Monday, March 31, 2014

Fr. Neal's Notes - Three for One...

       It's the only Sacrament that has three names! The first name is Penance which was the means to receive forgiveness in the first four centuries of the Church. Penitents were instructed to perform their penance as the first action of the sacrament and then make the confession to receive absolution.

       From the 5th century through the 20th century the main word used was Confession where penance was given to the penitent.

       At the conclusion of the Vatican Council in 1966 the approach to the sacrament was defined to stress community and personal understanding and peace. Appropriately the word Reconciliation was assigned to the forgiveness of sins.

       No matter what word is used for this sacrament, it always involves confession of sins, penance given and reconciliation for the penitent.

       During Lent Fr. Mel and I have been involved in Penance services on 7 different parishes in the North County. We have also conducted 7 Penance services right here at St. Michael's and heard many confessions on Saturdays and private appointments. It has been inspiring and a great privilege.

       On the Monday of Holy Week, April 14th, there will be a dozen priests here for our Parish Penance Service. Come to the Church at 7:00 PM to receive the grace of God at this celebration. You will experience Easter joy in God's gift of forgiveness. Come and see!

Monday, March 24, 2014

St. Michael's News Connection - Week of March 23rd

The New Evangelization

"Evangelization is the task of the Church. Being Church means being God's people in accordance with his fatherly love. This means that as a people we are to be God's leaven in the midst of humanity".   Pope Francis: the Joy of the Gospel.

The Pope goes on to say that we are all "missionary disciples" by virtue of our Baptism. He is constantly reminding the laity that he needs us to help him to bring the joy of the Gospel to the ends of the earth, each of us in our own time and place.. So, what are we waiting for? Are you looking for a way to become involved in our local Church Community? A very rewarding option could be the Legion of Mary.

The Legion of Mary was founded in Dublin, Ireland, in 1920, by a layman, Frank Duff. It is a lay Catholic Organization whose voluntary members give service to the Church (people of God) worldwide. Today, between active and auxiliary (praying) members, it numbers over 3 million. Membership is open to all baptized Catholics. The members are primarily engaged in the performance of the Spiritual Works of Mercy, rather than material aid. The essential aim of the Legion is the sanctification of its members. through Prayer, Sacraments, and Devotion to Mary and the Trinity. This approach to conversion was groundbreaking in the 1920's, but after Frank Duff made his presentation at the Second Vatican Council the Legion grew and spread to most countries of the world.

Here, at St. Michael, we have a vibrant Legion which meets weekly. There are 3 Groups.
Adult Group 1:   Wednesday  8:00 AM.        Group 2:  6:30 PM
Junior Group:     Monday 4:00 PM.

Adult members are assigned in pairs to visit the sick in the local Convalescent Homes. They bring Communion and the gift of prayer and compassion to them. They also visit home bound parishioners. This is a wonderful ministry of Mercy, so dear to the Heart of Jesus who said  "As long as you did it to the least of my brothers and sisters you did it to me"

Sister Finbarr

Monday, March 10, 2014

St Michael's News Connection - Week of March 9th


Come to Jesus

 "Come back to me with all your heart"  Hos. 14:1

Sometimes when I sit alone before the tabernacle in our little chapel, I ask Jesus if he ever feels lonely, day and night in all the tabernacles of the world. He just smiles and says "Come sit awhile with me". 

Ten Reasons to come to Jesus:

1.  Jesus is our Savior. Come to him for forgiveness and healing.

2.  Jesus is the Door.  Come in and abide in his presence.

3.  Jesus is the Bread of Life. Come and eat at the Table of Plenty.

4.  Jesus is the Light of the World. Come to him and walk in the Truth.

5.  Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Come into his fold; he will lead you and care for you.

6.  Jesus is the Vine. Come, stay united with the source of life-giving Grace.

7.  Jesus gives Living Water. Come, quench your thirst.

8.  Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. Come, and be filled with Hope.

9.  Jesus brings us Peace. Come to him and he will give you rest.

10. Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit. Come to him and be empowered to spread the Good News.

During the long Lenten Retreat of Forty Days, JESUS INVITES US ALL to "COME". 

Sister Celestine

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lent - A Time of Spiritual Renewal

Lent is almost here! As you know, Ash Wednesday begins the season of preparation for the church's most important holiday - Easter. While lent is meant to be a time of sacrifice and abstinence, I think it often gets a bad rap. We so often focus on what we are going to "give up," instead of focusing on lent being a time of spiritual renewal. 
This year, I urge all of us to use this Lenten season as a time to grow in our faith and become closer to Christ. Perhaps instead of giving something up, consider adding something to your daily routine that will strengthen your relationship with God. During lent, daily mass is available weekdays at 6pm, so try going after work a day or two during the week. Commit to daily prayer, reading more scripture, or doing a daily devotional. Even something as small as smiling at a stranger while you are out and about is a great opportunity to spread Christ's love and message during this season.

I hope that we can all use this lent as a time to remember how much Christ loves us, how much he sacrificed for us, and how we are called to be Christ's hands and feet.

God Bless you!

Tara Hutter
Youth Minister

Monday, March 3, 2014

Reflection on Fasting for Lent

Fast from emptiness
                               Feast on Christ dwelling within

Fast from discontent
           Feast on gratitude

Fast from anger
          Feast on patience

Fast from complaining
                  Feast on appreciation

Fast from self concern
                                Feast on compassion of others

Fast from problems
          Feast on prayer

Fast from worry
                           Feast on God's providence