Deacon Bulletin Article, May 20 2018

Over the last two weeks, we talked about Pope Francis telling Emanuele “God is the one who decides who goes to Heaven.”  The reality of death reminders us our days on earth are numbered.  Therefore, we should strive to make the best of our time here using our God-Given gifts to do His will and receive His grace.  To die in the grace of God is called a Good Death.  The surest way to die a Good Death is to live a good Christian life so God, in His mercy, may judge us worthy of entering His Kingdom.

When we die, our soul leaves the body and is judged immediately by God.  At death, the possibility of merit, demerit, or conversion ceases.  The soul will go directly to Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory.  This is called the “Particular Judgement”.  Our soul is reunited with our body during the “Final Judgement” when Christ returns at the end of time.  (More on Final Judgement and Hell next week.)

Purgatory comes from the Latin word purgare, meaning “to purify.”  Our belief in the soul needing purification after death to enter Heaven is rooted in ancient Jewish thought and strongly implied in Scripture.   Purgatory has been part of Sacred Tradition since the Church’s beginning.  Evidence of Purgatory is found in the 2nd Book of Maccabees (two centuries before Christ).  Jewish militants led by Judas Maccabees returned to a battlefield to recover the bodies of their fallen comrades only to find them wearing tokens of a pagan idol –  a clear violation of God’s 1st Commandment.  Judas Maccabees and his soldiers offered prayers for the dead so their sins may be forgiven.  They took up a collection for the poor in Jerusalem as a “sin offering” (2 Maccabees 12: 43-45).  Praying for the dead implies their sins may be cleansed in the next life.  That’s why we pray for the dead today.

St Paul writes upon our death that the work we do will be tested by fire.  If the work is good, we survive the test and are rewarded.  If not, the work is lost, and we can only be saved through fire (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).  In speaking of the resurrection, St Peter writes “we may have to suffer various trials, so the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:7).”  Fire is a biblical symbol for purification.  Being saved through fire after being judged for our life’s work means we can undergo a purification process after death.  This purification takes place in Purgatory.

Our Catechism says “On the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love (CCC 1022.)”  Therefore, we should strive to live a good life in God’s grace so we can die a Good Death.  Always remembering “God is the one who decides who goes to Heaven.”  Deacon John

Adapted from “Introduction to Catholicism for Adults” by Rev. James Socias

 

Fr. Joe Bulletin, May 20 2018

Greetings in Christ, all!

What a wonderful Easter Season this has been.  Now, here we are at the Feast of Pentecost: the birthday of our Church.

What we celebrate this weekend is nothing less than the joy of the God giving us the gift of His Holy Spirit.

For many Catholics, we are not quite sure what to do with this gift.  We are not sure what the Holy Spirit is and how He can help us.  To that, we have been blessed to offer the Life in the Spirit seminars and, while we are wrapping up our first run of these sessions, we are offering more.  I simply cannot encourage all of us enough to check this out.  Keep your eyes and ears open for the next set of sessions: you will NOT be disappointed.

I wanted to take some space here and run through the summer with you.

Our schedule this summer is quite…interesting. There are a lot of different things going on that make our calendar quite challenging and what I ask is for your patience and understanding with the inevitable errors or changes that will come about as a result.

The biggest thing that is challenging us continues to be the lack of priests.  Fr. Tomy is stretched over Mt. Zion, St. Anthony’s and us and I continue to cover Sacred Heart, St. Mary on the Lake and St. Joseph in Adrian.  While the original plan was for that time at St. Joe’s to have ended in June, it remains unclear to me whether or not that will actually happen, as their new priest will not be arriving until August.

Beyond that, we are blessed to have a lot of marriages, baptisms and other such wonders and it is going to make our calendar interesting.

If you see something and wonder why we are doing it on such and such date when we should be doing it on another, know that we met for hours trying to figure this all out and have offered everyone our absolute best.

So…there it is.  We are beginning a wonderful and challenging run that we will give to God and ask Him to strengthen us for.

May God bless our efforts to worship Him, love Him and love each other more every day!

 

DSA Commitment Weekend, May 19-20, 2018

“Go and Announce the Gospel of the Lord” is the theme of our 2018 Diocesan Services Appeal.  It reminds us that each of us is called to discipleship.    Supporting the DSA is one way to share our blessings and the Good News with the world.

This weekend, our parish will conduct Commitment Weekend for our Diocesan Services Appeal. This is when we will be asking each member of Sacred Heart Parish to consider a generous gift to DSA. Our parish goal of $23,297.00 can be reached if each one of us shares a portion of the many blessings God has bestowed upon us. Please prayerfully consider how you or your family will respond to this call to carry on Christ’s work in our community.

 

2018 DSA Prayer

Loving and gracious God, we praise you and we thank you for the bountiful gifts that you have bestowed upon us.

Instill in us the courage to “Go and Announce the Gospel of the Lord.”

Help us to understand that we are called to discipleship, to grow actively in faith and to go and share the good news with the world.

Please bless our unified efforts and help us to bring Christ’s love to all we encounter.

Give us the grace to be generous in our support of the Diocesan Services Appeal, so that we may faithfully participate as missionary disciples in the work of Your Holy Church.

Amen.

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day

As we celebrate Mother’s Day, let us pray for Mothers, Grandmothers, Godmothers and special ladies is our life.

 

 

Here are 12 powerful Bible verses for moms and about moms:

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

“For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16-17

“Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.” John 19:25-27

“He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 113:9 

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
 Proverbs 22:6

“As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.” Isaiah 66:13

“Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her.” Proverbs 31:2

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

“Encourage … older women as mothers.” 1 Timothy 5:1-2

“And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed.” Luke 1:46-48

taken from www.catholic.org

Principal Anne Atkin Bulletin, May 13 2018

Prudence – Independence but with virtue

“What happened?”  It is that simple. If it is a first-time offender, it might take a while for them to talk.  The mind is racing, I can almost see it. Taking in the emotion of “being sent to the office,” and the trauma of having your day go upside down and sideways can make kids clam up. That’s okay. They are thinking and, by taking the time to think, we are already making progress. When a student is sent to my office, I do not like to know why the student is there. It is best if we begin the conversation with an open heart and mind. What the student is thinking about is right from wrong. They are using the common sense that they have learned from their parents. Most of the time, the child can figure out their big mistake as they are explaining.

When we raise our children, we spend the time it takes to keep them safe, to make reading a part of their day, to feed them healthy food, to give them love and patience; we are giving them the gift of Prudence. Prudence is a Cardinal virtue under the theological virtue of faith, love and hope. The virtue of Prudence gives us independence. This resonates with many parents because we want our children to be independent and be able to make good decisions for themselves as they grow and mature.

Prudence is the answer.  It is our job to give good counsel. It is so important that we be that stable, rock-solid presence in their lives; so as we guide our children, they have the ability to, not only think about their situation but to think about it the right way. Teaching children virtues builds your relationship. They will trust that you know struggles happen as they grow but you can teach them patience, self-control, courtesy- the list goes on. Being prudent means that children will develop common sense, right from wrong, and they will choose to do the right thing.

This week in prayer, we talked about how our Moms are such a blessing. They are our role models, mentors, and confidants and we pray to grow up to be just like them. Prudent.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!!

God Bless,

Anne Atkin, Principal

 

Deacon John Bulletin, May 13 2018

Last Sunday, I wrote about a little boy named Emanuele who asked Pope Francis if his nonbelieving dad would go to Heaven.  After hearing what a good man Emanuele’s dad was, Pope Francis said, “God is the one who decides who goes to Heaven.”  This Sunday I thought I would take a look at the old question that never seems to go away – “Do unbaptized babies go to heaven?”

Limbo used to be a popular notion among Catholics to explain what happened to unbaptized infants who die.  Limbo, however, was never an official teaching of the Church.  It was simply a theoretical solution to the question of what happens to such children after death.  The question comes up because all people are born with Original Sin which is washed away with the sanctifying grace received through the Sacrament of Baptism.   However, very young children are not able to sin because they have not reached the age of reason.  But nothing impure can enter heaven.  So, does that mean they are to be condemned to Hell?  Limbo was an attempt by theologians (not the Church) during the Middle Ages to explain how unbaptized infants might be sent to a state called “Limbo” which derived from the Latin word “Limbus” meaning “border”.  Namely, they are neither in Heaven nor in Hell.

While Jesus didn’t reveal what happens to unbaptized infants who die, the Church’s official position is that Sacred Scripture and Tradition provide plenty of reason for us to hope that those innocent children enjoy the full happiness of eternity in Heaven.  Regarding children who die without Baptism, our Catechism says the Church can only entrust them to the great mercy of God who desires everyone to be saved (1261).  Jesus showed his tenderness to children when He said “Let the children come to me. Do not hinder them.” (Mark 10:14)  His words provide us hope there is always a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism.

So, with all that said, do unbaptized babies go to Heaven?  It really doesn’t seem fair if they don’t. And I do like what Pope Francis told Emanuele – God is the one who decides who goes to Heaven.  As I wrote last week, I think if we really believe in God’s love, we can trust him to do the right thing.  

Deacon John

Adapted from “Introduction to Catholicism for Adults” by Rev. James Socias; and the “International Theological Commission – Hope of Salvation for Infants who Die Without Being Baptized”, www.vatican.va