- Marian Devotions in the Domestic Church, The Family (Catholic Website of the Week)
- Bishop Braxton Writes Letter on Racial Divide in US (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- White House Comment Line-Tell the President what You think (Helpful Hints for Life)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
"A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars."
On February 11, 1858, 14-year-old Bernadette was gathering firewood for her mother when she was drawn by a noise to the Grotto of Massabielle, a small cave-like structure. There she saw a beautiful young woman holding a rosary. Bernadette prayed the rosary after which the woman smiled and disappeared.
After 17 more appearances over the next five months, Bernadette learned that the woman was the Blessed Virgin Mary and that she desired to have processions and a chapel built for the benefit of many. When Bernadette asked her name by the request of the local clergy for some proof of the authenticity of the message, the woman said, "I am the Immaculate Conception." A name total unknown to Bernadette, but one that had been declare of Blessed Mary, four years early by Pope Pius IX in Rome, Italy.
During one of the apparitions, Our Lady asked Bernadette to drink water from a nearby stream. Unable to see it, Bernadette scratched at the ground and water immediately started flowing. She also put some on her face which was mud at first, and she was first thought crazy by those that gathered, but to this day, hundreds in not thousands, come to this stream DAILY, with many cures being reported. In fact, three of the chapels built there have their entire walls covered with tiles given in thanksgiving for the miracles and graces received.
On the second apparition of Feb. 18, 1858, Our Lady said to Bernadette, "I do not promise to make you happy in this life but in the next." Indeed, she had a sad life with many trials, but trusting the beautiful Lady and the God who sent her, St. Bernadette is not only with them now and assisting us from heaven, but she has also given the world the miraculous healing waters of Lourdes as well as devotion to Her who gives us Jesus!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. Look under Catholic Websites of the Week for more information on Our Lady of Lourdes and Bernadette.
P.S.S. This coming Sunday is Fifth Sunday of Easter. > Readings <
(Latin de- "to" + votum "vow, promise" = devovere "to vow, to promise"; devotus "vowed")
- the disposition of will to do promptly what concerns the worship and service of God
[Although devotion is primarily a disposition or attitude of the will, acts of the will that proceed from such disposition are also expressions of devotion. Essential to devotion is readiness to do whatever gives honor to God, whether in public or private prayer (worship) or in doing the will of God (service). A person who is thus disposed is said to be devoted. His devotedness is ultimately rooted in a great love for God, which in spiritual theology is often called devotion.]
(from Italian grotta, grotto; Latin crypta "cavern, crypt")
- a small cave or cavern often associate with miraculous appearances
[Appearances such as at Lourdes, France, and at Manresa, Spain.]
(Latin per "through" + agr-, ager "land" = "through the land"; peregrinus "foreign, abroad")
- a journey to a sacred place for love of God or someone He has given us
[Its purpose may be simply to venerate a certain saint or ask some spiritual favor; beg for a physical cure or perform an act of penance; express thanks or fulfill a promise. From the earliest days pilgrimages were made to the Holy Land where Jesus lived and died, and later on to Rome, where Peter and Paul and so many Christians were martyred. From the eighth century the practice began of imposing a pilgrimage in place of public penance. As a result, during the Middle Ages pilgrimages were organized on a grand scale and became the object of special Church legislation. In modern times, besides Rome and the Holy Land, famous shrines such as Lourdes, Fátima, and Guadalupe draw hundreds of thousands of pilgrims each year from the Catholic world.]
We are encouraged as Roman Catholics and as faithful Americans to make our thoughts known to our president and government about items that concern us. Any person may call the White House Comment Line at 1-202-456-1111. Or e-mail at:
You may also write a letter and send it to:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
To Call the White House comment line simply do the following:
• Call 1-202-456-1111
• Tell the operator you have a comment about (the item you would like to comment on) and you'll be transferred to a White House staff member.
• Give your name and tell the staff member how you feel.
• Thank the staff member for taking your comment and passing along the message and say goodbye.
"All the signs in the liturgical celebrations are related to Christ: as are sacred images of the holy Mother of God and of the saints as well. They truly signify Christ, who is glorified in them. They make manifest the "cloud of witnesses" who continue to participate in the salvation of the world and to whom we are united, above all in sacramental celebrations. Through their icons, it is man "in the image of God," finally transfigured "into his likeness," who is revealed to our faith. So too are the angels, who also are recapitulated in Christ:
Following the divinely inspired teaching of our holy Fathers and the tradition of the Catholic Church (for we know that this tradition comes from the Holy Spirit who dwells in her) we rightly define with full certainty and correctness that, like the figure of the precious and life-giving cross, venerable and holy images of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ, our inviolate Lady, the holy Mother of God, and the venerated angels, all the saints and the just, whether painted or made of mosaic or another suitable material, are to be exhibited in the holy churches of God, on sacred vessels and vestments, walls and panels, in houses and on streets."
-Catechism of the Catholic Church #1161
This website contains the text and some of the graphics of the book "Marian Devotions in the Domestic Church" by Catherine and Peter Fournier. They have made this book available online as a direct response to Pope John Paul II's Letter to Christian Families in which he makes it clear that families who have experience in Christian family life should share it. To learn more about Mary and how Jesus wants her to be a part of your family, start here.
> Their words on Our Lady of Lourdes <
> Mass settings and prayers for feast day <
> More on Our Lady of Lourdes <
Bishop Edward K. Braxton has written a pastoral letter on the Racial Divide in the United States for the World Day of Peace in 2015. The letter includes a study guide for participants.
It also gives an outline of suggested sharing among participants. “This study-guide should be seen as a flexible resource that can be adapted for use by large or small groups. While the guide is arranged for the participation of members of a group, it can also be used by two people or by an individual. It is for all who, with Christian faith, would like to examine the complex racial divide in our country that is documented in each day’s headlines and the personal experiences of many people,” Bishop Braxton says in the guide.
“Both in his brilliant speeches, homilies, letters and books, and in the brave witness to the faith that he has shown to the world – in sickness and in health – Cardinal George has proven over and over again one of the leading voices in the Catholic Church in the United States, and the Knights of Columbus is pleased to be able to honor him in this way for the great work he has done for so long,” Anderson stated.
- Catechism of the Catholic Church #721
The Parish Priest
A young lady comes to the priest asking for prayers for a boy she likes. She explains that her mom will not let her date him until the boy becomes Catholic. The priest assures her that he will pray for this boy. So after a little while the boy expresses interest in the Catholic Church and starts to take classes at a nearby parish. The young lady comes joyfully to the priest and tells him the update, and asks him to keep praying for the boy so that he will stay the course and become Catholic so that she can start to date him. The priest assures her that he will. A few months later, the young lady comes running to the priest yelling, "Stop praying, stop praying, Father! He wants to become a priest!
Hot Air Hand Dryers:
My pastor friend put sanitary hot air hand dryers in the rest rooms at his church and after two weeks, took them out. I asked him why, and he confessed that they worked fine, but when he went in there he saw a sign that read,"For a sample of this week's sermon, push the button."
GREAT TRUTHS THAT ADULTS HAVE LEARNED:
1) Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don't hurt.
3) Families are like fudge...mostly sweet, with a few nuts.
4) Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.
5) Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.
God of mercy, we celebrate the feast of Mary, the sinless mother of God.
May her prayers help us to rise above our human weakness.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
"Holy Mary, Mother of God: With Elizabeth we marvel, "And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Because she gives us Jesus, her son, Mary is Mother of God and our mother; we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her: she prays for us as she prayed for herself: "Let it be to me according to your word." By entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: "Thy will be done."
Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death: By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the "Mother of Mercy," the All-Holy One. We give ourselves over to her now, in the Today of our lives. And our trust broadens further, already at the present moment, to surrender "the hour of our death" wholly to her care. May she be there as she was at her son's death on the cross. May she welcome us as our mother at the hour of our passing to lead us to her son, Jesus, in paradise."
-Catechism of the Catholic Church #2677