When my wife and I found out that we were expecting our first child, it was an exciting and nervous time. We had been married a little more than six months, and our lives were about to change definitively. What would come in the following months would be a gambit of emotions from terrified to ridiculously excited as well as some hard decisions about our home and career path. The anticipated birth of our daughter was one of the biggest reasons we bought a house and also that I took a job as youth minister at Holy Trinity Parish. Spruce Grove seemed like a great place to start our family (and it has been.) [Read more…] about Jesus: The Babe, The Son of Mary
One of the great treasures of our faith is a legacy of beautiful art which tries to both point us to the One who is infinitely beautiful – and to bring to life the characters and stories which make up salvation history. But like any still image, they only tell part of the story. The creche scene many of us keep in our homes at this time of year can’t possibly bring to us the smells and sounds of a typical barn: a place where animals eat, sleep, and do their business… but more than that, this first “family photo” of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus doesn’t convey the whole story.
From the moment the angel Gabriel greeted Mary it was clear that this event was meant to leave Mary and Joseph forever changed. [Read more…] about Blessed Chaos
Deacon Pat Hessel is a permanent Deacon serving Holy Trinity Parish in Spruce Grove since his ordination in 2007. The following is the text from an Advent homily he gave a few years ago:
The first recorded high jump event took place in Scotland in the 1800s. For many years there were basically two ways to do the high jump. There was the scissors jump, where the athlete would approach the bar, lifting one leg at a time and end up standing on the other side of the bar. Then there was the roll, where the athletes sort of wrapped themselves around the bar and would hit the mat on the other side rolling. Then in the 1960s, a guy named Dick Fosbury did things differently. He ran up to the bar and threw himself over it backward and head first. He landed with a flop, on his back (the landing mats had become bigger and softer by that time). The new jump was called the Fosbury flop. When you go to a track and field meet these days, you will only see people doing the Fosbury flop. Dick Fosbury changed the game. [Read more…] about Change the Game! (Advent Homily)
When I attended Bible School in 1998-99, I began an incredible journey discovering the depth and the beauty of my Catholic faith. While I have always been Catholic, the second half of my life has offered me an opportunity to begin to understand what that really means and what my faith was all about.
One of the first people I began to read was the late, great Pope John Paul II. JPII was an incredibly holy man with a brilliant mind, and one of the things that struck me was that when he wrote, it seemed as if all of it finished with a dedication or an prayer to Mary.
[Read more…] about Mary, the Mother of God
I’ve often felt bad for St. Joseph, the husband of Mary and foster father to Jesus. He literally had the perfect family. His wife was the woman God chose from every woman who has ever lived, preparing her from the very moment of her conception for her very important mission. Very few people in the story of our salvation play as important a role as she did (and still does in our world.) In her whole lifetime, Mary never sinned. So if you look at the Holy Family, gathered around the table, you have Jesus, the Word of God incarnate; Mary, the holy Mother of God; and Joseph. Imagine the conversation around the dinner table when someone had gone through the house in muddy shoes, or if a cookie was missing from the jar: only one could have done it, the one who was neither God nor the perfect woman He had chosen to be His mother. From that perspective, it makes Joseph seem almost trivial… but nothing could be further from the truth. [Read more…] about On St. Joseph…