Mass Schedule:
Saturday: 4:00 p.m. (Main Church)
Sunday: 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. (Main Church)
Weekday Mass: 8:00 a.m. (Serra Chapel)
Saint Barbara Parish
Old Mission Santa Barbara
2201 Laguna Street
Santa Barbara, CA


Tacos or Donuts?

Dear Friend,

The readings for this Sunday couldn’t be more direct. They culminate in the Gospel images of light and salt. They make me think of last evening as I stood at the back of the Mission property watching light fill the sky just before 6 pm. The peaceful glow gently displaced what felt like the blur of a chaotic day. Standing there with a friend, it was a moment to behold God’s beauty.

The salt that comes to mind is salsa (root word: sal, the Spanish word for salt), and not just any salsa, but the salsa my brother novices often present at our Sunday dinners. “Is it hot hot?” is the inevitable question – as with everything, the friars are a spectrum, in this case, of what a human palate can handle…

The light of the sky and the flavor of food: direct and great gifts of life on earth. They point to basic images for discipleship, too, speaking to the power of light and salt to bring beauty and flavor into the world. St. Francis composed an early outline of how his brothers were to go about preaching: “Let no brother preach contrary to the rite and practice of the Church or without the permission of his minister,” he wrote. And then added: “Let all the brothers, however, preach by their deeds.”

Each Sunday at Mass, the Holy Spirit makes us sacraments, “deedful” signs charged with light and flavor for the world. Some of us are tacos; some of us are donuts. Some of us are flashlights; some of us are candles. You name it. Some of us need a new battery. We can change. “Be who you are and be that well,” wrote another great St. Francis, Francis de Sales. And that’s it in a salty nutshell.


Fr. Dan ofm, Pastor