Praised be Jesus Christ!

02-23-2014Weekly ReflectionAndrew Prickel

So much is happening in evangelization and a feeling of total gratitude fills my heart when I ponder all that God is doing. The first of three "Encounter retreats" occurred on February 1 st and was completely Spirit-led. Many on the retreat recalled having an authentic "encounter" with the Lord throughout the day that they had never had before and desired to "have more" going forward. Here is one testimony from one of our young adults about the retreat.

"First, thank you and to all the others who made the retreat happen this past weekend. This was my first retreat and I too felt blessed and honored to have been there. Each of the speakers was right on and I took away a little something important from each. I was also blessed in many other little interactions and conversations that day. Overall, I had a sense of peace throughout the day that I don't often feel in many settings. Moreover, spending all that time in the beautiful chapel with Jesus made for a very sweet day. Much needed."

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Youth Ministry

02-16-2014Weekly ReflectionMichele Beckman

Dear Parish Family,

"Keep Calm and Go to Youth Group"

This saying was given to me on a poster as a Christmas gift from one of the Youth Ministry teens, and it is amazing to me how this phrase, which is a play on the original "Keep Calm and Carry On" from the 1939 motivational poster of the British government, so appropriately describes what attending Youth Ministry can do for a teenager and his/her relationship with God. Attending a Youth Ministry event is not simply coming to hang out in the gym. It is the opportunity to relate to other teenagers in the way that Christ calls us to be in relationship with each other and to see the face of God.

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The Sacrament of Marriage

02-09-2014Weekly ReflectionRosemary and Deacon Stephen Kern

Dear Parish Family,

Valentine's Day is this coming Friday. For many of us it is a time to share a special expression of love with those we are close to. As Catholics, we also celebrate St. Valentine who is believed to have been a priest arrested and martyred by Emperor Claudius II for performing marriages for Christian couples secretly during a time of persecution of the Church. Legend has it that he sent letters of encouragement to his fellow Christians signing them: "From Your Valentine."

In light of St. Valentine's ministry, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has designated the week of February 7-14, 2014 as National Marriage Week USA in order to promote the benefits of marriage for men, women, children and society; to celebrate the gift and blessing of marriage; and to affirm and support engaged and married couples. The gift and blessing of marriage is often misunderstood and under-appreciated in our current culture. Jesus, who in Scripture is frequently referred to as the bridegroom and His followers as the bride, has bestowed great dignity on sacramental marriage. In fact, out of compassion for the bride and groom and at the urging of His Blessed Mother, He performed His first miracle at the wedding feast in Cana. We ask that you remember all married couples in your prayers during this week, asking our Lord to help them to always be open to the graces of their sacrament as they strive to live out their wedding vows on a daily basis.

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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.

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