Jesus Cleansing the Temple! Baptism is Christ's Cleaning that makes us Holy Temples of God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
On this Third Sunday of Lent, we as a parish community celebrate together the First Baptismal Scrutiny of our brothers and sisters going through RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). We pray for them, as they prepare to embrace Christ's life in the Church. This reminds us that since
Early Church times, the Christian season of Lent has always enjoyed a strong baptismal character. For many centuries, the character of this season was almost totally marked by the Catechumenate (our RCIA of today): the process of Christian initiation into the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. This was a time of formation of three or more years which had its culmination in the great Easter Vigil. 

The time of Lent was the time of immediate preparation for the reception of these sacraments, a time of intense formation and conversion, not only for those entering the Church, but for the entire Christian community. We Christians need to see the time of Lent as a time to  rediscover, revive and renew our own Baptism, to reawaken the baptismal grace given to us, and to experience our total incorporation into Christ in our daily lives.

A great example of a Baptismal catechesis is found in today's Gospel of Jesus' cleansing of the Temple. Our Baptism is a cleansing of all our sins. Lent is a cleansing, through Penance, of all our impurities. How does Jesus get our lives ready for the new and eternal life of Easter? He comes to clean his house! Though it might seem to us that He is angry and has lost control, in reality Jesus is washing his Temple, the Father's house, our lives clean from sin. That's why the question for this time of Lent is simple: If Jesus comes to me today, to my Temple, to my life, to my body, what does he find? Who is the real god of my life? What do I truly desire with all my heart, mind, and
strength? Where am I spending my time? What does Jesus see today in place of the true worship of God, a house of prayer, or a marketplace? Have perhaps things other than God become my first concern? Is my relationship with God a business for my own gain?

“His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, Zeal for your house will consume me” (Jn 2:17). To get to Easter we need zeal, that is, enthusiasm, true attention, love and care for the things of God, for the holy things, for what's true and valuable. Love requires something very simple: that we throw other things away. Love for God's house requires change and cleansing, that we overturn the tables of the money changers! Lent is the time to throw away all the junk that right now takes the place of God. It's the time to renew and strengthen our Baptismal vocation. At Mass, we give up our lives to God and to each other, united to the one eternal sacrifice of Christ.

There is parallel here at Queen of Peace between the cleansing of God’s temple, which is our life, and the rebuilding of His house, which is our new parish center. The spiritual building of our faith and love are the entire purpose of Christ's ministry, and they are the purpose of our new parish center. I am deeply grateful to all of you who have made a pledge, perhaps deciding to give something up in your life in order to put this mission, to put God first. We only have a short way to go to reach our $5 million. We are so close it is important to keep up our momentum. if you have not made a pledge yet, please make sure you do. Also, talk to your friends and make sure they have made a pledge.

In front of the total gift of God to ourselves in the Eucharist, we place our time and treasure, our securities and plans, at the feet of the One who truly loves and purifies us. Let us keep each other in prayer as we walk this beautiful journey of Lent with our Lord! 

In Christ,

Father Felix P. Medina Algaba


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Our Baptismal life needs to grow and be constantly nourished. Lent is the time to prepare ourselves to renew our Baptismal promises. The tradition of the Church keeps the Transfiguration for the Second Sunday of Lent. We hear in the Gospel of this Sunday that “Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves” (Mk 9:2). We see in this
transfiguration a parallel with Jesus at the agony of Gethsemane, in which he takes the same disciples - Peter, James, and John - and goes away to pray, right before the suffering of his passion and cross. The Transfiguration is a necessary preparation for the mission, for the cross, and the suffering that was going to be the mission of Jesus and is the mission of all his disciples.

Another parallel event of the transfiguration is the Baptism of the Lord. “Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice, ‘This is my beloved Son. Listen to him’” (Mk 9:7). Remember that when Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan, “A voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (Mk 1:11). The transfiguration is a way to see with faith, that is, to encounter the risen Jesus at the other side of the cross. We can only experience the resurrection as we go through the sufferings of our Lenten penances doing two things: rediscovering our baptism and listening to the voice of Christ. How do we rediscover the joy and beauty of our baptism and listen to the voice of Christ? By listening to the preaching of the Gospel.

In order to enter into the mission the Lord has for us, that entails suffering, the cross, sacrificial love, giving our life, Jesus takes us, like the disciples, to discover his glory, and experience his resurrection. We need to go away like Peter, James, and John so that Jesus may reveal to us the glory of his crucified Love to the point of death, and we may experience the new life of Christ beyond death, eternal life. As a parish, that means that we need to become missionary. We need to constantly renew our beautiful and joyful encounter with Christ. Many of us still do not encounter and see the Risen Lord in a personal way. The purpose of our building project, the purpose of all the activities we do is to go to the peripheries, as Pope Francis constantly repeats, to bring our brothers and sisters to that encounter with Christ.

I would like to invite you to pray about and to be a a part of a time of a missionary effort we are about to begin at Queen of Peace. We are beginning Faith Formation Catechesis for adults and youth 13 and older. These catechesis, or talks, are not just about more knowledge. They are an opportunity to listen to God’s voice and to begin to rediscover our Baptism. I ask you to be open to listening to the witness of people who have experienced the action of God concretely in their lives. The team giving the catechesis - made up of myself, seminarians, couples, and single people - is simply giving what was once given to us, an announcement that created a change of
direction in our lives. For me, that was returning to the Church, reconciling with my parents, and realizing my vocation to the priesthood.

The catechesis will take place Tuesdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m. in the Great Room, starting this week. Give God an opportunity to speak to you in a new way. Today, we are not where we were before in our life; when we took Catechism classes; or when we learned the faith many years ago. To receive Jesus Christ proclaimed is to receive life!

In Christ,

Fr. Felix P. Medina-Algaba, Pastor


As we begin together our Lenten journey, I would like to offer some brief reflections about this
penitential time of healing and conversion. The Lenten Season, which runs from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday, is the period of preparation for the renewal of our baptismal promises at Easter. It is a time to discover that the fundamental enemy of every Christian is sin. Once we identify our true problem in our own sins, aided by the sacramental grace bestowed by our Mother Church, we fight the good fight of faith armed with the powerful weapons of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Not by chance, the character of this liturgical season has always been deeply marked by the catechumenate (RCIA), that is, the process of Christian initiation into the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. The time of Lent is the time of immediate preparation for the reception of these sacraments of initiation. It is a time of intense formation, not only for those
entering the Catholic Church, but for the entire Christian community. Lent is our great opportunity to rediscover, revive and renew our own Baptism, to reawaken our baptismal grace, to experience our total incorporation into Christ and to his Church in our daily lives. It is a time of conversion, of return to the way of the Lord, and of reconciliation with and service to our brothers and sisters.

We can't journey the path of Lent on our own. We belong to a community of faith which walks together towards the Risen Lord as the sign of God's saving presence in the world. Just as sin wounds our relationship both with God and with our neighbor, our Lenten sacrifices bring us closer to God, but also to our parish brothers and sisters. Our faith requires
concrete incarnation through real, personal and actual Christian deeds done to those we share our life with. During these days of purification and renewal, let us recall that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26).

Currently, God is giving our parish family a wonderful opportunity to come together with our brothers and sisters to put into practice the power of our Baptism. God has given us the mission of building a new parish center, which will enable us to build up the Body of Christ. I hope that as we partake in the three pillars of Lent – prayer, fasting, and almsgiving – we may remember
this mission God has entrusted to us; that we will listen attentively to the Word of God and spend more time in prayer, asking the Lord for guidance and listening to Him. That we will fast from the things that keep us from Him – gossip, our selfish plans, etc; and that we will give of ourselves to our fellow brothers and sisters and to the many people in this world who desperately need to hear the Good News and have an encounter with Jesus Christ. Almsgiving is not giving the leftovers, or giving to feel good about ourselves. It means putting others’ needs before our own. I am truly grateful to everyone who has put the great need of our parish center before their own, making sacrifices in their lives to give for the New Evangelization. through Adoration of the
Blessed Sacrament, Confession, daily meditation of the Scriptures, supporting the needs of
our brothers and sisters, courageous giving, joining one of our parish ministries, etc.

In Christ,

Father Felix P. Medina-Algaba

Our new Parish Center will allow us to evangelize in a society with a crisis of faith

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Each October, every parish in the Archdiocese of Denver takes a Mass attendance count. At Queen of Peace, the count showed that 4% more people attended Mass in 2017 than in 2016. However, at the Archdiocesan level, Mass attendance went down by 1%. 1,500 fewer people attended Mass in 2017 than they did in 2016. While 1% may seem like a small percentage, it’s a big deal when we are talking about people’s souls. We are talking about 1,500 people not attending Mass. Surely, you know of people in your own family, friends, neighbors, who have stopped attending Mass, because they don’t believe there is anything for them here. 

This reality may seem discouraging, but this is not the time to be discouraged. This shows us that it is a time to evangelize! This is the purpose of our new parish center. This building project is a necessary investment for the present and future of the Catholic Church in Aurora. Thousands of Catholics fall pray to the secularism of our times. Many of our children no longer know how to pray, how to raise their own children in the faith, how to look for help in times of marriage and family crisis, how to deal with the struggles and contradictions of life. Our contemporary hedonism and individualism promote deeper isolation, division and separation within our neighborhoods and families. We are assisting to a true disenchantment and distrust in the traditional institutions which have created, sustained and invigorated our American society as a Christian, diverse and welcoming society. People are losing a sense of God in the world, thinking they don’t need God in their lives, in their work, in their children’s schools. There is a divorce between our faith and our real daily life; there’s the mentality that church is one thing, and my life is separate, the two don’t mix.

The good news is that we have an answer to this situation. Christ is alive and giving his love and salvation in his Church today. Our Queen of Peace community is a true haven of hope, a
refuge of sinners, and a home for those living in isolation, suffering and distress. God is giving
us so many ministries which proclaim Christ and form missionary disciples of our Teacher and
Savior. We have ministries like Friends of St. Andrew, St. Vincent de Paul, and Gabriel House to
serve the poor, the homeless, and the expectant mothers. We have an English Program and
Citizenship Classes to serve our immigrants. We have youth groups to guide our young people. We have workshops, talks, and prayer groups that help us be formed in the faith. Through all of them, Jesus comes, and does what we see in today's gospel. Jesus teaches and his teaching has a great impact on people's lives. "All were amazed and asked one another, 'What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.' His fame spread everywhere" (Mk 1:27-28).

We need a new home where we can welcome, form and accompany the present and future saints
which our world needs for the salvation of our marriages, families and children. Our culture needs
authentic leaders which can spread everywhere the beauty, goodness and truth of the Gospel. This is not possible without a building where classes, meetings, and social events may be held. Our current facilities can't stay open for much longer. It's time to be missionaries and bring Christ to so many in need of his love, forgiveness and teaching through our investment in our new Parish Center building project.

In Christ,
Father Felix P. Medina-Algaba

Nuestro nuevo Centro Parroquial nos permitirá evangelizar en una sociedad en crisis de fe

Queridos hermanos y hermanas en Cristo;

Cada mes de octubre, cada parroquia de la Arquidiócesis de Denver recibe un conteo de asistencia masiva. En Reina de La Paz, el conteo mostró que un 4% más de personas asistieron a Misa en 2017 que en 2016. Sin embargo, a nivel arquidiocesano, la asistencia masiva disminuyó en un 1%. 1,500 personas menos asistieron a Misa en 2017 de lo que hicieron en 2016. Mientras que el 1% puede parecer un pequeño porcentaje, es un gran problema cuando hablamos de las almas de las personas. Estamos hablando de 1,500 personas que no asisten a misa. Seguramente, usted sabe de personas de su propia familia, amigos, vecinos que han dejado de asistir a misa, porque
ellos no creen que haya algo para ellos aquí.

Esta realidad puede parecer desalentadora, pero este no es el momento para desanimarse. ¡Esto
nos muestra que es el momento de evangelizar! Este es el propósito de nuestro nuevo centro
parroquial. Este proyecto de construcción es una inversión necesaria para el presente y el futuro de la Iglesia Católica en Aurora. Miles de católicos caen ante el secularismo de nuestros tiempos.
Muchos de nuestros niños ya no saben cómo orar, cómo criar a sus propios hijos en la fe, cómo
buscar ayuda en tiempos de matrimonio y crisis familiares, cómo lidiar con las luchas y contradicciones de la vida. Nuestro hedonismo e individualismo contemporáneo promueven un
aislamiento, división y separación más profundos dentro de nuestros vecindarios y familias.
Estamos ayudando a un verdadero desencanto y desconfianza en las instituciones tradicionales que han creado, sostenido y fortalecido a nuestra sociedad estadounidense como una sociedad cristiana, diversa y acogedora. Las personas están perdiendo el sentido de Dios en el mundo, pensando que no necesitan a Dios en sus vidas, en su trabajo, en las escuelas de sus hijos. Hay un divorcio entre nuestra fe y nuestra vida diaria real; existe la mentalidad de que la iglesia es una cosa, y mi vida está separada, las dos no se mezclan.

La buena noticia es que tenemos una respuesta a esta situación. Cristo está vivo y da su amor y
salvación en su Iglesia hoy. Nuestra comunidad de Reina de la Paz es un verdadero refugio de
esperanza, un refugio para los pecadores y un hogar para aquellos que viven en aislamiento,
sufrimiento y angustia. Dios nos está dando tantos ministerios que proclaman a Cristo y forman
discípulos misioneros de nuestro Maestro y Salvador. Tenemos ministerios como Amigos de San
Andrés, San Vicente de Paúl y Casa Gabriel para servir a los pobres, las personas sin hogar y las
mujeres embarazadas. Tenemos un programa de inglés y clases de ciudadanía para servir a
nuestros inmigrantes. Tenemos grupos de jóvenes para guiar a nuestros jóvenes. Tenemos talleres, charlas y grupos de oración que nos ayudan a formarnos en la fe. A través de todos ellos, Jesús viene y hace lo que vemos en el evangelio de hoy. Jesús enseña y su enseñanza tiene un gran impacto en las vidas de las personas. "Todos se asombraron y se preguntaron unos a otros: '¿Qué es esto? Una nueva enseñanza con autoridad. Él manda incluso a los espíritus inmundos y lo obedecen'. Su fama se extendió por todas partes "(Mc 1: 27-28).

Necesitamos un nuevo hogar donde podamos dar la bienvenida, formar y acompañar a los santos
presentes y futuros que nuestro mundo, para la salvación de nuestros matrimonios, familias y
niños. Nuestra cultura necesita líderes auténticos que puedan difundir en todas partes la belleza, la bondad y la verdad del Evangelio. Esto no es posible sin un edificio donde se puedan celebrar
clases, reuniones y eventos sociales. Nuestras instalaciones actuales no pueden permanecer
abiertas por mucho más tiempo. Es hora de ser misioneros y llevar a Cristo a tantos que necesitan
su amor, perdón y enseñanza a través de nuestra inversión en nuestro nuevo proyecto de
construcción del Centro Parroquial.