Sunday, June 29, 2014

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker

The Solemnity of Peter and Paul falls on a Saturday and Sunday this year. The whole church throughout the world has the opportunity to celebrate both the vigil and day of the feast.

We are lavished with two sets of readings. All, however, focus keenly on the two central figures of this feast: Peter and Paul.

Peter, the great apostle to the Jews, is called by Christ in bold terms to lead the church and, indeed, to be its very foundation: “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.”

From this apostle will come three denials of Jesus at our Lord’s most vulnerable moment. But also from Peter will come a three-fold proclamation: “Yes, Lord, you know I love you!”

Jesus calls him and sends him forth and eventually he will give his life completely as faithful disciple and follower of our Lord.

Paul, the great apostle to the Gentiles, is completely transformed through conversion of heart and soul to be the "super-apostle" of Jesus Christ. He makes a full circle from being a persecutor of the Christians to becoming a traveler of sea and land to proclaim Jesus as Lord to all and to establishing communities of faith "to the ends of the world."

Paul is willing to give his all and never count the cost: “I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.”

We have in Peter and Paul models, teachers and giants of faith. We may not proclaim Christ in great speeches as did Peter and Paul, but we do proclaim Christ every day by the way we live.

Selflessness and surrendering ourselves to God will bring us the same victory shared by Peter and Paul.

Christ built up his church through Peter and Paul. How is Christ building up his church through us, and how do we experience ourselves being "poured out like a libation"?

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email pleiker@stbernard-church.com.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Holiness is our daily task

Archbishop José H. Gomez
By Archbishop José H. Gomez

Holiness is the heart of our relationship with Jesus and holiness is the heart of our mission as Christians.

Yet holiness is still often misunderstood.

I still hear people talk as if holiness is something only for special people, something that’s beyond our reach, something only saints can achieve.

This is not true!

Holiness is the beautiful destiny that God intends for everybody.

This is one of the truths that we learn from our reflection on the sacred heart of Jesus. The heart of Jesus is the source of all life and holiness. As we celebrate this great feast this week, we should reflect on the love that Jesus has for us and his beautiful intention for our lives.

Jesus called each of us to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. St. Paul told us: “This is the will of God — your sanctification.” This is what the Second Vatican Council called the “universal call to holiness.”

We are still sinners. That doesn’t change — it’s the reality of the human condition. But because Jesus is holy, sin and weakness do not have the last word in our lives. Because Jesus is holy, sinners can become saints.

The love of Jesus, which he gives to us through the church’s sacraments, purifies us and joins us to his own life. And his life is holy and divine. So when we share in the life of Jesus, we share in his holiness and his divinity. This is what it means to be a child of God.

So we are not born holy. God makes us holy — through his grace and our desire to correspond with his grace.

He changes our heart, day by day, if we choose to walk with Jesus. His path is the path of holiness.

In practical terms, the way to grow in holiness is to imitate Jesus — to follow in his footsteps and try to live in this world as he did, with his same attitudes and reactions. For each of us, becoming holy is a process of trying to be more like Jesus each day.

Because we are all different, holiness will look different for everyone. But we all seek holiness in the same way — by trying in every moment to cooperate with God’s will and to let him act through our words and deed. We seek holiness by trying to serve our neighbors and give glory of God in everything.

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has said, “Do not be afraid of holiness! Do not be afraid to aim high, to let yourself be loved and purified by God.”

Holiness is our task, our vocation. Of every one of us.

Holiness is not something heroic or extraordinary. It is ordinary. It comes in being cheerful, doing our normal work, carrying out our daily duties, no matter how small, with love for God and concern for others.

It is all about witness, about the imitation of Jesus Christ, taking his way, following his path.

To be a child of God means that God wants us to grow up to be saints. As we know, saints are not just those men and women who the Church recognizes and canonizes as saints. St. Paul said that “all God’s beloved ... are called to be saints.”

And God does not call us to something that he will not help us achieve. This is the work of the church — to show us the way of Jesus and to sanctify us and make us holy. To make us saints.

The church gives us the path to holiness — especially through the encounter with Christ in the Eucharist and confession. If we let ourselves, God will use these means to change us — to make us people who have hearts of mercy, people who are kind and humble, meek and patient.

So God is calling all of us to be saints. Saints of the everyday and missionaries of his love — to bear witness to his love in the ordinary events and activities of our daily lives.

We are not here only to seek our own holiness. God wants to sanctify the whole world through his church, through the lives of each one of his children. So he wants us to do our part — to spread his Kingdom of holiness and justice, love and peace.

So this week let’s make that our prayer for one another — that we grow in our desire to be holy and to help others to become holy. Let’s make holiness our hope and make a new commitment to follow the path of Jesus and to let his love work in our lives.

And let us ask our Blessed Mother Mary to help us to grow in our awareness that we are children of God, who are made for holiness.

Archbishop José H. Gómez is archbishop of Los Angeles. His weekly column is provided by and appears in The Tidings, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Reach Archbishop Gomez at (213) 637-7000, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/archbishopgomez

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker 

This celebration of the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ highlights two relationships: God’s special and loving relationship with us, and our relationship with one another as the body of Christ.

This feast affords me a wonderful opportunity to express my thanks to all of you. The scriptures today point out how God guided his people, out of love and compassion. Nothing was left to chance. God led his people out into the desert and eventually led them to the place of promise. He fed them, gave them drink and protected them from the "serpents." Their outer physical journey reflected a parallel inner journey of the spirit.

In John’s Gospel, God continued to care for his people. He sent his Son Jesus who gave himself to God’s people so completely that he became their very food and drink to satisfy their deepest hungers and thirsts. God’s wondrous care promised eternal life and the assurance that we will be "raised on the last day."

All of this, and our relationship with Jesus the Christ, especially in Eucharist, brings us into a profound relationship with one another.

Paul tells us we are the "body of Christ." Jesus describes the depth of our unity through Eucharist: “Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.”

I am thankful. I came to St. Bernard Church three years ago, and this very amazing parish has drawn me into this portion of the body of Christ with profound results for me. This parish has shaped me, changed me, formed me, challenged me, taught me and given me new life.

Like a family, we have gone through it all. We have said things, done things and refused to do things that have hurt; and we have challenged, blessed, healed and loved one another. We have been asked by God’s word to forgive. Hopefully, we have done so.

We have worked together. We are, and will become, more united — more one — more the body of Christ.

I am thankful. My heart has been called to love, and I did all I did not just out of duty, but for love.

I am thankful that I was a part of this portion of the body of Christ.

I am thankful to and for you!

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email pleiker@stbernard-church.com.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

We need a new conversation about religion in American life

Archbishop José H. Gomez
By Archbishop José H. Gomez

Last week at the annual Spring meeting of the United States Catholic bishops, my brother bishops and I voted unanimously to continue our “ad hoc” Committee for Religious Liberty for another three years.

The fact that we need this committee points to an uncomfortable reality — that our country’s original commitment to religious freedom is no longer certain.

To draw attention to the growing threats to our individual liberties and the freedom of the church, the U.S. bishops are again encouraging Catholics to observe a third annual “Fortnight for Freedom,” from June 21 to July 4.

This is a time for all of us to pray for a renewal of our nation’s commitment to freedom — especially freedom of religion and conscience.

I’m reading a good new book on this subject by Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan, “Let’s Not Forget God: Freedom of Faith, Culture, and Politics” (Image, $20).

Cardinal Scola makes the case that freedom of religion is a crucial human rights issue of our time — from the persecution of Christians in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, to the growing conflicts between religious believers and secular authorities in America and Europe.

Reading his book made me think that the church in this country should be leading a serious new conversation about the place of religion in American culture and public life.

Religious liberty and freedom of conscience are maybe too easy to take for granted.

Many Catholics and other Americans are immigrants from countries that have no tradition of religious liberty. For many, the simple freedoms we enjoy here — to be able to pray and go to church without harassment — are freedoms they have never known in their homelands.

But religion has always meant more than prayer and worship in American culture and society.

America’s founding documents reflect an essentially religious worldview — that God is our creator and that he guides the course of human events.

Our Declaration of Independence makes it the government’s purpose to defend the God-given rights of every human person. Religious liberty is the “first freedom” in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, because America’s founders knew that a free society depends on having strong religious institutions and people shaped by the morality and virtues that flow from religious faith.

The question we face now as a society is whether we have “moved beyond” what our founders believed. Many people today, especially our political and cultural leaders, think we have. They believe the founders’ religious worldview is no longer relevant in our “post-modern” age.

I worry about this direction in our culture. In my opinion, if we forget that God is our creator — and if we forget that human rights are given by God and not granted by government — then we lose the reason for fighting injustice and promoting human dignity.

In our nation’s history, much of our progress in social justice has been inspired by religious faith and built on the struggles and sacrifices of religious believers.

Christians were among the leaders in the efforts to abolish slavery and to give women the right to vote. Churches and synagogues led the African American civil rights movement and the farm workers’ movement. It was a book by a Catholic Worker, called “The Other America,” that launched the national “war on poverty” in the 1960s. Christians formed the foundation of the pro-life movement and the peace movements.

Given this history, it is important for Catholics and other believers to take a leading role — as men and women of faith — in the debates and conversations that are shaping the direction and culture of our country.

So we need to continue this larger conversation about conscience and religion in American society.

As Catholics in this conversation, we need to remember that our faith in Jesus Christ is meant to have consequences. Not only in our own lives and in our own homes, but also in the society we live in. As Catholics, we have a viewpoint that our society needs to hear — a beautiful vision of human dignity and human society that we are called to share with our neighbors.

So during these next two weeks, this “Fortnight for Freedom,” let’s pray for one another and let’s pray for our country. Especially for our leaders.

And let’s ask our Blessed Mother, Mary Immaculate, the patroness of this great country, to help all of us to become stronger in our understanding of the importance of religion in our society. 

Archbishop José H. Gómez is archbishop of Los Angeles. His weekly column is provided by and appears in The Tidings, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Reach Archbishop Gomez at (213) 637-7000, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/archbishopgomez.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker

The Second Letter to the Corinthians concludes with a blessing: advice, words of encouragement, and gentle warnings about how to walk the talk and living what has been preached to them (specifically, the Corinthians and us).

The blessing and final words say quite simply: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.” It is not only a blessing of this triune God (one God in three persons), it also reveals to us a lot about our God.

We are invited to relate to God and each person within this God (a mystery in itself) with three actions, one connected to each person: Father, lover; Son, grace giver; Spirit, fellowship maker.

Our story begins way back in Genesis with an all-powerful God — completely other, not approachable in his mightiness, and in no way able to be understood — yet a God who loves us into creation.

After almost 2,000 years of walking with this God in faith, his promise foretold was realized in the birth of Jesus of Nazareth who graced us with his ministry, teachings, examples, and death and resurrection.

When the Son of God was raised from the dead, appeared to his chosen disciples, then prepared them for his final departure as he returned to his Father, the promised gifts of Spirit, unity, love, communion, truth, peace, and abundant fellowship were delivered at Pentecost.

Holy Trinity is the simplest and most direct way for us to give title to our God: Father, Son, Spirit.

Holy Trinity is the clearest and most succinct way to describe what God desires to do for us, to us and in us, that is, love, grace,  and create abundant fellowship among us.

The blessing and final words say quite simply: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.” It is not only a blessing of this triune God (one God in three persons), it also reveals to us a lot about our God.

Our God is in no way abstract and apart from us. Our God involves himself with us by loving, gracing and forming deep unity and fellowship among us. Our God is most holy and loving, and his dwelling among and within us has forever changed us. We take our anointing seriously. We become holy not because of what we do, but because of what has been done to us.

On this Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, we celebrate and worship our God, only to discover how deeply blessed we are.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email pleiker@stbernard-church.com.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Some prayers and reflections for summer

Archbishop José H. Gomez
By Archbishop José H. Gomez

I’m on my way to New Orleans for the annual Spring meeting of the United States Catholic Bishops. As I travel, I find myself praying and reflecting on the many great things that have been going on here in the archdiocese in recent weeks.

We are blessed to live in the country’s largest archdiocese. And as we all know, the faith is alive in “Catholic L.A.” — in all its beautiful diversity.

I felt this very strongly this past Sunday as we celebrated Pentecost and the “birthday” of the universal Catholic Church.

Our cathedral was filled to overflowing for our Mass with the ecclesial movements of the archdiocese.

It was a glorious liturgy that showed the rich “fruits” of that first Pentecost. Worshipping together, we could see what God intended in sending his Spirit so long ago.

He sent his Spirit to create his church as one family of God — to make us all brothers and sisters called by his Son and gathered by his Spirit from every nation, every people, and every language under heaven.

We see the fruits of the Spirit’s work every day here in our church. The Spirit is living and active everywhere — in our parishes and schools; in our ministries to the poor and to those who are suffering and hurting. He is working in all the little ways that each of us tries to spread the joy of our love for Jesus to others.

We are also seeing God’s Spirit working in the growth of vocations to the priesthood and religious and consecrated life.

I had the blessing recently to ordain four new priests and 15 new permanent deacons for our archdiocese. We are looking forward to even more in the years to come. Our diaconate program is growing and so are the numbers of men studying at St. John’s Seminary.

These are signs of God’s blessings and the vitality of our homes and Catholic communities. So I hope you will join me in continuing to pray every day for our priests and deacons, for all our religious and consecrated men and women, and also for our seminarians. Also, let’s keep praying every day that many more will hear the voice of Jesus calling them to his priesthood and consecrated life.

The school year is also ending in these next couple of weeks and parish religious education programs are winding down for the summer.

I had the blessing to celebrate the closing Mass of the school year at Bishop Alemany High School recently.

I am praying for all high school graduates in the archdiocese and their families. Graduation is the start of the great adventure of life and service in the world.

So let’s keep all graduates in our prayers. Let’s ask God to give them the grace to always seek to use their talents and education for the good of others and the glory of God.

Finally, the confirmation season is coming to an end for my brother bishops and me. This year, I have been blessed to be able to celebrate the sacrament at parishes all over the archdiocese and I will be visiting a few more in the next week or so.

It is such a joy for me to meet so many young people and to bring them the gift of the Holy Spirit.

I hope you will keep our newly confirmed in your prayers.

My prayer is that they will continue to grow in their friendship with Jesus and their desire to share their faith and serve his church.

As we enter the months of summer, please pray for me as I am praying for all of you.

Summer is a wonderful time for all of us to relax a little and be renewed and to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.

Let’s use these times of relaxation as a way to spend more time in prayer and reflection on the things of God.

Let’s keep our Holy Father Pope Francis in our prayers — and especially pray for his intentions. The pope has been focusing on peace in our troubled world, especially in the Holy Land and the Middle East.

Let’s pray with him and reflect on his prayer for peace: “God of Love, You created us and You call us to live as brothers and sisters. Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister.”

So I wish you all a great summer, filled with fun and family and prayer. And I entrust all of you and your families to our Blessed Mother Mary. May she help us to always know the joy of living with Jesus.

Archbishop José H. Gómez is archbishop of Los Angeles. His weekly column is provided by and appears in The Tidings, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Reach Archbishop Gomez at (213) 637-7000, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/archbishopgomez. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Now accepting applications for sacramental preparation, catechism classes

We are accepting registration for sacramental preparation and catechism classes until June 15.

Office hours are 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

For first communion, bring your child’s baptismal certificate and two passport-size photographs. Please add the first communion certificate for confirmation preparation classes.

The office will close for the summer and will reopen on Aug. 16.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker

Pentecost (from the Greek pentecoste, “50th day”) follows Easter by 50 days, and the ascension by 10 days.

The refrain from the responsorial psalm cries out: “Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth!”

Its importance, however, is not in the number of days but, rather, what took place on that day. We understand it to be the birthday of the church.

The biblical texts narrate an outpouring of God’s Spirit upon the gathered disciples. In the details of the event, so much energy and life is described. Simply lifting some of the words from the readings for today’s liturgy gives us a taste of the feast: “Suddenly came a noise like a strong driving wind; there appeared tongues as of fire; they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues; they were astounded.”

The Gospel hearkens back to the Easter night scene when Jesus appeared in the upper room: “He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.’”

Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, boldly declares what the Spirit does. It is in and by the Spirit that we proclaim Jesus as Lord; all kinds of gifts, service, workings and benefits come about through the Spirit. The fullest and ultimate bonding of intimate unity happens through the Spirit making us “one body in Christ”: “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.”

In the Holy Spirit, the ultimate crossing of all boundaries happens: we are no longer Jews, Greeks, slaves, free persons — we are all ONE!

Imagine if Pentecost — celebrated, presumably, by all Christians — were truly a present event, not just a memory. Imagine if the power unleashed by the Holy Spirit and recorded in the scriptures were present, real, effective and creating the same spirit-life within us today.

We celebrate Pentecost today. That is our prayer. Like the responsorial psalm, may our lives cry out: “Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth!”

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email pleiker@stbernard-church.com.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Pentecost and the gifts of the Spirit

Archbishop José H. Gomez
By Archbishop José H. Gomez 

This Sunday we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, and the end of the Easter season.

In addition to our Pentecost celebration on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, this year we are also holding a special Mass on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. at the Cathedral, with all the “ecclesial movements” that represent the beautiful diversity of spiritual gifts in our archdiocese.

So I hope you will be able to join us as we remember the “birthday” of the church in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and rededicate ourselves to our mission as disciples.

Pentecost is a time for all of us to renew our devotion to the Holy Spirit. It is a time for us to open our hearts more fully to the reality of the Spirit in our lives and in our world.

As we know, the Holy Spirit is the gift of God, the personal love of God — poured into our hearts in Baptism, “sealed” and strengthened in us by the sacrament of confirmation, and renewed in us by the Eucharist.

The first Christians talked about being temples of the Holy Spirit, with the Spirit of Christ dwelling in their hearts through faith.

We need to ask the Holy Spirit to give us this same awareness that our Christian life is a life that we live with Christ in his Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the “soul” of our identity and mission as Christians. So we need to ask the Spirit to strengthen his gifts within us, so that we can carry out our mission.

As we know, in baptism we receive the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.

God gives us the gift of understanding — to enlighten our minds to the beautiful truths of our Christian faith. He gives us the gift of wisdom so that we will seek him above all things and put him “first” in everything that we do.

The gift of knowledge allows us to recognize God’s blessings all around us in his creation. The gift of counsel or good judgment helps us to make the right decisions and to follow God’s commandments.

God also gives us the gift of piety, or reverence, so we can love him with the trusting love of a child. He gives us the gift of courage or fortitude so that we can deal with the challenges and temptations we face in our faith daily.

Finally, the Spirit gives us the gift of fear of the Lord, the gift of wonder and awe at God’s love and power, to help us avoid occasions of sin and temptations caused by our weaknesses.

We need to deepen our awareness of the Spirit’s presence — not only his gifts and actions within our souls, but also his activity all around us in the world.

The world looks different when we realize that God’s Spirit is dwelling within us and is working in the world. When we know this, things take on a different “tone,” we have a new attitude.

The Holy Spirit shows us that there is a richness and a dignity to our human lives. We are children of God! Brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ. By his grace we can know his love and friendship. We can be like him.

The Spirit leads us to see the world more clearly, more accurately. We start to see things as Jesus sees them. We start to have his “heart” for the world.

When we are led by the Spirit, we see all the goodness and beauty in the world, we see the image of God in others. We also have a new compassion, a new sense of people’s needs and their sufferings — and our responsibility to love others for God’s sake.

The gifts of the Spirit are given to us for our Christian mission. As the Spirit called the apostles at Pentecost, the Spirit calls each of us today to witness to Jesus. To make Jesus known to others. To announce the good news of his love and salvation — through our deeds and words.

Let’s keep praying for one another this week. Let’s ask the Spirit to help us to respond with love and obedience to all his inspirations in our lives.

Also this weekend, we need to pray in a special way for peace in the Holy Land. Our Holy Father Pope Francis has invited the presidents of Israel and Palestine to the Vatican on Sunday to pray with him for peace.

So let’s ask the Spirit to guide their encounter and strengthen the bonds of unity and friendship among the peoples of the Holy Land and throughout the Middle East.

And let us ask Our Blessed Mother to help make the joy and peace of Pentecost the foundation for the way we act, the way we think, the way we live.

Archbishop José H. Gómez is archbishop of Los Angeles. His weekly column is provided by and appears in The Tidings, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Reach Archbishop Gomez at (213) 637-7000, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/archbishopgomez.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker

The Ascension of the Lord, as described in today’s scriptures, involves several elements: departure, promise, calling, and sending forth.

These are tied together in one package or religious experience that only have great significance if they remain together.
The ascension event culminates in the Pentecost event. We can see in this a similarity to the death and resurrection of the Lord as one united experience.

Even though we celebrate them separately and distinctly, we know that they are irrevocably tied together as one flowing experience of death and resurrection. They need each other to explain the significance of either and both.

We are saved, not because Jesus died or rose, but because Jesus died and rose. This may seem obvious and a little like splitting hairs but, in fact, this is profound truth.

The "scene" of Jesus’ ascension into heaven was devastating. Once again, Jesus was about to leave his disciples very much alone. This could in no way be interpreted as good news. But Jesus' departure was a packaged deal that involved the potential explosion of faith in Jesus Christ, as the disciples were instructed to go forth “and make disciples of all nations” even to “the ends of the earth.”

Jesus was no ordinary teacher or master. All seemed to recognize that he spoke with authority, that is, he authored his words, thoughts and teachings. They flowed not from another person but from his own person, his own authority. That authority, he would later proclaim, was rooted in total unity with his Father.

It soon became clear that his staying among his disciples would actually prevent them from ever owning the message and fully understanding their calling and mandate to go forth and preach his good news. His ascension meant that they had to fully respond to Jesus’ call, be fully open to the promise and reception of God’s Spirit upon and within them, and accept the call to go forth – even to the ends of the earth.

Ascension and Pentecost are that full package. It is all tied together. Although we celebrate these feast days separately, they really cannot be separated. They are all one.

Jesus' death and resurrection bring about the victory over sin and death.

Ascension and Pentecost call and send us forth to share the good news, and through them, to find life – life eternal.

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142; or email pleiker@stbernard-church.com.