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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 September 14, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Staring Death in the Face
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross Numbers 21:4b-9

It is hard to look death in the eye. We cannot bear to look at the remains of one we loved. We cannot think too long or hard about our
own mortality. But those who keep death before their eyes make peace with life.

For hundreds of years after Jesus died, the church could not bear to look upon a cross. Today there is a cross in almost every place of Christian worship, but it was not so in the beginning. Only gradually did the church make crosses and use them in devotion. We could not look death in the eye.

When the Israelites in the desert complained to Moses about the terrible food on their journey, they faced a new peril. Poisonous serpents bit them. Many people died. Moses appealed to God. God told him to make a serpent out of bronze and mount it on a pole. Those who looked at the bronze serpent lived. They had to look death in the eye. Once they did, they were saved.

The cross of Christ is a thing of beauty, but also a thing of fear. It reminds us of our mortality, but it promises redemption for those who raise their eyes, look upon it, believe in it, and live.




Weekly Reflection
for September 7, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Charitable Correction
Ezekiel 33:7-9

Living the spiritual life means more than correcting our own faults. It also includes correcting the faults of our neighbors. When we do this, we run the risk of misunderstanding and anger. But it is more important to offer correction when neighbors are wrong.

God appointed Ezekiel as Israel’s watchman. When God wants the prophet to speak against wicked people, Ezekiel must do so. If he does not, God will hold him responsible for their demise. But if Ezekiel warns the wicked about God’s wishes, Ezekiel will be saved, even if the wicked ignore him.

Correcting our neighbor is best done in the spirit of charity. When we correct our neighbor in anger, we share the wickedness we are trying to correct. Sometimes our neighbors will respond with appreciation. Sometimes they will not. It does not matter. It is important to bring to their attention the consequences of their actions.

Many people follow this advice in matters of state. As responsible citizens, they let government leaders know what follows from laws they do and do not enact. Sometimes the laws change. But even if they do not, God takes pleasure in those who speak the truth.



Weekly Reflection
for August 31, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Speak Up
Jeremiah 20:7-9

When you know you are right, you can keep speaking the truth, even in the face of opposition. If you have not thought enough about the right thing to do, you are in danger of being influenced to do something else. If your need for acceptance is stronger than your need for doing right, you will surrender to beliefs opposed to your own. But when you know you are right, and when it becomes a matter of expressing who you are and what you believe, you cannot give in. You have to speak up. You have to keep on going, even when others do not support you any more.

Jeremiah the prophet, in his prayer, has heard God’s word, but when he speaks it, people deride him. He tries being quiet, not telling the message God has given him, a message that expresses outrage against the misdeeds of his companions. But when he tries to remain silent, the word of God becomes like a fire burning in his heart. He cannot keep it in. It must come out.

It is not easy to speak God’s word. To hold it in becomes unbearable. To speak it creates enemies. But only the truth brings inner peace.




Weekly Reflection
for August 24, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Accepting Responsibility
Isaiah 22:19-23

If you have ever received the responsibility somebody else once had, you know the rush of emotions that can come with a transfer of authority. Maybe it was a job you worked hard for. Maybe you were chosen for a task you never envisioned you would do. But there you are, hoping to fulfill the expectations somebody has for you and the work.

According to Isaiah, this experience happened to Eliakim, son of Hilkiah. He replaced Shebna as master of the palace. God did not like the job that Shebna was doing. (If God is your supervisor, you had better do the work well.) Isaiah says that God thrust Shebna from office and put Eliakim in his place, dressed him in Shebna’s robe, girded him with Shebna’s sash, and gave him Shebna’s authority. God really did not like Shebna’s work.

God gave one more sign of authority. God placed the key of the House of David on Eliakim’s shoulder. You have heard of getting the key to the city. Eliakim got the key to the nation.

When God gives us a responsibility, we may be part of a major transition. But if the work comes from God, we can assume the task with assurance.





Weekly Reflection
for August 17, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

A Place of Welcome
Isaiah 56:1, 6-7

People different from us can really make us uncomfortable. It is like we do not share the same language or rely on the same experiences. We have different circles of friends and different sources of trust. For many of us, the best way to deal with people different from us is to avoid them. Tolerance is good, but sometimes even tolerance masks prejudice. We tolerate those who are different as long as they act like we do. If they observe our customs, do not hang out in packs of their own kind, and visit our places with respect, we may accept them.

More challenging is to let those who are different from us change our own way of thinking–to let them open our minds to other possibilities and allow us to grow.

God spoke a message of openness through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah. The God known as the originator of the covenant with the Israelites, the God who made them a special possession, offers a different view in this prophecy. God will bring foreigners to the holy mountain and make them joyful in its place of prayer. "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples."

Is your place of worship a place of welcome for those who are different?





Weekly Reflection
for August 10, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Acts of God
1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a

There is a legal term for a natural disaster. It is called an “act of God.” It is a little unfair to libel God with deeds of destruction. Even so, when the forces of nature reveal their strength, people become aware of their own weaknesses and meditate on the power of God.

But when people go in search of God, they rarely go to the place of an earthquake, a fire, or tornado. They go to a quiet place. They watch the sunrise. They pick a wayside chapel. They sit by the ocean. They find God’s majestic voice in whispers of peace.

When Elijah fled the grasp of the angry and murderous Jezebel, he eventually found himself in a cave on the mountain of God, Horeb. There he witnessed God passing by. Not in the strong wind, not in the earthquake, not in the fire did Elijah behold God’s presence, but in a tiny whispering sound.

Noise surrounds much of our day. The radio or television breaks the morning silence. Ambient music filters through elevators and grocery stores. Our cars cannot block out the cacophony of traffic. It may not take an act of God for us to be able to find God. It may just take a quiet space.




Weekly Reflection
for August 3, 2014
From our Faith Formation Director
Wilma McGlasson

Money Can’t Buy Happiness
Isaiah 55:1-3

Most people say they could live comfortably if they had just a little more income. That would allow them to buy the pleasures they seek. Surrounded by ads that urge us to buy, we learn over and again the message that what we have is inadequate, and that money will buy happiness. Isaiah begs to differ. The joyful passage from the prophet that talks about income says money has nothing to do with happiness. Heeding God’s word will produce all the bliss in the world. Through the prophet, God questions those who spend their wages on what fails to satisfy. It takes no money to hear and heed God’s word.

Throughout the Scriptures, God asks people to care for the needy, to think less of themselves and more for their neighbor.

The money we would spend on many of the things we think will make us happy could be given to the poor for the things they need simply to live.

Think about the purchases you made this week. What do they say about your values? How do they express what you think will make you happy? Have you used your time to find satisfaction in God’s word?




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

Good at Faith
Romans 8:28-30

If you are good at what you do for a living, you know the joy of being the right person for the right job.

Sometimes we grow into the task we have been given. Other times it seems as though we have been predestined for it all along. Somehow the skills we possess and the experiences we have had all led up to the person we are and the job we do.

Throughout our lives we get better at being Christian. We develop skills for prayer, love, service, and understanding. We use them to please God and build up the community. We also experience the joys and depths of the spiritual life. Life’s successes and losses have refined our image of God and the church, making us more mature in faith.

St. Paul tells the Romans that God knew them long ago and predestined them to be conformed to the Son’s image, “so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”

In God we are predestined, called, justified, and glorified. God knew us from the beginning, called us into service, justified us for salvation, and glorified us in eternal life. As we journey through life, we realize that God knew some things about us long before we did. God knew what tools we would need for the place and time we live. We have hope that God is still working with us and will help us with whatever challenges lie ahead. The reward of glory awaits those who are good at the task of faith.




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

Praying Hard
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Romans 8:26-27

There are many ways to pray. When alone, we might pray in silence, or meditate on verses from the Bible, or say the rosary, or read from a prayer book. When with others, we may pray before a meal, bow our heads during an invocation, or join in the Mass.

On some days prayer seems less satisfying. It is hard to concentrate. We are distracted by our surroundings or by the affairs of the day. The words do not make much sense. Or we are just too tired.

Those troublesome days come, but there are other days when prayer works. We feel drawn into the presence of God. The songs truly give praise. Our needs prompt us to call upon God more directly. The faith of others inspires us. We may feel discouraged by a lesser prayer once we have experienced all that prayer could be.

Even when we cannot pray the way we wish, our prayer still pleases God. When you do something for someone you love, you may not always have the right words, and you may not always select the perfect gift, but the beloved knows what is in your heart.

St. Paul tells the Romans, “The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought.” The Spirit intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings.
If we do not feel like prayer, all we have to do is try. The Spirit will take it from there.




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.”


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.


Our Festival is on Facebook®
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St. Margaret Mary Labor Day Weekend Festival 2014

Thanks to everyone who came out to support us through rain and shine this year!

Save the dates for 2015!
September 5
and
Septmber 6


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, September 21


Isaiah 55:6-9
Philippians 1:20c-24, 27a
Matthew 20:1-16a

Click to hear about today's Saint of the Day


OLGiving
September 14, 2014

...that the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross has its origins in the 4th century? Today’s feast recalls several events: St. Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, finding what is believed to be the true cross under the temple of Venus in Jerusalem; the dedication of a basilica built on Calvary by her son Constantine in 335 AD, and, most importantly, the celebration of our salvation through the cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ. The cross is an important symbol in Catholicism. We are baptized with the sign of the cross; we make the sign of the cross when we bless ourselves; we sign our foreheads, lips, and hearts with the cross at Mass; and we pray the Way of the Cross as a popular devotion. We honor the cross of Jesus because it is a sign of both his death and his victory over death.


September 7, 2014

... that in today’s Gospel Jesus tells us how to contend with those who sin against us? Following the model of the good shepherd, Jesus tells us to bring back the lost. But, he isn’t talking about correcting a stranger; he’s referring to “your brother.” His teaching is addressed to members of the church. In today’s Gospel we hear the second of two times that the word “church” is spoken by Jesus (remember the Gospel of September 24.) Today Jesus also gives the disciples the same authority given only to Peter a few weeks ago - to either forgive or withhold forgiveness.

August 31, 2014

...that at the time of Jesus, people had varied expectations regarding the Messiah? Some anticipated royalty, others wanted a military leader, while others hoped for religious leadership. One thing is certain - no one expected a Messiah who would suffer and die. This puts into perspective Peter’s response (“God forbid, Lord!”) in today’s Gospel when Jesus predicted his own suffering and death. Peter, who was addressed as “Rock” last week, is now called “Satan” because he’s thinking in the manner of man, and not in the manner of God. We’re told that in order to follow Christ we must deny ourselves and take up our cross.


August 24, 2014

...that today the word “church” is used in the Gospel for the first time? While the word “church” is frequently used in the Acts of the Apostles and in the letters of the New Testament, it’s rarely used in the Gospels. Jesus usually refers to the “church” as the “kingdom of heaven” or “kingdom of God” instead. The Greek word ekklesia is only found in today’s Gospel and in Matthew 18. Listen for it again in the Gospel on September 7.


August 17, 2014

...that one of the characteristics of our Sunday assembly is that it isn't an exclusive group? Our gathering is open to all. Everyone is not only welcome, but is received with hospitality and love. In spite of diversity, all present are brothers and sisters. The message of salvation is universal, extending to all. In today's Gospel, Jesus grants the request of a non-Jewish woman that her daughter be cured. Isaiah reminds us that even foreigners can "observe what is right" and "do what is just." Paul's letter to the Romans tells us that "God has mercy on all," including the Gentiles. In the words of St. John Chrysostom, "The church exists not to divide those who come together, but to bring together those who are divided."


August 10, 2014

...that Matthew’s account of Jesus walking on water in the midst of a storm is unique, for Matthew also adds that Peter attempted to do the same? The fact that even the most sea-worthy of the disciples were frightened by the storm’s power heightens its severity. Jesus walking on water helped to confirm his identity as God, but Peter’s attempt adds the dimension of faith. Peter starts out confidently in responding to Jesus’ call to join him, but becomes frightened and starts to sink. Peter’s faith was shaken and is reprimanded by Jesus, “O you of little faith.” Today’s Gospel reveals God as one more powerful than the forces of nature. Our cry of “Lord save me” can be realized only when we look forward with the eyes of faith.


August 3, 2014

...that the story of the multiplication of loaves and fishes in today’s Gospel, is found in all four Gospels? Today, Matthew tells us that even though Jesus withdrew to a deserted place, the crowd followed him, anxious to be fed by his teaching. But, the longer Jesus preached, the longer the crowd stayed, and physical hunger became apparent. The disciples, being the practical people they were, wanted Jesus to disperse the crowd since food wasn’t available to satisfy all. But Jesus intended to involve the disciples in this miracle. You know the rest of the story – the disciples distributed bread and fish to the crowd and all were fed from what started out as nothing. This shows that there are times when doing God’s work that we’re required to use our hands and feet to reach out to others.


July 27, 2014

...that in Jesus’ time it was common to bury one’s wealth in a field before going on a long journey or when under attack? If the owner of the treasure didn’t return, his wealth then became the property of the next owner. In today’s Gospel Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to a buried treasure. Because this treasure is of such great value, the one who finds it sells all that he owns to buy the field. There is also the image of a pearl of great price. The merchant also sells all that he possesses to buy it. In both examples the message is the same – we must seek the kingdom of God no matter what the price.


July 20, 2014

...that in today’s Gospel we hear another parable involving agriculture? In this parable of weeds among wheat we reflect on the breadth of God’s judgment and mercy. If we were to grow wheat, we’d certainly be inclined to remove the weeds, but, in today’s parable, God allows both the good and the bad to exist side by side until the harvest. This illustration of God’s patience and mercy shows that, given time, God anticipates that the weeds will convert into wheat. It is always God’s hope that sinners repent and accept the grace of redemption.


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.”


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.

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