Tag Archives: St. Gabriel the Archangel McKinney

Saturday Sermon and a Special Mass

4 Jun

The priesthood is not really so much a gift as it is a commission to serve, a privilege to lift, and an opportunity to bless the lives of others. 

~Thomas S. Monson


This evening at 5 o’clock Mass at St. Gabriel the Archangel, Father Martin said his first Mass as a newly ordained priest. His time at St. Gabriel’s while a seminarian and studying for the priesthood was made complete today as he shared his first Mass with his St. Gabriel family. It was a special evening, with a beautiful reception afterwards.

Everyone could tell Father Martin was a little nervous, especially when he failed to turn on his microphone right at the start, and stumbled on a few readings, and his voice quivered a few times while speaking from his heart. The one thing that I noticed the entire time was, a very distinct smile that never left his face. He was thrilled and honored, not only to be a priest, but to share that moment with friends and family. 

During Father’s homily about the Pentecost, which we celebrate this weekend, he focused on Mary, the mother of Jesus. He said that Mary, like all mothers, had helped guide his life, as she helped guide her son’s life and the apostles afterwards. I thought that was a nice tribute to his mother and all mothers.

Father Martin Castañeda on the far right. His first Mass as a newly ordained priest.

There was a lovely reception afterwards, and yes, I asked Father Martin join me in a selfie. The good news is, I can always go to confession and ask for forgiveness. (A little Catholic humor.)

Look at that smile. A very happy man of the cloth and collar.

Sunday Sermon and Some Ground Breaking News

16 May

“I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays


Today was Pentecost Sunday at church. A young man presented one of the readings in Latin, another reading was in German, and Father Don told the final reading in Spanish. He did an excellent job. 

My take on it…It was a good way to emphasize that language is not a barrier when it comes to your faith. We all speak the same language when it comes to God.

Reading 1 ACTS 2:1-11


Then there appeared to them, tongues of fire which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.


The real excitement was the afternoon ground breaking ceremony for the new church at St. Gabriel the Archangel in McKinney. The Knights of Columbus posted the colors. Mayor Loughmiller spoke and praised St. Gabriel for their generous and constant support in our community. Father Don, our current Pastor gave the opening prayer and Most Reverend Kelly, now Auxiliary Bishop and founding Pastor gave the blessing. It was very moving to see all the parishioners and dignitaries gathered to celebrate a very special day.

It was cloudy, but no rain, and just a perfect day.

Mayor Brian Loughmiller spoke about community, and listed the many groups and activities that the St. Gabriel parish supports. 

Father Don said he was very proud to follow Bishop Kelly as Pastor, and was honored to continue his legacy.

Bishop Kelly not only blessed all in attendance, but also walked the perimeter of the marked foundation, blessing the ground with holy water. 

We all were asked to form a long line along the orange outline of the new foundation and wave. A drone flew overhead to take our picture. That was pretty cool.

Everyone had a chance to symbolically dig a little dirt and take a photo. My friend and fellow greeter, Mary, and I donned a hard hat a grabbed a shovel.

But, here are the real people who helped make this all happen. A labor of love, twenty years in the making.