Saint MonicaThe Mission of St. Monica Parish is to build a welcoming community of faith, making God's love visible through service to others.

VISION    

 INVITE ALL          CREATE CONNECTIONS        GROW DISCIPLES      

INVITE      ~     CONNECT      ~       GROW

The St. Vincent de Paul food pantry continues its mission providing help to families in our community

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We miss all our families and look forward to having you all back soon! Jesus, we trust in You!

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Weekly Schedule

The church will be open during the day from 8 am – 7 pm for personal prayer and Eucharistic adoration time.

How to watch Mass online

Tickets are required to attend any weekend Mass. Tickets are available at the church office M-F 9a to 5p and Wed & Thu evening 5-7p in church foyer.
 

Saturday

5:30 PM - English

Sunday -

7:30 AM - English

10:00 AM - English (also streamed on Facebook Live)

1:00 PM - Spanish (also streamed on Facebook Live)

7:00 PM - Spanish

Monday through Saturday Daily Mass

8:15 AM - English Mass

Letter on Public Masses for St Monica

Saturday. 3:30 PM - Reconciliation

Wednesday 6:00 PM - Reconciliation

Catholic Daily Reflections

August 4, 2020
Tuesday of the Eighteenth Week of Ordinary Time (Year A)
Readings for Today
(Using new website from the USCCB)

Saint Jean Vianney (the Curé of Ars), Priest—Memorial

Then his disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?”  He said in reply, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.  Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.  If a  blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”  Matthew 15:12-14

Why were the Pharisees offended?  In part because Jesus just spoke critically of them.  But it was more than that.  They were also offended because Jesus doesn’t even answer their question.

These Pharisees and scribes came to ask Jesus what was, in their minds, a very important question.  They wanted to know why His disciples failed to follow the tradition of the elders by not washing their hands before they ate.  But Jesus does something interesting.  Instead of answering their question, He gathers a crowd and says, “Hear and understand.  It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles the man; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one” (Mt. 15:10b-11).  So they were offended by Jesus both because of what He said and because He didn’t even say it to them but spoke it to the crowds.

What’s interesting to note is that sometimes the most charitable thing one can do will result in another being offended.  We ought not recklessly offend.  But it seems that one of the cultural tendencies of our day and age is to avoid offending people at all costs.  As a result, we dumb down morality, ignore clear teachings of faith, and make “getting along” one of the most important “virtues” we strive for.

In the passage above, it’s clear that Jesus’ disciples are concerned about the fact that the Pharisees were offended by Jesus.  They worry and appear to want Jesus to fix this tense situation.  But Jesus makes His position clear.  “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.  If a  blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit” (Mt. 15:14).

Charity requires the truth.  And sometimes the truth will sting a person to the heart.  Clearly this is exactly what the Pharisees need even though they fail to change, which is evident by the fact that they ultimately killed Jesus.  But, nonetheless, these truths spoken by our Lord were acts of charity and were the truth that these scribes and Pharisees needed to hear.

Reflect, today, upon how willing you are to speak the hard truth in love when a situation requires it.  Do you have the courage you need to charitably speak an “offensive” truth that needs to be spoken?  Or do you tend to cower and prefer to allow people to remain in their error so that you do not agitate them?  Courage, charity and truth must become deeply intertwined in our lives.  Make this your prayer and mission so that you will better imitate our divine Lord.

Lord, please do give me courage, truth, wisdom and charity so that I may be a better instrument of Your love and mercy to the world.  May I never allow fear to control me.  Please remove any blindness from my heart so that I can see clearly the many ways You desire to use me to lead others to You.  Jesus, I trust in You.

More Gospel Reflections

Divine Mercy Reflections

All Saints/Feasts

Saint of the Day – Saint Jean Vianney (the Curé of Ars), Priest

Mass Reading Options

Image: Jesus Traveling by James Tissot

August 3, 2020
Monday of the Eighteenth Week of Ordinary Time (Year A)
Readings for Today

Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.”  Matthew 14:28-29a

What a wonderful expression of faith!  St. Peter, caught in stormy conditions on the sea, expressed his complete confidence that if Jesus were to call him out of the boat to walk on water, it would happen.  Jesus does call him to Himself, and St. Peter begins to walk on water.  Of course we know what happened next.  Peter was filled with fear and began to sink.  Fortunately, Jesus caught him and all was well.

Interestingly, this story reveals much to us about our own lives of faith and much more about the goodness of Jesus.  So often we begin with a faith in our head and have every intention of living that faith.  Like Peter, we often make firm resolutions to trust in Jesus and to “walk on water” at His command.  However, all too often we experience the same thing Peter did.  We start to live the trust we express in Jesus, only to suddenly waver and give in to fear in the midst of our hardship.  We begin to sink and have to cry out for help.  

In some ways, the ideal would have been if Peter expressed his faith in Jesus and then walked to Him without faltering.  But, in other ways, this is the ideal story in that it reveals the depth of Jesus’ mercy and compassion.  It reveals that Jesus will catch us and draw us out of our doubts and fears when our faith gives way.  This story is much more about Jesus’ compassion and the extent of His help than it is about Peter’s lack of faith.

Reflect, today, upon any way that you have had great intentions of trusting Jesus, started down that path and then have fallen.  Know that Jesus is full of compassion and will reach out to you in your weakness just as He did to Peter.  Let Him grab your hand and strengthen your lack of faith out of His abundance of love and mercy.

Lord, I do believe.  Help me when I falter.  Help me to always turn to You when the storms and challenges of life seem to be too much.  May I trust that, in those moments more than any other, You are there reaching out Your hand of grace.  Jesus, I trust in You.

More Gospel Reflections

Divine Mercy Reflections

Saints/Feasts for Today

Mass Reading Options

Image: Saint Peter Attempting to Walk on Water by François Boucher

August 2, 2020
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Readings for Today

Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.  They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over—twelve wicker baskets full.  Matthew 14:19b-20

Do you ever feel as though you have little to offer?  Or that you cannot make an impact in this world?  At times, we may all dream of being someone “important” with great influence so as to do “great things.”  But the fact of the matter is that you can do great things with the “little” you have to offer.

Today’s Gospel passage reveals that God was able to take something very small, five loaves of bread and two fish, and transform them into enough food to feed tens of thousands of people (“Five thousand men, not counting women and children.” Matthew 14:21)

This story is not only a miracle for the purpose of providing the necessary food for the crowd who came to listen to Jesus in a deserted place, it’s also a sign to us of the power of God to transform our daily offerings into exponential blessings for the world.

Our goal must not be to determine what we want God to do with our offering; rather, our goal must be to make the offering of all we are and all we have and leave the transformation to God.  Sometimes our offering may seem small.  It may seem like what we offer will have no benefit.  For example, making an offering to God of our mundane daily chores or the like may seem unfruitful.  What can God do with this?  The same question could have been asked by those with the loaves and fishes.  But look what Jesus did with them!

We must daily trust that everything we offer to God, whether it appears to be great or small, will be used by God in an exponential way.  Though we may not see the good fruits like those in this story did, we can be certain that the good fruit will be abundant.

Reflect, today, upon every small offering you can make.  Small sacrifices, small acts of love, acts of forgiveness, small acts of service, etc., have immeasurable value.  Make the offering today and leave the rest to God.

Lord, I give to You my day and every small action of this day.  I give You my love, my service, my work, my thoughts, my frustrations and everything else I encounter.  Please take these small offerings and transform them into grace for Your glory.  Jesus, I trust in You.

More Gospel Reflections

Divine Mercy Reflections

All Saints/Feasts

Saints of the Day –

Saint Eusebius of Vercelli, Bishop also Saint Peter Julian Eymard, Priest
Not celebrated as a liturgical memorial this year since it falls on Sunday

Mass Reading Options

Image: Miracle of the Bread and Fish by Giovanni Lanfranco

August 1, 2020
Saturday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings for Today

 Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church—Memorial

“Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”  Matthew 14:8

Ugh, what a bad day to say the least.  St. John the Baptist was beheaded at the request of Salome, the daughter of Herodias.  John was in prison for speaking the truth to Herod regarding his marriage, and Herodias was filled with hate toward John.  So Herodias had her daughter dance in the presence of Herod and his guests.  Herod was so impressed, he promised Salome up to half of his kingdom.  Instead, her request was for the head of John the Baptist.

Even on the surface this is a bizarre request.  Salome is promised up to half of the kingdom and, instead, she asks for the death of a good and holy man.  In fact, Jesus said of John that no one born of woman was greater than he was.  So why all the hate by Herodias and her daughter?

This sad incident illustrates the power of anger in its most extreme form.  When anger brews and grows it causes deep passion, so much so that it clouds a person’s thinking and reason.  Hate and revenge can consume a person and lead to complete foolishness. 

Herod is also a witness of extreme irrationality here.  He is pressured to do what he does not want to do because he is afraid of doing the right thing.  He is overwhelmed by the hate in the heart of Herodias and, as a result, gives in to the execution of John whom he actually appeared to like and enjoyed listening to.

Normally we seek to be inspired by the good example of others.  But, in this case, we find we can be “inspired” in a different way.  We should use the witness of John’s execution as an opportunity to look at any struggles we have with anger, resentment and especially hate.  Hate is an ugly passion that can sneak in and cause much destruction in our lives and the lives of others.  Even the beginnings of this disordered passion should be confessed and overcome.

Reflect, today, upon whether you see any hate in your heart.  Have you held on to some grudge or bitterness that is not going away?  Is that passion growing and causing damage to your life and the lives of others?  If so, resolve to let go of it and forgive.  It’s the right thing to do.

Lord, give me the grace I need to look into my heart and see any tendencies of anger, resentment and hatred.  Please purify me of these and set me free.  Jesus, I trust in You.

More Gospel Reflections

Divine Mercy Reflections

All Saints/Feasts

Saint of the Day –  Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Mass Reading Options

Image: Beheading of Saint John the Baptist by Caravaggio

July 31, 2020
Friday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings for Today

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest—Memorial

And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.  Matthew 13:58

What are “mighty deeds?”  What was Jesus limited in doing in His hometown because of a lack of faith?  The first thing that obviously comes to mind are miracles.  He most likely did not do many healings, or raise anyone from the dead, or multiply food so as to feed the multitude.  But are these the mighty deeds described?

The right answer would be both “Yes” and “No.”  Yes, Jesus was limited in doing miracles and it appears He did very few in His hometown.  But there were deeds that Jesus regularly did that were far more “mighty” than physical miracles.  What are those?  They were the deeds of transforming souls.

What does it matter, in the end, if Jesus does many miracles but souls are not converted?  What is more “mighty” as far as lasting and meaningful action?  Certainly the transformation of souls is of the highest of importance!

But sadly, the mighty deeds of the transformation of souls could not take place either, due to their lack of faith.  The people were clearly obstinate and not open to letting the words and presence of Jesus penetrate their minds and hearts.  For that reason, Jesus could not do the mightiest of deeds in His hometown.

Reflect, today, on whether or not Jesus is doing mighty deeds in your life.  Are you letting Him transform you daily into a new creation?  Are you letting Him do great things in your life?  If you hesitate in answering this question, it is a clear sign that God wants to do much more in your life.

Lord, I pray that my soul be fertile ground for Your most magnificent work.  I pray that my soul be transformed by You, Your words and Your presence in my life.  Come into my heart and transform me into Your masterpiece of grace.  Jesus, I trust in You.

More Gospel Reflections

Divine Mercy Reflections

All Saints/Feasts

Saint of the Day – Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

Mass Reading Options

Image: Jesus Wept by James Tissot

The Mystical Journey to Divine Union:
Spiritual Wisdom from Saint John of the Cross

St Monica Parish COVID-19 Outreach

As a parish community, we want to be in communication with those who need encouragement or assistance during this crisis.

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