Monday, September 21, 2015

A Unique Opportunity has a unique opportunity for our parishes.  Before going to to shop, stop at our parish website and click on the amazon logo.  The result will be that 4% of everything you purchase will be donated back to the parishes.  I know that it sounds too good to be true, but it is true.  You can use your Amazon Prime; apply any credits that you may have.  It's the same as shopping on  The only difference is that a percentage of the sale comes back to the parish.  Clicking on the link below will produce the same result.

Vocations - Not Just for Priests, Deacons, and Religious

One of our diocesan priorities is to "create a culture of vocations."  When we hear the word vocation, we think of priests, deacons, and religious.  However, truly the term is much broader because each one of us is called by God to live the good life that he has given us.  A vocation is not a job.  Rather, a vocation is how we live life including the vocations of marriage and single life which are true vocations.
   Our diocesan priority is meant to help create this understanding that our vocation in life is our way of living God's gift of life.
   The bishop has called for a Vocation Committee is every parish or group of parishes.  A parish vocation committee raises the awareness that every baptized person is called to live our his or her vocation in life.  Using resources provided by the diocese, the committee will be empowered to encourage parishioners to listen, ray and seek the signs which reveal God's will and purpose in each of their lives.  If interested, please contact Msgr. Aucoin, Deacon Kevin or Sr. Jackie.
    There will be training for people throughout the area who are volunteering to work on their Vocation Committee.  Thus, those who wish to participate on this committee will be well trained to promote vocations within their parishes.
    The training will be at the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse on October 13 at 6:30 pm.

This link has more information.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Are You Going To Die?

I know that's a silly question.  We know that the answer is yes, but we don't like the question, nor do we care for the response.  However, death is part of life; death is the gateway to the fulfillment of life in our Christian perspective.
    Death is so special that we mark the event with ceremonies.  After birth, we celebrate entrance into life with Christ and His Church through Baptism.  A baptism is a moment for great celebration both humanly and spiritually.
    The other great celebration is a Catholic funeral.  Various rites such as the wake, the funeral, and the burial all have specified rituals that magnificently mark the person's life and the person's relationship with Christ.  For a Catholic, none of these rituals should be bypassed or neglected.  The  Christian dignity of the human person must be recognized until the end and even after.  
     Unfortunately, I see so often that the children of good Catholic parents are neglecting funeral arrangements for their parents for the sake of convenience or expediency even to the point of no funeral, no wake, burials with no one present or lack of proper disposal of ashes.
     We should always make clear our funeral wishes through pre-arrangement with a funeral director and/or written directives given to the funeral director and a trusted family member.  
     To assist with those arrangements, I will be offering a session on how to prepare your Catholic funeral.  The same program will be given twice: once at St. Anthony's and once at St. Patrick's.  This presentation will highlight the elements of a Catholic funeral and give you the tools and details that you need to prepare your funeral in its entirety.  Don't leave this important event for someone else to arrange.  This program is open to all.  So, please feel free to invite others to come with you.
     The sessions will be:

Tuesday, October 13, St. Patrick's Chapel at 4 pm
Tuesday, October 27, Msgr. Secchi Hall at 6:30 pm

Friday, September 4, 2015

Dedicate the Sanctuary Candle

The red Sanctuary Lamp by the tabernacle burns to remind us of the sacramental presence of Jesus Christ. 
It is a mark of honor to remind the faithful of the presence of Christ, and is a profession of their love and affection.  
If you wish to have the Sanctuary Lamp burning in memory of a loved one, to honor a special occasion, or a special intention make arrangements with the Parish Office by calling 782-6086. The sanctuary candle in either St. Anthony's of St. Patrick's church can be memorialized.  The cost of the candle is $15.00. It will burn for one week. The memorial will be published in the Bulletin.

Masses Celebrated for Our Loved Ones

  There is a time-honored tradition of having Masses offered for our beloved dead, for our special intentions, and for the needs of the living.  Over the past few years, I have noticed that fewer people are asking for Masses to be celebrated for the deceased on the occasion of a funeral.  When you go to a wake, I encourage you to go with a Mass card indicating your desire to be spiritually with the family at this moment of separation in their lives.
     This practice is not new. The Catechism asserts, "From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic Sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God" (No. 1032). Actually! "This "beginning" has toots even in the Old Testament. Judas Maccabees offered prayers and sacrifices for the Jewish soldiers who had died wearing pagan amulets, which were forbidden by the Law; II Maccabees reads, "Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out" (12:43) and "Thus, [Judas Maccabees] made atonement for the deed mat they might be freed from sin" (12:46).
     In the early history of the Church, we also see evidence of prayers for the dead. Inscriptions uncovered on tombs in the Roman catacombs of the second century evidence this practice. For example. the epitaph on the tomb of Abercius (d. 180) Bishop of Hieropolis in Phrygia begs for prayers for the repose of his soul' Tertullian in 211 attested to observing the anniversary of death with prayers. Moreover, the Canons of Hippolytus (c. 235) explicitly mention the offering of prayers for the dead during the Mass.
the testimony of the Church Fathers beautifully support this belief: St. Cyril of Jerusalem (d. 386), in one of his many catechetical discourses, explained how at Mass both the living and dead are remembered, and how the Eucharistic Sacrifice of our Lord is of benefit to sinners, living and dead. St. Ambrose (d. 397) preached, "We have loved them during life; let us not abandon them in death, until we have conducted them by our prayers into the house of the Lord." St. John Chrysostom (d. 407) stated, "Let us help end commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their {ether's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have disc and to offer our prayers for them." Finally, Pope St. Gregory (d. 604) said, "Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers. for them. "
One may wonder, " What if the person's soul has already been purified and gone to heaven?"' We on earth know neither the judgment of God nor the divine time frame; so, there is always goodness in remembering our departed and commending them to God through prayer and sacrifice. However, if indeed the departed soul has been purified and now rests in God's presence in heaven/ then those prayers and sacrifices offered benefit the other souls in purgatory through the love and mercy of God.
Therefore, we find not only the origins of this practice dating to the early Church but we also clearly recognize its importance. When we face the death of someone, even " person who is not Catholic. to have a Mass offered for the repose of his soul and to offer our prayers are more beneficial and comforting than any other sympathy card or bouquet of flowers. Most importantly, we should always remember our own dearly departed loved ones in the Holy Mass and through our own prayers and sacrifices to help in their gaining eternal rest.

Ministry to the Homebound

We must never forget our parishioners who are now homebound and are no longer able to come to church for regular worship.  We want to stay in touch with them so that they can receive Holy Communion and the sacrament of Penance as desired.
   Already, we have dedicated parishioners who regularly bring Holy Communion to Samaritan Medical Center, Samaritan Keep Home, the Summit, and Angels' Inn.  We, along with you, are most grateful for this precious ministry that they exercise on behalf of the parish.
     Many more are at home.  We know that some are visited by Eucharistic ministers, but we do not necessarily know who they are.  It is very important that there be some kind of central listing of who the homebound are and who is now bringing them Holy Communion.  Likewise, we want to reach out to those homebound who are not being visited for the Sacraments.  We are grateful to the individual Eucharistic Ministers who are taking care of the homebound, but we need to know who they are so that they can continue to be seen if you go on vacation or are away for any extended period of time.
     Father Christy is taking charge of this ministry.  If you are now bringing holy communion to someone, please let him know.  If you know a homebound person who is not being visited, please let him know.  Again, we want to make sure that no one is forgotten!

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

Every Thursday afternoon and evening we have adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at St. Patrick's Church.  This time honored tradition of the church allows us to spend quality time in prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament.  You are free to come and go as you wish during the adoration times from 12:30 to 8 pm.
    Some people are willing to make a commitment to spend an hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament.  We need to have more volunteers willing to make that commitment.  There should always be at least two people in church during Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.  Please consider volunteering your time.  Carol Dulmage is the contact person for this prayer ministry.  As the picture says: "The best time you will spend on earth."


An issue discussed at both parishes was the ability of people to hear in the church.  There are some very good systems available that will allow people with hearing difficulties to hear better in church.  The item is basically a headset that a user would pick up coming into church and would put on just like any other headset.  For those who already have a hearing aid there is a simple loop that would go around the neck and interact with the existing hearing aid.  The advantage for the user would be the ability to hear directly everything that flows through the sound system without echo or other extraneous noise.  Some people may not like to admit that hearing is difficult.  However, admitting to the reality would allow the person to participate more fully in the celebration of the Eucharist.

Let me know what you think about getting such a system.  The cost would be about $1,200 per church.  If you would like to donate to provide a system, that would be greatly appreciated.

Liturgy Committees

The Liturgy Committees from both parishes met during this past week.  The members of both committees are very enthusiastic and want to make sure that our liturgies and prayer experiences in our parishes can be faith-filled moments for all at St. Patrick's and St. Anthony's.  I look forward to working with both committees.

Over the next few weeks, before we meet in October, I will be reviewing what needs to be done for the year and work with individual committee members to accomplish all that needs to happen.