Feast day St. Therese of Lisieux

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33 Days to Merciful Love Retreat

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Our Parish Feast Day this year is October 2. We plan to have one tri-lingual Mass to enable us celebrate together and be together. To help us feast well with our saint, Thérèse, we would like to drink first from her spiritual tradition.

As part of help to celebrating the Year of Mercy, Fr. Michael Gaitley wrote a retreat book, 33 Days to Merciful Love. This is indeed a retreat, but of a different kind. Instead of three days, it is thirty-three days. It is also of a different kind because it is “A Do-It-Yourself Retreat. It is promoted by the congregation of Marians of Immaculate Conception (MIC) to which Fr. Michael belongs. They have a series of programs of evangelization for parishes under the umbrella name, HAPP (Hearts Afire Parish-based Programs).

The more striking thing about 33 Days to Merciful Love Retreat is that it is built on the spirituality of our own St. Thérèse of Lisieux. It is a four-week retreat program that involves reading about two pages of Fr. Michael’s reflections on one of the themes from St. Thérèse. Each week has one theme that is subdivided into smaller themes for each day of the week. As a parish-based retreat, it consists of each parishioner reading the daily texts for each week, pondering the message and coming together some day within the week with everyone for sharing and summary. The beginning days of the retreat are chosen based on feast days.

To enable us conclude on October 2, we start today, August 28. We will be meeting every Thursday night at 7:00PM for our sharing and summary. Beginning Thursday next week, there will be a DVD from Fr. Michael to facilitate our meeting. You are encouraged to take a copy of the book today to begin the retreat with everyone else. A voluntary donation of $10, more or less, is suggested for the book. Let us all pray for one another for a very successful retreat. God bless us all.

Fr. Paulinus

Please note: We will now meet on Sunday evenings at 6:00 PM starting Sunday, September 11, 2016.

 

Divine Mercy Sunday

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Divine Mercy Sunday is the Sunday after Easter and is a special celebration and opportunity to receive the mercy of our Lord. We will pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy on Sunday afternoon at 3:00pm in the church. All are welcome to attend.

For more information about Divine Mercy Sunday and the graces available on the feast day, here is an excerpt from EWTN website:

During the course of Jesus’ revelations to Saint Faustina on the Divine Mercy He asked on numerous occasions that a feast day be dedicated to the Divine Mercy and that this feast be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. The liturgical texts of that day, the 2nd Sunday of Easter, concern the institution of the Sacrament of Penance, the Tribunal of the Divine Mercy, and are thus already suited to the request of Our Lord. This Feast, which had already been granted to the nation of Poland and been celebrated within Vatican City, was granted to the Universal Church by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of Sr. Faustina on 30 April 2000. In a decree dated 23 May 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated that “throughout the world the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that mankind will experience in the years to come.” These papal acts represent the highest endorsement that the Church can give to a private revelation, an act of  papal infallibility proclaiming the certain sanctity of the mystic, and the granting of a universal feast, as requested by Our Lord to St. Faustina.

Concerning the Feast of Mercy Jesus said:

Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. (Diary 300)

I want the image solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it. (Diary 341)

This Feast emerged from the very depths of My mercy, and it is confirmed in the vast depths of my tender mercies. (Diary 420)

On one occasion, I heard these words: My daughter, tell the whole world about My Inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.* [our emphasis] On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy. (Diary 699)

Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to our neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it. (Diary 742)

I want to grant complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy. (Diary 1109)

As you can see the Lord’s desire for the Feast includes the solemn, public  veneration of the Image of Divine Mercy by the Church, as well as personal acts of veneration and mercy. The great promise for the individual soul is that a devotional act of sacramental penance and Communion will obtain for that soul the plenitude of the divine mercy on the Feast.

*The Cardinal of Krakow, Cardinal Macharski, whose diocese is the center of the spread of the devotion and the sponsor of the Cause of Sr. Faustina, has written that we should use Lent as preparation for the Feast and confess even before Holy Week! So, it is clear that the confessional requirement does not have to be met on the Feast itself. That would be an impossible burden for the clergy if it did. The Communion requirement is easily met that day, however, since it is a day of obligation, being Sunday. We would only need confession again, if received earlier in Lenten or Easter Season, if we were in the state of mortal sin on the Feast.

Lenten Penance Service

We will have our Lenten Penance Service on Tuesday, April 4th at 7:00pm in the church building. Please feel free to come and feel the forgiveness of the Lord.

A helpful tool to help prepare for this service of grace and forgiveness is a printed Examination of Conscience guide to help us to know what sins we should confess. Here is a link to one such tool:  examination of conscience

Here are a couple of videos to help us remember the importance and the steps of going to Confession.