Sunday, July 31, 2011

Looking ahead

This next weekend our confirmation youth are making a retreat. This is part of their preparation and formation so that they may be as ready as possible to open their hearts and lives to the power of the Holy Spirit in confirmation.

Did you know that priests are required by canon law to make a retreat each year so that they can continue to deepen their faith and vocational response to God.

What about married couples, and single people, and the divorced, and those who have lost a spouse or a child? Do they now have special spiritual needs? Though it is not possible to require them to make an annual retreat, would it not be beneficial and helpful for them to do so?

The youth, this weekend, are leading us by example. Everyone is encouraged to do the same in order to be refreshed, encouraged, strengthened, healed, graced and renewed in their faith.

— Father Perry D. Leiker,
parish administrator

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Our deepest needs

The word of God serves up a tremendous feast for us today. Isaiah beckons all who hunger and thirst to come to the Lord for satisfaction. The psalmist cries out, “The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs” (Psalm 145:16).

Saint Paul tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Finally, in the Gospel, we hear the story of the miraculous feeding of over 5,000 people from a mere five loaves and two fish. Most of us have our material needs met on a day-to-day basis. These scriptures, nevertheless, have much to say to the contemporary believer. We must ask ourselves, “Where are my deepest hungers? Where are my thirsts?” After material needs are satisfied and, in some cases, over-satisfied, many people still experience a deep longing for spiritual balance and well-being.

As the loaves and fish are multiplied in today’s Gospel, perhaps our prayer can be a longing for the satisfaction of the deepest needs that only God can fill.

Friday, July 29, 2011

St. Bernard Catholic School news

St. Bernard Catholic School and Parish has been selected to participate in the C3 Technology Pilot Program of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles!

As one of the first six participating schools and parishes in the archdiocese, updated Internet connectivity and new hardware and software technology will transform teaching and learning in our classrooms. Students in all grades will have access to the latest educational content and the ability to collaborate over our school’s high speed wireless network. Additionally, students in sixth grade, for the next three years, will each receive a computing device for use in the classroom and at home as part of our 1-to-1 program. There are still spots open in fourth (four spots), fifth (six spots), and sixth grades (six spots), which will be participating in the 1-to-1 program over the next three years.

Registration for grades one to seven is ongoing, and tuition assistance is available for qualified families. For a tour of the school, call (323) 256-4989 or e-mail You may also visit our website at

Also, St. Bernard Catholic School has received a full six-year accreditation from the Western Catholic Educational Association and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WCEA/WASC). Thank you to Pastor Emeritus Monsignor Gerald McSorley, the teachers, staff, parents, and parish members who helped with this effort! This recognition is an affirmation of the mission, academic program, and Catholic formation provided by St. Bernard Catholic School!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Free tutoring

Youth Policy Institute (YPI) provides the following tutoring services:

1. Thirty hours of free academic tutoring to kindergarten to 12th grade students.

2. Free transportation may be provided.

3. The majority of students improved on assessments tests.

4. Tutoring seven days a week, Monday to Friday after school.

5. Sunday and Sunday (at your convenient time).

The mission of the Youth Policy Institute (YPI) is to provide education, training, and technology services for low income families. For more information, call (800) 974-1983.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The road to priesthood involves a rigorous formation process

Seminary formation involves much more than academic study. Prior to ordination, a candidate for priesthood goes through a lengthy evaluation period, including an internship during which he lives in a rectory and works with priests, staff and parishioners. During this time, the candidate is judged as to his suitability to be a priest.

No one is ordained unless the staff of St. John’s Seminary, including the lay faculty and formation advisers, concludes that the candidate has attained an emotional, psychological and sexual maturity appropriate for his age and for the celibate life of a priest.

For more information, visit and click on the “Vocations” tab.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Looking ahead

This weekend, and for the next two Saturdays, the ministerial groups within the parish came together to “do some fixin’” at the Pastoral Center.

During these Saturdays they will clean, paint, build shelves, get rid of unusable items, and prepare the Center for our youth in the Religious Education Program and for our ministry groups.

Any and every member of our parish community is welcome to join us these Saturdays beginning at 9 a.m.  Also, next weekend — July 29, 30 and 31 — our confirmation youth (75 teens) will be making a retreat for their spiritual development as they continue their faith journey. Please keep them in your prayers!

— Father Perry D. Leiker,
parish administrator

Sunday, July 17, 2011

San Fernando Regional Congress theme: 'Embrace God's Call to Generosity'

Dear friends,

It is with great anticipation that I introduce to you the San Fernando Regional Congress theme for 2011: "Embrace God's Call to Generosity."

As laborers in God's vineyard, we know the vastness of God's love for us, the challenge of the acceptance of God's mercy for ourselves and others, and the reality of our inability, at times, to know that God's ways are beyond our own.  The readings of this 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time remind us that the Lord is near, and offer us mercy and compassion.

You are invited to gather as a community of believers on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011. You may choose three workshops. Consider where you feel you are most called to learn more about your relationship with our God's generosity, as well as where you may serve generously in an area of ministry.

I look forward to walking with you on this day to hear where and how we are all called to "Embrace God's Call to Generosity."

— Bishop Gerald Wilkerson,
auxiliary bishop,
San Fernando Pastoral Region

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Looking ahead

In less than a month, St. Bernard School will be re-opening; at the end of July, our youth will be making a weekend retreat in Riverside and experiencing a deepening of their faith; mid-August, some of our youth will be going to Madrid, Spain, to World Youth Day with Pope Benedict, experiencing our Catholic Faith together with the youth of the world.

Our youth — aren’t they worth it all! From a good Catholic education in our own parish school (how blessed can we be) to a world trip across the Atlantic to be with the pope and youth from EVERYWHERE — our youth have a chance to be enriched with the blessings of our faith.

May we adults and all parishioners support our youth with prayer, with financial aid, with advice and example so that tomorrow may be even better than today!

— Father Perry D. Leiker,
parish administrator

Monday, July 11, 2011

How to report inappropriate or illegal content on the Internet

One of the main reasons that children do not report the inappropriate content they find online is fear of punishment from parents.

If you let them know that it is not their fault if they come across an inappropriate site, they will be more willing to come to you when it happens.

If your children ever show you a site that contains illegal behavior, such as pornographic images of children, contact your Internet service provider and the CyberTipine at

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Creation awaits

It is easy to get discouraged. It is easy to bedistracted by difficulties and duties in our daily lives. It is possible for the word to be snatched away, even as we struggle to understand. Distractions of every kind prevent the word from being heard.

But Isaiah and Paul underline the important point that the word of God is effective in all of creation, including us. Just as the rain waters the earth and will not return to the heavens until it does its intended work, the earth yields its rich harvest and rejoices.

Our sufferings, distractions, and wearying work will not prevent us from hearing the word of God and doing God’s work if we see with our eyes the beauty of creation, hear with our ears the music of the universe, and understand with our heart that God has made all of this to help us.

God heals every ill, calls us back from distraction, protects us from evil, and gives us the grace to hear the word with joy. It is God’s grace that prepares the ground for the seed, watering it, breaking up the clods, making even untilled ground fruitful. When we understand with our heart that this is God’s work in us, then even without understanding with our head, we can receive the word of God with the same joyful song of creation in bloom.

Friday, July 8, 2011

God's words

Each day we are bombarded with thousands of words. From the moment our clock radios click on in the morning, until the last moment of the day when the television is turned off or someone bids us “good-night,” our life is filled with words.

Some words that we hear bring news that leaves us feeling low. Some words lift our spirits. Many of the words we hear are trying to get us to buy something. Some words are hurtful.

This weekend, the church focuses our attention on hearing the word of God. Are God’s words just more of the same—part of the endless stream of words that flow into our ears each day?

The challenge today is to allow God’s word to inspire us in new ways so that our outlook and attitudes align themselves more closely with the heart and mind of Christ Jesus.