The most recent Newsletters and Commentary from Father Harris
September 20, 2018 Mass Commentary
As the Church honors the the Korean Martyrs, I am reminded that we need to pray for both North and South Korea.
Attached to this recording (above left) is a photo of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in shaking hands at the Military Demarcation Line that divides their countries at Panmunjom. Kim Jong-un has become the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korea by crossing the military line that has divided the peninsula since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
In this recording, I express my hopes and fears over this latest development, and a reminder to me that we need to keep praying for Korean Catholics and Christians in general. We also need to pray for the Church in China.
September 19, 2018 Mass Commentary
Above is a photo of Rachel Saelens, the wife of Ty Saelens, the daughter-in-law of Beth and Jim Saelens.
September 18, 2018 Mass Commentary
For more than one reason, I am reminded today of my friend, Fr. Ron Bengford (above center), the pastor of St. Matthew's Parish in Cranston Rhode Island. Attached to this recording is a photo of him that I copied from his parish's website. I think he is now 60 years old. Doesn't he look great? Part of the reason I am reminded of him is because of today's readings that speak to us of signs and wonders, but also today is the feast day of St. Joseph of Cupertino (above left). In this recording, I also give you an update on how my dad is doing.
September 17, 2018 Mass Commentary
But my thoughts are on a different saint- St. Albert of Jerusalem-the Patriarch of Jerusalem who gave a rule of life to a group of Hermits on Mount Carmel. St. Albert was a peacemaker as well as a lawgiver. Unfortunately, all his skills as a diplomat could not prevent a madman from stabbing him to death. As we honor St. Albert of Jerusalem, we pray for all of those who subject themselves to the Rule of the Carmelite Order, especially those who are threatened with persecution. May Our Lady of Mt. Carmel cover us all with her protective mantle.
My thoughts and prayers also turn to my sister- Jaci Harris- who is celebrating her birthday today. I'm planning on seeing her and my dad tonight in LaSalle. This is a photo from last year's celebration of my dad's 89th birthday. My sister Jaci is next to me, and my dad is next to my sister, with Delores- his significant other- on the other side.
On September 23rd, St. Mary's Davenport will Host a Rosary DVD "Power In My Hands" at 3:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at St. Mary's Parish Center - bring a snack to share! This DVD will help prepare for the National Campaign, "Coast to Coast Rosary" on Oct 7th.
Back in October, 2016 there were numerous reports of over one million Catholic Faithful who gathered at the borders of Poland to pray a “Coast to Coast Rosary” for their country and culture. This Spiritual revival has spread from Poland to Europe and now to the U.S. where over 500 parishes are scheduled to pray a Nation-wide Rosary at 3:00 p.m. Central Time on Oct 7th.
“Power In My Hands” is a film that uncovers the beauty, timelessness and power of the rosary. Its primary purpose is to help viewers understand the power to revitalize America – a society in spiritual crisis, and instill an active response to the Blessed Mother's plea for prayer. Hope through Jesus Christ is the ultimate goal of this film.
Throughout history, humanity has been urged to respond to great needs and spiritual crisis. In modern times, this has been seen from the pleas of St. Pope John Paul II to Pope Benedict XVI to Pope Francis. And the Mother of Jesus Christ has called upon humanity to respond as noted in various major approved apparitions. We have only to look at the messages given at Fatima, Akita in Japan, Kibeho in Africa and most recently in San Nicholas in Argentina approved by the Church in 2016.
In “Power In My Hands”, prominent individuals and others will not only present the beauty and power of the rosary, but also share their personal witness to this power in one's hands. Additionally, the film will feature unique stories of ordinary families and individuals from across America. Here are a few from the cast of the film.
· Philip Rivers, quarterback for the NFL Los Angeles Chargers (formerly San Diego Chargers), gives witness, as a husband and father of eight children. He shares how his Catholic faith and reliance on the rosary plays a part in his athletic career and daily life.
· Jeff Cavins, Biblical Scholar, reveals the scriptural roots of the rosary.
· We'll hear from Nancy Salerno, a wife and mother in Wisconsin, who has raised four children, one of whom is severely disabled and how the rosary has carried her through the many ups and downs of raising a special needs child.
· You'll see the beautiful courtship of two young Catholics from Nashville – Rebecca Roubion (young recording artist) and Chris Czarka – as witnesses so needed for young people today.
· Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers from Portland gives a beautiful witness to being raised fatherless, and how miraculously, his father was later moved in a radical conversion to faith and resulting peace.
COAST TO COAST ROSARY OCT 7th, 2018 –@ 3:00 p.m. Central Time -- The fight has now come full force. What was once done in darkness is now celebrated in the light. Yet, where before we may have been blinded, God’s Unfathomable Mercy is opening the hearts, the minds and the eyes of people of Faith. Our Lady’s Clarion Call – the call once trumpeted at Quito, LaSalette, Fatima, Tre Fontane and Akita— is upon us:
We in the United States share the conviction, now seen and acted upon in the international community, to enter fully into the spiritual warfare we are facing and to pray for our respective nations at this watershed moment in history. We hear the clarion call of the Holy Spirit, through the Immaculata, and each of us sound the reply:
“I’m Going In!”
“I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming” — Jesus to St. Faustina Kowalska (Diary, 1732).
In 2017, the Church in Poland gathered around the borders of their country to light a spiritual flame, a flame that quickly engulfed the nation in prayer and reparation. Shortly after, the sparks from this conflagration of the Holy Spirit spread to Ireland, the British Isles, and now the United States. This is a WORLDWIDE EFFORT to combat the Powers of Darkness—the Powers that seek to stifle the Light.
The event on Oct. 7th will include the following:
1. Rosary is to be said at 3:00 p.m. in St. Mary's Church Sunday, October 7th, which is the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary.
2. There will be a Spanish Rosary and English Rosary. The Spanish speaking Rosary will be held in the parish center, led by Fr. Sia.
3. Fr. Young and Fr. Kneemiller will lead English Rosary. Each decade will be led by a different parishioner.
4. We are excited to ask Our Lady for her intercession for holiness in this country, nationwide, at the exact same time. We have seen what she did at the Battle of Lepanto on this day in 1571!
Thank you for answering Our Lady’s call to pray the Coast to Coast Rosary for our country.
September 16, 2018 Mass Commentary
This weekend we celebrate Catechetical Sunday. The 2018 theme will be "Enlisting Witnesses for Jesus Christ." Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. In this recording of my homily, I try to make the point that all of us who claim to be Christians are called upon to follow the Good Shepherd in faith, but not to be sheepish about our faith.
September 15, 2018 Mass Commentary
This is a photo of the college seminarians from Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minnesota; these are the ones that are affiliated with the Diocese of Peoria. When I was up there for my annual retreat, I took them to Nate and Ally's for ice cream. A fun time was had by all. To the left, in the middle, you see Ben Schoonmaker, Maggie and Kevin's son. All of them seem to be doing well, despite the scandals that have come to surface recently in the church. This morning at Mass, we prayed in a special way for our seminarians. This recording is two parts: the first is my report of my encounter with these seminarians; the second being a homily on today's memorial in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows.
National Day of Rembrance for the Unborn was last Saturday, but the Saint Mary's Moline Pro-Life Group held an outside Field Mass at the Calvary Cemetery Mausoleum Lawn in Rock Island at 9:00 AM this morning.
September 14, 2018 Mass Commentary
As the world (those who have no faith) look upon the cross, they would say, "What sort of cruel and vindictive god do you worship that this god of yours would kill his own son for some else's wrongdoing?" In this homily, in light of today's gospel reading, I try to show the cross as the sign of God's love, not his vindictiveness. This is especially important with all the things that are happening right now.
September 13, 2018 Mass Commentary
Above left is a photo of the coffin of St. John Chrysostom which is located in Komini, which is in the country of Georgia . In this homily I explain how his golden mouth wasn't thought all that golden at the time.
September 12, 2018 Mass Commentary
The Holy Name of Mary should be a source of joy for us, and also a powerful source of protection against the attacks of the devil. If there was any time that we should call out "Hail Mary" it should be now, and here is why.
Sept. 11, 2018
Mass Commentary and Newsletter
Attached to this recording is a photo of the wind chimes inside the "Tower of Voices". The chimes are constructed of polished aluminum tubes ranging 8-16 inches in diameter and approximately five to ten feet in length. The size of each chime is dependent on the musical note and associated frequency that it is intended to produce. The "Tower of Voices" serves as both a visual and audible reminder of the heroism of the forty passengers and crew of United Flight 93 in their attempt to foil the attempts of terrorists who hijacked their flight on Sept. 11, 2001. Today, this "Tower of Voices" will be dedicated in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. I talked about this, along with Hurricanes, Tropical Srorms, Wildfires, and other personal hurricanes in this homily.
Yes, I'm back from vacation. Here you see me chomping down on a fish taco at Douglas Lodge located at Itasca State Park in Minnesota. Sharon and I had lunch there after we checked out the Headwaters of the Mississippi. But I'm now back home, trying to catch up with things and get back into a regular routine.
Formed is a new online faith formation resource, basically a Catholic "Netflix" with top-notch videos about the Catholic faith. Formed is FREE for all the parishioners of our cluster: St. John's; St. Mary's; Our Lady of Guadalupe in Silvis; and St. Anne of East Moline. Our parish has paid an annual subscription fee so that it is free for you to use. To sign up, simply go to the formed website and sign up with our parish code. If you need the parish code, just email me; I will send it to you. I would be glad to show you how you can access it. Just make an appointment with me.