Thursday, December 18, 2014
A celebration of 15 years as a Priest!
Today I am very grateful to celebrate my 15th anniversary as a Priest. I was ordained by Bishop Hanifen at Holy Apostles Catholic Church on December 18, 1999. Probably one of the last ordinations in the that millennium. As you can see by the picture I was smiling, was thinner and had much more black hair. Today, 15 years later – I still smile. I am indeed very blessed to be a Priest and a Fire Chaplain. I think that anniversaries such as these are great times to stop and reflect on the way in which God has blessed your life. I am very richly blessed.
The Morning of my ordination, Bishop Hanifen, Msgr. Don Dunn, Fr. Paul Wicker and I met at 8am at Bishop Hanifen’s residence and spent an hour before the Blessed Sacrament in the Bishop’s private chapel. That hour before the Blessed Sacrament really helped me to focus. My first assignment as a priest was with Fr. Paul as his associate pastor. My second assignment was a Pastor of Saint Patrick’s Parish in COS and then on to here. I have been very blessed with great assignments.
Prior to my ordination I was blessed to begin volunteering as a Chaplain with the Colorado Springs Fire Department and those deep friendships continue to grow. I continue to serve Springs Fire and am blessed that I also get to work with the fine men and women of the Castle Rock Fire and Rescue Department. I also get to work with Police Officers as well and a lot of great Fire and Police Chaplains. One of my great friends is Jack Pope of Denver Police Department and I get to spend time with the “Pope” every month!
I personally want to say thanks to all of the members of my great staff here! Each of you daily goes above and beyond in terms of providing excellent customer service to our Parishioners! I personally want to say thanks to all of our parishioners here for making my life so blessed. I also want to say thanks to all of the Knights of Columbus for letting me walk with them as their State Chaplain this year. It continues to be a very blessed walk.
Keep Smiling and Count your blessings each day!
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Happy Second Sunday in Advent!
Wow! Our very vibrant parish is in the midst of this wonderful, holy Season of Advent! Advent is truly a time of intense preparation for the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as well as preparation of the remembrance of the Birth of Christ at Christmas!
Please join us for our Parish Celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Thursday December 11th beginning at 5pm with prayer, and traditional music and folk dance. Mass is at 9pm and food and refreshments will be served afterwards.
One of the great traditions of this parish is the “Festival of Lessons and Carols.” This will be held this Friday December 12th at 7pm here in our Main Sanctuary. I personally always love this beautiful tradition as it always provides great spiritual consolation and always lifts up my spirit! Please come and join us!
Many thanks to our teens who worked so hard last week and served Breakfast with Santa and sold handmade crafts! You teens are great!
Thursday, November 27, 2014
I wanted to wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Every thanksgiving and every day of my life I always take time to practice what I call “Moments of Thanksgiving!” I do this a lot and it helps put things into perspective in my life. So let me give you some examples. I am thankful that I am a Catholic Priest. I am so very thankful that I am a Fire Department Chaplain and work with Firefighters. I am thankful that I am a Pastor. I am thankful for having a caring Bishop. I am thankful for having really great brother priests. I am thankful for the gift of each of my parishioners. I am thankful this morning that I got to celebrate Mass with a lot of parishioners attending. I am so thankful for the gift of living in the Town of Castle Rock. I am thankful and grateful that I was with a family at the hospital last night whose love for Ron was phenomenally beautiful. I am thankful that I have two great dogs Simi and Suzie. I am thankful that I drive a really cool 67 Ford Mustang that the Firefighters restored as a gift. I am thankful that I now get to restore a 1951 Mack Firetruck. I am thankful that ever since we received the gift of a Bell Tower that I can hear the Bells. I am thankful that I get to work with a Fr. Carlos, Deacon Tom, Deacon Richardl, Fr. Bill and a truly remarkable staff.
I would encourage you each day to practice “Moments of Thanksgiving!” and to have an attitude of gratitude for the many gifts that our God graciously pours out over us.
Thanks to each of you for making my life such a great life. You are a real blessing in my life!!!
Have a great Thanksgiving meal and somewhere along the line – take a nice nap!
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
My Beloved in Jesus Christ!
My Beloved in Jesus Christ!
I hope that you enjoyed the back to back Catechetical Homilies. Father Carlos’ homily two weeks ago was on Purgatory and my homily last week was on The linkage between our belief in Purgatory and Catholic Funerals. While our Diocese of Colorado Springs is now reprinting the brochure “Funerals in the Catholic Church” , I remembered that you can get it online. Go to our webpage www.stfranciscr.org and on the home page, you will see a box called “My Estate Manager” Click on the link. You will see a well put together site that has lots of great information about End of Life care and managing items after the death of a loved one. Click Start Managing Now, and Click “Managing a Traditional Funeral.” You should see this link and you can download the entire brochure.
I would encourage you to take time to visit this well put together “MY ESTATE MANAGER” website. It has lots of great information on it such as Estate Planning, leaving a Legacy Gift, Medical Advanced Directives, a wonderful pamphlet on the Sacrament of the Sick, Funerals in the Catholic Church and so much more. I was recently on the site to pull out forms for Advanced Directives.
As always if you have any questions on any of these important issues – please let us know!
Monday, November 3, 2014
Purgatory – The Forgotten Church
This past weekend, Father Carlos preached at all Masses on Purgatory. Here at Saint Francis of Assisi Parish we are committed to this year having more “catechetical homilies” that deals specifically with a part of the Catholic Faith that may not be talked about a lot. Father gave a wonderful catechetical homily and I have asked our webmaster to attach it. We also have a dvd available to borrow out of the office on Purgatory called – Purgatory – the forgotten church. It is a phenomenal dvd and gives you the scriptural and tradition sources for Church’s teaching on Purgatory. We have to remember that we believe in the division into the 3 churches of the Catholic Faith – The Church Militant, The Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant. The Church Militant is us. We as Catholics needs to know and articulate our faith. As I have said so many times – An educated and articulate Catholic is our best Catholic! The Church Suffering are those in Purgatory and we need to daily pray for them. The Church Triumphant are the Saints! We thank God daily for their heroic witness!
Enjoy Father Carlos’ great homily. Study the Church’s teaching on Purgatory. Pray for the souls in Purgartory.
This coming weekend, I will be preaching at all Masses on the Funeral Rites of the Catholic Faith!
Keep growing in the faith! I am proud of you!
Sunday, October 12, 2014
The Gospel of Life!
The Gospel of Life!
October is in the life of the Roman Catholic Church a month in which study and remember the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding Respect Life. One of the best sources for a complete understanding of the Church’s teaching on the many issues concerning Respect Life is the Encyclical Letter on Abortion, Euthanasia and the Death Penalty in today’s world. The title in Latin is Evangelium Vitae, or in English, The Gospel of Life. Pope John Paul II did a beautiful job writing this very important Encyclical. I would strongly encourage each Catholic to either buy the book or you can download it from Kindle or any E-Books. It is an easy to read, foundational primer on Respect Life issues. Pope John Paul II clearly articulates the Scriptural Basis for the teachings of the Catholic Church as well as he cites where in the Tradition of the Catholic Church the sources of the teachings. He masterfully shows the Call of Jesus Christ for a Culture of Life, and talks about the prevalent Culture of Death especially in today’s society.
One of the Sources of tradition he cites is the Didache. I would encourage you to use your search engine and to look at the original copy of the Didache. The Didache as he describes it is “from the beginning, the living Tradition of the Church- as shown by the Didache, the most ancient, non-biblical Christian writing categorically repeated the commandment “You shall not kill”: There are two ways, a way of life and a way of death; there is a great difference between them…In accordance with the precept you shall not kill…you shall not put a child to death by abortion, nor kill it once it is born…The way of death is this:…they show no compassion for the poor, they do not suffer with the suffering, they do not acknowledge their Creator, they kill their children and by abortion cause God’s creatures to perish; they drive away the needy, oppress the suffering, they are advocates of the rich and unjust judges of the poor; they are filled with every sin.
The Didache concludes this paragraph by saying “May you be able to stay ever apart, o children from all of these sins!”
The Didache was written between the 1st and 2nd Century. Sadly and unfortunately, some of those same sins are still happening today. May we truly turn to God, Repent and Proclaim the Gospel of Life against a Culture of Death!
Do not lose hope. Next week we will look at the Gospel of Mercy and look at the many ways in which the Lord and his Church provide mercy, healing and love for those who have sinned!
In the love of Christ!
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Happy Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi!
Today we as a parish celebrated out patronal feast day with a special Mass on the Feast Day of Saint Francis of Assisi. We also celebrated the third anniversary of the Dedication of our new Church! We were blessed to have Father Larry Brennan from the Diocese of Colorado Springs as the main celebrant and homilist as well as many Deacons from the Diocese of Colorado Springs who were here for Mass and for their monthly meeting. It was great to have them with us.
Father Larry gave a phenomenal homily during which I realized that we need a system to tape and share these homilies! He first shared with us his joy of being with us for our anniversary of the dedication of the new Church. He shared about a wonderful talk that he had heard about dedicated sacred space –“ That our worship space was dedicated to God as a Sacred Space and a place in which we encounter the Holy.” Listening to Father Larry, it brought me back to the dedication of our new church three years ago and the beautiful dedication ritual so beautifully done by Bishop Sheridan. Father Larry went on to talk about holy places that he had visited like Lourdes and Assisi and how when you entered into those holy places, you could sense the holiness and the Presence of Almighty God.
Father Larry share some wonderful stories of Saint Francis of Assisi. He talked about how we remember Saint Francis of Assisi for the very familiar stories – Francis speaking to the birds, Francis’ encounter with the wolf of Gubbio… He talked about seeing Francis’ original habit being on display and who it was all patched together and worn. Since I had not seen that during my visit to Assisi many years ago I was able to find the image online. He then talked about how you could sense the holiness of God in him and how it radiated out of him. Fr. Larry also spoke of how that radiance shown out of him with the stigmata that Francis received. .
It was a great homily on Saint Francis and one that had me wanting to listen to more. Isn’t that what a good homily should do!
From the bottom of my heart on this our patronal feast – Thanks to all of you who make our parish so vibrant, a place of genuine warmth and love, a place of peace and a place of the Sacred! Thanks to all of you who have sacrificed to make our dream of a new church a reality! You’re the best!
Pax et bonum! (Peace and Goodwill)
Thursday, September 11, 2014
From Fr. Brad’s Blog
Each year for the last several years, I have had the privilege of climbing 110 flights of stairs in the Denver Firefighter Memorial 9-11 Stair Climb. Each climb begins with the first few steps as you can see in the picture. I was very honored to walk in honor of my brother priest Father Mychal Judge who was the first recorded death on September 11th – 13 years ago. One of the greatest blessings for Fr. Judge was to walk with the firefighters and their families and I can tell you from my 15 years of being in the fire service – that is one of my greatest blessings as well.
At every Mass that I am privileged to say each day I always include a particular petition. “In your charity, please continue to pray for the protection of all of the Firefighters, Police Officers, Sheriff’s Deputies, State Troopers, Corrections Officers, EMS workers, Dispatchers, Military Men and Women who are stationed in harm’s way that the Lord will protect them as they protect us. Let us pray to the Lord.” I ask you to join with me daily in praying for them and their families!
Please continue to pray for all of the Chaplains, that the Lord will guide their ministry and give them strength in facing difficult situations.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Pray for our new Seminarian Brandon Allen, Matt Kane and all of the Seminarians for our Diocese of Colorado Springs
As our parishioner Brandon Allen enters the Seminary and as parishioner Matthew Kane returns to the Seminary for his Second Year, please daily pray for both of them. Please pray for all Seminarians for our wonderful Diocese of Colorado Springs! My God who has begun the good work in them bring it to completion! Take time to enjoy Cardinal Dolan’s words!
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Greetings and Peace from Ireland!
As you know I am on pilgrimage in Ireland and will be returning home on Friday night. It has been a great pilgrimage. The first several days I was able to concelebrate Mass with Bishop Sheridan. He is a wonderful preacher and a man of deep prayer. Since I am on the extended pilgrimage, I get a few more days in Ireland. It has been a great pilgrimage and I have really learned a lot about the faith of the Irish. Barry, our driver and guide from Select Travel has been phenomenal. Now we travel to Powers court where I walked around with 27 years ago with my dad.
My prayers, love and thoughts continue to be with you!
Friday, July 4, 2014
Happy July Fourth!
I sincerely hope that you are having a great Fourth of July! The freedoms that we so wonderfully enjoy here in the United States have come with a price. On this July Fourth I want you to remember a great Priest Fr. Emil Kapaun, who died as a prisoner of war in 1951. Please take a moment to watch this short documentary trailer.
God Bless You!
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Knight’s care for their deceased brother Knight!
On the Solemnity of Corpus Christi our parish lost a wonderful parishioner and faithful Knight named Dan Valdez. I really will miss Dan as he had a depth of faith, especially as he struggled with his final illness. I will miss him as he was so very faithful in bringing Holy Communion out to the sick and suffering, especially at Brookside Nursing Home. Every time that I would say Mass there, Dan was my altar server and guide. After Mass, he would patiently lead me around the nursing home in search of those residents who missed Mass and wanted to receive the Sacrament of the Sick and Holy Communion. Fitting to his service Dan passed away on Corpus Christi Sunday. I can’t think of a better day to go home to God, especially for a man of faith so dedicated to the Eucharist.
Dan was also a Knight of Columbus and was very active in Council 8909 here at the Parish. What tremendously impresses me about this particular council is that when a Knight passes away and has the Vigil and Rosary the night before the Funeral, that our Knights will remain all night long in prayer and maintain that presence until the time that the funeral begins. God Bless our Knights for this very moving gesture. I cannot help but think of the power of those many prayers for the repose of the soul of the deceased knight.
Thank you Knights for being such great men of faith and beginning this very important tradition!
In Christ, Fr. Brad
Thursday, June 12, 2014
May Fr. Walker Rest in Peace!
Your prayers are requested!
Father Kenneth Walker was killed during an apparent burglary in Phoenix yesterday. He was 28 years old and had been ordained for two years. Father was a member of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. His Pastor, Fr. Joseph Terra is in critical condition this morning as a result of injuries sustained in that apparent burglary. Please pray for the repose of the Soul of Father Kenneth and for a full recovery for Father Terra. The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter serves in our Diocese as well and they are great priests! Pray for them as they begin this very difficult time of grief.
Eternal Rest grant unto them O’ Lord and let perpetual light shine upon. May Fr. Walker Rest in Peace! Amen!
Thanks, Fr. Brad
Monday, May 12, 2014
Congratulations to Newly Instituted Acolytes!
This past Saturday, May 10th, Bishop Michael Sheridan instituted 13 men as Acolytes in service to our Diocese. Among the thirteen were three men from our Parish, Keith Harmon, Gil Lindeman and Alfredo Medina. Along with their families and others, Deacon Tom and Lynne Liotta, and I were present to be part of this historic event! This is the first class of Instituted Acolytes.
“The acolyte is appointed in order to aid the deacon and to minister to the priest. It is his duty therefore to attend to the service of the altar and to assist the deacon and the priest in liturgical celebration, especially in the celebration of the Mass. He may also, to the extent needed, take care of instructing other faithful who on a temporary basis are appointed to assist the priest or deacon in liturgical roles by carrying the missal, cross, candles, etc…or by performing other such duties. He will perform these duties more worthily if he participates in the Holy Eucharist with increasingly fervent devotion, received nourishment from it and deepens his knowledge about it.”
As one set aside in a special way for service at the altar, the acolyte should learn all matters concerning public divine worship and strive to grasp their inner spiritual meaning: in that way he will be able each day to offer himself entirely to God, be an example by his gravity and reverence in the Church, and have a sincere love for the Mystical Body of Christ, the people of God, especially for the weak and the sick. In accordance with the ancient tradition of the Church, institution to the ministry of Acolyte is reserved to men.”
Congratulations to Keith, Gil and Alfredo as you service at the Altar as an instituted Acolyte!
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Happy Feast of St. Joseph the Worker!
I am enjoying the last few hours of a visit to Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. I will be heading back to Castle Rock in a few hours. I have been visiting Roy Recio-Mirabent who will be ordained as a Deacon later on in May and who will be assigned to us as a Transitional Deacon for 5 months! I have spent a few days here learning about the expectations of this wonderful seminary for Roy’s pastoral experience. This morning, after a nice long jog (in humidity!) I very much enjoyed a nice breakfast while overlooking the Garden of Saint Joseph!
I really admire Saint Joseph who was a man of deep prayer, a kind of quiet man, but a devoted foster father to the Lord, who was a great and kind teacher! It is also a day that I give thanks for my own dad, Don Noonan who passed away over 10 years ago. I miss him deeply! Thank God for the gift of Fathers in our life! I am very grateful that I have a very wise and caring Bishop in my life. I am grateful for the gift of Bishop Sheridan in my life!
I ask you to pray daily for our Seminarians here in New Orleans, in Rome, in Denver, in St. Louis and in Boston! May they be inspired by the life of Saint Joseph!