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Voice of the Family presents Our Lady of the Rosary Family Catechism, an entire online video catechism course which provides children and their families, completely free of charge, with the unique opportunity to learn the timeless truths of the Catholic Faith according to the classic Baltimore Catechism. This program will be a real asset to Catholic parents, the primary educators of their children. The easily accessible lessons of Our Lady or the Rosary Family Catechism are presented by Fr Anthony Pillari JCL, MCL, STB with the view that all children and families commit the Baltimore Catechism to memory, as generations of Catholics used to do. By taking up this delightful challenge, we are invited to join the mission given by Our Lady at Fatima: to work for the salvation of souls by striving for holiness in our daily lives. Sign up today, become crusaders for Christ!
MASS READINGS AND VIDEO REFLECTION
First Sunday of Lent - Cycle B
Destroy Sin Live for God - Live Out Your Baptismal Promises
We journey during our Lenten Season to be with the Lord Jesus in His days in the desert fasting and in prayer. We also journey with a sense of self-discipline, mastering our body and bodily wants so that we can choose always to do what is good and avoid evil; or better yet, to destroy evil. Hence, we are told from the readings to live our faith well; to live our baptismal promises. Living our faith well is living for God.
Lv. 19:1-2, 11-18/Ps 19:8-15/Mt 25:31-46
Is. 55:10-11/Ps 34:4-7, 16-19/Mt 6:7-15
Jon. 3:1-10/Ps 51:3-4, 12-19/Lk 11:29-32
1 Pt. 5:1-4/Ps 23:1-6/Mt 16:13-19
Ez. 18:21-28/Ps 130:1-8/Mt 5:20-26
Dt. 26:16-19/Ps 119:1-8/Mt 5:43-48
Gn. 22:1-2, 9a-18/Ps 116:10-19 (116:9) Rom 8:31b-34/Mk 9:2-10
Our ministry aims to help the faithful adult to grow in both Human and Christian maturity.
As part of this goal we offer links to Adult Faith Formation videos.
QUESTIONS & Catholic ANSWERS
The Apparition of Blessed Mary in Lourdes, France - February 11, 1858
On February 11, 1858, the Mother of God came from Heaven and appeared to a young girl named Bernadette Soubirous in the town of Lourdes in the Pyrenees Mountains in France. Accompanied by her sister and a friend, Bernadette went to the grotto of Massabielle on the banks of the river looking for driftwood to make a fire and sell some firewood to buy bread. Removing her socks to cross the little stream, she heard a great gust of wind in the stillness, she looked up towards the grotto. St. Bernadette tells us,
“I saw a lady dressed in white, she wore a white dress, an equally white veil, a blue belt and a yellow rose on each foot.”
Bernadette made the Sign of the Cross with the lady and they prayed the Rosary together in silence. When the prayer ended, the most beautiful lady suddenly vanished. Four years later, in 1862, the bishop of the diocese declared the faithful “justified in believing the reality of the apparition.” Pope Leo XIII authorized a special office and a Mass, in commemoration of the apparition, and in 1907 Pope Pius X extended the observance of this feast to the entire Church.
Bernadette was later canonized as a saint in the Catholic Church for living a holy life. She lived the Message of Lourdes she received for all of us in the Grotto.
In 2024, Ash Wednesday falls on February 14th, Valentine’s Day. It is the first day of the liturgical season of Lent. It always falls six and a half weeks before Easter, beginning the Lenten season of preparation for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Ash Wednesday dates back to the 11th century. Yet, the tradition of receiving ashes has even earlier roots to the ancient Hebrew custom of clothing oneself in sackcloth and dusting oneself with ashes as a sign of penance. The Bible does not explicitly detail this first day of Lent, but there are many instances of this repentant act in the Old Testament, such as Job 16:15, “I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and have laid my strength in the dust.”
Across many religious traditions, ashes signify the mortality of our human bodies. Genesis 3:19 tells us, “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
In the early Christian Church, public penance for people who had sinned included wearing ashes and sackcloth. As the Church grew and evolved, this practice lessened. This long tradition of externally recognizing ourselves as sinners seeking renewal with God — ultimately transformed into what we now know as Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. We begin our season of preparing our hearts for Easter by recognizing our brokenness and need for conversion, a turning of our hearts to God.
This excerpt from Saint Ephrem is is a testimony to the rich, inexhaustible treasure that is Sacred Scripture. God’s Word is like a spring offering spiritual drink which never runs dry. It always has the ability to satisfy our thirst for God and his truth.
Lord, who can comprehend even one of your words? We lose more of it than we grasp, like those who drink from a living spring. For God’s word offers different facets according to the capacity of the listener. And the Lord has portrayed his message in many colors, so that whoever gazes upon it can see in it what suits him. Within it he has buried manifold treasures, so that each of us might grow rich in seeking them out.
INEXHAUSTIBLE SPRING & RICH TREASURE
The word of God is a tree of life that offers us blessed fruit from each of its branches. It is like that rock which was struck open in the wilderness, from which all were offered spiritual drink. As the Apostle says: They ate spiritual food and they drank spiritual drink.
And so whenever anyone discovers some part of the treasure, he should not think that he has exhausted God’s word. Instead he should feel that this is all that he was able to find of the wealth contained in it. Nor should he say that the word is weak and sterile or look down on it simply because this portion was all that he happened to find. But precisely because he could not capture it all, he should give thanks for its riches.
Be glad then that you are overwhelmed, and do not be saddened because he has overcome you. A thirsty man is happy when he is drinking, and he is not depressed because he cannot exhaust the spring.
So let this spring quench your thirst, and not your thirst the spring. For if you can satisfy your thirst without exhausting the spring, then when you thirst again you can drink from it once more. But if when your thirst is sated the spring is also dried up, then your victory would turn to harm.
THE ABUNDANCE OF GOD’S WORD
Be thankful, then, for what you have received, and do not be saddened at all that such an abundance still remains. What you have received and attained is your present share, while what is left will be your heritage. For what you could not take at one time because of your weakness, you will be able to grasp at another if you only persevere. So do not foolishly try to drain in one draught what cannot be consumed all at once. And do not cease out of faintheartedness from what you will be able to absorb as time goes on.
The current norm regarding fasting before communion is Canon No. 919:
§1. A person who is to receive the Most Holy Eucharist is to abstain for at least one hour before holy communion from any food and drink, except for only water and medicine.
§3. The elderly, the infirm, and those who care for them can receive the Most Holy Eucharist even if they have eaten something within the preceding hour.
The calendar is based upon the General Roman Calendar, promulgated by Pope Saint Paul VI on February 14, 1969, subsequently amended by the Holy See, and the Proper Calendar for the Dioceses of the United States of America, approved by the USCCB and confirmed in 2010 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
ARE YOU AN ACTIVE PARISHIONER?
A Parish is not simply a “branch office” of the Church, nor a periodic audience of people, nor an occasional public; but it is a formally organized social group. It is a portion of a Diocese under the authority of a Priest legitimately appointed to secure in virtue of his office for the faithful dwelling therein, the helps of religion.
The faithful are called parishioners, and they become parishioners by acquiring a domicile or a quasi-domicile within the geographical boundaries or territory of the Parish.
Parishioners could be active parishioners or non-active parishioners, and the question of parishioner status is important because parishioners look to their Parish for many services such as:
- Parishioner tuition rates in our Catholic schools;
- The use of our facilities for liturgical services such as baptisms, weddings and funerals;
- And certification as eligible sponsors at Sacramental celebrations.
These rights and services within the church bring with them certain obligations, as in any form of community.
To be considered “active,” a parishioners must be:
- Registered in the parish;
- Attend Mass faithfully;
- Support the life of the parish by sharing time and talents in service;
- And sharing treasure (tithing) to build up the community.
Active participation in Christian Stewardship makes you an ACTIVE parishioner.