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:
As the Bishops and other members of the Church continue to talk about marriage, it’s probably good that we do the same. Let’s look at the core of our Catholic marriage ceremony, or rite. This is the part that comes after the readings and the homily (we have the proclamation of the word of God and the ‘opening up of the Scriptures’, in the words of St. Luke). The bishop, priest, or deacon comes before the man and woman to be married and says, “In the presence of the Church, I ask you to state your intentions.” Basically, he is saying to the couple, “Why are you here?” Now, it might seem obvious why they are there—they want to be married. But as history, and even current history, shows us, people have many different and varied definitions of marriage. So the Church’s minister is there to see if in their hearts, this man and woman hold to Christ’s revelation of marriage. And we all gather around them as family and friends, as members of God’s family of the Church, to hear their public expression of that intention. In a moment, the man and the woman will state publicly and personally their intention: this is why we want to get married.
Then come three short questions for the couple. (Let’s give them names, Adam and Eve, because marriage is not anonymous.) Question number one: “Adam and Eve, have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?” There is a dramatic pause here, we cannot continue until we hear them both say, “Yes” or “I do.” What have they confirmed? They will give themselves freely and completely (without reservation) to one another. First comes freedom. Again, this might seem obvious, but we must double check. This couple is stating publicly that getting married is something they want to do with complete freedom. No one is forcing them or pressuring them. Even their current situation must put no pressure on them. They can’t say, “We have to get married. We have been living together for so long, or we have a baby on the way, or this is the only person I’ll ever find.” Now, those might be real situations in a person’s life or a couple’s lives, and those circumstances should be acknowledged. But no thing or no one should force anyone into marriage. The couple must be able to honestly say, “Yes, I know our situation, and it influences me, but this is something I want to do. And that person next to me is acting out of freedom, too.” And I think this is a most beautiful thing that every sincere couple desires: I want to marry him (or her). He (or she) wants to marry me.
Not only does the couple agree to this free gift of themselves to one another, but the gift must be complete—without reservation. This couple will embrace and join together everything about themselves. Most people think of material things first, and it’s true that in marriage there is no longer any yours and mine: it is now ours. But there is a real personal sharing here; each will promise to embrace not only the good things about each other (which is easy), but also the bad things about each other (this is difficult). This is a wonderful image of how Christ the Groom loves his Bride the Church—even to the cross, even with her sins, she is beloved. But how amazing it is for husband and wife to love so deeply and completely. So they cannot put any limits or conditions on their married love. They can’t say, “I’ll love you if we get this house or this job or only if you never cheat on me.” They can’t say, “I’ll love your ability to bring me pleasure, but reject your ability to bring us children.” They must say, “I will give myself to you without reservation.” Now, this is always within the gift of their mutual freedom. Neither wife nor husband can make absolute demands on one another. But at the heart of it, their intention must be a complete gift of self to the other, and a complete receiving of the other to one’s self.
I know this can be crucifying at times. Most couples not only know how to love, they also know how to fight. But couples who know how to fight well, usually know how to love deeply (Let me add here that we should never permit any physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. And if it occurs, it is a serious matter that needs to be addressed with serious outside help.). We learn deeper love through forgiveness. And this is not something we do alone. Marriage is a sacrament. It not only looks like Christ’s love, but it supplies his help in our time of need. Husband and wife discover God’s daily, actual graces coming down from heaven and helping them to mature in the complete love they promise on their wedding day. You are not alone in your marriage. In the words of Bishop Fulton Sheen, it takes three to get married: man, woman—and Christ.
We will have to wait until next week to look at our second question for this couple. With my prayers,