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October 13th the 100th Anniversary of

 Our Lady of Fatima

 

“Will you tell me your name?”

(Saint Lucia)

 

I am the Lady of the Rosary.

(Our Lady)

 

"I have many petitions from many people. Will you grant them?" (Saint Lucia)

 

Some I shall grant, and others I must deny. People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not offend our Lord any more, for He is already too much offended! (Our Lady)

 

"And is that all you have to ask?" (Saint Lucia)

 

There is nothing more. (Our Lady)

 

As the Lady of the Rosary rises toward the east she turns the palms of her hands toward the dark sky. While the rain had stopped, dark clouds continued to obscure the sun, which suddenly bursts through them and is seen to be a soft spinning disk of silver.

 

"Look at the sun!"

 

From this point two distinct apparitions were seen, that of the phenomenon of the sun seen by the 70,000 or so spectators and that beheld by the children alone. Lucia describes the latter in her memoirs.

 

After our Lady had disappeared into the immense distance of the firmament, we beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus seemed to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands. When, a little later, this apparition disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our lady; it seemed to me to that it was Our Lady of Sorrows (Dolors). Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done. This apparition also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of Carmel. (Taken from 100 Years of Fatima-EWTN)

 

Oct 13th-In Our Parish Community

 

Corpus Christi will be open 7am –7pm with opportunity to venerate the icon of Our Lady of Fatima.

 

Costa-Mass at 1:30 in the chapel.

 

IHM will have their final Marian Holy Hour to close the Centenary of Our Lady of Fatima. The Rosary will be prayed –7pm

 

PLEASE PRAY on October 10 at 1pm our time for the following intention from the office of the Most Reverened Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Bishop of Peoria

October 4, 2017 +Feast of St. Francis of Assisi To the Priests, Deacons, Religious and Laity of the Diocese, You may remember Archbishop Sheen’s niece, Joan Sheen Cunningham, petitioned the New York Court to allow for the transfer of the remains of Venerable Sheen to Peoria. The Court decided in favor of Ms. Cunningham’s petition. The New York Archdiocese appealed this decision. On October 10, 2017 at 2:00 p.m., the Court will address the appeal in this matter. Patricia Gibson has been involved tremendously in the case guiding Joan’s attorneys in New York and preparing for the oral argument in New York next week. I strenuously request for your prayers for the Appellate Court to side in favor of Joan’s petition. A favorable ruling supporting Joan’s petition will be a great step towards bringing Sheen to Peoria and advancing his Beatification. Next week is a crucial step in the Sheen’s Cause. So much prayer is needed. Please pray for our success next week at the Appellate hearing in New York. God bless you and may Our Lady pray with us and for us. 

 Sincerely yours in Christ, 

Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C. 
 BISHOP OF PEORIA


Please click on the link above to view the letter from the Most Rev. Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C. which was included in the bulletins the weekend of September 16th & 17th.

According to the information in this blog post, on the night before he was ordained on April 27, 1918, Saint Maximilian Kolbe made a retreat and wrote out the following bullet-point plan for his life. As you will see, he was committed, determined, and serious about his walk with Christ.

This regimen of spiritual discipline undoubtedly prepared him for his fruitful ministry and martyrdom. While St. Maximilian wrote this for living out his vocation to the priesthood, his words and admonitions easily apply to all Christians who are part of the Church Militant.


St. Maximilian Kolbe was a Franciscan friar and priest who had a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was martyred by the Nazis at Auschwitz on August 14, 1941. He is the patron saint against drug addiction and drug addicts, imprisoned people, political prisoners, journalists, families, and the pro-life movement.

For more information on St. Maximilian Kolbe please click on the link below.
 

By Gretchen Filz 
www.catholicompany.com

MEET THE SEMINARIANS!

Austin Bosse

Birth Date

October 15, 1986

Parish Location

St. Matthew, Champaign

Year entered the Seminary/Class of

Entered in 2015, Class of 2021

Studying at
Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, MD

Why did you become a seminarian?

After college, I began to develop a solid prayer life and began to immerse myself in the sacraments by going to regular confession and daily Mass. After couple of subtle moments of hearing God calling me, I began to investigate and read about the priesthood. It wasn’t until going on a retreat and opening my heart to do the will of God that I was able to hear with certainty that God wanted me to be his Priest. It has been a long journey, but I have come to realize that I will never be truly happy or satisfied until I am doing the will of God, and for me that means going to seminary in order to further my discernment.

Before you entered the seminary, what were you doing?

I worked as an operations manager for Frito-Lay for four and a half years.

An interesting fact about you

I grew up on a feedlot in northeast Kansas and enjoy hunting and snowboarding.

Corpus Christi's DAILY CASH GIVEAWAY WINNERS:


Date:                                   $25                                                           $50                                                   $150


7/1/17                        # 1160- Efren Guel                             #1042 -Angie Widolff                          # 1234 Bob Davison

7/2/17                        # 1258-Kristi Rupert                          #1498 -Julie Stevenson                        #688 Travis Cutts 
7/3/17                        # 1126 -Fr. William Miller                 # 1125 -John Bicego                             #906 -Mike Hayes   

7/4/17                       #173  -Boyd Kisler                             #471 -Karen Patrick                            # 760 -Steve Bates

7/5/17                        # 1420-Pat Pendergast                      # 403 -Mark Zhorne                             #  1250  -Dave West

7/6/17                      # 1429- Sheryl Hinman                       # 1075 -Devin McGarry                       #948 - Rita Wiegand

7/7/17                       #1114-Caroline Moffit                        #-1109 -Patty Johnson                         #889 - Mike Reed

7/8/17                       # 231 -Ron Currier                          # 1202 -Cindy Edmonson                       # 1152 -Anne Taylor

7/9/17                       #972 Julie Butler                               #1304 Matt Alvarado                             # 526  Jane Allen

7/10/17                    #1003 -Tom Maloney                        # 1071 -Michael Strom                         # 500 -Carol Harris

7/11/17                    #1456 Katie Shamon                          # 905 Mike Davison                              #1066 Dick Maranville

7/12/17                    #853 Bill Struck                                 #141 -Chris Polillo                                  # 1336 Mary Wright

7/13/17                    # 616 Carolyn Hise                             # 550 Jerry Toland                               # 1216 Jackie Piper

7/14/17                   # 903 Art Jorganson                           # 407 Jean Kostelecky                          # 1331 Steve Eisemann

7/15/17                   # 884 Doug & Terri Moore                 # 933 Kim Rohman                                # 1295  Vince Luna

7/16/17                  # 994 -Jackie S                                   # 151  Pat Kane                                     # 1129 Greg Toland

7/17/17                  # 81 Joe Wilson                                   # 513  Ann Hix                                       # 1290  Connie Goodrich

7/18/17                   # 1282 Fr. Bob Spilman                       # 121   Ron Theobald                           # 739  Rebecca Cabrera

7/19/17                  # 507  Kelly Kane                               # 780 Krista Cantarini                           # 648 Lorraine Gottenborg

7/20/17                 # 1454 Joe Thompson                           # 403 Mark Zhorne                             # 695 Sallie Dodd

7/21/17                  # 1055 Joy Morland                             # 1246 Ed Henson                              # 101 Mark Varnold

7/22/17                # 416 Terrris Martin                               # 430 Michael Leon                              # 946  Rita Wiegand

7/23/17                # 903 Art Jorganson                               # 1084 Elizabeth Ewing                         # 1238 Jaci Fitchpatrick

7/24/17                # 392 Julie Wynne                                # 768 Mary Beasley                               # 681 Tim Hasten

7/25/17               # 263 Patsy Bates                                 # 7  Wayne Ensley                                  # 443 Jackie Piper

7/26/17               # # 1061 Steve Godsil                          # 988 Kat Miller                                     # 620 Gail Horton

7/2717                # 388  Pat Luna                                   # 922 Gayle Webb                                 # 394 Garnie Workheiser                

7/28/17               #1149 Lee & Rod Gray                       # 1144 Janet VanFleet                            # 1326 Steve Eisemann

7/29/17               # 6 Joe Indelicato                                # 837 Laura Meyers                              # 786 Donna Eiker

7/30/17              # 1475 C Medina                                # 889 Mike Reed                                   # 755 Jeanette Baker

7/31/17               # 256 Michelle Terpening                   # 1392 Skip Ensley                                 # 897 Steve Fransene


Thank you to everyone who made this fundraiser a success!

Let’s face it: saying the Rosary isn’t always easy, but maybe we can try a bit harder to pray it more often. here. Here are some great tips...let’s get praying that Rosary! 
Tips to Pray the Rosary Every Day 
♦ Carry a Rosary in your pocket 
♦ Say it while you wait (for example, at the bus stop) 
♦ Recite the Rosary while doing chores or while you work out. 
♦ If you’re upset, pray for the situation that worries you. 
♦ Pray while you walk and think of the people in your life. 
♦ Use each mystery to ask for a particular intention. 
♦ If you can’t pray a whole Rosary at once, break it into parts. 
♦ Say it in moments of sadness or spiritual drought. 
♦ Use images and music. The Rosary is a contemplative prayer. 
♦ Fall asleep praying the Rosary. It is better than counting sheep.
5 Ways to Make Mary’s Month (Extra) Special May is here. Here are five quick and easy ways to honor Mary this May. 

1. Set up a May Altar. Reserve a place for Mary in your home or even at your workplace. It could be a stand alone altar with a picture or statue or the corner of a desk or dresser with a picture of Mary. It’s not how fancy it is that matters, rather it’s the fact that it makes your heavenly Mother especially present to you. Out-of-sight-out-of-mind is often the case with many of our devotions. Keeping Mary present will urge you to honor her more frequently throughout the coming weeks. 

2. Take the “Fresh Flower Pledge.” Pledge to make certain that you keep fresh flowers on your May altar throughout the month. It can be a bouquet from the florist, a bunch from your garden, wildflowers you gathered on a hike, or even a simple, single stem. It’s the gesture itself, not the extravagance of the blooms that counts most. Think about how happy a mom is when her child brings her a flower—even if it’s a crumpled up dandelion from the lawn. That’s how Mary is with you. She’ll cherish whatever you give her, not for what it is but for the fact you gave it to her. 

3. Learn a new Marian prayer. No matter how many Marian prayers you know by heart, there are always more to learn. And, each Marian prayer shows a different facet of our Lady, which will be a boost to your knowledge of, and love, for her. It doesn’t have to be a long prayer; it just has to be a prayer that’s new to you. 

4. Read about Mary. Daly spiritual reading is always a marvelous idea. It helps you carve out time for God as well as helping you to grow spiritually. So, why not choose a book about the Blessed Virgin Mary for your spiritual reading this May? Even if you spend just 10-15 minutes a day, it’s absolutely better than not reading about her at all. 

5. Attend Saturday morning Mass. Even if it’s your day to sleep in, do yourself (and Mary) a favor and give up a little of that “me” time to go to Mass on Saturday mornings during May. Throughout the year, daily Masses on Saturdays typically are dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. The readings and prayers are Mary-orientated and showcase an array of her qualities, characteristics, and importance. Even if you make it to only one Saturday Mass this May, you’ll still benefit and it still will be a beautiful act of love for the Mother who has been devoted to you since before you were even born. 

Whether you do one, some, all the above or come up with something different, just please do something to honor Mary during her month. You’ll be delightfully surprised at the way it will change your heart and your relationship with the Queen of Heaven and Earth. It’ll make this May extra special for both of you. 

Marge Fenelon, National Catholic Register (taken from St. Patrick's bulletin)

THE PRAYER BATTLE

The prayer battle must precede every other battle for justice and peace. Only by winning the battle of prayer can we win all the other battles in the world, including those in our own personal lives. Often, we hear it said: “All we can do now is pray.” It is so true! Particularly when, instead of despairing at the situation in our lives and in the world, we summon the courage to pray. But this way of speaking does not do justice to God. In reality, prayer should be not the last resort – but the very first thing we do. Prayer can change the world. Prayer brings God back into all our actions – as He will not involve Himself without our invitation. Prayer is a powerful force. It can suspend the laws of nature and overcome every obstacle, for it is a participation in the almighty power of God. When we involve ourselves in the course of events through prayer, we actually change the relation of cause and effect in the world. When we intervene in prayer, God’s grace comes in to play, transforming the complex interplay of destructive forces. But God does not simply want us to beg Him to intervene; rather, He wants to give us, through prayer, the dignity of sharing in His divine work.

Prayer does not always come easily – in fact, it can be very hard work. But the more we pray, the more we find joy in prayer. St. Teresa of Avila teaches us that prayer can be “a simple uplifting of the soul to God, to frequent converse with Him, to an intimate friendship with the One who loves me infinitely.” Those who pray in this way will begin to change in their very being and in all they do. I cannot pray sincerely for peace and yet do nothing to bring about peace. I cannot pray for the hungry or those who eke out their lives in misery and do nothing to help.

May we make space for God in our lives – as He is waiting, 24 hours a day, to hear from us.

{from an article by Fr. Martin Maria Barta who is with Aid To The Church}

Fr. Michael Pica, Fr. Tom Otto and Fr. Adam Cesarek stopped by Costa Catholic Academy on Tuesday morning during their Priests Pedaling for Prayers-here is the link from The Galesburg Register Mail. The Catholic Post had a four page insert covering the Priests journey. Please click on this link to see some of their journey! Keep praying! Priests Pedaling for Prayers-Diocese of Peoria!
~ PRIESTLY VOCATION STATISTICS ~
 (These statistics are from a survey of seminarians and junior clergy from the Peoria Diocese) 
> 58% attended at least 1 year of Catholic school 
> 50% were active in a Catholic Newman Center 
> 58% attended Emmaus Days before entering seminary 
> 45% said a parish priest first made them think about the call 
> 89% said Eucharistic Adoration had a positive or very positive impact on their decision 
> 87% had parents who were married in the Church 
> Age when they heard the call: 
5 or Under: 5% 
 6 ~ 13: 32% 
14 ~ 18: 21% 
18 ~ 21: 32% 
 22+ : 10%
RCIA class at Rite of election in Peoria Sunday, March 12, 2017

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

As we enter into this Lenten season, the Church once again invites us to use this opportunity to share more fully in the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ. It is essential that we cultivate a deeper sense of prayer, fasting and almsgiving to better offer our lives to Our Lord. As we make our way through the Triduum and to that glorious day of the Lord’s Resurrection, I pray that all of us will be ever more attentive to our spiritual devotions and especially to the Word of God during these forty days. May the guidance of the Holy Spirit assist us in our Lenten journey.

 

 

REGULATIONS FOR LENT AND THE EASTER TRIDUUM

Lent is the principal season of penance in the Christian year. Priests, religious and laity are strongly urged to develop and follow a program of voluntary self-denial,

attentiveness to prayer, and especially to works of charity and mercy.

 

Everyone of 14 years of age or over is bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017, and all the Fridays of Lent.

 

Everyone 18 years of age and under 59 years of age is bound to fast on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017, and Good Friday, April 14, 2017.

 

On these two days of fast and abstinence, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, only one full meatless meal is allowed. Two other meatless meals, sufficient to maintain strength, may be taken according to each one’s needs, but together they should not equal another full meal. Eating between meals is not permitted on these two days, but liquids including milk and fruit juices are allowed. When health or ability to work would be seriously affected, the law does not oblige.

 

To disregard completely the law of fast and abstinence is a serious matter.

 

May our Lenten journey bring us closer to the cross and our Resurrected Savior

 

+ Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C.

BISHOP OF PEORIA

 

PRIESTS PEDALING FOR PRAYERS:

A VOCATIONS AWARENESS RIDE (PART I)

 

By: Fr. Tom Otto / Immaculate Conception - Monmouth

Ambitious. Crazy. Exciting. Painful. Zealous. These are perhaps a few of the words to describe an idea that originated in the mind of our diocese’s newest priest, Fr. Michael Pica (affectionately known as “Padre Pica”). Still too young and too enlivened by the Holy Spirit to distinguish possible from impossible, Padre Pica proposed to Fr. Adam Cesarek and me that we ride our bicycles across the entire Diocese of Peoria. The. Entire. Diocese. In case you are unaware, our diocese stretches from Iowa to Indiana, so riding the entire width of our diocese means riding all the way across the state of Illinois! He suggested that the point of the ride would be to stop at parishes and schools along the way to talk about the vocation of the priesthood. Given our love for both the priesthood and cycling, Fr. Adam and I immediately and wholeheartedly agreed…without quite realizing just how colossal of an undertaking this would be!

Well, several months and reality-checks later, we are still on track for the first-ever event that we have dubbed: “Priests Pedaling for Prayers: A Vocations Awareness Ride.” (Our goal was to keep the name shorter than the ride itself…we barely succeeded.) <Watch for Part II in 2 weeks)

As Catholic Schools Week continues we congratulate Father Bill Miller, named the 2016-17 Distinguished School Pastor by the diocesan Office of Catholic Schools. He is pictured with kindergarten class members during a recent visit to Costa Catholic Academy in Galesburg. Read more about Father Miller in our story at: http://thecatholicpost.com/…/putting-children-first-fr-mil…/ 

Msgr. Ernie and his fellow Veterans are honored during Catholic Schools Week at Costa Catholic Academy.




Sainthood candidate may be coming home; court ruling favors Sheen family

 

The Supreme Court of the State of New York today ruled in favor of the family of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen regarding their request to allow the transfer of the sainthood candidate’s remains to Peoria, where he was raised and ordained a priest.

 

Archbishop Sheen’s heroic virtue and life of sanctity were recognized in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI, who granted him the title “Venerable.” The Diocese of Peoria has said that, with progress already made in the cause and pending the approval of Pope Francis, a beatification could be celebrated in the near future after the arrival of the remains at St. Mary’s Cathedral, where a crypt is being prepared for his re-interment.

 

5 Tips to Keep Your Faith Alive 1. Phone a friend you can count on Whenever you’re struggling, tell a friend. You don’t need to tell them everything, but talking to them might help you. 2. Phone a heavenly friend Find out if there’s a Patron Saint for your particular struggle and ask him/her for prayers. 3. Keep a rosary with you Let it act not as an accessory but as a constant reminder of Mary’s “yes” to God even when it was tough. 4. Change your wallpaper Change the background on your cell and computer to an inspiring verse or quote that might help you. 5. Other alternatives Whenever you feel tempted, have an activity planned like heading to the gym or playing an instrument

Got joy?


Rejoice! No matter how hectic life might be, the Church is calling us to take a deep breath and rejoice in the closeness of our Savior’s birthday and His closeness to us year round. Rejoicing is meant to be a way of life for the followers of Christ. St Paul tells us REJOICE ALWAYS. We might say well that’s a nice idea but you have no idea what I’m going through right now; how can I rejoice? Well remember that St Paul was no stranger to sufferings of all kinds; violence against him, fighting within his circle of people, disasters like being shipwrecked, problems like not having enough of the basic necessities of life and being dependent on the charity of others even though he was working hard as a tent maker, all the while proclaiming the Gospel. Yet he says rejoice ALWAYS.

Still, with all the suffering in the world, all the divisions and dangers, all the problems in our own lives and in those of our dear ones, how could we be asked to rejoice always? Well the key is to rejoice always IN THE LORD. We can rejoice always in the Lord because the Lord is always there and His victory over sin, suffering and death is guaranteed. This rejoicing is the fruit of faith in Christ and trust that He will never abandon us, and no matter what, His kingdom is going to come, His will is going to be done. We know how the story finishes so we can live with the drama and uncertainties of whatever chapter that we are in.

This kind of rejoicing is often not easy and does not come naturally. It is supernatural and so it requires God’s grace that come to us through the Sacraments and prayer. This rejoicing is not dependent on our feelings but is a choice, a decision that we have to keep making and remaking when whatever brings us down. One way to train ourselves to take the path of putting our joy in the Lord is to redirect misplaced joy in other things or other persons. If the Lord is our constant then we can actually enjoy the things of this world and find joy in others without being so easily devastated when they do not fulfill our unrealistic expectations of a happiness they were never meant to bring us on their own.

This is a wonderful paradox: it is not that we put aside things as joy-givers but that we put them aside as the source of our joy. It is certainly not that we feel disappointed in persons and put them aside. No, it is that we go beyond that to the One who will never fail us.

So it is faith in the Lord that gives us joy, faith that the Lord really knows what He is doing. Once convinced of that, it is no longer necessary that we understand or like everything that is going on in our lives. It is enough to be certain in faith that God understands exactly what He is doing. And we rejoice. Who could not rejoice in the Lord to know that this is our God and that He knows what He is about.

Now this is not a “sit back – who cares” approach to life. After St Paul says; “Rejoice in the Lord always”, he goes on to say; “In prayer make all your needs known to God”. So God wants us to tell Him over and over again what our needs are. “Go and tell God what He already knows” is what the Apostle is basically saying. Tell him all about the things that He is completely aware of. God wants to be told by us the needs that He knows much better than we ever could. (If you are a parent I’m sure you get this; you want your children to tell you their needs, not because you don’t know them but because it is good for them to express themselves and it does your heart good to hear it.)

So if you want to rejoice, you must have faith in the Lord. But then you must keep bringing your limitations before Him, and your failures and your disappointments and your heartaches. This rejoicing in the Lord always and petitioning the Lord always brings with it a loving acceptance of my own limits and that of others. It must be so. If it were not, we might have many gods instead of the one true God.

This is the mystery of joy that we are to celebrate and ponder. What we will learn is that He is drawing us all, He is calling us to know that there is really nothing stable outside Himself, and that in Him and in Him alone is the explanation of all things. Already as we ponder things in this way we begin to experience a serenity coming into our very pain, whatever it may be, that this is an all-loving God who is reminding us where we are all going. We are moving steadily step by step each day toward this end, this goal. This is what He wishes to say to us: in Him alone all find their home. Something begins to come into our stricken hearts, that we are all going home. The more we are in the Lord on this earth, the more we are already at home.

Let us sing then with all our hearts “tidings of comfort and joy” and may our lives be a hymn of “Joy to the world”. For all joy is in God, and when He allows us to be disappointed in things or in others or in ourselves, He is only saying what He told Paul to say to us: REJOICE IN THE LORD.


This reflection draws much from the book, Come Lord Jesus by Mother Mary Francis [Ignatius Press] and was inspired by the theme of the 3rd Sunday of Advent and the words of St. Paul to the Philippians 4:4; "Rejoice in the Lord always."   Father Bill Miller


Pope Francis Family Devotional


Take a few short minutes every day to grow in faith together as a family, with Rebecca Cherico's new book, Pope Francis Family Devotional. Join us as Rebecca shares how you'll be inspired by a quote from the Holy Father and a simple reflection to spark discussion. Rebecca will  guide you on ways to use the Pope Francis Family Devotional at dinner time to deepen prayer and conversation. Or at breakfast or bedtime as the perfect start or close to each day's activities. If you've been looking for a simple but structured way to add reflection and prayer into your family's life, Pope Francis Family Devotional is a godsend.           Dec. 19, 2016: 11- Noon Central  http://bit.do/pope-francis-devo-webinar


~ ~ A  YEAR OF FISHING * PART II ~ ~

by: Fr. Timothy D. Hepner, CDOP / Office of Vocations

I have been blessed to travel to our Newman Centers, high schools, grade schools and parishes and connect with men who have potential vocations. I have been humbled to see their virtue and their prayer lives. I have also been moved to prayer by the obstacles placed before them: a culture, friends, and sometimes even families who can’t comprehend why a man would “throw his life away” for the priesthood. I don’t blame these people. Their objections make perfect sense according to the world’s rationale. But because of their influence, men who are discerning often suffer, and sometimes even waver in following through on their call.

That is why we are continuing our efforts to promote vocational awareness in schools, parishes, and especially families. Fifty years ago, discerning a vocation was commonplace and expected among Catholics. Every Catholic boy and young man should be open to the possibility of the priesthood, and every family should see that as a possibility - and even rejoice at it. For this reason, I’m also asking all of you to pray for the families of men who are called to seminary. Pray for open hearts, softened and enlightened by the Holy Spirt. Pray also for these men to have courage to say “yes” to Christ and embrace the awesome call before them despite the obstacles they face.

After a year of “fishing” for vocations, I have been blessed to spend time in the depths and in the sacred space of young people’s experience of Christ. I ask you to help me continue setting out into the deep by persevering in prayer and in your own spiritual life. Do you practice Lectio Divina every day? Are you able to visit the Blessed Sacrament or attend daily mass during the week? Do you pray the rosary and meditate on the mysteries of Christ’s life? Is confession a regular part of your life? Through all these things we develop an interior life and, unconsciously affecting those around us, draw them into the deep waters of grace as well. This is how we promote vocations, by making it possible for young people to hear that mysterious voice in the silence of their hearts. We can’t give what we don’t have, so we will never teach young people to pray if we ourselves haven’t put in the effort. And when you pray, please keep in mind those of us who work for vocations.

Finally, I ask you to consider participating in some of the events that are planned in the next few months and publicized inside this newsletter. In particular, I want to invite you to attend the Vocations Apostolate Workshop on January 21, 2017. Please contact us if you would like to be involved in planning these or future events. Above all, on behalf of Bishop Jenky and the entire diocese, thank you for your work in promoting vocations to the priesthood! (see the archived page for part 1).

~ ~ A YEAR OF FISHING * PART I ~ ~

by: Fr. Timothy D. Hepner, CDOP / Office of Vocations

In the middle of the summer, I found myself sitting at a Mexican restaurant with about eight men from one of our Catholic high schools. The food wasn’t that great, but the conversation was. Before I knew it, we had been there about three hours, joking, talking about the faith, and discussing the problems of the world. I was very impressed by these men. Not only did they know their faith, but they had a personal relationship with Christ. Eventually it felt natural for me to ask, “What do you guys think your vocations might be?” A few answered “Marriage,” one said, “I might be called to be a priest, I’m not sure.” But one young man looked at me with eagerness and confidence and simply said, “Priesthood.” Surprised at his boldness, I asked, “What makes you say that.” He said, “I don’t know. I can’t explain it.”

Many young men in our diocese are experiencing a mysterious tug at their hearts toward something very countercultural and impractical. Despite the cynicism and anger that pervades our country, these young men, intelligent and aware of the world, are ready to joyfully give themselves to discernment for the priesthood. And I have been blessed enough to witness the initial stirrings of the Spirit in their hearts.

When any priest tells his vocation story, there is always an inexplicable element—an interior movement that can’t be reduced to words. This is why, from the beginning, the Holy Spirit has made me realize that my job as vocation director is to “set out into the depths.” I’m not a salesman or an army recruiter. While I do challenge men to be open to the priesthood, I never give undue pressure. My goal is to build relationships, to give them tools for prayer and discernment, and to fan into flame whatever holy desires they have. In a word, my main job is discipleship.

 

PRAYER TO ST. JOAN OF ARC

FOR OUR NATION

Dear St. Joan of Arc, you who led the armies of France to victory when called by God to save your land from the domination of foreign aggressors, we call upon you now that the courage and strength you showed in rallying the French troops may inspire courage and strength in the people of the United States to oppose all attempts by our government to undermine our democracy and erode our liberties as a free people.

 

Please for our sake invoke the assistance of the holy ones who God sent to call you to action: St. Margaret, St. Catherine and the Archangel St. Michael. With your intercession and the prayers of these saints, may the Holy Spirit pour forth on our people the gift of wisdom and knowledge of the truth, that we will be given light to vote in the coming election only for those who will serve the sacred cause of life, freedom of conscience and deliverance of our country from the prevailing forces death, darkness and lies.

 

We thank you for hearing our prayer and beg you to inspire us to be warriors in the defense of life, light and justice as the Spirit of God inspired you so long ago.

 

St. Joan of Arc, defend us!

St. Joan of Arc, pray for us!

St. Joan of Arc, lead us to victory!

Amen.

 

PARENTING THE INTERNET GENERATION


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Meet Our Seminarians


Deacon Lee Brokaw


Birth Date: January 23, 1986

Parish Location: St. Patrick's Raritan

Year entered the Seminary/Class of: Entered in 2011, Class of 2017

Studying at: Mount St. Mary's Seminary Emmitsburg, MD


Why did you become a seminarian?
The decision to enter seminary is a deeper search to allow God to show me if He wants me to be His priest. I love Jesus and want what He wants for my life. I believe it is in this where I will have the greatest impact for Him and His Church, and find the most fulfillment.


Before you entered the seminary, what were you doing?

I served three years as a FOCUS missionary, one year at Benedictine College and two years as the team director at Missouri State University.


An interesting fact about you: I enjoy working on our family farm in western Illinois.

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SILENCE IN THE LITURGY

By Cynthia Trainque

 

‘Many Catholics rightly complain about the absence of silence in the celebration of our Roman liturgy. It is important, therefore to recall the meaning of silence as a Christian ascetical value, and therefore as a necessary condition for deep, contemplative prayer, without forgetting the fact that times of silence are officially prescribed during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, so as to highlight the importance of silence for a high-quality liturgical renewal. Cardinal Robert Sarah

 

Indeed. Catholics do ‘rightly complain’ about the lack of silence at Mass because silence is both a form of prayer in itself and it is also the opening one needs in order to pray.

Silence as a Christian Ascetical Value –Personal Prayer

You may be wondering, Just what is asceticism? Isn’t that some necessary thing for monks and nuns who hardly get to see much beyond their own monastic enclosures? What does that have to do with the average person in the pew?

According to His Eminence Cardinal Robert Sarah, the (71 yr old) Prefect of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the sacraments (one of the offices within the Roman Curia) wrote this in his essay, Silence in the Liturgy, published in Italian in L’Osservatore Romano on 1/30/2016:

Asceticism is an indispensable means that helps us to remove from our life anything that weighs it down, in other words, anything that hampers our spiritual or interior life and therefore is an obstacle to prayer. Yes, it is indeed in prayer that God communicates his Life to us, in otherd words manifests his presence in our soul by irrigating it with the streams of of His Trinitarian Love: the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit, and prayer is essentially silence.

One must practice coming to that necessary silence in order to be receptive to the seed of God’s word...it must find that place of “good soil” where it can ‘produce a crop.’ It matters not whether that seed is as a ‘mustard seed’ for we know that it grows into one of the largest of bushes. Personal silence of this sort is vital for those times in the Liturgy where silence is a response to God’s word. All of the grea saints were great prayers...or became great prayers. Not all began their journeys as masters of prayer. Many struggled with it for years. St. Teresa of Avila and others wrote books on it.

Silence is Necessary for Prayer;

Silence is necessary as a form of prayer itself. It is a searching for and a response to the Living God. If I enter into prayer, of what good is my endless prattle if I am never quiet to hear God’s reply? If one spouse of a married couple talks endlessly to the other, how will s/he hear the reply of the other? The same is said for the great “conversation” between God and the individual at Liturgy. The worship of the Father in and through the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit is an act so holy that it demands times of silence—the silence of adoration, the silence of contentment, the silence of profound awe. Silence is an act of love...it is total receptivity. The individual—the soul— is made for God like a flower pot is made for growing plants. Plants grow in silence and their very beginnings are hidden deep within the “womb” of rich soil. Silence changes us. We need the sacred “action” of silence.

Returning to the above-mentioned article by Cardinal Sarah, he says this about silence as a condition for prayer:

 

The Gospels say that the Saviour himself prayed in silence, particularly at night. (Lk 6:12) or while withdrawing to deserted places (Lk 5:16; Mk 1:35). Silence is typical of the meditation by the Word of God; we find it again particularly in Mary’s attitude toward the mystery of her Son (Lk 2:19, 51. The most silent person in the Gospels if of course, St. Joseph; not a single word of his does the New Testament record for us.

 

Didn’t Mary “ponder these things in her heart”? Perhaps Mary was not at synagogue or at some level of formal prayer when the Angel Gabriel appeared to her.—but she was at deep silent prayer. One who has been schooled in the ways of God can easily enter into prayer even whilst sweeping the floor or spinning wool into yarn. St. Paul exhorts us to “Pray without ceasing.”

 

Silence as Important Component of the Liturgy;

All parishes should allow for silence in the Church as soon as one enters into it, for to enter into a Catholic Church is to pull back the door into heaven itself. But alas, too many churches are more and more like meeting places of gossip and idle chit-chat before Mass. We sometimes fail to give any acknowledgement that Jesus is still present in the reserved Eucharist.

On the door to the Monastery of the Sisters of the Precious Blood in Manchester N.H. is a sign which says, “For the sake of Jesus present in the tabernacle kindly maintain silence in the this place”.

In the Old Testament the (minor )prophet, Habakkuk declared to the people of ancient Israel in his oracle of the same name: “the LORD is in his holy temple; silence before him, all the earth!” The prophet Zephaniah likewise calls for silence: “Silence in the presence Lord GOD!...Yes, the Lord has prepared a sacrifice…” If these two prophets called for silence before the presence of God how much more should we, the people of the New Testament, be silent before Jesus present in the tabernacle—Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

 

In his article, Silence at Mass, David Philppart describes silence as “akin to these: the silence that gestates between people who know and love each other so well that words are not always necessary; the awe filled silence evoked by an encounter with beauty; the calm quiet that befalls those who gaze, listen or touch with their hearts as with their eyes, ears and hands.”

 

Further in the same article he says “The liturgy’s silence is

communal. The assembly keeps a communion of quiet. Each one tries to the best of his/her ability to be still, but it is more than just a bunch of individuals not saying or doing anything coincidentally. It is the Body of Christ listening for and attending to the voice of God.”

And again, “Silence in the liturgy is silence kept on purpose. It is deliberate and therefore active. It’s not an interlude, not an intermission, not an interruption of the action. At its time, it is the action: We keep the silence. ‘Be still and know that I am God,’ the psalmist sings. Silence in the liturgy is the active attending to God that Samuel showed when upon being awakened from his


 

Documents Shared on Website.

Shirley Plaag RCIA Talk
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Msgr Ernie's Jubilee Homily at the Cathedral during the Bishop's Mass

 June 23, 2016


---Bishop Jenky,-and my brother priests:-Praise,-honor,-glory,-and thanksgiving to our Lord, Jesus Christ, who called us to Holy Orders!

---I hereby extend my heart-felt congratulations, especially to Father Bob Hoffman and to Father Tom Kelly, who celebrate their 60th Jubilee,-and to you, who join me in celebration of our 50,-40, and 25-year Jubilees,-and to you, Father Pica, as you begin your Priestly life!

---The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,-before you were born I dedicated you,---a prophet to the nations I appointed you.”

---What the Lord said to Jeremiah, I believe He said to each and every one of us in Holy Orders!

-We are prophets,-called by God to speak in God’s Name, and to deliver God’s message to everyone.

---And so,---here I find myself,---delivering God’s message to a Cathedral full of my brother Priests, who deliver God’s message to everyone!

---When I was asked to give this homily,-I really didn’t know what I’d talk about,-and so it was suggested I say something about my vocation.

---Now each of us has his own vocation story,-but,-with your indulgence,-I’ll share with you just a very short part of mine,-because I believe it has a valuable message in it for everyone!

---If I were asked why God chose me to be a priest,-my answer would be that of St. Paul, in 1 Cor. 1:26ff:-“God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise,-and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,-and God chose the lowly and despised of the world,-those who count for nothing,-to reduce to nothing those who are-something,-so that no human being might boast before God.”

---While growing up,-I had a poor scholastic background, which resulted in my developing a terrible inferiority complex.

---When God called me to the priesthood as an adult,-I seriously thought He had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to get me!---I responded to God somewhat as did Jeremiah:-“Ah, Lord God!-I know not how to speak;-I am--too dumb!”--But the Lord answered me:---Say not, “I am too dumb.”---“To whomever I send you, you shall go;-whatever I command you, you shall speak.---Have no fear, because I am with you.”

And I believed God!

---Two incidents stand out in my mind, which represent the whole of my Seminary experience:

1) Soon after I began the Seminary, a good priest said to me,-“Ernie, why don’t you get out?-I’ve always had trouble preaching,-and I know you will, too!”-I felt discouraged,-but I said to him,-“Father,-I believe God called me to the priesthood,---and I know he’ll always give me what I need!”

2) A couple of years before my ordination, the Rector of the Seminary called me into his office and asked me, “What is a priest?”---I said, “A priest is a man called by God to offer Mass,-to administer the Sacraments,-to teach,”---and he interrupted me to say that I had no qualifications to teach.-He said that a priest is a leader,-but that I had no qualifications of leadership!

---As he went on to tear me down,-I thought he was using “reverse psychology” on me,---but he was serious!

---When finished, he asked what I intended to do when I got out of the Seminary,---and I asked him if he thought I could dig a ditch straight?

---He suggested I go into nursing, or some sort of janitorial work.-Although I felt very discouraged, I asked him,---“If my bishop accepted me back in the Seminary the next year,-would he accept me back there?”---He looked shocked,-but he told me IF my bishop accepted me,-then he would accept me back there the next year.---I looked at him and said,-“I’ll see you next year!”---As it turned out to be,-my bishop did accept me back at that seminary the next year!

---Well,-even though I had a constant struggle to fight-off discouragements,-I was finally ordained to the priesthood, on May 22, 1966!

---The “message of God” in my vocation story is this:---“In spite of the many, many difficulties and bouts of discouragements you experience,-I give you everything you need to-persevere to the end-in your efforts to fulfill My will for you!”

---My hope is that this homily may be a helpful inspiration to all who are struggling to fight-off discouragements,-and that it be a reminder to us all,-that if God calls us to anything,---then no one,---nor anything,-will ever prevent it from happening!

---We pray with the Psalmist:-“In you, O Lord, I take refuge;-let me never be put to shame.-In your justice rescue me, and deliver me;-incline your ear to me,---and save me.”---Amen!

---And God answers:-“Have no fear, because I am with you.”

God Bless you all!