Discussion: A Catholic Response to Climate Crisis

Discussion: A Catholic Response to Climate Crisis

Discussion: A Catholic Response to Climate Crisis

We hope you can join us this Sunday, April 21st at 3:00 PM in the Parish Hall for a Catholic Response to the Climate Crisis discussion. As climate change and its harmful effects accelerate, so too does the urgency for effective climate action.

Pope Francis has made climate action a centerpiece for his papacy with the groundbreaking release his encyclical Laudato Si’ and, this past year, his apostolic exhortation Laudate Deum. As faithful Catholics, we are all called to learn how to be better stewards of Creation and advocate for our Common Home.

Learn about the Catholic Church’s teaching on environmental stewardship and see how various climate policy solutions impact sustainability, justice, trade, energy, and income disparity. Join this interactive climate policy workshop using MIT’s EN-ROADS Climate Policy Simulator to explore our current climate trajectory, how recent legislation has improved our long-term outlook, and how Maine — the only state in the world’s largest economy with both senators on the bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus — is uniquely positioned to lead the nation and world in advocating a stabilized climate and a sustainable future.

Our presenter, Peter Dugas, is the Maine State Coordinator for Citizens Climate Education / Citizens Climate Lobby, a nonpartisan grassroots organization focused on effective and equitable climate solutions. He serves as the liaison to the office of Senator Angus King (ME-I), is an EN-ROADS Climate Ambassador and a long-time advocate for finding climate change solutions. He earned a degree in Physics and Engineering from Brown University, is a parishioner at Sacred Heart St Dominic’s Parish and lives and works in Portland, Maine.

Our Lady of Hope Parish Hall is located at 492 Ocean Ave., Portland, just across from Payson Park. Plenty of parking. All are welcome.

One Way of Living the Eucharist

One Way of Living the Eucharist

One Way of Living the Eucharist

“The Church must initiate everyone — priests, religious, and laity — into an ‘art of accompaniment’ which teaches us to remove our sandals before the sacred ground of the other.” — Pope Francis

A thought for reflection, especially during this Lenten season. How might we grow in our ability to experience and express accompaniment? Is that not one way of living the Eucharist?

Gun Safety Awareness Sabbath: February 16-18

Gun Safety Awareness Sabbath: February 16-18

Gun Safety Awareness Sabbath: February 16-18

This weekend many faith communities are participating in a “Gun Safety Awareness Sabbath,” praying in unity for safety from gun violence for our families, communities, and state.  Psalm 34:14 reminds us to” seek peace and pursue it.”

Statistics show that the rate of gun deaths in Maine grew by 20% in the last decade. It is an issue in all parts of our state. Death by suicide using a gun grew by 27%. Let us learn more – learn how we as individuals and a parish can make a difference, saving lives.

Members of our Social Justice and Peace Commission have shared information regarding groups in Maine who are working together in this regard. You can learn more online at the website of Maine Gun Safety Coalition.

Let us continue to pray — and put our faith in action.

Thoughts on Epiphany 2024

Thoughts on Epiphany 2024

Thoughts on Epiphany 2024

In times past and in some cultures today, Epiphany is a festive celebration, the origin of the custom of gift-giving at Christmas. It also marks the end of the Christmas season and a time to take down decorations!

Aside from that Epiphany has some important things to teach us as we begin this New Year.

The year 2024 will likely be a very important year for all of us. What happens this year will lead the world to greater peace or the brink of a possible world war. It will guide the Church along the path of active listening to the Spirit, or perhaps deepen the divisions we already experience. It may well test the foundations of our civil society and system of governance.

For all these serious opportunities or threats, Epiphany has something to tell us, some advice on our journey ahead.

For Matthew, the Magi are important – astrologers or astronomers from Persia, their gifts indicate a connection to Arabia or the Syrian desert. By including them in his telling of the Nativity Story, Matthew is making the point that this Good News of the revelation of God’s love, of God being with us – is meant for all the Nations, not just the Jewish people of the promise. To all people.

Writing a bit earlier than Matthew, St. Paul made the same point: in Christ there is no Jew or Greek, no male or female, no slave or free – all are one, all are included in the gift of God’s grace in Christ and meant to be members of His Body.

Epiphany is often celebrated as a feast of light. The light of God now in the world, come to us in time.

In the year ahead each of us will be asked to make decisions. To decide whom to believe. It is likely that hear and read a lot of things  – political ads, questions within the church, questions of public policy will claim “choose me” this is the side of light and truth and, they might even say, this is the side of God.

How to know which light is of God and which light is only masquerading as good but in fact is hurtful, harmful or even evil?

To know what is really of the light, we need to measure each question by the example of Jesus.

What did he do and teach (and we hear what he did and said when we read the Gospels, when we hear them proclaimed at Mass). For example, in telling us of the Magi, Matthew is saying that God’s love is for all people, excluding no one. Therefore I can ask, “Is what I am being told is the truth – does that exclude people or certain kinds of people from God’s love, does it allow or encourage or promote discrimination or fear toward others?” If so, it is very likely not of God.

  • Does what I am being asked to support or believe or vote for – does that demonize others?
  • Does it set us one against another? Does it promote – or attack the human dignity of each person and their right to live a life with access to food, water, medical care, equality under the law; does it promote the care of our natural universe, or does it continue a history of exploitation and short-sighted use that has put the planet at serious risk?
  • Does what I am being asked to support or believe benefit the poorest and most vulnerable int his world – for that is the teaching of Jesus and the traditional Social teaching of the Church.

To any serious question this year – use this as a measuring guide: Does what I am being asked to do or support or believe, does this fit with the example, the words and actions of Jesus as found in the Gospels?

St. John summarized this question with his own measuring guide – does what you are being asked to choose lead to the love of your brother and sister or not. If not, it is not of God and to say otherwise is to be a liar.

The Magi had to follow the star to find Jesus – follow carefully and over some difficult terrain. And they had to deal with Herod who, as Fr. James Martin, S.J. put it, tried to twist their holy desires and trick them.

What in the year ahead will lead us closer to Jesus – to keep us close to the light we celebrate today? What is your star?

Fr Martin names these: The Sacraments, prayers, reading Scripture, helping those in need, a friend who helps you to be more loving, a place that helps you to pray. A particular way of praying.

Some will, like Herod, will try to discourage you or distract you from the truth.

This is likely to be an important and difficult year. Stay close to the Light of Truth. Judge everything by Jesus’ example of love, inclusion, forgiveness, courage and self-sacrifice.

Fr. Paul Sullivan, S.J.

Job Opening – Parish Life Director

Job Opening – Parish Life Director

Job Opening – Parish Life Director

We have an employment opportunity that doesn’t come around very often.

We are an intergenerational community inspired by Christ’s love for all people and the Ignatian vision that call and empowers us to live the Gospel message and find God in all things. The Director of Parish Life collaborates to build our parish community and engage parishioners as part of a team approach to fulfilling our mission as a community that welcomes everyone.

Do you have a deep love for people’s well-being?

Are you a good listener? Do you get excited about creating opportunities for people to grow in their Catholic faith and spirituality?  If you’re looking for a workplace where you can fully align your values with your skills and experience, while learning and growing, consider the role of Parish Life Director here at Our Lady of Hope Parish.

Brief Overview of Role and Responsibilities

  • Engage and recruit parish volunteers through face-to-face interaction with parishioners
  • Oversee existing parish programs, and develop new ones rooted in the Ignatian vision; sustain and increase parishioner involvement and spiritual growth; significant programs include faith formation, adult, and all-inclusive ministries
  • Lead Baptism preparation and scheduling in coordination with the pastor
  • Serve as liaison between parish ministries including St. Brigid School and Pastoral Council; connect committees/ministries with each other for integrated ministry
  • Write relevant content for internal and external audiences. Work with the website and bulletin team to supply content. Connect programs, committees, and ministries so that they create communication to be published for parishioners through established avenues
  • Animate parishioner outreach to the greater Portland community, assist ministries which are involved with outreach to help broader parishioner engagement in events that support the parish’s mission

Personal Qualities Needed

Mission-focused; sets personal and organizational priorities based on mission. Commitment to inclusion and diversity – and expansive welcoming. Self-directed, self-started AND team player. Ability to work collaboratively. Can respond to OLH’s unique character as a Jesuit Ministry. Socially adept, comfortable meeting and engaging people, and public speaking (at Mass and parish events). Thorough familiarity with Catholic life and practice a must; familiarity with Ignatian Spirituality a plus.

The full job description is here. To apply, please send cover letter and résumé to ourladyofhope@portlanddiocese.org or to Search Committee, Our Lady of Hope Parish, 492 Ocean Avenue, Portland, ME 04102. If you require alternative methods of application, please let us know at email above or 207-797-7026.

The Mitten Tree: Giving Comfort, Giving Warmth

The Mitten Tree: Giving Comfort, Giving Warmth

The Mitten Tree: Giving Comfort, Giving Warmth

Once again we are offering the opportunity to provide some hats, scarves – and mittens, of course – through our annual Mitten Tree.  Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, the trees will be in each church from the weekend of November 25-26 and will remain until the weekend of January 6-7.  These handmade and purchased items are then given to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul here in Portland.

Last year, you, active members of Our Lady of Hope Parish, contributed over 200 hats, mittens, gloves and scarves for the Mitten Tree Project. The trees looked beautiful. 

Thank you for your participation in this annual project and for putting your Faith into action.



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