People you should know
This small piece of cloth hung around your neck really does mean something. It’s a call to remember who you are, a child of God and much loved, a disciple of Jesus and the need to pray.
This is a long-standing Marian devotion. Long ago, Mary appeared to St. Simon Stock and gave him a ‘scapular.’ St. Simon was a Carmelite. Men went to the well of Elijah on the top of Mt. Carmel to pray. They were called hermits and lived in community. People saw their devotion and wanted to be like them. They received scapulars from the Carmelites to wear, too. Over time, they became smaller. In a ceremony, our Pastor blessed the scapulars and put them over the heads of students and their teachers. They promised to try to be a disciple like Mary, follow Jesus and ask Mary for help. They would say the Morning Prayer and at least 1 Hail Mary a day with the approval of our priest. The challenge would be for the kids to say 3 Hail Marys a day! Of course, adults can pray a rosary every day.
Our Lady said to St. Simon Stock, a Carmelite
“Take this Scapular, it shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger and a pledge of peace. Whosoever dies wearing this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire,” and, “Wear it devoutly and perseveringly. It is my garment. To be clothed in it means you are continually thinking of me, and I in turn, am always thinking of you and helping you to secure eternal life.”
1) Wear the scapular at all times
2) Be chaste according to your state of life (married or single)
3) Do an action showing devotion to Our Lady
a)Pray the Hail Mary
b)Pray the Morning Offering
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: Reparation for sin,
the salvation of souls, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and especially those of our Holy Father this month.
Fr. Leopold is the world’s smallest priest!
Have you heard that you can get a Legos Mass set? You can even change Fr. Leopold’s vestments for the liturgical seasons! This is a fun way to ‘practice’ Mass. Too simple for you? Are you to ‘big’ for a set with only 174 pieces?
Last year, a priest displayed a pretty impressive Lego project at the Franklin Institute in Pennsylvania.
About 500,000 Legos later, Fr. Bob Simon had created a replica of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in honor of Pope Francis’ visit. It is 14’ x 6’ feet and took more than 10 months to create. He said it was a prayerful experience to build.
Another fun fact: He tried to create St. Peter’s Basilica when he was 7 years old and was sure he wanted to be a priest then, too!
According to Fortune and Wired, it would cost about $50,000 to make!
How many Legos do you have? Can you ‘build’ your faith? What would it look like?
A priest who makes his own light saber? You betcha. And soon he will be a bishop!
Deep in the heart of Texas, a campus chaplain is busy making his final spiritual and practical preparations for becoming a bishop. However, unlike many of his soon-to-be brother-bishops, Fr. David Konderla is carving his very own staff – or crosier – to signify his new position and duty as a teacher and head of a diocese.
“Every Jedi has not completed his training until he’s made his own light saber that he uses to fight evil with – so this is my light saber,” Bishop-elect David Konderla told CNA in an interview.
You probably never thought of a priest or a bishop as a Jedi. And you probably never thought that they would need a light saber although they do fight evil. For Fr. Konderla it’s a symbol of his role as a bishop. How does he make a crosier? What does it stand for?
A crosier is a hooked staff – based on the shape of a shepherd’s staff – carried by bishops in the Catholic Church to symbolize their pastoral function in the Church. Other important symbols of a bishop’s position are the pectoral cross worn on a bishop’s chest, the mitre- or hat, and the episcopal ring.
Fr. Konderla saved wood from trees that were taken down to build a parish center. “I was able to incorporate some of that wood into this crosier so it will have that special meaning.”
The crosier has a bottom section that is detachable so that you can travel with it. The hook is a little trickier to make. Fr. Konderla takes thinly-sliced strips of wood that are softened with steam from a kettle on his stovetop. After they soften, he quickly bends them around a form and lets them cool. Then they can be glued together to form an “ugly” square piece of wood that is whittled and smoothed until it takes the form of a hook. He will use different woods in the same process to make three rings of wood that he sees as “representing the trinity.” Then the staff will be stained and polished.
Fr. Konderla and his brother, a jeweler, are working together to design and make a ring based on St. Pope John Paul II’s fisherman’s ring. The ring includes gold from their mother’s wedding ring and incorporates his devotions to the Sacred Heart, Divine Mercy and Mary.
Fr. Konderla said that this project of creating the crosier and ring are reflecting the beauty that God creates in the world. “Art is expressive of the divine,” and woodwork in particular is an art form that must respect God’s own beautiful creations, he said. He will be setting up his workshop in his new garage as a bishop!
Everything in our Church has meaning from the stained glass to the vestments that the Priest wears. Our homes say a lot about us from the colors we like to the style of furniture. We wear different styles of clothing or jewelry. Do you have your Grandmother’s favorite teapot? Maybe something that belonged to your great-grandparents? As Christians, we all choose how we show our faith. I wear a cross and a few Saint medals. I have crosses in my home and religious pictures among the many of family or art that I have created. I also have treasures that have been handed down in my family. All of those are carried with me like the bishop’s crosier. They ‘shepherd’ and guide me through life just like the shepherd’s staff. Our challenge is to be good shepherds to those around us.
Here are some staffs from our popes:
Pope Francis looks pretty serious here as he listens intently. He has asked us to show mercy to each other, especially our families and listen to the poor. He wants us to make a difference in the world around us!
Pope Benedict XVI is smiling!
Check out this article about astronauts who take their faith into space and even take Communion with them! Full CNS Article
Here are some excerpts:
“When you see the Earth from that vantage point and see all the natural beauty that exists, it’s hard not to sit there and realize there has to be a higher power that has made this,” said Hopkins, who is Catholic.
Astronaut Mike Good, a member of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Nassau Bay, Texas, near NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and a veteran of two space flights, spent about 12 days on each of his missions aboard the space shuttle. Taking Communion into space, he said, was not as imperative.
“It just makes it so obvious that God created this beautiful place. The word awe just comes to mind. … And looking out into space, it’s just a clear view. The stars don’t twinkle. It’s like a high definition 3-D TV. You look out into space and feel very small.”
Good, a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, expects that when the moment of launch comes, there’s a feeling of connection with God or a higher power among just about everyone heading to space.
Among the things Massimino took on his first flight was a Vatican City flag, which he later gave to St. John Paul II. On his second flight, he took a prayer card depicting Pope Benedict XVI, which he gave to the pontiff.
Hopkins, Good and Massimino took mementos, including religious items, from their schools, parishes and friends into space.
To keep astronauts’ spirits high, NASA arranges for occasional calls with celebrities on flights and asks each astronaut with whom they might like to talk. Vande Hei, who holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from St. John’s University in Minnesota, said he suggested Pope Francis.
His request may not be outside the realm of possibility. Pope Benedict communicated with the crew aboard the ISS in May 2011 in a 20-minute conversation.
At a time when I started to feel tired and struggled to stand up again, my husband told me about this quote:
“It is not the critic who counts;
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to
the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,
because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;
but who does actually strive to do the deeds;
who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who at the worst, if he fails,
at least fails while daring greatly,
so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls
who neither know victory nor defeat.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
Scripture inspiration: Hebrews 12:1-3 “Run the race!”
The story of Ruth is some-what peculiar. It is a love story, but one that stands out greatly from the ones we hear about today. Ruth’s husband dies and she is left alone with only her sister-in-law Orpah and her mother-in-law Naomi. Naomi decides to go back to Judah, her home, and Ruth and Orpah start to follow her. Naomi tries to convince them to return to their home so they can remarry. Orpah goes back, but Ruth stays by Naomi’s side. Naomi tries to get Ruth to go back but Ruth refuses, and Naomi, seeing that Ruth will never leave her, allows her to come with, and they go to Judah together. After they get settled, Ruth goes out to a field in order to pick up the grain left behind by the workers. She happens to go to the field of Boaz, one of Naomi’s relatives, and he is very generous to her while she picks from his fields. Naomi realizes the field belongs to Boaz and she gives Ruth specific instructions about what she should do to get Boaz to marry her. Ruth follows the instructions to a ‘t’ and she and Boaz were married, and they had a son.
One can see that this is a very unusual love story, but it does have a very important point to make. Things may not have started out very well for Ruth, but her loyalty and obedience to Naomi lead her to a life that probably turned out even better than she could have imagined. We should demonstrate that kind of loyalty and obedience to the Church, because it is lead by God Himself, and since God knows all things He can most certainly make us the happiest we can be through His Will. – Sarah
Okay, so that is a sensational headline. But this story is amazing. Get the whole story here:
Mom has a problem with her pregnancy and one doctor says the baby will be deformed. Second doctor says he is wrong. They don’t have money for a month long hospital stay. Guess who pays the bill?
And the March for Life is born…
A whole ‘nother look at “your faith has saved you.”