Our community decided in 2008 that the mission of our parish was life-long learning. Everything we do centers around teaching the depth and richness of the Roman Catholic Faith. Our weekly 3-Minute Catechesis is read from the Ambo prior to Mass beginning. A written copy is made available in our weekly bulletin along with additional information for those who want to learn more. Visit us online at www.risensaviorcc.org for more information.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

St. Vincent de Paul

Saint Vincent de Paul was born around 1580 of poor parents in a village in France. He was schooled by Franciscan Fathers, studied theology at the university, and was ordained a priest in 1600. Throughout his life, he had a special place in his heart for the poor.
Father Vincent founded the first conference of charity for the assistance of the poor. He led missions for peasants, joined by other Parisian priests. Nearly everywhere, following most of his missions, a conference of charity was founded for the relief of the poor. With the conferences, St. Vincent instituted open retreats for laymen as well as priests; today it is estimated that in the last 25 years of St. Vincent's life, more than 800 persons attended his retreats annually. These retreats powerfully infused a Christian spirit among the masses. His zeal for souls knew no limit; all occasions were to him opportunities to express it.

When he died at the age of 80, the poor of Paris lost their best friend and a benefactor unsurpassed in modern times. The feast day of the Apostle of Charity, as he is known, is Sept. 27th, and he is the patron of charitable societies. At his death he was the director of eleven seminaries. Vincent was canonized by Clement XII in June 1737.

The legacy of St. Vincent de Paul lives on in charitable societies formed throughout the world. The St. Vincent de Paul Society is an international Roman Catholic organization dedicated to tackling poverty by providing direct practical assistance to anyone in need. It was founded in 1833 by Frederic Ozanam, a University student, and a small group of friends who were challenged to assist the poor of Paris. They chose to call their group the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, based on the exemplary charitable life led by Vincent. The Society now numbers nearly 950 thousand members in 132 countries worldwide, whose members operate through conferences, dedicating their time and resources to help those in need in their community.

Risen Savior's St. Vincent de Paul Society is actually a combined effort with our sister parish, Prince of Peace. To support their efforts, we have a 2nd collection on the first Sunday of every month. The members of our society are also behind our annual Christmas Wish List, which further serves the poor in our community, particularly the children, by providing them with needed clothing. This is one of our "Love Your Neighbor" initiatives for December, and one that Risen Savior has been sponsoring for more than 20 years. Through our participation, we continue the good work of St. Vincent de Paul. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Healing Services

If we are honest with ourselves we recognize that we are wounded and we seek healing. Our inner selves have been wounded or broken. Our home lives may include abuse or neglect, or lack affirming conversation.  And certainly our city, nation, and world need the healing power of God.

Beginning Sunday, September 28th we will begin monthly healing services here at Risen Savior.  These services are not Mass, but rather a prayer opportunity to be healed.

This will be a new experience in prayer for our parish.   These monthly prayer services will take us into the some of the deepest and therefore most uncomfortable places in our soul.  Our comfort culture is a restless, noisy and agitated environment. Our homes and hearts are driven by schedules, commitments, events, school, sports, and even church events.   Anxiety, depression, and anger can fill our days. Our culture can confuse fixing with healing.  Healing is a prayer skill.  It is a daily out-of-the-way place for us to journey.

This first of the healing services will focus on the healing of memories.   Memories can be either blessings or curses. The healing of memories service is a liturgy of the Word which will lead us into our deeper self. This service takes us through a guided meditation into our past.  We all carry memories beyond what words can identify and those memories shape us.  When Jesus says “do in memory of me”, He is talking about everything we do—literally, everything.  

The guided meditation of this first healing prayer service begins with what most of us would even call pre-memory with the pre-verbal time of conception, the womb, birth and early infancy. We have memories even before we remember.  Trauma can cause and block memory. Blessing can cause and build memory. We all carry much within.

Our souls cannot NOT heal.  The spiritual life unfolds whether we try to make it happen or not.  It is not so much saying prayer as being prayer. Every time we gather in church or at home or at work or wherever, we are prayer. Prayers are not what we do; prayers are who we are. Healing prayers make us more Christ-like. The wounded soul seeks His remedy.

Hopefully you will hear the call to some deeper prayer in these monthly services of healing.  To be hospitable we need to welcome and heal the wounded.   The hurt of our world is great.  The Risen Savior is on duty. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Risen Savior Parish History, Mission, and Picnic

In late July, three of our high school youth attended the Christian Leadership Institute sponsored by the Archdiocesan Youth and Young Adult Office in Las Vegas, New Mexico.  The following are their reflections they wanted to share with the parish.
It has been thirty-five years since Archbishop Sanchez named Risen Savior a parish.   Over those years many traditions have formed that have helped define us as a community.  Among those traditions are an annual Parish Picnic and Parish Missions.

This year we are pleased that Father Jimmy Marchionda will be returning to lead us in mission.  He will present “The Passion, Power, and Privilege of Prayer” beginning on Thursday, September 18th at 6:30 in the evening.  He will present a second session the next evening, Friday, also at 6:30, and conclude with Mass on Saturday at 4:00 PM.  If you were here for his mission last November you know how he mixes his preaching with music to fill our senses and lift our spirits. 

If you have never been to a Parish Mission you may be wondering what it is.  A Parish Mission is a parish awakening!  It is a time for the whole parish to come together to reflect upon God's Word, to renew our faith, and to pray with open hearts and hands.   Father Marchionda has led missions around the country and the world.  He is a top Catholic musical composer and one of his songs was even sung at Mother Teresa’s funeral.  All of us are invited to this life-awakening event.

Following the Mass on Saturday the 20th we will celebrate our parish’s 34th annual Parish Picnic!  We will have food and fun, entertainment and games beginning at 5:00 PM.  The parish will provide the burgers and sides and we ask every family to bring a dessert to share.  As a special treat, Father Marchionda is pulling together a jazz band to entertain us during the picnic.  This group will include other noted Catholic musicians and will keep our toes tapping as we enjoy the evening together.

In recognition of the years our parish community has been together we will display the Parish History Project that Archbishop Sheehan asked all the parishes in the Archdiocese to complete.  We are excited to display our history and to acknowledge our parishioner Joshua Struck, who with a team of Boy Scouts, spent hours combing through our archives to make this project a reality.  Joshua prepared this as his Eagle Scout project and he and his team did an outstanding job.  The boards will be on display in the Gathering Hall during the picnic.

Come to the mission.  Come to the picnic.  Have your spiritual and physical hunger filled.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Christian Leadership Institute by three of Risen Savior’s Teen Leadership Team Members

In late July, three of our high school youth attended the Christian Leadership Institute sponsored by the Archdiocesan Youth and Young Adult Office in Las Vegas, New Mexico.  The following are their reflections they wanted to share with the parish.
CLI is a weeklong camp for youth and young adults. Its purpose is to help individuals grow in faith, leadership skills, and to meet new people. Not only is it a learning experience, but a week full of fun as well. We participated in many community building activities to really grow as a family in faith. We had nighty dinners that each team was in charge of. They were a great time and we all participated. After that, everyone would gather and spend time with our new friends, having dances, games, and talent shows. We also had daily communion services or Mass and prayer services that were located around Las Vegas. Even the workshops were fun and informative.

We took part in eight two hour workshops which included lectures, games, and discussions. We learned about the importance of group dynamics, communication, decision making, and planning. In one workshop, the three of us got together and planned new events for our church that we would like to make possible. One of our ideas is to have monthly youth group meetings at a nearby Dion’s restaurant in order to encourage more youth to become involved. We will discuss contemporary issues in the lives of teenagers and relate them to our faith and the word of God. All youth will be welcome; the meetings will be non-denominational so when you hear about it, tell your friends as well! Keep both eyes and ears open for when the meeting announcements are made!

Not only did we attend workshops to help us learn more about leadership, but also to learn more about or faith and our love. Three of the workshops were about morality, prayer, and gratitude. Two days before the camp was concluded, our group leaders asked us to think about the one person in our lives to whom we owe the most gratitude. We then wrote that person a letter, thanking them for being influential in our lives. After everyone finished writing, we watched a video on the scientific study of the effect of gratitude on an individual’s level of happiness. Those who gave thanks often were statistically happier than those who don’t. After watching the video, we were told to call the person we addressed our letter to and read it to them. It isn’t every day that we tell people how much we appreciate them!  It was very emotional. One of the things we learned that touched us was that showing gratitude can not only improve another person’s life, but your own as well. Who would you have written to?

We ask that all of you continue to support our youth as we build our program. Please pray for us as the Holy Spirit works through us and as we grow as better Christian teenagers. Any teens interested in becoming involved, please contact our Youth Minister, Carrie Anaya.  You can reach her by calling 821-1571 ext. 109 or emailing canaya@risensaviorcc.org.