Message from Fr. David September 5, 2021


As the unofficial end of the summer approaches   I hope that these last days of summer are filled with peace, relaxation, and time with those you love…it’s Labor Day!

The funny thing about Labor Day is that it’s the one day of the year no one expects to work!  We celebrate work by not doing any.  We honor the value of labor by putting it out of our thoughts for an extra-long weekend.  Work is an activity we esteem most when we’re not doing it.  In a period of unemployment, for example, work seems like the grandest and most longed-for opportunity of all.

In the reign of God we’re given to understand that most situations are valued in a way distinct from worldly standards.  The last are first, the highest-placed people find themselves demoted to the lowest place, and for all of us who do well to humble ourselves, the greater we rise. Those least appreciated in this world receive great esteem in the new creation.  The idea of a compensation package still holds, but payday doesn’t exactly come on Friday.  When it comes to the heavy lifting of saving a fallen world, God takes on that job personally.

So, maybe, Labor Day isn’t just a time to be grateful for our work and our ability to work, but a time to be grateful for God’s work among us!


Preparations are well underway to make our Forward in Faith Listening Sessions productive and successful.  Be on the lookout for a video from me with more information on ways you can participate.  I am looking forward to listening to you and hearing what you have to say about our wonderful parish and its future. 

For now, please SAVE THE DATE:

These are the two dates for the Listening Sessions, which will be held in the church:

Wednesday, September 22nd, at 10:00AM   ~   Thursday, September 23rd, at 7:00PM

In addition to the two listening sessions, I’d like to make available both a paper and a digital survey for those who aren’t comfortable/able to attend the in-person sessions. 


I am pleased to announce that Fr. Dennehy will return to Saint James as a weekend assistant beginning September.  Fr. Dennehy has been assisting our parish for over 20 years and so we are happy to have him back. 


In a scene in the lighthearted romance Just Like Heaven, with Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo, the lead character, Elizabeth, a doctor, must coach landscape architect David through a risky procedure to save the life of a restaurant patron who has collapsed and stopped breathing.  Elizabeth, who is unable to touch the patient, must tell David exactly what to do: feel for the space between his ribs, make an incision, pour vodka on the wound, insert the vodka pourer into the incision to allow air to escape.  Immediately after David follows these steps, the man begins breathing.

The orthodoxy of the procedure may be questionable, but the point is that healing is very physical.  It involves slices, pokes, pulls, pushes, yanks, jabs, and spits among other very earthy, corporeal moves.  The physician’s touch, actual or by proxy, is essential to the healing.

In the same way our spiritual healing requires one-on-one encounters with Christ through others, such as the priest in the sacrament of Reconciliation. We are not simply spirits living in a material world.  We are flesh and blood, body and soul, and our well-being requires physical as well as spiritual contact.

Today Christ commands each of us to “be opened,” freed from our impediments, by His healing touch, which might come in the form of a kiss, an embrace, or a spit in the face.  Prepare for all contingencies.


We are all healers who can reach out and offer health, and we are all patients in constant need of help.
—Henri Nouwen