TRUE RICHES IN THE GOLDEN STATE: A CALL TO ACTION

By THE MOST REVEREND KEVIN W. VANN, J.C.D., D.D.     

What are the riches of the Golden State? California’s beauty, landscapes, diversity, industry and influence are unparalleled. It is the fifth largest economy in the world. And paramount among all this beauty is the inestimable value of each and every human life.

Our state is amid a record two-year budget surplus. Proposals are coming out of the woodwork for how to spend the money. Unfortunately, alongside some laudable proposals CA legislature leadership and the governor have decided to prioritize expansion of already liberal abortion laws and policy.

I will address the specific challenges we face in an unprecedented onslaught of bills threatening the sanctity of life below – and invite you to prayer and action – but first a few words of encouragement.

As partisan polarization has reached record levels common ground for the common good on issues including abortion has become harder and harder to come by. In fact, it is unclear whether either end of the political spectrum is even interested in de-polarizing since their own vested interests are served by the status quo, all the more so in states where one party has a supermajority.

I have served as priest and then bishop in three distinct political environments in Illinois, Texas and California. I’ve not seen before the rancor, entrenchment and extremism as strong as it appears today.

Nonetheless, we must resist the temptation to despair but rather trust in Christ Jesus who promises to be with us until the end of the age. A promise recalled anew during this Easter season.

“We should take as a maxim,” wrote Saint Vincent de Paul, “never to be surprised at current difficulties, no more than at a passing breeze, because with a little patience we shall see them disappear. Time changes everything.”

On the other hand, we must resist the temptation to indifference. Pope Francis has warned us, consistently and forcefully, against that option. “We cannot remain indifferent when human dignity is trampled and exploited, when human life is attacked, whether that of the unborn or of any other person in need of care” (Dec. 20, 2019).

Between despair and indifference lies the path of patient and persistent prayer and action, the path of faithfulness.

Saint Augustine, addressing our tendency to romanticize previous times, wrote: “You may think past ages were good, but it is only because you are not living in them.” A good word for any tempted toward nostalgia for a past that never really existed, or existed for some at the expense of others.

Saint Augustine’s is a counsel neither of despair nor indifference. Elsewhere he challenged us: “Bad times, hard times — this is what people keep saying; but let us live well, and times shall be good. We are the times: such as we are, such are the times.”

With this ancient counsel to faithful living and witness in mind, we can face soberly the specific challenge in front of us. A challenge of abortion expansion and threats to religious liberty confronts us in the following bills in the California legislature:

AB 2223, while addressing a shared concern that women not be prosecuted for pregnancy outcomes (for the church opposes punitive approaches in favor of healing and restorative ones), has vague language of “perinatal death” which we must oppose unless it is amended to definitively exclude infant death due to abuse or neglect.

AB 2134 would force religious employers to advertise and pay for abortions.

AB 2586 expands taxpayer-funded abortions in California.

AB 1918 provides scholarships for abortion doctors.

SB 1375 would make abortion even more dangerous for women by removing physician oversight.

SB 1245 establishes a pilot program in Los Angeles County to make it an abortion destination.

SB 1142 makes California an abortion destination for out of state women.

It goes without saying that we are, as always, opposed to abortion expansion since it always takes the life of a human being, with more than 132,000 lives lost each year in our state alone. Paying for every ancillary expense of a woman who has an abortion without ensuring adequate services for parenting women amounts to reproductive coercion. Women deserve to be empowered with non-violent solutions to the challenges they face during pregnancy.

Additionally concerning is doing all of this in the name of marginalized communities. It was none other than civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, best known for her leadership with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Mississippi Democratic Freedom Party, who according to a recent biographer viewed abortion as a social justice issue and placed it among the white supremacist tools to regulate Black lives. Not all her fellow activists always agreed with her but they respected her convictions and together they were able to find immense common ground to better the lives of women and children. “Children have a right to live,” she said. “And I think that these mothers have a right to support them in a decent way…We are dealing with human beings.”

Hamer’s advocacy reminds me also of my mother Theresa who worked as a maternity nurse and nursing instructor at St. John’s Catholic Hospital in Springfield, Illinois. She was always concerned especially for poor women, for their family’s wellbeing, and that they could get a nursing education – to which end a scholarship was even created in her name! California needs equity for the choices of pregnant and parenting women as they pursue motherhood.

The legislative list above is daunting and disappointing. It is especially so in the light of all of the riches in our state and the opportunities we have to commit, as the California bishops put it in our recent statement, “to a vision for our state that honors women with life-affirming support and practical resources so that all families can thrive, and so that no woman feels trapped into the devastating decision to end a life by abortion.”

Many California Catholics are already living out this vision through tireless efforts at pregnancy shelters, clinics and centers across our communities, through parish ministries of accompaniment that Walk with Moms in Need, through parish and Saint Vincent de Paul food pantries, financial support, parenting classes, domestic violence awareness, migrant support and mental health ministry through community participation and Eucharistic solidarity. We must do more. I invite you to three simple actions today:

Pray – for women, children, and families in need and for just laws that protect life and dignity.

Learn – about current legislation and share this information with others.

Advocate – a simple step: sign up for the California Catholic Legislative Network today and receive timely updates and Action Alerts by which you can respond with the click of a button.

Read more about this legislation and sign up for Action Alerts at cacatholic.org/action-alerts. Thank you for giving of your time, talent, and treasure to walk with those in need. After all, as one author put it well, “There is no wealth but life.”


Act of Consecration Prayer

Dear Holy Trinity Parishioners, peace be with you.

Pope Francis is asking all Catholics to join him in prayer tomorrow, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, at 9:00am, to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Pope Francis said in the letter he sent to all the world’s bishops earlier this week… “I ask you to join in this act by inviting the priests, religious and faithful to assemble in their churches and places of prayer on March 25, so that God’s Holy People may raise a heartfelt and choral plea to Mary our Mother,”.

In solidarity, we will be praying the Act of Consecration Prayer tomorrow at 9:00am after the 8:30am Daily Mass while the Blessed Sacrament is exposed.

Click Here for a printable copy of the Act of Consecration Prayer. Copies will also be available in the narthex starting tomorrow and throughout the weekend.

Click Here for live streaming services available via EWTN.

Please join us as we pray for peace.

United In Christ,

Fr. Michael St. Paul


Can you help Ukraine? Catholic Relief Services

With some 3 million people in Ukraine already in need of urgent humanitarian assistance at the time of the Russian military incursion, there is now immediate support needed to meet ongoing needs, as well as those related to families forced to flee their homes as the situation intensifies.

Catholic Relief Services and Caritas Ukraine partners on the ground have been providing emergency relief and recovery. They are preparing across Ukraine and in bordering countries, ready to provide safe shelter, hot meals, hygiene supplies, fuel to keep warm, transport to safe areas, counseling support and more.

The situation there is rapidly unfolding, and we could not do this work without your help. When you donate, you provide immediate assistance for your Ukrainian sisters and brothers affected by this crisis. To donate today, go to the landing pages in English (support.crs.org/donate/donate-ukraine) or Spanish (support.crs.org/dona/ucrania-emergencia).


Pray for Peace in Ukraine

Bishop Vann invites all the faithful of the Diocese of Orange to pray in a special way for the people of Ukraine. He also joins Pope Francis who calls us to pray and fast for peace in Ukraine on Ash Wednesday, saying: “I invite everyone to make March 2, Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting for peace. I encourage believers in a special way to devote themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day. May the Queen of Peace protect the world from the folly of war.”

Pray with us…

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Mary, Queen of Peace, protect us from the folly of war.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Amen


2022 PSA

Click Here to make a PSA contribution.

You can also donate by texting “PSA” to 714-622-7877.

One very important aspect of stewardship at Holy Trinity is the Pastoral Service Appeal (PSA). Some of you have already accepted the invitation by offering your financial support of our Diocese and our parish family here at Holy Trinity. Thank you!

Of course, this year we pray for 100% participation.  For those who have not participated in the PSA, this is your year! I invite everyone to join me and your parish family in making your contribution to this year’s PSA. Not only will you be making a positive impact at our Holy Trinity parish, but your support will help our greater Catholic community to which we all belong by supporting our Seminarians and retired priests.

As in years past, 100% of what we raise above our goal for the diocese will be returned to our parish community. Our parish goal to the Diocese this year is $90,000… and every dollar paid beyond $90k will be returned in rebates to Holy Trinity so that we can accomplish the following:

  • Slurry coating, striping and repairing our Parking Lot
  • Investing in our Music Ministry at Mass
  • Adding to our weekly Sunday Collection to meet budget needs
  • Staying on top of our Debt Service on our 2 loans, Farmer’s and Merchant’s Bank and the Diocese of Orange.

Now Hiring- Elementary Faith Formation Coordinator

Seeking part-time employee to join the Holy Trinity Staff coordinating children’s Faith Formation programs. Must have a passion for sharing God’s love and our precious Catholic faith with children and families of Holy Trinity.

Click Here to view job description!

For more information please contact Lyssa Rollolazo, Director of Parish Life and Faith Formation at lrollolazo@holytrinityladera.org


Holy Trinity Rosary Rally

Holy Trinity Catholic Church

On October 24th Holy Trinity Catholic Church held a Rosary Rally for Respect for Life Month.

God, our loving Father, we thank and praise you for the precious gift of human life. You breathed your love into each of us and we are created  in your very image and likeness. You further affirmed the dignity of life when you sent your Eternal Son to become one with us in His Incarnation, and the Blessed Virgin Mary’s “yes” at the Annunciation advanced the plan of our salvation. May we dedicate ourselves to always hold life sacred from the moment of conception until natural death.  Give us the courage to speak with truth, love and conviction in the defense of life for both the unborn and the born.  Help us to extend the gentle hand of mercy and forgiveness to those who do not reverence this gift. May we be a people who always choose to honor life. All this we pray in the precious name of Jesus. Amen 


Stewardship Prayer

Heavenly Father,
We come to you in thanksgiving for the many wonderful blessings you
have bestowed on each of us and on our Holy Trinity community. As we
celebrate the 16th anniversary of our parish’s establishment this July,
may our hearts and minds be in tune with the joys, as well as, the needs
we have as faithful disciples. We ask that you guide us to be good
stewards of this church, our sacred and holy place of worship, and our
parish campus. May we cherish and tend to them in a responsible
manner. May we also be ever mindful of the critical need to sacrifice
within our means to address our debt obligations. Strengthen our
resolve to move steadily forward to meet this significant challenge. As
a people of faith and hope, and of love for you and one another, may
we embrace our role as faithful stewards in the same spirit of sacrifice
that Jesus taught us by his life and death for us.
In his precious name we pray.
Amen


‘DISPENSATION’ DEFINED

Bishop Kevin Vann lifts dispensation for attending Mass during pandemic

By Monsignor Stephen Doktorczyk     6/11/2021

The word “dispensation” can have varied meanings. One definition of dispensation is “the relaxation of a merely ecclesiastical law in a particular case” according to canon 85 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law. The dispensation question is often raised when St. Patrick’s Day, which always takes place during Lent, falls on a Friday. Since abstinence from meat on Fridays (outside of when a solemnity falls on a Friday) (canon 1251) is an ecclesiastical (Church) and not a divine law, a bishop or another with executive authority may relax the law in such a case. He could add the contingency that if one decides to have corned beef on Friday, March 17, he is to refrain from meat on another day.  

When the seriousness of the coronavirus became known, it seemed fitting to excuse certain people who could be at high risk of contracting COVID-19 from being physically present at Mass. But it is important to point out a distinction perhaps not evident to everyone. It is the Third Commandment of the Decalogue that requires us to keep holy the Lord’s Day. Canon 1247 states that “on Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in Mass.” It is the Church, then, that tells us how to keep holy the Lord’s day (Sunday). I might add that the same canon states that the faithful “are to abstain from those works and affairs which hinder the worship to be rendered to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s day, or the suitable relaxation of mind and body.” Therefore, how to keep holy the day of the Lord is prescribed by the Church, and, as a result, competent ecclesiastical authority may dispense from the requirement in certain cases, according to the good judgment of the same authority. This is why the faithful were instructed that, if attending Mass in person was not advisable in their particular situation, they could pray the Rosary, read Scripture for 30 minutes, watch the Mass on television or via live-streaming, and the like. 

With the subsiding of the coronavirus threat and high vaccination rates in Orange County, people should now feel safe returning to Holy Mass in person. The need for a general dispensation has come to an end, and, effective June 12, 2021, it will no longer be in effect. That being said, it is understood that no one is held to the impossible. Someone who is unable to get out of bed, for example, is not expected to be physically present at Mass. Such a one would in no way commit a sin by absenting him or herself from being present at Holy Mass. Likewise, someone who is sick might even have the obligation to stay away from Mass on a Sunday or Holy Day of Obligation.  

What if someone has a significant fear or anxiety of becoming ill by being at Mass, for example, those who for good reason have not received the COVID vaccine?  Such persons should speak to their pastor, who may grant a dispensation in individual cases per canon 1245 of the Code of Canon Law. Such a one is still held to keep holy the Lord’s day in other ways, of course. 

“The Supreme Law is the salvation of souls,” according to canon 1752. The Church does not want to be too onerous in its approach nor too lax. May everything we do be directed towards our eternal salvation and that of others.