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Newsletter July 13, 2020
DISCERNERS LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST
Before electronic calendars on cell phones there were palm pilots and before palm pilots there
were bulky planners that people bought from office supply stores. I still buy pocket-sized
calendars requiring a pen or pencil to record details. But the
root of them all is discernment, a process at least as old as
the Church itself. Whereas calendars and planners help us
navigate the details of life, discernment helps us with the
bigger decisions which will shape the details of life. To
handle this bigger task, discernment is more than asking
God a few specific questions in prayer. Discernment
involves a bigger sense of what brings us toward God and
what gets in the way of the Gospel in our lives. Discernment
is an ongoing process intertwined with an active and ongoing prayer life. So there is a kind of
detachment that goes on in discernment. There is detachment from only the present seeking to
map out the future. The past is included as well. There is detachment from the need, sometimes
the panic, to make a decision right now. There is detachment from just my thoughts and my
feelings and instead an invitation to place them in a larger context, a God-centered context.
Once detached and living in the context of God, community, and me, we are better able to
accurately assess our thoughts and feelings. We see understand more through the eyes of God and
the Scriptures. In this state we are better able to ponder the questions that can overwhelm us when
we attempt to make a decision of greater importance: what impact will the present decision have
on family and friends? Am I good at assessing impacts on my family and friends? What talents
do I honestly have? When am I more likely to exaggerate good or bad in my life? Do I like making
decisions on this level? Will I have to do more of something in which I am talented or will I have
to stretch to develop other talents?
It is easy to rationalize these types
of questions. So it becomes more
important to take time with them. John
Cassian (360-435) also recommends that
we bring these questions, as well as
questions regarding our spiritual state, to
someone we trust. To be effective, it is
important to bring up embarrassing aspects
of these questions or those elements we
find negative and even shameful. Anyone
who has celebrated a good Confession
knows that once these harder parts of
honest questions have been revealed, the negativity or difficulty loses some of its impact and
sometimes a great deal of its impact. At the end of it all we have a better sense of our own
limitations and are more tuned into the fact that God really is in charge.
This kind of detachment is the first “D” of discernment. It usually also takes the most time
when discerning. The other two “Ds” of discernment are decision and doing.
Decision grows out of detachment. We are ready to make a decision when we truly realize
that there is often no one decision that is beyond a doubt the absolutely best decision; when the
sign we were looking for from God is understood as the fruit of being detached; and when one
possibility out of many is more promising than the others. Even at this stage there may be things
holding us back from making a final decision. One is a fear of
being wrong. To combat this it is worthwhile recalling that even
if we do make a bad decision God will still be with us and God
can and frequently does bring good out of bad. Fear of being
wrong is worse than actually being wrong in many cases.
Another barrier to decision making is second-guessing
ourselves. This can be paralyzing, frustrating, and
energy-depleting. It is important to remember that the best-
looking decision, not the perfect one, is the goal. A third barrier
to making a decision is trouble letting go of options. It is
common for us to want to have a fallback position in case our
decision goes awry. This can easily mean we look for a decision that keeps all our options open.
Yet a decision by its very nature does away with some options, even some attractive ones.
Searching for a decision which somehow, someway keeps all the options open is a vain search.
The last “D” of discernment is doing or following through with the decision. It is important
that initial setbacks don’t derail the decision. A larger goal of ongoing discernment is to gather
enough experience so that we can intelligently adjust decisions when the need arises. Setbacks are
part of the process.
Discernment is a lot of work but it illuminates the present and builds the future.
GRATITUDE AND THANKS
Last Saturday it was about 108º during drive-through confessions. One of the neighbors came
over with three cold Coke cans, one for Shelly Reynolds who was in charge of traffic flow and the
other two for the two priests. It was a nice gesture and it helped cut the heat. This kindness came
from the folks on the southeast corner of 200 West and 200 North (182 North 200 West).
Thanks also for all who continue to participate in drive-through confessions. It is important
to maintain the regular practice of the Sacrament. Even so, drive-through confessions aren’t for
everyone. We offer confessions by appointment in the office. Just give the office a call.
GIVING AND SUSTAINING
In the days before Covid-19, we could have up to 3,000 people a weekend at Mass. Because these
people were generous, our parish was able to pay its way. In these days of Covid-19 we have up
to 450 people at weekend Masses. Needless to say our collections are down. But we are able to
make things work because of spending reductions, these same collections, parishioners who send
their donations to the office and those who participate in on-line giving. These last two groups are
proof that absence does not always make the heart wander. Absence can make the heart grow
fonder. Those who can continue to come to Mass are proof that we can survive and even thrive.
We all are in their debt.
EVENTS FOR FATHER SASA’S FAREWELL
Despite problems with social distancing, several opportunities exist for bidding farewell to Fr.
A book containing over 200 notes and photos to Father is now being assembled.
Izabel Miquel is accepting video clips from well-wishers that will be gathered together and edited. Try to get these
videos in by July 18.
During Monday, July 20, representatives of parish groups will have lunch with Fr. Sebastian.
On Friday, July 24 at the 6:00 p.m. Spanish Mass some of the children of the parish will sing, read the readings, and
present tributes to Fr. Sasa.
In San Pablo (Byrl Junction) on July 25 children will receive their First Communion and this will be combined
with a small reception for Fr. Sebastian.
On Sunday, July 26, Fr. Sasa is scheduled to celebrate the 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Masses. These will be the last weekend Masses Fr. Sebastian will celebrate with us. After these
two Masses gifts will be offered to Fr. Sasa as well as some farewell songs.
Fr. Sebastian’s last Mass in San Pablo (Byrl Junction) will be July 25 and his last Mass in St. Paul (Hurricane) will be July 19.
Those with questions should call Fr. Dave at the office. Please keep Fr. Sasa in your prayers and
please keep us all in your prayers.
A BRIEF NOTE CONCERNING CONFIRMATION
The current plan is to schedule four Confirmation Masses so that parents, those to be confirmed,
and the sponsors of the confirmed can all be at the same Mass. We are considering July 31 and
August 1 as the dates of these four Masses, two Masses per day. This is possible because First
Communions which had been set for August 1 were cancelled. More information on specific times
of Confirmation Masses and rehearsals will follow.
MASKS FOR ALL
Diocesan policy has changed a bit. It’s moved the use of masks during Mass from “highly
recommended” to required. The Bishop’s works are: “In accord with current public health
recommendations, the people (except liturgical ministers in the sanctuary) must wear cloth face
coverings (masks) upon entering the church until they depart. Masks will remain on their face
throughout the whole Mass except for when receiving communion.” Thanks to those who honor
the Bishop’s words.
A MESSAGE OF UNITY FROM THE DDD (DIOCESAN DEVELOPMENT DRIVE)
“Unprecedented times lead to unprecedented need, which leads to unprecedented Love, Unity, and
Generosity. Now more than ever our Church needs your support. Join the Mission of Christ in
Utah, and help us reach our goal of $100,000 by August 30th. Together we’ll preserve and grow
our faith.” We are the Body of Christ. When one hurts, we all hurt. When one rejoices, we all
rejoice. See the video at https://youtu.be/B