- MUST SEE WEBSITE: Institute of School and Parish Development (Catholic Website of the week)
- Pro-Life Advocates Gather in San Francisco for Walk for Life for West Coast (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- The Blessings of a Catholic School (Helpful Hints for Life)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Catholic Schools Week
".they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions." Luke 2:46
Dear friends in Christ Jesus,
This week nearly 2 million children celebrate Catholic Schools Week. Many of us may have attended a Catholic school in our time. Many remember the dear nuns, or a wonderful lay teacher who had big shoes to fill, yet brought his or her uniqueness to the classroom.
"Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old." Matthew 13:52
Regardless of who taught us and how we were educated, Catholic Schools have a value that is not found elsewhere because what they teach concerns God and heaven, our true home.
"Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit." 1 Thessalonians 4:8
Solid Catholic Schools and the education and formation they provide are needed now more than ever. To bring one into a real, personal encounter with Jesus Christ and His beloved bride, the Church, on a daily basis is what Catholic Schools seek to do. Yet these blessed institutions do not happen by accident. They occur when the Father's blessing touches the honest, hard work of men and women of faith who love the Faith and children.
"do not be too hard on your children so they will become angry. Instruct them in their growing years with Christian teaching." -Ephesians 6:4
As millions of children continue to experience the blessings of Catholic Schools and celebrate it, let us give thanks to God for these schools, pray for them to bear fruit, and do all we can to support (as those who have went before us have supported them) that which has brought so many blessings to this earth, and so that this blessing will not disappear from the earth.
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This coming Sunday is the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time.
The readings can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/012719.cfm
Homilies from Feast of the Baptism of the Lord in past years, click with your mouse pointer on the blue lines below (18, 21 minutes respectively):
Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
Catholic School (from Late Latin catholicus, from Greek katholikos "universal, general"+ from Latin schola, from Greek scholē "discussion, lecture, school")
- an institution under the supervision of the Church whose corporate policy is to train the students in the Gospel message of salvation as taught by the teaching authority of the Catholic Church given to her by Jesus Christ and guaranteed by the Holy Spirit
In the words of the Second Vatican Council, "It is the special function of the Catholic school to develop in the school community an atmosphere animated by a spirit of liberty and charity based on the Gospel. It enables young people, while developing their own personality, to grow at the same time in that new life which has been given them at baptism. Finally it so orients the whole of human culture to the message of salvation that the knowledge which the pupils acquire of the world, of life and of men is illumined by faith. Thus, the Catholic school, taking into consideration as it should the conditions of an age of progress, prepares its pupils to contribute effectively to the welfare of the world of men and to work for the extension of the kingdom of God" (Declaration on Christian Education, 8).
-prayer of Saint Augustine of Hippo
Catholic Schools assist parents and families in the necessary and essential task of teaching children how to pray.
. Children do not only pray at Catholic Schools multiple times throughout the day,
they are taught how to pray, listening to God and responding to His call and direction.
. Teachers and staff not only pray themselves, but witness lives of prayer to students.
. Prayer is not just something done as much as it is something lived.
Catholic Schools move students and families to become persons of living prayer moment to moment, day to day.
excellence and a high quality of student performance is supported by the evidence.
. Catholic school students score an average of 20% higher than state scores on norm-reference and achievement tests.
. Research shows that because of a greater emphasis on homework and study,
Catholic school students develop more effective writing skills.
. Catholic high school students attend post-secondary education at a rate of 97%
and are more likely to complete their program of studies.
. Catholic school students graduate from high school at a rate of 99%.
values support a nurturing structure where students can thrive and grow. Starting from a base
of respect and love, students are given knowledge that will prepare them for high school and a
lifetime of learning. Catholic education has an unmatched tradition of success in bringing out
the best in students around the world." - Roger VanOosten, Our Lady of the Lake, Seattle
Have you considered a Catholic Education for your child?
A Catholic School is a Community
Parents and family are recognized as the primary educators and Catholic Schools join with them to form a living community of shared visions.
. Catholic schools join with the family to help students understand their special place in the family, the Church, and society.
. Catholic schools encourage family input and involvement in the ongoing education of their children.
Research shows that such a partnership results in higher attendance rates and lower dropout rates.
. Catholic schools strive to create a special bond among the students, the home, the school, and the
Church, so that all share the strong sense of community.
. The Catholic community shares the cost of education where tuition is often supplemented by the parish.
"There is something powerful about Catholic school communities that allow us to come
together, to be together, to trust one another in the kind of fellowship that allows us to care for
one another in long and lasting and enduring and committed ways." - Ed Taylor, St. Therese, Seattle
A Catholic Education Fosters Compassion and Service
. All schools include service learning and community service, starting with the Kindergarten.
. In Catholic schools there is a mutual respect which exists among students, faculty, and
administrators which generates an atmosphere of care and concern.
. Catholic schools help students understand that each person is unique and valuable.
. Catholic school students are more likely go on to serve the Church and society as lay and religious leaders.
"When my father passed away 19 years ago, I transferred from a public school to a Catholic
school in eighth grade. The acceptance and support I found there helped me deal with my
grief. I continued on to Catholic high school and college because of my experience. I am
grateful for the many blessings I received from Catholic school."
- St. Frances Cabrini School parent, Tacoma
"Young people of the third millennium must be a source of energy and leadership in our Church and our nation. Therefore, we must provide young people with an academically rigorous and doctrinally sound program of education and faith formation designed to strengthen their union with Christ and his Church. Catholic schools collaborate with parents and guardians in raising and forming their children as families struggle with the changing and challenging cultural and moral contexts in which they find themselves. Catholic schools provide young people with sound Church teaching through a broad-based curriculum, where faith and culture are intertwined in all areas of a school's life. By equipping our young people with a sound education, rooted in the Gospel message, the Person of Jesus Christ, and rich in the cherished traditions and liturgical practices of our faith, we ensure that they have the foundation to live morally and uprightly in our complex modern world. This unique Catholic identity makes our Catholic elementary and secondary schools "schools for the human person" and allows them to fill a critical role in the future life of our Church, our country, and our world."
(US Bishops: Catholic Schools on the Threshold, no. 9)
Why Parents Choose A Catholic School For Their Child
"My kids have all come to school and been really shy. Yet, over the years they opened up and
by the time they're in the upper grades they do really well. . . . my kids have excelled here,
they've done really well, they love their friends, and they've loved everything about school."
- Paul Sauvage, St. Joseph, Seattle
"I chose a Catholic school education for my children because of the gospel values that
permeate the curriculum, the opportunity for daily prayer and reflection, and the reinforcement
of what we as parents teach our children at home. Teamwork!"
- St. Brendan School parent, Bothell
"There are a lot of good schools of all kinds, but at many of them the ethic seems to be: 'What
are you going to do for my precious child?' In Catholic school the ethic is 'What are we -
together - going to do for our precious children?'"
- David Horsey, St. Benedict, Seattle
"A Catholic School is a great place for your children to learn and grow. The community and school families welcome new students and make families feel welcome. Children learn in small class sizes and are able to benefit with one on one attention when needed. The afterschool program helps students with parents that can be there after school to pick them up."
St. Michael School parent, Radom, Illinois
In a very special way, parents share in the office of sanctifying "by leading a conjugal life in the Christian spirit and by seeing to the Christian education of their children."
-Catechism of the Catholic Church 2226
-Catechism of the Catholic Church 2226
Diocesan News AND BEYOND
By Kevin Jones
“Great speakers. Great weather. Great comradery,” event organizer Eva Muntean told EWTN News. “It’s going to be great. We’re looking forward to it because right now there’s so many things going on politically and culturally.”
“Ours has to be a grassroots movement, and of course work through the churches. It’s super-important to try to stay unified,” Muntean said. “That’s going to be the key, that we all work together. We can’t have this infighting. We have to keep our eye on why we’re doing this: these children in the womb.”
According to the walk’s website, www.walkforlifewc.com, the main event opens Saturday at San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza at 10:45 a.m. with an awareness campaign from Silent No More, a pro-life outreach and education effort. Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life and Georgette Forney will lead the awareness campaign.
From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. there will be an information fair with booths from pro-life groups, pregnancy centers and other aligned organizations.
The main rally will begin at 12:30, with the walk itself beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Speakers include Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director and founder of the group And Then There Were None, which helps employees leave the abortion industry; Patricia Sandoval, a former Planned Parenthood worker who has returned to the Catholic faith; Rev. Walter Hoye, a Baptist pastor from Berkeley who is founder and president of the Issues4Life Foundation; and Father Shenan Boquet, president of Human Life International.
Muntean cited the event theme “Abortion harms women,” noting that it will include testimonials from women affected by their abortions.
“Some of those stories are just incredible,” she said.
Muntean said the recent passage of a New York law expanding abortion and securing its legal position in case the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision is overturned was “devastating” for the pro-life movement.
“We don’t see the end in sight,” she said. “We need to keep doing these walks and supporting life in any way, shape, or form that we can.”
Any discouragement pro-life advocates feel right now is a reason to come together, learn from each other, and support each other “to keep motivated in this movement which is ultimately the most important movement of our time.”
“We must stop abortion. We must stop the killing of our own children,” she said.
A similar pro-life gathering takes place in Oakland the day before, on Friday, Jan. 25. The Standing Up 4 Life Rally and Walk, now in its twelfth year, will begin at noon with a rally at Oakland City Hall, followed by a march through downtown Oakland for more than 15 city blocks, circling back to city hall.
The days leading up to the Walk for Life West Coast include time for prayer, socializing, celebration, and protest across the Bay Area.
On Friday evening, a Youth Rally for Life will take place at Santa Clara’s Our Lady of Peace Church, while the Dominicans of St. Dominic’s Church in San Francisco will host a prayer service and confession. There will be all-night Eucharistic Adoration at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in San Francisco, as well as a Karaoke Party at The Mint event venue.
Saturday morning, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco will celebrate Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral at 9:30 a.m. After the March, the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi will host a High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at 5:15 p.m.
A 4:30 p.m. vigil Mass at Star of the Sea Parish will be followed by a BBQ dinner with the Knights of Columbus, coinciding with a Holy Hour with the Sisters of Life. The parish will host an all-night Eucharistic Adoration. At St. Mary Magdalen Church in Berkeley there will be a Catholic Underground event, which includes Vespers, Eucharistic adoration, praise and worship, followed by a showcase of Catholic artists, musicians, poets, filmmakers and dramatists.
Anglicans for Life will hold a symposium Friday evening at the El Rancho Inn in El Camino Real Millbrae, while Orthodox Christians for Life will hold an intercession service at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Civic Center Plaza before the main rally begins.
Muntean cited her encounters with high schoolers who went to previous Walk for Life events. They said the event energized them, and they returned to school and wrote term papers on pro-life issues and the importance of the pro-life movement.
“They were buoyed up by each other,” she said. “We need to energize people, show people what abortion is, make them understand what it is.”
“A lot of times people don’t think it through all the way. That’s very important, just to teach each other,” said Muntean.
At the request of Archbishop Cordileone and other regional bishops, the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See has declared a plenary indulgence for Catholics who, in addition to usual conditions of making a sacramental confession, receive Holy Communion, and pray for the Pope’s intentions, meet one of three conditions on Jan. 26: they attend the Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral before the pro-life event; they attend a Walk for Life West Coast-related Mass at one of the San Francisco provincial dioceses or in one of the parishes in San Francisco archdiocese; or if they cannot attend for some serious reason, such as advanced age or illness, they join themselves spiritually to the Masses being celebrated.
The provincial dioceses are widespread and include Honolulu, Reno, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Oakland, Salt Lake City, Stockton and Las Vegas.
"There is a relationship between God and us little ones: God, when he must choose people, even his own people, he always chooses the little ones," the Pope said during his Jan. 21 homily.
Addressing those who were present in the Vatican's Saint Martha guesthouse, Pope Francis centered his homily on the day's first reading, taken from the First Book of Samuel in which the prophet anoints David as king upon the Lord's rejection of his older brothers.
Turning his thoughts to our own personal relationship with God, the Pope highlighted how we are God's people, and that "in a people, everyone has his post."
However, the pontiff said that although we belong to the People of God, "the Lord never speaks to the people like this, to the mass, never."
"He always speaks personally, with names. And he personally chooses," the Pope explained, adding that the story of creation shows us this because "it is the same Lord that with his hands made man and gave him a name: 'You are called Adam.'"
"And so begins that story between God and the person. And another thing, there is a relationship between God and us little ones: God, when he must choose people, even his own people, he always chooses the little ones."
Emphasizing how there is always a "dialogue between God and human littleness," the Pope recalled the words of Mary in her Gospel canticle when she said that "the Lord has looked upon my humility."
Returning to the first reading, the pontiff observed that we can see this attitude of the Lord "clearly" when Samuel first thinks that Jesse's eldest son is to be the anointed one because he is "tall" and "big," but instead the Lord tells him "at his appearance or his height," because "I have rejected him because it does not matter what man sees."
Instead, the Lord chooses David, the youngest, who "did not count for his father," the Pope continued, highlighting how the Lord chooses according to his own criteria, and not that of the world.
He chooses "the weak and the meek, to confound the mighty of the earth," the Pope said, recalling that although Jesse said that he was not home, David "was elected."
"All of us with Baptism have been elected by the Lord. We all are elected. He has chosen us one by one," he observed, adding that God "has given us a name and he watches over us" and that "there is a dialogue, because the Lord loves in this way."
"Even David became king, and then he made a mistake...he has made many perhaps, but the Bible tells us of two big ones, two heavy mistakes."
However, after committing these sins, "What did David do?" the pontiff asked, recalling that "He humbled himself. And returned to his littleness and said: 'I am a sinner.' And asked pardon and did penance."
David "kept his smallness, with repentance, with prayer, with tears," the Pope explained, adding that in thinking about this dialogue between "the Lord and our smallness," we can wonder where lays "Christian faithfulness?"
"Christian fidelity, our fidelity, is simply to preserve our littleness, so that it can dialogue with the Lord," he reflected, "preserve our littleness."
"For this reason, humility, gentleness, meekness, are so important in the life of the Christian because it is a custody of smallness that the Lord likes to look at. And it will always be a dialogue between our littleness and the greatness of the Lord."
Bringing his homily to a close, Pope Francis prayed through the intercession of Saint David, and "also through the intercession of the Virgin Mary who sang joyfully to God, because she had guarded her humility," that "the Lord gives us the grace to guard our littleness in front of Him."
-Catechism of the Catholic Church 2229
Some Thoughts :
- I bet you I could stop gambling.
-Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn’t much, but the reception was excellent.
-668 – The neighbor of the beast.
-It’s bad luck to be superstitious.
Rare Phone Call - My mother, a master of guilt trips, showed me a photo of herself waiting by a phone that never rings. "Mom, I call all the time," I said. "If you had voicemail, you’d know." Soon after, my brother installed it for her.
When I called the next time, I got her message: "If you are a salesperson, press one. If you’re a friend, press two. If you’re my daughter who never calls, press 911 because the shock will probably give me a heart attack."Aged To PerfectionThe average age of people living in our military retirement community is 85. Recently, a neighbor turned 100, and a big birthday party was thrown. Even his son turned up. “How old are you?” a tenant asked. “I’m 81 years old,” he answered. The tenant shook her head. “They sure grow up fast, don’t they?”
One Sunday morning, a priest wakes up and decides to go golfing. He calls the retired priest and says that he feels very sick, and won't be able to go to offer the Mass.
Way up in heaven, Saint Peter sees all this and asks God, ''Are you really going to let him get away with this?''
''I'll take care of it,'' says God.
The priest drives about five to six hours away, so he doesn't bump into anyone he knows. The golf course is empty when he gets there. So he takes his first swing, drives the ball 495 yards away and gets a hole in one.
Saint Peter watches in disbelief and asks, '' Why did you let him do that?''
To this God says, ''Who's he going to tell?''
10 Things You Never Hear in Church
1. Hey! It's my turn to sit in the front pew!
2. I was so enthralled, I never noticed your sermon went 25 minutes over time.
3. Personally I find witnessing to the Gospel much more enjoyable than golf.
4. I've decided to give our church the $500 a month I used to send to TV evangelists.
5. I volunteer to be the permanent teacher for the Junior High Sunday School class.
6. Forget the denominational minimum salary. Let's pay our pastor so he can live like we do.
7. I love it when we sing hymns I've never heard before!
8. Since we're all here, let's start the service early.
9. Pastor, we'd like to send you to this Bible seminar in the Bahamas.
10. Nothing inspires me and strengthens my commitment like our annual stewardship campaign!
(Saint Thomas is the patron of Catholic Schools)
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time - January 27th, 2019
The First Reading- Nehemiah 8: 2-4A, 5-6, 8-10
Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, which consisted of men, women, and those children old enough to understand. Standing at one end of the open place that was before the Water Gate, he read out of the book from daybreak till midday, in the presence of the men, the women, and those children old enough to understand; and all the people listened attentively to the book of the law. Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that had been made for the occasion. He opened the scroll so that all the people might see it — for he was standing higher up than any of the people —; and, as he opened it, all the people rose. Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people, their hands raised high, answered, "Amen, amen!" Then they bowed down and prostrated themselves before the LORD, their faces to the ground. Ezra read plainly from the book of the law of God, interpreting it so that all could understand what was read. Then Nehemiah, that is, His Excellency, and Ezra the priest-scribe and the Levites who were instructing the people said to all the people: "Today is holy to the LORD your God. Do not be sad, and do not weep"—for all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law. He said further: "Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared; for today is holy to our LORD. Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the LORD must be your strength!"
Every parent knows that the rules and requirements we put on our children are not there as a pre-emptive punishment, but for their safety and to help them to grow up to be healthy, well-adjusted, compassionate, responsible people. The same goes for God—his law teaches us how to live lives of justice, mercy and love—they are no more pre-emptive punishment as our rule “don’t touch the hot stove.” The rules weren’t just read to the people, though; they were explained. Helping people to know the “why” of rules is really important for fostering respect for those rules.
Adults -The Magisterium of the Church is the official interpreter of Scripture. Read a passage of Scripture, paying attention to the footnotes and see what you can learn that you didn’t already know.
Teens - Look up the teen Catechism of the Catholic Church (YouCat) online and learn something new about your faith.
Kids - What are some things that your parents do, or rules that they have given you that help you feel safe?
Responsorial- Psalm 19: 8, 9, 10, 15
R.Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart
find favor before you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
-Pay attention to you spiritual health the same way you care for your physical health this week.
The Second Reading- 1 Corinthians 12: 12-30
Brothers and sisters: As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. Now the body is not a single part, but many. If a foot should say, "Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body," it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. Or if an ear should say, "Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body," it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. If they were all one part, where would the body be? But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I do not need you," nor again the head to the feet, "I do not need you." Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary, and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater honor, and our less presentable parts are treated with greater propriety, whereas our more presentable parts do not need this. But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy. Now you are Christ's body, and individually parts of it. Some people God has designated in the church to be, first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work mighty deeds? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?
The second reading fleshes the bottom line of God’s rules out for us—that all people should understand their dignity and honor as a child of God—that they should be made to feel important and loved no matter what they have to offer, and that whatever someone has to offer is a real contribution—not just a token.
This week choose a member of the Body of Christ (which is everyone) and treat them better than they are being treated. See what happens.
The Holy Gospel according to Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21
Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning and ministers of the word have handed them down to us, I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings you have received. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all. He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord. Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."
Jesus brings it all home with the reading of the Jubilee text from Isaiah. He IS the fulfillment of the Law—and the way that he treated and loved the least respected members of society is how we are supposed to, too.
Adults - How are you living out God’s mercy in this year? Choose a Corporal Work of Mercy or Spiritual Work of Mercy and live it out.
Teens - Look up the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled and choose one to learn more about.
Kids - How can you praise Jesus every day this week?