Tuesday, October 24, 2006


With the glorious feast of Christ the King, the Church reminds us that Jesus Christ is our Eternal Priest and Universal King. He is Lord and Savior of all. Despite the apparent victory of evil in the world, Jesus Christ will triumph. On the final day, our Divine Savior will have won complete victory over sin, Satan and death. Saint Paul says: "Christ must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. And the last enemy to be destroyed will be death." (1 Cor 15: 25-26)

The key to today’s liturgy can be found in the Preface of the Mass. The Church prays to the Father: “You anointed your only-begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, as Priest forever and King of all. He offered Himself on the altar of the Cross as a stainless Victim to appease You so that He might accomplish the mysteries of man’s redemption.

As King, Jesus Christ claims dominion over all mankind. From whom did He claim this dominion? Satan! When our First Parents sinned, man lost son ship with God and the gates of heaven were closed. Mankind thus became subject to the bondage of sin, the dominion of Satan, and the punishment of death. Adam and his descendants came under the dominion of Satan. In His infinite mercy, however, God promised to send a Redeemer. "I will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman, between your seed and her seed (Christ). She shall crush your head and you shall lie in wait for her heel.” (Gen 3:15) The Father did not abandon us.

As Eternal Priest, Jesus Christ, on the altar of the Cross, made atonement to the Heavenly Father for the sins of the world. Jesus said: "I have come down from heaven not to do my own will but to do the will of Him Who sent me" (John 6: 38). In perfect conformity to the Father’s Will, He "humbled Himself and became obedient even unto death on the Cross" (Philippians 2: 8). By the power of Christ's redemptive act on the Cross of Calvary, the dominion of the serpent was vanquished and the gates of heaven were opened. Man was again restored to son ship with God. WE ARE SAVED!

If we are faithful to the teachings Our Lord’s Church, we have the sure hope of eternal life in heaven. At the Second Coming of Christ, we will be reunited with our glorified bodies. Then we will see each other as God has always seen us - - - in His own image and likeness. For all eternity, enraptured in the ecstasy of the Beatific Vision we will be united eternally with Christ our King.

The Communion Prayer of today’s Mass is taken from the 28th Psalm: “The Lord shall sit as King forever; the Lord will bless His people in peace.” Lord Jesus, You are the Savior of the world! You are our Eternal Priest and King!

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


October is the Month of the Rosary. Saint Dominic received the Rosary directly from the hands of Our Lady. She commissioned him to spread this devotion throughout the world. By a plan formed in heaven, the Virgin Mother desired to lead all mankind to her divine Son through the Mysteries of the Rosary. Centuries later in 1917, Mary appeared to the three children of Fatima. She identified herself as: “The Lady of the Rosary.”

The Rosary is a Gospel Prayer. Pope Pius XII called the Rosary, “A Compendium of the Gospels.” Pope Paul VI taught us that the Rosary is a Gospel Prayer that focuses our thoughts on the redemptive Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross of Calvary. The Holy Father presented it as an excellent preparation for the celebration of Mass and the devout reception of Holy Communion.

What better act of thanksgiving can we pray after Mass than the Rosary even if the constraints of time limit one to merely a decade? Surely, she who stood at the foot of the Cross will enrich our devotion to the Eucharistic.

Our Lady’s Rosary is a perfect prayer for holy hours and adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Pope John Paul II said that as we pray the Rosary, “We contemplate the face of Christ with Mary.”

The Rosary is a completely Catholic prayer. It begins with the Apostle's Creed by which we affirm our fidelity to the Roman Catholic Church. We attend the School of Mary as we contemplate the reality of the Gospel events. Our Lady of the Rosary is the Supreme Catechist who reveals to us the riches of Catholic faith.

The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary highlight the rapture of the Annunciation scene and Our Lady’s unique role in our Redemption. The Mysteries of Light reveal that the Kingdom of God is now present among us in the very person of Jesus Christ. The Fifth Mystery of Light can be said to be the high point of Sacred Scripture as we contemplate the Institution of the Eucharist on the night of the Last Supper.

We relive Our Divine Savior’s Passion and Death by praying The Sorrowful Mysteries. Jesus redeems us by His sacrificial death on the Cross of Calvary. Finally, we meditate on Our Lord’s complete triumph over sin, Satan and eternal death in The Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary.

“The contemplation of Christ’s face,” Pope John Paul II said, “cannot stop at the image of the Crucified One. He is the Risen One!” Jesus, the Risen Christ, is present among us until the end of time in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

Saint Alphonsus de Liguori tells us that when Jesus said to His mother: “Woman behold thy son,” Mary became the Mother of Mercy. We know that Our Blessed Mother will never rest while her children are in danger of eternal destruction from the world, the flesh and the devil. She instructed the Fatima children to pray for the salvation of souls at the end of each mystery of the Rosary. “O my Jesus! Forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell, especially those who are most in need of thy mercy.”

My dear friends, we have absolute need of the infinite mercy of Jesus Christ. Mary, the Mother of Mercy, leads us to Jesus as we pray the Rosary. She is the Woman of the Eucharist who guides us to her divine Son, really, truly and substantially present in the Holy Eucharist.

She unites with us as we pray: Oh Sacrament most holy! Oh Sacrament divine! All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine!

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Tucson University Hospital is located directly across the road from St. Peter and Paul's Church. It was not unusual to receive several emergency calls a day at the rectory. One day a call came from a man, lets call him Ed, with a rather unusual story.
Ed was dying. Although aware that he was at death’s door, he was pleasantly resigned. His peace of soul seemed to increase as he received the sacraments, especially Holy Viaticum. All the while, he was clutching his Rosary. As I was about to leave I remarked: “I’m glad that you have been praying your Rosary.” "O! That silly thing!" he replied. Coming from a dying man, it was a strange reply. As Ed explained, he seemed to drift back through the years.
“It happened in a foxhole in the South Pacific during World War II. Another soldier was with me. Bombs were bursting all over and the machine gun fire had us pinned to the ground. I was certain that we were finished. Then, the other guy put down his rifle, got on his knees and began praying the Rosary.”
Ed, who was a confirmed atheist at that time, looked at the man in disbelief. "Put down that silly thing,” he screamed! “That's not going to help us. There's no God up there. We need guns, not prayers!"
His fellow soldier didn’t heed a word. Instead, he prayed the harder. "O.K. Go ahead and fiddle with that silly thing; I'll hold onto my gun. But you wait and see! In the morning, I'll be here alive and well." And he was!
With the break of dawn the battle was over and both soldiers had survived. Triumphantly Ed said: "See! I told you so! I'm alive! And I didn't rattle off any silly beads!"
"Yes, I know, Ed! But every time I said a Hail Mary for myself, I said one for you as well."
Our Divine Savior works in my ways for our salvation. Lying on his deathbed many years later, Ed told me that in that foxhole God's grace came into his heart. He sought out the Catholic Chaplain and began taking instructions. Soon after, he married a wonderful woman girl and they had seven beautiful children. All of this, the dying man affirmed, was through the intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary,
"Every day of our married life my wife and I got on our knees and said that “silly thing” together. I'm not afraid to die. In fact, I'm anxious to meet Our Blessed Mother and thank her for the happy life and for teaching me about Jesus through the Holy Rosary."
The next day Ed was dead. This good man’s story is one that enriches our faith. My dear friends pray the Rosary every day, as Our Blessed Mother has asked. Our Lady of the Rosary always hears our prayers!

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.