Login   
  April 16, 2014   Parish PagesDaily Resources   
 
Small Business Creative
CS

Official Catholic Links


 

 
Additional Catholic Links


A critical error has occurred.
Server was unable to process request. ---> Cannot insert the value NULL into column 'BannerId', table 'smbcreative.dbo.WT_BM_Events'; column does not allow nulls. INSERT fails. The statement has been terminated

New Classifieds


Denver, Colo., Apr 16, 2014 / 05:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Blessed John Paul II’s life and teachings on family and marriage are still bearing fruit, say members of one Colorado parish that has launched a family-friendly initiative inspired by the late Pope's example.

Pope John Paul II taught that “the Christian family is a ‘locus theologicus,’ a place where we can understand the mystery of God,” Father Luis Granados of Saint Mary Parish in Littleton, Colo., explained in a recent interview with CNA.

“As a priest, I look at spouses loving each other and loving their children and I understand a lot about God’s mercy, God’s faithfulness, God’s sacrifice,” he said. “The families are better than many books of philosophy and theology.”

Saint Mary’s is in the middle of a 12-month initiative titled “Toward a Family-Friendly Parish,” which launched in October 2013.

The program is divided into 12 monthly topics that delve into God’s plan for the family. On the first weekend of each month, the priest at each Mass introduces the topic, and parishioners receive a guide to exploring the topic at home during the weeks to follow. The guide includes a visual image, a proposed family project, and a song and psalm for weekly family prayer.

Parishioner Julie Hecker told CNA that February's topic of “Fruitfulness” particularly affected her. The month's challenges included creating a photo slideshow of your family.

Hecker says many of the family pictures she rediscovered for the project showed her family's involvement in the sacraments and the parish.

“(The project) revealed just how important the Church has been in our lives,” she reflected.

Her husband, Michael, says the first month's theme of “Family Tree” had a special impact on him. That month's activities included a short song called “Magnificat,” which he sang together with his wife and their children.

“I can’t help but smile when I hear my 6-year-old and 3-year-old singing it when they think no one is listening,” he reflected. “It is a song that connects my high school kids, middle school child, grade school kids and toddler together.”

During that first month, the Heckers also sang that song with their parish. Michael says the experience taught him to consider his fellow parishioners as extended family.

“Over the past few months my concept of family has changed,” Hecker said. “I still have my nucleus family, but I have grown to look at and love all in our parish as part of my ‘extended’ family.”

Longtime parishioner Thomas Buelt says he has also noticed this transformation of the parish community into a family – even in the early months of the program.

“The real change, I have noticed, in those who participate, is the desire and action to incorporate the extended family to the program,” Buelt said. “It inspires the entire St. Mary Community to view your fellow parishioner as a family member, and in turn allows each member to transfigure their relationships.”

Specific community-building efforts include Family Movie Nights and Discipleship Nights, where parishioners share their testimonies and receive catechesis.

Fr. Granados says the initiative also aims to build relationships between priests and families, an effort he says is at the core of the new evangelization.

“The new evangelization will come through the personal relationship between the priest and the spouses: the reciprocal gratitude for their fidelity: 'Thank you for your priesthood.' 'Thank you for your marriage',” Fr. Granados explained.

“This is not a matter of programs, plans, theories - even family-friendly theories. The point of our 'program' is to foster this relationship and connection between the priests and the families that will help both parts to grow in the faithfulness of their vocation.”

He added that John Paul II is the model of this goal, pointing to a parish in St. Florian, Poland, as one of the first implementations of this family-based concept.

“There was no explicit ‘program,’ but there was the life of the priest and the lives of the young adults and families,” he said.

The image for St. Mary's entire “Toward a Family-Friendly Parish” initiative is an icon of Christ sharing a meal with Lazarus, Martha and Mary. Parishioners were invited to hang the icon of Bethany in their homes. The image is part of the parish's efforts to emphasize the inclusion of all members, even those who may not currently be married or raising children.

“We needed to remember that not only do the family members have an age, but the family as a whole unit has an age as well,” Fr. Granados explained. “Every family experiences very different stages of life and progress in the path of holiness accordingly.”

He said the initiative aims to include widowed parishioners as well as single people and those who are divorced.

“When we touch the family, we touch every person at every time of life: the child, the young adult, the widow, the sick, the poor, the divorced, or the priest,” he said.

In this way, the program does not detract from or compete with other programs at the parish.

“If the family is the path of the Church, then it is the path of the parish, the center of its mission,” Fr. Granados said. “Any department in the parish should be family oriented. If we help the sick, we will try to heal his or her relationships with the family. If we have a wonderful food bank, we need to consider the poverty of being without relationships – loneliness.”

“To consider the family as (simply) another ‘sector’ of the ministry is to forget the way God has chosen to come to us,” Fr. Granados said. “God came to us in the Holy Family of Nazareth and comes to us through the sacrament of marriage.”

During one month of the initiative, parishioners were invited to reflect on outreach, specifically to widows and orphans.

Parishioners Tim and Angela Urban say this challenge particularly affected them.

“(It) challenged us to look outside our family, to treat all members of the parish as family and to be more attentive to who might be needing our family's help,” they said. “We realize what a gift family is and sharing it with others has been a blessing for us and our children.”

Fr. Granados' Spain-based community, the Disciples of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, also has a parish in Virginia, but Saint Mary’s is the first to host the “Towards a Family-Friendly Parish” program. Fr. Granados says the order hopes to spread the program to its school in Madrid next year.

read more...

Manchester, United Kingdom, Apr 16, 2014 / 04:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury, England, has announced plans for a house of discernment for potential priests, emphasizing the need for “a renewed love for the priesthood.”

“If we truly open our hearts in prayer within our families and parishes, I have no doubt this gift of new vocations will be given us,” the bishop said in his homily during the April 16 Chrism Mass at St. Anthony’s Church in the Wythenshawe district of Manchester.

The new discernment house will be based at the Shrewsbury Cathedral and is set to open in September 2015, the Diocese of Shrewsbury reports.

Bishop Davies said the house will create “a community at the heart of our diocese where the vocation to priesthood can be actively discerned and supported.” The house will be a year-long program.

He told the congregation that Catholics must recognize their role in caring for “the supernatural environment of faith and love within which each new generation grows.”

“Each of us has a part in making an environment where vocations can flourish,” he said.

The bishop lamented that some young people have told him that they were discouraged from their vocation, not by “hostile influences” outside the Church, but by Catholics.

Bishop Davies compared concerns for the vocations environment to concerns about the natural environment. He noted that problems in the natural environment turn people’s attention to the state of the water, soil and air.

“Likewise in the supernatural order if these vital signs of life in the vocations of marriage, consecrated life and the priesthood die away in a local church we also must be alert to the environment,” he said.

“This crisis of vocation is neither inexplicable nor irreversible,” the bishop continued. He encouraged prayer and a “renewed love for priestly vocation” to resolve the vocations crisis.

Bishop Davies noted that Jesus teaches Christians to pray “not as a last resort but as the first and irreplaceable means towards receiving this gift from God.”

He also announced prayer cards for vocations, which bear a prayer he wrote himself. These cards will be sent to all his diocese’s parishes.

The bishop also voiced gratitude for priests.

“Today we give thanks for every priest who has faithfully accompanied us along the path of our Christian lives bringing us the word of truth, the grace of the Sacraments and, above all, the supreme gift of the Holy Eucharist,” he said.

This love for the priesthood is not “human adulation” but rather “a faith-filled appreciation of the gift God gives in every man called to share in Christ’s priesthood.”

The priesthood is a life and ministry in which a man seeks “to draw all eyes to Christ the Lord,” Bishop Davies explained.

The Diocese of Shrewsbury presently has eight seminarians and 111 priests, including 28 retired priests, who are serving 98 parishes with 121 churches.

read more...

12345678

Seeing the Face of Christ in the Poor

Each Sunday, we hear St. Vincent’s name mentioned along with St. Louis and St. Rose Philippine Duchesne during the Eucharistic prayers. St. Louis we know was the King of France. We know St. Rose was a teacher and brought education to all children, especially the Native American Indians. We have heard of St. Vincent and we know he is associated with the poor and that the St. Vincent de Paul Society provides resources to those in need. St. Vincent was involved in the formation of priests and set up missionaries to go out among ordinary people and tell them about Jesus. About 150 years after his death, his missionaries came to the St. Louis area. They asked his intercession on their great mission of reaching out to the people in the wilderness of St. Louis, asking him to be our patron. 

In 1581, St. Vincent de Paul was born to poor farmers. He was the third son and learned how to tend the animals. His father thought this would be good for him, but Vincent was smart and everyone noticed. The neighbors convinced his father to send him to school and let one of his other brothers tend the animals. Therefore, Vincent went away to school. He got along very well and taught others. His teaching ability would become an asset to him and allow him many opportunities to bring others to Christ. Although, he lived almost 500 years ago, St. Vincent had a very interesting life. While making a journey by boat to a new city where he was assigned, St. Vincent was captured by pirates and sold into slavery. After years as a slave, his master decided to help him escape and chose to go with him. St. Vincent’s Christian example would lead his master to repent and return to the Catholic Church. 

The St. Vincent de Paul Chapel at the Cardinal Rigali Center

Everywhere St. Vincent lived and worked the example of his life would bring others to Christ. He was a tutor in a very rich household. He affected the parents of the children he tutored. In the 1500’s, dueling was the answer to any offense. Honor was everything. One day, the father of his students was in church praying before going off to duel. St. Vincent convinced the father that taking another’s life in a duel was cruel and God did not approve. The father amended his ways and followed the example of St. Vincent. The father and mother became St. Vincent’s greatest supporters and after the mother’s death, the father would go on to become a priest. 

This was the effect St. Vincent had on people. People would change their behaviors and amend their ways to live according to the church doctrines and follow the ways of Christ. St. Vincent had no desire to be rich or famous. Although he had influential friends, he was happy to stay working with the poor in every community. In a time when people lived extravagant lives with no regard to how the poor people lived, he would remind them of the vast differences in lifestyles. He found priests to be missionaries and formed Lady’s Charities. While volunteering for these charities, wealthier women would work alongside not so wealthy women to feed and shelter the poor. They founded hospitals and orphanages. Where there was a need, St. Vincent found ways to go to these people and meet them where they were. One day he decided to visit the prisoners who served their sentence rowing the large ships. The inhumane way in which these prisoners were treated saddened and shocked him. He appealed to the ship owners and gained permission to take care of these men. It was difficult work, but St. Vincent managed again to con-vert souls and bring more people to the Church. He said to his followers, “Love makes us see God and nothing else but God in each of those whom we love.” St. Vincent gave his life for others and taught everyone by his exam-ple. 

Each month our Pope has special intentions. He has general and missionary intentions. In September 2012, he asked God to send: “Help for the poorest Churches that Christian communities may have a growing willingness to send missionaries, priests, and lay people along with concrete resources to the poorest Churches.” On September 27, we celebrate St. Vincent de Paul’s feast day. This is an appropriate time to ask God to help the poorest. St. Vincent would approve, he once said, “By mutual support the strong will sustain the weak, and God’s work will be accomplished.” St. Vincent wants everyone to be an example of Christ in the world. To love all people as God loved us. --- Alethea Paradis, M.T.S.

 

St. Vincent de Paul's Legacy

Jesus said, “this is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn 15:12) As Christians we are called by these words of Christ to love and care for one another. The greatest way to outwardly express our love for one another is through charity- by donating our time, talent, and treasures to those in need.

There are many ways to get involved in the Catholic ministries in the Archdiocese of St. Louis that help the poor,
abused, neglected, elderly, disabled and lonely in our community, and one way is through the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. 

“Serving Christ’s needy is the first purpose of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.”

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul provides services in crisis intervention, housing, criminal justice ministry, transportation, and health.

Photo courtesy of svdpstlouis.org

Most parishes have a Society of St. Vincent de Paul conference, which are “chapters” of the Society. To find volunteer opportunities with your parish SVDP conference, you can call your parish office or look at the list of SVDP conferences.

To volunteer or donate to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul call 314.881.6000 or donate online.

 

Read more about the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.


read more...

12345

 
St. Bernadette Soubirous is the renowned visionary of Lourdes. She was born into a poor family in Lourdes, France, in 1844 and was baptized with the name Mary Bernard. Our Lady first appeared to the 14-year-old Bernadette on Feb. 11, 1858, in a cave on the banks of the Gave River near Lourdes. The visions continued for a period of several weeks. Two weeks after the first appearance of Our Lady, a spring emerged from the cave, and the waters were found to miraculously heal the sick and the lame. One month later, on March 25, the woman whom Bernadette had been seeing told her that her name was "the Immaculate Conception", and that a chapel should be built on the site of the apparitions. Civil authorities tried to frighten Bernadette into retracting her accounts, but she remained faithful to her visions. They also tried to shut down the spring and delay the construction of the chapel, but Empress Eugenie of France intervened when her child was cured with the water from the spring, and the church was built. In 1866, Bernadette entered the Sisters of Notre Dame in Nevers. She was diagnosed with a painful, incurable illness soon afterward and died in 1879 at the age of 35. Pope Pius XI canonized her in 1933.
read more...

First Reading - Is 50:4-9a
4/16/2014 12:00:00 AM
4 The Lord hath given me a learned tongue, that I should know how to uphold by word him that is weary: he wakeneth in the morning, in the morning he wakeneth my ear, that I may hear him as a master.5 The Lord God hath opened my ear, and I do not resist: I have not gone back.6 I have given my body to the strikers, and my cheeks to them that plucked them: I have not turned away my face from them that rebuked me, and spit upon me.7 The Lord God is my helper, therefore am I not confounded: therefore have I set my face as a most hard rock, and I know that I shall not be confounded.8 He is near that justifieth me, who will contend with me? let us stand together, who is my adversary? let him come near to me.9a Behold the Lord God is my helper: who is he that shall condemn me? 
read more...

123

 

 
Unlimited ACT Preparation Classes!
CS
Click to Advertise Now!
South Side Sm