the lost sheep, then we can harness the awesome divine/human power of the Church to be the bold, zealous defender of faith and morals, and we, her members the small flames of goodness to re-enkindle the once-Christian culture.


      When families transfigure their parish into a family of families, rather than the sterile, tepid, unwelcoming places of worship too many have become, everything will change. When the church is no longer the place where people arrive late and rush out early from Mass without even a word to another member of the family of God, everything will change. When our parishes act like a family, conveying that we are all united together not by mere blood, but by the very Body and Blood of Christ, everything will change. When each person, group, committee, and ministry no longer myopically focuses on their fiefdoms, pet projects or single issue of interest, and sees the universal nature of the Church and its mission to evangelize and bring salvation to all, animating all that we, as different, fragmented groups do, everything will change.  And if we can't even do these

The Church: A Family Of Families

      The family restored to the image it was created to be, fully alive and flourishing in both the spiritual and material domains, animated by and reflecting the love of Christ, is the catalyst to change the world. That’s why the family has been under such an incredible attack, and is in such a broken and wounded state, due to pornography, no-fault divorce, sex-education, secularism, contraception, abortion, low-birth rates, pre and extra-marital sex, homosexual unions, children born out of wedlock, low marriage rates, statism, impurity, immodesty, and robbing our children of their innocence, among others. We first need to heal ourselves and our families, which healing only God and His Church can provide, so that our families can become the most intimate, personal, most basic agents of goodness, joy, and love, attracting, inviting, and transforming others, the Church and eventually the entire culture. To accomplish this monumental task, we need the fellowship and support of other authentic Christian families trying to live out their faith, but mostly the grace of God, to bless and magnify our humble efforts, and accomplish great things in building up the family of God. We need these small faithful family of families to gather in each others’ homes, as did the very first faithful Christians, and then go forth and become the leaven for both the Church and the culture. 

       Before our Church can reclaim its mantle and again become the bulwark against immorality and spiritual stronghold against evil, she too must be renewed, purified, and refined. As promised, she has been kept free from error by the Holy Spirit, but unfortunately her leaders and practitioners have more than made up for her doctrinal purity. For we have become a house divided, between liberals and conservatives, between unfaithful and faithful, practicing and non-practicing, social justice Catholics and pro-life Catholics, but mostly between those who actually believe in the miraculous and supernatural and those who don't. More than ever, we need to reunite and reignite our parishes, as we need as many religious and culture warriors as we can, to not only stem the losses, but to reclaim for Christ what is rightfully His. We need to be a united church, centered on and animated by the Eucharist, in an active, all-in Catholicism, in far too short supply today.  For would the Early Church have spread beyond Judea, with the type of passive, divided, bland Catholicism we practice today, or did they need the zealous apostles, courageous martyrs, and faithful families who risked their lives by celebrating Masses in their homes. How many of us would die today for what is all too often a tepid, timid faith too afraid to offend?