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Protestant attacks on the Catholic Church often focus on the Eucharist. This demonstrates that opponents of the Church—mainly Evangelicals and Fundamentalists—recognize one of Catholicism’s core doctrines. What’s more, the attacks show that Fundamentalists are not always literalists. This is seen in their interpretation of the key biblical passage, chapter six of John’s Gospel, in which Christ speaks about the sacrament that will be instituted at the LastSupper. This tract examines the last half of that chapter.
Christmas Eve Masses
5:00 p.m. at Holy Trinity, Okarche
7:30 p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary, Calumet
Christmas Day Masses
10:30 a.m. at Holy Trinity, Okarche
**please note there will be NO 10:00 p.m. Mass this year at Holy Trinity
Here are some suggestions for daily Advent reflections. The links to register have been provided. Please check them out and see if they will help make your Advent more of a grace-filled season.
On Sunday, October 7, Archbishop Coakley, Rev. Gerard MacAulay, Rev. Marvin Leven, Rev. Stephen Bird, Rev. Philip Louis, Deacon Max Schwarz, and Deacon John Teague celebrated the 125th Anniversary of Holy Trinity Parish. Mass was celebrated followed by a catered luncheon in the parish hall. Our thanks go out to everyone involved in this event!!
Report favors online at blessedstanleyrother.org or contact the Office of the Cause of Canonization of Bl. Stanley Rother at (405) 721-5651.
The Holy Trinity 3rd grade class is hosting a "Pajama/House Shoe" service project.
They will be collecting pajamas & house shoes for Kingfisher County DHS children.
They will distribute the collected items to the Kingfisher County "DHS Toyland" just in time for Christmas.
DEADLINE: EARLY MONDAY, DECEMBER 17
DROP OFF: at the school office or church office plus there will be a box in the back of church
CASH/CHECKS: WILL BE ACCEPTED ALSO (Please make checks out to "Santa Toyland")
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!
On Friday, October 5, there was a blessing of the pets held on the church lawn for Holy Trinity school children and parishioners.
This blessing is held in honor of St. Francis of Assisi's feast day.
We have Guatemalan coffee for sale. It is $15 a bag for one pound ground coffee. All profits benefit the mission in Guatemala and our Religious Education program. Please contact Keri at (405)818-2444.
Advent begins on Sunday, December 1st. Most of us have an intuitive understanding of Advent, based on experience, but what do the Church's official documents actually say about Advent? Here are some of the basic questions and (official!) answers about Advent. Some of the answers are surprising! Here we go . . .
Advent is a season on the Church's liturgical calendar--specifically, it is as season on the calendar of the Latin Church, which is the largest Church in communion with the pope. Other Catholic Churches--as well as many non-Catholic churches--have their own celebration of Advent. According to the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar:
Advent has a twofold character:
as a season to prepare for Christmas when Christ's first coming to us is remembered;
as a season when that remembrance directs the mind and heart to await Christ's Second Coming at the end of time.
Advent is thus a period for devout and joyful expectation [Norms 39]. We tend to think of Advent only as the season in which we prepare for Christmas, or the First Coming of Christ, but as the General Norms point out, it is important that we also remember it as a celebration in which we look forward to the Second Coming of Christ. Properly speaking, Advent is a season that brings to mind the Two Comings of Christ.
Particular days and certain types of celebrations can have their own colors (e.g., red for martyrs, black or white at funerals), but the normal color for Advent is violet. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal provides: The color violet or purple is used in Advent and Lent. It may also be worn in Offices and Masses for the Dead [346d]. In many places, there is a notable exception for the Third Sunday of Advent, known asGaudete Sunday: The color rose may be used, where it is the practice, on Gaudete Sunday (Third Sunday of Advent) and on Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent) [GIRM 346f].
We often think of Advent as a penitential season because the liturgical color for Advent is violet, like the color of Lent, which is a penitential season. However, in reality, Advent is not a penitential season. Surprise! According to the Code of Canon Law: Can. 1250 The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent. Although local authorities can establish additional penitential days, this is a complete listing of the penitential days and times of the Latin Church as a whole, and Advent is not one of them.
According to the General Norms: Advent begins with evening prayer I of the Sunday falling on or closest to 30 November and ends before evening prayer I of Christmas [Norms 40]. The Sunday on or closest to November 30 can range between November 27 and December 3, depending on the year. In the case of a Sunday, Evening Prayer I is said on the evening of the preceding day (Saturday). According to the General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours: 96. Evening prayer, celebrated immediately before Mass, is joined to it in the same way as morning prayer. Evening prayer I of solemnities, Sundays, or feasts of the Lord falling on Sundaysmay not be celebrated until after Mass of the preceding day or Saturday. This means that Advent begins on the evening of a Saturday falling between November 26 and December 2 (inclusive), and it ends on the evening of December 24th, which holds Evening Prayer I of Christmas (December 25th).
There are four Sundays of Advent. The General Norms state: The Sundays of this season are named the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Sundays of Advent [Norms 41]. We have already mentioned that the Third Sunday of Advent has a special name--Gaudete Sunday.Gaudete is the Latin word for "Rejoice," which is the first word of the introit of the Mass for this day. The Church ascribes particular importance to these Sundays, and they take precedence over other liturgical celebrations. Thus the General Norms state: Because of its special importance, the Sunday celebration gives way only to solemnities or feasts of the Lord. The Sundays of the seasons of Advent, Lent, and Easter, however, take precedence over all solemnities and feasts of the Lord. Solemnities occuring on these Sundays are observed on the Saturdays preceding [Norms 5]. You also cannot celebrate Funeral Masses on the Sundays of Advent: Among the Masses for the Dead, the Funeral Mass holds first place. It may be celebrated on any day except for Solemnities that are Holydays of Obligation, Thursday of Holy Week, the Paschal Triduum, and the Sundays of Advent, Lent, and Easter, with due regard also for all the other requirements of the norm of the law [GIRM 380].
It is especially recommended that homilies be given on the weekdays of Advent. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) states: On Sundays and Holydays of Obligation there is to be a Homily at every Mass that is celebrated with the people attending and it may not be omitted without a grave reason. On other days it is recommended, especially on the weekdays of Advent, Lent and Easter Time, as well as on other festive days and occasions when the people come to church in greater numbers [GIRM 66]. The General Norms also point out a special role for the weekdays of the week preceding Christmas: The weekdays from 17 December to 24 December inclusive serve to prepare more directly for the Lord's birth [Norms 41]. This special role is illustrated, for example, by the Scripture readings used in the liturgy on these days.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal notes: During Advent the floral decoration of the altar should be marked by a moderation suited to the character of this time of year, without expressing in anticipation the full joy of the Nativity of the Lord. During Lent it is forbidden for the altar to be decorated with flowers. Exceptions, however, are Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent), Solemnities, and Feasts [GIRM 305].
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal notes: In Advent the use of the organ and other musical instruments should be marked by a moderation suited to the character of this time of year, without expressing in anticipation the full joy of the Nativity of the Lord. In Lent the playing of the organ and musical instruments is allowed only in order to support the singing. Exceptions, however, are Laetare Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent), Solemnities, and Feasts [GIRM 313].
Neither. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal provides: [The Gloria or "Glory to God in the highest"] is sung or said on Sundays outside Advent and Lent, and also on Solemnities and Feasts, and at particular celebrations of a more solemn character [GIRM 53].
There are a variety of private devotions that the Church has recognized for use during Advent. The most famous is the Advent Wreath. You can read about these devotions in the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (starting at no. 96).
Technically, a person makes themselves a saint by leading a virtuous life. The Church RECOGNIZES saints by studying the life of a person, going through a lengthy process of canonization, and declaring the saint. There are MANY, MANY saints in heaven that have not been officially declared by the Catholic Church.
Would you like to know about the process of canonization (written by Gretchen Crowe of Our Sunday Visitor)? CLICK HERE
The Vatican announced that Pope Francis would convene the presidents of the world’s episcopal conferences in Rome from Feb. 21-24 for a meeting dedicated to the issue of abuse in the Church. As many have demanded decisive action around recent scandals and crises, including the McCarrick revelations and the Pennsylvania grand jury report, the announcement of this gathering — slated to occur five months from now — might seem underwhelming, an example of just more talk. But this is where it’s important to understand how this pope views his role and ministry as successor of Peter.
With Pope Francis hearing from the presidents of conferences, laypeople who want to be heard must convey their concerns to their own bishops, who must likewise be candid with Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The call from the pews must not be ambiguous, and it must be communicated fervently. Bishops must be as equipped as possible with the sensus fidei (sense of the faith) to make the most of the model Pope Francis has invited them into.
In Episcopalis Communio, Pope Francis says a bishop must be “simultaneously a teacher and a disciple,” the latter requiring him to listen to what the Holy Spirit has inspired the laity to tell him. The five months till this meeting occurs are critical. Laypeople who want their Church to round a definitive corner on sexual abuse must speak out. They must continue to demand zero tolerance, full transparency, accountability and an end to the structures and practices that allowed abuse and cover-up to fester and perpetuated a Church where laypeople are seen as less than full members of the Body of Christ.
OSV Editorial Board: Don Clemmer, Gretchen R. Crowe, Scott Richert, York Young
READ FULL ARTICLE
Jesus is 'right here in this mess': A way forward for Catholics
It’s hard to believe it has come to this. Father Basil Hutsko of St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church in Merrillville, Indiana, was attacked and knocked unconscious in the sacristy after celebrating Divine Liturgy at the end of August. According to a letter from another priest, before losing consciousness, Father Basil heard his attacker say, “This is for all the kids,” presumably a reference to the recently released Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing horrific acts of clergy sexual abuse against minors in six dioceses in the state.
The letter, written by Father Thomas J. Loya, was careful to stress that Father Basil was “a random target. He is NOT guilty of any sex abuse.”
As horrible and unjust as this act was, it also illustrates another important and dangerous point: People are angry, and they don’t know what to do with that anger. Even many faithful Catholics — especially on the heels of the scandal surrounding Archbishop Theodore McCarrick — are wondering angrily: Where do we go from here?
“(We need) to remember that the Church is more than derelict priests who have been predators and exploited innocent people. The Church is so much more than inept, cowardly bishops who failed to act. The Church is so much more than the institutional elements that can fail. The Church is, yes, it’s an institutional reality, but first and foremost it’s a spiritual reality. It’s both of those things together.
“We need to go back to the truths of the Faith ... . We need to go back and relish the experience of the Holy Spirit’s powerful actions in the sacraments in our lives. I’ve been telling so many people: you want to do something about this mess? Go to Eucharistic adoration. Go spend time just soaking up the presence of Jesus and offering that up. Go to Jesus. He’s ultimately the answer here. We need to go back to that radical personal experience of our Lord who, not in spite of our wounds and our misery, but precisely because of our wounds and our misery, as members of his mystical body, ... comes to us.
“Jesus always wants to get into the messiness of our lives, and he’s right here, he’s right here in this mess, and he is going to purify his bride the Church. He is going to bring good from evil.
“Catholics need to learn at times to step away, especially if we’re really following this stuff. We need to get off the Twitter feed, stop reading story after story, and we need to go back, and we need to pray. We need to go to adoration, we need to spend time. We need to look for silence and quiet and bring that to this experience. I think that’s really at the heart of our way forward here.”
How to build a relationship with Christ
Jesus Christ, through his life, death and resurrection, reconciled the world to God and saved us from sin. Beyond this, is it still necessary to have a personal relationship with him? Several Catholic speakers and writers explain why it is of crucial importance.
‘Never fulfilled without Christ’
Teresa Tomeo is a syndicated Catholic talk-show host, author of numerous books and an international speaker. She is the host of a weekday morning radio program, “Catholic Connection,” and is a columnist for OSV Newsweekly. She is also a host of the EWTN television series “The Catholic View for Women” as well as the author of a new book titled (OSV, $14.95).
Building a relationship with Jesus is critically important, Tomeo said, something to which everyone needs to strive. “We were made for relationship,” Tomeo said. “First with God and then with each other. Who better to have a strong relationship with than the one who knows us so intimately because he created us?”
Something — or, more accurately, someone — will be missing in our lives if we don’t have that relationship with God first, she said. “We may have good marriages and numerous friends, but we are never completely fulfilled without Christ.” Tomeo said she once had everything that is supposed to make us happy: success, material possessions, good friends and family. “But I was still empty inside until I made my way back to the Church and into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Tomeo offers four potential first steps for those trying to build a stronger relationship with Jesus.
Tomeo points out that in our me-first world, the concept of surrender has an extremely negative connotation; but we must offer our lives to God’s will, not our own, to be fully open to a relationship with Jesus. “It’s a process,” she said. “But it starts with putting God in the driver’s seat and asking him to take control.”
Tomeo suggests thinking of the word “Bible” as an acronym: Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth. As St. Jerome said, ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ, so reading the Bible daily is a great way to build a relationship with him. When we love someone, we want to get to know them better, and reading the Bible is how we can come to know Jesus.
“When we are serious about getting healthy, earning an advanced degree, saving for and building a new home, raising children, etc., we research, we investigate, we talk to all sorts of folks in order to make educated decisions,” Tomeo said. And yet, the wealth of beauty and knowledge in the Church often stays on the literal or figurative shelf. Opening ourselves up to the truth will open us up to Jesus, as he is the way, the truth and the life.
The Letter to the Hebrews refers to the great “cloud of witnesses” (12:1), which Catholics understand as the Communion of Saints. The stories of the saints “encourage us to persevere through suffering and to maintain joy no matter the circumstances,” Tomeo said. “The more we get to know them, the more we get to know Jesus.”
‘Go spend time with him’
The Catherine of Siena Institute works to ensure that every Catholic has access to a distinctly lay formation that calls each of the baptized to intentional discipleship rooted in the Tradition and magisterial teaching of the Church. Sherry Weddell is the executive director and co-founder of the Institute. In 2012 she released a book titled (OSV, $16.95), which has sold more than 100,000 copies and has helped in the formation and discernment of Catholics all over the world.
In “Forming Intentional Disciples,” she speaks of the importance of a personal relationship with God. One chapter opens with a quote from Origen of Alexandria’s homilies on Luke, which summarizes perfectly the importance of a relationship with Jesus: “For what profit is it to you, if Christ came once in the flesh, unless he also comes into your soul?”
Weddell provided a few basic, beginning steps in building a relationship with Jesus — steps from which anyone can benefit, she said, although each individual’s journey is unique.
This should be done regularly, kept on the calendar as a sort of standing appointment. “The resurrected, glorified Jesus is there in the tabernacle for you,” she said. “Go spend time with him.” Adoration is not just devotion for the super-devout, she said. “The presence of the Eucharistic Jesus is for everyone, even those who aren’t yet ready to commit to following him.” Making the intentional effort to spend this intimate time with Jesus is an important step in building that relationship.
Worshiping the Lord before the Eucharistic table, and our reception of his body and blood at holy Communion, are of utmost importance in fostering a relationship with Christ.
Part of building a relationship is righting the relationship when things go awry. Regular confession is an important step in growing closer to Christ.
Do not underestimate the power of daily prayerful, meditative reading of Scripture (for example, lectio divina) or Church teaching (the Catechism, Pope Francis’ daily homilies, encyclicals from any of the recent popes).
Find a way to experience ongoing community (something face to face, not just “virtual”) with others on the same journey of discipleship; join an existing group (or create one if necessary). This can take many forms. We can’t do this alone.
“Any disciple, whether a layman or laywoman, a priest or a bishop [needs to have] an all-absorbing
relationship. Perhaps the first question that we must ask a Christian is: ‘Do you meet with Jesus?
Do you pray to Jesus?’ The relationship!” in his July 2, 2017 Angelus message
‘Called to be disciples’
Jeff Cavins is a widely renowned speaker and writer. Raised a Catholic, he fell away from the Church during college. After 12 years as a Protestant pastor, he returned to the Church and founded the EWTN television program “Life on the Rock,” which he hosted for six years. He is well-known for his Bible study programs, particularly the “Great Adventure Bible Timeline,” as well as the series “Our Father’s Plan” with Scott Hahn.
“It is important to have a relationship with Jesus because Jesus is the key to understanding God the Father,” Cavins said. “God wanted to reveal himself to us, and he did in the Old Testament in word and deed; and in the fullness of time, he fully revealed himself in his Son.”
That speaks of the relationship between God and us, Cavins said. “We’re family; we’re sons and daughters of God. So the fact that God revealed himself in a Son means that he is interested in us relating to him as a father.”
Jesus is the fullest revelation of who God is, Cavins said. “Jesus is the icon — God in the flesh. So getting to know him is your full entry into understanding the Trinity and understanding your relationship with the Father.”
The Trinity is all about relationship — it is a family, not a solitude, Cavins said. The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father, and the love between them is the Holy Spirit.
There are those who might say, “I go to Church on Sunday; isn’t that enough? Why do I need to have a relationship with Jesus?” Cavins responds that going to Church on Sunday is only one point of interface with us and God. But saying, “isn’t that enough?” is “tantamount to a family saying ‘I come to dinner, isn’t that enough?’ The answer is no,” Cavins said. “There is a whole life to be lived, and there is life outside of the Mass. Mass is the centerpiece, but there is everyday living.” Conversation, encouragement, teaching, rebuke, correction — all of this is part of relationships, and those relationships have to be cultivated and nurtured. “There’s so much that happens outside of Sunday,” Cavins said.
According to Cavins, it all boils down to relationship. “It isn’t about theology; it’s not about apologetics; it’s about relationship,” he said. “What we are called to be is disciples. And a disciple, basically, is someone who is constantly imitating God. Jesus came to show us the Father. For us to imitate God is the call of our life.”
The best way to develop this relationship with Jesus, the logos, the Word of God made flesh, is in prayer and in Scripture. “You have to develop every day a relationship with Jesus,” Cavins said. “Prayer, and the Word of God — this is incredibly important.”