Pastor’s Keyboard

July 28, 2019 – Summer Helper Column

Summer Helper Column

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In today’s Gospel from Luke, our Lord teaches His disciples to pray. In doing so, He focuses upon a particularly significant virtue in prayer: perseverance. Our Lord’s use of the parable of a persistent man asking his reluctant friend for bread gives an emphatic spotlight to this virtue of perseverance and its value in the spiritual life. We are told in this story that the reluctant friend gives the bread to the man not on account of their friendship but due to his perseverance in asking even though “the door has already been locked” (Lk 11:7 NABRE) and he and his entire family are already in bed. This story emphasizes the reality that between two imperfect human persons sometimes it is only persistence that results in an answered supplication. Immediately afterwards, Christ proclaims some of His most familiar words: “ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Lk 11:9). There is a parallel between the locked door of the reluctant friend and the door which God answers when we knock in prayer. In drawing this parallel, our Lord stresses that if perseverance is able to so move the reluctant, irritated, and imperfect friend to unlock his door to give the beseeching man the bread, how much more generous will a perfect and completely understanding friend to us, our Lord Himself, open the door and give us what is good for us and what we need for salvation and happiness if we are persistent in asking. Christ completes this teaching on the intensity of the generosity of the Father with unambiguous and explicit words: “What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? . . . If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (Lk 11:11,13). Let us persevere in our daily commitments to prayer because, no matter what struggles and sufferings we find in our lives, God bestows abundant graces not only to endure such trials but to even find joy in the midst of them: a joy that comes from intimacy with our Lord. But, as the Gospel says, we must persistently ask for such abundant graces.


-Fr. Scott’s summer helper

July 21, 2019 – Summer Helper Column

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

My name is Michael Weiler. I am new at the parish and a summer helper for Fr. Scott. I am a rising junior and going to Chopticon High school in the fall. I enjoy getting a chance to talk to our Lord every morning in adoration and telling him how the day before went. The overall big thing I learned this summer is to trust in God even in the toughest of times, and what trusting in God means to me is He has our back better than anyone we know. I recently went through one of the hardest times of my life losing my Mom, and I’ve started praying one decade of the rosary every night to get closer and talk to Mary, our Mother. I don’t know why I started doing it but all I know, right now, is that it makes me feel better.

I would love to meet more of you and talk whenever. I am a very open person and love to talk to new people so feel free to come up and say HI!!!


God bless you,

Michael Weiler

July 14, 2019 – Summer Helper Column

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

My name is Carson Phillips and I am currently a rising sophomore at Ave Maria University. My brothers and sisters, I am so blessed to have become a member of this community, under the guidance of Father Scott your prayers and help have impacted my life and for that I am eternally grateful. My friends I have been extraordinarily humbled these last few months, as I realize that our Lord is real and constantly interacting with his creation. The reality of God is easy to preach about, easy to write about, easy to become a tool to validate our life choices; but this is not who God is. The Godman Jesus Christ walked this earth alongside his beloved creation, not just as an example or a validation but rather to form a real and personal relationship with all men through the cross. Christ shows himself to us through his crosses, and this is something I have been running from my whole life and through your prayers and presence I am beginning to allow our Lord to show me who he is, and what he desires of me. Ever sense I joined the Church I have been hiding from our Lord, plagued by guilt caused by doubt or questions, but my friends I have learned that our Lord desires our questions and he yearns for us to wrestle with him like Jacob. My brothers and sisters I invite you to wrestle with God, allow him to reveal your wounds and crosses so that you can come to know who he is. For our faith cannot just be on our minds, it cannot just be in our words and actions, but our faith must be rooted in Christ who loves us forever within our hearts. I am so proud of this community; may the love of Christ ignite our hearts.


God bless you,

Carson Phillips

July 7, 2019 – Youth Group Summer Fun

Youth Group Summer Fun

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This year’s youth group camping trip was a success. The Via Christi Youth Group traveled to Rocky Gap State Park to enjoy a week of fun and retreat. The Park offered beautiful scenery with plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, all within the beautiful mountains of Flintstone, MD. Kids went to the lake where they enjoyed the beach and water activities, from beach volleyball to sail boating. The park offered many hiking trails as well.

Each day began centered in Christ with Mass in the morning. Following breakfast, kids had their choice of several outdoor activities like fishing, sailing, kayaking, swimming, volleyball, football, and hiking. Some preferred to relax in the shade while playing card games and enjoying conversation. An hour of adoration followed each dinner as kids wound down their day by refocusing on Christ’s presence in the Eucharist. Nighttime allowed for some campfire fun like making smores while some played songs on the guitar.

Several parents and young adults worked hard to provide a safe and fun environment for the youth. There were even some families who joined, deciding to take the opportunity to enjoy a family vacation together.   Overall it was a week of great company and many joyful memories that the Lord blessed us with.  We look forward to making next year’s camping trip experience even better, by God’s grace.


God bless you,

Chris Harris

Youth Minister

June 30, 2019 – Summer Helper Column will return next week

The Chaplet of St. Michael

One day, Saint Michael the Archangel appeared to Antonia d’Astonac, a most devout Servant of God and told her that he wished to be honored by nine salutations corresponding to the nine Choirs of Angels, which should consist of one Our Father and three Hail Marys in honor of each of the Angelic Choirs.

Promises of St. Michael

“Whoever would practice this devotion in his honor would have, when approaching the Holy Table, an escort of nine angels chosen from each of the nine Choirs. In addition, for the daily recital of these nine salutations, he promised his continual assistance and that all the holy angels during life, and after death deliverance from Purgatory for themselves and all their relations.”

How to pray the Chaplet of Michael Archangel

O God come to my assistance.

O Lord make haste to help me.

Glory be to the Father, etc.

  1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim may the Lord make us worthy to burn with the fire of perfect charity. Amen. Our Father and three Hail Marys


  1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim may the Lord grant us the grace to leave the ways of sin and run in the paths of Christian perfection. Amen. Our Father and three Hail Marys


  1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility. Amen. Our Father and three Hail Marys


  1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominations may the Lord give us grace to govern our senses and overcome any unruly passions. Amen. Our Father and three Hail Marys


  1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues may the Lord preserve us from evil and falling into temptation. Amen. Our Father and three Hail Marys


  1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers may the Lord protect our souls against the snares and temptations of the devil. Amen. Our Father and three Hail Marys


  1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities may God fill our souls with a true spirit of obedience. Amen. Our Father and three Hail Marys


  1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels may the Lord give us perseverance in faith and in all good works in order that we may attain the glory of Heaven. Amen. Our Father and three Hail Marys


  1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels may the Lord grant us to be protected by them in this mortal life and conducted in the life to come to Heaven. Amen. Our Father and three Hail Marys


Say one Our Father in honor of each of the following leading Angels: St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael and our Guardian Angel.

O glorious prince St. Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue deliver us from all evil, who turn to you with confidence and enable us by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every day.

Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ, that we may be made worthy of His promises.

Almighty and Everlasting God, Who, by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael Prince of Your Church, make us worthy, we ask You, to be delivered from all our enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that we may be conducted by him into Your Presence. This we ask through the merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen

June 23, 2019 – Summer Helper Column


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Many of you probably know me already, but for those who do not, my name is Gabriel Collins. I am a high school seminarian attending The St. Jose Sanchez Del Rio Minor Seminary for The Institute of the Incarnate Word in Mankato, Minnesota and have been doing so for two years. I have been blessed to join the school and to have all the support from my family and friends. Since the idea of a Minor Seminary is foreign to most people, I will be explaining the life and purpose of a minor seminary.

The Minor Seminary is for high schoolers who feel that God is calling them not only to the priesthood but to early priestly formation. They do this by having a strict schedule, community prayers, daily mass and adoration. Our typical weekday starts at 6:25 am with three Hail Marys and getting ready for the day. The morning includes Mass, breakfast, and classes. After lunch, we have one more class and depending on the day, we could either have Siesta, which is a time for silent activities or napping, or sports. Following sports, we have 2 hours of studying with a five-minute break. Later, we have dinner and chores. After chores, at 7:10pm, we have free time for an hour, then the day ends with the rosary, adoration, and eutrapelia, which is a time for our community to get together, relax, rest, and enjoy conversation and games with each other.

Although our academic life is very structured and regimented, we have many opportunities throughout the year to relax and to enjoy recreation. Just prior to starting the academic year, we take a 2 to 3 weeklong camping trip which is called Convivencia. This year, we will be going to Wyoming. The year may also include a pilgrimage of some sort. Last year, I was privileged to go to Argentina, where our order was founded, to witness the ordination of 8 deacons to the priesthood. Lord willing, we may be visiting France this next year. We also enjoy other activities throughout the year such as skiing, ice fishing, celebrating feast days, snow activities, field trips, ect…

Although this life is not easy, it is truly fruitful. I can see it in my own life and in the lives of my classmates and former classmates. However, people might say that I am too young to start pursuing the priesthood. That is not what my order would say. On the contrary, they would say that God calls people of all ages, no matter how young or how old. I ask that you might all keep me in your prayers, and I will be sure to keep you all in mine.


May God bless you all,

Gabriel Collins

June 16, 2019 – Summer Helper Column

Summer Helper Column

       My name is Peter Trossbach. I just graduated from St. Mary’s Ryken High School, and I will attend SJPII Seminary next year. The Lord has moved my heart into a way of peace and warmth with the calling of me to lead His flock. His path, although narrow, is before us at every moment, drawing us towards Him, and we just have to let Him wipe our eyes with spittle so we may see, so we may know, so we may love.

Christ, in Matthew 11:28-30, tells us that if we take His yoke upon us, we will find rest and that His yoke is easy. Too often we try to take His yoke or, like Simon, bare His Cross with Him, and discover that it is too heavy. We fall. There’s one thing we are forgetting: Christ is supposed to be carrying it with us, but only if we let Him. That is how we find rest. Like Peter on the water, we too often turn away from Christ to the worldly, and we start to drown, but only turn to Him crying, “Lord, save me!,” and, like a loving father, He picks us up.

Life has plenty of suffering, but if we are bound to Christ’s yoke and Cross, suffering does not exist; there is only love, “Deus caritas est”. We can then rest in the peace of the Spirit, no matter the burden, because Christ carries it with us.


In Christ,

Peter Trossbach



“Fall in Love,

Stay in Love,

And it will decide everything.”

— Fr. Pedro Arrupe


June 9, 2019 – Summer Helper Column

Summer Helper Column

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

My name is Cameron Barford, I’m currently a rising sophomore at Ave Maria University in Florida, studying Exercise Science, as well playing for the men’s soccer team. I’m very blessed to be given the opportunity to work with Fr. Scott this summer as I discern the Lords will for me. I’m very excited to get to know each of you throughout this summer!

I’m always amazed at how God works, through those who feel the most unworthy and the least called to a life in the priesthood. Growing up I never gave much thought to becoming a priest until recently.  I was always afraid that while discerning God would ask me to become a priest, so I ran out of fear of having my life chosen for me. I pushed away any idea of being a priest and in some ways told God” my will not yours”. I went away to college with no intention of really growing closer to God out of fear of how it would change me. Around the middle of March, I was in a very rough part in my life spiritually. I was suffering and fearful of what my life was to become, unable to comprehend a God who claimed to love me yet, I felt so alone and far from loved. So, I decided to do what any logical Catholic in trouble would do, call Fr. Scott! I will never forget that phone call because over the course of an hour my fear was gone, and I felt as if I was called to a deeper love of Christ, no longer afraid of what he might call me to. I accepted to work with him this summer with an open heart for the first time in my life, and let God change me. I have loved every minute of it, and I don’t regret it one bit, its truly amazing what a little faith can do to one’s life.

“Perfect love casts out all fear”. To have perfect love doesn’t mean to love perfectly but rather to embrace Gods love which is perfect. Whenever we are afraid of what God may call us to, it’s nice to be reminded by what I think are the most beautiful words in all of scripture, and a constant reminder to trust.” Behold, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20).

God bless you,

Cameron Barford

June 2, 2019 – Seminarian Column

Seminarian Column

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Yesterday we celebrated Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for those that died for our country and safety. During Mass, I reflected on Our Lord’s words to His Apostles at the last supper. He says, “There is no greater love than this; to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). In a translation footnote, it notes that the translation of “his friends” can also mean “ones who are loved”. This is what these service members have done, they have kept us safe from harm and gave their lives for their loved ones and for us.

But how can the average Catholic accomplish this? What is it that we can do on a day-to-day basis to fulfill this directive of God? Simply put, live for others. This is part of the path to personal sanctity, living for others in the specific way God has called you to. Actions we take for others need to be done for God ultimately. Feeding the hungry is a great and wonderful thing, but if done for personal glorification the intention is lacking. If done for the sake of the those starving, this is a noble and good intention. But, if feeding the hungry is accomplished out of a love of God, as a response to God’s love for you and in recognition of God’s love for the hungry, I cannot think of a nobler intention. Loving God through sacrificing whatever it may be, comfort, money, time, etc…, is a kind of fuel for the spiritual wellbeing of each one of us. In essence then, live for others as a response to God’s love. To live for others means to put others first sacrificing our own needs, wants, desires and essentially sacrificing our own life for others. That is how to accomplish this aspect of personal holiness.

Yours in Christ,

Joseph McHale