- Two special prayers to the Immaculate Heart (the praying hands at the very last)
- Notre Dame Cathedral Spire to be Rebuilt as Replica of Pre-Fire Design (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- (New Series on COMMUNICATION) Devotion of the First Five Saturdays (Helpful Hints for Life)
Catholic Good News
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
The Immaculate Heart of Mary
“Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
… and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
She that, “kept all things, reflecting on them in her heart (Luke 2:51),” is the source of Jesus' Sacred Heart. For if Mary did not first conceive Jesus in her Immaculate Heart, she would have never said yes to the Angel Gabriel and conceived Jesus Christ in her womb.
Mary has a heart that is for all men. She who received our Lord Jesus with unimaginable love in her heart and body, she who raised Him and treasured the moments she shared with Him, she who saw Him go forth from her side into a world that loved and despised Him, she whose heart was pierced when she saw Him so cruelly treated by men and pierced in His own Sacred Heart with a lance as He hung on the Cross, is the same woman and the same Immaculate Heart that loves you and I more than we can ever conceive. And that Heart is the one shelter we most desire to dwell in (whether we recognize it or not) for it there where Jesus and His Sacred Heart dwells!
Let us turn toward and love the Heart of Blessed Mary Immaculate because she was conceived without sin in the womb of her mother, St. Anne; sorrowful because she beheld the death of her beloved Son and beholds your sinfulness and mine, but this is your Heart and mine to dwell in forever because she loves and is completely united to Jesus Christ, and Jesus and Mary are our true comfort and our true strength!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This coming Sunday is the 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time. >> Readings
P.S.S. At the end of E-weekly is this week's readings with reflections and questions for self or family.
Immaculate Heart (from Latin immaculatus; “without stain” + from Latin cord-, cor “heart”)
- the physical Heart of Mary which first received Jesus in faith and love and the heart that holds us being given to her from the Cross
[Just as devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is only a form of devotion to the adorable Person of Jesus, so also is devotion to the Holy Heart of Mary but a special form of devotion to Mary. In order that, properly speaking, there may be devotion to the Heart of Mary, the attention and the homage of the faithful must be directed to the physical heart itself. However, this in itself is not sufficient; the faithful must read therein all that the human heart of Mary suggests, all of which it is the expressive symbol and the living reminder: Mary's interior life, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and, above all, her virginal love for her God, her maternal love for her Divine Son, and her motherly and compassionate love for her sinful and struggling children here below. The consideration of Mary's interior life and the beauties of her soul, without any thought of her physical heart, does not constitute our devotion; still less does it consist in the consideration of the Heart of Mary merely as a part of her virginal body. The two elements are essential to the devotion, just as soul and body are necessary to the constitution of man.]
Communication in today’s world is expected to be brief, quick, “close the deal” communication. However, we as human beings need deep, heartfelt communication - the kind that causes us to take risks and let our guard down. This type of communication is difficult. We have all been wounded and have reasons to censor ourselves. But God has created us to be in communion with each other, and therefore in communication with each other.
Devotion of the Five First Saturdays
Given by Our Lady of Fatima and the Infant Jesus to Sister Lucia, a devotion to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin
in reparation for the 5 sins against her Heart.
The Virgin of Fatima speaks to the three children at Famita Portugal in 1918:
"You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace... I shall come to ask for... the Communion of reparation on the first Saturdays..."
The devotion involves the following practices on five consecutive first Saturdays of the month, with the specific intention of making reparation for the five gravest offenses of man against the Blessed Virgin.
1. Go to Confession (within 8 days before or 8 days after the first Saturday)
2. Receive the Holy Eucharist
3. Pray five decades of the Rosary
4."Keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on fifteen mysteries of the Rosary."
On December 10, 1925, the Most Holy Virgin appeared to Lucy of Fatima, and by her side, elevated on a luminous cloud, was the Child Jesus. The Most Holy Virgin rested her hand on Lucy's shoulder, and as she did so, she showed her a Heart surrounded with thorns, which she was holding in her other hand. At the same time, the Child Jesus said:
"Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them."
Then the Most Holy Virgin said:
"Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes, while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me."
“Mary's role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. "This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to his death"; it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion:
Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her: to be given, by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: "Woman, behold your son." -Catechism of the Catholic Church #964
This is from the Catholic Encyclopedia on the Immaculate Heart of Mary
All Things Connected with the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Last year, the French Senate passed a bill mandating that Notre-Dame be rebuilt as it was before the fire.
Macron’s change of mind on the spire construction is due to a desire to finish the project quickly, the BBC reported. Paris is scheduled to host the Olympics in 2024, and choosing a new design for the spire would have delayed the construction.
Since the adoption of the 1905 law on separation of church and state, which formalized laïcité (a strict form of public secularism), religious buildings in France have been property of the state.
A major fire broke out in Notre Dame cathedral on the evening of April 15, 2019. The roof and the spire were destroyed. Shortly after midnight April 16, firefighters announced that the cathedral's main structure had been preserved from collapse.
The major religious and artistic treasures of the cathedral were removed as the fire began, including a relic of the crown of thorns.
Originally built between the twelfth through fourteenth centuries, the landmark cathedral in the French capital is one of the most recognizable churches in the world, receiving more than 12 million visitors each year.
Its original spire was constructed in the 13th century, but was replaced in the 19th century due to damage.
The cathedral was undergoing some restorative work at the time the fire broke out, though it is unknown if the fire originated in the area of the work.
The Vatican announced that the Ven. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen will be beatified after the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints approved a miracle attributed to his intercession.
The Congregation approved the miracle on July 6. Official beatification dates have not yet been announced.
The MiracleCatholic News Agency reported that the miracle involves the “unexplained recovery of James Fulton Engstrom, a boy born apparently stillborn in September 2010 to Bonnie and Travis Engstrom of the Peoria-area town of Goodfield.
“He showed no signs of life as medical professionals tried to revive him. The child’s mother and father prayed to Archbishop Sheen to heal their son.”
Seven medical experts advising the Vatican Congregation unanimously approved the miracle. The archbishop needs one more approved miracle attributed to his intercession for his canonization.
Sheen’s cause for canonization was postponed for many years due to a legal battle over his burial place.
The remains were recently transferred to the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois (where Sheen also received his priestly ordination), allowing the cause to continue.
Archbishop Sheen was especially recognized for his work in radio and television.From 1930-1950, Sheen hosted The Catholic Hour on NBC night-time radio, which after 20 years, had a weekly listenership of four million viewers.
His show, “Life is Worth Living,” aired on DuMont Television Network (1952-55) and ABC (1955-57), reaching millions of viewers.
His show also won two Emmy Awards for “Most Outstanding Television Personality.”
His competitors for the 1952 award were Lucille Ball, Edward R. Murrow, Arthur Godfrey and Jimmy Durante.
Listen to one of Ven. Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s shows below:
His Mother Rejected an Abortion – Now, This Priest Helped Her Meet the Pope
By Elise Harrishttp://www.ewtnnewsonline.com/images/Pope_Francis_Figueridos.jpg
Rome, Italy (EWTN News/CNA) - It was during the thalidomide sleeping pill craze that Sarah Figueiredo became pregnant with her fourth and last child, Anthony.
Developed after the Second World War and found not only to help with sleeplessness but also to alleviate morning sickness for expectant mothers, thalidomide was widely prescribed by doctors across the world to their pregnant patients as a safe drug to use.
Sarah, who was raising her young family in Nairobi at the time, was one of the expectant mothers prescribed the drug.
It wasn’t until 1961 that thalidomide was discovered to cause severe birth defects in babies born to mothers using it. Many of the children were born with a condition called “phocomelia,” which results in shortened, absent or flipper-like limbs. It was taken off the market in 1962.
When the doctors found out that Sarah’s unborn son would be among the children with this disability, they advised her to have an abortion. However, Sarah and her husband, both devout Catholics, refused. Sarah believed her son had “a special mission.”
According to her son – now Msgr. Anthony Figueiredo – what his parents told the doctors was that “if God has allowed us to conceive a child, that child will not be wasted. On the contrary, God will have a mission for that child, which they believe very strongly is that I would be a priest.”
Despite his crippled arm, Msgr. Figueiredo was ordained in 1994 and has vast experience in missionary work and a hefty academic background in theology. He currently serves as a spiritual director to hundreds of seminarians studying at Rome’s Pontifical North American College, advises cardinals on their writing and speeches, and works closely with the Pope.
He has also met Mother Theresa and was able to work as a personal assistant to St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI for several years.
The priest largely credits his parents and their faith for encouraging his vocation, telling EWTN News that they “never discouraged me from being a priest.”
“With great sacrifice they sent all of us to Catholic schools and now with old age my mother is the happiest woman in the world, one would say, because she has a son who is a priest.”
Sarah, 84, told EWTN News that she and her husband had prayed that one of their three sons would become a priest, and that she knew this prayer would be answered in Tony, as she calls him, because “I dreamt that one day. I had a dream that one of my sons, the last one,” would be ordained. “I (knew) he had mission.”
While there are “a lot of blessings” in having a son who is a priest, one of the biggest came during a trip Sarah made to Rome to visit her son during the June 1-3 Jubilee for Priests.
Msgr. Figueiredo said he had been walking in the Vatican Gardens one day in April when he got a phone call from the Pope himself.
The Pope said that he knew the priest’s mother would be coming to Rome for the Jubilee of Priests, and wanted to meet her. Since he was busy throughout the three-day event, which concluded with a Mass June 3, Francis told Msgr. Figueiredo that “I would really like her to come to my home prior to that Mass.”
It was Pope Francis himself, then, who “completely organized everything,” and welcomed both the priest and his mother into his residence at the Vatican’s St. Martha Guesthouse the morning of June 3.
“It was very, very beautiful. He was just like an ordinary parish priest the way he made my mother welcome,” Msgr. Figueiredo said, recalling how Francis spoke about the number of children in their families and the biblical roots of some of their names.
One particularly touching moment for Msgr. Figueiredo was when the Pope told him that he recognized the priest’s mother from a photo he had given him.
“I gave him the photo three years ago,” Msgr. Figueiredo said, saying it’s “quite extraordinary that this Pope, who is probably the most photographed man in the world, remembers each person. It’s as if he has them in his heart.”
Pope Francis also administered the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick to Sarah, who has suffered from two strokes in recent years and in 2010 was diagnosed with aggressive, stage 4 breast cancer, but today is cancer-free.
The Pope “took his time, there was no rush, and he was particularly compassionate,” the priest said, noting how when his mother attempted to stand up for the anointing, Francis told her sit down and himself got up.
“I think that’s amazing from a Pope. There’s really no sense of being in authority, he’s really a servant, a servant of the servants of God. We touched that that day in his residence.”
Sarah, who carried the chalice up to the altar during the Mass after their meeting, said to visit the Pope was “a gift from God…I felt very proud that God had chosen me to come to this special occasion.”
After bringing the chalice to the Pope, “he pressed my hand, and he recognized me and he held me tight,” she said, explaining that the experience is something “I will remember all my life and I thank God for that.”
She also thanked her son for helping give her the opportunity to meet the Pope and to receive his blessing. Giving advice to parents who are hoping for a religious vocation among their children, she counselled that “the more you pray the better it is.”
“We need more priests in this world,” she said, noting how she “always prayed” for her son’s vocation. Even at 84, Sarah continues to pray a daily rosary, keeping one under her pillow so that should she wake up during the night, she can pray a decade before going back to sleep.
Msgr. Figueiredo said that to celebrate the Jubilee of Priests alongside his mother “was an enormous sign to me that God is faithful,” especially when someone gives something of their life to him, whether it’s a parent, a child, a type of suffering, or a vocation.
In regards to the “special mission” his mother believed he had, the priest said for him, this mission has entailed showing a special compassion and solidarity with those who suffer.
“I truly believe what St. Paul said: that God’s power is made perfect in weakness,” he said, voicing his belief that priests “who particularly have a cross can show a certain kind of compassion and mercy to those who are suffering.”
While as a priest “I can preach until the cows come home,” people really start paying attention when they see “that you yourself suffer in your flesh…one immediately connects.”
For Msgr. Figueiredo, this is what Christ did on the Cross: “he suffered on the cross for us, and so when I am going through suffering myself I see that he’s gone there before me and has faith, believing that the Father will bring good even from tragedy.”
“That’s really helped me to stay close to the smell of the sheep, as Pope Francis exhorts us as priests and as every Christian,” he said.
" The Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life. "Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church."
"Also to be observed are the day of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension of Christ, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christi, the feast of Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, the feast of Saint Joseph, the feast of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and the feast of All Saints."
Catechism of the Catholic Church #2177
50 Things You'll (probably) Never Hear Catholics Say
1) Man, I wish this confession line were longer.
2) Is there really anything to do in Rome?
3) It's so nice that we are all on the same page about liturgy and music.
4) Discernment of life and one's vocation is just so easy!
5) I hope we learn a new version of the Gloria at this Sunday Mass.
6) Yesterday, while I was doing some Lectio on the Book of Revelation…
7) Your parents aren’t Catholic? I think a relic would be the perfect gift.
8) I don’t have any worries about the future of our medical system conflicting with my personal beliefs.
9) I’m really confident that I’m using this Breviary correctly.
10) Good thing we got to Mass with so much time to spare.
11) My prayer time is much more fruitful when I pray on my bed… lying down… with my eyes closed.
12) Being young and single really helps me blend in at Daily Mass.
13) Let's study Latin to see what it was like when our grandparents went to Mass.
14) I never people-watch during the communion line.
15) Pope Francis… yeah, I guess he’s okay.
O Most Blessed Mother, heart of love, heart of mercy, ever listening, caring, consoling, hear our prayer. As your children, we implore your intercession with Jesus your Son. Receive with understanding and compassion the petitions we place before you today, especially ...(special intention).
We are comforted in knowing your heart is ever open to those who ask for your prayer. We trust to your gentle care and intercession, those whom we love and who are sick or lonely or hurting. Help all of us, Holy Mother, to bear our burdens in this life until we may share eternal life and peace with God forever.
Amen. (said for 9 days in a row)
SPECIAL PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
TO THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
O Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Heavenly beauty and splendor of the Father,
You are the most valued Heavenly treasure.
New Eve, immaculate in soul, spirit and body,
Created of the godly seed by the Spirit of God,
You are the spiritual Mother of mankind.
Pure Virgin, full of grace then and now,
Your whole being was raised Heavenly in full glory,
To be elevated above all the hosts within the Kingdom of God.
O Heavenly Mother, Queen of Heaven and earth,
I recognize the glory of your highest title,
The Immaculate Heart of Mary!
Loving Mother, dispenser of endless blessings,
You who continuously intercedes on our behalf,
Please present my need before your loving Son Jesus.(In your own words, make your special request here. Do not just mention a word. Speak to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as you would speak to another person, begging your Heavenly Mother to plea to Jesus on your behalf, that you be granted this special request.)
O Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I know that you are now presenting my need before Jesus,
For you have never turned away those in dire need.
Mother dearest, I await your favorable answer,
Submitting myself to the Divine will of the Lord,
For all glories are His forever and ever.
Catechism of the Catholic Church #534
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
15th Sunday of Ordinary Time: July 12th, 2020
The First Reading - Isaiah 55:10-11
Thus says the LORD: Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; my word shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.
Our First Reading is the part of a conclusion that affirms the efficacy of God’s Word. This is a great comfort to God’s people: How can we know that God’s good promises will come to pass? “Look,” says the Lord, “The words I speak are as effective as the rain that falls from heaven. Just as rain cannot fall on the desert without creating a bloom of wildflowers, so my word cannot go forth without changing the world.” This is a great comfort to believers who live in this world full of evil, confusion, and unfaithfulness. What is to keep us from despairing in the midst of our daily struggles in a world that rewards evil and punishes good? God’s Word still stands as an effective beacon. It can change hearts and whole societies. This should lead us to study it, meditate on it, memorize it. It is the only “Good News” in a world of false news and propaganda.
Adults - Consider that the words that Jesus (the Word of God) speaks in the Gospels have the same power as the Word at the creation of the world - “let there be light.”
Teens - How can you make Scripture more of a foundation in your life?
Kids - Which part of the Bible tells us about Jesus’ life on earth?
Responsorial- Psalm 65:10, 11, 12-13, 14
R. (Lk 8:8) The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.
You have visited the land and watered it;
greatly have you enriched it.
God’s watercourses are filled;
you have prepared the grain.
R. The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.
Thus have you prepared the land: drenching its furrows,
breaking up its clods,
Softening it with showers,
blessing its yield.
R. The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.
You have crowned the year with your bounty,
and your paths overflow with a rich harvest;
The untilled meadows overflow with it,
and rejoicing clothes the hills.
R. The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.
The fields are garmented with flocks
and the valleys blanketed with grain.
They shout and sing for joy.
R. The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.
The Responsorial (Psalm 65) is a hymn of praise to God for the goodness of creation, particularly the seasonal rains which bring abundant food to the people of Israel. Take some extra time and ponder the words of the meal prayer this week, and what they mean.
The Second Reading- Romans 8:18-23
Brothers and sisters: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
Reflection - St. Paul asserts that there is a real and not just metaphorical connection between the children of God and the creation itself. All things in creation tend toward decay, a principle related to the concept of entropy. In Christ, the child of God has been set free from the inevitability of decay. Not only do we participate in eternal life, but our bodies themselves will one day be restored and transformed. St. Paul anticipates that this same principle will at last be applied to the creation itself: “the creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption.” So the resurrection of the children of God is the first step in the transformation of the cosmos.
-Do you ever meditate on what the new creation will be like? Try it this week?
The Holy Gospel according to Matthew 13:1-23
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.” The disciples approached him and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted, and I heal them. “But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. “Hear then the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”
Reflection First, observe that, while we cannot apply strict mathematical percentages to this parable, it does clearly suggest that only a minority of those who receive the Word are going to become fruitful through it. This is an important reminder in our efforts at evangelism and apostolic work. Sometimes the problem is not with our presentation or technique—there are simply those who do not want to receive the word for whatever reason. This is not an excuse for laxity in outreach however. How many of us Christians lose sight of the fact that our lives are called, first of all, to be witnesses of the Good News! We become absorbed in making money, watching sports, eating good food, or pursuing hobbies, and expect to be saved because we have avoided some of the more obvious sins: “I’ve never shot anybody!” This is not the lifestyle of a disciple of Christ. Let us pray in this Mass that we may become “weeded” soil: soil emptied of all the passions and lusts that would compete with the Word of God bearing fruit in our lives. Let us pray to bear fruit a hundredfold!
Adults - What are some easy ways you can witness to Christ in your daily life?
Teens - Is there someone you are being called to share your faith with? If you don’t know where to start, ask a trusted mentor for help.
Kids - Pray that Christ will show you how to spread His love this week!
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! - “There are millions of saints in heaven today, enjoying eternal happiness, who had some, if not all, of our present failings. We, too, can be with them one day, provided we do what they did. They repented sincerely and remained God's close friends, until he called them to himself. May the merciful God give us the grace to imitate them while we yet have time.” -Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.