Homily for Pentecost – May 24, 2015

GerardManleyHopkinsI would like to employ a poet’s help this morning with this homily for our celebration of the solemnity of Pentecost.  I think it’s okay to ask a poet to help us because the scriptures themselves speak to us of the wonderful Spirit of God in poetic images that stretch human language to its uttermost.  Wind and fire, dry bones and desert.  Even the Word of God – God’s Word in human words – must at times call on poetry to open the eyes of our hearts to God’s truth.  You will find a copy of the poem in your pew.  Please follow along with me.  The title of the poem is “God’s Grandeur” and it was written by Gerard Manley Hopkins in 1918.

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?

Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;

And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;

And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil

Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.


And for all this, nature is never spent;

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

And though the last lights off the black West went

Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.


Father Hopkins, a Jesuit priest, wrote this poem at a time in history when intellectuals were saying that God, if he had ever existed, had withdrawn from the world, had pulled back, and left humanity in darkness.  Remember that in 1918 the human race was engaged in a world war, a war that was supposed to end all wars, but in reality threatened to end civilization itself.

Against this backdrop of madness and murder Hopkins asked people to see a presence – “dearest freshness deep down (in) things.”  This presence, though gentle and non-aggressive, is resilient and relentless; it is much like the power we experience in Nature, in spring, when creation is shaken from its winter sleep.  We catch a glimpse of this presence in the force of evolution which will not take “no” for an answer, but continually calls life to more complex and varied forms.  This presence, like a mother eagle, hovers over creation with bright wings, encouraging her young to leave the safety of their nest.

Hopkins asks, “Why do men not reck his rod?”  (Why do we not recognize this gentle rule?)  This gentle rod, for Father Hopkins, is the presence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Pentecost; the Spirit which gave birth to the Church.  It is the Spirit which makes our children sons and daughters of God in Baptism; the Spirit which changes bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ; the Spirit which makes a man and woman one flesh in Holy Matrimony.  The Spirit which brings us here today.

As you know, I returned over a week ago from a pilgrimage in Spain:  I walked with my friend, Joe Kraft, seventy miles of the ancient Camino de Santiago de Campostela which ends at the cathedral believed to hold the remains of Saint James the Apostle.  The entire camino is over five hundred miles long and it draws people from all over the world, not just Catholics.  What I experienced on this walk was the presence of the Spirit gently and powerfully pulling people, despite blisters and heavy backpacks towards a common destination.  People who could not speak each other’s language and yet learned to smile and say to one another, “Buen Camino” – May the road be good to you.

This Pentecost I invite you, wherever you are on your walk with God, to pray with me that we will remember in times of spiritual dryness, in times of deep frustration, in times of ill-health, in times of financial want – pray with me that we will always experience “dearest freshness deep down (in) things” and that we will know the Holy Spirit hovering over our lives with bright wings, calling us forward.  May the road be good to you.

Homily for the 7th Sunday of Easter – Ascension Sunday – May 17, 2015


shareasimage (10)In the summer of 1985 as part of my seminary training I served as a pastoral intern at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.  Visiting the sick and dying was a part of a formation program called Clinical Pastoral Education.  What I found out in the course of my training was that I was pretty good going into a patient’s room; it was the going out that I needed to learn.  Specifically learning not to overstay my welcome.  I remember one day when I was visiting with a lady I got a gentle prodding to make my exit.  “Seminarian Dan,” she said with a smile, “God and I have things to talk about now and we can’t do it until you leave.”

I can’t help but think about her words on this Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord.  Jesus did everything that the Father asked of him and he did it with the utmost love and courage.  Still we celebrate in today’s feast that he had to return to the Father.  “If I do not go to the Father, the Spirit cannot come to you.”  Wasn’t Jesus saying, “I have done the work that the Father sent me to do.  Now I must leave so that you may do the work that the Father needs you to do.”

Some of you understand this.  I am thinking of those of us who have buried our parents.  “What am I gonna do without you, Mom?” we said at our mother’s bedside as she lay dying.  And our mom smiled and said, “You’ll find your way…I will be with you. It’s time for me to go Home.”  Over the course of months and years we have found that they were telling the truth.  Her absence has revealed to us a hidden well of wisdom and strength.  We find ourselves drawing from almost daily from what we learned from her.  Isn’t this at least part of the meaning in Jesus’ words to his disciples, “It’s better for you that I go.”

On this Solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension I hope we can come to not only cherish and value the good-byes in our life, but also see those good-byes as gateways into a deeper relationship with God.

Does Summer Vacation mean FAMILY TIME for your Holy Family?

While you are on vacation this year stop and take some pics of your family time together and send them to jhallal@holyfamilynewalbany.org. Or, if you are posting on Social Media (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook), use #holyfamilytime

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They do not have to be particularly religious, but you can take pictures in front of the churches you visit, family time together, or anything that has made your family time special. ONLY SEND PICTURES THAT YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH BEING PUT ON THE WEB or in the Church BULLETIN, if you are a parishioner here.

We would like to highlight family time throughout the summer on our Website and Social Media Sites: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

(By sending us the photos, you are approving their use to highlight Holy Family Catholic Church!)

Sister Pedro Opara to visit this weekend

23706aThe New Evangelization Sisters for our Mother of Perpetual Help was formed in 1993 in response to Saint John Paul II’s call to take up anew Christ’s command to go out to all the world and spread the Good News. This weekend Sister Pedro Opara will be here to ask us to support the Lord’s work in the mission fields of Africa. We are excited to welcome her and hear hear story. There will be a second collection this weekend.

Read more about Sister Pedro here: http://www.evangelist.org/main.asp?SectionID=16&SubSectionID=69&ArticleID=23706

Pastoral Associate-Director of RCIA and Adult Faith Formation desired for Holy Family.

Holy Family Catholic Church is looking for a full-time pastoral associate and director of Adult Faith Formation. As a pastoral minister this person will assist the pastor with marriage preparation and funeral liturgies; train ministers to visit the sick and homebound; coordinate the RCIA; and organize adult spiritual and educational programming for the adult members of our parish. Resumes should be emailed to: Ken Ogorek, Director of Catechesis, Archdiocese of Indianapolis (kogorek@archindy.org) 1400 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46202-2367

Knights of Columbus #1221 looking for Part-time help

KoCcrestThe Knights of Columbus, Cardinal Ritter Council #1221 in New Albany is looking for a Part-time administrative person. Duties would include but are not limited to
  • Daily cash register balance.
  • Bank deposit
  • Field phone calls
  • Place various weekly/monthly orders
  • Work with Grand Knight and other officer to insure efficient operation of the council
Hours are M-F 10-3 with some flexibility
Please contact Cardinal Ritter Council #1221 (812) 944-0891 to schedule application submittal

Homily for the 6th Sunday of Easter – Mother’s Day – May 10, 2015

Southern Indiana Catholic (SIC) Cross Country 2015

1314-Cross-Country-shutterstock_5857396Saturday, July 25th 9:00am at Sam Peden-Community Park (3037 Grant Line Rd New Albany) at the last shelter house(6) in the park, S.I.C. cross country will be holding a registration/ parent information meeting followed by the first practice of the season. Student must be registered and all required paperwork turned in no later than 9:00PM August 6. There will be NO exceptions on this date.

Find out more information on this flyer (PDF).

“I Send You Out” Pentecost Concert – May 24, 2015

2015 Pentecost Concert FlyerI Send You Out – A Musical Celebration of Pentecost­­ –Save the Date!  Student choirs, parish cantors and musicians from Holy Family will be performing a special concert at noon on Sunday, May 24th after the 10:30 Mass.

All faculty, staff and students (parishioners and community) are invited to attend; the program will last approximately one hour and will feature many of our school theme songs through the years, including great songs from Tom Franzak, Lori True, David Haas, John Angotti and other leading religious composers.

This first-time collaboration of students and adult musicians should be quite memorable, so plan to attend!

New Albany Deanery Picnic and Festivals for 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 1.17.02 PMHoly Family Parish is so happy to share the entire 2015 schedule of the New Albany Deanery Parishes’ Picnics and Festivals with you. All of the festivals are listed below, or you can download this printable PDF file to carry around with you.

imagesSt. John Starlight  Strawberry Festival

  • May 23, 2015 – 8am-6pm
  • Buffet Style Chicken Dinner
  • Served from–11am-6pm
  • Build your own Strawberry Shortcake
  • Soap Box Derby, Rides, Bingo, Craft Booths, Little Miss and Mister Shortcake Contest, Raffle, Frozen Drinks, and much more.

festival-largeSt. Mary of the Knobs 5th Annual Knobsfest

  • Saturday June 13, 2015
  • Home-cooked Chicken Dinners
  • Served from Noon-6:00pm, Booths, Noon-6:00pm, Capital Prizes, Quilts, Bingo, Kids Zone, Beer Garden, Gambling.
  • “Endless Summer” 9:00pm-Midnight

St. Anthony of Padua

  • Picnic Logo316 N. Sherwood Ave. Clarksville, IN
  • Saturday, June 20, 2015
  • 12 noon-11:00pm
  • Air Conditioned Chicken Dinner 2-8pm
  • Lots of Food, Drinks, Games, Raffles,
  • Cakes, Children’s Playland, Quilts, Bingo
  • Beer Garden & Gambling Open at 4:00pm
  • Games close 9:00pm when the dancing begins.
  • Capital Prizes & Mini-Raffles
  • 1st $5000/2nd $1000/3rd $500

54306d5ef027d.imageSt. Mary New Albany

  • Please join us on Spring Street in New Albany for the Saturday morning Harvest Homecoming Parade on October 3, 2015 and then continue your family fun at our St. Mary’s Parish Festival, complete with food, games, activities for children, with music provided by a DJ in the early evening.


St. PetersSt. Joseph Tri-parish

  • Corydon, Indiana
  • Sun. June 28, 2015,
  • 10am-3:30pm
  • At Harrison Co. Fairgrounds
  • Country Style Chicken Dinner
  • Homemade Noodles, pies and more
  • LARGE CHILDREN’S AREA!!! Games, Booths, Silent Auction, Granny’s Attic Flea Market, Quilts, Raffle, Big Money Raffle: $5000/1st $1000/2nd $500/3rd 300/4th

BingoSt. Mary Navilleton

  • 7500 Navilleton Rd. Floyds Knobs
  • July 19, 2015
  • Chicken Dinner (with all the fixins)
  • “Served in NEWLY Air-conditioned dining room” 10:00am-4pm
  • Silent Auction, Bingo, Children’s Games, Quilts, Lots of Booths and fun!
  • $2500 IN CASH PRIZES
  • Saturday July 18, 2015 8:00am – 5K FUN RUN/WALK! Register on-line at www.stmarysnavilleton.com

8191-800St. Bernard Frenchtown

  • 7600 Hwy. 337 NW, Depauw
  • Sun. Aug 2, 2015
  • 10:00am-4:00pm
  • Drawing for $10,000
  • Only 333 tickets sold – $100 each.
  • Homemade noodles and pies
  • Air Conditioned Dining Room
  • Silent Auction, Games for Kids, 50/50 Raffle, Handmade Quilts, Games of chance.

Picnic-2014St. Mary Lanesville

  • 2500 St. Mary’s Dr. Lanesville, IN
  • Sun. Aug. 9, 2015 – 10am-4:00pm
  • Served Country Style
  • “Air Conditioned Dining”
  • $6000 in cash prizes
  • Over 30 quilts to be raffled
  • Linen/Craft Booth, Huge Granny’s Attic, Numerous Games
  • Mass Schedule: 8:00am and 10:30am

Mt. St. Francis Annual Picnic

  • Sat. Aug. 29, 2015, 11:00am-Midnight
  • Games for all ages. Quilts, Silent Auction Upscale Items
  • Gambling Tent and Beer Garden
  • $7,000 in Grand Prizes!
  • Mass at 4:00pm

ChurchSt. Augustine Jeffersonville

  • 315 E. Chestnut St., Jeffersonville
  • Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015
  • 11:00am – 3:00pm

1527122_423703814429964_360475398_nSt. Michael Charlestown “Septemberfest”

  • 101 St. Michael Drive
  • Sunday Sept. 20, 2015
  • Bilingual Mass at 11:00am
  • 11:00AM-4:00PM
  • Silent Auction, Games of Chance
  • Quilt Raffle!! Money Raffle!!
  • Mexican Music and Dancing
  • $500 Jay C/Kroger Gift Card Raffle

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 1.39.19 PMSt. Michael Bradford

  • 11400 Farmers Lane, NE
  • Sun. Sept. 27, 2015
  • Dinner: 10:30am-2:30pm
  • Picnic 10:30am-5:00pm
  • Raffles, quilts, booths, bingo & more!

bildeSt. John Paul II St. Joe Hill Turkey Shoot 2605 St. Joe Rd. W, Sellersburg

  • Sunday, October 4, 2015
  • Chicken Dinner w/homemade dumplings Serving 11:00 a.m. to ? Booths, Raffles, Quilts!! Firing Range