Saturday, November 30, 2013

After the Loss of a Child

The Elizabeth Ministry sponsored a Prayer Service to remember babies lost through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death and offer support to those who have suffered the loss of a child.

As part of the service, candles distributed to the attendees were lit through fire from the Easter Candle.

A poignant moment in the service when each of the families called out the name of the baby or babies they had lost.

In November we have remembered those who have died. Now we also think of those who have lost a relative as the holidays arrive.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Cards

 Just before the Thanksgiving break, some third grade students at St. Columbkille Catholic School were busy making cards.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


"From sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us."
-- St. Teresa of Avila

Jesus' disciples should be joyful.

St. Teresa knew that in her day, and Pope Francis reminds us in ours with his new apostolic exhortation, "Evangelii Gaudium,"  or "The Joy of the Gospel."

The document is an easy read, written in Pope Francis' plain-spoken style. I've only started to delve in, but already I'm inspired and encouraged. The pope stirs us with this opening invitation and prayer:

"I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting Him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since 'no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord.' The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that He is already there, waiting for us with open arms. Now is the time to say to Jesus: 'Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned Your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with You. I need You. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into Your redeeming embrace.' How good it feels to come back to Him whenever we are lost! Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking His mercy. Christ, Who told us to forgive one another 'seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22) has given us His example: He has forgiven us seventy times seven. Time and time again He bears us on His shoulders. No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, He makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew. Let us not flee from the resurrection of Jesus, let us never give up, come what will. May nothing inspire more than His life, which impels us onwards!"

Let's accept Pope Francis' invitation as we are about to begin Advent and a new liturgical year. Let's be like St. Teresa and look beyond ourselves for hope and joy.

"Praised be the Lord, Who has redeemed me from myself."
-- St. Teresa of Avila

Inspired by the Year of Faith, Susan Szalewski began writing weekly columns for us. Although the year is over, we liked them so well that we asked her to keep writing. Thankfully, she said yes. So watch for these on Thursdays and see the Year of Faith Blog here.

A Thanksgiving Feast

On Tuesday the Kindergarten students from St. Columbkille Catholic School came together for a Thanksgiving Feast. With the help of parents who prepared and served a meal, our students were able to celebrate being together in the same spirit of the first Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Reading at Thanksgiving

Yesterday, before school break, the second graders at St. Columbkille Catholic School did some public readings with a Thanksgiving theme.

 For our great audience we say ....

Afterwards there was a chance to enjoy treats and
 hang out before our six day Thanksgiving break.

Get your Miraculous Medal this evening

The night of July 18-19, 1830 a child woke up Sister (now Saint) Catherine LabourĂ©, who was a novice in the community of the Daughters of Charity in Paris. The child then took her to the chapel where she met with the Virgin Mary and spoke with her for several hours. 

At one point, Mary told her, “My child, I am going to give you a mission.” 

During evening meditation on November 27, 1830, Catherine saw Mary standing on what seemed to be half a globe and holding a golden globe in her hands as if offering it to heaven. On the globe was the word “France,” and our Lady explained that the globe represented the whole world, but especially France. It was a time of great difficulty in France, especially for the poor and unemployed. Streaming from rings on Mary's fingers, as she held the globe, were many rays of light. Mary explained that the rays symbolize the graces she obtains for those who ask for them. But some of the gems on the rings were dark because the rays and graces were available but no one had asked for them. 

The vision changed showing Mary standing on a globe with her arms outstretched and dazzling rays of light still streaming from her fingers. Framing the figure was an inscription: O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

The vision turned and showed the design of the reverse side of the medal. Twelve stars encircled a large "M" from which arose a cross. Below are two hearts with flames arising from them. Thorns encircle one heart and a sword pierces the other.
Mary asked Catherine to, “Have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around the neck.” Catherine told her confessor everything that she saw and got his help to carry out Mary's instructions. She didn't tell this to anyone else until shortly before her death.

The first Medals, approved by the Church, were made in 1832 and were distributed in Paris. Devotion spread rapidly as people began it the “Miraculous” Medal. 

The Miraculous Medal is not a “good-luck charm”. Rather, it is a great testimony to faith and the power of trusting prayer. Its greatest miracles are those of patience, forgiveness, repentance, and faith. 

Tonight, after the 5:30 p.m. Mass, members of the Legion of Mary will distribute free medals to everyone there.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Delivering Thanksgiving Meals

Last night people came to help deliver Thanksgiving 
Meals to families who would otherwise be without.

 Families picker up cards with addresses
 where they would deliver the meals.

 Although there were directions, many
 started to map it out themselves.

 There were treats, hot chocolate and
 coffee for those getting ready.

After getting instructions, Deacon Lauber led
 the group in prayer and blessed the food.

The food was then distributed to families ...

 ... who hauled them to their cars ...

... for deliveries to the families.

Thank you to everyone who helped!