Are you wondering what Christianity is all about?
Are you curious about the Catholic Church?
Have you not received First Communion and/or Confirmation?
Are you engaged or married to a Catholic, and want to know why they believe “all that stuff”?
Are you returning to the Church after a long absence?
Or are you simply interested in learning more about the Faith you already profess and practice?
THE ALPHA COURSE begins on Tuesday, 1/17/14. Classes are held every Tuesday evening in Fr. D’Arco Hall, 6:00-9:00 p.m., and include dinner! There is no cost, and childcare is available for children two years of age and older.
The Pillars series, by Sean Innerst, is a four-part, in-depth study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). The first in the series, Pillar I: The Creed is a 12-part study that guides participants through the first of the 4 “pillars” of the CCC. It provides the foundation needed to continue the journey through the entire Pillars series. The Creed opens up the structure of the Catechism and shows how it is far more than a list of “faith facts,” but instead a sure map for their journey of faith.
The new Pillars/Creed study group will meet on Fridays, 7:00-9:00 p.m., in the staff meeting room of the parish office, beginning 1/10/14. Each participant will need his or her own copy of the CCC ($9-$35 at your local bookstore, depending on print format; electronic versions are available, too--check your e-reader's online store), as well as the Pillars I study kit, available at the first class attended for $19 each. (Married couples usually share one.) The facilitator is Jeannette Schlicher (
Have you been wondering when a new church may be built? Have questions about the new site plan? Do you know the status of the capital campaign? Check the weekly bulletin, click the latest news below, or check out the Capital Campaign Corner Blog!
FROM THE PASTOR ON NOVEMBER 6, 2013.
My dear parishioners, It is my great joy to share with you that as of yesterday, November 5th, our Build My Church Capital Campaign has reached $6,000,559 in pledges. We have reached our goal, thanks be to God! There were those who said that no parish could raise $6 million in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, but they didn't know the people of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish. With all my heart, I know that I have the honor of being the pastor of a blessed parish!
My dear family,
First and most importantly, this Thursday is August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a Holy Day of Obligation: all Catholics are obligated to attend Mass this day (or on the vigil) unless reasonably excused. The Mass schedule is here on the front page.
This is the oldest and most important feast of our Blessed Mother. As her loving and grateful children, let us rejoice at Mass as we see her assumed body and soul into heaven!
Although the calendar says that summer continues for a few more weeks, the fall activities of the parish start to stir to life!
School began this past Friday. I am happy to report that as of today, our school enrollment is 420 - for all purposes, our school is at capacity, with waiting list in many grades. This is a great blessing my friends, and a wonderful testimony to our Sisters, teachers, and staff, who make our parochial school so outstanding. Also, we do all this with the second lowest tuition of any school in the Archdiocese. May God bless the parents who make the sacrifice to send their kids to receive a Catholic education.
Our school has a small endowment with the Catholic Foundation to help provide lower-income kids to have scholarships to our school. This is a worthy cause to donate to, or to remember in your will!
Today, our Catechism teachers begin their preparation, and will be blessed at the 9 am high Mass. We also thank God for this army of dedicated volunteers, who give so freely of their time to give religious education to our children. Catechism classes will be beginning soon - information is in the bulletin.
We had a wonderful attendance at the first class on the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Feel free to join us - Mondays, 7 pm, Fr. D’Arco Hall. For this week, bring your Bible.
A few more cleaver sayings from Steven Wright:-”The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.” (Think about it!)-”I almost had a psychic girlfriend--- But she left me before we met.”-”OK - so what's the speed of dark?”
A blessed week!
Msgr. Doug Raun
This past week, our plans for our new church complex took a big step forward. We have signed the contract with our architect, Mr. Adam Hermanson of Integration Design Group of Denver, Colorado. Mr. Hermanson is the architect who did the master plan study/document for our project. He began the formation of the various committees that will be advising him on the actual plans for the new complex. (Up to this point, all we have had are conceptual drawings.) In this he will be assisted by our on-site person, Mr. Mike Flure, who is our parish representative for the project.
Everything with church construction takes time, because it always involves “multi-lateral” negotiations: the parish, the archdiocese, the city, the architect and, eventually, the contractors. This is why pastors lose their hair prematurely!
As far as funding, we are still at about $5.6 million. Now this is wonderful news: no parish in our archdiocese has ever raised $5.6 million in a capital campaign. But this is also bad news: we need to find another $400,000. I know we can do it: I just need to get out the “tin cup” and do some begging (not my favorite past-time. I would much rather be spending the time on pastoral work. But I know it is part of the job of being the father of the spiritual family.) The smart folk who know about fundraising tell me that there are very wealthy people out there who can give $500,000 and up - well, in 18 years I haven’t found them. If you are one of them, please give me a call! :-) We have had no “sugar daddies” - our largest donation was a single $100,000 gift, and most of that $5.6 million has been given by lots of people of modest means who have given sacrificially to this great work. That has always been the great strength of our parish. God will provide: please pray that God touches some hearts to help us go over our goal.
Now, news about the new church complex will pick up. There will be opportunities for everyone to have their input into what should be in the new complex. Keep up the prayers, dear people, as we advance on this new phase of this important milestone for our parish.
We have a new youth minister at St. Thomas!
John Hyland, who has served for two years at St. Thomas, has decided to resume his studies for his Master’s degree. We thank John for his service to our young people and wish him well in his studies.
A search committee, chaired by Carey Kangas, worked very hard and did an excellent job, interviewing candidates from all over the nation. And I am happy to announce that our new Youth Minister is Mr. A.J. Enfield.
A.J. is 28 years old and from Phoenix. He has a degree from the Pontifical College Josephinum (your pastor’s old seminary!), and has worked for several years as an assistant youth minister at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Phoenix. He came highly recommended. We welcome A.J. to our parish! His duties began July 1st.
This week is Vacation Bible School here in the Parish. Every year this is such a wonderful time for our little kids. Many thanks to everyone helping with VBS.
An update on the Building Project. We have signed the contract with our architect, Mr. Adam Hermanson. He will be here this week to begin the process of forming and meeting with the committees that will advise him as we start to make basic decisions about the buildings we shall need. More on this later! Keep the project in your prayers.
Do we have your email address? I am sending out more and more communications to the parishioners through the email system. If you are not receiving my emails, call the office and give us your email address!
And now we are in July - the Month of the Precious Blood of Jesus - the great price of our redemption, our protection from all evil.
Lord JESUS, by faith in your merits, I now take your precious bloodand sprinkle it over myself and my family right from the crown of my head to the very soles of my feet. I claim total and complete protection for my life and my family. Lord JESUS, keep me free today from evil, sin, temptation, Satan’s attacks and afflictions, fear of darkness, fear of man, sickness, diseases, doubts, anger, all calamities and from all that is not of thy Kingdom.
Fill me Lord JESUS with gift of your Holy SPIRIT and grant me the gift of wisdom, knowledge, understanding and discernment so that I will live today in your glory by doing that which is right.I praise you, JesusI Thank you, JesusI Love you, JesusI Adore you, Jesus. Amen.
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9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday - Friday. Closed on Holidays and Holy Days of Obligation.
Saturday: 5:00pm, Sunday: 7:00am, 9:00am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, & 6:00pm.
9:00am & 6:00pm.
Weekdays: 8:30am & 5:30pm. Saturday: 8:30am, 3:00pm - 4:30pm, & 6:00pm - 7:00pm.
12.08.2013 11:00 am - 12:00 pmMass
12.08.2013 12:30 pm - 1:30 pmBilingual Mass
12.08.2013 6:00 pm - 7:00 pmTeen Mass
12.09.2013 8:30 am - 8:55 amConfessions
12.09.2013 9:00 am - 9:30 amMass
12.09.2013 5:30 pm - 5:55 pmConfessions
12.09.2013 6:00 pm - 6:30 pmMass
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish 1502 Sara Rd. NE Rio Rancho, NM 87124 Tel: (505) 892-1511