Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

As I write this eBulletin I am at Zephyr Point Presbyterian Retreat Property for the annual San Jose Diocesan Youth Retreat (DYR). It is a beautiful place but what is even more beautiful is the experience that happens here with the youth. They experience the love of Christ in ways that they never have before!…

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Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Last Saturday we celebrated the graduation of our eighth-grade students from St. Simon Parish School.  It was a wonderful occasion for all of us. They chose the scripture passage for their Graduation Mass about Christ being the light for the world and how we are called to be the light of the world.   I…

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The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

As we celebrate the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ this Sunday, we reflect more deeply on the profound mystery and gift of the Eucharist. It is the cornerstone of our Catholic faith, and we believe that it is the “font and summit of our shared faith.” As the Church celebrate this gift…

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The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

This weekend, as we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, we are invited to reflect deeply on the central mystery of our faith: the loving relationship of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The doctrine of the Trinity is not just a theological concept but a revelation of God as a…

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Pentecost Sunday

As I write this bulletin article, I am just returning from our annual Clergy Study Week in San Juan Bautista. It has been quite a busy week – exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. It is always good to get away with the other priests and spend some time in fraternity while studying together…

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Seventh Sunday of Easter

This Sunday, we gather to celebrate a pivotal moment in our faith: the Ascension of the Lord. This event marks not just a physical ascent but a profound transformation within the early Church. The days from the Resurrection to the Ascension were charged with awe, as the disciples experienced the joy of Christ’s presence anew.…

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SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

When we feel loved for who we are, and not what we do or what we have or what we look like, it changes us inside. When someone loves us deeply and we feel it inside, it changes our whole world! We gain a self-security that changes us forever. We stand taller, we talk more…

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Fifth Sunday of Easter

It’s an exciting day at St. Simon! Later today, Bishop Oscar Cantú will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation with the teens of St. Simon Parish. It will be a wonderful moment of grace in their lives. I am deeply grateful to the hundreds of you that took the time to write a personal note to…

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Fourth Sunday of Easter

This weekend as we gather to celebrate and reflect, we are called to focus on the beautiful imagery of Christ as our Good Shepherd. The Gospel of John reminds us that Jesus is the Good Shepherd who knows His sheep intimately and calls us each by name. In a world brimming with distractions, His voice…

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Third Sunday of Easter

As we gather on this Third Sunday of Easter, we continue to celebrate the joyous season that illuminates the mighty works of God through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. I continue to hear from parishioners how much they loved the Holy Week celebrations and Easter itself. It was so very memorable and meaningful for me,…

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Second Sunday of Easter

As we gather this Divine Mercy Sunday, on the octave of Easter, our hearts are filled with immense joy and gratitude. Last week, our celebration of Easter Masses was a truly inspiring testament to the vibrancy and faith of our community. The sight of our church filled to the brim, with not a single seat…

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Easter Sunday – The Resurrection of the Lord

As we gather this Divine Mercy Sunday, on the octave of Easter, our hearts are filled with immense joy and gratitude. Last week, our celebration of Easter Masses was a truly inspiring testament to the vibrancy and faith of our community. The sight of our church filled to the brim, with not a single seat…

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Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

As we gather this Passion Sunday, also known as Palm Sunday, we immerse ourselves in the profound mysteries of our faith, marking the beginning of Holy Week. This year, through the lens of Mark’s Gospel (Mark 14:1—15:47), we are invited to contemplate the dramatic journey of Jesus—from His triumphant entry into Jerusalem to His crucifixion.…

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Fifth Sunday of Lent

The great Catholic theologian and philosopher Bernard Lonergan suggested that the human soul does not come into the world as a tabla rasa, a pure, clean sheet of paper onto which anything can be written. Rather, we are born with first principles indelibly stamped inside our souls.  Fr. Ron Rolhesier states that “classical theology and philosophy name…

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Fourth Sunday of Lent

As we journey through the season of Lent, the Fourth Sunday offers us profound insights into the nature of God’s love and the essence of our Christian calling. This year, Cycle B readings illuminate our path with themes of reconciliation, love, and the transformative power of light in our lives. They seemed to flow straight…

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Third Sunday of Lent

This Sunday we will use the readings for Cycle A as we celebrate the first of the scrutinies for the Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) process for the candidates and the Elect who are joining our Church and becoming full members of our community.   The encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the…

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Second Sunday of Lent

As we continue our Lenten journey, we are reminded of the importance of deepening our spiritual lives and drawing closer to God. In the Gospel of Mark (Mark 9:2-10), we encounter the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain. Peter, James, and John are granted a glimpse of Jesus’ divine glory, and they hear the voice…

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First Sunday of Lent

As we gather together on this first Sunday of Lent, we embark on a sacred journey marked by reflection, repentance, and renewal. Our Lenten journey began on Ash Wednesday, a solemn day where we received ashes in the shape of the cross on our foreheads, reminding us of our mortality and the need for penance…

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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This weekend, we will celebrate the Sacrament of Anointing at all Masses this weekend. We encourage all parishioners who may need spiritual and physical healing to come forward right after the homily to receive this anointing and prayers from the community. We also ask you to invite any Catholic neighbor or friend who is in…

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FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

As we gather on this fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time, we are filled with gratitude for the many blessings that have graced our parish community in recent weeks. We have witnessed the amazing success of the Fr. Murray Basketball Tournament, which not only showcased the talents of our youth but also exemplified the spirit of…

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Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Men’s faith sharing group meets on Thursday mornings and we are currently reading the book How to Know A Person by David Brooks. This week’s chapter has been particularly insightful and provocative. It challenges us to listen attentively to each other on a deeper level. We often project onto others what we want to…

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Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

As we approach the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, I find myself reflecting on the profound message in this week’s Gospel reading. In it, Jesus calls His first disciples with a simple, yet transformative command: “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of people.” This invitation, extended to ordinary fishermen, reminds us that…

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Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

This week we moved into the “Ordinary Time” of the Church liturgical calendar, and we only have a few weeks to settle into the routine of the new year before entering into the Lenten journey on February 14.   Today’s scripture readings for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time are some of my favorite bible…

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The Epiphany of the Lord

As we gather in celebration this Sunday for the feast day of the Epiphany, we find ourselves at the intersection of several beautiful gifts: the gift of a new year, the gift of the Three Kings’ journey and the gift of opening the new St. Simon Parish Youth Center. This convergence offers us a profound…

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Feast of the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary & Joseph

On Sunday, we will celebrate the Feast Day of the Holy Family, and Jesus, Mary and Joseph provide us with a model of love and unity. Their lives were centered on love: love for God, love for each other, and love for all humanity. In their humble dwelling in Nazareth, they showed us that love…

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The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)

Just over a year ago I led a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and our last site to visit was the Church of the Visitation where Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist. It seemed like an odd place to finish our pilgrimage as we had just finished…

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Third Sunday of Advent

As we enter the third week of Advent, the Church reminds us of the profound significance of joy and peace during this sacred season. Despite the hustle and bustle of these final days of Christmas preparation, it is essential that we not only seek but also live the message of joy and peace. I encourage…

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Second Sunday in Advent

Last weekend, we kicked off Advent with a wonderful Christmas Tree lighting ceremony along with the children’s choir singing carols getting us into the Christmas spirit. Families and friends enjoyed hot chocolate, Christmas cookies served by the student cheer squad. This will surely be a new annual tradition as we had 100’s of children and…

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First Sunday of Advent

As we gather on this First Sunday of Advent, we enter a season of profound anticipation and hope. Advent marks the beginning of the liturgical year, inviting us into a period of active waiting for the arrival of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This waiting is not passive or resigned but filled with purpose…

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The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

As we gather this weekend to celebrate Christ the King Sunday, we find ourselves amidst the joyous atmosphere of Thanksgiving. In the spirit of this special occasion, may we reflect on the importance of valuing and cherishing the incredible gifts that surround us—our families, friends, the precious gift of faith, and the often-overlooked gift of…

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Happy Thanksgiving 2023

As we gather together this Thanksgiving, our hearts are filled with gratitude for the countless blessings bestowed upon us by our loving and merciful God. We are reminded to cultivate a spirit of gratitude not only for the bountiful harvest on our tables but also for the abundant love, grace, and companionship that surround us…

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Thirty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

It is hard to believe that it is already Thanksgiving time of year but here we are again! It seems that it came around faster this year and maybe that it is true this year as the date is a little earlier than usual. I love this season of gratitude and the change of seasons…

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Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

I love this time of year as fall arrives and the days get shorter and become cooler, and the nights become longer and colder. The darkness brings its own rewards and the earth starts the process of renewal for another growing season in the spring. At the same time the liturgical year comes to an…

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Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Last weekend, we had over 250 people join us for our first annual St. Simon Parish Retreat, “Rekindle Your Spirit.” It was a wonderful weekend of energizing music, enriching sessions, and nourishing spaces for prayer throughout the campus. We were joined by Catholic composers and musicians, Francesca LaRosa, and Meredith Augustin. While we have not…

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Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In Sunday’s gospel we hear the Jewish leaders, the Pharisees, and Sadducees, who are trying yet again to catch Jesus at something to prosecute him. While their question, “What is the greatest command?” was meant to be a trick question, Jesus answered the way any good Jew would have answered. It is called Shema law,…

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Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Over 20 years ago when I was first ordained my brother Paul took early retirement and moved his family to Sacramento. I promised him I would visit often, and I did. I went once a week for a few months but then I became too busy, and I reduced my visits to twice a month,…

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Twenty Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

My heart is heavy as I write this. What a terrible week of news to hear and read! The Hamas horrific attack on Israel has unnerved us all. It was traumatizing to watch the evening news each day and to see the slaughter of innocent children and women. It is so hard to understand why…

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Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

As I continue to read this latest book “Learning How to See” by Brian McLaren, I am shocked about how it resonates with me and hits a nerve so readily. As I mentioned in last weekend’s homily (that I only published via email and podcast as I was not here in person—link here), McLaren lists…

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Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Over the past several weeks I have been talking about the St. Simon Retreat being held here on October 27 & 28. I have been asking people if they have ever been on a retreat and if so, what would they say to others who have never been on a retreat.   One couple said,…

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Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Last weekend we announced the first annual St. Simon Retreat. It is my hope that this becomes an annual opportunity for all parishioners to deepen their faith in God and grow in relationship with Jesus. Many parishioners after Sunday Masses asked me what exactly this retreat is about, and why they should attend. So, what…

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Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I am reading a book called “AWE: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How it Can Transform Your Life.” It is an inspirational read on life and a fresh take on many feelings and things we experience daily. It takes a scientific approach to something that we all feel on a regular basis—awe—and studies…

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Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Last weekend with Labor Day we celebrated the official end of summer here in the United States. When I first moved to California 30+ years ago, schools used to start their first day of school after this weekend but now we start school earlier in August. I’m not sure if this is a good thing…

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Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

This weekend we hear from the prophet Jeremiah and his prayer to the Lord that he duped him into doing his work and now he cannot help himself but speak in the Lord’s name  – even if it brings him much more grief, “I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will speak…

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Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Last Sunday I gave a short retreat of two hours to our catechists and ministers. Thank you to all who came and invited ministers from other parishes. I shared the highlights of the two books I plan to use as a guide for us in the year ahead as we re-group after the summer and…

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TWENTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

During the summer I spent time reading books and listening to lots of podcasts, all in an effort to rejuvenate my mind and heart. I read some great books and heard some amazing wisdom over these last few months, and I will try to share the highlights with you over the weeks and months ahead…

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Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

When I was growing up in Ireland with a household of 12 children, all of us had chores to do around the house. We called them “charges” as we were “in charge” or this or that. We all had multiple charges, some of which were always the same. For example, I cleaned the pots and…

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Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord

As you all know I just returned from part one of my vacation, three weeks traveling to Utah, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon hiking and visiting with family and friends. I usually try to take all four weeks of my vacation together but this year I could not do so as I had some commitments on…

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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Reflection by Fr. Thuc Si Ho

“…I give you a heart so wise and understanding…” (1 Kings 3: 12) Solomon is the third king of the people of Israel.  He reigned about forty years in the ninth century BCE.  In today’s First Reading, the story begins: “The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night.  God said, ‘Ask something of…

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Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Tijuana Update

As I write this eBulletin article, I am closing the day of work on Thursday in Tijuana for our mission trip here with 35 other missionaries of which eleven are from St. Simon Parish. It has been an amazing experience since we arrived here. Each day brings its own graces where we experienced Christ in…

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Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

It was such a joy to have our Vacation Bible School (VBS) in session this week with over 125 children in attendance along with 60 counselors from 7th-8th grades and our high school core team. The buzz on campus was wonderful and they learned all about how to let Jesus’ light shine in their hearts…

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Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In Sunday’s first reading, Jeremiah is struggling with where the Lord is in his life as it seems that all his enemies are delighting in his demise. Finally, after a dialogue with God in which God reviews with Jeremiah his presence always, he concludes that “The LORD is with me, like a mighty champion.” It…

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Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Most elementary and high schools finished classes over the last two weeks and now universities and colleges are finishing up too. It is a welcome change of pace for many as we head into the summer months. Most of us are ready for the change and eagerly anticipate a vacation of some sort or at…

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Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

When Albert Einstein was once asked if he could explain his theory of relativity in simple terms, he said “No, I cannot.” But he added, “If you come home with me, I will play it on the violin.” It sounds so simple, but the reality is some things are beyond simple explanations, but they can…

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The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

This weekend, our 8th grade class graduates from Saint Simon School and we are excited for them as they head off to high school. Many of the students have been here all 10 years of their elementary schooling and some joined in the last few years, but they are graduating as a class, a community…

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Pentecost Sunday

The feast of Pentecost is a feast about locked doors being blown open. It is about the doors of our hearts being blown open. Think about it, sometimes we are locked in patterns of the past and we are locked behind closed doors of fear or pain or unforgiveness.   This is illustrated well by…

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Seventh Sunday of Easter

At the beginning of this week, all the priests from the Diocese of San Jose were away at the San Juan Batista Retreat Center for clergy study days. It is usually a full week but as we had Bishop P.J McGrath’s funeral services, we came back early. While we were there, we reviewed the Synod’s…

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Sixth Sunday of Easter

On Sunday, May 7, Bishop Patrick J. McGrath, our bishop emeritus died. Bishop P.J.’s sudden death has caught us all by surprise. While he fell about two weeks ago and broke a vertebra in his back, the surgery was successful, and he was recovering well. Unfortunately, he developed pneumonia in one lung, and it spread…

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Fifth Sunday of Easter

Last weekend was an incredible weekend of community, ministry, and music. Francesca LaRosa and John Angotti gave a fantastic concert on Friday night with over 400 people present. Everyone was singing their hearts out and it was a wonderful celebration of faith! On Saturday morning, they gave a wonderful workshop that engaged nearly 100 cantors…

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Fourth Sunday of Easter

This weekend is often referred to as Good Shepherd Sunday as the gospel selection is always the metaphor of the Good Shepherd and his sheep from the Gospel of John. It highlights the importance of having an intimate relationship with Jesus. The image of a shepherd and his flock is a powerful one, emphasizing the…

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Third Sunday of Easter

The gospel reading for Sunday is one of my favorites from the Bible, the walk to Emmaus. For me, it is a model for all ministry in our modern world. Let me explain. This is a post-resurrection scene where Jesus appears to the two disciples walking away from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Bear in mind that…

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Sunday of Divine Mercy

Happy Easter! I have to say it was wonderful to see all the Masses full over the Easter weekend and indeed throughout all the Triduum celebrations. Thank you for coming in person. It was most definitely good for my soul to see a full church and I hope it was good for your soul too.…

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The Resurrection of the Lord, Easter Sunday

Happy Easter! Jesus is risen! Alleluia, Alleluia!   When I immigrated from Ireland to the USA thirty-four years ago, I remember both of my parents taking me to the airport and walking me to the gate (remember those days!). It was a beautiful moment because they were genuinely delighted for me to go and make…

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Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

On Tuesday, the clergy of the Diocese gathered for an afternoon of prayer before the Chrism Mass that evening. We do this every year in preparation for Holy Week. I always look forward to spending some time away with priests, praying together and learning from a reflection given by one of our brother priests. Over…

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Fifth Sunday of Lent

Many of us have things we would love to do or places we would love to visit. Some of these have not happened because the timing was not right, or we did not have the money. Maybe we have promised ourselves we will do them when the kids have finished college or when we retire.…

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Fourth Sunday of Lent

Keeping time…Sacred was indeed what we did at the Lenten retreat that we held this week with John Angotti. While the storms raged in our neighborhood and everyone around us lost power, we were fortunate to have electricity at the parish and so we were able to proceed with a powerful retreat about the preciousness…

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Third Sunday of Lent

Last weekend I had the great honor of giving a retreat to one of the largest parishes in the country at American Martyrs Parish, Manhattan Beach, CA. They have over 7,500 parish families, an elementary school of 720 students and six Masses on Sunday. The church is huge with seating capacity of 1,400 and all…

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Second Sunday of Lent

According to Henri Nouwen, “Living a spiritual life requires a change of heart, a conversion. Such a conversion may be marked by a sudden inner change, or it can take place through a long, quiet process of transformation. But it always involves an inner experience of oneness. We realize that we are in the center,…

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First Sunday of Lent

I have two friends who have a really bad sense of direction. They could drive out of their home garage, take a left turn, and be immediately lost! Seriously! It is extraordinary.    However, they both deal with it differently. One never admits he is lost and keeps driving. He takes a left turn, then…

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Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Last Saturday we celebrated our first in-person Auction since before the Covid pandemic. It was so wonderful to attend such an awesome event with nearly 500 parishioners enjoying each other’s company. It was the best year ever! Saint Simon community, you are amazing beyond belief! Thank you to all who came and supported by buying…

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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

One of the struggles of becoming seriously sick is that it is hard to keep your spirits up. In fact, a common side effect of any physical or emotional illness is we often slide into some form of mental illness, often without realizing it. One of the most common is mild depression. A prolonged delay…

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Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Last weekend we hosted the Fr. Murray Basketball Tournament, the first since 2020 and my first time to attend. Wow!  What an awesome event! It was so much fun to see the students compete and have fun. Our 8th grade girls travel team won the championship and played outstanding basketball. Indeed all our teams played…

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Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Last weekend I visited Rocklin, near Sacramento to give a retreat to SS Peter and Paul Parish on Saturday through Tuesday nights. It was the material I presented here at Saint Simon two years ago called, Cairns on the Second Mountain of Life, about how to recognize the cairns or markers on the life of…

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Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

Last Saturday we held a volunteer appreciation Mass followed by dinner and a concert with John Angotti to recognize our volunteers. It was our way of saying thank you to the many school and parish volunteers who have shared the gift of their time with us over the last three years throughout the pandemic period.…

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SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

I recently listened to a podcast with Bill Perkins, the author of the book called Die With Zero. It was a fascinating listen and the book should prove to be a great read. The basic thesis is to spend your money on things that bring fulfillment now and not just save it up till you…

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The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

On Tuesday, the parish office re-opened after Christmas break and we had our staff meeting. We hold semi-monthly meetings with the pastoral staff to keep each other connected and up to date with the various activities and ministry work going on in the parish. To build a positive staff culture, we share highs and lows…

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Solemnity of blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God

I hope you had a great Christmas with family and friends and found some time to  rest and take time off work during this week. If you were working, I hope you at least had some time to slow down just a little to absorb the profundity of the message of Christmas—God loves us so…

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The Nativity of the Lord

Hallelujah! Christ is born!    Christmas is finally here, and we now gather in churches all over the world to celebrate that the Word was made flesh and God chose to become one of us in Jesus Christ. Over the last two years we have been in a pandemic, something none of us expected during…

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Third Sunday of Advent

This week we continued our Advent Retreat series “Atomic Habits of Prayer” focusing on the third law of behavior change, Making It Easy and introduced the third stage of prayer called Listening to God.   We talked about how human behavior follows the Law of the Least Effort and we will all gravitate towards the…

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THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT

On Tuesday, we continued our Advent Prayer Retreat series called “Atomic Habits of Prayer.” I continued toggling between prayer as a discipline and prayer as an art and focused on the second law of behavior change, Making It Attractive for the discipline side and then introduced the second stage of prayer called Talking to God…

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SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

On Tuesday, we started the Advent Prayer Retreat series called “Atomic Habits of Prayer.” My point of focus in these sessions is to help you understand  prayer both as a discipline and art. The discipline is our task and the art is God’s gift. We need to understand both aspects to become the person of…

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First Sunday of Advent

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving Day with family and friends, and you didn’t eat too much food. I love Thanksgiving because I always get together with family sharing a meal, good conversation and yes even watching football. It is so good to be surrounded by love and share a glass of wine chatting…

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34th Sunday in Ordinary Time

I love this time of year in fall as the seasons change. Nature is resplendent with majesty and its ever-expansive range of colors as if to showcase the creativity of God. The days get shorter, and the nights get longer. While it is still warm during the days, the nights get progressively colder.  It is…

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

We are coming to the end of our liturgical year, and we finish reading from the Gospel of Luke which we have done over the last year. Starting in Advent, we will start reading from the Gospel of Matthew. Luke has a unique worldview, and he presents Jesus differently that the other gospels. Luke shows…

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32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Every now and then I get surprised by something, and it takes my breath away and I know I am in the presence of holiness. As many of you, I injured my knee, I’m not exactly sure when or where but it has been hurting badly, disabling me from hiking or even walking in the…

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THIRTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Over the last few days, John Angotti and I gave a new style of retreat in which we bantered back and forth about the Eucharist and God’s love for us with words of wisdom and songs of praise. This new format was well received with close to 100 parishioners attending each night in-person with an…

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THIRTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

After being in the Holy Land and seeing so much amazing and inspiring artwork, I was reminded how much I love going to Art Galleries and just walking around and taking in the beauty of other people’s creations. I am fascinated by the diversity of the artwork that is available these days but sometimes struggle…

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Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I am delighted to be back home after our pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It was a spectacular pilgrimage with so many new memories to reflect on for the next several months. While it was an exhausting two weeks, it was spiritually uplifting and an enriching experience for all of us. As I mentioned in…

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Twenty Eight Sunday in Ordinary Time

I am writing this bulletin article from Jerusalem in the middle of our pilgrimage. It has been an amazing journey for all of us and I hope you have been able to join us online on Facebook. Kim has done a great job chronicling our journey along the way and posted those photos each night.…

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A message from Fr. Chris

All Of God’s Creatures, Human and Non-Human, are interconnected BY FR. CHRIS I begin this message by asking all of us to pray for Floridians as this is the worst hurricane that Florida has ever experienced. At the time I am writing this message, more than 21 are dead in Florida from hurricane Ian, and…

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TWENTY SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

As many of you already know, on Monday night, I fly to Tel Aviv to lead a pilgrimage to the Holy Land for 12 days with 48 parishioners. I am very excited about finally being able to lead another pilgrimage, especially to the Holy Land. Pilgrimages are journeys to sacred places to deepen our faith…

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TWENTY FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Last Sunday after Mass a parishioner asked me, as an Irishman, what I thought of Queen Elizabeth and her dying. It is a great question with many layers. I responded by saying that after seventy years of being a leader she has certainly passed the test of time. She was a grace-filled woman who rose…

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Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

On Thursday of this week, the priests of the Diocese gathered at Our Lady of Peace Parish, Santa Clara for our annual presbyteral assembly to work on the common projects for the year ahead. This year we focused on the upcoming Diocesan Synod 2023 mirroring what Pope Francis has done for the global Church at…

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Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

It was so wonderful to see so many people at Masses last weekend as we launched the Children’s Faith Formation and Middle School Youth sessions. It was particularly lovely to hear the children making so much noise. One of the hardest things for me over the last two years of the pandemic was not seeing…

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Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

The more I know, the more I know that I don’t know. Or put more clearly, the older I get, the more I realize how little I know! It is not that I am not trying to learn but the more I learn the more I realize how little I really know. That is as…

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Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

I am happy to welcome back John Angotti this week. John held one-on-one musical sessions with our Parishioners and a concert for the school students this week that all enjoyed! The kids were up singing and dancing in the Church and turning to their neighbors to say, “I love you” – their energy was contagious!…

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Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

It is hard to believe but school is starting this week for many schools including our own SaintSimon Parish School. Summers seem to be getting shorter! I remember when school started after Labor Day weekend but alas that is years ago. Nevertheless, it is exciting to have the school back and see all the students…

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Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

As most of you know I just returned from vacation, and I am delighted to be home at Saint Simon again. I know I am not meant to have goals for vacation but that is the way I am wired. My goals were quite reasonable though: rest, read and hike. I am happy to say…

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Tijuana Ministry Update from Joan Mibach

During the week of July 17th, 25 travelers joined the Tijuana Ministry mission trip sponsored and organized by BASICS, Brothers and Sisters in Community Service.  This is the 11th year that St. Simon Parish has been an integral part of this mission trip.  We had not been to Tijuana on Mission since 2019 and, out…

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A Message from Fr. Thuc

A few weeks ago, after one of the Sunday Masses, a parishioner came to me expressing her desire to be a greeter at Mass.  She shared with me that for a while she had discerned that God really wanted her to help others.  In the process of discernment, she realized that she had been blessed…

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A Message from Fr. Chris

We are All called to Evangelize… The Church exists purely for the mission of evangelizing. In other words, to evangelize is the nature and character of the Church. This mission belongs not only to the ordained Ministers but to all baptized.  At the beginning of Christ’s Ministry, He appointed twelve apostles to assist him in…

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A Message from Fr. Chris

Thank you, St. Simon Pastor and Parishioners. I arrived back at St. Simon Church Saturday morning, June 25th, after a month of vacation. Most of the time was spent in my home country, Nigeria. I had not visited Nigeria for two and half years, partly due to Covid-19 Pandemic, so it was enjoyable to be…

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Fourtheenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Happy 4th of July weekend!  I hope that you have a great time with family and friends at any BBQ you attend. I ask you to pause at some point in the celebrations and remember this great country of ours and genuinely pray for it and all our people and institutions. Our democracy is more…

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Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I want to begin this eBulletin with a huge thank you to Tamami Honma for all her hard work in recruiting and preparing all the bands, musicians, and singers for last week’s Concert for Peace. It was simply a fantastic concert on every level. I cannot say enough about the San Francisco Brass Band and…

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The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

When I was a young boy I had a friend who was ambidextrous. When writing, he could take the pen and begin a sentence with one hand and finish the sentence with his other hand without telling the difference in his handwriting. I wanted to do the same so I started to write with my…

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Most Holy Trinity Sunday

I am currently finishing a book called “Living in the Flow” by Sky Nelson-Isaacs. It is a book about the intersection of quantum mechanics and faith. One of the questions it attempts to answer: Is the Universe friendly? In a faith community, we would ask it differently: Why do bad things happen to good people?…

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Pentecost Sunday

Today as you read this email, we will be in the middle of the graduation Mass for Saint Simon Parish School. It is always a special occasion to graduate a class from elementary school but this year even more so because these young men and women have endured over two years of covid restrictions that…

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Ascension Sunday

This week has been another shock to our system as we heard the horrifying news of the massacre of 21 innocent children and teachers in Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, Texas. It is devastating to watch the damage done to that whole community. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of those who were…

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Sixth Sunday of Easter

Over the last few days, the Mental Health Ministry team called Hope & Wellness Ministry and Michelle Nealon, Joan Mibach, and I attended the first National Catholic Mental Health Conference at the Jesuit Retreat House, Los Altos. It was an excellent conference, and I am sure that I will be preaching and teaching more about…

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Fifth Sunday of Easter

Last week all the priests of the Diocese of San Jose gathered in San Juan Bautista for our Annual Clergy Study Week. It is always good for us to take time away and engage in some formation as priests. It is  the only time every year that we get to spend time together in fellowship.…

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Fourth Sunday of Easter

Celebrating Mother’s Day is always a wonderful opportunity to express our affection for our mothers and demonstrate our love for them if they are still alive. But it can also be a difficult day if we have a broken relationship with our mother as it seems everyone else is celebrating a harmonious relationship. It can…

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Third Sunday of Easter

I am currently reading a book by the great Irish poet and theologian, John O’Donohue called “Beauty” and it speaks of how we can discover divine beauty in all things. At this time of year when spring is unfolding its grandeur, there is so much beauty to be seen that it is not hard to…

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Second Sunday of Easter

After a week of incarceration and isolation in my room, I finally tested negative for Covid-19 and I am on the mend. While my energy is not 100% yet, I am feeling much better and I am back to quasi-normal. Thank you for your prayers. I will continue to take it easy for a few…

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Easter Sunday

For the last several weeks I have given the retreat, From Here to Eternity: How to Live and Die Well. Through those sessions I explored in detail what our faith tells us about what happens when we die and indeed what happens in the dying process. I outlined the needs of the dying and how…

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Sixth Sunday of Lent

As I begin this eBulletin article, I want to thank Kim Karmirantzos for her hard work and dedication to our Parish in her role as Pastoral Associate for Community Engagement and Communications. She has done a fantastic job over the years and worked especially hard over the last two years during the COVID pandemic. She…

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Fifth Sunday of Lent

On Tuesday, we continued with our Lenten retreat called From Here to Eternity: How to Live and Die Well. During this third session, I again talked about death as the birthing process into eternal life and our roles as midwives to our loved ones. To this well, we need to know more about the dying…

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Fourth Sunday of Lent

Last Tuesday, we continued our Lenten retreat called From Here to Eternity: How to Live and Die Well. During this second session, I emphasized that death is more a birth into eternal life than the end of our earthly life. As such, then our role as disciples of Christ is to help those dying to…

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Third Sunday of Lent

Last Tuesday, we started the Lenten retreat called From Here to Eternity: How to Live and Die Well. During this first session, I covered our Catholic belief in the resurrection and the communion of saints and how those affect our approach to death itself. If we know we are destined for eternity life, then the…

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Second Sunday of Lent

I just arrived back from St. Monica’s Parish in Santa Monica, CA where I presented to them the Cairns on the Second Mountain of Life retreat that I gave at St. Simon’s last year. It was very well received and lots of people came to the sessions each night. It was a particularly healing trip…

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First Sunday of Lent

All of this weekend and next week, I am away giving a retreat at St. Monica Parish, Santa Monica, CA. It will be the retreat I gave last year here at St. Simon, Cairns on the Second Mountain of Life, with some modifications to localize it. St. Monica Parish is a mega parish with over…

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Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Over the last several weeks, I have shared some insights about the mental health continuum and how important it is that we become aware of what contributes to good mental wellness. Last week, I shared how traumas can often cause us to slide down the continuum, sometimes without us becoming aware of it.   I…

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Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

As we continue our short 4-minute series on the mental health ministry Hope & Wellness, we will now focus our attention on how we move from the wellness part of the mental health continuum to the illness part of the continuum. While it is more complex than we will lay out, there are some basics…

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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

On Friday, February 11, the Church celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the World Day of the Sick. It is a recognition of the importance to pray and care for those who are ill in our community and in our world. Jesus always had a preferential option for the sick and constantly…

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Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“The Joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ, joy is constantly born anew…I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy,…

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Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I recently read an article about the distinction between our private lives and our public lives and it affects the community at large. I found it provocative and I want to share some of it with you as we reflect on the power of community. Fr. Ron Rolhesier says, that “No one is an island;…

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Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Over the last many months, many of us have heard about the Global Synod on Synodality but we have heard little in our own local Diocese of San Jose. What we do hear seems to be confusing! So let me spend a few moments trying to explain some of the different aspects of what will…

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Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

I am not sure if you have ever visited the famed John Muir National Forest. It is about 1.5 hours away depending on traffic and has some beautiful old sequoia trees some of which are 1,000 years old. It is a beautiful national treasure along with many other places to hike and enjoy nature.  …

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Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

I just arrived back from Ireland today and it was a bittersweet experience. Bitter because of the nature of the trip—to preside at the memorial service for my brother Paul so all our family and friends back there could gather and mourn the loss. Sweet because it was good to be back in Ireland surrounded…

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Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

What can be said of 2021? It was a tough year for all of us for sure and yet it was also full of grace and light. As Charles Dickens once said, it was the best of times and the worst of times. That is certainly true for many of us—2021 was a great year…

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Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus

Recently when I visited the students in our school classrooms, one of the children asked me what was my favorite season of the liturgical year? I immediately said it was Christmas. I explained that it is not only because I love to decorate my home with lots of Christmas trees and lights, but also because…

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Fourth Sunday of Advent

As I write this bulletin article, my room is full of cards, flowers and baked goods from families and parishioners of St. Simon Church and School.  Also, my inbox is full of countless emails. The outpouring of love since the loss of my brother, Paul, and my spiritual director, Fr. Dave, has left me speechless.…

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Third Sunday of Advent

They say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” In my experience, that is so true. If we do not want to see beauty, we will NOT see it. Even if we do want to see beauty, it is hard enough to see it! Yet we ought to try hard to see the…

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Second Sunday of Advent

As you already know this week has been a difficult week for me. On Monday night my mentor-friend and spiritual director, Fr. Dave Ayotte, died after a yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer. Then on Tuesday afternoon, after a 6+ month battle with pancreatic cancer, my closest brother and best friend, Paul died. It was the…

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First Sunday of Advent

I hope you had some quality time with family and friends over the Thanksgiving holidays celebrating the many gifts we share as a nation, as families and as a community. It has been a strange and difficult year with the pandemic lingering longer than anyone would have guessed and the long-term effects of this pandemic…

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Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Last week at all Masses, the Finance Council presented the financial report for the year ended June 30, 2021 and it was also sent via email to all parishioners.  It is important that we all read the financial update carefully and be aware of the great work we have accomplished in the last year in…

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Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Times

As you might remember from the retreat on the Eucharist we just completed that one of the important aspects of the liturgy of the Eucharist is music. It is not just an optional element but a constitutive element of the whole liturgy. While we have four processional songs (gathering, preparation, communion, and recessional) music is…

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Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

On Tuesday night, we concluded our retreat, Living the Eucharist: Circle of Life. We reviewed the four previous movements of the Gathering, the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and the Sending Forth. Then we focused on the challenges that come from these sessions especially in light of the pandemic and the…

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Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

On Tuesday night, we continued our retreat, Living the Eucharist: Circle of Life. After having gone through the three previous movements of the Gathering, the Liturgy of the Word, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we moved onto the last movement of the Sending Forth. The center of the first Gathering movement was humility and…

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Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I just got back from our Annual Clergy Retreat and it was good to be away praying together. We all realized how much this past 18 months of pandemic has taken out of us and how much we need to come away and renew ourselves in Christ. Thank you for your patience while we were…

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Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

On Tuesday nights at 7:00 pm, we continue the retreat on Living the Eucharist: Circle of Life.  This week, we went through the second movement of the Eucharist about the Liturgy of the Word. We walked through the critical elements of this movement and how God comes at us in the four different scripture passages:…

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Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

On Tuesday nights at 7 pm, we continue the retreat on Living the Eucharist: Circle of Life. Last week, we went through the importance of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist; not only in the consecrated bread and wine, but also in the Word proclaimed, the people gathered, and in the priest. This…

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Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

On Tuesday night, I started our new retreat series called Living the Eucharist: Circle of Life and I had a real audience. It was lovely to have people in the Church as I presented. After giving 26 retreat sessions over the last year during the pandemic, this was the first session to have people with…

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Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This Tuesday, September 28, at 7-8pm, we will start the new Retreat series called Living the Eucharist: Circle of Life. There will be in-person live audience and we will also livestream it for those who cannot come in person.  On Wednesdays, I will host a zoom call to break open the material a little more…

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Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Last weekend it was wonderful to see so many parishioners gather for the Fall BBQ. It was the first time that many of you had been on campus in person since the beginning of the pandemic and for many more the first time you had seen each other in person. There was such excitement and…

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Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Times

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the horrific terrorist attack on the United States and the collapsing of the World Trade Towers on 9/11/01. Over the last week, we have seen these images replayed on television and we remember what occurred then and how it affected so many lives since. Most of us remember exactly…

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Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

As I write this article, I am in Lourdes on pilgrimage with my brother Paul, his wife Maria and a number of other parishioners from St. Simon along with the Order of Malta’s annual pilgrimage to Lourdes. We arrived late Wednesday after a long day of travel which was hardest on the Malades (those who…

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Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus saves his harshest words for the Pharisees and the religious leaders of his time. When they challenged him, he would regularly accuse them of being “hypocrites” as they consistently say one thing but did another.  Jesus was brutal on them and in Sunday’s gospel; he is particularly harsh. Why does he do this? Mostly…

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Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week, St. Simon School welcomed back all our students to in-person learning. It was so exciting to see so many kids on campus again.  I was delighted to see them playing in the schoolyard and learning in the classrooms again. We are off to a great start. Of course, we need to remain vigilant…

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Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The summer break is over; school starts this week for many of us, but for others it has already started! For some students, this is great news and for others it is a disappointment. But for all the parents I know, it is welcome news. Most everyone I know is excited to have their children…

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Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

While it is great to be back home from vacation, it was a disappointment to see an increase in COVID cases with this new Delta variant. On Tuesday, we were notified of the new Santa Clara County health order for wearing masks for all indoor activities again. This does not change our current policy here…

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Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today is the last day of July and it is the Feast Day for St. Ignatius Loyola. Jesuits all over the world will be celebrating this day with great reverence this year as it is his 500th anniversary. On this day, it is worth noting that Jesuits have made a huge impact on our Church…

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Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

In today’s Gospel, we read that Jesus raised his eyes and saw a large crowd coming to him (cf. John 6: 1-15).  This image caught my eyes. As I have reflected on it, I accepted that Jesus was already longing to be with the crowd. By raising his eyes, Jesus was ready to welcome and…

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Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

THE COVID-19 -PANDEMIC AND SILVER LINING IN ST. SIMON COMMUNITY By Fr. Christopher Bologo INTRODUCTION: The havoc Covid-19 pandemic has caused the world is unimaginable. By my calculation, it will take five to ten years for the full impact of the pandemic to be known. The damage is to the economy, people’s spiritual lives, politics,…

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Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Tijuana Ministry Update – July 2021 St. Simon Parish has traveled with the Tijuana Ministry immersion mission program for ten years.  About 350 members from our parish, along with others throughout our Diocese, have traveled to the La Morita area on the far outskirts of Tijuana where we encounter, serve, and work with the poorest…

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Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

As I head out on vacation and celebrate my first-year anniversary, I wanted to thank you again for a wonderful year as your pastor. The more I reflect on this last year, the more I am amazed at what we accomplished together. It has been truly a blessing. From the multiple iterations of Mass, inside…

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Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

There are times in our lives when we need inspiration to live closer to Christ’s call to love. One way to be inspired is to go on pilgrimage. A pilgrimage is a journey to a sacred place to deepen our faith through prayer and experience. People have been taking pilgrimages for centuries and they have…

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Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I always find Father’s Day a bittersweet experience for me. On one hand, it is sweet because I remember the love that my father shared with all of us as a family. On the other hand, it is bitter because my dad died twenty-five years ago, and I still miss him. I still marvel at…

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Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Finally, we received some good news from the State and County government about the COVID-19 restrictions effective June 15, 2021. Most of California has returned to the lowest yellow tier allowing us to return inside for worship more fully. Consequently, I am delighted to say effective June 15, we will move all daily Masses (6:30am…

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Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

On Saturday morning, the St. Simon class of 2021 will graduate. Many of these students have been at St. Simon School all ten years of their elementary school and they have a tight bond. Fortunately, I have gotten to know the class quite well through the process of the Sacrament of Confirmation. They are a…

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Solemnity of The Most Holy Trinity

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, and we try to say something about the doctrine of the Trinity. I believe that Hilary of Poitiers said it best when he spoke about how the Church “defines” the Most Holy Trinity as attempting to define something that is it not containable in…

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Pentecost Sunday

On Thursday, May 20, 2021 the Jesuits began a celebration recognizing the 500th anniversary of St. Ignatius’ conversion experience and the start of the Jesuits as we know them. It marks the beginning of a yearlong celebration of the Society of Jesuits and the contributions they have made to society and the Church.   On…

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7th Sunday of Easter

The priests of the parish just arrived back from San Juan Bautista after spending the week with all the clergy of the diocese for our Annual Clergy Study Week. This was the first time we have gathered as clergy in over 17 months and it was a great week for all of us. We needed…

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6th Sunday of Easter

On Thursday, I visited the pre-K at the school, and I read a book to the students and their mothers. The children’s book was called “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch and beautifully illustrated by Sheila McGraw. I had never read it before and I was not prepared for the ending; I cried like a…

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5TH Sunday of Easter

Recently I read an article from Fr. Ron Rolheiser speaking about anger and how prevalent it is in our society today. He says, “That most of us operate, however unconsciously, out of anger and this shows itself in our constant criticism of others, in our cynicism, in our jealousy of others, in our bitterness, and…

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4th Sunday of Easter – Good Shepherd Sunday

Today is often called Good Shepherd Sunday because we hear from the Gospel of John in which Jesus reminds us that he is the “Good Shepherd” who never abandons his sheep. He assures his disciples, and us, that there are others who claim to lead the sheep but will run away at the first sight…

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3rd Sunday of Easter

In our culture we have an abundance. We have so many things at our disposal that it can be hard to know what to pay attention to. Even within one of these many things we can be inundated with choices. A great example is sports: we have an abundance of choices depending on our inclination…

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Second Sunday of Easter

The mystics maintain that there are two primary paths of transformation in this life. The first is the path of prayer and love and the second is the path of suffering. Most people want the first path but get the second path. Unfortunately, most of us are not well equipped to respond to the path…

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Easter Sunday

Christ is Risen! Alleluia! It is so hard to believe that we have been in lockdown for over a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on our personal and professional lives, it has also devastated our economy and it will take us a long time to recover. But…

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Palm Sunday

I recently read that we will never fully penetrate the mystery of God’s revelation in Jesus until we realize that most of Jesus’ life was hidden; even his three “public” years were invisible to most people. On Passion Sunday we enter into Holy Week, the holiest of weeks for Christians, as we celebrate the three…

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5th Sunday of Lent

Yesterday we celebrated the Feast of St. Joseph, patron saint of our Diocese and it opens a year of celebrations recognizing the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the Diocese of San Jose. Last night we began with a Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph. The pandemic limited our attendance at the Jubilee celebration to…

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4th Sunday of Lent

It is hard to believe that one year ago this week, our County of Santa Clara was the first county in the nation to “Shelter in Place.” With no precedent for this action, we were all in shock and afraid to even leave our homes. We were told it would be for 3 weeks and…

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3rd Sunday of Lent

Even though the pandemic continues, we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with vaccinations reaching our elderly, our teachers and more essential workers. This week we heard that every adult will have vaccinations available to them by the end of May. What a relief! On top of this news,…

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2nd Sunday of Lent

Last week, we began our Lenten series on Forgiveness: A Journey from Hurt to Freedom and I began by walking towards the “first cairn of this Second Mountain” namely, to become more self-aware of our need for forgiveness in our own lives. One of the critical steps to understanding unforgiveness in our lives and why we remain…

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