Deacon's Corner


Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of July 23, 2017- 

   We began the Parable Discourse with Jesus coming out of the house and walking to the sea were he taught the crowd from a boat. I would imagine that the disciples were in the boat with Jesus as he offered them expanded teaching on the parables. Having visited Capernaum, the shoreline is only a few hundred feet out of Peter's back door. Thousands could easily hear Jesus words in this setting but how many actually had the ear of the heart open to listen?

Jesus parables to the crowd continues this Sunday and then Jesus returns into Peter's house to expand his teaching for the disciples privately as we will hear next Sunday. We are blessed today by St Matthew's Gospel to hear all of Jesus' Discourses, public and private, and it is our choice to open the ear to the heart, get into the boat and invite Jesus to return to our home for further teaching. Sunday Mass is the shoreline and we must decide the degree to which we want to engage with Jesus in and outside of Mass. The opportunity is there and we simply need to chose whether or not to take advantage of the opportunity.
~Deacon Dennis Donahue


Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of July 16, 2017- 

   My regular confessor asked me a few years
ago to ponder with him the question 'am I being fruitful or simply productive for God?' It is a good question and one which I continue to ponder periodically. The difference between productivity and fruitfulness is really the difference in simply doing God's work or doing work for and with God. I can be extremely busy in church work but without a deep prayer life and daily review (Examen) of where God is encountered the productivity is not going create an hundred, sixty or even a twofold yield. Plowing under the sweet yoke of Jesus and empowered by the Spirit produces the optimal soil for unimaginable fruitfulness.
~Deacon Dennis Donahue



Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of July 9, 2017- 

   Today and for the next three Sundays our second reading is taken from Chapter 8 of St Paul's Letter to the Romans. In this Chapter, St Paul invites us "to rejoice in the new era of freedom and ethical possibility brought by the Spirit made possible by God sending His Son into the world. The new possibility offers us a choice that is given in today's verses drawn from the opening of Romans 8:1-13. The choice to be made is to live a life dedicated to growth in the Spirit or one allowed to be held captive by the slippery slope of sin and increasing alienation from God. This is not a single choice point but rather a pattern of life choices made day in and day out. These next 4 weeks, as you hear St Paul's encouraging words each Sunday ask yourself at the end of each day if on average that day you chose more often toward the urging of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control) or sin (selfish gratification). The choice is always ours and made easier as we make more room for the Spirit to dwell in us.
~Deacon Dennis Donahue



Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of July 2, 2017- 

   We continue to listen to Jesus Missionary Discourse to his disciples in today's Gospel reading. It truly is a motivational talk given to all Missionary Disciples, that is all baptized persons, across all time. Jesus first discourse, the Sermon on the Mount, pointed out the ideal of the Christian life and this Jesus second discourse points out the real. Hard work, anticipated suffering, no fear of others, total trust in God, and complete belief in Jesus. These are the ingredients of a purpose driven life and a life of eternal salvation.
~Deacon Dennis Donahue



Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of June 25, 2017- 

   After pondering the marvelous gifts God has
given us over these past three Sundays, today and next Sunday the
Church reminds us of our reciprocal obligation to God. The Gospel reading on these two Sundays is drawn from the Missionary Discourse in Matthew as spoken by Jesus to the Twelve disciples as they were ready to set out to bring the Good News to the Jewish People. The instructions are just as relevant to us today through our Baptismal call to be Missionary Disciples in the current world. Go out and do what Jesus did and say what Jesus said. Expect to be persecuted by others and divided from family for doing so. Do not fear this expected suffering but trust in the Lord. And finally believe wholeheartedly in Jesus. Easy to remember but hard to live out except by the grace of God, the gift of Jesus and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
~Deacon Dennis Donahue




Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of June 18, 2017- 

   The phrase "you are what you eat" took on special meaning when a Jesuit priest guided my pilgrim confirmation class through the Shrine of the North American Martyrs many years ago. He was speaking to the class about the Eucharist and related his experience as a priest on a South Pacific Island. He said that the islanders lived primarily on a diet of fish and as a result exuded a strong odor of fish from their pores. He went to say that if we truly believe that the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ it truly becomes our daily bread then we will naturally exude Christ in the world from our every pore.
~Deacon Dennis Donahue


Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of June 11, 2017- 

   I recently came across a photoshop picture of Pope Francis at the pulpit holding a fidget spinner with the fake headline that he used this new toy craze as a prop for a homily on the Trinity. While the apostasy group's intent was to cause confusion or derision, they may have in fact struck upon a modern metaphor for the Trinity that can resonate with the young. Like St Patrick using the clover to convert the pagan Irish, we can use the fidget spinner to reevangelize. Whenever your child or grandchild, friend, neighbor or coworker is playing with the toy ask them how it works and to show you how to spin it. Then point out how the three wing spinning device becomes one and interject how this reminds you of the our Trinitarian God. You can go to tell how God's motion in the world brings the same sense of calm and peace in a more lasting way. Maybe even take a further step and carry a fidget spinner in your pocket. Decorate each wing with the sign for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and draw others to ask you about the fidget spinner in your hand.
~Deacon Dennis Donahue



Published in the St. Mary's Church Bulletin 

Week Of June 4, 2017- 

   The Holy Spirit is the person of God least understood and least consciously considered by most Christians. Maybe this has to do with invisibility or possibly if we only think of the Spirit as the Second Advocate or an add on at the end of the Redemption of Christ. Yet, the Holy Spirit was and remains critical to our alvation story. Recall that Mary was overshadowed and conceived by the Holy Spirit to become the Mother of the Son of God. The Holy Spirit also descends upon Jesus at critical moments and then upon the Apostles. This same Spirit continues to descend at each Mass at the critical moment of the consecration and at the elevation where we ask for the unity of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit continues to bring the Father's grace to our lives and brings our prayers to the Father. Set time aside in you life like the Apostles and Mary did before Pentecost to prepare a place in your heart for the Spirit to overshadow and fill with an abundance of God's grace for courageous discipleship.
~Deacon Dennis Donahue