Greetings and Welcome!


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Well over fifty years ago, the famous French priest and anthropologist, Teilhard de Chardin, said that "we are in a time of crisis, like a present day John the Baptist." He said that we are approaching a critical threshold. Like John the Baptist who lived in critical and violent times and proclaimed, "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand," we must learn to think in a new and different way, for the time of opportunity is upon us. To repent means to move in a new direction. John the Baptist was calling his society to new opportunities, to a new way of thinking and living.


To repent means to turn and move in a new direction. Like John the Baptist, we live in urgent, violent, and critical times.


As Catholic Christians, as parishioners of St. Matthew's, we must make new and different choices, thus making the Reign of God a reality.


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When we are intentional about living our Catholic faith, when we are intentional about doing the works of justice and peace, new opportunities will arise. And the world will be less violent and chaotic.


I welcome you to St. Matthew's. I pray that you might find in our parish and school staff, women and men who are alive in the kingdom of God, women and men, in our parish catechetical program and in our school, who are teaching our children to think and be in light of the Gospel of Justice.


Be intentional about your Catholic faith. Choose to make the values of the Kingdom of God alive in your lives. It will only be "the act of freely loving others" during our critical time in history, that will bring about a new and blessed humanity to fulfillment in the light of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.


Choose to repent. In other words, move in and encourage others to move in new directions according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.


Peace,

Fr. Raymond J. Ritari

Pastor


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Letter from our Pastor...


Father Raymond

January 15, 2015

Dear Parishioners:


First, I have attached two link items for you to view: (1) our parish three-year (2015-2018) pastoral plan. Everyone received a copy of this in July of 2014. I would like to thank those parishioners who were involved with developing this plan – Dot & Frank Hernandez, Carlos Ortega, Blanca & Luis Porchini, Jaime Hernandez, Bea Tovar, Julie Moentk, Anna Lucas and Rosita Espericueta. No committee needs to be formed to decide how to put this into practice. We do it already as a parish and you are challenged as parishioners to put it into practice everyday. (2) Our parish finance report for the past six months (July thru December).


Secondly, that time of the year is quickly approaching – The Charity and Development Appeal of the Diocese of Phoenix. We will make our individual pledges at Mass on February 8.


Our parish is being asked to raise $38,000. Our fund raising efforts along with other parishes, supports the Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Phoenix with its various offices and programs, and specifically to assist agencies that help the poor and most vulnerable. Our parish always receives a grant. Without that money we would not be able to operate efficiently.


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Parishioners are being asked, as we have in the past, and who are able, to make a pledge of $200 or $20.00 a month over a ten month period. Think about how you spend $20.00 each month. And think about how you might take that $20.00 as an INTENTIONAL AND CONSCIOUS Catholic to support the poor as Pope Francis has asked us to do. With our pledges we will have the opportunity to support Catholics and non-Catholics who are in need!


All of us are capable of giving something. Last year our goal was $38,000. Parishioners contributed just over 96% of that goal. Congratulations! Let’s make 2015 as successful as 2014!


Finally, a friendly reminder: as you read over the finance report and the list of seven secrets of successful stewardship, every family or working individual is asked to give $10.00 per week to the Sunday collection. Some might not be able to afford that. If that is you, please give your first hour’s wage of the week to God in thanksgiving for all that has been given to you. If you can give more than $10.00 then please do so since more has been given to you.


Let us surrender to the love and justice of God in order to be stewards that make a difference here in the parish, with our families and in the much larger world around us.


Peace,

Father Raymond J. Ritari, Pastor


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St. Matthew’s Three Year Pastoral Plan
(2015 - 2018)


Pastoral Plan Logo

St. Matthew’s parishioners are challenged to have:


1. An intentional Catholic mindset with regard to who we are as followers of Christ. We are challenged to be conscious of who we are as active Catholics at home, work or school, to be conscious of what we believe, and how we engage the world as Roman Catholics in light of the Gospel and teachings of the Catholic Church.


2. An intentional hospitality mindset that challenges us to move from the source and summit of the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist, with a global perspective, and infuse our society with "Kingdom of God values", i.e. justice, respect for all people, generosity toward the poor, and non-violent action and speech.


3. An intentional financial mindset of responsible stewardship (caretakers) for the life and growth of the parish not only with regard to the physical buildings and getting our bills paid on time, but how we grow as stewards within the context of spirituality, liturgy, family catechesis and the parish elementary school.