Holy Innocents Catholic Church!


"Whatever drew you here today, I hope that you will feel the presence of the Lord in this Church and in this community of faith." Father Johnson

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8am & 10:30am

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Oct. 21, 2021

“Live your life as a pilgrim, not as a tourist .”

Last week I offered some reflections on a saying I encountered when visiting the Shrine at Chimayo:  “Live your life as a pilgrim, not as a tourist .”  This week, I would like to continue to reflect on the  difference.

Why is the pilgrim making the journey?   Certainly, the pilgrim, like the tourist, is seeking see things.  Usually the tourist is “sightseeing” for the purposes of recreation, relaxation, diversion, sometimes entertainment, a break.  None of these things are bad.  They are often necessary and good.   But the pilgrim is seeking something more.  Sometimes a pilgrimage is made for a particular need, like healing.  Sometimes renewal of spirit, sometimes renewal of faith, sometimes reparation, but always seeking something, some place, or some person that helps them encounter Christ.  The pilgrim is always looking for God, seeking communion with him.

One of the places I visited was the Benedictine Monastery of Christ in the Desert in Northern New Mexico.  It is not easy to get to.  It is down a winding, 13 mile, one lane, dirt and gravel road.  The monks advise to be careful of the deep potholes, to watch out for wash outs, and to go slowly on the straight stretches because exposed sharp rocks have been known to puncture tires.  They advise that 4-wheel drive is useful.  Places of pilgrimage are often not easy to get to.  However, even with these challenges, pilgrimages are much easier than former years when a pilgrimage might take months or years on foot.  In former days, pilgrims really depended on the help of each other and of strangers to get them through tough spots.  Even today, we often need help to get to our destination.  Certainly, we frequently need encouragement along the way.

But when we get to the destination, oh the joy and the possibility!  My journey, though nerve racking at times, was thankfully uneventful.  And it certainly was rewarded.  I can’t begin to tell you how beautiful a place it was.  But more importantly, the monastery was truly a place that facilitated an encounter with Christ.  First there was the beauty of the natural environment of the place, of the red rock formations, of the Rio Chama river valley. Second, there was silence,  a silence that can only be found in desert places that lends itself to listen to the voice of God.   Then there was beauty of the Abbey church designed by George Nakashima that harmonizes with nature and the divine.  Finally, there was the adoration and chanting of the monks that gives witness that the work of God is to be preferred above all things.  I felt truly blessed to be in that place and have the opportunity there to notice the presence of the Lord in so many ways.  We can get caught up with the beauty of the place, but the point is the encounter and the listening.

We go on pilgrimages to look for signs of God’s presence, to look for the Lord and encounter him.  But that does not mean we do not encounter him in our daily life.  In fact, I would suggest that the goal of the pilgrim is not only to encounter God at the destination of the pilgrimage, but also that the pilgrim might see and notice more often the presence of God in daily life, and in all things, even the mundane and the ordinary.  If we notice God on pilgrimage, in the holy place, in church, in prayer, then we just might recognize him more often, at home, at work, in the stranger, in our neighbor, in the ordinariness or adversity in life.   In a sense Mass every Sunday is a kind of pilgrimage in its own right.  We leave home, we seek an encounter with Christ, and we return home and go about our week hopefully renewed by the encounter, and better able to notice Christ in our neighbor, in our world, in the ordinariness, the trial and the triumphs of life.

Blessings on your week!

Fr. Johnson


 Weekday Mass is livestreamed Monday through Friday at 9am

Weekday Mass is celebrated from Holy Innocents Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings at 9am and Wedesday evenings at 6:00pm. In-person attendance is welcome.

Perfect Contrition and Spiritual Communion Prayers



Saturday 5pm Mass on October 23rd from St.Jude, Redmond

Perfect Contrition and Spiritual Communion Prayers



8am Sunday Mass October 24th

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Perfect Contrition and Spiritual Communion Prayers



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Weekday  Mass

  • 9am weekday mass is livestreamed Monday -- Friday.
  • Weekday mass is celebrated from Holy Innocents at 9am on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and Wednesday evening at 6pm. In-Person attendance is welcome.

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  • Tue: 9:30am - 11:30am
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  • Friday evenings from 6:00 --6:45pm 

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