Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Recently on our facebook page we asked a question: SATURDAY SURVEY: Has this time during the pandemic deepened your faith? If yes, share how and/or what you have done differently. Here are some of the answers (permission has been given by the responders).
Myra Chisholm Hi. I had started going to 7:30 morning/daily mass before the Pandemic. At first it felt strange because I wasn’t used to it. I was getting to know the 7:30 crowd by sight. It became very meaningful for me to see this new community. And then suddenly, it seemed gone/lost due to the virus. I was like a fish out of water. Then live streamed masses started. I tuned in a lot and posted messages I started to feel the community close again But really wanted to see people. Finally, the morning masses started in the church again. It was better than ever. I had visited God in the church many times when it was open during the day and now I could make adoration a bigger part of my prayers. I also started making it earlier to participate in the rosary with others. I’m feeling very blessed for these opportunities. Also many people have come up to me and introduced themselves and others to me I’m so grateful for these friendships.
Debbie Morgan Claire It has drawn me to have more quiet time with the Lord reading the Bible.
Mary Fay Definitely- I became more cognizant of what really matters and gave up a lot of the little indulgences I used to think mattered. Definitely more prayerful. I also started asking God to give me the words for those individuals struggling with their faith and/or their situation. I was also tested to trust in the Lord more and it’s something I’m working on.
Cathy Gallant As I recently told some family members, I’ve always had a deep faith in God, but I’ve been feeling more spiritual during this pandemic. I also have more interest in reading more religious books, information, etc.
Lynn Verny The closure of the church had a two-fold effect for me. It made me realize how much it meant to go into the church and also to gather for mass with others. I have fallen in love with daily mass thanks to the live stream I can listen to while I work. I gained an appreciation for the Office of Readings when it was live streamed, since I wasn’t that familiar with it previously. I have recently started praying the rosary daily & discovered yesterday that I can now remember the mysteries without having something to reference while praying it �. I am getting ready to start the consecration to St Joseph on Monday and after that I want to do the 33 Days to Greater Glory which is the consecration to the Father through Jesus. So the pandemic has been tough in many ways for so many people, but I am growing closer to God, and for that I am so grateful. And I’m fairly new to IC Parish, but if you come to the 5pm Sunday mass, I’m the one helping with the seating, so come say hi.
Maureen Prendergast Roselli It has definitely been a time of change for me. I look at my faith in a whole new light now. I’ve found myself wanting more quiet time with the lord in prayer , novenas and wanting to have that special relationship with Jesus and Mary. To trust in him and know that everything happens for a reason and everything will work out. I’ve been tuning in to daily mass , participated in the Eucharistic talks and presented which was new to me. As a family we’ve found ourselves volunteering at the outdoor masses which we have enjoyed. I have recently been trying to say the Rosary.and reading the Bible a bit here and there . My whole outlook on everything has changed for the better.
Molly K Maguire-Conti Yes, our family has done a better job of praying together and trusting that the Lord is in control. During the months that my work was closed I was able to bring my children to the church for quiet prayer (they weren't always quiet but we will get there in time and we read through their children's Bible.
Kathy Halfpenny Definitely. I am more aware of how much I need God every minute of every day with everything going on around me in the world. I watch daily mass as often as possible (I am back working now). I read more (pertaining to my faith) and value prayer time and am more aware of the evil around us. I value my Bible study group ( zoom) and St Vincent De Paul Friends (zoom) for the support we give each other and my parish support.
Luis Lara My live was running too fast behind a job that was stressing me to the limit; before the quarantine I started to ask God for help and prayers to ask Him for a sign of what should I do. Many times in the morning there was something on the road - accidents, train blocking the road, etc. - like something or someone was trying to keep me away from going to do that job, it was really affecting my health- blood pressure was increasing, stress was very high, etc. Just before the quarantine I asked for a week of vacations just after that week quarantine started and I began to assist to the Mass every day - Virtually, and also morning and evening prayer and daily Rosary - it was for me like God answered my prayers and sent me home - this was the answer I was praying for - to be closer to Him. Ever since I try to go to Mass every day - my stress level is way down as well as the blood pressure. I feel like I growing in my faith and feel his presence every day, every minute of my live. “God is good all the time, all the time God is good!” (Fr Stevens) God is true Love!
Marie Jatsko Yes. Pray more
Jill Ishkanian Praying a lot more, and trusting in God more.
Dear Brothers & Sisters,
In this weekend Gospel, Jesus continues with other parables about the Kingdom of God. This particular passage is very dear to me. It speaks to me about the discovery of my vocation. Sometimes it’s hard to put into words what one feels, especially to explain such a different path of life. Jesus puts it actually quite simple, “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Next weekend, Saturday, August 1st, five men will be ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Boston by Cardinal Sean. So today, I would like to share with you some thoughts about vocation.
Thinking about becoming a priest, or a religious sister is something a bit “strange” nowadays. Some decades before it was quite usual or even expected that one of your children would dedicate their lives to God. Now the pressure of society, as well as friends and family can be quite opposite of serving. It’s natural to ask, what do YOU want to do when you grow up, to a child or a teenager. However, it would be interesting to ask, what do you think that GOD calls you to do when you grow up? The word “vocation” comes from the Latin “vocatio”, to be called or summoned for something. God calls all of us to love him and our neighbor. That can be done by being a teacher, doctor or firefighter. We should not think about which career is best, or most profitable, but what is God calling someone to do. So, I invite you, as you talk to children, teenagers and adults, to encourage them to discern their calling. There is so much pressure today to do so many things, that can be confusing to hear that call. In the same way that we are in need of good doctors, teachers, professionals in general; we are also in need of holy priests, and religious sisters.
Personally, I never thought about becoming a priest until I was a teenager. My mind was all over the things that I thought would make me happy, or even what was most gratifying. Surely, I was thinking very worldly, mundane thoughts. In the 9 years of the seminary and the 6 years as a priest, I find it difficult to think of any other activity that would be for me as rewarding and gratifying as a priest. (By the way, I’m confident that getting married and having children is equally awesome, but my happiness shocks me because I did not think it was possible.) Thinking about everything I gave up, or what I left behind by entering the seminary, the words of this Gospel always come to my mind, “out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” There are no words to describe the happiness of celebrating the sacraments, accompanying the people in joyful and sometimes sad moments and being able to witness the miracles God does in people’s lives. When a good friend of mine became a priest, he shared with me the feeling of saying the words of absolution to someone “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” It’s true, to be able to lend ourselves to God it’s unexplainable. The same thing can be said about the words of consecration. However, none of this would be possible if some people had not encouraged me and, through prayers, sustained me in this journey. Knowing personally many of these men who will be ordained next week, as well the stories of many other priests, it’s amazing to see how there is always a group of people that have helped them to enter the seminary. Whether their grandparents, parents, different priests who have served them, or even friends and Campus ministry, there was always someone to help them. The same can be said about religious sisters.
Therefore, I invite you all to pray for vocations, to pray for those discerning and following their vocation. Also, have some conversation with your children, grandchildren and folks close to you about their vocation. We can always ask them, what if God calls you to be a priest/nun? Why not? It’s a not matter of forcing anything, but certainly we need to question ourselves if God calls them.
Finally, I would like to ask you all to pray especially for these five men who will be ordained priests next week. Maybe they will be serving us one day, or maybe your parents or your children. If would you like to accompany the ordination, I invite you to tune in Catholic TV next Saturday at 10am. It’s a beautiful celebration! I would like to invite everyone to be there, but due to the Covid, attendance will be very limited.
Here below we have the name and the picture of each one of them. Let’s ask the intercession of our Blessed Mother to protect them and St. John Vianney, patron saint of Priests, to inspire them to be Holy.
Fr. Steven Rev.
The Apostle of the Apostles
Dear Brothers & Sisters,
This week we will celebrate a very important feast in the Church. On July 24th the Church celebrates the feast of St. Mary Magdalene. Let’s look first what we know about her life and the mission that God sent her. A character that often is uncertain of her history. Although there is no explicit correlation between Mary Magdalene who stood with Jesus at his crucifixion and the woman caught in adultery that appears in Chapter 7 of the Gospel of Luke, we know for sure that she was the woman whom Jesus had freed from seven demons (Lk 8). Throughout the time, she was thought to be a prostitute from the city of Magdala, near Tiberias near the Lake of Galilee. Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich had visions about the life of Jesus and those near him (very interesting book to read). The movie of the Passion of Christ made by Mel Gibson used some of her revelations to fill in the story that is not reported in the Gospels. According to her, Mary of Magdala was a wealthy woman who had an immoral life looking for the love of her life. In one occasion, she ended up going out with a married man and was caught in the act of adultery. At that moment, Mary’s encounter with Jesus changed her life. She finally found the love of her life. Shortly after that, she became a follower of Christ and accompanied him to the end, to Calvary. Mourning for the loss of Jesus, she goes to give him proper burial looking for a corpse. To her surprise, she finds an angel that announces the resurrection of Christ. In her quest to search for the Lord, she continues searching for him, until the Risen Christ meets her and called her by her name, as it appears in John 20. There he sends/commissions her to tell the apostles about his resurrection. She became the apostle to the Apostles (the word Apostle means sent).
When God chooses a person for a mission, he does not look at the sinful history, the limitations of oneself or the aspirations. He simply chooses. Without Mary Magdalene, Peter and the other apostles might have never gone out to look for the Lord. This is why recently, Mary was given this title of the Apostle of the Apostles, as she was recognized by the Early Church.
Besides that, her importance to our lives is also significant. Without the love of God for her, and her response to the His love, we ourselves might feel that we are unworthy to be in the Church or to receive communion. The other day I met a person who did not want to go into the church because he said that he was not worthy. Certainly he was not worthy like myself. No one is worthy of God, but He still chooses to manifest himself to us, and invites us to love him regardless of our past. He is the one who calls us by our name to receive His Body and Blood. He made us Children of God by our baptism. In other words, if Mary Magdalene was indeed a prostitute, or someone not associated with any sinfulness, that is “irrelevant”, because God has already chosen us to reveal his love for us. Then, like Mary, let’s announce/share with others how we have seen the Lord in our lives, how he has accompanied us in our journeys and our difficulties. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded.
Dear Brothers & Sisters,
I hope you all are enjoying your summer, this beautiful weather and all of God’s blessings.
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