Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving - NOVEMBER 26, 2006

During this Thanksgiving season I have much to be thankful for; a dynamic parish community, excellent nursing care for my mother and in general good health. Last Saturday over 900 coats were donated for the poor. A big thank you to Michele Pimental and Ann Molak who organized their Confirmation class for this great cause. Also, I am thankful for the Auction committee who marshaled together so many volunteers to make this event a success. During this season I am reminded of a prayer by Samuel Pugh -


Oh, God, when I have food, help me remember the hungry;
When I have work, help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a warm home, help me to remember the homeless;
When I am without pain, help me to remember those who suffer;
And remembering, help me to destroy my complacency
And bestir my compassion.
Make me concerned enough to help, by word and deed,
those who cry out for what I take for granted.

Fr. Bob Hawkins - NOVEMBER 26, 2006

Saturday, November 18, 2006

We do not know the day or the hour - NOVEMBER 19, 2006

I was working at my desk on Monday afternoon and at 4:30 p.m. it was already dark. The damp, foggy, and misty weather did not help the situation. The short days of November mirror the spirit of the liturgy at this time of the year. Not only are the days short, but so also our lives as we do not know the day or the hour when the Lord will call us home. At that time we will be held accountable for what we have done or not done, for what we have said or not said, and for who we have become or not become in the time we have been given. At the end of the year we realize that actions have consequences. As kids we remember that too much candy means an upset stomach. A bicycle left out in the rain will rust or disappear. Homework assignments that are neglected receive a zero. At this time of the year we are reminded of Paul’s words to the Galatians: “What you sow, so also shall you reap.” Mindful of this we take a hard look at our moral and religious lives. Especially this week we thank God for our blessings. May these blessings be used wisely to build the Kingdom of God.
Fr. Bob Hawkins - NOVEMBER 19, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006

Totally Voiceless - NOVEMBER 10, 2006

It was a strange weekend for me. During the Auction on Friday evening I started to lose my voice. By Saturday morning I was totally voiceless and in a panic. What to do about a St. Kevin’s wedding at 2:00? Mass here at 5:00? Who is going to cover the Sunday Masses here? Thank god for Fr. Matt, Ann Marie Beccue and so many others who came to my rescue. This was the first time I lost work due to illness for a total weekend in 31 years of ministry. Times like these remind us all that we are not indispensable and that God is in charge of our lives. God provides and sends angels to our side.

On Monday my family placed my mom in the Alzheimer’s unit at Somerset Ridge. It has been a long journey for her, my dad and my whole family. Thank you for your prayerful support.

Fr. Bob Hawkins - NOVEMBER 10, 2006

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Going in the Right Direction - NOVEMBER 5, 2006

Two weeks ago we had the annual count at all the masses. As best as we could figure there were 1643 people at the liturgies. This figure is up from 1604 from last year and the 1490 in 2004. We are going in the right direction as more people are responding to our invitation to be worshipping members of the parish community. Recent studies show that about 25% of Catholics attend mass weekly. Twenty yeas ago 40% of Catholics were regular participants. So many reasons can be given for the decline: our secular culture, the clergy sexual abuse scandal, poor preaching, competition from the 24/7 business climate, laziness, etc. In my experiences, what helps to increase mass participation is personal invitation. If we are convinced of the value of something, we naturally share our opinion with others. St. Luke's is a very dynamic, young, and talented community. We are a stewardship parish where people are called to use their time, talent and treasure to spread God's presence. Share the good news with others and perhaps we will have 1800 people or more next year at our masses.

Fr. Bob Hawkins NOVEMBER 5, 2006