Fr. Bob’s Having a Birthday!

And we are celebrating the occasion with a wine and cheese reception in the St. Philip Parish Hall on Saturday, February 7th after the 4:30pm Mass.

Everyone is welcome!

Please join us and help celebrate Fr. Bob’s special day!

(We won’t spoil the fun by telling you how old he will be but it ends in a zero and the first number is between 5 and 7).

Fr Bob Writes – February 1, 2015

The following comes from a commentary by Fr Denny Dempsey 

In our gospel this weekend, we note that Capernaum has become the headquarters of Jesus’ public ministry. A prominent fishing village on the Sea of Galilee with a population of around 1,500, Capernaum was also the home of five of Jesus’ apostles (Peter, Andrew, James, John and Matthew).

According to archaeological evidence, the town had a long breakwater (waves coming off the lake during big storms could reach eight feet in height) and several piers with moorings for fishing boats. Houses were constructed of black basalt rock commonly found in the region, roughly shaped if worked at all, built into walls using pebbles for leveling the stones, and mortared over with mud. An outside wall would be built enclosing a property and individual rooms constructed inside along the wall around courtyards where they cooked, cared for animals, and planted a few grapevines. Several related families might have lived in such a compound, forming several smaller courtyards and room arrangements within the larger outer wall. The house thought to be Peter’s house, based on archaeological evidence at the site run by Franciscans, was the second such compound in from the sea and breakwater. Simon’s mother-in-law lived there and whatever other family Peter had, including Andrew, as well as families of other relatives or partners in the fishing syndicate. Jesus took up residence there during his time in Capernaum.

The synagogue, the only building in the village from that period with shaped stones, was about 150 feet further up the same street that passed by Peter’s home. In the synagogue service, an official of the synagogue invited someone, usually a guest or noted person if present, to do the reading. That person would then be given the first word in saying what he thought the reading meant. The others present would then enter into the discussion, giving their opinions  on the passage’s meaning. Jewish men were accustomed to quote various rabbis when giving their interpretations. Jesus taught with “authority,” meaning he taught both with power and as the “author” of his interpretation of the meaning of the scripture. Jesus brought that same authority to his action in casting the evil spirit out of the man. Jesus, Son of God, is “author” of all good for us as he was that day in Capernaum.”

Fr Bob Writes – January 25, 2015

Last Sunday we heard about the call of Peter from the gospel of John. This week we read the better-known account from Mark. Herod Antipas had been tetrarch of Galilee since shortly after the death of his father, King Herod the Great, in 4 B.C. Building the city of Tiberias, the jewel on the Sea of Galilee, and maintaining a full retinue of government officials, soldiers and construction workers required a substantial income. Herod’s government licensed fishing rights on the Sea of Galilee to fishermen who partnered together to form a syndicate large enough to make purchase of the license feasible. For the best fishing techniques, two boats were needed for stretching the nets. Such boats were expensive, but business loans could be arranged with Herod’s government (a second source of income). Each day’s catch was also taxed according to the take (a third source of income).

Fishermen would need a minimum of eight workers to help with fishing each night and hire others for during the day when the boats were used to transport cargo and passengers around the lake. By keeping the boats busy all the time, they could make ends meet. It is possible that Peter was head of the syndicate and title holder of at least one of the boats. If that were the case, leaving the nets behind was more complex than pulling a little runabout up on the shore. Peter would have had to figure out how to keep the business going, pay expenses, take care of his workers, and delegate out responsibilities while he, his brother, Andrew, and friends James and John, dedicated their lives and much of their time to becoming disciples of Jesus.

The reality of how Peter would have had to organize his responsibilities with priority to following Jesus is a good example for us today who must learn to do the same, given the various responsibilities of our lives.

St. Philip TAC Meeting Agenda for January 20, 2015

The St. Philip Temporal Affairs Council (“TAC”) will hold its January meeting on Tuesday, January 20, 2015.

In keeping with the TAC’s desire for transparency and accountability to the parish community and to inform it of the issues the TAC deals with, a copy of the meeting agenda can be obtained by clicking here.

While the TAC does not make public its meeting minutes by publishing them to the parish website, parishioners wishing more information on any of the items raised in the meeting can contact either Fr. Bob or Pat McIver, TAC Chair.