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World Day of Prayer

02-02-2014Weekly ReflectionSr. Pat

Dear Parish Family,

Today is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. This feast originated in fourth- century Jerusalem. It later was moved to Antioch and Constantinople where it received the name Hypapante,( meeting), a reference to the encounter that occurs between Jesus and Simeon in the gospel today. In the early Middle Ages, the practice of lighting candles was added to the celebration of the liturgy. This feast has been known by several names: Presentation of the Lord, Candlemas Day, and the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The 1969 reform of the liturgical calendar restored the title of the Presentation of the Lord.

In 1997, Pope John Paul ll, established the annual celebration of the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated on February 2nd. In the Pope's message to establish this special day of prayer, for men and women who serve the Church and the world in consecrated life, he pointed out how the presentation of Jesus in the Temple was an "eloquent icon" of the total offering of one's life and therefore pre- sented a wonderful occasion to pray for all those who have made such an offering of their lives.

As I reflect on my many years as a consecrated religious sister, there is much to thank the Lord for. His faithfulness over the years has helped me to be faithful. His mercy has forgiven my sins. His love enables me to continue to follow him since I am confident that He is always with me. My prayer as I listen to Him is, "Jesus I trust in Thee".

As you pray about the Feast today perhaps you too will hear Jesus calling you to more of His love, his mercy, his faithfulness to encounter Him in new ways as you seek to do his will. "Do not be afraid" as Pope John Paul ll is quoted many times. God has a loving plan for each of our lives and abundant graces to help us.

The World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life is celebrated today February 2, 2014. Men and Women Religious will gather at 4:00 pm at St. Frances Cathedral for Evening Prayer with Bishop Bootkoski and members of the parishes. I invite you to come and bring your family. I promise you that you'll be home for the Super Bowl!

On another note, Our Lady of Hope House, where I minister, is the yellow ranch at 85 Bonnell St. This ministry brings Hope to those who come. Each Tuesday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm faithful volunteers pack food for those in need. As many as 75 families are served so the food, funds, and volunteers are always appreciated. During the week people come to seek help, a listening ear and prayers. If you would like to volunteer or have questions call me at 908-782-2342.

Thank you to all who volunteer time, material help, food etc. May God Bless You all. That is my prayer. Also please pray for an increase of vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life. Encourage your children to listen to Jesus' voice and be ready for an encounter with Him!

Sr. Pat