facebook
StMM Statue
Mission Statement
MASS SCHEDULE:  NEW!! Weekday Mass Schedule
M-T-Wed 8:00 am - Communion Service Th-F 8:00 am - Mass     
SAT
4:30 pm      SUN 8:30 & 10:30 am

Holy Days:
  8:00 am and 7:00 pm. Always check the bulletin to confirm times.

Saturday morning Mass is celebrated on a rotating basis at
St. Ann (2nd & 4th Saturdays), Assumption (1st & 3rd Saturdays) and
St. Margaret Mary (5th Saturdays) at 8:30 am.
StMM Catholic Church
Weekly Reflection for July 13, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Suffering Nothing
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Romans 8:18-23

The older we get, the more we groan. Muscles ache. Memory fades. Taste buds fail. Hearing diminishes. Eyesight darkens. Stature bends. Our physical health decays, and suffering intensifies. Growing old, as they say, is not for wimps.

For many people, aging might be cause for despair. But for Christians, it is just another aspect of the imperfections of life. We have grown accustomed to the disappointments of this life. They are nothing compared with the promise of salvation. We put up with the inconveniences we experience because we believe in the joy that lies ahead.

St. Paul writes to the Romans, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.” Paul believed in God’s promise, that there was more ahead for him after he died. He believed that promise extended to all the faithful, and indeed to all creation. Creation itself has been groaning, awaiting a more perfect life. Perfection comes to all of the world through Christ.

We may be growing older, but we are always children—God’s children. We may be heading towards death, but we are really heading towards birth—birth to a new kind of life. The sufferings of today are as nothing. We are groaning in expectation of a joy that is to come.




Weekly Reflection
for July 6, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Following the Rules

What rules do you live by? You observe the laws of church and state.
You fulfill the expectations of your family. You follow procedures at the workplace. If you strive to live faithful to God, society and yourself, you follow some good interior rules.

But sometimes we live by rules of habit. We do things because we have always done them. In itself, that is not bad. But sometimes circumstances change. The rules you apply to the oldest child might bend when the youngest comes of age. Procedures you follow at work might be put aside to help someone in need. Rules are good. They help society live in peace. But if the rules become tyrants, they thwart the very order they aim to preserve.

St. Paul cautions the Romans, “You are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.”
In the past, the Romans had lived according to the law of the flesh. They did what they could get away with. They observed rules for the sake of survival. But now they are Christians. The Spirit of God dwells within them. They live now by the law of love. They make decisions differently, thinking of others, not just of themselves.

The rules we live by deserve to be followed especially as they express the desires of God’s Holy Spirit. The Spirit of love presents the supreme law. As Christians, we please God when we obey the Spirit of Christ.




Weekly Reflection
for June 29, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Sts. Peter and Paul

This Sunday we celebrate the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, two of the first and very important leaders of our Catholic faith.

St. Peter's occupation was a fisherman who was invited by Jesus to follow him. He and his brother Andrew did just that. He is the first Pope of our Church. He evangelized and baptized many people, spent time in prison because of his beliefs and eventually was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar.

St. Paul, born Saul of Tarsus, was a devout Jew and enemy of Christianity until he was called by the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus. He accepted Jesus, stopped persecuting Christians and became one of the greatest followers of Christ as he proclaimed the Gospel and called people to follow Jesus. Many of the writings in the New Testament are from Paul. He spent time in jail and was eventually beheaded.

St. Peter and St. Paul were contemporaries who worked together and with the apostles and disciples to spread the good news. We can learn much by looking into the lives they lived, and the joys and struggles they experienced in their world at that time.


Weekly Reflection
for June 22, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Living Saints Among Us

I never cease to be amazed by the generosity of the members of our
parish. In my opinion, when it comes to practicing the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, we are the best kept secret in this diocese.

To mention a few of my observations: We have the Cursillo members who meet, pray and live the fourth day in a remarkable manner. The members of our St. Vincent DePaul Society are tireless in their efforts to help people in need in our community as best they can. The Heavenly Fingers, a group of ladies who have met weekly for many years use their artistic talents to create many articles which they sell, and donate the money to support the tuition needs of students. The Holy Name Society is a group of men who meet faithfully each month to support each other and the parish, especially the yearly picnic. We have prayer and study groups who meet on a regular basis and I am forever discovering another one that just comes up in casual conversation.

The members who visit the sick and homebound are a faceless group who, to quote one of them, are “honored and happy to bring Holy Communion to our parishioners in their homes and nursing facilities”. As requests come into the Parish Office, it takes little time to connect one of them to the person requesting a visit. Lately, I have had some opportunities to hear the stories of a few of our home bound. As they tell of the needs they have and the persons who come forward to help, I frequently find the same names being mentioned. I doubt that many of us know who these people are and how generous they are with their time and service. This is not an organized group. It is just wonderful parishioners with their ear to the ground who quietly come forward to offer their help and many times we do not even know this is going on.

Then there is our prison ministry who visit prisoners, offer prayer sessions, reminding them that they are precious in the eyes of our merciful God. Our prayer chain offers an opportunity for all of us to request and receive prayers and support in our time of illness and other troubles. I could go on, but space is limited. To quote a former pastor, we are certainly blessed with many living saints at St. Margaret Mary.


Weekly Reflection
for June 15, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Six Minutes A Day

Now that we have completed the Easter season, those of us who have spent six minutes per day with the Little White Book are advised to
continue this praying of Scripture. Even if you did not use the Little White Book, you can still do this. All you need is a Bible. You can choose a particular Gospel and read just a little bit each day. The important thing is to be in a quiet place so you are not distracted as you sense the presence of the Lord with you. If something catches your attention, stop, be quiet as you reflect on what it means to you. Just remember, you are not studying the Bible, you are reflecting on a small part each day. It will make a difference in your faith life for just six minutes per day.


Weekly Reflection
for June 8, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Religious Liberty at Home

"We are Catholics. We are Americans. We are Proud to be both, grateful for the gift of faith which is ours as Christian disciples, and grateful for the gift of liberty which is ours as American citizens. To be Catholic and American should mean not having to choose one over the other. Our allegiances are distinct, but they need not be contradictory, and should instead be complimentary. That is the teaching of our Catholic faith, which obliges us to work together with fellow citizens for the common good of all who live in this land. That is the vision of our founding and our Constitution, which guarantees citizens of all religious faiths the right to contribute to our common life together."





Weekly Reflection
for June 1, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Behold, I Am With You Always

Today, we celebrate the feast of the Ascension which is actually on
Thursday, May 29 but is moved to this Sunday so all of us have the opportunity to be in attendance for this very special occasion. The Gospel of Matthew gives this report of the event of Jesus leaving this earth:

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”


Our Easter season ends next Sunday with the celebration of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descends upon the apostles giving them strength to spread the good news. As we think about all the gifts and blessings we have also received from the Holy Spirit, we are called to evangelize and remember that Jesus is with us in these efforts.


Weekly Reflection
for May 25, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Remembering the Brave

As we celebrate this Memorial Day weekend, we call to mind all those who protected our country in the various armed services over many years and those who are currently in the service. These brave men and women put themselves in harm’s way as they protect us at home and in other countries around the world. Their commitment and sacrifice is true witness to the value they hold for our country, our way of life and for all of us. We pray for those active and retired, living and dead and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice of their lives so we can be free.

God bless every one of them and God bless America.


Weekly Reflection
for May 18, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Celebrating Endings & Beginnings

This Sunday we are celebrating graduation, the completion of
studies of various levels. We have graduates of kindergarten,
grade school, high school, college and it goes on. At each level there is a sense of pride and accomplishment. Then comes the challenge of the next level and the next level. As we recognize these students for their efforts and send them forth, we also offer a promise of continued prayer that they will always remember that they are truly blessed and unconditionally loved by the God who created them.



Weekly Reflection
for May 11, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson


Important Dates in the Lives of Our Two Recently Canonized Saints


Two great leaders and holy men were raised to the status of sainthood on April 27, Divine Mercy Sunday. Here are a few important dates in their lives. The website and recent books are full of wonderful stories of their lives and service which will continue to inspire us.

Pope John XXIII:
November 25, 1881: born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli to Giovanni and Marianna Giulia Roncalli,
1892: Enters the seminary at Bergamo.
August 10, 1904: is ordained a priest and serves as secretary to the bishop of Bergamo.
1925: Is named archbishop and appointed apostolic visitator to Bulgaria...
1953: Is named a cardinal and patriarch of Venice.
October 28, 1958: is elected 261st pope and bishop of Rome.
October 11, 1962: opens the first session of the Second Vatican Council.
June 3, 1963: dies of cancer.
September 3, 2000: beatified by Pope John Paul II.
April 27, 2014: canonized by Pope Francis

Pope John Paul II:
May 18, 1920: born Karol Józef Wojtyla to Karol Wojtyla, Sr. and Emily Kaczororska Wojtyla in Wadowice, Poland.
1942: Enters secret seminary in Krakow which was necessary due to WW II restrictions.
November 1, 1946: ordained priest; goes to Rome for graduate studies.
September 28, 1958: ordained auxiliary bishop of Krakow.
1962: goes to Rome for first session of Second Vatican Council.
1964: Is installed as archbishop of Krakow
June 28, 1967: made cardinal.
October 16, 1978: elected 264th pope and bishop of Rome.
1986: Makes historic visit to Rome's synagogue; calls world religious leaders to Assisi to pray for peace.
1998: Historic visit to Cuba; starts first permanent Catholic-Muslim dialogue.
2003: Marks 25th anniversary as pope.
April 2, 2005: Died
May 1, 2011: beatified by Pope Benedict XVI.
April 27, 2014: canonized by Pope Francis.


Weekly Reflection
for May 4, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

He is Risen, Alleluia

Staying on the road of spiritual reflections and good works after Lent:
Friends, Peace be with you!

With these words, the Risen Lord Jesus greeted his disciples--and they still reverberate today. Through them, God offers new and abundant life, which is Christ's own divine life, given to the world so we can all share communion with God. This makes us his friends, and the defining characteristic of being God's friend is to know him.

That said, many of you have asked, what's next after the Lent reflections? How do I maintain the spiritual momentum I developed during this holy season?

There's simply no better way to carry on your Lenten progress. Read through the Gospel of Mark, one chapter per day; spend some time with the Blessed Sacrament on a regular basis; commit to attending one extra Mass each week; pray the rosary once a day, maybe in your car. All of these are simple, proven ways to deepen your spiritual life.

Christ is truly risen! Amen! Alleluia!
Peace,
Fr. Robert Barron




Weekly Reflection
for April 27, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Easter Food Donations

We collected 35 bags of Easter dinner food which had a value of approximately $25.00 for each bag. I took them up to Alliance Food Pantry in Mt. Healthy in which Assumption Parish participates. The value of this donation was $875.00. They were very thankful for our efforts.

It certainly warms my heart to experience the generosity of St. Margaret Mary parishioners in the various outreach requests that are made. Our sincere thanks to the OLG Before and After School Program and Amy Keller, the director, who so willingly agrees to get grocery bags decorated for this food. It makes things more festive for the receivers.

Another thing, I have several copies of the book, The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis. It is highly recommended for reading and reflection. You can read it alone or in a small group. Of course, you are welcome to join our Dynamic Catholic book club on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in Room 20 of the Parish Activity Center. If you would like a copy of the book, call Maureen 521-7387 or stop by the Parish Office. The cost of the book is $10.00.

May the blessings of this Easter season remain with us and our community of faith.


Weekly Reflection
for April 20, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

AREN’T WE SPECIAL?!!

I attended a Christ at the Center meeting offered by the Archdiocese a couple of weeks ago. We are encouraged to evangelize, to be welcoming to those who enter our doors. As we live our faith in everyday life, it is expected that we will be Christ centered and see Christ in all people, knowing that God loves us all, sinners and saints alike, unconditionally. He calls us to practice the spiritual and corporal works of mercy as we live and share with other.

During this meeting a lot of suggestions were offered by the presenters but I was especially thrilled when they mentioned that we encourage others to read The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis. I told the group that our Dynamic Catholic Book Club is already reading this book and will review and reflect on the beginning chapters at their monthly meeting which, this month will be on Tuesday, April 22 at 7:00 p.m. It’s nice to be on the cutting edge at times.

If you are interested in meeting with the Dynamic Catholics for this particular book review, please purchase the book or call the Parish Office to purchase a copy from us. We meet monthly and will probably take 3 or 4 sessions to complete this review. Of course, you can always read the book on your own if you can’t make the meeting. If you choose to read alone or in another group, let me know what you think. Call me at 729-0222 or email wmcglasson@fuse.net.

May God’s special blessings be with you this Easter season.


Weekly Reflection
for April 13, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

How Should the Resurrection Shape Our Everyday Lives?

The Resurrection is the very heart and soul of Christianity. Without the Resurrection, Christianity collapses. It’s the standing and falling point of the Faith. Therefore, to deny the Resurrection is to cease to be Christian. You might pick up bits and pieces of Christianity here and there, and you might follow Jesus as a wise spiritual teacher, but without the Resurrection the whole thing falls apart.

Speaking more practically, the Resurrection is key to spiritual detachment. If God has a life for us beyond this life, one not so much opposed to this earthly life but inclusive of and beyond it, then I’m able to wear this world much more lightly. I’m not as obsessed with finding my joy here. Those who are not convinced of the Resurrection, who believe they’ll just die and that’s it, naturally chase after wealth, pleasure, power and honor. But once you’re convinced of the Resurrection, you know this world isn’t ultimate. You can let go of these earthly pursuits, stop chasing them, and aspire toward a life on high with God, which is a life of love. Becoming a person of love thus becomes your central goal.

That’s how the Resurrection affects every aspect of your life.




Weekly Reflection
for April 6, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

CHRIST at the CENTER

The massive rose windows of the medieval Gothic cathedrals were not only marvels of engineering and artistry, they were also symbols of the
well-ordered soul. The pilgrim coming to the cathedral for spiritual enlightenment would be encouraged to meditate upon the rose of light and color in order to be drawn into mystical conformity with it.

What would he or she see? At the center of every rose window is a depiction of Christ (even when Mary seems to be the focus, she is carrying the Christ child on her lap), and then wheeling around him in lyrical and harmonious patterns are the hundreds of medallions, each depicting a saint or a scene from scripture.

The message of the window is clear: When one’s life is centered on Christ, all the energies, aspirations, and powers of the soul fall into a beautiful and satisfying pattern. And by implication, whenever something other than Christ – money, sex, success, adulation – fills the center, the soul falls into disharmony.

Jesus expressed this same idea when he said, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and the rest will be given unto you” (Mt 6:33). When the divine is consciously acknowledged as the ground and organizing center of one’s existence, something like wholeness or holiness is the result.

Don’t live your life on the rim of the circle, but rather at the center. Focus on the reliable, unchanging point where Christ resides.




Weekly Reflection
for March 30, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Turning Over Your Tables

From very early on, Christian theologians and spiritual writers made a comparison between Jesus’ cleansing of the temple in Jerusalem and Jesus’ cleansing of our hearts and bodies. St. Paul refers to the body as a “temple of the Holy Spirit.” Your self, your body, your whole person is meant to be a temple, a holy place where God dwells and where prayer and union with God is central. It’s a beautiful image: rightly ordered, we become temples of the Holy Spirit.

This image leads to an important question: what goes wrong within the temple of our souls? The same thing that went wrong with the Temple in Jerusalem - what’s meant to be a house of prayer becomes a den of thieves. All kinds of distractions came into the Temple, money changers and corrupt influences, those who turned people away from worshipping God.

Today we should ask what distractions and corruptions have come into the temple of my heart and body? Lent is a terrific time to allow Jesus Christ to make a whip of cords and come into the temple of our hearts, a, while there, to turn some tables over, to flip things upside down if he has to.

What would Jesus chase out of your heart if he had a chance? If you let him in, with all the wonderful fury displayed in the Gospels, what would he cleanse?




Weekly Reflection
for March 23, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Lessons Learned

Lent is one of the times in our church year when we spend more time than usual reflecting on our relationship with God and asking ourselves how we are doing in our relationship with others in our life. Are we truly being Christ like and loving our neighbor as our self as directed in Matthew 22:39? During this particular Lenten season, I have had some opportunities to think about this more than usual. One situation stands out more than others at this time in my life. That is our experience as a pastoral region. Things have changed and more changes in the future are coming for both parishes. Now that we are a pastoral region with Assumption, it seems to me that communication between the parishes is even more important than ever. For me personally, planning my programs for this Lent has been a challenge. We also have had the Archdiocese set dates for Lenten offerings that cause us to cut back on our usual plans. But, change can be good! It makes us think and evaluate and plan around other programs. With this in mind, I would like to speak of the most recent pastoral region planning in the individual parishes.

Assumption always has one soup supper during Lent on a Thursday while St. Margaret Mary has several on Tuesdays. This year, Assumption had to change their soup supper to a Tuesday because the speaker is not available on Thursday. So...St. Margaret Mary will have the second of two soup suppers in Madonna Hall on Tuesday, March 25 followed with the Way of the Cross in church.

Assumption will have a soup supper on March 25 with speakers, Dolores Mize and Mary Jo Suer who will provide perspective on the current Pro-Life movement. While I wish this soup supper on the same date in both parishes was not so, I feel those of you who would like to hear more about Pro-Life should know about this offering and have the opportunity to participate.

I, of course, will be at St. Margaret Mary and hope that many of you will join us here at this parish. This will be the first time I have missed the Assumption soup supper in many years. One of my Lenten commitments is to share my program plans completely with Assumption in the future. As we continue to travel down this path, our Christian way of life will carry us to a goal of togetherness in all things, AMDG (to the greater glory of God). Our Wisdom people remember putting these initials on their paper work in the classroom. Anyway, that’s what it is all about.


Weekly Reflection
for March 16, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Mother Teresa’s Secret to Joy
by Fr. Robert Barron

When she was still a Loreto nun, Mother Teresa made her way by train to Darjeeling for a retreat. And on that train she heard a voice inviting her to carry the light of Christ to the darkest places. When she returned to Calcutta, she began the process that led to the founding of the Missionaries of Charity, an order whose purpose would be to respond to that summons. That work is carried on today by her sisters in more than 500 establishments around the globe.

A couple years ago I personally experienced this extraordinary work. While producing the ten-part CATHOLICISM series, our team filmed in a small hospital in Calcutta, India where the Missionaries of Charity care for children with mental and physical disabilities. When we arrived, the electricity had just gone out, and the room was stiflingly hot. Everywhere, the sisters and a large team of volunteers milled about, providing medical assistance, speaking to the kids, teaching some of them to sing simple songs, or just holding them.

There was one sister who was carrying in her arms a small girl of perhaps a year and half or 2 years old. The child was blind. I asked sister how they had come to care for this girl, and she told me that she had simply been abandoned on the street. “She is my special baby,” the sister said. And then she flashed this absolutely radiant smile, which told me that she had found a deep joy precisely in this hot, crowded hospital, in the midst of one of the most squalid cities in the world.

All of us human beings want joy. Everything we do and say, all of our actions and endeavors, are meant to produce contentment, peace, happiness. Even the most morally corrupt person, ultimately, wants joy. But how do we find it? The most elemental mistake – made consistently across the centuries to the present day – is to seek joy by filling up in ourselves something that we perceive to be missing. We tell ourselves that we’d be happy if we just had enough pleasure, enough power, enough security, enough esteem. But this does not work.

It is the supreme paradox of the Christian spiritual tradition that we become filled with joy precisely in the measure that we contrive a way to make of ourselves a gift. By emptying out the self in love for the other, we become filled to the brim with the divine life. The smile of that Missionary of Charity, which was the same smile Mother Teresa bore, signaled the presence of a joy that no wealth, no security, no pleasure, no honor could possibly provide, and that can emerge even in the most miserable context.

The secret to joy is self-giving love. Mother Teresa imparted that to her sisters, and she offers the same lesson to us.

This is the Lent Reflection for Day 4 from Fr. Robert Barron. You can have a reflection like this every day during Lent. Go to wof@wordonfire.org and sign up.


Weekly Reflection
for March 9, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

What Can One Do?

One person can do a lot of damage.

As we begin Lent we remember the story of Adam and the origins of human sin. But we all know how much damage any one person can do, because we have experienced it in our own sinful lives. One person can say and do things that hurt. Such things hurt another person, but they also hurt the very person who commits the offense. In addition, one person’s offense may tarnish others – the family, the profession or the church. One person can do a lot of damage.

At the beginning of Lent it is tempting to wallow in sin. This season will indeed turn our attention to our offenses. This is a perfect time of year to make a good examination of conscience ant to bring our sin to the sacrament of reconciliation.

But there is more to Lent than sin. There is grace.
St. Paul told the Romans that death came into the world through one person’s transgressions, but “how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.”

One person can do a lot of good. The kindness we perform for another person can bring unexpected joy. And by the death and rising of Christ, sinners are made righteous.

Yes, reflect on sin in Lent, but remember also the grace. Jesus brings life to the world, and to you.




Weekly Reflection
for March 2, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

The Lord is the one who judges me

People can make the wrong judgment about you. You may have the best intentions at heart, but someone can misread them. Your neighbors may decide you are persecuting them, even when you are not. A coworker may think you are uncooperative, when you are only trying to help. A stranger may misunderstand a comment you make. People can make the wrong judgments.

Even in a court of law, the wrong decision can be made. Someone truly innocent may be unable to prove it. In the most horrifying cases, people have been sent to death row for murders they never committed.

It takes inner strength to persevere in the presence of misjudgment. One model is Paul the Apostle. “It does not concern me in the least that I be judged by you or any human tribunal; I do not even pass judgment on myself,” he writes the Corinthians. There is only one judge Paul cares about; “the one who judges me is the Lord.”

You can usually carry on if someone believes you. A spouse, a close friend, a teacher, or an employer who believes in your goodness will give the strength you seek. But even if no one takes your side, there is always one who does. When you know in your heart that you are right, and the rest of the world cannot see it, take solace in this: “the one who judges me is the Lord.”





Weekly Reflection
for February 23, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

On the Road to Sainthood: Leaders of African Descent

A couple of weeks ago, we heard about Fr. Augustus Tolton (1854-1897) and his being identified as a candidate for the process of sainthood. Since this is black history month, I looked for another African American who is in the process. I found this on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

Venerable Pierre Toussaint (1776-1853)...Philanthropist & Founder of many Catholic charitable works. Venerable Pierre Toussaint was born a slave in Haiti. As a slave, Venerable Pierre Toussaint was brought from Haiti to New York and apprenticed under a popular hairstylist in the city. He eventually became the most sought after hairdresser of high society women.

Upon the death of his master, he gained his freedom and was very successful as one of the country’s first black entrepreneurs. He became quite wealthy, but instead of spending lavishly on himself, he supported the Church and the poor. He and his wife sheltered orphans, refugees and other street people in their home. He founded one of New York’s first orphanages and raised money for the city’s first cathedral. Even during yellow fever epidemics, Toussaint would risk his life to help others by nursing the sick and praying with the dying.

“I have never felt I am a slave to any man or woman but I am a servant of Almighty God who made us all. When one of his children is in need, I am glad to be His slave.”


Weekly Reflection
for February 16, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

7-day Self-directed Marriage Retreat

An elderly woman was having a conversation with a twenty something salesman. She was shopping for a chair for her homebound husband. The salesman asked how long she had been married. He was impressed with the answer of 50 years plus. “Wow”, he said, “I don’t hear that very often.” The woman replied, “The vows declare for better or worse, in sickness and health, till death do we part.” The conversation went on comparing generations past with current attitudes toward marriage.

This story prompted me to visit U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website. The first thing that popped up is that February 7 to 14 is National Marriage Week with February 9 being World Marriage Day. These particular days have passed but the reflections would still be a good practice.

The following is a suggested daily retreat available from the website for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

Looking for a way to enrich your marriage? Take our seven day virtual retreat!
Each day for seven days, set aside some time for prayer. Read about the theme for the day, reflect on a real-life marriage scenario, and think about ways to strengthen your own marriage. Even better, do the retreat together with your spouse! The retreat is loosely based on the U.S. bishops’ 2009 pastoral letter "Marriage: Love and Life and the Divine Plan".

Seven Day Virtual Marriage Retreat
Day One: Marriage is a Blessing and a Gift
Day Two: Marriage is the Unique Union of a Man and a Woman
Day Three: Marriage is a Communion of Love and Life
Day Four: Marriage is a Sacrament of Christ’s Love
Day Five: Marriage is the Foundation of the Family and Society
Day Six: Marriage is a Journey of Human and Spiritual Growth
Day Seven: Marriage is a School of Love and Gratitude

I have a copy of each day’s reflection for those who cannot access the website. Just call my office, 729-0222


Weekly Reflection
for February 9, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Fr. Augustus Tolton (1854-1897)

Fr. Tolton keeps coming to my attention, first from the February issue of Liguorian Magazine, then from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Evangelization and Catechesis Office which took me to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and to the Archdiocese of Chicago. I think that it is good to bring him to our attention during February, which is Black History Month. He has been introduced for the cause of sainthood by Francis Cardinal George, OMI. Our prayers to him can help this process of bringing him to canonization.

Augustus Tolton was the first Roman Catholic priest in the United States publicly known to be black when he was ordained in 1886. A former slave who was baptized and reared Catholic, Tolton studied formally in Rome. He was ordained in Rome on Easter Sunday at the Cathedral Archbasilica of St. John Lateran. Fr. Tolton led the development and construction of St. Monica’s Catholic Church as a black “National Parish Church”, completed in 1893.

Tolton’s success at ministering to black Catholics quickly earned him national attention within the Catholic hierarchy. “Good Father Gus”, as he was called by many, was known for his eloquent sermons, his beautiful singing voice and his talent for playing the accordion. He is the subject of the 1973 biography From Slave to Priest by Sister Caroline Hemesath. (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops)

Many Catholics might not ever have heard of Fr. Augustus Tolton; but black Catholics most probably have. He was the first American diocesan priest of African descent, the son of slaves. After studying in Rome, because no American seminary would accept him, he was ordained for the Diocese of Quincy, in southern Illinois, and later came to Chicago to start a parish for black Catholics. He died young, at only 43 years of age; but most priests in the nineteenth century died before their fiftieth birthday. Visiting the sick on a daily basis was risky in an age before antibiotics. Many priests sickened sometime in their forties and died after a period of ill health.

Fr. Tolton’s cause for sainthood is being introduced in the Archdiocese of Chicago, and during this year for priests it would be good to pray to him and to ask the Lord to send us many more priests like him.


Weekly Reflection
for February 2, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Souper Bowl of Caring

A simple prayer: "Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game, help us be mindful of those who are without a bowl of soup to eat”.

This prayer, delivered by Brad Smith, then a seminary intern serving at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC, gave birth to an idea. Why not use Super Bowl weekend, a time when people come together for football and fun, to also unify the nation for a higher good: collecting dollars and canned food for the needy? Youth could collect donations at their schools and churches in soup pots, and then send every dollar DIRECTLY to a local charity of THEIR choice.

That was 1990. Since then, ordinary young people have generated an extraordinary more than $90 million for soup kitchens, food banks and other charities in communities across the country.* St. Margaret Mary Parish has been a part of this national program since 2007. At that time, Fr. Jerry suggested that we choose Tender Mercies as our charity. All donations go directly to Tender Mercies. They express much gratitude for our generosity.



Tender Mercies Mission Statement:
To transform the lives of homeless adults with mental illness by providing security, dignity, and community in a place they call home.
Security means a housing environment where residents' personal safety is a priority. Dignity means a housing environment that allows residents to develop personal, social and economic strengths.
Community means a regular, predictable housing environment with a sense of belonging, family and affirmation of individuals.
In addition, Tender Mercies offers related service to its residents to insure a dignified way of life by: procuring benefits for residents, offering social and recreational opportunities, serving as an advocate for additional services needed or entitled to its residents.

Since 1985, Tender Mercies has been providing housing for homeless people with chronic mental illness. Three clergymen created the organization after two women with a history of mental illness became victims of a violent crime. The women had spent years in various mental hospitals and ultimately ended up living on Cincinnati's streets. The clergymen found the women a place to live on Race Street but someone broke into the building, assaulting both women and murdering one. It was painfully clear something had to be done. That something...was Tender Mercies.



Weekly Reflection
for January 26, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Forgiving Those Who
Trespass Against Us


Now that we are one month into the New Year and perhaps thinking about those New Year resolutions and determination to be better this year, a question comes forward.
Did I resolve to be more patient, see Jesus in every encounter, to forgive the hurts of the past?

Jesus tells us that we must forgive others “seventy times seven times” Matt. 18:22. Actually, this is a healthy practice. When we hold anger and any unforgiving attitude in our hearts, it can contribute to physical illness such as stomach irritation, high blood pressure, a sad disposition, distractions, mood problems to name a few.

As we strive to imitate Jesus and his teachings, we will find that we cannot even pray the Lord’s Prayer if we hold ill will toward another in our heart. We pray “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” This is a tough call, especially if the hurt you feel is deep. As we come to realize that God created all of us, loves all of us, always waiting for even the most lost souls to come back, we can see that we need to forgive. A good part of this forgiveness is that our mental and physical health will improve even if the person you forgave is not aware of your decision. You will feel an indescribable freedom of mind and then you can truly pray the Lord’s Prayer as Jesus taught us.


Weekly Reflection
for January 19, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

The St. Margaret Mary's Tuesday Scripture Study group uses reflections from Fr. Paul Turner on the 1st and 2nd readings of the upcoming Sunday. Following is Fr. Turner's reflection on the 1st reading for this Sunday, Isaiah 49:, 5-6

A Light to the Nations

Imagine God telling you, “Job well done! Congratulations!” How proud we would be to know that God’s favor had rested on us.

Imagine God saying next, “Because you did so well with this task, I want to give you something more to do.” Would you gulp in apprehension? Would you calmly accept the new directions? Or would you take on the new task with excitement?

In Isaiah’s prophecy, God tells Israel, “You are my servant.” These words comforted the chosen people because it reminded them that God proudly kept their friendship. But God went on. “It is too little for you to be my servant. ... I will make you a light to the nations.” Ancient Israel would show, not just their own people, but also other nations how to walk in the light of God.

For Christians, this prophecy points ahead to Jesus, who became known as God’s servant at his baptism. Jesus won God’s pleasure as the longed-for Messiah. But God asked for something more—for Jesus to save all the nations. Jesus opened wide God’s doors of salvation. He accepted God’s task.

What about you? What task have you done that makes God proud?
Is God asking you for something more? What might that be?





Weekly Reflection
for January 12, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson


Archbishop Oscar Romero Prayer:
A Step Along the Way


It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.

Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses our faith.

No confession brings perfection.

No pastoral visit brings wholeness.

No program accomplishes the Church's mission.

No set of goals and objectives includes everything. This is what we are about.

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.

We are prophets of a future not our own.

Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw
(found on USCCB website, permission to use in bulletin)






Weekly Reflection
for January 5, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Routines

Now our Christmas and New Year celebrations are coming to a close. School will start again. All those routine meetings and responsibilities are back. Next Sunday, the Christmas season officially closes with the Baptism of the Lord. We will be back in ordinary time and will once again hear of Jesus the adult, a teacher, a healer, the Messiah who leads and inspires people to live a life of faith in God.



Weekly Reflection
for December 29, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Faithful Joseph

We continue to hear of Joseph’s deep faith and trust in God. When the angel tells him he must flee to Egypt to escape the evils of Herod, he immediately leaves and stays in Egypt until Herod dies and the angel again appears to tell him to take Jesus and Mary to Israel where he eventually settles in the town of Nazareth. All this happened due to his response to the angel of God who led the way by appearing to him in his dreams. Joseph continues his role as protector of Mary and Jesus and faithful servant of God.


Weekly Reflection
for December 22, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Saying YES!

Today, we hear about Joseph’s struggle when he first hears of Mary’s
pregnancy. As he listens to the angel who appears to him in a dream and declares that this is by the power of the Holy Spirit, he believes and accepts his role as the foster father of Jesus. Just as Mary said yes to the angel who announced to her that she would be the mother of our savior, Joseph says yes to his role in this plan. What wonderful models Mary and Joseph present to us. Their faith in God and obedience to his plan for them gives us something worth imitating.


Weekly Reflection
for December 15, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Hold Him in Your Heart

Ten more days until Christmas! We are moving more toward the anticipation of celebration and joy of the Christmas season as we take a welcome break from the usual day by day activities in our lives. Schools will be on break, regular meetings will take time off. Family and friends will gather. We begin to intensify our anxious desire to share joyful news of the birth of Jesus and to celebrate this good news. We pray that this Prince of Peace will continue to be in our hearts as we travel on this journey of faith into the coming years.

Weekly Reflection
for December 8, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Advent Reflections

As we begin this new liturgical year, we are asked to continue our
evangelization and welcoming of folks to join us and also to enhance our own relationship with God and our community. The Tuesday morning Scripture group suggested that we introduce the parishioners to some reflections of Fr. Paul Turner on the first two readings for Sunday. Sorry, it does not include the Gospel. This group has been using his writings for over three years. So, this Advent, we will offer Fr. Turner’s reflections as a bulletin insert. We are hoping this adds to your Advent experience.

Also, remember those small envelopes that were given to us as grade school students? Well, our PSR students resurrected this practice. They have all taken a box of those small envelopes and will use them to make offerings to St. Margaret Mary at Sunday Mass or to the St. Vincent DePaul Society. If you would like to foster this practice of giving with your child, call the Parish Office for a box of envelopes 521-7387.


Weekly Reflection
for December 1, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

First Sunday of Advent

Today, we begin the Season of Advent. One very popular tradition is to have an Advent Wreath in the home. Advent wreaths are usually constructed of a circle of evergreen branches into which four candles are inserted, representing the four weeks of Advent. Ideally, three candles are purple and one rose, but white candles can also be used. The purple candles in particular symbolized the prayer, penance and preparatory sacrifices and good works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also may wear rose vestments at Mass. Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is half over and they are close to Christmas. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolize the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world.

This information and more can be found on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.


Weekly Reflection
for November 24, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Anticipating Advent

This Sunday, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lord Jesus, King of the Universe. This is the last Sunday in Ordinary time. We will sing wonderful songs of praise and remembrance of this Messiah.
Then we have Thanksgiving Day on Thursday and go right into the season of Advent next Sunday.

While we focus on the liturgies and the anticipation of the Nativity with all the busyness it brings, we will be reminded once again, as the body of Christ, to consider all God’s people and to share our good fortune with those in need. Our PSR students will begin to use envelopes during Advent to offer donations to St. Vincent DePaul or they may put the envelope in the Sunday collection using part of their allowance for this. Another idea is that the child write a good deed that he/she has done during the week or a special prayer on a piece of paper, put the paper in the envelope and put the envelope in the Sunday collection basket. The child does not have to put a name on the envelope. This is just a simple way to teach our young ones the importance of sharing with others. Any family wanting their child to participate in this can call the Parish Office to make arrangements to obtain a box of envelopes.


Weekly Reflection
for November 17, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Venerable Fulton Sheen

The person honored for this last month of the Year of Faith is Venerable Fulton Sheen, Archbishop and TV personality. A college education, a TV show and a passionate devotion to the call of the priesthood all combined in one very witty man – proof that sainthood is not only challenging and holy, holy, but fun.

Peter “Fulton” John Sheen was born in El Paso, Illinois in 1895. As a young man, he turned down a sizable scholarship to pursue his true desire, the holy priesthood of the Catholic Church. At his ordination, he made a promise that he would spend one hour each day in Eucharistic Adoration – a promise he kept faithfully for the rest of his life.

In 1951, the newly-appointed Bishop Sheen began a TV series entitled “Life is Worth Living”. In 1952, he won an Emmy award for “Most Outstanding Television Personality”. He was named an Archbishop in 1969, and ten years later, on October 2, 1979, just months before his death, Archbishop Sheen was embraced by Pope John Paul II and told, “You have written and spoken well of the Lord Jesus. You are a loyal son of the Church! Those of us who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s can recall with great fondness the angel’s blackboard in his TV presentations.

This information and more can be found on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.


Weekly Reflection
for November 10, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Explanation of the Year of Faith Logo

                               logo
The logo is composed of a square, bordered field on which a boat, symbolizing the Church, is represented as sailing on a graphically minimal representation of waves. The main mast of the boat is a cross from which sails are displayed in the form of dynamic signs which compose the trigram of Christ (HIS). The background to the sails is a sun which, associated with the trigram, refers also to the Eucharist. (From the USCCB website)

The Year of Faith declared by Pope Benedict XVI will end with the upcoming Advent Season. We have had many opportunities to upgrade our understanding of our faith and to enhance our relationship with God and our faith community. We pray that our search and longing for the Holy will increase and be progressively successful in the coming years.


Weekly Reflection
for November 3, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Remembering Our Deceased

St. Margaret Mary celebrated the remembrance of our deceased members of the past year on Sunday, October 27. We continue to remember all our deceased in a special way during the month of November beginning with the celebration of All Saints on November 1 and All Souls on November 2.

One of the favorite readings that reflect on this is from Wisdom 3: 1-9

The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.



Weekly Reflection
for October 27, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson


Famous Jesuits

There are three famous Jesuit priests mentioned in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati "Know Your Saints and Blessed" Quiz from the Vocations office:

St. Robert Southwell: He was a British Poet and Jesuit Priest who lived during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. He suffered martyrdom for remaining true to the Church and his Priestly vocation.

St. Francis Xavier: He was endowed with charm, athletic skills and intelligence and was very popular in college years in Paris. Influenced by St. Ignatius Loyola, he joined the Society of Jesus, was ordained a priest and became a great missionary, preaching and converting thousands in India, Indonesia and Japan.

St. Isaac Jogues: Born in France, he was a missionary to the Native Americans. He was captured by the Mohawks. Although he was enslaved and tortured, he continued to teach the Faith to anyone who would listen. After escaping, he returned to Europe and then back to America. He willingly entered hostile territory where he has beheaded.

And now we have
Pope Francis: He was born December 17, 1936, Jorge Mario Bergoglio. He is from Argentina. He was ordained in 1969. He is the first Jesuit pope, first pope from the Americas and the first pope from the Southern Hemisphere. He is known for his humility, concern for the poor and his simple life style.


Weekly Reflection
for October 20, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

The Rosary & Saint Dominic

We are coming to the end of the month of October during which we remember several things, one of which is the Rosary. I thought of St. Dominic who is often shown with Mary and the Rosary. I began to look for information on St. Dominic and found a Q & A on the USCCB website that actually honors the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Vocation Office for this information.

St. Dominic’s mother is reported to have had a vision of a dog holding a burning torch that “seemed to set the world on fire.” St. Dominic traveled, preached and encouraged people to say the Rosary. His religious order was named after him (the Dominicans) and is known as the Order of Preachers.

Other remarkable Dominicans are:
• Blessed Fra Angelico, one of the greatest artists of the early Renaissance;
• Pope Pius V, born Antonio Ghislieri in 1504, who wore his white Dominican habit after being elected pope, since then all future popes have worn white;
• St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the most intelligent persons to ever live, he produced Tantum Ergo Sacramentum, Pange Lingua and O Salutaris Hostia.

Next week, we can learn of four famous Jesuits including Pope Francis.


Weekly Reflection
for October 13, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

"When I call for help"

The month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence shatters the peace that should reside in relationships and especially in the family, the domestic church. Blessed John Paul II described the family as the “cradle of life and love.” Domestic violence replaces life with harm and even death; it replaces love with anger and fear. It breaks down trust between husband and wife, parents and children.

Behind the sad statistics about domestic abuse are individual persons, men and women made in the image of God. What has been the Catholic Church’s response to such a tragic experience for so many people? In their statement “When I Call for Help,” which was published in 1992 and reaffirmed in 2002, the U.S. bishops unequivocally rejected domestic violence: As pastors of the Catholic Church in the United States, we state as clearly and strongly as we can that violence against women, inside or outside the home, is never justified. Violence in any form – physical, sexual, psychological, verbal – is sinful; often it is a crime as well. We have called for a moral revolution to replace a culture of violence.”

The statement first provides an overview of domestic violence, defining it as “any kind of behavior that a person uses to control an intimate partner through fear and intimidation.” Abuse is not just physical (hitting, punching, etc.), but includes sexual, psychological, verbal, and economic abuse. The bishops also identify forced sterilization or abortion as a form of abuse. The bishops say very clearly that domestic violence can never be justified by Scripture or Church teaching. “A correct reading of Scripture leads people to an understanding of the equal dignity of men and women and to relationships based on mutuality and love.” They remind victims of abuse that they are not to blame.

“When I Call for Help” is available online from The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

This information and more can be found on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website


Weekly Reflection
for October 6, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Venerable Pierre Toussaint

In this Year of Faith, Venerable Pierre Toussaint, a Haitian-born ex-slave, hairdresser and benefactor in New York has been chosen for the month of October. Born a slave in Haiti, Venerable Pierre Toussaint died a free and wealthy man. When he was in his early twenties, his master brought him to the United States with several other slaves, to avoid civil disturbance in Haiti. He was apprenticed to a hair dresser in New York City, becoming a favorite stylist for the ladies of the city. When his master died, he worked very hard to take care of his master's wife - in 1807, just before her death, he was freed. He married a fellow slave and together they turned their home into a refuge for orphans and the sick, and attended daily Mass at St. Peter’s Church on Barclay Street: the same parish that St. Elizabeth Ann Seton attended. He died June 30, 1853 at the age of 87.

This information and more can be found on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.


Weekly Reflection
for September 29, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

VIRTUS for the good of our children

In these days of raising children, we have many concerns about bad
influences that they encounter. I just read one that comes close to toping them all. If you have already attended one of the VIRTUS Training sessions which have been offered for some months now and will soon be required for adults to participate in youth activities and programs, you have probably read one of their recent online articles regarding our young folk’s use of cell phones. According to the article, there is a new photo-sharing application which is a free cell phone app called Snapchat. This program says the photo or video will self-destruct seconds after they are received. The icon is a smiling ghost. The photos are stored on a company server and later deleted according to Snapchat but it is strictly up to Snapchat to keep its word on this. There is other interesting information in this article. If you have attended the program, you can access it online.

If you have not attended a VIRTUS session, please look into doing this soon for yourself and for the good of your children. You can check the many sessions offered throughput the Archdiocese by accessing VIRTUS on line.
We will have a session here at St. Margaret Mary on Saturday, October 26 at 1:00 p.m. in Room 20 of the Parish Activity Center. You can register for this session or any other by accessing the website www.virtusonline.org, Go to Registration. Watch the brief tutorial. Follow the prompts. Our organization is the Archdiocese of Cincinnati


Weekly Reflection
for September 22, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Saint Vincent De Paul

On Friday, September 27, we celebrate the feast of St. Vincent de Paul. We are familiar with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the support we give this society in our own parish. Many families are helped through difficult times as a result of this program.

St. Vincent was born to a peasant family in Gascony, France in the late 1500s. He studied humanities and theology and was ordained in 1600. He had many experiences including being captured and sold as a slave in Tunis in 1605. He escaped in 1607. His travels took him to teaching, spiritual director, offering missions among other things. He founded the first conference of charity for the assistance of the poor in 1617. A conference of charity was founded after many of his missions. He also founded the Daughters of Charity and the Congregation of the Mission or Vincentians which consisted of priests committed to his cause.

He died in Paris September 27, 1660. He was canonized by Pope Clement XII on June 16, 1737. Most parishes have a St. Vincent de Paul conference which is run by lay people in the parish and supported by parishioner donations.


Weekly Reflection
for September 15, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Catechetical Sunday

This year, the Church will celebrate Catechetical Sunday on September 15, and will focus on the theme "Open the Door of
Faith." Those whom the community has designated to serve as catechists will be called forth to be commissioned for their ministry. Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity for all to rededicate themselves to the mission as a community of faith.

In 1935, the Vatican published “On the Better Care and Promotion of Catechetical Education,” a document that asks every country to acknowledge the importance of the Church’s teaching ministry and to honor those who serve the Christian community as catechists. For the first few years after Catechetical Sunday was established, national catechetical congresses were held in conjunction with the celebration. Beginning in 1971, the USCCB’s Department of Education began producing materials to help parishes celebrate the event at the local level. When the Committee on Catechesis, now named the Committee of Evangelization and Catechesis, was named by the Conference as a standing Committee, it continued to publish Catechetical Sunday materials each year. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has designated the third Sunday in September as Catechetical Sunday.

How are parents, the primary catechists of their children, recognized on Catechetical Sunday? Parents are truly the primary catechists of their children. They prepare the soil and plant the first seeds of faith. On Catechetical Sunday, we not only highlight the work of catechists in parishes and schools, but we also commend parents and guardians and encourage them to take seriously their role of making their Catholic households a place where faith is passed on to the next generation. This is why the rite of blessing of catechists used on Catechetical Sunday includes an optional blessing of parents and guardians.

This information and more can be found on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.


Weekly Reflection
for September 8, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Autumn is coming

September seems to be full of anticipation and plans for the upcoming season as we recover from the summertime. There will be opportunities for all of us to continue to proclaim our faith and discipleship as we come to a close of the Year of Faith. We will continue to look for ways to evangelize and welcome folks to our community and our pastoral region. We are a welcoming parish and will surely continue to improve in this endeavor to have a vibrant parish as we see Christ in each other and in all human kind.

Watch the bulletin, the parish pastoral minutes, St. Margaret Mary website and listen carefully to the announcements at the weekend Masses.


Weekly Reflection
for September 1, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Blessed Junipero Serra, O.F.M.
Y ear of Faith honoree for the month of September

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has chosen to honor Blessed Junipero Serra, O.F.M., founder of the Spanish missions in California in the month of September during this Year of Faith.

He was born November 24, 1713 and died August 28, 1784. As a young man in Spain, Blessed Junipero Serra joined the Franciscan order and began a short career as a professor, famous for his preaching. When he was thirty-five, he suddenly began to yearn for the life of a missionary in the New World. He left everything behind and boarded a ship bound for Vera Cruz, Mexico. On his way to Mexico City, an insect bite infected his leg so badly that walking pained him for the rest of his life.

Among his many great accomplishments as a missionary are listed two particularly: It was he whose insistence and dedication brought about the "Regulation" protecting the Native Americans and the missions. He is also known for founding the great mission of San Juan Capistrano, in California. He founded 21 missions and taught the Native Americans many trades, from farming to crafting.

This information and more can be found on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.



Weekly Reflection
for August 25, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

What We Believe

At times we are looking for a way to express our beliefs completely as we share our faith with others. I was browsing through the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and found this comment: "Our profession of faith begins with God, for God is the First and the Last, the beginning and the end of everything. The Credo begins with God the Father, for the Father is the first divine person of the Most Holy Trinity; our Creed begins with the creation of heaven and earth, for creation is the beginning and the foundation of all God's works."

Catholic belief is succinctly expressed in the profession of faith or credo called the Nicene Creed which we proclaim every Sunday during Mass.


Weekly Reflection
for August 18, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Seeing the Face of Jesus

This coming week will find most of our students back to school very likely in a more structured environment than in the past couple of months. It is back to the grind of studies, homework, earlier bed time and morning rising time.

For the most part, our parish communities are getting more active with various programs and celebrations. We have PSR, preparation for various sacraments, CLOW and RCIA. Our prayer, study groups and parish organizations will be more active. We look forward to the coming seasons and all they bring. Then there are the many school programs including sports of all kinds.

While we are wondering how we can squeeze all these activities in, we are still reminded that there is much more. There are the sick and suffering, the poor and homeless, the war torn lands and the many people who are suffering deeply as a result of these conflicts, those whose homes have been destroyed by natural disasters. We hear of these struggles every day and wonder how we can help. We can certainly pray for them, befriend those who are in our neighborhood and offer what we can of our own resources to those in need. As we minister to and offer our support, it is in the eyes of these very special people that we will see the face of Jesus and never be the same.


Weekly Reflection
for August 11, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

The Treasure of Jesus

“Where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” Luke 12:34.

This is a familiar quotation from Jesus and we hear it again in this Sunday’s Gospel. It gives us something to think about. We could spend some quiet time reflecting on what is important to us and how it affects our relationship with God. As baptized Catholics, do we put the teachings of our faith before everything else? Do these teachings guide us in our everyday life? Is Sunday Mass a very important part of our life? Do we really take part in the community life of the parish?

During this Year of Faith, there have been many opportunities in our Archdiocese to take a look at ourselves and to enhance our faith life. In our pastoral region, attempts have been made to get us to know each other and to gather for social events, liturgies, and religious education. The DRE’s of St. Margaret Mary and Assumption are working together to bring our parishes various opportunities to learn, pray and practice in the faith. Please join us this coming year as we focus on Jesus and his teachings, the true treasure in our lives.


Weekly Reflection
for August 4, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Transfiguration of the Lord

The feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord is celebrated on Tuesday, August 6. In the second reading of this day, Peter tells of his
experience of hearing the voice from heaven, “This is my Son, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased” as the face of Jesus was changed and his clothing became dazzling white.

Peter tells us that we would do well to be attentive to this prophetic message “as to a lamp shining in a dark place until day dawns and the morning star rises in your heart.” While we may not be able to attend Mass on this day, we can reflect on the readings which are: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, 2Peter 1:16-19 and Luke 9:28b-36. While Peter and the Apostles lived in the time when Jesus was on earth and had all those wonderful experiences with him, we can have the same. Find a quiet place, empty your mind of all concerns, and then be attentive to the message that rises in your heart.

Jesus is with us now just as he was with the Apostles. Just listen for him.


Weekly Reflection
for July 28, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, C.Ss.R.

During the month of August, the Year of Faith honors Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, C.Ss.R. He was born in Fussen, Bavaria, Germany on January 11, 1819. As a child, Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, C.Ss.R. used to claim that he didn't simply want to imitate his patron saint: he wanted to be another St. Francis Xavier.

He entered the seminary in Augsburg after completing a degree in Philosophy. While there, he heard about the missionary activity of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, and traveled to North America, specifically to become a Redemptorist priest. He was ordained on December 22, 1844. For nine years, he worked as the assistant of St. John Neumann in the parish of St. Philomena in Pittsburgh. He dedicated himself to the mission of preaching, and, before long, he had attained a reputation as an excellent preacher and an insightful, attentive spiritual director. He was also known for a happy availability for anyone who might need him at any time. He became pastor of the church of St. Mary of the Assumption in New Orleans, and died there of yellow fever while nursing the sick during an epidemic on October 4, 1867. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 9, 2000. His feast day is October 5.


Weekly Reflection
for July 21, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

The Importance of Being Hospitable

This week, we hear a lot about hospitality. Abraham greeted three men who appeared and he welcomed them, offering them water to wash their feet and rest under a tree while he had a meal prepared for them. While Sarah was making rolls and a steer was being prepared, these men likely had plenty time for a wonderful rest. They later confirmed what God had already told Abraham, that Sarah would bear a son within a year. This son would be named Isaac. What good news for Abraham and what deep faith he had to believe that he and Sarah could have a child in their old age. Then, in the Gospel, we hear about Martha who invited Jesus to her home where she prepared a meal for him. This is another story of hospitality but this time Jesus cautions Martha to not forget the important part of listening to the Word of God in the course of our day.

These readings are helpful to us as we move through this Year of Faith. We are called to be hospitable to everyone as we continue to be active in our prayer life and in our community of faith.


Weekly Reflection
for July 14, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Saint Bonaventure

We celebrate the feast of Saint Bonaventure on July 15. He was born Giovanni di Fidanza to Giovanni di Fidanza and Maria Ritella at Bagnorea in Tuscany in 1221. Very little is known about his childhood. He received the name of Bonaventure in consequence of an exclamation of St. Francis of Assisi, when, in response to the pleading of the child's mother, the saint prayed for John's recovery from a dangerous illness, and cried out "O Buona ventura"- O good fortune!

He entered the Franciscan Order in 1243 and became well known for his lectures, especially The Four books of Sentences, written by theologian, Peter Lonbard. He had many writings dealing mostly with philosophy and theology. He rose in ranks, eventually named Cardinal Bishop of Albano and was present at the Council of Lyon in 1274. His works influenced the union of Greek and Latin churches. He was influenced by St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. Many schools and churches bear his name. He died suddenly on July 15, 1274 and was canonized by the Franciscan Pope Sixtus IV in 1484. He is the patron saint of bowel disorders.


Weekly Reflection
for July 7, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

The Year of Faith saint for the month of July is St. Kateri Tekakwitha. She was born in 1656 of an Algonquin mother and a Mohawk Chief in Canaouaga, now upstate New York.

At age 4, her parents and brother died of smallpox but she survived, left with scars on her face and vision impairment. She was given the name Tekakwitha which means “she who bumps into things”. At age 8, she was paired with a young boy who she was expected to marry but Kateri wanted to dedicate her life to God. At age 18, she began instructions in the Catholic faith in secret. Her uncle, who raised her, finally agreed to her conversion, provided she did not leave the Indian village. She was baptized on Easter Sunday, April 5, 1676.

People in the village ridiculed and scorned her, made unfair accusations and threatened her life. Eventually, she escaped to the Mission of St. Francis Xavier, a settlement of Christian Indians in Canada. She made a vow of perpetual virginity on the feast of the Annunciation, 1679. She taught prayers to children and worked with the elderly and sick. Eventually, she herself suffered serious illness and died on April 17, 1680 at the age of 23. On October 21, 2012, she was canonized, the first Native American woman to be canonized.

This information and more can be found on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.


Weekly Reflection
for June 30, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Doubting Didymus

On Wednesday, July 3rd, we celebrate the feast of St. Thomas, also called Didymus in the Bible, who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. He is best remembered from the Gospel story of his not believing that Jesus had appeared to the disciples while he was not with them. One week later, Jesus appeared again while Thomas was there. This time Thomas believed and we have his famous exclamation, “My Lord and my God!” with the response from Jesus, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Thomas is believed to have preached and baptized people as far as India. He suffered martyrdom by spear in India in 72 AD. He is the patron saint of architects, theologians and people in doubt. His symbol is the builder’s square because he built palaces and churches.


Weekly Reflection
for June 23, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Saint John the Baptist

This Monday, June 24, we celebrate the feast of St. John the Baptist. His parents were Elizabeth and Zechariah, a priest in the temple.
The angel Gabriel came to Zechariah and announced to him that his wife would bear a son, even though she was of old age. Because he questioned the angel, he was rendered speechless until the baby was born. Mary and Elizabeth were cousins, so Mary went to visit Elizabeth after the same angel told Mary about Elizabeth as he was announcing to Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus. After John was born, Zechariah was relieved of his speechlessness and declared that his son’s name would be John.

As a young man, John spent his days in the dessert as a hermit and eventually came to the region of Jordan “proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God’.” Luke 3:3-6

John baptized many people in the River Jordan as he encouraged them to do penance and sin no more. Eventually, he baptized Jesus, recognizing him as the Messiah. While Jesus continued his ministry, John continued to preach. Herod was upset with John because of his challenge to Herod of all his evil deeds. John was imprisoned and was eventually beheaded at the order of Herod.

On his feast day, John is honored with two readings instead of the usual one reading at weekday Masses: one from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament and the Gospel. St. John, a prophet and martyr is the patron saint of converts and those with epilepsy. He is the greatest of all saints after the Blessed Virgin Mary.


Weekly Reflection
for June 16, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Fortnight for Freedom

The Bishops of the United States have called us to celebrate a Fortnight for Freedom from June 21 to July 4 which celebrates the many rights we enjoy as American citizens and to patriotically pray for our nation. As Catholics, we are always supportive of human rights and dignity for all of God's children at all times.

This is a reminder for us to check into the many organizations and agencies that support our less fortunate brothers and sisters. Two of the many websites that offer information on this are the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. One of the many suggestions offered by the USCCB is to pray the rosary daily during this time. This can be done in small groups or privately as your time permits. The main emphasis during these two weeks is on prayer. There will be offerings throughout the Archdiocese to celebrate our freedom during these two weeks and you can also check out fortnightforfreedom.org for additional information.


Weekly Reflection
for June 9, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

St. Anthony of Padua

By now many of us are well into the nine day novena to St. Anthony as we wait to celebrate his feast day on June 13. Another popular novena consists of thirteen Tuesdays.

He was born Fernando Martins deBulhoes to wealthy parents in Lisbon, Portugal and was educated in the community of Canons Regular at the Abbey of St. Vincent near Lisbon. His major studies were theology and Latin.

He was ordained in the Augustinian Canons. Some years later he encountered five Franciscans and was impressed with their simple life style and commitment to evangelization. Later as he viewed their martyred bodies as they were returned from Morocco to Assisi, he was inspired to join the Franciscan Order where he took the name of Anthony. He had hoped to go to Morocco to preach the Gospel but became ill and eventually wound up in Italy. There he eventually recovered and was noted for his knowledge of Scripture and his preaching.

He died on June 13, 1231 at age 36 and canonized one year later on May 30, 1232 by Pope Gregory IX and was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on January 16, 1946. He is one of the best known saints of our times. He is the patron saint of American and Native Indians. Most of us know him well as the finder of lost articles. What would we do without him?


Weekly Reflection
for June 2, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Year of Faith Saint for June, 2013
Saint Marianne Cope, O.S.F.
Missionary to the lepers of Molokai, Hawaii

Barbara Koob (now officially Cope) was born January 23, 1838 in SE Hessen, West Germany. The family moved to the United States in 1839. She was a born leader. Growing up as one of the older children of a large family, she went to work in a factory right after finishing the eighth grade. In the summer of 1862 at age 24, Barbara entered the Sisters of St. Francis in Syracuse, N.Y. On November 19, 1862 she received the religious habit and the name "Sr. Marianne", and the following year she made her religious profession and began serving as a teacher and principal in several elementary schools in New York State.

She joined the Order in Syracuse with the intention of teaching, but her life soon became a series of administrative appointments. She joined the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis a few years later, and began a whirlwind of leadership roles: twice as the novice mistress of her congregation, and three times as the superior of St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse. This leadership, coupled with her sympathy for mankind in general, led her to volunteer to go to Hawaii to take care of the lepers. She was finally stationed in Molokai, where she brought education and happiness to the leper colony: even providing bright scarves and pretty dresses for the women.

Mother Marianne met Fr. Damien de Veuster (today Blessed Damien is known as the "Apostle to Lepers") for the first time in January 1884, when he was in apparent good health. Two years later, in 1886, after he had been diagnosed with Hansen's disease, Mother Marianne alone gave hospitality to the outcast priest upon hearing that his illness made him an unwelcome visitor to Church and Government leaders in Honolulu. More alienation of lepers followed in the next two years.

In 1888, she arrived in Kalaupapa several months before Fr. Damien's death together with Sr. Leopoldina Burns and Sr. Vincentia McCormick, and was able to console the ailing priest by assuring him that she would provide care for the patients at the Boys' Home at Kalawao that he had founded. Together the three Sisters ran the Bishop Home for 103 Girls and the Home for Boys.

Mother Marianne's invaluable example of never-failing optimism, serenity and trust in God inspired hope in those around her. Mother Marianne never returned to Syracuse. She died in Hawaii on August 9, 1918 of natural causes and was buried on the grounds of Bishop Home.

Information about this Year of Faith Saint of the Month is found on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops website.


Weekly Reflection
for May 26, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

The Most Holy Trinity

This week, we celebrate the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, one of our basic beliefs; that there is one God, three persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are sometimes referred to the Creator (Father), Savior (Jesus) and Sanctifier (Holy Spirit).

Three persons in one God is a mystery for us that will likely be understood as we reach our heavenly reward. For now, we honor and praise the Father for sending his only Son to redeem us and show us the way to eternal life. We thank Jesus who promised to send the Advocate (Holy Spirit) to move among us, inspire us and inflame our hearts to be faithful to God, love our neighbor and do good works.

As we continue to follow the teachings of Jesus, remain active in a life of community, prayer and service, we can’t help but feel the powerful hand of our loving God forever offering guidance along the way.


Weekly Reflection
for May 19, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Summertime Formation

School will soon be out and we are all “on vacation,” but we are not relieved from the parental responsibility of being the primary teachers of the Catholic faith to our children. You are encouraged to consider taking part in the Sunday liturgies by being a part of the offertory procession as a family at any Mass you may attend. Just check with an usher and take the card from the wall by the Holy Family Room.

Also watch the ministry schedules for times you and/or your children are expected to be here for a given Mass. Check the bulletin for events that are offered during the summer months. Remember, God does not take a vacation. He is available to us, 24/7.

Please consider being a part of the Vacation Bible School program June 18 through June 21. This is a multigenerational event that caters to children from ages 4 to 10. Everyone has something to share with these youngsters. Your very presence does not go unnoticed by them.
So, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, older brothers and sisters, please consider helping out. We offer service hours for junior high and high school. You can have fun while you serve!!


Weekly Reflection
for May 12, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Mother's Day

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. It is a day when we honor our mothers, grandmothers and all the motherly women who have crossed our paths in life. Memories of the many blessings we have enjoyed as a result of the unconditional love from them can be over whelming. This leads us to think of Mary, the Mother of God who raised and nourished Jesus from birth to adulthood. We read in John’s Gospel, 19:26,27;

As she stood at the foot of the cross and heard her son say, “Woman, behold your son” and then to John, he said, “Behold your mother.”


At that point, as Mary accepted John as her son, so she accepted each of us as her children. Mary is the spiritual mother of all of us and just as she offers a supreme model for all women as a way of life, so she also offers all men the opportunity to be her faithful sons.

During this Month of May which we have dedicated to Mary, it would be good to honor her in a special way. We have special prayers such as the Hail Mary, Angelus, Rosary (even if we only pray a decade or two at a time) and an all-time favorite, the Memorare: Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.


Weekly Reflection
for May 5, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Saint Jozef Damien de Veuster
of Molokai, SS.CC. (1840 – 1889)
Missionary to the lepers of Molokai, Hawaii

St. Damien of Molokai was born in Belgium in 1840 to a poor farmer and his wife. At the age of 13, he quit school to help his parents on the farm; when he was nineteen, he entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Damien's older brother, Pamphile, was also a priest in this congregation, and had offered his service to the care of the lepers on the Island of Molokai. When he fell ill and couldn't go to the mission, Damien volunteered to take his place.

The saint offered to stay in the leper colony permanently - he built schools, churches, hospitals and coffins. He was later joined in his work by the Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse, led by St. Marianne Cope. St. Damien contracted the disease himself, but continued to serve the mission until his death on April 15, 1889 at the age of 49, after serving 16 years among the lepers. He was buried in the local cemetery under the same Pandanus tree where he had first slept upon his arrival in Molokai.

His remains were exhumed in 1936 at the request of the Belgian Government and translated to a crypt of the Church of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts at Louvain. Damien is universally known for having freely shared the life of the lepers in quarantine on the Kalaupapa Peninsula of Molokai.

Information about the Year of Faith Saint of the Month is found on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops website.


Weekly Reflection
for April 28, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Reflections on CCD 2012-13

Last Sunday, we had the closing of CCD for this year. Our group was small but they were faithful in attendance and wonderful in their
participation.

At this last class, we discussed what impressed us most in our weekly lessons. One third grader responded, “The greatest commandment” in which Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” One other third grader said he learned more about the Ten Commandments. The rest of the class was tongue-tied.

We focused on the First Commandment which is: Thou shalt not have other gods before me. We talked about the “other gods” that tempt us: activities that keep us from Sunday Mass, desire for power, fame, money, expensive clothes and games. If we put these and other things before the God who made us and loves us, we are traveling down a dangerous road which will lead us to ignore the rest of the Commandments. We understand that perfect joy rests in being faithful to the teachings of Jesus.

We enjoyed special treats, and made a poster with our picture on it which is in the Holy Family Room. We promised to meet again next September.

Another very unique part of our group: A parent of children in the primary grades attended each of the sessions. One of the parents, Tony Lovins, acted as facilitator of the primary group while the upper grades met in another room. Kim Vogeler stated that she learned some things while she worked with her son, Josh. Sounds like we will repeat this parent and child program next year. It is like a community home school and works because there is a regular time to work with your child among friends. We hope more families will join us next year.


Weekly Reflection
for April 21, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Saint Mark, the Evangelist

On Thursday, April 25, we celebrate the feast of St. Mark the Evangelist. The first reading for Mass on this day seems appropriate for our reflection. It is from 1Peter 5:5-11

Beloved: Clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: “God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble.”


So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you. Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world undergo the same sufferings. The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little. To him be dominion forever. Amen


Weekly Reflection
for April 14, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Mystagogy

Now that the Easter Vigil is over and our recent RCIA elect are baptized, confirmed and in full communion with us, we enter into the period of Mystagogy which is the final step in the RCIA process. One definition of mystagogy is to “lead into the mysteries.” We focus on the meaning of the liturgy, which helps us to perceive the depths of what we do and what God does for us.

For those just baptized at the Easter Vigil, the period of mystagogy draws them deeper into the mystery of the sacraments they have received, especially the Eucharist they now take part in. The RCIA team meets with the “neophytes” on a regular basis to continue on the journey and to ascertain that these new members feel welcome as active members of the community and share in all the aspects of the parish community life. They will continue to grow in their knowledge and love of God, as will the rest of us. Getting to know God is a lifelong process for all of us.


Weekly Reflection
for April 7, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

The Annunciation

Since March 25th came in Holy Week this year, we will celebrate the Annunciation of the Lord on Monday, April 8th. We will hear Luke tell of the visit of the Angel Gabriel to Mary in the town of Nazareth.

As Mary hears of God’s plan for her to conceive and bear a son by the power of the Most High who will be called the Son of God, she certainly had questions and concerns. However, she submitted to the will of God, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Thus, because of her faith and trust in the Lord, the journey began for our redemption and promise of eternal life.


Weekly Reflection
for March 31, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Saint Mother Theodore Geurin, S.P.

The April saint for our Year of Faith is Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, S.P, missionary and foundress of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Theodore Guerin was born October 2, 1784 in Etables, France. At the age of ten, she received her First Holy Communion and announced to the parish priest that she would one day be a nun. At the age of 25, she fulfilled this statement, entering the order of the Sisters of Providence of Ruille-sur-Loir, whose mission it was to educate children and to care for the poor, sick and dying.

While serving at the convent, Theodore was asked to lead a small band of missionary sisters to Indiana in the United States of America. When the sisters arrived, there was only a log cabin with a porch that served as a chapel. Though her health was suffering, Theodore fell to this new task with a will. By the time she died in 1856, Mother Theodore had opened schools in Illinois and throughout Indiana. The sisters were well-established and respected.

Through illness, poverty and all manner of unwelcoming circumstances, she trusted in God’s providence and lived as a model of belief in his mercy. She was canonized in 2006, and is known as the patron saint of Indianapolis.

This is posted on the United States Conference of
Catholic Bishops website.



Weekly Reflection
for March 24, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Holy Week

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Philippians 2:6-11 Luke 22:14—23:56

In Matthew we hear the familiar words of the Passion story. Isaiah, in a reading about the suffering servant, declares, “The Lord is my help.” Jesus says the words of the psalm of the day, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Paul tells us that Jesus was exalted by God and given the name above all other names.

Can I come to praise God even in my sufferings? The first step is to trust God. Trust is a decision. This week I will look at my life and decide where I need to trust God. I will make that decision and commitment, and make it again, and again, and again, as often and for as long as I need to for it to become a habitual way of thinking. Yes, the Lord is my help.

(Offered by Ministry Resource)


Weekly Reflection
for March 17, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Fifth Sunday of Lent: Openness

The Lord has done great things for us: we are filled with joy.
Phillipians 3:8-14, John 8:1-11

Jesus enjoins the women in the Gospels, and us, "Do not sin anymore." Jesus asks her to change. Isaiah tells us that the Lord is doing something new. Paul declares that he has given up everything in order to be possessed by Christ.

What is keeping me from belonging entirely to Christ? What should I refrain from doing so that God can do something new in me? What stands in my way?

This week I will open myself to God's possibilities. I will take time to sit quietly and ask God what I need to do to achieve openness to God's plan. I will trust that the Lord will do great things for me and fill me with joy.

(Offered by Ministry Resources)

Weekly Reflection
for March 10, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Year of Faith Saint for March:
Saint Katharine Drexel, S.B.S.


When she asked Pope Leo XIII to send more missionaries to
Wyoming, he asked her, "Why don't you become a missionary?" As a young, wealthy, educated girl from Philadelphia, this was hardly the expected lifestyle for young Katharine Drexel. But raised in a devout family with a deep sympathy for the poor, Katharine gave up everything to become a missionary to the Indians and African Americans. She founded schools in thirteen states for African Americans, forty mission centers and twenty-three rural schools. She also established fifty missions for Indians in sixteen different states. She died at the age of ninety-six and was canonized in the year 2000. This report is posted on the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. For more information, visit the website: www.usccb.org

Fourth Sunday of Lent: Reconciliation

The so-called prodigal son insulted his father and disgraced himself and his family. When he returned to ask for forgiveness, he found his father more than ready for reconciliation. His father came running to greet him offering complete forgiveness and reconciliation. God is like that. During the Our Father we pray that we may be forgiven as we forgive others. Is there someone to whom I need to be reconciled? This week, I will make the first steps to offer forgiveness and to seek reconciliation with someone from whom I feel estranged. I will model the welcoming forgiveness of God to them.

(Used with permission of Ministry Resources)


Weekly Reflection
for March 3, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Third Week of Lent: Repentance

God sent Moses to rescue God’s people in Egypt. The psalm reminds us that “God is kind and merciful,” and wants good for us. We must not desire that which is evil and not of God. Jesus urges us to repentance.

This week I will look at one fault I would like to correct and take steps to break that habit. To accomplish this, I will focus on building a good habit that is the opposite. I will be patient with myself because “The Lord is kind and merciful.” I will remind myself of that daily, repent my failures, and keep trying.

(Offered via Resource Publications for use in our bulletin)


Weekly Reflection
for February 24, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Second Week of Lent: Imitation

Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18
Psalm 27:1, 7-9, 13-14
        The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Philippians 3:17-4:1 Luke 9:28b-36

St Paul encourages us to stand firm in the Lord and to follow the example of Jesus. In the story of the Transfiguration, no less than God the Father, as a voice from a cloud, commands that we listen to Jesus.
Who is Jesus for me? Do I take him as a model for my actions and imitate him? Can others see Jesus in me? This week I will pay close attention to my actions, repeating the words of the psalm, “Lord, you are my light and my salvation,” and asking: Is this what you would have me do? Will others see your presence in my action?

Copied with permission


Weekly Reflection
for February 17, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Be With Me, Lord

I was introduced to reflections for the Sunday readings for Lent and I have permission to share them with our faith community. So, this I will do for the Lenten season. There are bookmarks with this reflection in the rack as you enter the church off the parking lot. Take one if you like.

Reliance on God:
Deuteronomy 26:4-10
Psalm 91:1-2, 10-15
      Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble
Romans 10:8-13
Luke 4:1-13

The Israelites’ psychological backdrop was their salvation from slavery in Egypt. The psalm response reflects their cry, “Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.” Paul tells the Romans to call on the name of the Lord to be saved. Jesus in the desert, hungry, alone, and facing temptation, relied on God for strength.

Can I admit that I need God for my strength? What troubles might I need God’s help with right now? This week I will work on forming a habit of acknowledging my dependence on God and pray the psalm response daily: “Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.”


Weekly Reflection
for February 10, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

World Day of the Sick

I was looking through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to see what they have to say about the World Day of the Sick which is
Monday, February 11 and is celebrated annually on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, this same day. It is comforting to know that the entire Church, including the Pope, will remember our sick in a special way on this day.

As I moved on to the Vatican website, I found Pope Benedict’s message to us for this year’s World Day of the Sick. Some excerpts from this: “You have been called by Christ and are his living and transparent image,” he said, quoting from a message delivered by fathers of the Second Vatican Council in 1965, “to the Poor, the Sick and the Suffering.” The Gospel of the Good Samaritan is just one of the many accounts that show how Jesus expected his disciples to be toward others, especially those in need, the pope said.

As we begin the Lenten season, we the sound of body and spirit can comfort the sick, being the Good Samaritan we are called to be while the sick, whose prayers are so pleasing to God, can lift up the healthy among us to God, praying that we are doing His will.


Weekly Reflection
for February 3, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

St. Rose Duchesne

The Year of Faith saint for February is St. Rose Phillippine Duchesne who was born August 29, 1852 in Grenoble, France. She became a
novice in a contemplative order at age 18 but returned home during the French revolution to care for prisoners. Later, in 1804, she and her companions were received into the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Fourteen years later she was sent to the Louisiana territory to help the bishop educate and evangelize the Indian and French children. She founded the first house of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in this new country. By 1828, she had founded six houses which were schools for young women from Kansas and Missouri. At age 72, she moved to help at a school for the Potawatomi at Sugar Creek Kansas.

It was a long held desire in her heart to serve the Indian people. Her long hours of contemplation earned her to be named Quah-kah-ka-num-ad, which means "Woman-Who-Prays-Always". After about a year, her poor health required her to return to St. Charles where she continued her special love for the missions and the Indian people in her contemplative life of prayer. She died at age 83 on November 18, 1852.


Weekly Reflection
for January 27, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Rediscover Catholicism
Last Tuesday, we had our first gathering to discuss the Rediscover Catholicism book written by Matthew Kelly which was recommended to us by Archbishop Schnurr. One group met at 10:00 a.m. and the other met at 7:00 p.m. We watched a couple of messages from the Archdiocese via DVD and began to review and discuss the material on hand. It was agreed by both groups that they will meet on the third Tuesday of the month through August and follow the plan as noted in the St. Margaret Mary winter newsletter. It is not too late to join us. Just read Chapters 1 to 5 in the book and come to either the morning or evening session. We hope to maintain a time frame of one hour for these meetings.

The next meeting for our Tuesday groups is on February 19 in Room 20 of the Parish Center. Among the many advantages you will receive is that you will be called to “live with passion and purpose and become a better version of yourself” as you look to find the purpose God has for you on this earth. You can continue on a life long search to better know and love God who has such unconditional love for you.

If you are a part of a small group that meets on another day and time and want to take advantage of this program for your particular group, call the Faith Formation Office 729-0222 or email wmcglasson@fuse.net. We will give you the information you need. Also, copies of Rediscover Catholicism are available if you did not get one at Christmas Mass.


Weekly Reflection
for January 20, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Pray for our Confirmandi

This Sunday, at the 10:30 Mass, we recognize and bless our candidates for Confirmation. They have begun the preparation for this Sacrament which they will receive April 9 at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral. At St. Margaret Mary, the preparation includes students age 12 or older. They participate in a faith formation program that includes participation by the parents/guardian and a Confirmation sponsor. For the candidates, Confirmation completes the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation which are Baptism, First Eucharist and Confirmation. While the parents/guardian and godparent spoke for them earlier in their life at their Baptism, they will now “confirm” this promise as they proclaim their faith, are anointed with Chrism and experience the laying on of hands by the bishop. Please keep them in your prayers.


Weekly Reflection
for January 13, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Rite of Acceptance

RCIA: The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) is the process by which those who wish to join the Catholic faith community are
welcomed and introduced to the beliefs and practices of the Church. For those not yet baptized, this process leads to an Easter Vigil where they receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. Those who have been previously baptized in another Christian tradition are invited to participate fully in the Church through the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist.

This year, we have one inquirer for whom we have planned the Rite of Acceptance this Sunday at the 10:30 Mass. She will then enter into the Catechumenate for more studies where she and the RCIA team will meet weekly to help her discern her readiness for Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. We will keep you posted on our progress. Please keep her in your prayers.


Weekly Reflection
for January 6, 2013
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, S.C. has been chosen for January in this Year of Faith. She was born Elizabeth Ann Bayley on August 28, 1774 in New York City. She practiced the Episcopalian faith, and married William Magee Seton at age 19. Together they had five children.

Inspired by the St. Vincent DePaul Society, Elizabeth helped organize the Ladies of Charity who visited the sick poor and helped them in any way they could. William suffered severe losses in his business and was forced into bankruptcy and then became ill and died leaving Elizabeth in poverty with the five children to raise alone.

Elizabeth had a great love of the Eucharist and eventually converted to Catholicism in 1805. With the support of the Sulpician Fathers she established St. Joseph Academy and Free School for Catholic girls, all while continuing to support her children. She later started a religious community dedicated to the care of children of the poor. The order was named the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph and Elizabeth was called Mother Seton. Many schools, hospitals, orphanages and elder care centers are the result of the work of Mother Seton and her followers, the Sisters of Charity, which is how we know them today.

Elizabeth died in 1841 at the age of 46 and was canonized September 14, 1975 by Pope Paul VI. She is the first native born citizen of the United States to be canonized.

tshirt

NEW!!! PARISH T-SHIRTS - Are available for sale in the Parish Office during regular business hours. The cost is $6 and we have them in Youth sizes M & L and Adult M, L, and XL, in white or ash. Call Maureen or Jenni at the office - 521-7387.

festival
Make plans now!   August 30 & 31

Family Fun - Live Entertainment - Food - Games of Chance - More!

Are you interested in helping for a few hours that weekend? Contact Jenni 521-7387

Download flier with the full details here.

Our Festival is on Facebook®
facebook
St. Margaret Mary Labor Day Weekend Festival 2013

Thanks to everyone who came out to support us!

Save the dates for 2014!
August 30 & 31.




Click here for details
Festival
Your Help Is Needed

Bereavement Committee Needs Help
Please consider becoming a member of the Parish Bereavement Committee. Volunteers are needed for this important service bereaved families as they plan the funeral Mass for their loved ones. You will be trained and provided with the required forms, list of recommended songs and book of recommened readinsg to use with the planning. Volunteer as needed and as you are able to fit it into your personal schedule. Please call the Parish Office, 521-7387 if you can help with this much needed ministry.


Adult Altar Servers needed

We are in need of adults, men and women, to volunteer to serve at funerals. With the closing of our school, our school age servers are no longer available. Adults have willingly and graciously stepped forward to assist in this ministry. Due to illness and other situations in the lives of these folks, our team has been greatly reduced. Please give some consideration helping with this very important liturgy as we remember and pray for the departed in our community. Training will be provided at your convenience. Call the Parish Office to volunteer and get more information.

Bereavement Ministry
There can never be too many people involved in the Bereavement Ministry. If you have an interest in singing in the Funeral Choir, in being a Lector or Eucharistic Minister as needed at parish funerals, or in planning the Funeral Mass on a rotating basis with the family of the deceased, contact Dale Foley, (513) 742-2173.

Lend your voice to the Funeral Choir
Our Parish is blessed to have a funeral choir. The ministry of this choir is to serve the family of the deceased by leading the singing at the Mass of Christian Burial. Because every choir member isn’t available to attend every funeral (although we try), we can never have too many members! So won’t you consider lending your voice to this important ministry? We rehearse on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month from 9:30 am – 10:30 am. Contact Dale Foley, (513) 742-2173, or any current choir member for particulars, or just come to the Music Room 13 in the Parish Activity Center (PAC). We’d love to see you!

Looking for Lectors
There is currently a need for lectors at the 10:30 am Sunday Mass. Please consider joining this ministry. Training is provided. Contact the Parish Office to volunteer or for more information, (513) 521-7387.

Consider Becoming a Volunteer Sacristan

Volunteers are needed to help with a variety of light housekeeping tasks in the area of the altar and sacristy. You would be scheduled once a month. Please contact the Parish Office, (513) 521-7387 if you are interested in helping with this ministry.

Seeking Old St. MM Graduation Class Photos
The St. MM School historical preservation group is looking for class photos to complete its collection. If you have a class photo from 1949 / 1950 / 1971 / 1991 / 1999 / 2000 / 2001 / 2002 / 2003 / 2005, please contact Carol Rutz through the Parish Office, (513) 521-7387.

Readings for
Sunday, July 20


Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
Romans 8:26-27
Matthew 13:24-43

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Click to hear about today's Saint of the Day


OLGiving
July 13, 2014

...that rain, as it appears in the Bible, is a sign of God’s blessing? The Jordan River is below sea level and not an adequate source of water, so the Israelites were very dependent on rain for their survival. Agriculture was very important in Jesus’ world, and images of sowing and reaping appear often in his teaching. In today’s parable, God’s reign is compared to sowing seed. The same type of seed is planted in different locations, but not all produce a harvest. Jesus places emphasis on the types of ground where the seed is sown. We are challenged to produce a good harvest by hearing and understanding God’s word. We must be open to receiving the word and allowing it to take root in our lives.


July 6, 2014

. ..that we rely heavily on prayers of petition, asking God’s favorable response to our needs? Prayers of petition are often accompanied by lighting a candle, spending time in private prayer, writing them in a parish book, or speaking them when invited at Mass during the Prayer of the Faithful. It’s appropriate that the entire community be aware of our needs. This is why the Intention to be remembered by the Priest is listed for each Mass. It’s common to request a Mass Intention when a loved one has died, but an intention can also be requested for a living person. And, it’s not uncommon to remember anniversaries, birthdays, or other special days. Intentions can also be specified for a particular cause or need such as peace, justice, etc. Normally a monetary offering for the support of the clergy accompanies the request. You’ll notice that the Intention at one of the Sunday obligation Masses each weekend and on Holy Days of Obligation is for the “People of the Parish.” Pastors are obliged to offer a Mass for the living and deceased of the Parish on those days. Sometimes the Priest’s Intention is announced during Mass. Sometimes it’s included in the Petitions. The only absolute requirement, however, is that the Intention be published.


June 29, 2014

...that since completing the Easter Season on Pentecost we've had three Sundays with special designations - Trinity, Corpus Christi, and Sts. Peter and Paul? The first two are annual Sunday celebrations with their date changing in relation to Easter. But the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul is always celebrated on June 29, regardless of the day of the week. As early as 258 A.D. there's evidence of the tradition of celebrating both feasts together. Some say that Peter would have been an excellent confessor, for he was vocal in his misunderstandings and doubts. It's comforting to know that Peter, whose name appears first on every listing of apostles, had his human weaknesses, even in the presence of Jesus. Paul's experience with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus was the driving force that made him one of the most zealous, dynamic, and courageous preachers in the history of the Church. The lives of these two saints helped build the solid foundation on which the Church is built.


June 22, 2014

...that we have moved from last week’s celebration of the Trinity to the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ? Today we hear of God’s desire to be united with us as we celebrate the Eucharist. In today’s first reading, manna, which God sent to feed the Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years, foreshows Eucharist. Throughout those 40 years Israel learned to trust in the Lord. In today’s Gospel, Jesus declares that he is the “living bread that came down from heaven.” Jesus gives us a gift greater than manna. He gives us the bread that enables us to live forever.


June 15, 2014

...that Jesus’ words to Nicodemus in today’s Gospel are among the most popular of all biblical texts? John 3:16 (“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life”) is often called a mini-Gospel since it summarizes in one verse the core of Christianity. Unlike most Sundays, today’s Responsorial is not taken from the Book of Psalms, but is taken from the Book of Daniel. After escaping the fiery furnace, Azariah and his companions bless God by singing a very long song (38 verses in its entirety.) Even though today specifically honors the Trinity, it should not be forgotten that our Triune God is present whenever we gather.

June 8, 2014

...that all of today's readings focus on the Holy Spirit who will "renew the face of the earth?" The first reading from Acts tells us that when the Spirit descended on the disciples they were able to speak in different tongues so all who were in Jerusalem, regardless of nationality, could understand their message. In the second reading, Paul tells the Corinthians that the gifts distributed by the Spirit are many and that we should never boast of our gifts but realize that they are no geater than the gifts of others. Through the Spirit we are baptized into one body, working together for the good of all. In today's Gospel Jesus breathes on the disciples, giving them the Holy Spirit, and empowering them to share in His mission and to go and make disciples of all. The gift of the Spirit, celebrated today, unites all of us in the life of the Trinity (celebrated next week) and empowers us to proclaim the good news with our lives.



June 1, 2014

...that today’s feast of the Ascension has already been celebrated in certain parts of the world? Based on the events described in today’s first reading, the Ascension was traditionally, celebrated on a Thursday. There, Luke says that Jesus rose from the dead, appeared to believers for 40 days, and then ascended to the heavens. A few years ago, Rome granted permission for each diocese to determine if the Ascension would be celebrated on the traditional Thursday or on what would have been the Seventh Sunday of Easter. So, it is possible that the Ascension is celebrated today in one state, while already having been celebrated on Thursday in another. One weakness of a Sunday celebration is that the readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter are omitted. These readings are filled with anticipation for next week’s feast – Pentecost. Take time today to incorporate those readings in your prayer today.


May 25, 2014

...that the preparation for this column requires examining many different sources? One is the Messenger, the weekly publication for the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky. The May 2, 2014 edition contained an article written by Deacon Timothy Schabell, a hospice chaplain for St. Elizabeth Healthcare. In it he cites an article written by Bonnie Ware, a palliative care/hospice nurse outlining five regrets in life told to her by dying patients. I share them with you:
1. ”I wish I would have had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
2. “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”
3. “I wish I would have had the courage to express my feelings.”
4. “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”
5. “I wish I had let myself be happier.”
The article concludes with what Deacon Schabell has found, in his experience, to be the number one regret – the patient’s relationship (or lack of) with God. We have just completed the Lenten Season and Holy Week, and are now celebrating the joyous Season of Easter – a time when we revel in new life and redemption. Maybe now is a good time to determine if we need an “attitude adjustment.”


May 18, 2014

...that the hymn “O God Our Help in Ages Past” (#435 in Breaking Bread), outlines three periods of our personal history: “ages past”, our “shelter from the stormy blast”, and our “eternal home”? Psychologists say that well-adjusted people are capable of integrating their past, their present, and their hope of what is to come. Our repertoire of hymns integrates all three of these periods. They reference God’s past deeds and the numerous ways in which Christ touches us today. But our song remains unfinished. It can only be completed at the end of time. Then we’ll sing the final verse joined by a chorus of angels and saints. What a glorious sound that will be!


May 11, 2014

...that the Fourth Sunday of Easter is also called “Good Shepherd Sunday?” The imagery of Jesus as shepherd and we as sheep is held important by the Church since it is proclaimed in this Sunday’s Gospel regardless of the three-year cycle. Jesus is presented as a loving shepherd. The shepherd’s task is to be concerned for the welfare of the sheep, and the sheep are called to hear and follow the shepherd’s voice. It is the Lord who watches over the community and over each of its members. It is the Lord who is ever at our side.


May 4, 2014

...that the life of a Christian is often referred to as a pilgrimage? We, like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, have set out on a journey. It’s a journey of faith and hope, of exploration and discovery, and one in which we come to know the Lord more fully in the Scriptures and in the ”breaking of the bread.” Sometimes we, like the two disciples, find our vision clouded. Only after our eyes are opened can we recognize Christ and begin to understand his words. Today’s Gospel demonstrates that sometimes it’s difficult to comprehend God’s plan, but with God’s help we gain understanding.


April 27, 2014

...that for centuries, today, the Sunday after Easter, was called “dominica in albis”, meaning the Sunday for taking off the white. Those baptized during the Easter Vigil wore white robes throughout the entire Easter week as a sign of their Baptism. It was today that they put aside those garments. Today has also been called “Low Sunday”, possibly because it stands in contrast to the excitement of last week’s celebration.


April 20, 2014

...that today our Lenten journey has reached its destination? Even though we have progressed through the 40 days of Lent and the 3 days of the Triduum, we end in the same setting as where we began – a garden! On the first Sunday of Lent we heard the story of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. That marvelous place became the site of greatest defeat for God’s greatest creation. Today, on Easter, the descendants of Adam and Eve, find ourselves in another garden – the garden of Christ’s empty tomb! Today, unlike the Garden of Eden, we find that the Garden of the Risen Christ leads to everlasting life. Today we celebrate Christ’s triumph over evil, sin, and death. Today our Lenten journey from the Garden of Eden to the garden of Christ’s resurrection is completed. Alleluia! Alleluia!


April 13, 2014

...that the Service of Light begins the Easter Vigil? In the light of new fire the Easter Candle is prepared. A cross, the Greek letters alpha and omega (the beginning and the end of the Greek alphabet), and the numerals of the current year are outlined on the candle. Five grains of incense are inserted into the candle in the shape of a cross with a prayer that all be kept under Christ’s protection. The Easter candle is then lit from the new fire and leads a procession into the church. The priest sings, “Christ our light” three times. We sing, “Thanks be to God” in response. The Exsultet, a hymn of praise to honor Christ our redeemer, is then sung. This hymn references many events in salvation history. The assembly holds lit candles as a sign of their baptism. In addition to new fire, there is new water. The prayer for the blessing of the new water contains biblical images beginning with creation, continuing with the great flood, the Red Sea, the waters of the river Jordan in which Christ was baptized, and the water which flowed from his side at the crucifixion. After the blessing of water the community renews their baptismal promises while holding a lighted candle. The congregation is then sprinkled with the newly blessed water as a reminder of our original baptism.



April 6, 2014

...that the Good Friday liturgy is a continuation of our Holy Thursday celebration and has no entrance procession? We know immediately that this liturgy is different because the priest enters in silence and prostrates himself before the altar. Members of the assembly kneel at this time to demonstrate personal humility and the sorrow of the entire church. The readings of Good Friday are somber. The first reading from Isaiah is part of his “suffering servant” literature which prophecies Jesus’ suffering. The Responsorial Psalm proclaims a trust in God in spite of trials. In the second reading Paul connects our salvation to Jesus who knew suffering yet remained obedient to the Father. The centerpiece of this liturgy is the reading of the Passion according to John. Good Friday is the only liturgy of the year in which the church writes the intercessions for us. These ten petitions encompass all people - both in the church and in the world. Since the Good Friday liturgy is not a Mass, there is no Eucharistic Prayer and no consecration. At one time there wasn’t even communion! Communion, bread only, is distributed from the hosts consecrated at the Holy Thursday Mass. The Good Friday liturgy ends as it began – in silence. The third part of the Triduum, the Easter Vigil, occurs on Saturday evening.


March 30, 2014

...that the Triduum is one Liturgy divided into three distinct sections? And, did you know that each section has unique rituals? Today we’ll outline some of the unique features of Holy Thursday. In following weeks we’ll discuss Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. Holy Thursday’s liturgy consists of Mass with the inclusion of the Presentation of Oils, the Washing of Feet, and the Transfer of Eucharist. The Oil of the Sick, Oil of Catechumens, and Holy Chrism are brought forward at the beginning of Mass. These oils were blessed by the Bishop during the Chrism Mass at the cathedral and were presented to each parish to be used during the year. The Washing of Feet is a familiar ritual. Some parishes insist on having 12 people participate, but the focus here is on the action of humility and service as opposed to the number of people involved. At the end of Mass the tabernacle is emptied. Because the Good Friday liturgy doesn’t include a Eucharistic Prayer or consecration, sufficient hosts are consecrated on Holy Thursday to serve people on both days. After Holy Thursday’s distribution of communion, all remaining hosts are placed in a ciborium and carried in procession to the altar of repose. The faithful are then encouraged to spend time in adoration. Most parishioners never see the next step in the process – the stripping of the altar. This action prepares the church for the celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday. We can then pray in a church that is totally bare except for the items needed for the Good Friday liturgy. Good Friday is a day when the emptiness of both church and tabernacle is obvious. On Good Friday, we focus on the Passion of Our Lord.


March 23, 2014

...that praying the Stations of the Cross is a popular Lenten liturgy? After Jesus’ death and resurrection his followers walked the path he walked to the site of his crucifixion. Christians made pilgrimages to Jerusalem to follow what became known as the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) or the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrows). In the 15th and 16th centuries, Franciscans erected images of the stations outdoors at churches and other places, providing the opportunity for those who couldn’t travel to the Holy Land to share in the Way of the Cross. As people walked the path, scriptures were recited or read and prayers proclaimed. This devotional practice became so popular that images depicting the Way of the Cross were placed inside churches. Different prayers can be prayed at Stations of the Cross, but customarily some derivation of “We adore you, O Jesus Christ, for by your cross you redeemed the world” is recited at each Station.


March 16, 2014

...that repentance is an important part of turning away from self and turning back to God? We’re strongly encouraged by the Church to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent. “The Light is on for You” (March 18), and the Pastoral Region Penance Service (April 1) are two opportunities in addition to Saturday afternoons. But, did you know that in the early church, the Sacrament of Penance was conferred in the same manner as Baptism and Confirmation? The ceremony took place publicly and was received only once. People would present themselves to the bishop and the local church at the beginning of Lent in what was called the Order of Penitents. Ashes would be imposed, and the penitents would dress in sack cloth for the entire forty-day period. They would fast, do acts of charity, and give alms. Then, at the end of Lent, they would receive absolution by the bishop. Eventually, the Liturgy of Penance became a private celebration with a penance being assigned by a priest.


March 9, 2014

..that the date of Ash Wednesday (the beginning of the 40 days of Lent) is determined by the date of Easter and not the other way around? The Roman Church has resolved that Easter be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. As you know, the timing of this varies from year to year. This year, Easter will be celebrated on April 20, so we have now entered into the 40 days of Lent. The count- down to Easter has begun. Lent has always been a special season in the Church. It’s a time that focuses on prayer, almsgiving and fasting. Is it a coincidence, then, that the Gospel for today, the First Sunday in this count-down, recalls Jesus spending 40 days praying and fasting in the desert? And to what end? After 40 days of penance, Jesus met temptation face to face was unrelenting in challenging Satan’s invitations to focus on self and turn away from God. A conclusion could be drawn that 40 days in the desert was time well spent!


March 2, 2014

...that putting trust in another human being is common? We trust the captain of an airline. We trust the doctor or surgeon. But sometimes putting our trust in God isn’t as easy. How often do you spend time worrying about things that are beyond your control? How often do you worry about things that you cannot change? In today’s Gospel Jesus calls us to put our trust in God. Citing examples from nature, Jesus explains that God cares for even “the birds of the sky”, and the “grass of the field.” If God provides for those things, how can He not provide for us? Putting our trust in and relying on God can be a stumbling block. It requires faith. We must pray for the understanding that “only in God is my soul at rest.” Achieving that level of trust enables us to “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God.”


February 23, 2014

...that it’s common for cultures and ethnic groups to view themselves as one united group? The Jewish people of the Old Testament considered their relationship to God as a group, not as individuals. Today, especially in the United States with our attitude of “rugged Individualism,” we tend to see ourselves as individuals who join together for religious observances; not as members of a united group. The wording of the prayers in the Mass form us into one Body, a body called together as a whole by God. We are invited to salvation as a people of God, and we respond to God’s invitation as a united people.



February 16, 2014

...that Matthew, the author of today’s Gospel, draws a parallel between Jesus and Moses? Just as Moses delivered the Ten Commandments, Jesus delivered teachings governing how we should live. In today’s Gospel Jesus says that He has come to fulfill the law and the prophets. He also shows us that truly living the law requires more than mere actions, it also requires proper thoughts and attitudes. For example, it isn’t enough to just refrain from killing; we must also avoid the thoughts and words that lead us to commit the action. Jesus tells us that to avoid sinful actions we must avoid those thoughts and attitudes that lead us to sin.


February 9, 2014

...that one of the most familiar contrasts in Christianity is that of light/darkness? For example, we speak of Christ as the “light” that overcomes the “darkness” of sin and death. In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us that we are the “light of the world.” The purpose of light is to illuminate. So, we too must shine before others, not to take pride in our good deeds, but to bring glory to the Father. The light of Christianity, however, is not the light of isolated individuals; it is the light of a community. As a group, Christians are to “Follow Christ and Live”, being “Bread for the World” as we “Bring Forth the Kingdom” and show the way to the Father.


February 2, 2014

...that the Presentation of the Lord isn’t celebrated on Sunday every year? This feast actually has several names: Candlemas, the Purification of Mary, and the Presentation of the Lord. All candles to be used in church for the coming year are blessed at Mass on this day. Thus, “Candle-Mass”. In days passed, women were considered unclean after childbirth until they presented themselves at the temple for a purification blessing forty days after delivery. Mary conformed to that law. Thus, the “Purification of Mary”. In time, however, today became the “Presentation of the Lord.” Listen for two names in today’s Gospel in addition to the Holy Family. Simeon and Anna, two elders of the Jewish temple, spent years praying for the opportunity to see the child sent to redeem Jerusalem. Upon seeing the Christ Child, Simeon knows their prayers have been answered and proclaims, “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace...”


January 26, 2014

...that the fact that much of Jesus’ ministry takes place in Galilee is significant? Galilee is located in the north, far from Jerusalem’s temple and the religious establishment. As a result, many in Jerusalem looked down on the inhabitants of Galilee, referring to the area as “Galilee of the Gentiles.” But the people of Galilee were actually more receptive to Jesus’ message than others. In today’s Gospel, while walking by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus calls forth four of the apostles. The Gospel passage concludes by saying that Jesus “went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people.” The Gospel might be saying that even during the times we feel most separated from the “establishment”, Jesus is actually closest, walking among us.


January 19, 2014

...that today begins what is referred to as Ordinary Time? This doesn’t mean that the weeks during this period aren’t important. The word “ordinary” is used only to distinguish this season from those that pertain to a particular mystery, e.g., Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter. What we celebrate beginning today is simply Sunday as the Lord’s Day. This week also sets the stage for readings primarily from Matthew’s Gospel. Even though you will have heard these stories before, try to listen to them with new eyes. As the saying goes, “you never walk through the same river twice.”


January 12, 2014

...that today’s feast, the Baptism of the Lord, brings the Christmas season to an end? Today our attention is directed to water and God’s voice in both the Responsorial Psalm and Gospel. Today’s Responsorial Psalm references the “powerful” voice of the Lord, “full of majesty” over the waters at the time of creation. And, in Matthew’s Gospel, it was through water that God revealed Jesus as His son proclaiming “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” It is through water that we become members of the church. We are a baptismal people.


January 5, 2014

...that there’s a marked contrast between King Herod and the magi in today’s Gospel? The magi were not part of a faith tradition that anticipated the coming of a Messiah. Unlike Herod, the chief priests, and the scribes, the magi were not knowledgeable in such matters, and should have been unprepared to leave all and follow a star in search of a newborn king. One wonders what they experienced, what took place in their lives, to bring this about. Herod, on the other hand, is greatly troubled. He plans to have Jesus eliminated. His response reminds us that those who come in peace, even the Prince of Peace, can be greeted with violence.


December 29, 2013

...today’s Gospel, just as it did last Sunday, speaks of Joseph following the will of God in a dream? Last Sunday, an angel instructed him to keep Mary as his betrothed and not divorce her. This week, an angel again speaks to Joseph in a dream and instructs him to flee to Egypt with Jesus and Mary. When Herod died, he’s instructed in yet another dream to leave Egypt and settle in Nazareth. I wonder if, at times, Joseph was reluctant to fall asleep! We know very little about Joseph, but in the Gospels of the last two weeks, we see him presented as a caring father who, obedient to the command of an angel, protects and provides for his wife and son. Is it any wonder that Joseph is now mentioned by name in Eucharistic Prayers at Mass? Devotion to the Holy Family was very popular during the seventeenth century, but it was only in 1921 that a special feast in honor of the Holy Family was established by Pope Benedict XV. Let us use this day to examine not only our relationship with our immediate family, but also our relationship with the family of God.


December 22, 2013

...that the Christmas carol “Silent Night” briefly stopped a battle in World War I? It was Christmas Eve, 1914. There was a break in the fighting between the Germans and the British. No shots were being fired. In the quiet darkness, British officers, using binoculars, saw a glimmer of light. Some German soldiers were holding lit candles; while others held small trees with lit candles in the branches. The message became clear: Christmas greetings were being extended. The Germans began singing “Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!” British soldiers recognized the melody as “Silent Night, Holy Night” and began singing along in English. Soldiers on both sides laid down their weapons and ventured out onto a small patch of bombed-out earth. An unofficial truce had been initiated. Enemy soldiers sat around a common campfire, exchanging small gifts from their meager belongings and sharing family snapshots. This had truly become a “silent night.” No, the song didn’t end the battle, but it did serve as the catalyst to a time of peace. May the songs you hear, sing, and pray this Christmas Season allow you to put aside your battles and experience the peace, joy, and comfort the season intends.


December 15, 2013

...that for centuries choirs began today's Mass singing "Gaudete in Domino semper;" ("Rejoice in the Lord always"?) Traditionally, today is known as "Gaudete Sunday". Rose rather than violet vestments were worn; the altar was adorned with flowers, and instead of singing a cappella, organ accompaniment was permitted. The joy of Christmas was anticipated on this, the Third Sunday of Advent. Today, we acknowledge the continuity of all the days of Advent. We live in joyful preparation and anticipation throughout the entire season without the need to divide it.

December 8, 2013

...that preparation is an important part of celebrating? Preparing the dinner is an important part of the celebration of Thanksgiving. Decorating the tree is an integral part of any Christmas celebration. In today’s Gospel, John the Baptist, the prophet who “prepares the way of the Lord” is introduced. As the forerunner to the Messiah, his words call us to repentance. To respond properly to his message, we must acknowledge our sins and open ourselves up to the gift of God’s mercy. Mark on your calendar that the Penance Service for our Pastoral Region is held here this Tuesday evening, December 10, at 7 pm.


December 1, 2013

...that today, in addition to being the First Sunday of Advent, is also the first Sunday of a new liturgical year? Today we begin hearing the readings of liturgical Cycle A (the first of three) proclaimed. From now until November 30, 2014 we’ll hear Scripture that we haven’t heard since 2011. The Church determined that there’s so much to hear and so much to learn, that it takes three full years to cover it all. Unlike the rest of the world, the Church takes her time. She doesn’t rush. So keep in mind that today isn’t the beginning of the Christmas Season, it’s the beginning of Advent. The Christmas Season doesn’t begin until the evening Masses on December 24 and lasts through the Baptism of the Lord on January 12. Retail stores use these weeks to celebrate Christmas; we use them to anticipate and prepare for the birth of Christ. So slow down, take your time, and save some energy to celebrate the real Christmas Season. Christmas is too important a feast to be forgotten after twenty-four hours.


November 24, 2013

...that today’s celebration of the solemnity of Christ the King closes the liturgical year? Today we’re reminded that as Christians we’re called to acknowledge Christ as our king and pledge our lives to him. Even though the inscription on Jesus’ cross proclaimed him as “King of the Jews,” witnesses to his execution mocked him. That’s not what the world expected; a king doesn’t die on a cross. Witnesses to his execution mocked him. The only person who recognized Jesus’ true identity was the “good thief.” Let his prayer be ours. “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom!”


November 17, 2013

...that as the liturgical year comes to a close, our readings turn to images of the final judgment? As a church, we look forward to and await Christ’s return in glory. The prophet Malachi (First Reading) calls the people to task for not remaining faithful. They must reform their lives for the “sun of justice” will arise on the day of the Lord. Year after year Scripture tells us that the day of the Lord is approaching. It will be a time when, according to today’s psalm, the Lord “will judge the world with righteousness.” It will be a time of perfect justice. In today’s Gospel Jesus speaks of the coming times of trial. But, Jesus assures us that “by your perseverance you will secure your lives.” Indeed, “Soon and Very Soon” “The King Will Come.” But we are told to “Be Not Afraid”, for “Blest are They” who follow the law of the Lord for theirs is the kingdom of God.


November 10, 2013

...that today’s readings concern faith, especially faith in the resurrection? The martyrdom of a mother and her seven sons in the First Reading acts as an example of fidelity to God’s law, as well as insight into the developing belief in life after death. They die a martyr’s death in the hope of being raised up by God. The Sadducees in today’s Gospel accept only the Torah as the inspired word. Since there is no mention of resurrection in the Torah, the Sadducees reject that belief. However, Jesus reminds them that God “is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” As today’s psalm proclaims - on the day of resurrection the Lord’s glory will appear. It will be a day on which our “joy will be full.”


November 3, 2013

...that Zacchaeus, who appears in today’s Gospel, didn’t have many friends? He was a tax collector working for the Romans, and as such was despised and considered to be a sinner by his fellow Jews. Jesus had planned only to pass through Jericho, but changed his plans after seeing Zacchaeus in the sycamore tree. Jesus not only remained in the city, but stayed with Zacchaeus! As a result of Jesus’ change of plans and his encounter with Jesus, Zacchaeus vowed to make restitution for his sins and began his path to salvation. Sometimes doing God’s work demands that we, too, take a detour in order to let God’s grace work through us.


October 27, 2013

...that the parable in today’s Gospel is a lesson in contrasts? We hear a Pharisee who is convinced of his own goodness and a tax collector who is convinced of his own sinfulness. The Pharisee lives beyond the requirements of the Law, but is blinded by his own pride that tells him that he is not like the rest of men. This is his downfall. He may be keeping the Law, but he fails to love his neighbor. In failing to do this he also fails to love God as he should. The first line of today’s Responsorial Psalm tells us to “bless the Lord at all times,” not just when we’re in church. Our prayer is to be continuous – throughout the day – every day. As Christians we are to find God in all that we do. We look for God’s beauty in all that is good, and listen to God’s voice not only within us, but in all of God’s creation.


October 20, 2013

...that words, whether written, repeated, listened to, or memorized, are an important means of communication? In today’s gospel we encounter a woman on a mission. She was persistent and used words to become such a nuisance that the judge finally caved in. The woman won. Maybe we have also pestered an authority figure for a favor. Or we might have “pestered” God constantly for a bereaved friend. We probably ended our concern to them with the words, “My thoughts and prayers are with you.” We tirelessly use the language of prayer on their behalf. Words will always be an essential element of worship. The language of scripture must be respected, it must be preached. The divine word holds a privileged position within the church and within the liturgy.


October 13, 2013

...that there’s truth in the adage, “You get out of it what you put into it?” Active participation is what helps you get the most out of liturgy. Prior to Vatican II it was thought that the priest bore the responsibility for the success of a parish and its liturgical celebrations. But Vatican II opened ministry to all. It declared that active ministry is not only a possibility, but our right and responsibility by virtue of our baptism. There can never be too many volunteers for liturgical ministry. This weekend we “Celebrate St. Margaret Mary.” What an appropriate time to determine if you can volunteer your time and talent. If age or limited mobility narrows your choices, vow to be an active member of the assembly in the pew. Pray the prayers loudly, sing the songs with gusto (or at least pray the words.) It’s important that each does their part with energy, enthusiasm, and focus. Won’t you consider how you can best become part of the heart of the parish? And remember, the doors of the church are unlocked for liturgy every day!


October 6, 2013

...that liturgy is at the heart of every parish? Many activities occur regularly in a parish, but of all of them, those most important are the ministries surrounding the Eucharistic liturgy. This significance should be reflected in the allocation of parish resources, assuring that liturgy assumes its proper place and is celebrated reverently and prayerfully. Those resources are, of course, economic, but they also must include the resources of time and talent of the members of the worshiping community. Volunteers are essential for good liturgy, both in ministries that are visible (lector, server, musician, minister of Eucharist, etc.), and those that operate behind the scenes (sacristan, bulletin stuffers, cleaners, etc.) And don’t forget that liturgy in some form is celebrated every day – not just on weekends. Is there some way you can contribute?


September 29, 2013

...that every September 29 the church celebrates the feast of three archangels: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael? The word “archangel” appears only once in the Bible, in referring to Michael in Jude 9. Tradition has added the other two names because both play significant roles in Bible History. Raphael appears in the Book of Tobit, and Gabriel is best known for announcing the forthcoming birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah, and announcing to Mary that she will conceive Jesus. Michael appears in the Book of Daniel as a defender of the chosen people, in Jude disputing with the devil over the body of Moses, and in Revelation fighting a dragon. A fourth archangel, Uriel, is acknowledged in Christian tradition, but doesn’t appear in the Bible and has no mention on the liturgical calendar. Tradition says that Uriel carried John the Baptist and his mother Elizabeth to join Jesus, Mary, and Joseph on their flight into Egypt.


September 22, 2013

...that for centuries a choir singing at Mass was considered special and set apart from the assembly? In fact, at one time the members of a choir were considered an extension of the clergy and could only be male! Today the thinking has totally changed. Choirs, and all leaders of song, are no longer physically separated in a distant loft, and everyone is welcome to minister in this capacity. When possible, the space for musicians is close to the assembly they serve and of whom they are a part.


September 15, 2013

...that not all music is suitable for liturgy? Songs that are chosen must be appropriate to the action with words that are theologically sound. Songs used for particular celebrations focus on that feast or occasion (ex. Christmas, Easter), but in general, songs try to reflect the theme or focus of the day’s readings. Choosing music is a responsibility not to be taken lightly, since the choice essentially puts words in people’s mouths. People may even leave Mass singing or humming one of the songs. A song may be what remains with them most strongly. Music can assist in remembering texts and help imprint ideas or concepts in our heads and hearts. Hymns should always be edifying, prayerful and formative.


September 8, 2013

...that most people think that hymns are the most important songs sung in liturgy? Actually, the most important songs are the Gospel Acclamation and the Eucharistic Acclamations. Did you know that the Gospel Acclamation is to be omitted entirely if it isn’t sung? There is the option of singing the Gloria, but, since it is a hymn of praise, singing is preferred. After these important responses hymns are added. The Gathering Song helps to form us into a celebrating community. Less important is the Preparation Song since it doesn’t relate to a specific action. It normally echoes the theme or focus of the readings and/or homily. Did you know that the most important hymn is the Communion Song, since it emphasizes the communal aspect of the action? Communion on one level is a personal experience, but, at the same time, it’s an expression of faith that’s shared with all. The Communion Song unites us as a community of faith. The final song, the recessional, isn’t an official part of the liturgy, but is used to send us forth with enthusiasm and conviction.


September 1, 2013

...that music has always been an important part of liturgy? Those of a certain age can remember what was referred to as a “high Mass.” Vatican II restored the people’s voice in the liturgy by making singing part of their role and responsibility. The primary minister of music at liturgy is always the assembly. The role of those we refer to as “music ministers” is to enable the song of the assembly. Music at liturgy is the standard. A liturgy without music should be the exception.


August 25, 2013

...that the Entrance Song unites all into one community to share God’s Word and Eucharist? We must never forget that every liturgy, regardless of its purpose, is first and foremost the work and activity of the entire assembly, and is not only what occurs through the actions of people at the ambo or at the altar. Mass is never for, nor the action of, only one person or one smaller group. That’s why there are no private weddings or funerals. Through Baptism all are welcome to participate. No formal invitation is necessary. This is why worship celebrations normally begin with the community joining as one body in common song, resulting in shared, sung prayer.


August 18, 2013

...that the “Amen” we say when we receive the consecrated bread and when we drink from the cup is one of the most important “Amen’s” we can ever say? The word doesn’t just acknowledge the real presence because we’ve already expressed that throughout the Eucharistic Prayer. Saying “Amen” with conviction at communion confirms our belief that we are joined with Christ – here and now, not some time in the future. In effect we admit that we’re not perfect and that we don’t have all the answers. But, we do believe that Jesus’ way is the way to everlasting life. Our “Amen” joins our life to Jesus...now! Doesn’t that warrant responding with conviction?


August 11, 2013

...that modern technology can be used to enhance the conferring of some sacraments? Take the experience of Peggy Noonan, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Peggy went to confession at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. After confessing and engaging in a discussion with the priest, she saw a light through the screen. It grew. It glowed. It moved. Was she witnessing a sign from God? Should she prepare for an apparition? No - the priest had turned on his iPad! The confessor acknowledged that using this device made it easier for him to reference Scripture passages related to specific issues. What was Peggy’s response? She turned on her BlackBerry and asked that the priest tell her the chapters and verses so she could email them to herself!


August 4, 2013

...that today’s Gospel could make us a bit jealous? After all, the man in the parable was rich, blessed with a “bountiful harvest.” In fact, he had so much “stuff” he needed bigger barns to store his loot! But God smacked him back into reality saying, “...this night your life will be demanded of you...” This parable caused the man who questioned Jesus to doubt the wisdom in storing as much “stuff” for himself as he could. We all have visions of grandeur. Perhaps we, like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, have asked, “Would it spoil some vast, eternal plan, if I were a wealthy man?” Today might be the time for us, like the man in today’s Gospel, to examine what’s behind our desires and determine if we’re rich in what matters to God.


July 28, 2013

...that ever since the 4th century the Lord’s Prayer has had an important place in the celebration of Eucharist? It is one of the few universal, well-known Christian prayers. When worshippers from other Christian traditions visit a Catholic celebration, they feel a part of this moment, whereas in other moments they might feel left out. No one should ever be excluded from joining in praying the Lord’s Prayer. But, this is also a dangerous prayer. We pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.” We challenge ourselves to abandon our will in favor of God’s plan. Maybe that’s why some hold hands while reciting it. It provides mutual support - just in case God grants our wish!


July 21, 2013

...that in 1985 Blessed John Paul II established the Archdiocese for Military Services to minister to American Catholics in military service? This archdiocese is different from other dioceses in the country. It has no parishes, it has no boundaries, yet its presence is felt in more than 220 military installations in 29 countries, in 153 VA Medical Centers, and in 134 countries where federal employees are stationed. It serves more than 1.8 million men, women, and children. Even though the establishment of the Archdiocese is recent, having chaplains in military service isn’t. When George Washington accepted the commission to command the Revolutionary militia he requested chaplains. President Polk wanted the presence of Catholic chaplains during the Mexican-American War to counter the notion that the war was waged by Protestant America against Catholic Mexico. Religion and faith have been and continue to be an important part of U.S. history.


July 14, 2013

...that everyone enjoys singing music that is lively and upbeat? It’s always fun to sing music that praises God and celebrates His wonders. But sometimes we’re called upon to sing songs of a different tempo. Many psalms, like the one we sing today are known as psalms of lamentation. They acknowledge that something is wrong in our lives; something has gone awry. Today the psalmist acknowledges personal misery, disgrace, and guilt. He requests God’s assistance. In today’s first reading Moses calls upon the people to repent. Salvation and everlasting life will be theirs only when they “return to the Lord...with all your heart and soul.” Today’s Preparation Song, #492 All is Well With My Soul, sings of the comfort of trusting in God.


July 7, 2013

...that an additional saint’s name has been added to Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV that are read during Mass? One should expect that this saint is of outstanding virtue to merit joining those already mentioned in the Eucharistic Prayers. One might also expect that this saint has been recently canonized. So, are you surprised to learn that the new name you’ll hear in all Eucharistic Prayers is that of Joseph, the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and foster-father of Jesus? Joseph certainly is a man of outstanding virtue, but he certainly is not recently canonized. Joseph had never been totally ignored, however. His name already had been included in Eucharistic Prayer I. The work of including his name in all Eucharistic Prayers was begun by Pope Emeritus Benedict, and has now been confirmed by Pope Francis. On May 1, 2013, the Congregation for Divine Worship promulgated that the name of Joseph be included in all Eucharistic Prayers.


June 30, 2013

...that one of the hallmarks of liturgy is a diversity of ministers? Priests, deacons, lectors, servers, cantors, singers, etc. all work to create a good liturgical experience. But these ministries do not function in isolation from one another. They either support (in today’s second reading Paul tells us to “be servants of one another”) or weaken one another. When, for example, a lector proclaims God’s word with faith and conviction, he or she facilitates the ministry of the priest or deacon who breaks open that word in the homily. When the assembly focuses attention on and responds to the cantor who is delivering the psalm verses, they are supporting the cantor’s ministry. When servers actively participate in song and spoken word, they are supporting other ministries. No minister stands apart from others. Ministries depend upon other ministries.

June 23, 2013

...that like life, liturgy, is full of paradoxes? In today’s Responsorial Psalm we sing, “My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord, my God.” This seems to be the song of a person who is longing for God. Yet we know that Christ is always present among us when we gather for prayer. To acknowledge that presence, monks traditionally face one another as they pray the Divine Office. Christ is also present in his word, in his ministers, in the Eucharist, and in the celebration of the sacraments. When we join as one in liturgy we sing the song of Christ, and we pray the prayer of Christ, for we are the Body of Christ.


June 16, 2013

...that neither Mother's Day nor Father's Day appears as a Sunday Feast on the Church's calendar? Selecting Sundays to honor mothers and fathers was decided by society. Unlike Mother's Day, celebrated in a month associated with Jesus' mother Mary, Father's Day is celebrated in a month associated with the Sacred Heart. In June, St. Joseph has no special liturgy with songs, rosaries, or litanies. In fact, Jesus' foster-father, Joseph, is never honored for an entire month. In death, just as in life, Joseph remains in the background. Like most fathers, Joseph expressed his love the way he knew best - by example. He was honest, hard working, God-fearing, and obedient. He provided and cared for his family by being the best dad he could; nothing more, nothing less. Today, everyone brings a personal story and the feelings associated with it. For some, Father's Day brings songs of praise, thanksgiving, welcoming ("All are Welcome", "Glory and Praise to our God".) For others, today brings feelings of pain and regret with, hopefully, the offering and receiving of forgiveness ("Loving and Forgiving", "Ubi Caritas".) And, for others, the song is a song of farewell. Regardless of the length of your story or the depth of your emotion - take time to explore the possibilities that today offers, and, just like you did to your mother a month ago - sing to your father.


June 9, 2013

..that the tabernacle is kept locked when not in use? At Mass, after the distribution of communion, the remaining consecrated bread is gathered into a ciborium and placed in the tabernacle. The tabernacle doors are then locked. The purpose of locking the doors is to protect the Blessed Sacrament from profanation. According to the Code of Canon Law (938), the tabernacle key is to be kept in maximum safekeeping. It was never envisioned that the tabernacle would need to be opened during Mass. Ideally the communion of the faithful should be the bread consecrated on the altar; not that reserved in the tabernacle. In this way all are participating in the sacrifice at the time it is actually being celebrated.


June 2, 2013

...that Psalm 110, today’s Responsorial Psalm, is one of the most poetic and one of the most difficult psalms to interpret? We sing, “You are a priest forever in the line of Melchizedek.” But, who is Melchizedek? Melchizedek, the King of Salem, first appears in the Book of Genesis. When Abram returns from rescuing his nephew Lot from the enemy, Melchizedek prefigures Christ and the Eucharist by blessing bread and wine, and giving thanks to God. In the Letter to the Hebrews we read that “Melchizedek” means “king of righteousness”, and that “king of Salem” means “king of peace”, both images of Jesus’ ministry. The priesthood of Melchizedek anticipates our sharing in the priesthood of Christ through our Baptism. The references to Melchizedek foreshadow peace, righteousness, and Eucharist, all integral parts of Jesus’ ministry.


May 26, 2013

...that neither the word “trinity” nor the full doctrine of the Trinity is found in the Bible? But, both the word and the doctrine attempt to describe the God who is revealed in the Bible. How do you illustrate the concept of three persons in one God? Legend has St. Patrick using a shamrock to show how three distinct leafs comprise a single plant. Others borrow images of light, heat, and sun; or ice, steam, and water. Today we are given the opportunity to examine how we express the Trinity instead of how we try to explain it. The sign of the cross is a good place to begin. Not only does this action praise the Trinity, it also makes a powerful statement about who we are and what we believe. How aware are we of the implications of signing ourselves? Imagine what a powerful gesture this can be if it is done with full attention and reverence.

AND REMEMBER...that the Archdiocese has issued new instructions on how the Offertory collection is controlled at Mass. Once collected, money is to be securely bagged and placed immediately in a safe. It is not included in the Offertory Procession. Eliminating the collection basket from the procession allows us to focus more fully on the Eucharistic elements of bread and wine. This change begins today.


May 19, 2013

... that today is Pentecost, the crown of the Easter season? From the earliest days of the church, the presence of the Spirit has guided Her in the way of Christ and the will of the Father. St. Paul, in the 5th chapter of Galatians describes the fruit of the Spirit as a single fruit whose richness is divided into nine parts: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. St. Paul reminds us that if we live in the Spirit, we will always stay in step with the Spirit!
And...Did you know...that the Archdiocese has issued new instructions on how the Offertory collection is controlled at Mass? Once collected, money is to be securely bagged and placed immediately in a safe. It is not included in the Offertory Procession. Eliminating the collection basket from the procession allows us to focus more fully on the Eucharistic elements of bread and wine. This change will begin next Sunday, the first Sunday of Ordinary Time.


May 12, 2013

...that today’s celebration of Christ’s Ascension is celebrated on either a Thursday or a Sunday, depending on your geographical location? Because of the story found at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles, the Ascension was originally celebrated on a Thursday. There, Luke says that Jesus rose from the dead, appeared to believers for 40 days, and then ascended to the heavens. The United States is so large and its needs are so varied that Rome granted permission for each geographical region to decide when this solemnity is celebrated. In the United States, it’s possible for the Ascension to be celebrated on a Thursday in one state, and on a Sunday in another.


May 5, 2013

...that children who receive communion for the first time must have “sufficient knowledge and careful preparation so as to understand the mystery of Christ according to their capacity” (Code of Canon Law 913). The Church’s expectation is that a child is able to distinguish ordinary food from Eucharistic bread. The norm is that the child has reached the age “of the use of reason”, generally, seven years of age. A definitive age cannot be established, however, since each child matures independently. Children need not comprehend the mystery of Christ totally (who can?), but only in accordance to their capacity. In all cases though, receiving communion for the first time requires not only the element of reason, but the element of faith as well.


April 28, 2013

...that next weekend children of the parish will receive Eucharist for the first time? But, did you know that the tradition of girls wearing a white dress and veil is a fairly recent tradition? The origins aren’t clear, but references to a white dress first appear in the 18th century. Several interpretations of its meaning are: (1) it was the dress of angels who worshiped at God’s throne or (2) it imitated the garb of those serving in a royal court. Those ideas, however, stress adoration more than communion. A third option is that it recalls the white garment of baptism. Today we regard communion as one of the sacraments of initiation, but that concept was not agreed upon at the time this tradition began. Lastly, of course, is the similarity to a wedding dress. Some believe that the white dress is a call for young ladies to commit themselves to Christ before committing to anyone else. There is no definitive answer as to why a tradition of dress exists for girls with none for boys except to say that the universal church has no norms governing the proper dress for first communion and communicants normally wear whatever follows the local custom.


April 21, 2013

...that the Latin words “panem” (bread) and “pacem” (peace) are closely related in the context of liturgy? Their relationship lies in the fact that real peace (pacem) is only achieved through Christ who is the Bread (panem). This is why the greeting of peace comes so close to our reception of Eucharist. When we greet those around us we’re indicating that we believe that Jesus is present in them. It is only when we have accepted Christ in our neighbor that we are ready to accept the Christ who is present in Eucharist. The rite of peace is an immediate preparation for the breaking of bread and the reception of Communion. To elongate it by including everyone we can reach is to miss its purpose.


April 14, 2013

...that the meaning of confirmation has changed over the years? Originally the bishop conferred confirmation immediately with baptism as part of the initiation ritual. When the number of people to be baptized made it impossible for the bishop to be the primary minister, confirmation was separated from the initiation rite. It then became the bishop’s confirmation of the baptism ministered by the priest. Gradually confirmation was conferred even later in life, further removed from baptism. It became thought of as a teenage rite of passage, a chance for the individual to make a personal commitment. Today we recognize those from the parish who were confirmed Tuesday evening at the cathedral. Please express to these individuals your prayerful support as they strengthen their journey of faith.


April 7, 2013

...that life would be mass confusion without signs to guide us? Signs tell us to “go”, to “stop” which door to “enter”, which door to “exit.” Signs are no less important for us as Christians – the tolling of church bells, the decorations used (or not used) in church, the singing of “alleluia.” The word “Alleluia”, Hebrew for “Praise the Lord”, is an expression of joy and praise. It indicates that what we are about as Christians has to do with something special. It expresses our belief in the Lord, the Lord’s Day, the Lord’s people, and the Lord’s meal.


VIRTUS Child Protection Training required for OLG volunteers & staff working with children

Download information about how to register here.
 
The Virtus online registration and session dates can be found at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati website or here.

QuickLinks
news






Spring 2014

St. Margaret Mary
Newsletter
is now
available online.

Click here to download.
OLG logo
St. Margaret Mary Parish
children attend


Click here for more information
Next 5th Saturday
Eucharistic Adoration:

Sat., Nov 29, 2014
Eucharistic Adoration

Click here for details
RCIA
kroger
NOTE!
New program
rules for Kroger Community Reward cards went
into effect on
May 1.








Click here for details
market day
Next order deadline:
Ordering Deadline
TBA


Order Pickup Date:
TBA