February 20, 2015

·         This Sunday the school will hold a Marian Procession, beginning at 7:00 PM.  All are welcome to attend.
·         Please note that the winter sports award ceremony has been moved to Sunday, March 1, at 7:00 PM.
·         On Sunday evening, March 8, the school choir will be singing a concert at Holy Family Cathedral. All choir members are required to be present for it.

·         The winter sports award ceremony will be Sunday, March 1, at 7:00 PM.

Sermon by a Norbertine Priest
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Right away we have a problem with this Gospel. It’s a pretty obvious problem. To be blunt: We can’t carry our cross. Each of us could stand before the Lord and say: Master, in the first place, I’m not always sure what my cross is. I know what causes me pain, I know the things I dread, but is that the same thing? Is that a cross? And then, secondly, even if I can see a cross as a cross, as soon as I try to carry it I fall down. Then I’m back where I started. I’ve tried fasting and being generous with my resources and with prayer, but I never seem to hit the mark.

When we’re finished “explaining” things to the Lord, He will answer us: My child, my friend, you are not far from the kingdom of God. You have understood the Gospel. For my Apostle says: “The gospel … is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” The Gospel is for the powerlessness of man. The Gospel is not man showing what he can do with a little help from on High; it is God showing what He can do with sinners and in sinners—in people who are often rebellious, slow to pray, slow to be generous, in people who struggle to love God above all things and our brothers for His sake. For those who are tempted to gain the whole world, or to covet a piece of that world; for those who fail to see the value of their own soul and those of others; in short: In people who make a face or recoil when they meet with their cross, the Gospel is for them.

So if the Gospel is the power of God for us, then what is that power? What power enables us to do what Jesus is asking of us? It is the grace of attraction. It is the grace of seeing Christ bearing the cross as supremely beautiful. We need God to kindle within us a desire to imitate the suffering Christ. The cross in itself is not appealing; suffering in itself is not appealing. But when a perfectly beautiful, perfectly selfless Person suffers and is crucified, then I want that for myself. I must carry my cross—not only to be associated with Christ, but to become Christ myself.

I suppose the question of self-denial amounts to this: Are you drawn to other things besides Christ? Or is something getting in the way of your friendship with Jesus? Then a choice must be made.

Guest Speaker Film Director Daniel Rabourdin
It is just as Moses told the people in very simple words: You have a choice to make. Make the right one. Are we willing to lose everything in order to follow Christ? Or are we going to do things in half measures? Are we going to hold on to a few gods, modest and respectable gods, and try to make them fit on the same altar as Jesus? We’re not talking necessarily about bags of money or having power over others or otherwise getting what we want. It can be anything about which we say: God and this—anything I won’t get rid of for the pearl of great price.

Several years after Moses, Joshua had put a similar choice before the people: Choose today whom you will serve. And after presenting the options, the people rise up and shout: “Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods…. We will serve the LORD, for he is our God.” But Joshua came right back at them: You cannot serve the Lord your God, for He is a jealous God. He won’t share you with anyone. But you, in your heart, are not jealous for Him. You share your heart and soul all the time with other gods. No wonder you can’t carry the cross: You’re carrying too many other things.

It’s similar to when a man approached the Lord and said, “I will follow you wherever you go.” But the Lord made him think twice: I have nowhere to lay my head. You cannot follow me unless you can follow me without anything to call your own.
So think about it, says Moses, Joshua, and the Lord Himself. Think about what you’re saying. Instead of giving the “right” answer, give the honest one: I cannot serve the Lord unless He gives me strength, unless He keeps me under the shadow of His wings. “Draw me, and we will run.” “No one can come to me unless the Father draws him.”

What are you jealous about? What are you carrying in place of or in addition to the cross? Is it material things? Is it your time? Your privacy? Your freedom? Your comfort? What is the idol that stands on the altar of God alongside Host and Chalice? Whatever it is, and however hard it might be, that is the thing we have to give up. We have to be honest with the Lord and with ourselves. We try to serve Him, we fail, then we drift. That’s the pattern, isn’t it? Good intentions, failed execution. How about: Lord, that I may see! Lord that I may love! Lord that I may run after you! Lord, if you will attract me, no power will stop me. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Prayer Requests
● Mr. Andy Portka, who has been diagnosed with cancer.
● Mrs. Donna Loeffler, who is fighting cancer.
● For the repose of the soul of Philomene Ragni, a former St. Michael’s student who died tragically this past week.

● For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.


February 13, 2015

Congratulations To Our Basketball and Soccer Teams
Both Are CIF League Champs!
Thank You To The Coaches, Fr. Benedict and Mr. Smith!

·         Please note that the winter sports award ceremony has been moved to Sunday, March 1, at 7:00 PM.
·         On Sunday evening, March 8, the school choir will be singing a concert at Holy Family Cathedral. All choir members are required to be present for it.
·         Lent because this Wednesday (Ash Wednesday).

Athletics [***Updated***]

  • The next basketball game is:  Wednesday, February 18, at 5:15 PM, at Shalhvete [5870 West Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036]
  • The next soccer game is:  Friday, February 20, at 3:00 PM, at St. Michael's (versus Santa Rosa Academy)

Sermon by a Norbertine Priest

I recently read a story that I’d like to share with you as we offer this Mass for the souls of all the confreres, relatives and benefactors:

An Illinois man left the snow-filled streets of Chicago for a vacation in Florida. His wife was on a business trip and was planning to meet him there the next day. When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick e-mail.

Unable to find the scrap of paper on which he had written her e-mail address, he did his best to type it in from memory. Unfortunately, he missed one letter and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher's wife whose husband had passed away only the day before.

When the grieving widow checked her e-mail, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor in a dead faint. At the sound, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen:


Our beloved deceased are awaiting us too.
“One thing I ask, that you remember me at the altar of the Lord.”
These are the dying words of Saint Monica to her two sons, one of whom was the future Saint Augustine. She told her children not to worry about where they buried her; she cared only that they prayed at Mass for her soul.

What wise counsel St. Monica gave! Not just to remember the dead but to pray for the dead.  Prayer for the dead is one of the hallmarks of our faith. From its beginning, the Church has offered prayers for the dead, above all the Mass.

Prayer for the dead is motivated by two key Catholic teachings: first, the resurrection of the dead. If we do not believe that the dead will rise, if we do not have hope in the eternal reward, such prayer has no purpose. Our sorrow would be without consolation for loved ones who are dying, if the Lord had not given us hope of eternal life. Our life would be pointless if it ended with death. What benefit would there then be from virtue and good deed? Then they would be correct who say: "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!" But man was created for immortality, and by His resurrection Christ opened the gates of the Heavenly Kingdom, of eternal blessedness for those who have believed in Him and have lived righteously. Our earthly life is a preparation for the future life, and this preparation ends with our death.
Alumni William Fritz '04 and Jonathan Koh '05

Secondly, we pray for the dead because though many die in God's friendship, they are not yet ready to enter the joy of heaven. There is a process that cleanses those who are already saved, but who haven't quite the holiness needed to meet God.

It's not a bad thing to wake up in Purgatory! Father Benedict Groeschel use to say that he looked forward to it!  He explains why by quoting from C.S. Lewis, who puts it this way: Imagine arriving at an important party in shabby clothes, without having brushed your teeth for days. If someone at the door gave you the chance to take some time to clean up and change, would you say “oh, no thanks, I'll go straight in and meet the host”

We are that doorman, joined in solidarity with one another, we can help one another during this time of purification. We can pray for the souls in purgatory, and they can pray for us.
More importantly, we pray for those who are especially close to us; our family, confreres, and benefactors; that is why our Order asks every canonry to offer Requiem Masses for the confreres, sisters, relatives and benefactors of the community and for all communities of canons regular.  We were united here on earth and through the bond of our common profession and we shall be united once again in heaven. It is a duty we have in charity to all, and in justice to those who have done us good.

The seven Machabean brothers who died sooner than violate the Mosaic law, believed in the resurrection. They were united in faith and love with one another, and with their heroic mother—who, exhorted them to martyrdom.

When faith unites men their fraternal bond is further strengthened especially when it’s put to the test. 

The bond of our religious profession too has united us.  May our prayer for our deceased confreres, family, and benefactors bring them closer to heaven and also strengthen our fraternal bond with them and among ourselves so that we will persevere in our religious profession.

Prayer Requests
●For the repose of Cristen Calfo’s soul, Bruno Moebest’s godmother.
●For the repose of Leonard Dana’s soul, Ben O’Brien’s grandfather.
●Mr. Andy Portka, who has been diagnosed with cancer.
● Mrs. Donna Loeffler, who is fighting cancer.

● For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.