Monday, May 8, 2023

LIFE! 5th Sunday of Easter, 2023 at Saint John Cantius


Jesus is LIFE! – Homily at St. John Cantius for the 5th Sunday of Easter, 2023


I heard a few people coming into Church this morning asking “who is that priest?” and so my name is Fr. John Hollowell, a priest of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.  I have been up here on a retreat this past week, and I was blessed to be given the opportunity to have this Mass today by Fr. Caswell.


Jesus says in our Gospel today, that He is the LIFE. 


I am the oldest of 15, and 4 of my siblings were lost through miscarriage, so I am the oldest of 11 who are still living.  I can remember my parents being rudely questioned by others throughout my life, but my Mom shared recently that she was also treated harshly by friends of hers from my home parish.


I found a letter that my Dad wrote to a Protestant friend explaining that the number one he realized the Catholic Church was true was because it was only Church that has not caved on contraception.  And so I would just like to say to all the parents here, thank you for being open to life, thank you for bringing your children to Mass, and thank you for supporting other families in their openness to human life.


There are also married couples who carry the cross of infertility and we pray for them…sometimes adoption is an option but we need to support those parents in a special way.


So I would just like us to pray about a question…how can this parish do more to support human life and human families in a culture that seems bent on destroying life whether through abortion, euthanasia, and all the other attacks on every front?


Ultimately, we are all called by Christ not just to our own families but to the larger family of the Catholic Church as well.  That is why we call our priests “Fathers” and our religious men “brothers” and our religious women “sisters”…we are all summoned to both contribute to and draw life from the world wide family of the Catholic Church.


It is great to be here today!  Jesus says He is LIFE itself…let us go invite others to experience the family of the Catholic Church as well!

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Good Shepherd 2023

Good Shepherd 2023


Jesus as the Good Shepherd is an image and reality of God that the world desperately needs to hear at this particular moment.

Why?  Because most people have a completely negative reaction to God as Father.  And why do they have a negative reaction to God as Father…because many people have been abandoned by their father and/or emotionally abused by their father and/or sexually abused by their father…and many people have been emotionally or even sexually abused by their priest who we also call “Father”

So the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd I believe is the image that we need to be broadcasting out to the world today as Catholics.  The idea that Jesus Christ is out looking for every single person, as an individual person, and is willing to put every person on his shoulders and bring that person back to the sheep fold is a beautiful reality of the Gospel message.


We heard again at Mass today Psalm 23…which is most people’s favorite Psalm…why…because it talks about God being the Shepherd… “The Lord is my shepherd…there is nothing I shall want…He leads me besides restful waters…he has prepared a banquet for me!” 


And what is the banquet that the Good Shepherd has prepared for us?  It is most especially Himself, present under the appearances of bread and wine…the Good Shepherd feeds us with Himself, turning us into Himself over time.


May we go out and preach Jesus the Good Shepherd, and witness to the joy that we have experienced in letting Jesus the Good Shepherd carry us on His shoulders back to the Catholic Church!