When Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego in 16th century Mexico, all seemed lost. From rampant corruption causing human rights violations of every kind to widespread death caused by European diseases, Bishop Zumarraga, the first Bishop of Mexico, knew that he needed to bring Jesus to those who did not believe or know him. While the Spaniards of his day in leadership professed to be Catholic, their conduct and actions were far from it. Bishop Zumarraga led a Eucharistic procession with his priests and faithful during which there was a failed assassination attempt on him by the governor. It was from his experience of the Corpus Christi Procession and near martyrdom that Bishop Zumarraga had the courage and heavenly wisdom to implore God for a direct intervention. He wrote to the King of Spain stating that “Unless the hand of God intervenes directly in Mexico, all will be lost.” Mary heard her son’s plea and came to her children in an unexpected, yet perfect way. She inspired millions of her children in the New World to come to the altar of her Son. Her message was one of Eucharistic Revival to a world that was lost and hopeless.
Rich in Meaning
The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is the only picture of Mary that we have directly from heaven. She miraculously appeared on the Tilma/cloak of St. Juan Diego in the presence of Bishop Zumarraga. Her image was rich in meaning to the people of that time and culture leading them to Jesus through the Church. In the Tilma, we see Mary as the Mother of God teaching us how to adore her Son. One can easily say that the Tilma is a catechesis on the spirituality of Eucharistic faith and devotion through the personal witness of Mary. Let us briefly detail a few things that Our Lady of Guadalupe is teaching us today.
The Virgin Mother of God
First, Mary appeared as the Mother of God. On the Tilma, we see Mary, whose hair is down, indicating in Aztec Society that she is an unmarried virgin. We then notice that she has a black belt tied around her waist. This belt is moved up just below her breasts indicating that she is pregnant. Lastly, over her womb is a four-petaled flower. This flower indicated for the Aztecs that she was pregnant with the priest-Son of God. This priest-son for them was Quetzalcoatl, an ancient deity who was prophesied to return and teach a new way of worship. Mary was showing them that this prophecy could never be fulfilled by their Aztec deity, but that it was fulfilled by her Son, Jesus, who had come to the New World to teach a new way of worship. Simply put, on the Tilma, Mary is a virgin, pregnant with the Son of God who has come to save us.
Second, Mary’s face is serene and downcast. Many have incorrectly assumed that she is sad. This is far from the truth. Mary’s face is downcast as a sign of reverence. In that society, it was improper to look into the eyes of one who was more noble than yourself. As a sign of respect and submission, children would not look their parents or teachers in the eyes. Mary is looking down because she is in the presence of her Son, Jesus, her Savior. Through example, Mary is teaching us that true adoration begins with humble reverence and awe of the presence of Jesus in our midst. True adoration necessarily means bowing our heads in reverential prayer, does it not?
Her Whole Being
Third, Mary is dancing in the Tilma. Yes, dancing! In her folded hands is a brown maraca. Her left knee is bent upwards as she is hopping and dancing in a similar way that Aztec virgins did, praising their principal deity, the sun. The Aztecs believed they were the people of the sun who were entrusted with sacrificing human hearts in order that the sun may remain victorious over the moon and darkness. They believed that human sacrifice brought life to the sun and the whole world. These virgins danced with hope that the sun would rise after the longest and darkest night of the year. Our Lady of Guadalupe was inculturating this dance to teach us that adoration is one of praise and movement.
While we strive to offer humbled and contrite hearts, we are also called to rejoice, knowing that the Lord is truly near. Mary demonstrates to us that prayer involves our whole being, not just our spirit. Many times, our deepest prayers are offered in the darkest moments in our lives as a cry for help when hope is fleeting. Every time we come to pray, we do so knowing that every promise of Christ is true. A true revival evokes joy, immense praise, and gratitude. Revival is also rooted in the depths of our being, where we experience misery and pains that impel us to turn outward and seek the Mercy of God. Our Lady of Guadalupe’s example inspires our every prayer, thought, and action so that everything within us will praise the Lord.
In the Hollow of Her Mantle
Lastly, let us not forget that the only request of Our Lady of Guadalupe was to have a church built at Tepeyac, where she first appeared to St. Juan Diego, that all may come to know her Son. She desired to hear their cries and sadness in order to bring them to her Son, so that he might heal all their troubles, miseries and pains. Her miraculous image continues to tenderly welcome all who come to the church. She who is our Mother protects us in the hollow of her Mantle. She is the source of our joy, leading us to her Son. She accompanies us every time we come to adore her Son, and she witnesses to us how to approach him with reverence and praise.
We Are Called to Be Messengers
We are called to be faithful to the Mass so we can be sent forth from the Mass with the Eucharistic Jesus within us to proclaim him to all. Let us not forget that the word Mass in Latin literally means to be sent. As we look forward to the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis in 2024 and the many pilgrimages and processions that will take place throughout our country leading up to that moment, let us be mindful of how Our Lady of Guadalupe is inspiring us to be like Bishop Zumarraga and St. Juan Diego: to become messengers of hers, that all may know her Son in the Church. Mary is calling us to work with our priests and bishops to make Jesus known and to give everyone an invitation to come and behold him. Christ is our Lord and King. Through true devotion to him in the Eucharist, at Mass, adoration, and public devotions like processions, we are transformed into his disciples who are sent to go out to the whole world, knowing that our labor in him is not in vain!
“Let us implore Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas and Star of the New Evangelization, who has been chosen as the Patroness of the National Eucharistic Revival, to heal us of those things that afflict and hurt us so that we may be united in Jesus.”
As we continue in these years of Eucharistic Revival, let us also grow in Guadalupan reverence, humility, praise, and gratitude. Let us ask Our Lady to teach us to love Jesus as she does. Let us implore Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas and Star of the New Evangelization, who has been chosen as the Patroness of the National Eucharistic Revival, to heal us of those things that afflict and hurt us so that we may be united in Jesus. May we kneel in adoration of her Son, that our hearts and minds may be raised to heaven. Through Mary, let us come more deeply to Jesus! Totus Tuus. Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!
By Jim Wren|2022-12-08T16:00:17+00:00December 8th, 2022|
Beginning the weekend of September 3-4, the Rosary will be prayed starting thirty minutes before each Mass. There will be a Rosary leader for each Mass. Please join us in participating in this important devotion to our Blessed Mother.
By Jim Wren|2022-08-19T19:26:20+00:00August 19th, 2022|
Please click on the above link to receive a free newsletter about the Eucharistic renewal initiative that is so important in our Diocese.
There’s so much on the horizon!
The Eucharistic Revival is a grassroots, Spirit-led renewal of the Church in the United States from the inside out––not a top-down program! Our broad, deep mission requires time for each individual, parish, and diocese to respond in their own way. Read below about our plans and hopes for the next three years!
WHAT TO EXPECT
June 2022 – June 2023: Year of Diocesan Revival
Invitations into a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ
Online formation and resources for a deeper understanding of the Eucharist
First class relics of Blessed Carlo Acutis and St. Manuel González García go on national tour
Diocesan events across the country with trained Eucharistic Preachers
Eucharistic missionaries raised up at all levels of the Church
June 2023 – July 2024: Year of Parish Revival
Resources to learn more about the Holy Mass
Increased eucharistic devotion at the parish level
Organic movements of the Holy Spirit
Local evangelization efforts
July 17-21, 2024
The first National Eucharistic Congress in nearly half a century will take place in Indianapolis.
July 2024 – June 2025: Year of the National Eucharistic Congress and Missionary Sending
The entire Church in the U.S. will go on mission to share the gift of our Eucharistic Lord with our local communities and beyond! This will not be accomplished in any one single way. We encourage you to enter into this missionary spirit with your own unique charism and talents.
By Jim Wren|2022-08-01T18:43:05+00:00July 27th, 2022|
Several months ago, after meeting with numerous groups of parishioners, our parish submitted a synod report to the Diocese. The Diocese has now compiled a report to send to the USCCB. Please follow the attached link to read this report.
Having just celebrated Corpus Christi and the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart , we need to maintain our focus on the Eucharist. Blessed Carlo Acutis who died of leukemia at 15 and was beatified in 2020, created a beautiful accounting of Eucharistic miracles over the centuries. Please use the link below to read about these beautiful miracles.
Thank you all for your participation in the Synod process. Over 225 parishioners participated in 18 different groups. The summarized report with the major themes was submitted to the Diocese on April 6. The link to this report may be found below. The other links provide a history of the process. We will now be working to implement the common suggestions.
DO YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ANNULMENT PROCESS?
Are you or someone you know divorced? Do you want to learn more about annulments and how to apply? At Sacred Heart Parish, we have three certified nullity ministers: Father Raj, Deacon Joe Bueti and Muriel Rabideau and any of them can help answer your questions. Whether or not you are Catholic, we are happy to help you to navigate this often misunderstood process. If you would like more information, please call the Parish office at 928-445-3141 and ask to speak to one of the people listed above. You can also find information on the Diocese of Phoenix’s Tribunal website at dphx.org/tribunal.
By Jim Wren|2021-11-03T21:26:43+00:00November 3rd, 2021|
Just a reminder that a popular current scam all over the country is to send a text or email that purportedly comes from a priest (usually the pastor) asking for monetary help (usually purchase and donation of gift cards for a specified “cause”). Please be assured that no priest from Sacred Heart would ever contact you in that way asking for financial support. The best thing to do is not respond at all, and block the phone number or email. Parish staff has reported this to the authorities several times, but these people are almost impossible to catch. Please share this information with friends and relatives. The best way to foil these scams is to not even respond. Thank you
By Jim Wren|2021-09-14T16:16:52+00:00September 13th, 2021|
We continue to livestream the 9AM Mass on Sundays. Mass can be viewed directly on the Parish website. Remember that, if you are able to attend Mass in person, the weekly obligation to attend Mass was fully reinstated on July 1. If you cannot be physically present, please go to the website just before 9AM. From the main page, look under “Watch Mass Online” and select “Click Here for Livestream”. You will then be able to watch Mass live. It is highly recommended that, if you cannot physically attend Mass, that you watch the live Mass rather than a recorded version.
We are now offering the option to watch the recorded Mass, for the most recent week’s Mass only. The video will be overwritten every week. To watch the recorded Mass, select “Click Here for Livestream” and then select “View Most Recent Mass.” Please keep in mind that, depending on staff availability to post the Mass, it may not be immediately available.
We understand that the music can be sporadic coming through the livestream; however, the readings, homily and the Mass itself comes through very clearly using this method rather than Facebook. In addition, this eliminates the need to go through Facebook, which many parishioners did not want to do. The livestream is not perfect, but we are doing the best that we can.
Weekday Mass will be live-streamed to Facebook generally only on Mondays and Thursdays starting the week of July 26.
Thank you for your continued support.
By Jim Wren|2021-07-19T14:49:48+00:00July 19th, 2021|
In the Gospel of Saint John, the Lord Jesus tells us, “If you love me, keep my commands.” Participation in Mass on Sundays is one of the most practical ways Catholics respond to the Lord’s love.
Therefore I wish to announce the restoration of the obligation for Sunday and holy day Masses in the Diocese of Phoenix, effective July 1, 2021. On this day we commemorate Saint Junipero Serra, the great missionary and evangelist. He is a shining example of the Church’s mission to announce the joy of the Gospel to all the nations.
Given the current status of the pandemic and the availability of vaccines, I believe it appropriate for the Church to take safe and sensible steps forward in our approach to Mass.
Why should Sunday Mass be an obligation for us? In my recent Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist, entitled Veneremur Cernui, I wrote:
The ultimate effect of the Holy Eucharist is not only the transubstantiation of bread and wine into the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ for our spiritual nourishment, but the transformation of those who receive Holy Communion into “one body, one spirit in Christ.” Through this personal relationship with the Risen Jesus in the Eucharist, we experience the self-sacrificing love of Jesus, who invites us to imitate His love and to bring that love to everyone and every situation of our daily life. (41)
These words help us see that the law mandating Mass attendance is not simply an arbitrary imposition. The obligation arises from the natural demands of love, that those whom the Lord loves must be steadily transformed by His love by means of what He has instituted for our good. Sunday is a “little Easter” each week, the principal day for the celebration of the Eucharist. It is the central day for the celebration of His death and Resurrection (cf. CCC 1167).
Consider the human body. Lungs demand oxygen. The stomach obliges us to consume water and food. Our day is interrupted by the happy obligation to breathe and drink and eat. Likewise for Christ’s Body the Church: the obligation of attendance at Sunday Mass reflects our spiritual need to ingest the power of the Resurrection. Our days, weeks, and years are punctuated by the sweet demand that together at Mass we breathe and drink and eat the gifts of Christ’s grace.
Nevertheless, there are circumstances when a member of the faithful is “excused for a serious reason” (CCC 2181) from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days. A serious reason occurs when one is physically or otherwise prevented from attending. For example, if a person is sick or unable to find reasonable transportation, the obligation no longer applies.
Given the current situation of the pandemic, further examples of this are the following:
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have good reason to believe you have contracted it;
If you are ill or have a condition that would seriously compromise your health if you contracted COVID-19 or another communicable disease;
If you care for the sick, homebound, or infirmed and have a compelling reason for believing that you would infect them by going to Mass;
If you are elderly or pregnant and have a serious reason to believe you would put yourself or your child at risk by attending Mass.
In applying this guidance, each person must make use of their good judgement. If someone is unsure, confused, or concerned about a situation not listed here please consult with any priest for clarity. The faithful are always called to the sacred duty to keep holy the sabbath day, so even if one cannot fulfill the Sunday obligation, all are encouraged to spend time in prayer, thanksgiving and rest on Sundays.
May today’s celebration of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and the return of the Sunday obligation on July 1, provide a deep renewal of our love for Sunday Mass in the Diocese of Phoenix. I pray that we will all respond with great joy to the words of our loving Savior: “If you love me, keep my commands.”
Sincerely Yours in the Risen Christ,
+ Thomas J. Olmsted
Bishop of Phoenix
By Jim Wren|2021-06-23T15:27:00+00:00June 23rd, 2021|
The following resources were provided during the City of Prescott COVID-19 meeting for faith-based communities on April 17. You may find these of use to you or someone you know. Where possible, a link to the organization’s website is provided.
1.) Meals on Wheels is doing meal delivery one day a week (Wednesdays). This includes a hot meal and frozen meals that can be used on other days. Costco has partnered with Meals on Wheels to hold some important items and provide to Meals on Wheels before the items get sold out. You can call Meals on Wheels at 928-445-7630. They have also expanded their services to do wellness checks.
2.) There is a lot of assistance for veterans as follows:
Main phone number for questions: 1-866-4AZ-VETS (429-8387)
Husbands and wives, mothers and fathers of the Diocese of Phoenix
Bishop Olmsted invites you to join him and the priests and deacons of the Diocese to pray the Consecration to St. Joseph, beginning Monday, March 30, and ending on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, May 1.
Please carefully read the attached letter.
May St. Joseph’s intercession bring healing, protection, unity and strength of witness to all families in our Diocese.