Welcome to St. Matthew Parish!
The parish is the place where Jesus touches our lives through the sacraments, especially through the Eucharist which we receive weekly, while some receive daily. Jesus is the center of our life and in the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation we meet the loving and forgiving God.
As you will see, our parish is involved with the activities of many people and we try to share the responsibility of stewardship by committing our time, talents and treasure. Please consider one or two areas of service in which you will be able to serve. In this way, you will be serving the Church and making this parish your own. Remember the familiar saying, "Many hands make light work."
Thank you for visiting our parish and I hope you have many years as a member of our special community.
Sincerely in Christ,
The parish community of St. Matthew
St. Matthew Mission Statement:
We, the members of the St. Matthew Parish community being many parts but one sacramental body, are sent by the love of God to make Christ present in the world.
Declaración de la Misión de la Parroquia San Mateo:
Nosotros, los miembros de la comunidad parroquial de San Mateo, siendo muchas partes, pero un solo cuerpo sacramental, somos enviados por el amor de Dios para hacer presente a Cristo en el mundo.
From Our Pastor:
Do you know about St. Teresa of Avila? Her feast day is this week on October 15. I’m sure the Carmelites spoke to you often about her. She is a ‘doctor of the church.’ We’re not talking about a medical doctor here. We’re talking about someone who simply has learned a lot. St. Teresa learned a lot about Jesus and it was Christ himself who taught her.
One of the most beautiful things Christ taught her was how to pray. Jesus is always teaching his friends to pray. We see that in the gospels; one day, they actually approached him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” I’m sure it was our Lord’s own life of prayer that attracted his disciples. Read the Bible and you’ll see the different times and ways that Jesus prays. Sometimes he will get up early in the morning before everyone else just to talk to his heavenly Father. Other times he will stay up late at night, after everyone else has gone to bed, still deep in prayer—think of his prayer in the garden of Gethsemane before his crucifixion. Sometimes he will pray alone and outdoors, in solitude again with his Father. Other times, you will find him in the synagogue or in the temple, joining in the prayers of his people. Jesus will pray during his miracles. He said a beautiful prayer of blessing before feeding a whole crowd on a few loaves and fishes. He also prays when healing people from sickness and even raising them from the dead. Sometimes his prayer came with tears, other times with joy. If you and I saw the prayer of Jesus, we would approach him, too, and say, “Lord, teach ME to pray.” And he will actually do this for us, if we approach him every day.
That’s what St. Teresa of Jesus discovered. She discovered her friend Jesus; she spoke with him and he taught her to pray. She called this contemplative prayer or mental prayer, since it engages our minds. She tells us, “Prayer in my opinion is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us.”
We probably all complain about prayer and make excuses: “I can’t do it. It’s too hard. I don’t have the time. Nothing happens.” But we sure find time to contemplate other things, don’t we? We can watch TV and movies and news and sports for hours, and afterward, we never complain, do we? But even ten or fifteen minutes for our Lord, and we can’t handle it. I can think of two reasons why. First, because spiritually, we are so weak. We can’t handle it just like we can’t handle twenty push-ups on the first day of exercise. Then don’t do twenty push-ups; just do one. If prayer is hard, start out slow. Pray until it gets difficult, then go a little longer, just to strengthen yourself. Soon, our Lord will give you a strong heart and a strong mind, ready for deep and powerful prayer.
What’s the second reason prayer tastes bad to us? It might be a temptation. The evil one hates your friendship with God and will do anything he can to lull you into a lazy friendship with Jesus. A lazy friendship is no friendship at all. That’s why St. Teresa’s words are so beautiful. Christ, who is God, wants to be MY friend. He wants to talk to me, to carry on a dialogue with me. He wants to draw me ever closer to him, so that his life and mine become one. When you look at prayer from the point of friendship, all our excuses and complaints disappear. The effort is totally worth it, and I want to meet Christ and meet him often and deepen our friendship together. This divine Brother of mine loves me so deeply, how can I not try to love him deeply in return? Every day, I need to pray, I want to pray. And I can pray any time, but it sure helps to set some specific time. It’s just like I can eat anytime, but if there is no actual meal time, I will never be fed. And I can pray anywhere. But it sure helps to have a particular place in mind, or it will never happen.
St. Teresa teaches us that on one level, prayer is that simple. It is a simple meeting and conversation with Christ. Where will you meet? When will you meet? What will you say? Christ does not want to be only the friend of St. Teresa of Avila. He wants to be your friend, too.
With my prayers,