From the Gospel of Luke 4:1-13. One of the greatest temptations human beings face is leaving the truth of who they are, where they came from and who created them in pursuit of more personal satisfactions. When we consider all that desires our attention in a given day, there are many lures that attract us to illusions about ourselves. We can easily find ourselves distracted or tired, preoccupied with preserving our status in life, social relationships, current trends, and corporate demands, and intrigued by pursuing what we perceive to be the “path of least resistance.” The daily concerns of life can quickly take our eyes off of our truth, making the empty promises of worldly accomplishments and ideologies seem so attractive. What is at risk in giving into this temptation?
Our Lady of Fatima’s Holy Name Society invites Men of the Parish to attend the 8th Annual Men’s Retreat. Saturday, March 19, 2022 starting with Mass at 7:30 AM in Our Lady of Fatima Church and ending at 12:30 PM in Fatima-Gallagher Hall. Cost is $25.00 per person (lunch included). Call the Parish Office at 505-265-5868 to RSVP by Wednesday, March 16, 2022. You can drop off payment at the Parish Office as well.
Fr. Edward Azibapu Okpu, pronounced Okbu, has been named as Fr. Anthony’s replacement as Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Fatima Parish. Fr. Okpu was born in Nigeria on April 28, 1974. He was ordained a priest in the Bomadi Diocese by Bishop Hyacinth Egbebo (MSP) on July 23, 2011. In Nigeria he served as pastor for 9 years. During that time, he spent 3 years as Chancellor and Director of Pontifical Missions. We are pleased to have him here at Our Lady of Fatima Parish. Welcome Fr. Okpu!
Fr. Ezeaputa has been appointed as pastor to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Pena Blanca, NM and will begin his ministry there effective immediately. Fr. Ezeaputa came to Our Lady of Fatima Parish as a transitional Deacon in June of 2020. He was ordained as a priest on December 19, 2020 at the hands of Archbishop John Wester and has served as the Parochial Vicar to Our Lady of Fatima Parish. We wish him well in his new assignment. Fr. Anthony received very little notice of his move and was not able to say goodbye publicly. He may be contacted at: PO BOX 1270, Pena Blanca, NM 87041. Congratulations Fr. Anthony Ezeaputa!
The Stations of the Cross will be prayed in the church at 6:30 PM on Fridays during Lent. Parishioners are invited to participate. Because of the continuing COVID precautions, we will not be having Lenten Soup Suppers this year. The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) will be offered during the Stations of the Cross.
From the Gospel of Luke 6:39-45. What we say and how we say it can reveal the true intentions of our hearts. The content and manner of our speech is a window into the recesses of our souls. Our consciences, attitudes, sentiments, weaknesses, and motives are displayed. As much as we think we can hide the truth of our lives from others, we cannot. Who we really are is not only expressed on our lips but is written on our faces. Jesus says precisely this, “For every tree is known by its own fruit.” What does the fruit of our lives say about us?
From the Gospel of Luke 6:27-38. Sometimes, Jesus’ teachings don’t seem to make practical sense. When we hear things like love your enemies and do good to them, turn the other cheek when struck, give to anyone who asks, do to others as you would have them do to you, be merciful, stop judging, forgive, and give to others, we get a bit unsettled. After all, it’s okay for God to do all of these things, but does He really want us to do them, too? Many good-hearted Christians really draw the line with some of these ideals and say, “No way!” They even remark that if someone did something hurtful to someone they loved, they would have no reservations seeking severe retribution. There is still this persistent thinking, even among those who consider themselves Christian, that a violent action deserves a violent response. Somehow, we continue to justify this.
Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on March 2, 2022. There will be three Masses with distribution of ashes that day, at 6:30 AM, 8:15 AM, and 5:30 PM. The distribution of ashes will take place after the homily. There will also be a Liturgy of the Word (no Communion) with distribution of ashes at 12:10 PM in the afternoon.
From the Gospel of Luke 6: 17, 20-26. What has been the most difficult challenge you faced in your life? Many difficult human experiences can “turn up the heat” in our lives, causing us to question the why of things or even fall into despair. Some people just somewhat passively accept what life brings, even death, and chalk difficult experiences up to happening “because they do.” They seemingly endure and move on. Taking life at face value, there really is no ultimate meaning to things. It’s easier to ignore that inner prompting calling us to understand why. It’s there whether we admit it or not. To question or not to question — that is the question! People sometimes give up the God search because it causes too many questions. Once we open the door to the possibility of God’s existence, then all of the awkward, challenging, and tragic pieces of life have to find their place.
The Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) campaign for 2022 has begun. The theme for this year’s campaign is “Rebuild My Church.” The ACA is our opportunity to consider the needs not just of our own parish, but of Catholics across the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. The ACA is separately incorporated and funding from your pledge is not used for legal claims or expenses. The ACA remains a significant source of funding for ministries, programs, and services of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. Please prayerfully consider your pledge to ACA.
From the Gospel of Luke 5:1-11. “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man,” these words, uttered by Simon Peter, can be found on any one of our lips. What real significance do I have in the big picture of God’s Divine plan? Even though we try our best to hide it, we all suffer from a lack of faith. We get tired, confused, and often lack any sincere desire to put anything into our relationship with God. It’s easier to simply reap whatever benefits the world has to offer and call it a day. Floating along on the superficial currents of life doesn’t require much effort and seems to get us through the day. Confronting our own infidelity, apathy, weakness of spirit, and doubt in God’s providence, how can we even remotely be considered a worthy vessel of God’s presence or credible voice for His message?
From the Gospel of Luke 4:21-30. St. Oscar Romero (1917-1980) was a “Salvadoran Roman Catholic archbishop who was a vocal critic of the violent activities of government armed forces, right-wing groups, and leftist guerrillas involved in El Salvador’s civil conflict (Encyclopedia Britannica).” As a voice of the voiceless, he was an outspoken champion of the poor who were the ones most affected by the civil unrest and violence. His advocacy provoked several attempts on his life. Nonetheless, St. Oscar Romero was convinced that before all else his faith in the resurrected Christ and the values of the Gospel trumped any earthly concern or worry. He walked with complete confidence and trust. On March 24, 1980, St. Oscar Romero was assassinated while celebrating Mass. Such is often the fate of those who challenge the socio-political agendas of the day.
From the Gospel of Luke 1:14; 4:14-21. Human history reveals many periods where people lost a sense of God’s transcendence. It may even be argued that human beings have been wandering and lost more than they have been at home and focused. Human nature being what it is, we struggle with who God really is the God of our salvation history or the “gods” of human constructs. Relying on our own designs and pursuits, we forget that we really are meant to listen to One upon whom the Spirit of the Lord rests, Jesus Christ, and not to ourselves. That same history that reveals our fickleness and infidelity also reveals God’s constancy and faithfulness. God always finds us.
You’re invited to join thousands of Catholics nationwide in prayer for the respect of human life during a special novena called 9 Days for Life. Visit 9daysforlife.com to sign up to receive daily intentions from January 19th through the 27th. Here in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, at 6 PM each day of the novena, Archbishop Wester and various parish representatives will be leading the daily novena prayer.