Did you know there’s a patron saint for victims of epidemics? It’s the 16th century Italian Jesuit, Aloysius Gonzaga. I thought it fitting to share this saint with you so that you might get to know him a bit and offer prayers for his intercession for us, since he was in a similar circumstance that we find ourselves in. St. Aloysius was born in 1568 in Lombardy, Italy, which, with quite some irony, is the region of Italy that currently serves as the epicenter for the Coronavirus in Europe! He was the eldest son of a noble family. A devout young man of deep faith, he was put off by the lifestyles of the aristocracy of the day, and felt called to enter the religious life. He renounced his royal title and entered the novitiate of the Jesuits.READ MORE
This Thursday, March 19 is the Solemnity of St. Joseph – Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, patron of fathers, families, workers, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston (CSJ) and the Universal Church. In honor of this feast, I invite you to pray the following prayer to St. Joseph composed many years ago by Sister Celestina, CSJ.
Dear St. Joseph, as we begin a new day, we beseech you to exercise your true paternal solicitude for each and every member of the Mystical Body of Christ. To you, Universal Patron of universal needs, do we present our problems whatever they may be. Realizing with implicit confidence, how powerful must be your intercession because of the important part you played in the plan of the Incarnation, we confide all the vital issues confronting the world today. Whether they be respect for lawful authority, sanctity of the family, holiness of marriage, value of social justice, the dignity of labor, you can lead the way. With fatherly love, guard and guide us; obtain for us the gift of piety and the spirit of prayer that we may acquire that interior life ofpeace so necessary for our perfection.
Great Saint, model of all who work, obtain the graces necessary for this day that we may justly render to God and man the conscientious fulfillment of the duties required of us in the plan of God.
God bless you!
Our parish offers several opportunities to help you grow spiritually during the season of Lent. There are online resources, like Best Lent Ever (with Journal) and the Rediscover the Saints book Facebook parish discussion group, or the daily Scripture reflection booklets available for personal prayer. You may find just the right book or CD on our media resource kiosk in the side narthex. The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is offered more frequently during Lent (Wednesdays: 6:30-8:00pm) to provide a renewing and healing encounter with our merciful Lord, Jesus. Have you considered attending daily Mass for Lent? Several of our parishioners make this a Lenten practice. Consequently, we offer the 8:15am Mass in the main church to accommodate the larger number of people. Following daily Mass, we pray the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet in the chapel. (Free Rosary beads are available on the table outside the chapel.) Stations of the Cross is offered at 5:00pm on the Fridays of Lent. It's led by children of our parish and includes free pizza downstairs afterwards. All – young and old are most welcome! Also, there's Adoration/Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Fridays (9:00am-5:00pm) in our chapel and on First Friday's for 24 hours! Have you ever just sat gazing at Jesus displayed in the monstrance? This period of prayer ends with Evening Prayer and Benediction at 5:00pm. These ancient prayers of the Church are something to be experienced if you've never had the pleasure.READ MORE
Fast from judging others – Feast on seeing Christ within them.
Fast from emphasis on differences – Feast on the unity of life.
Fast from thoughts of illness – Feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that pollute – Feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from discontent – Feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger – Feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism – Feast on optimism.
Fast from complaining – Feast on appreciation.
Fast from negatives – Feast on affirmatives.
As Lent begins this Wednesday, February 26 – Ash Wednesday, I invite you to start the season by participating in our Day of Open Doors. Our church will be open from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm throughout the day for everyone to: receive ashes, go to Confession, go to Mass (8:15 am, 4:15 pm & 7:00 pm) at which ashes will be offered, spend some quiet time with Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration in the chapel, and pray/talk with a Stephen Minister for special one-on-one support. In addition, Lenten reflection booklets and resources will be available for you to take home.
BEST LENT EVER is another special opportunity to be enriched and inspired during this season. By signing up at BestLentEver.com, you'll receive short daily video messages via email from Matthew Kelly and his team. These inspirational videos will help you to see some amazing possibilities as you strive to become the best version of yourself. In Lent, it's not what you give up, it's who you become! Do you remember receiving the book, Rediscover the Saints, at Christmas? BEST LENT EVER will be based on the reflections in that book. If you haven't read it yet, this is your opportunity to read it in parts as you listen to the daily reflections.READ MORE
We will be celebrating the season of Lent in just a week and a half, beginning with Ash Wednesday, February 26. Have you thought much about what you plan to do for Lent? Traditionally, we reflect on what Jesus came to do for us. By suffering and dying on the Cross, Jesus has taken upon himself our sins and the sins of the world, which expresses God's great mercy and forgiveness. In Lent, we prepare to renew our Baptismal promises at Easter by coming to terms with the ways we have not always renounced evil and sin, and have not put God at the center of our lives. We haven't always nurtured the gift of our Baptism. Consequently, in Lent, we take on some spiritual disciplines like prayer, fasting and almsgiving, in order to root out sinful habits and renew God's divine life (grace) within us, which was first given at Baptism. We make more of an effort to participate at Mass each week – or even, every day. We plan a regimen to pray daily. We look for ways to reach out to those in need whom God has placed on our path.READ MORE
This Sunday is World Marriage Day (WMD). It honors husband and wife as the foundation of the family, the basic unit of society. It salutes the beauty of their faithfulness, sacrifice and joy in daily married life. The idea of celebrating marriage began in Baton Rouge, La., in 1981, when couples encouraged the Mayor, the Governor and the Bishop to proclaim St. Valentines Day as "We Believe in Marriage Day." The event was so successful, the idea was presented to and was adopted by Worldwide Marriage Encounter's National Leadership. By 1982, 43 Governors officially proclaimed the day and celebrations spread to U.S. military bases in several foreign countries. In 1983, the name was changed to "World Marriage Day," designated to be celebrated each year on the second Sunday in February.READ MORE
There are many folks around us looking for hope. Maybe you're one of them. Some have lost loved ones or are dealing with a terminal illness, others are alienated from family members, or have seriously messed up their lives having made bad choices, or have faced daunting challenges they have had no control over such as a loss of a job. They long for some comfort and help to get them through their despair. Having neighbors, friends and loved ones who reach out in a critical time such as these is so very important. That is what community is all about, and there's a lot of goodness evident here in Duxbury and beyond, which offers hope.READ MORE