“The Missing Piece: What Are You Searching For?”

by Fr. David Halm, C.S.C.  |  02/25/2024  |  Pastor's Letter

Greetings to all and messages of prayer and gratitude from Fr. Tom! He continues to recuperate and is getting stronger each day. Like I mentioned in my email to the parish last week Fr. Tom so wishes he could be with us for the sacred liturgies, devotions, and activities of these first weeks of Lent. However, he is listening to his doctors and us brother-priests in Holy Cross to rest and feel better. We’ll be very ready and excited for his return to SJV but in the meantime he knows we’re all praying for him and love him very much. He asked me to let you all know how grateful he is and that he is praying for all the faithful of the parish.


Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving

by Fr. David Halm, C.S.C.  |  02/18/2024  |  Pastor's Letter

Since the 10th century we Christians have begun our Lenten observance with the ancient Latin hymn Attende, Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi. (“Look down, O Lord, and have mercy, for we have sinned against You.”) I mentioned last Sunday that I do not believe Catholics are obsessed with sin, as many in society would claim about us. There are people who laugh at the phrase “Catholic guilt” and think our religion causes us to constantly feel guilty or ashamed. If you’ll pardon the old-fashioned response, what a bunch of poppycock!


Why did God make you?

by Fr. David Halm, C.S.C.  |  02/11/2024  |  Pastor's Letter

Parishioners of a certain age may remember the Question 6 from The Baltimore Catechism Why did God make you?and its answer “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.” A young person asked me last week this very question - from his own curiosity, not from a catechism class - and I thought of this answer. We exist because God desired (and still desires now) that we exist, and so we are born. No one is an accident or superfluous.


Christ: Priest, Prophet, King

by Fr. David Halm, C.S.C.  |  02/04/2024  |  Pastor's Letter

In his book Priests for the Third Millennium, New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan tells the story of an older man on his deathbed, surrounded by his children and the parish priest. Wanting to settle his affairs before he passed away, he gave each of his sons and daughters an assignment based on their profession: to the attorney went the responsibility for settling the estate, to the accomplished businesswoman daughter went taking care of the family store, and so forth. Each had a stated responsibility except the priest, who asked “sir, and what would you like me to do?” To which every head in the hospital room turned and looked with surprise at the priest and the old man said “Well Father, you pray of course!”


Catholic Schools: United in Faith and Community

by Fr. David Halm, C.S.C.  |  01/28/2024  |  Pastor's Letter

This week we begin Catholic Schools Week with lots of celebration and prayer here at St. John Vianney Catholic School. The national theme this year is Catholic Schools: United in Faith and Community.

Saint John Paul II addressed U.S. Catholic school teachers in 1987:

The ultimate goal of all Catholic education is salvation in Jesus Christ. Catholic educators effectively work for the coming of Christ’s Kingdom; this work includes transmitting clearly and in full the message of salvation, which elicits the response of faith. In faith we know God… and in faith we truly come to know ourselves.


SVdP Panty

by Fr. David Halm, C.S.C.  |  01/21/2024  |  Pastor's Letter

Thanks to the wonderful generosity of so many of you and your commitment to serving Jesus by serving his vulnerable brothers and sisters the SJV Pantry is one of our largest ministries. Week in, week out our many volunteers, led by Deacon Bill Booth and his amazing leadership team, receive, organize and distribute food to those who seek it.


St. Gerard Majella - Patron Saint of Pregnant Mothers

by Fr. David Halm, C.S.C.  |  01/14/2024  |  Pastor's Letter

Many of you know that St. Gerard Majella is the patron of pregnant mothers and many couples over the years have been blessed with conception after praying through his intercession. Less well known is that Gerard was born to a very poor family and his father died when he was just 12. Besides the terrible grief he experienced in this tragedy, little Gerard was forced to leave school and work to help his family survive. Years later, after his family was able to get onto its feet again, he joined the Redemptorists as a lay brother and helped to serve the many poor families of Muro, Italy - especially those struggling and grieving after the death of a parent.


Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

by Fr. David Halm, C.S.C.  |  01/07/2024  |  Pastor's Letter

After the whirlwind of sacraments, prayer and activities in Advent and Christmas, I hope everyone has had a chance to catch their breath! From the Immaculate Conception and dedication of our new Grotto to the many celebrations of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Las Posadas all the way through Christmas and our Masses last weekend for Holy Mary, Mother of God we have been going, going, going. Which certainly speaks to the Holy Spirit moving and blessing us in the parish!


The Holy Family

by Fr. David Halm, C.S.C.  |  12/31/2023  |  Pastor's Letter

Happy New Year! Dr. Ralph Wilson, a California pastor and Vietnam War veteran, wrote a fable about two newly-married mice. The young mouse-couple had made their first home in a nest of sticks and brush in the midst of a pile of firewood near the edge of the woods. One day this whole pile was lifted, log by log - with a lot of the sticks and brush caught up in them, including their home - and thrown into the back of a pickup truck. Despite their best attempts to cling to the wood, the married-mice couple were suddenly homeless. This terrible destruction of their home from some unseen force in the sky had never happened to them and they were devastated to now be starting back from scratch. But they were together and alive, safe from their home’s eventual winter fireplace destination. Dr. Wilson’s moral: “don’t cling to the firewood.


Merry Christmas!

by Fr. David Halm, C.S.C.  |  12/24/2023  |  Pastor's Letter

Merry Christmas! On behalf of the priests and staff of the parish, we all hope you are able to share the many blessings of this holy season together with family and friends. Let us join together in prayer - both in Church and around our family dinner tables - asking our Heavenly Father for real peace and healing in the world today. In our prayer we are also mindful of those who are celebrating Christmas separated from loved ones because of distance or disagreement. Others are going through their first Christmas after the passing of a spouse, child, parent or sibling.


3rd Sunday of Advent

by Fr. David Halm, C.S.C.  |  12/17/2023  |  Pastor's Letter

As St. Paul writes, "Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks" (1 Thes 5:16) and so, here at SJV we are! Today's rose-colored vestments are a visible sign that we are getting very close to the Nativity of Our Savior and are rejoicing, praying and giving thanks. We have many reasons for each.


2nd Sunday of Advent

by Fr. David Halm, C.S.C.  |  12/10/2023  |  Pastor's Letter

What a busy few weeks at SJV and beyond! On November 11, the Carmel of St. Teresa in Alhambra, California, celebrated the profession of solemn vows of Sr. Elizabeth Cristina of Mary, O.C.D., (who taught in our parish pre- school when she was "just" Ms. Eli Gama) Several parishioners - and former pastors! -were in attendance and they tell us it was a very joyful day. Sister Elizabeth wrote to say she is praying for us all!


1st Sunday of Advent

by Fr. David Halm, C.S.C.  |  12/03/2023  |  Pastor's Letter

Since it has been a few weeks since I went down an “origin-of-the-word trail” I am happy to announce I am back on one, today the word Advent. Other than our liturgical season before Christmas I don’t think it is a very common word these days. Sometimes you’ll read about the advent of a new era or product - which of course means the arrival or coming.