Holy Family Parish at 195 Walcott St., Pawtucket, RI 02860 US - Random Thoughts
Oct. 11, 2012-Nov. 24, 2013
In the Acts of the Apostoles, we learn that God has opened the door of faith for the early Church. But did you know that God has opened the door of faith for each one of us and he invites us to step through the threshold into an deeper relationship with Him. The upcoming Year of Faith is an opportunity for every Catholic to turn towards Jesus Christ, encounter him in the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and rediscover the Faith and Church.
The upcoming Year of Faith is a "summons to an authetic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world." In other words, the Year of Faith is an opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion--to turn back to Jesus and to enter into a deeper relationship with Him. The "door of faith" is opened at one's Baptism, but during this year Catholics are called to open it again, walk through it and rediscover and renew their relationship with Christ and His Church.
"...They called the Church togather and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith..." (Acts 14:27)
Holy Family Parish will follow this year in its fulness. Here are some of the materials you might use to help you during this year. Others will come as the year progresses.
Year of Faith
October 16, 2011
"Drawing on the Scripture readings for today, the Pope outlines a roadmap for the new evangelizers. In the first reading, the Prophet Isaiah recounts how King Cyrus, the Persian Emperor in the 6th centurty B.C., played his part in fulfilling the divine plan despite that fact that he "did not know" God and was not even Jewish."
" Even the mighty Cyrus, Persian Emperor, is part of a greater plan, that only God knows and carries forward," observed the Pope.
This demonstrates, he said, the need for a new "theology of history" as an "essential part" of the new evangelization "because "the men of our time, after the disasterous season of totalitarian empires of the 20th century, need to find a comprehensive vision of the world and time," more compatible with the vision of the Church.
In the second reading, taken from St. Paul's First Letter to the Thessalonians, the Pope said new evangelizers are reminded that "it is the Lord who touches hearts by His Word and His Spirit, by calling people of faith and communion in the Church."
The fact that it is God and not the evangelizer who touches hearts, shows the importance of recognizing God as the prime mover in any apostolic activities which "must always be preceded, accompanied and initiated by God."
Highlights In The Plan for Year of Faith
Many of the pope's traditional appointments, such as the Jan. 25th celebration marking the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and Feb. 2nd prayer with religious, are incorporated into the Year of Faith.
Other events have been added such as the Oct. 6th "Courtyard of the Gentiles" meeting in the Umbrian town of Assisi, which is presented as a prologue to the Annus Fidei with an encounter and dialogue between believers and non-believers on the theme of faith.
The Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme of New Evangelization will also stretch across the opening of the Year of Faith, as the synod runs October 7-28.
After the official opening of the Year of Faith, a cultural event takes place Oct. 12th at the Church of the Gesu, focused on Dante Alighieri and faith.
Other events include:
Oct. 21: canonization of 6 martys of the faith
Oct. 26-30: a World Congress for Catholic teachers
Nov. 15-17: International conference for health care workers on the theme "the hospital, a place of evangelization: a human and spiritual mission."
Dec. 1: Benedict XVI will celebrate the first Vespers of Advent for the Pontifical Universities, the Seminaries and the Ecclesial Colleges.
Dec. 20- May 1: an exhibition of the Year of Faith at Castel Sant'Angelo
Dec. 28- Jan.2: the Taize community in collaboration with Vicariate of Rome promotes a European youth meeting
Jan. through November: Inauguration of a major exhibition at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls dedicated to the Basilica itself and Vatican II
Feb. 25-26: International congress dedicated to Saints Cyril and Methodius at the Pontifical Oriental Institute and the Gregorian University
April 4-6 conference for Catholic associations dedicated to education
April 13: concert title "Oh My Son" in Paul Vith Hall
Also in April: Day of Seminaries and a Day of Study dedicated to Vatican II documents
April 28: Pope will confirm a group of young people and meet with others who recently have been or are about to be confirmed in their home countries.
In May, the Pope will make a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Peter.
June 2, the feast of Corpus Christi: Benedict XVI will lead the solemn adoration of the Eucharist and is asking every cathedral and parish to have an hour of silent contemplation before the Blessed Sacrament at exactly the same hour.
June 16; the Pope will preside over the celebration of the Church's witness to the dignity and value of every human life.
June 22: Concert in St. Peter's Square for the Year of Faith
July 7: Benedict XVI will meet with seminarians and novices, who will make a pilgrimage to Rome to demonstrate "the joy of their decision to follow the Lord in serving His Church."
July 23-28: World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro
Sept. 18-19; a workshop organized by the Congregation for Catholic Education and the Pontifical Universities to examine the value of "the Catholic Church's Catechism" in the teaching of theology.
September 29: Day for Catechists celebrated in the presence of Benedict XVI
Oct. 13: the Pope will celebrate a Marian Day together with a host of Marian Associations
Nov. 24: Year of Faith concludes
Catholic Year of Faith
Prayer to Shine the Light of Jesus
by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
Dear Jesus, help me to spread
thy fragrance everywhere I go.
Flood my soul with Thy spirit
and love. Penetrate and possess
my whole being so utterly that
all my life may only be a radiance
of Thine. Shine through me and
be so in me that every soul I come
in contact with may feel Thy
presence in my soul. Let them
look up and see no longer me
but only Jesus. Stay with me and
then I shall begin to shine as to be a
light to others.
Prayer in Celebration of the
50th Anniversary of the Opening of Vatican Council II
Eternal God, you called your Church at the Second Vatican Council to
stir into flame afresh the riches of grace that abide in her heart, and bid
us to seek from you a new and fiery Pentecost. In fidelity to this call,
sanctify your Church by a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, they we
might set the world ablaze with the liberating truth and radiant beauty of
your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, for you, O Father, are the
lover of mankind.
Prayer for the Year of Faith
Eternal God, everlasting Father,
we lift to you adoring love and praise
for the gift of faith
by which we open ourselves
to the fiery Love of your Spirit,
poured out through the pierced Heart
of Your Son, Jesus Christ.
Stir up that faith anew in us,
Deepen our trust,
illumine our minds,
enkindle our hearts
and make us worthy servants
of the reconciliation
Christ won for us,
that we may come to know
the peace of the Kingdom
where you live forever and ever.
Year of Faith
O Father, God of my life, this day I
renew my act of Faith in you and grant
you permission to do with me as you will.
Create in me a heart ready for all
circumstances: in times of sorrow,
may I turn to your compassion; in times
of darkness, may I trust in your
providence; in times of suffering, may I
cling to your Cross; in times of my
unfaithfulness, may I taste of your mercy;
and in times of abundance, may I echo
your generosity by sharing with those in
need. O Kind Father, grant me such
living Faith through Christ our Lord.
30 ways to live a holier life
2. Go on a personal retreat.
3. Keep the Sabath.
4. Be a voice in the wilderness.
5. Share and share alike.
6. Celebrate the Sacraments.
7. Practice respect
8. Learn to let it go.
9. Share your faith.
10. Read Scripture every day.
11. Speak words of encouragement.
12. Take on self-denial and sacrifice.
13. Take on Justice.
14. Practice forgiveness.
15. Actively participate in Mass each Sunday.
16. Serve the poor.
17. Be a domestic Church.
18. Know your faith.
19. Keep you faith visible.
20. Walk away from the vulgar.
21. Avoid gossip.
22. Pray some more.
23. Share faith.
24. Pray for others.
25. Visit Churches when you travel.
26. Share your gifts.
27. Look for evidence of God's love every day.
28. Dress modestly.
29. Don't give up.
30. Fear not.
Why do Catholics do that?
Why do Catholics bless themselves before and after Church?
Old Testament Jews washed with water before entering the Temple precincts. Building on a ritual familiar to the Jews, John the Baptist used water to represent repentence of sin and purification. So when we cross ourselves with holy water entering and leaving the church, we recall that history. But we also refer to our Baptism when the priest used the water to symbolize the washing away of our sins and to protect us from evil.
Why do we believe that the Pope is head of the Church?
Jesus gave Peter his name, which means Rock and declared that he will build his Church on the Rock. Jesus also gave Peter "the keys of the kingdom of Heaven." (Matt. 16:19)
In Jesus' day, the person who held the keys to the kingdom represented the king, and acted with his authority. So he was signaling that Peter was given a special role of leadership. Catholics believe that the authority given to St. Peter did not end with his death but passed to his successors who also became head of the Church.
Why do Catholics go to Confession?
Disobeying God damages our friendship with him, so we need his forgiveness to heal it. That is why Jesus initiated the Sacrament of Reconciliation (also called "Confession") "Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven." (Matthew 16:19) This brings us back to God.
In Confession, we admit what we did, say that we are sorry and resolve never to do it again. Penance helps us make up for it. When the priest conveys Christ's forgiveness to us, our friendship is restored.
Why do Catholics baptize babies?
"Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." (John 3:5).
Baptism is a gateway to life in the Spirit, the Church and the other Sacraments. So it makes sense that it be conveyed as early as possible. While a child obviously can't consciously choose Baptism, her parents can choose for her. In so doing, they accept for her the priceless gift of becoming a child of God.
Why do we call our priests, "Father"?
According to Our Sunday Visitor Catholic Encyclopedia those in the early Church who gave special witness to the faith were called "Father." In fact, St. Paul said, "For those who have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel." (1 Corinthians 4:15-16)
The practice of addressing priests this way was brought to the U.S. in the 19th century by Irish immigrants who called their priests, "Father." Today this title reminds us that we are all united as a family under Christ, and his representatives on earth.
Poverty in our State
In 2010, 142,000 of our neighbors (14% of the population) lived in poverty and 43% lived in extreme poverty.
In 2010, 42,211 children (19% of our youmgsters) lived in poverty.
Around 5,800 families relied on the RI Works program for assistance. The monthly payment of $554 for a family of 3 is 60% below the poverty level.
Close to 33,000 elderly and disabled RIers receive SSI benefits. The monthly payment of $714 is 20% below poverty level.
Lack of Health Insurance
Between 2009 and 2010, just over 119,000 Rhode Islanders (13%) were insured.
Between 2007 and 2009, an estimated 19,600 children under the age of 18 (8%) were uninsured.
Hunger and Food Assistance
Between 2008 and 2010, more than one in seven Rhode Island households (almost 15%) were food insecure (did not have access to enough food for an active, healthy life).
In October, 2011 there were 168, 694 Rhode Islanders receiving SNAP (Food Stamps) benefits.
An aqverage of 60,000 people per month were served at Emergency Food Pantries in 2011.
Homelessness and the Need for Affordable Housing
During 2010, 4,284 people used emergency homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters and transitional housing.
Thirty-nine percent of the people experiencing homelessness in 2010 were children and adults in families, and 13% were children under age six.
In November 2011, the unemployment rate in Rhode Islandwas 10.5%, the highest in New England.