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.


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.


Fr. Raymond J. Ritari



Letter from our Pastor...

Father Raymond

October 6, 2015

Dear Parishioners:

Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author, recently wrote, "Saint Ignatius Loyola used to say there was one prayer that his brother Jesuits should never miss praying daily (other than the Mass). It was not the rosary or other kinds of prayers that we know by rote, but something else: the examination of consciousness (not to be confused with the examination conscience before confession that focuses exclusively on our sins).

Why was this important for St. Ignatius? Because the examination of consciousness, the ability to take time at the end of the day and review where we have been, helps us to see where we have encountered God in our daily lives. One basically needs 15 minutes, a quiet space and a journal if you want to write anything down.

The examination of consciousness has five steps:

  • 1. Remind yourself that you are in the presence of God.
  • 2. Call to mind anything that you are most thankful for that happened during the day. Give thanks to God!!
  • 3. Review your entire day, from start to finish. Notice where you have encountered God, perhaps at work, with family, friends, nature, anything. In that moment ask: did I accept God's invitation?
  • 4. Ask God for forgiveness for your sins.
  • 5. Ask God for the grace needed for the next day.

Pope Francis said to the Bishops of the United States that they are to be "promoters of the culture of encounter." In other words, the bishops, all of the baptized, are challenged to encounter each other wherever we happen to be in life.

Yet, in order to grow as "promoters of encounter," we must first take the time each day to encounter the presence of God in the deepest parts of our being. If not, how will we encounter the presence of God in whomever we meet during the course of the day?

Many of us are very busy. Yet, if we fail to pause and take notice of the presence of God, that is almost like not acknowledging our best friends. By being present to what has occurred during the course of the day, bringing that to our Eternal and Best Friend - God - we will encounter great peace and joy. And we will be more effective as promoters of the culture of encounter!

Try this examination of consciousness. You could also do this with a good friend, your spouse, even with your children.

Happy October! Happy Encountering!

Rev. Raymond R. Ritari, Pastor


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.