From the Pastor’s Desk

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

May 26, 2024

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and join heirs with Christ…
-Romans 8:16-17a

 

Brothers and Sisters,

Brothers and Sisters,

Have you ever been told as a child, “You are just like your father!”? Back then, you might have resisted the idea of being similar to your parents. You might have vowed not to repeat their phrases or share their cheesy jokes – especially the Dad variety. But one day, you find yourself doing exactly that and question, “Am I turning into my parent?” Apart from our earthly parents, the Bible consistently emphasizes that we are God’s children, destined to mirror our Heavenly Father.

During my ordination, priests of great wisdom shared stories of their service here in Baltimore. We have a rich history and, as you know, some wonderful characters. They “warned” that you often become more like your first pastor than you might desire. Spending 15, 20, or even 25 years as an associate in your first assignment was not uncommon. I often reflect on the three pastors I served under in my first seven years as a priest and their impact on me.

My first pastor, Msgr. Jim McGovern taught me, through his words and actions, the importance of appreciating all work. No task is beneath us, and we should embrace all work within the parish. My third pastor, Msgr. Bob Hartnett showed me how not to shy away from addressing the “elephant in the room.” He is a perpetual student, both of Church teachings and the challenges and tributes of our times.

Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in the Dedication Mass at The Church of the Resurrection, where my second pastor, Msgr. John Dietzenbach is on the verge of retirement. During the Eucharistic Prayer at that Mass, a specific intention struck me: “Listen graciously to the prayers of this family who dedicate this church to you: may it be for your family a house of salvation and a place for the celebration of your heavenly Sacraments. Here may the Gospel of peace resound, and the sacred mysteries be celebrated, so that your faithful, formed by the word of life and by divine grace on their pilgrim way through the earthly city, may merit to reach the eternal Jerusalem.” Fr. John is an intense character: he works hard, rests hard, and focuses singularly, putting all his energy into pastoral care for a family at a funeral just as he does when working in his garden on his day off.

As priests, we are blessed to have several “fathers.” Let us be grateful today as we celebrate the Holy Trinity and the great mystery of being invited into a profound relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. When we accept, we are transformed into this amazing communion with God.

As we enter the summer months, let’s focus on our relationship with God. We have some fantastic ways to cultivate your faith in the coming weeks. Join us for our Corpus Christi Procession next Sunday at the 11 am Mass, the National Eucharistic Revival from June 5 to 7 (olphparish.org/2024-national-eucharistic-pilgrimage-schedule/), and the Festival of Praise (FoP) here at OLPH on Friday, June 7 at 7:30 pm. This Teaching FoP is a perfect introduction for newcomers—an excellent first step in adoring the Lord and becoming more like Him.

Finally, let’s not forget to also pray for all who have made great sacrifices for us, especially the men and women who have given their lives for our freedom. This Memorial Day, Monday, May 27th, we will have Mass at 9 am to remember and honor those military troops who lost their lives.

In the Lord,

Rev. Michael S. Triplett

What’s Happening In and Around OLPH:

WEEK-LONG SPIRITUAL EXERCISES For Women: July 8-15. For Lay Men: July 23-28. For Priests: July 23-31. The Week-Long Spiritual Exercises are for those familiar with mental prayer, silence, and the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises. This format allows more time for personal prayer. With longer periods of silence, you are challenged to stretch your soul, thus engaging in deeper intimacy with God. A trained spiritual director will be available for the daily colloquy to help you detect and understand the movements of the Holy Spirit in your soul. Cost: $675 per person for the lay retreats and $975 for the priest retreat. Find more details on our website, www.ourladyofbethesda.org, or call 301-365-0612. Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center, 7007 Bradley Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20187. Registration is required so that we can properly prepare.

COMMUNION TO THE HOMEBOUND – The faithful who are ill, recovering from surgery, or aging may not be able to attend Mass on Sundays. In bringing Communion to them, the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion represents Christ and manifests faith and charity on behalf of the whole community toward those who cannot be present at the Eucharist. If you or a loved one would like Communion brought to your home, please contact Sr. Lorraine McGraw at 410 747 4334 to make the necessary arrangements.

SEVEN SISTERS APOSTOLATE – aims to offer a holy hour for each priest every day. The goal is for every priest to have a holy hour prayed by a Seven Sister each day. One of the mottos of the Seven Sisters Apostolate is “No priest left behind!” This Apostolate has been praying for our Pastor and Associate Pastor for over seven years. At this time, we have openings for someone to step into the Monday position of praying for Fr. Mike. If you want to learn more about this Apostolate, please email TJ Jescke at 2crazeecatz@comcast.net.

SUMMER 2024 SPIRITUAL RETREATS FOR WOMEN – at Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center -Whether you can spare just one night or are looking for a week-long escape, we have the perfect duration to suit your needs. Come, ignite your spirit, and immerse yourself in a transformative experience at our upcoming retreats. Let’s embark on a soulful adventure this Summer! Please find more details on their website, www.ourladyofbethesda.org, or call 301-365-0612.