A Letter from Our Pastor

Dear Parishioners,

From time to time, I would like to use this page to express the vision (short term and long term) that I have for our parish.

Since my arrival in July, I have been able to see what our bishops of San Diego had been talking about when they mentioned the many challenges I would face when arriving here and which I have been trying to prioritize with God’s help.

My first priority was to get to know you: my parishioners, my staff, other parish groups and their families, your customs and needs.

There are three dimensions that a Pastor must develop:  the one of Christ as Priest, the Sanctification of the people through the sacraments, and Christ as prophet.  May the Word of the Lord come to all through Evangelization and Catechesis and that you may receive Christ the King who governs through the proper guidelines and norms of our Catholic Church.

During the month of August, I started to reorganize these three dimensions, the first one is the one to govern.  I am slowly giving direction to my staff on where and how we will move on.

It is difficult at this time to have a clear plan but I believe that with good communication and order we will have a good start.

While the parish offices were recently remodeled for a more inviting and efficient use of space, I made a few additional modifications to the space to allow a more adequate office for the pastoral works of the pastor.   I will be very accessible to staff and parishioners alike.

During these coming months I will continue reorganizing the parish offices and staff to better meet our pastoral needs.

While preparing for this assignment, I studied the financial statements of the parish.  It worried me that the expenses exceed the income.  I am not saying that our parishioners are not generous, because I know you are.  With the help of the Finance Council, I am committed to reorganize our budget so that it will be in good accordance to our income.

I am also looking forward to a new school year as well as another year for our religious education program.

Later this month we will celebrate the 90th year of the dedication of our church and I would like to restore some things to their original place.

I will start by moving the wooden statues of Our Lady and Sacred Heart of Jesus to their original places in the side altars.   At this moment they are somewhat hidden behind our baptismal font.

We will be moving the statue of Majogorie and the tapestry of the Baptism of the Lord to another place in the church.  I will also be removing the black arch that is in front of the Sanctuary.  If for some reason removing it might damage the wall, we will paint it the same color as the wall.

I am also working with the Altar Society to buy a statue of the Holy Family with the intention of consecrating each one of our parish families during the new liturgical year.  It will be similar in design to main statues in the sanctuary area.  It will  be placed on the east side wall near the piano.

Finally, if someone has an objection with any of the changes that I have been sharing with you, I would like to hear from you.  Please send me an email (fatherg.stmarys@gmail.com) or call the parish office at your convenience.

Thank you to each and every one of you for all the kind attention you’ve had with me since I became pastor of St. Mary’s Parish  and please continue praying so that I may guide you to a safe place and you may always have the peace of our God.

In Christ, Father Gerardo Fernandez “Father G”

 

Fr. G at Convocation

Tuesday-Friday, Sept 26-29 FR. G will be at Convocation

This week, all Diocesan priests will be attending the annual Convocation with our Bishops. Fr. Jim Fry will celebrate Mass on Monday, and our Seminarian, Manny, will conduct a Communion Service Tuesday through Friday.

Music Ministry and Children’s Choir

MUSIC MINISTRY

We are one of the rare parishes in our Diocese that continues the Tradition of having a Choir in the Loft accompanied by Organ. Under the Direction of Mr. John Nettles and co-director Ms. Amy Nelson, our Choir Sings at our 8 AM Mass every Sunday morning. The Choir is also responsible for singing at special services throughout the year, such as the Christmas Midnight Mass and Easter Sunday Morning.

If you have a singing voice to share in Music Ministry, please join our Choir. To become a part of our Choir, please come and participate in our rehearsal. You will have the opportunity to learn the music and to get to know the other members of the choir.

Our remaining September rehearsal is on Wednesday September 27.

If you would like more information, please contact Amy Nelson at the Parish Office at 760-722-1688.

 

CHILDREN’S CHOIR

Children of our Parish are invited sing in our Children’s Choir, which sings once a month at Mass October—May. Our first rehearsal of the season will be on Wednesday, October 11 at 6 PM in the Parish Church. To be a part of the Children’s choir, the child must be able to read well, attend rehearsals regularly and have a parent/guardian’s permission. For more information, please contact Ms. Amy Nelson at the Parish Office.

STEWARDSHIP SAINT FOR SEPTEMBER

The life of St. Thomas of Villanova was characterized by the love of learning, a desire for church renewal and service to the poor and disadvantaged.

He was born in 1486, the son of a miller and raised in the village of Villanueva de los Infantes, Castile, Spain. He studied at the famous University of Alcala where he received his master’s and doctorate degrees, and in 1512 at the age of 26 he became a professor of philosophy at the university. He was a popular lecturer and was praised by his students and colleagues for always being friendly and helpful.

After four years Thomas left the university and joined the Augustinian friars. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1520.

He assumed several leadership positions in the community, and when elected provincial of Andalusia and Castile, he sent the first Augustinian missionaries to the New World where they helped evangelize what is now modern Mexico and, from there, the Philippines.

He was eventually appointed archbishop of Valencia in 1544.   Thomas’ episcopal ministry was marked by personal austerity, devotion to the care of orphans, the sick, and the poor. He came to be known as the “father of the poor.” He established social programs, a soup kitchen in the bishop’s palace, and for the homeless a place to sleep. He was also called the “Almsgiver” because of the many people who came up to his door every day for a meal and a little money. He insisted that the material resources of the church be shared with those in the greatest need and he challenged church leaders to serve the least powerful.

It has been said that Thomas’ scholarship and stewardship of the poor were motivated by a desire to practice the teachings of the Beatitudes. He believed that all learning should be inspired by a genuine desire to know God and that learning ought to lead a person to make a difference in the community and in the world.

He taught that the image of God is in every human being and that love and wisdom are discovered in the service of others.

St. Thomas of Villanova died of heart disease on September 8, 1555. He was beatified in 1618 and canonized in 1658. Villanova University, just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is one of a number of universities around the world named after him.

Feed My People

Thank you for your generosity to our community in need of food.

SPARKLETTS WATER has generously offered us a special pricing on purchasing water bottles for the daily lunches. We need two parishioners to sponsor the pro- gram at $25/month. Each $25 will supply 168 water bottles/month. That’s about half of what we use in a month’s time. This is a true savings to the ministry.

Please call Kim at 760.271.8759 to inquire about any details you may need in order to donate.

Altar Server Training

An altar server is a public minister who assists the priest in helping to lead the people of God gracefully and reverently in prayer at Mass. This ministry requires a young person who has received the Sacraments of Baptism, First Reconciliation and First Communion. All Altar Servers must attend formal training, be willing to attend follow-up trainings, be scheduled two times a month, and have a parent or guardian who will correspond with the Liturgy Director on a monthly basis concerning the Minister Schedule.

The next Altar Server Training will be held in two sessions at our Parish Church on Thursday, September 28th at 6:00 PM and Thursday, October 5th at 6:00 PM. Please contact Amy Nelson at the Parish Office for more information. You may either call at 760-722-1688 or email at stmarysministers@hotmail.com.

We Are All Part of Our Parish History

Wow!  I had an interesting week.  Sometimes life runs in themes.  Two weekends ago I was inundated (in a GOOD way) with family.  This past week was all about history and its significance in the present.

Next month, on October 22nd, Bishop Robert McElroy will visit our parish to officially install Father Gerardo as our new pastor.

In planning for the event, the Diocese provided me with several choices of dates.   October 22nd jumped off the page at me because that is the date we celebrate our parish anniversary!    And this year, it is ninety years to the date that Most Rev. John J. Cantwell, Bishop of Los Angeles and San Diego, came  to dedicate our new church building.! (San Diego wasn’t a diocese until 1937.)  Is that cool or what?

Then I looked up Father Gerardo’s ordination date.  On Saturday of that weekend (October 21st), he will celebrate the 26th anniversary of his ordination!  What a special weekend for our pastor!

So, because we are planning something a little special for  the event, we visited the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce and looked at historical photos of our church and school.

It was very inspiring to see pictures and read newspaper articles that documented how important we are to the City of Oceanside.    I truly believe that we are still very important and have a presence and an impact on the faithful of the City.

Alarmingly absent from the inventory are pictures of our parish school which opened in September 1951.

If anyone has ANY historic photos from earlier years that include the church or our school, please share them with me.  I will in turn share them with the Oceanside Historical Society for all to appreciate.

Later last week I visited a long time parishioner, Vera Macias who was celebrating her birthday.  I couldn’t let the day pass without letting her know that the parish still remembers her and prays for her.  She was such a vital part of our parish life for so many years.   She is finely woven into the fabric of what makes St. Mary’s a unique and special place.

We all contribute to the special nature of our parish community.   We are all part of the Living History of St. Mary Star of the Sea.  How do YOU want to be remembered?

 

I would like to share a human interest story this weekend because it has to do with Hurricane Irma.    As you know, Jens and Karen (my son and daughter-in-law) arrived in Norfolk, VA on Thursday, Sept. 7.  They moved into their new apartment on Friday, Sept. 8.   They only moved with them the items that would fit in their car.  They purchased an inflatable mattress upon arrival in the new city.  OK.  Let’s review:  clothes, toiletries, a TV, and an inflatable mattress.

Karen’s dad is a Marine and their family had relocated to Miami just two months ago.  Oh no!  When told to evacuate, they came up to Virginia to stay with their daughter and son-in-law in an empty apartment!

The scene that I imagine makes me want to cry—in a good way.  I can see them—in the face of adversity—having a blast.  They probably are sitting on mattresses playing board games or watching movies.  Karen and her mom are shopping for furniture and domestic items.   They are making family memories that will last a lifetime!    Thank you, God,  for the Silver Lining!

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAMILIES

By the time you read this, my son will have completed nine months of schooling for his Navy rating.   Last weekend, he flew home to San Diego to reunite with his wife and then his family.  On Labor Day, he started the drive across the country to his first station aboard the destroyer USS Arleigh Burke at Norfolk, VA.

I spent Labor Day weekend (well, 6 days total) immerged in family.   They allowed me to be MOM.  I baked cookies, cooked dinners, changed sheets, and couldn’t have been happier.    (Many of you understand exactly what I’m talking about.)

My daughter, son-in-law and new grandchild spent quite a bit of time with us as well.  They even allowed me to babysit my grandson while “the kids” went out for dinner. (I just can’t get enough of little Neal Finnegan!)

My extended family (my sister, niece and her boyfriend) flew down from Santa Rosa and my other two nieces drove down from Los Angeles.

I am a Serious Introvert, so I was drained by the commotion AND at the same time I was being energized because my “babies” were home with me.

Families are a funny thing.  No matter how great your family might be, every family is dysfunctional to some extent.    My family all loves, respects, and even likes each other, but there is always going to be family dynamics going on.  Am I right?

This is much like the Family of Man, your Neighborhood Family,  or your Faith Community Family.

Every person in the familial group is a unique individual with gifts, talents, strengths, and weaknesses to bring to the table.

God purposely created every one of us differently.  It’s hard to believe that there are so many combinations, and yet I see it every day.

Our Stewardship theme is:

  • Getting to Know Each Other
  • Getting to Know Ourselves
  • Getting to Know the Lord

There is no time like the present to take that challenge seriously.  It doesn’t happen automatically.  You have to create the situations or environments in your life that are conducive to the growth opportunities.

Take a few minutes after morning Mass and walk down to the Parish Center for coffee and a donut.  Say hello to someone you haven’t met before.

Volunteer to make sandwiches for the homeless and chat over the task at hand.

Read books that provide spiritual reflection or sign up for a retreat.  The Abbey and the Mission have on-going opportunities.

Spend an hour a week in Eucharistic Adoration and get to know the Lord in an intimate way.

Make it happen.  You’re the only one who can!

 

 

 

 

ATTN: ALL MARRIED COUPLES

Worldwide Marriage Encounter starts with the love you have for your spouse and helps you to build, expand, and deepen that relationship. We would like to invite all married couples to sign up for the Sept 22-24 weekend at the Courtyard Marriott in Rancho Bernardo.

For more information or to sign up, visit the website at www.wwme-sandiego.org.