6PM STATIONS OF THE CROSS AT ST. MARYS
EVERY WEDNESDAY OF LENT, (starting Feb. 21st)
FOLLOWED BY A GOOD WILL OFFERING SOUP AND SANDWICH
Bishop Barron's Second Sunday of Lent Homily:
Bishop Barron's First Sunday of Lent Homily:
See Articles below on: Morphine use for Palliative care; Benefits of The Sacrament of Reconciliation; Legitimate reasons for missing Sunday Mass; The Ouija board; Helping our Youth with depression and suicide; and Abortion Regret; The immorality of Surrogacy:
Normal Mass Times At The Three Parishes
Saturday 7pm at Saint Patrick Parish in Seneca
Sunday 7:30am at Saint Patrick Parish in Seneca
Sunday 9am at St. Mary Parish in Gays Mills
Sunday 10:30am at St. Philip Parish in Rolling Ground *
* (Eucharistic Adoration & Confessions on First Sundays following the 10:30 Mass)
Monday - Wednesday - Friday 8:30am * at St. Patrick Parish
* (Eucharistic Adoration on First Fridays following the 8:30am Mass)
Tuesday 8:30am at St. Philip Parish
Thursday 8:30am at St. Mary Parish
Pope Francis Condemns Surrogacy:
Nine Chief Benefits of the Sacrament of Reconciliation:
By Fr. Wade Menezes
1. Self-knowledge is increased. Self-knowledge is needed to grow in holiness. This means knowing and admitting your virtues so you can advance them in your life, and knowing and admitting your vices so you can uproot them out of your life.
2. Christian humility grows. Humility is the “moral virtue that keeps a person from reaching beyond himself. It is the virtue that restrains the unruly desire for personal greatness and leads people to an orderly love of themselves based on a true appreciation of their position with respect to God and their neighbors.” The very act of making a good examination of conscience (required before even stepping into the confessional) is humbling, and it helps us to grow in self-knowledge.
3. Bad habits are corrected. Little by little, through frequent Confession and honesty with one’s confessor, who will offer advice accordingly, bad habits can be overcome. Frequent, worthy reception of the Sacrament of Confession means frequent graces received from that sacrament for those bad habits.
4. Spiritual neglect is resisted. Let’s say you are struggling to establish the practice of praying the daily Rosary or daily prayers. Your failures to practice these devotions would be examples of “spiritual neglect” that cause your spiritual life to suffer. Regular Confession can help you “get back on track,” and so you begin to carry them out more faithfully on your own.
5. Spiritual tepidity is resisted. Let’s say you do, indeed, carry out such spiritual practices — but only infrequently. In other words, you carry them out in a tepid or lukewarm manner. The graces from frequent Confession can help ignite a renewed spiritual fervor that will help make your daily spiritual life grow stronger and more committed every day.
6. Conscience is purified. Confession of one’s sins brings with it a purification and, importantly, peace of conscience. This is tied to the healing aspect of Confession. Indeed, Confession is one of two “healing” sacraments, along with the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. Both of these sacraments aid the body-soul reality of the human person.
7. The will is strengthened. Whereas our intellect is what helps us “to know,” our will is what helps us “to choose” (based on properly ordered love as opposed to choosing something based on disordered love). Through the practice of frequent Confession, our wills become strengthened to help us more frequently choose good over evil, virtue over vice, and the beneficial over the malicious.
8. A salutary self-control is achieved. Only you can control you. Frequent Confession makes us simply want to “do better” in all aspects of daily living. It’s the grace of the sacrament that propels us to control our lives better by practicing an ordinate love toward persons, places and things and not an inordinate, or disordered, love toward them.
9. Grace is increased in virtue of the sacrament itself. Every sacrament, when it is received worthily, increases sanctifying grace in the soul. For Eucharist and Confession; the only two sacraments that can be received both repeatedly and frequently, this is especially true. Baptism, while wiping away the Original Sin we inherit from our first parents, also wipes away any personal sins we might have (i.e., any venial or mortal sin). Confession helps rid us of personal sin committed after Baptism.
We should add also that going to Confession too frequently out of scrupulosity is not helpful to the penitent, nor is it the intention of the sacrament. Scrupulosity may be defined as seeing sin where there is no sin at all but rather, say, a simple fault; or, seeing mortal sin when, in reality, it is a venial sin. Indeed, scrupulosity can stunt one’s growth in the spiritual life.
What constitutes “serious reason” to miss Mass?
Evidently, when you should stay home from Mass on a Sunday or holy day of obligation is something a lot of Catholics wonder about.
What is the obligation?
Let’s begin by looking at what the Church says regarding the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days. The Code of Canon Law states:
On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to assist at Mass. They are also to abstain from such work or business that would inhibit the worship to be given to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, or the due relaxation of mind and body (canon 1247).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church reiterates this precept of the Church (CCC 2180), but gives the following proviso:
The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor. Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin (CCC 2181, emphasis added).
Confusion sets in though at what constitutes “serious reason.” If you are in doubt regarding other serious reasons for missing Mass on a Sunday or holy day, I strongly urge you to talk to your pastor who has the authority to dispense you.
Health Reasons which constitutes a “serious reason” to miss Mass
Am I contagious? Every year during cold and flu season, parish bulletins issue standard pleas to congregants to avoid the sign of peace and receiving the precious blood from the chalice when ill. But when you know you have an illness that is easily spread to other people, why would you go to a large gathering of people in the first place—especially when there may be people in that gathering who are not sick now, but whose health is fragile and who can easily fall seriously ill from someone else’s minor cold? Perhaps more pastors should be using the bulletin to tell people who are contagious to stay home.
Do I look ill? If you have red, watering eyes, a runny nose, or a recurring sneeze, people around you are going to assume you are contagious, whether you are or not. Even if what you have is a sinus infection or an allergic reaction, your appearance likely is going to worry all of the congregants who are seated near you. How well will they be able to concentrate on the Mass when they hear you blowing your nose or see you wiping your streaming eyes?
Can I sit through Mass? Without getting specific, there are certain medical conditions that may not be contagious, but that may require you to either walk around or visit the restroom frequently. Unless you know for certain you can sit near an exit or a restroom, your constant movement may cause distraction for others and should be considered when deciding whether to go to Mass.
Can I travel safely? Are you driving yourself, or riding with someone else? If you are driving yourself, are you taking medication that could cause you to become sleepy? Could your symptoms inhibit your driving ability? For example, constantly streaming eyes or a hacking cough that causes you to close your eyes may make you an unsafe driver.
Would I go to work? A handy rule of thumb is; if I am ill enough that I would take a sick day from work, I was ill enough to stay home from Mass. If I am in doubt as to whether I would choose to take a sick day, I ask myself if my supervisor would send me home to convalesce because of my symptoms.
Keep in mind that the Catechism of the Catholic Church does not say that you must be “seriously ill” to have just reason to miss Mass. It says that illness (without qualification) constitutes a “serious reason” that justifies missing Mass on a Sunday or holy day. One must make a decision concerning your good and the good of others and be at peace with your decision.
What about obligatory work, bad weather or the care of a sick person?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that a person may be excused from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass without sin for “serious reasons” including the care of infants (or any other sick person(s) who cannot be left alone).
We know, likewise, that God expects parents to provide for their families and that employment is a good thing. If work schedules are absolutely incompatible with attendance at Mass, God does not expect the impossible and it would not be a sin to miss Mass so long as the situation continues.
Another sufficient reason to miss Mass would be bad weather. If it would be dangerous to travel, for example due to a blizzard, hurricane, tornado, etc., there would be no sin in staying home.
Another sufficient reason to miss Mass would be civil unrest or rioting in areas that you would need to be traveling through.
Suicide, Depression, and a ‘Crisis of Hope’:
Offering Real Help to Our Youth in Despair
COMMENTARY: Our young people’s sadness, hopelessness and suicidal thoughts are a desperate cry for this attentive love in the midst of their existential and ever-urgent questions by Father Landry taken from the Catholic Register Website
It’s obvious that there is a crisis of hope underneath the persistent sadness and the consideration of ending one’s life. This is linked to a crisis of meaning, of the “why” of living, of what gives motivation to be able to change one's own circumstances for the better, not to mention change one’s environment and the world.
This crisis of hope is linked to a crisis of faith. Gen Z, those born between 1999 and 2015, are experiencing a rapid decline of faith in God. Since 2010, religious practice among high schoolers has dropped 27%. Thirteen percent now define as atheist and 16% as agnostic.
In his 2008 encyclical of Christian hope, Spe Salvi, Pope Benedict described hopelessness as St. Paul once did to the Christians in Ephesus, connecting those living “without hope” to those living “without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). Hope comes from recognizing, Pope Benedict said, that God is with us in the world, bringing good out of evil, bringing justice to victims, helping us find eternal meaning even in the most ordinary activities. The failure to transmit the faith effectively to younger generations, and the rise of secularism with its practical atheism spurring people to live as if God doesn’t exist, is doubtless abetting the crisis of our young.
Similarly, the multi-pronged crisis of the family has to be a contributing cause. The trauma of divorce, the absence of father figures, the loneliness that comes from fewer brothers and sisters leading the young to try to earn friends outside the home, the competition for love and attention against parents’ new boyfriends or girlfriends can all create a crisis in the sense of feeling genuinely and stably loved. Being unconditionally and firmly loved is the real source of joy, of what can provide hope in the midst of setbacks and contradictions.
Young persons’ perceptions of that love cannot be taken for granted, especially when they are struggling in authentic self-love while experiencing rapid changes within and around them.
For the full article in the Catholic Register with the link below:
by Scarlen Valderaz
Article taken from The Patriotic Post on March 16, 2023
The pro-choice activists market abortion as a procedure that will lift every pregnant woman’s burden and empower her to live her “best life.” We see marketing campaigns such as “shout your abortion” on social media. Celebrities go on talk shows to tell the audience how abortion saved their life or allowed them to fulfill their career. To every pro-choice activist, life after an abortion is all sunshine and rainbows.
What the pro-choice activists don’t want to hear is that many women regret their abortion and have trouble coping with what they have done out of pressure or lack of information. It is inconvenient for pro-choice activists to listen to women who have become depressed or suicidal after the loss of their baby. This behavior does not fit the abortion industry’s narrative of abortion being healthcare or the right thing for a pregnant woman to do.
A simple Google search leads to pages of TikTok videos about women speaking of their abortion regret. Recently, a young woman went viral for posting about her abortion regret on social media. In her video, she says no one talks about how hard abortions are on women and how, at the time, she believed she was doing the right thing, but a month after her abortion she hates herself. She goes on to say that she had all the means in the world to care for her baby on her own, but she felt an abortion would benefit her and those around her.
This woman’s heartbreaking testimony would be inconvenient to pro-choice activists like Jane Fonda, who recently called for the murder of pro-life politicians on the show “The View.” When Fonda was given the opportunity to backtrack on her statement, she refused clarity. This rhetoric is common among pro-choice activists and has led to actual attacks toward pro-life activists and pregnancy resource centers. The vile attitude and actions of pro-choice activists may be leading to women keeping their abortion regret to themselves. A woman hurt by abortion may decide it is best to keep her regret to herself rather than face the angry pro-choice mob.
The reality of abortion is dark and leaves women hurt and ashamed while abortion facilities continue to profit. Abortion is a lucrative industry preying on misinformed or desperate women. Those who judge a woman who has had an abortion rather than come alongside that woman with compassion and love also perpetuate the hurt and shame she feels.
One of the best places a woman experiencing abortion regret could be is a local pregnancy resource center. Pregnancy resource centers outnumber Planned Parenthoods, and their services are usually free. These centers are equipped and trained to help a mother in any stage of motherhood, including abortion regret. Most pregnancy resource centers operate solely on donations and volunteers. If you have a pregnancy resource center near you, consider volunteering your time or donating funds to help it provide important lifesaving services.
END OF LIFE QUESTIONS ON PALLIATIVE CARE
Catholic Understanding and Teaching concerning Morphine Drip
Isn't a morphine drip just another way to hasten a terminal patient's death? What is the difference between that and assisted suicide?
A morphine (a strong opiate that offers the best, most common approach to severe pain relief) "drip" or continuous infusion (an efficient and convenient intravenous application) is often used when a terminally ill patient is experiencing progressive or intense pain. A morphine infusion (drip) is not prescribed to hasten a terminally ill patient's death, but to provide comfort to the patient. There is a method of gradually increasing strength of pain medicines as the pain changes with disease progression. Both the dosage and type of medicine can be changed to meet the individual's unique needs for relief and prevention of pain and discomfort. Beginning with mild, to moderate to strongest medications, the physician has options to maintain control over the person's pain over time.
There is a distinct difference between the action of prescribing pain medication for a terminally ill patient and prescribing a lethal drug for a terminally ill patient. In the first case, the intent of the prescriber is to relieve pain and the drug of choice would be an opiate such as morphine. In the second case the intent of the prescriber is to purposefully hasten death and the choice of drug would be a barbiturate. While it is true that the terminally ill patient's life may be somewhat shortened as a result of the ingestion of an opiate-that is not the intent of the prescriber. Catholic moral theology recognizes and accepts this situation-calling it the "rule of double effect. " (See discussion below.) Often the person who has struggled with pain for some time may be finally able to "let go" and die peacefully once they are no longer suffering. This can happen simultaneously but is rarely a direct result of the medication. The health care providers must assess and monitor and adjust the medication to achieve the proper dose and comfort balance.
"It is worth recalling here a statement of Pius XII that is still valid. A group of physicians had asked: 'Is the removal of pain and consciousness by means of narcotics... permitted by religion and morality to both doctor and patient even at the approach of death and if one foresees that the use of narcotics will shorten life?' The pope answered: 'Yes, provided that no other means exist and if, in the given circumstances, the action does not prevent the carrying out of other moral and religious duties... death is by no means intended or sought, although the risk of it is being incurred for a good reason; the only intention is to diminish pain effectively by use of the painkillers available to medical science.'"
What is the rule of "double effect"?
The rule of double effect, found in Catholic moral theology, has a long history of use by bioethicists and philosophers as a means to resolve a particular type of ethical conflict in clinical cases. Basically the rule comes into play when a proposed action (such as administering morphine to a terminally ill patient in pain) has two known outcomes. One outcome is intended and desired (relief of pain). The other outcome is neither desired nor intended (hastening death), although it may be foreseen.
Is it wrong to offer increasingly high doses of morphine to a terminally ill patient in severe pain? Won't the patient become addicted?
No, it is not wrong-even knowing that the medicine may actually, although not intentionally shorten the life of a terminally ill person (See discussion of "double effect.") A well informed physician is not worried about "addiction" but about providing adequate pain relief. Addiction is only a problem for those who are receiving curative care and who anticipate resuming ordinary life, or who have no underlying cause for pain and are taking strong pain medicine for the emotional high or escape from the euphoria. When a physical cause for pain exists it is utilized by the body and may need to be increased over time as the body adapts to it and changes occur in condition.
One of the primary purposes of medicine in caring for the dying is the relief of pain and the suffering caused by it. Effective management of pain in all its forms is critical in the appropriate care of the dying. Patients should be kept as free of pain as possible so that they may die comfortably and with dignity, and in the place where they wish to die. Since a person has the right to prepare for his or her death while fully conscious, he or she should not be deprived of consciousness without a compelling reason.
Medicines capable of alleviating or suppressing pain may be given to a dying person, even if this therapy may indirectly shorten the person's life so long as the intent is not to hasten death. Patients experiencing suffering that cannot be alleviated should be helped to appreciate the Christian understanding of redemptive suffering. When a person is more comfortable they have the energy and ability to focus on family, relationships, living as well as possible for whatever time they have. Relief of pain can improve the time and duration of life and provide a window of meaningful celebration of one's life. Family can then use the time to share stories, have gatherings, create lasting loving memories, using the time well with good pain relief. Family's benefit from pain relief just as patient does. When one suffers, the other does too.
A terminally ill patient (or those advocating for him or her) would be wise to seek out a physician who is well informed about pain management. One of the advantages of hospice care is that the medical personnel are well informed and well trained in the application of adequate and appropriate pain medication. Adequate pain relief is a right of every person and should be expected with good hospice or end of life care as well as during earlier treatment phase, as needed.
‘Do not turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek them out, to be defiled by them; I am the Lord your God.’ (Leviticus 19:31)
No. The Ouija board is far from harmless, as it is a form of divination (seeking information from supernatural sources). The fact of the matter is, the Ouija board really does work, and the only “spirits” that will be contacted through it are evil ones.
It’s true that many people view the Ouija board as harmless. They often claim, “Oh, I don’t believe in it,” or something to this effect. However, a disbelief in something does not necessarily mean that something isn’t real. The Ouija board has an objective reality that exists apart from a person’s perception of it. In other words, it’s real even if you don’t believe in it. And we know this because God himself tells us so.
The Lord repeatedly condemns any and all occultic practices, including divination. While many Bible passages could be cited, the following one is typical of his view of occultic practices: “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord” (Dt 18:10–12, NIV).
On the experiential side of the issue, we have the testimony of the Church’s exorcists. Their experience shows that Ouija boards are far from harmless. Some investigating supernatural phenomena from a Catholic perspective have gone so far as to say that 90 percent of their very worst cases involving demonic activity have been linked to the use of the Ouija board.
Simply put, nothing positive can ever come from the use of the Ouija board, and God warns us against such things for our own spiritual safety.
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Information on what is brain dead and organ donation: uploaded on 10/26/21:
Information on Conscientious objection to covid 19 vaccines: uploaded on 10/26/21:
News and Announcements
updated on XX/XX/21