Holy Rosary's New Pastor

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As a new pastor of Holy Rosary, I would like to take this opportunity to share a little information about myself. I was born and raised in Colombia, South America and come from a large, Catholic family and am the youngest of ten children. I was baptized Catholic as a child and have a great devotion to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary and St Martin de Porres. I first became interested in becoming a Dominican when I was twenty-two years old. I made my profession to the Order of Preachers on September 4, 2008 and was ordained on July 10, 2010. I came to the United States in 2001 and attended Tulane University's program for English as a Second Language. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the Universidad Santo Tomas in Bogota, Colombia and a Masters of Divinity /Masters of Arts in Theology from Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. 

As a Dominican, I have been serving in a variety of ministries: RCIA; ministry to people living with HIV/ AIDS; campus ministry at Duke University in Durham, NC & Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. I also was the Parochial Vicar for St. Elizabeth Church in Lubbock. In the last three years before coming to Holy Rosary, I was serving as Socius and Vicar Provincial for the St. Martin de Porres Province. 

It is with great joy that I come to Holy Rosary to continue serving the mission of Jesus Christ. Most of all, I am very grateful to all the members of Holy Rosary Parish for your warm welcome and J look forward to walking with you!

-fr. Jorge Rtitiva, O.P.

The Best of Our Christian Vocation

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"On that very day all the springs of the great deep broke through, 
and the sluices of heaven opened. 
It rained on the earth for forty days and forty nights."
- Genesis 7:11-12

Last week we also experienced our own version of the flood. The city of Houston and our own parish experienced the consequences of an unrelenting rain, which in many cases, invaded our homes touching lives and destroying property and preciously saved memories. 

It is in these moments of tragedy when the best of our Christian vocation is shown forth. Many of you generously responded to the calls for assistance and helped in rescue operations, shelter assistance, and cleaning projects. You gathered as God's chosen ones around those sisters and brothers who were hurting and were .in need of your love and support. Holy Rosary has proved to be what we knew all along: We are a Christian community called to love and to serve one another empowered by our faith and our sharing of the Body and Blood of Christ. 

The task ahead of us is a long term one. Families in our faith community need to rebuild their lives and their homes. This is a long term commitment and we cannot slack in our determination to be of support to them as they reconstruct flooded homes and discover new memories to be preciously kept. 

We are one in the Lord; and what binds us together are His love and His presence among us.

May the peace of the Lord remain always with us!

-fr. Alberto Rodriguez, 0.P.

Our Remarkable Community

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

Our new Pastor, Father Jorge Rativa, O.P., will begin at Holy Rosary Parish as of September 1. He has been approved by His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo and the Southern Dominican Provincial, Fr. Tom Condon, O.P., along with his Council. 

Fr. Jorge has completed his excellent ministry as Vicar Provincial and Socius of our Southern Dominican Province of St. Martin de Porres. I have known Fr. Jorge for several years and he is a most pastoral and prayerful Dominican priest who also is fluent in the administrative realities. Originally from the beautiful South American country of Colombia, Fr. Jorge brings many gifts as a fine and good shepherd wherever he is called. He will delight in your most welcoming ways. 

My term as Pastor of Holy Rosary Church ended on July 31, 2017. Fr. Alberto Rodriguez, O.P., is now the Administrator of Holy Rosary Parish until the arrival of our new Pastor. 

Please pray for Fr. Jorge, Fr. Alberto, and Fr. Tran as they shepherd our remarkable community here at Holy Rosary in our great Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Know that I am continuing to pray for you in deep gratitude for guiding me in all the graces God has bestowed upon each of you. Grazie tanto!

Joyous Sunday of the Transfiguration of the Lord,

- Fr. Chris, 0.P

Continuing the Work of the Gospel

Dear Parishioners & Visitors,

What a wondrous people of God you are here at our beloved Holy Rosary! It is an immense gratefulness that I have experienced, do experience, and will always experience the ways in which you have not only shared most generously of your lives and faith but also the many ways you have taught me how live the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity more fully. In this 104-year old parish community within our thriving Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston we are surely both blessed and encouraged to continue the work of the Gospel.

Switching gears a moment, let me say that there will be a more extensive financial report concerning the Campaign, Phases I and II, once our new Pastor, Father Jorge Rativa, O.P., gets his sea legs in this, his new mission and ministry. However, after in-depth discussion with our Financial Council, Parish Pastoral Council, our Office Manager and our CPA, I want to share with you a brief view of the overall picture of what has been accomplished and what remains to be accomplished concerning the Capital Campaign. The Capital Campaign will come to completion on June 30, 2018. Your generous attention to the needs of our parish-priory entities over the span of this Campaign are overwhelming. Not only were you responsible for the Campaign accomplishments and those to be completed, you have, in addition, offered, in most generous fashion, your prayer, service, and hard cold cash for needed projects not within the scope of the Campaign, e.g., the razing of the old house next to our Religious Education Building, restoration of paintings in our church building, assistance for families going through rough times, and much more.

We have, through your generosity, been able to consolidate the loans we owed to our Archdiocese which amounted to $525,000.00 in August of 2015 and pay it off to the point where what we owe now is roughly $28,000.00. This is a good and united effort and once again, Thank You! We have a most diverse and united community of families, indjviduals and new arrivals (babies and new families registering as parishioners) and I know that we will continue to thrive and to take care of the poor as Jesus invites us to do. You are in my prayers now and also as I begin my new mission & ministry in Rome. I beg your prayers. A 'Hail Mary' prayed with love for God and Neighbor is worth much more than the recitation of the whole of the Most Holy Rosary without love in the heart.

In Christ and in His Mother and ours, The Immaculate Conception,

-fr. Chris, O.P.

Human and Divine Truths

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed ... the smallest of seeds ... it becomes a large bush, and the 'birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.'" The senses God gave us help us know our world, and, with Jesus, the kingdom of heaven. It is impossible for us to exhaust the meaning of a parable, simple and plain as its clear images may be. In parables Jesus speaks of human & divine truths and this gives enlightenment and understanding to us because we are both human and divine, as we are made in the image and likeness of God. 

This being the case, we already possess more than physical senses for we are endowed with spiritual senses as well. Therefore, it is essential and virtuous that we reflect upon the meaning of Jesus' parables as they apply to our lives. Moreover, our Christian imagination needs the fuel of God's graces so that we may meditate upon and pray with the invitation to new mission with which God entrusts us in the contemplation of God through His Word. Authentic prayer is an art form.

In Jesus, Who speaks to us in images we understand, 

-f. Chris, O.P. 

God's Rich Soil

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

"But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold." These words of Jesus give life and hope to us since we are the very ones who are chosen to be the "rich soil" wherein God's graces, or seeds, can germinate and produce a great harvest. 
In God's grace and wisdom a new Pastor for our beloved Parish of Holy Rosary has been chosen. His name is Fr. Jorge Rativa, O.P., and he is completing his ministry as Socius and Vicar Provincial of our St. Martin de Porres Province. He is a very joyful, pastoral, and compassionate Dominican priest who is eager to begin on September 1st. He is now as a seed of which Jesus speaks and we are the fertile soil in which he can thrive and grow. Let us pray for and support him always as he has answered this call to be planted as shepherd in our rich soil.

In Jesus our Good Shepherd,

-fr. Chris, O.P.

Words to Our Neighbor

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

"Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest." These encouraging and comforting words Jesus offers are also a mission call for us to say Jesus' words to our neighbor who is exhausted, depressed, stressed out, or otherwise in need of solace, healing, compassion, and mercy. As disciples we are in Christ and of Christ in our world to unburden others and not bind them up with judgment, biases, neglect, or shame. Am I committed to the alleviation of suffering in another even in the midst of my own suffering and deficiencies?

In Christ, who helps carry our burdens through each other,

-fr. Chris, O.P. 

One God in Three Persons

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

Jesus assures us, His 21st century disciples, that if we want life forever with Jesus, then we must choose to lose our lives in Him. Even those loves of our lives that cause us to experience profound joy, love, and harmony of spirit, while these are good, holy, and God-given, are not to be preferred over Jesus Himself. Consider for a moment our varied relationships which develop in our Parish of Holy Rosary: these relationships are based on our love for our One God in Three Persons, which includes the One Who feeds us with His very Word & Body and Blood, namely, Jesus. And, Jesus does not say or imply that we lose our families and friendships; rather, He encourages us to find our truest identity in Him. 

During this past week I have been in Rome, Italy, at our international priory named for Saint Sabina, an early Christian. The Basilica of Santa Sabina was founded between the years 422 and 432. St. Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans, lived the final years of his life here and his life belonged to Christ, Son of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth. Notice this image of a beautiful and very old wood carving of Mary and her Son, both appearing large and regal in comparison to St. Dominic and many other Blesseds and Saints surrounding her. This carving is on the back wall of St. Dominic's cell, or room, which is quite small One can notice the dark wood above the carving which is the original wood ceiling of his room.

It has been in this very room that I have prayed for you during this 10-day visit in Rome at Santa Sabina, as well as at daily Mass in the Basilica. I am reminded of how deeply connected I feel toward you in the love of Jesus Christ. The harvest of losing ourselves in Jesus is that we are united with each other in gathering around Jesus and His Mother and being united in such a way that we move together in living the Gospel. There's also a call to humility in this scene, since no one need jockey for position in competition with another sister or brother who "loses" himself or herself in Christ Jesus. Being lost in Satan begets Death; being lost in Christ begets Life.

Nella verita delle parole di Gesit, (In the truth of Jesus' words)

-fr. Chris, 0.P.

Stewards of the Mission

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

The imaginary character of Jesus' parable is a sly, yet dishonest steward who lacks any semblance of responsibility, gratefulness, or prudence; in a word, he looks out for himself, only. 

The real characters of Holy Rosary parish are, at our best, stewards of the mission to act responsibly, gratefully, and with loving mercy and kindness on behalf of one another in the joys, difficulties, and outright painful challenges and sufferings we encounter. 

We have recently celebrated Baptisms, First Holy Communions, Confirmations, Marriages, Holy Orders, Funeral Liturgies, and Confessions and Holy Eucharists - weekends and weekdays. We have celebrated 25th Wedding & Priesthood anniversaries, several galas, Solemnities, gardening ministries (Hortus Novus), religious education and scripture studies, singing and cooking, nourishment of those encountering unemployment, psychological & drug troubles due to living on the street, and a host of other graced activities, including an increasing amount of baby showers. 

As a growing and thriving parish we must create time to reflect upon our experiences, common & private, so as to notice and to neglect not the extravagant graces poured out upon us. Without consistent prayer & reflection amidst the graced events of our lives in Christ, we are prone to live selfish lives, which ensures that greedy sin will enslave our hearts. May we strive to become ever more free from manipulation of God and others.

Tn Christ, our Holy Teacher,

-fr. Chris, O.P.

Following the Ways of Jesus

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

A heartfelt Congratulations to our First Holy Communicants in this month of May! We are graced by you, our younger faithful members of Holy Rosary, who will be receiving the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and with His Holy Word of encouragement, life, compassion, and infinite mercy. These First Holy Communion liturgies help us remember that all of us in the Catholic Faith are sustained and sent out as missionaries bringing Jesus lovingly to other people. Our path into an ever-deeper and more generous faith is done exclusively in following the ways of Jesus.

Dear First Holy Communicants, help us all to be so thankful for Jesus' life that we will take your example of reverence, innocence, and joy in receiving Jesus' Body and Blood so that we are not afraid to share mth other people the healing, teaching, generous giving and forgiving as one very large world-wide family of Christ, beginning right here at Holy Rosary.

In Jesus the Good Shepherd, our our daily Bread all during our life,

-fr. Chris, O.P.

Friend of the Humble

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

Two of Jesus' disciples were distraught & preoccupied by the passion and death of Jesus the Nazarene, whom they considered a prophet. They were also mystified by the report of the women disciples who had astonishing news about Jesus' body being gone from the tomb and visions of angels as well. The two followers walking down the country road to the town of Emmaus proved to be good listeners as they took in all the words and teaching of Jesus Resurrected, yet themselves not realizing it was Jesus. Moreover, they were so very open and warm in their generous reception of and hospitality to this scripturally adept traveler who was a stranger to them. As they sat together for a meal something very astounding and breathtaking occurred in the simple gesture of the "stranger" breaking bread.

One never knows the rich harvest that can occur through virtuous ways, such as offering hospitality of some kind to a stranger. It is often in the widow, the orphan, and the stranger where Jesus shows up in our lives.

Do I have a chair for Jesus at the table?

In Christ's Resurrected Light,

-fr. Chris, O.P

Jesus Meets Us Where We Are

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

Is Thomas' attitude and demand so different from our own at times? Our attitudes and demands can be harsh and unbending; we want what we want and delivered when & how we want it! John, the Beloved Disciple, came to faith in a different manner than Thomas and so too did Mary Magdalene. Jesus meets us where we are. He accepts us with the attitudes and demands we may possess, however unreasonable they may appear. Our conversion depends upon our willingness not to take ourselves so seriously that we cannot relinquish to God's grace our foibles, our selfish "my-way-or-the-highway" attitudes, and our reluctance to listen and to change. It is precisely when I cannot cooperate with God's grace in humility that I waste the precious, life-giving, merciful energy with which I have been endowed to heal and to love others and to glorify God. The infinite compassion of our Father in heaven is ours for the taking.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who in His great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
— 1 Peter 1:3

ln the Light Who ls Christ,

-fr. Chris, O.P

Jesus Is Risen!

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

HE IS RISEN!

ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA!

From darkness into light is the repeated theme of the gospel of John. In the dark of morning, Mary Magdalene "saw the stone removed from the tomb" then ran immediately to tell the disciples. As Peter and the beloved disciple arrived at the site of Jesus' burial place, after having been told the message from Mary Magdalene, they began to notice, ever so incrementally, the truth of the empty tomb: Jesus ls Risen!

The seemingly permanent darkness of lies, sin, and death has been abolished and the brilliant, dazzling light of eternal truth, life, and virtue is given to all in The Resurrection. Resurrection light is the life-giving and life-creating light of a star, of the clear and reinvigorating morning sun, and of the light penetrating in glorious soft array through the tall pines and sequoias of the forest even to the forest floor.

Together, let us bask and dance with a holy resplendent joy at the arrival of this Easter Day and Season where we can be renewed, refreshed, and ready to become ever more luminously the Light of Christ in our world.

In the Light Who Is Christ,

-fr. Chris, O.P.

The One Who Brings the Glad Tidings of Truth

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

Our holiest of weeks has arrived and begins with the joyous entrance of Jesus riding a donkey into Jerusalem, His city of destiny where Jesus knows He will enter into His passion. People are waving palm branches welcoming the One Who brings the glad tidings of truth, mercy, and salvation for all peoples.

As the Sacred Triduum begins with the Thursday evening Eucharistic meal, recalling The Last Supper, an integral part of this liturgy is the symbolic washing of the feet. Concerning this, St. Ambrose wrote: "Finally, be aware that the mystery is also sanctification: 'Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.'" Another Church Father, Origen, wrote: "Now the feet of those proclaiming good news became beautiful, so that, when they were washed and cleansed and dried by Jesus' hands, they might be able to walk on the holy way and travel over Him Who said, 'I am the way."'

Here in our beloved Holy Rosary, united in following the way of Christ, let us allow Jesus to wash our feet that we may do so for others.

A most graced, joyous and meaningful Holy Week be yours,

-fr. Chris, O.P

Live as Children of Light

Dear Parishioners and Visitors,

If we look to the heart of others, the good in others, then we are acting in sync with how God looks at us. The prophet Samuel was led by God to anoint young David, the Spirit-filled King of Israel. By our baptism into Jesus Christ we too are anointed with Sacred Chrism to "Live as children of light" as St. Paul writes in Ephesians. In John's narrative of the Man Born Blind notice the manner in which he was treated after Jesus gave him sight with even his parents answering the Pharisees with fear and not coming to their son's aid. It was only Jesus who encouraged the man with new sight. There is something here of note. The man was born blind and therefore, never had seen through his eyes, ever. What we learn here is something about Jesus· identity as God because He spit on the ground and making clay, smeared the clay on the blind man's eyes. This is what God did in creating human beings. The day when Jesus used His own saliva with dirt to make clay, Jesus created sight in the man. One cannot heal what is not there; therefore, sight was created for the first time in the man's eyes. Jesus is always much more than our limited definitions of Him.

As we have entered the mid-point of this penitential season, it is good to review our understanding of Who Jesus Is in our lives. Another worthy review of ourselves is the answer to the following question: When I notice God's wondrous creative work in another am I able to rejoice and encourage the person or do I consider the other as a threat to my ego? We are each of us gifted and, therefore, there is no reason in living in the light of Christ to compete against one another in accomplishing God's will. Gossip, slander, lies, and false witness are incompatible with Catholic Christian life. Encouragement, loving admonishment, speaking the truth, and delighting in others' successes is a firm foundation in living the Truth of our Triune God.

In God's loving kindness,

-fr. Chris, O.P.