June 13, 2021

This is my first Sunday away from St. Junípero Serra Parish. Officially my tenure ends on June 30, but I am taking a driving vacation across the country on I-40 mostly. Stopping at my kid brother’s home in Nettleton, MS and then going on to Orlando, FL to visit my other two brothers and two sisters. I left here June 10 and plan to arrive in Avon, OH July 1. It is just shy of the three weeks our Rule says we can have every year. Fr. Claudio Iori, although already here, begins as pastor officially on July 1. He takes over, however, since I have headed East. I know you will come to love him and support him as your new pastor.

Sincerely, I will miss you and this parish very much. Together we grew in the areas I said at my installation Mass were important to me:
• Good liturgy—devout, according to the General Instructions of the Roman Missal, prayerful but not stiff or triumphalist
• Preaching which unpacks the Scripture and applies it to daily life without stretching it to fit some sort of apriorist agenda
• Healthy sense of being a welcoming community of missionary disciples, united even though by nature pluralistic ethnically and linguistically
• Catechetical and formation opportunities for adults, teens, and children

Wherever we excelled in these four areas it was because of good staff, volunteers, and people in the pews. My strength is coming up with ideas and being able to envision what could be. My weakness is impatience and being a bit too perfectionistic. Despite the many things in my life that have been difficult, I am still very trusting of the goodness of people. On occasion, that did backfire on me which was no small disappointment or minor suffering.

Thank you for your many acts of kindness and of generosity to me over these thirteen years, especially the farewell wishes and gifts. Memories of my last parish picnic on May 22 will be cherished for the rest of my life. Thank you again for that and for thirteen good years here in the High Desert. I close with a quote from St. Francis de Sales, chosen for a memory card by the Lorain Catholic Class of ’99, the last one for whom I was principal: Do not look forward to what might happen tomorrow... The same everlasting Father who cares for you today... will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.

Goodbye, auf Wiedersehen, arrivederci, hasta la vista, paalam...
Fr. Leo

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;in you Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage, and defend us from every evil. Amen.

Sub Tuum Praesidium: “We turn to you for protection, Holy Mother of God. Listen to our prayers and help us in our needs. Save us from every danger, glorious and blessed Virgin.”

The prayer to St. Michael the Archangel: “St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.”

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The Sunday Mass obligation has been dispensed indefinitely.

Mass Times

Saturday (Sunday Vigil)
4:00 pm

7:30 AM, 9:30 AM, 12 Noon
& 2:00 pm (Spanish)

Monday – Saturday
7:00 AM 

Sacrament of Reconciliation

(In the Church)
Saturday 2:00 – 3:00PM

Our Lady's Chapel

Our Lady’s Chapel is accessible 24/7 for personal prayer—call the office for the new code to the side door for entry after business hours. We can again celebrate weddings, funerals, quinceañeras and baptisms with some new limitations. Contact a priest for details. Phone conversations with Fr. Leo or Fr. Jonathan instead of appointments for child baptism arrangements. Preparation now at home with materials from office.

Mass at St. Elizabeth Mission (SEM)

10:00 am
(inside with reduced numbers)

13845 Johnson Road, Lake Hughes, CA 93532 

Office Phone Hours

Monday:  9 AM to 5 PM
Tuesday:  9 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday:  9 AM to 5 PM
Thursday:  9 AM to 5 PM
Friday:  9 AM to 5 PM 

Emergency phone, call office and dial 1

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Remember the fact that we can make Spiritual Communions when the sacrament is not available. Use these or your own words: “Lord, I am not able to receive you now sacramentally. Enter into my heart. I embrace you as already there and unite myself to you. Never let me be separated from you.”

Remember that when the sacrament of penance is not available, one should present one’s sorrow directly to God and say a good Act of Contrition. Sins, including mortal ones, are forgiven. When opportunity arises, mention the latter in your next confession just to keep yourself honest. A very simple Act of Contrition that is found in the Rite of Penance is: “Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

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