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Sacraments of Initiation

  • Have you been confirmed?
  • Made your first Holy Communion?
  • Do you or someone you know need to be baptized?

A pastor at a nearby Catholic parish once asked his people these questions. He was asking more to double-check that everyone in his parish had received all three of the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist). He didn’t expect many of his parishioners who have been filling the pews of his parish for decades to let him know that they still needed to be confirmed. Some even needed to be baptized! He was surprised – pleasantly, I guess – that twenty or thirty people came to the classes at the parish in order to be confirmed, etc. He seemed quite happy to be able to have the conversation with these courageous folks not just about the sacraments, but about faith and life in general. He was a proud spiritual papa!

So, of course, I will ask you all the same questions. If you need to be confirmed or baptized or make your first Holy Communion, then please attend our RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) classes starting this Wednesday, January 16, 6:30 pm in the rectory. The “classes” are more like discussions that I will lead every Wednesday night until Easter. We’ll use a book that will be a very good resource for you and will help facilitate our discussions on Catholic teachings and practices. As you might have noticed, I don’t like to waste anyone’s time, so our talks will be informative and substantial, but not boring. There won’t be any tests; we just need your commitment to attend the meetings. Even if you don’t need to receive any of these sacraments, it would be good to attend the discussions and learn more about your Catholic faith. RCIA is usually for adults who are preparing to become Catholic. But even these non-Catholics have said that every Catholic should attend RCIA classes!

Here are some of the notes from the discussion on Baptism which line up with what comes from the readings for today’s Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Isaiah 40:1-15, 9-11, Titus 2:11-14, 3:4-7, and Luke 3:15-16, 21-22):

What do we receive at Baptism?

Life in Christ

“the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit whom he richly poured out on us

through Jesus Christ our savior” (Titus 3)

Indwelling of the Holy Trinity

“I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28)

Grace

“The grace of God has appeared…so that we might be justified by his grace and become

heirs in hope of eternal life” (Titus 2-3)

● Faith

“For all of you are children of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus, since

every one of you that has been baptized has been clothed in Christ” (Galatians 3)

● Forgiveness of sins

“her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; indeed she has received from the hand of

the Lord double for all her sins” (Isaiah 40)

● Gifts of the Holy Spirit

“He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 3)

● Incorporation into the Church, the Body of Christ

“For by one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body” – 1 Cor 12:13

● An indelible spiritual mark

“Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of his belonging

to Christ. Given once for all, Baptism cannot be repeated.” (Catechism, # 1272)

Christ is born!

Fr Greg our last men’s group,

Holy Communion: You have God within you!

Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ

Liturgy here

Holy Communion
Body and Blood of Christ / Scripture

  Faith in Real Presence
  Guidelines
Capital One Arena JOY
Us after every Mass

Defend the faith in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit

Feast of Holy Trinity

Caps / Wilson
In the name of the Caps

Church, people
In the name of Father, Son, Holy Spirit
Identity / dignity stripped
Fight with others

Life w Trinity started at Baptism
Life itself / Grace
Fight for it in ourselves

God in communion
Himself
Us

Why are you smiling so much?

5th Sunday
30 for 30

Adoration
Testimonies / Pastor’s page
RCIA man / smiling
FG
Job

        Jesus not too busy to pray
In HIs Presence
     Gospel / He entered the house
     Everyone gathered at the door
     Major healing
Entering His house (Adoration) + He enters our house (Holy Communion)

Don’t Be Scared Beyond Belief

Street evangelization

“Do not be afraid”
To say what you believe
HUGE FEAR in society
SCARED BEYOND BELIEF
Speak for Christ!

Do you fear others more than you fear God?
Spend more time worrying about what others think or what God thinks?

Eucharist
     Holy Communion
     Care more about what God thinks than what others think

Abundant life in the Eucharist

Good Shepherd Sunday

First Holy Communion
What is the Eucharist?
Why do we believe?
Why does Jesus give us His Body and Blood?

Good Shepherd
Abundant life = eternal life
Heaven

Mothers
Everything we have in life is through mothers
Life – through mothers
Eternal life – through Christ / Eucharist

Thank you!
Mom
Mary
Jesus

Divine Mercy Sunday

Today the Church celebrates the second Sunday of Easter which, since 2000, is also Divine Mercy Sunday. The following are excerpts from the divinemercysunday.com which explain today’s feast. My door for Confession is open 24/7.

May you know the peace of the risen Christ,

Fr Greg

The Feast of Divine Mercy

“Despite evil’s attempts at discrediting Catholic Priests, many fallen-away Catholics will soon be returning to the practice of their faith. The reason: the Church’s new feast on the Sunday after Easter. What new feast you might say? It is the “Feast of Divine Mercy”. The Catholic Church has been celebrating this feast ever since the Vatican had made it official on April 30th in the Jubilee year 2000. Why would every Catholic want to come back, you might ask? It is the promise that Jesus Himself made for a complete forgiveness of sins and punishment on that day, even to the most terrible sinner imaginable. God in His great mercy is giving mankind a last chance for salvation.

When did Jesus make this promise and how does one get it? Jesus left all the details in a diary that He commanded Saint Faustina to write in the 1930’s. It was her job to record everything that He wanted mankind to know about His mercy before He returns to judge the world. To get this great promise one has to go to Confession and then receive Holy Communion on that Feast of Divine Mercy, which has now been called Divine Mercy Sunday throughout the whole Church. Jesus said, “Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.” (Diary, 300) To receive Communion worthily one should be in the state of grace and without serious sin…

He meets us in the confessional

In Saint Faustina’s diary, she recorded that Jesus also indicated that He Himself is there in the confessional. He told her, “When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I Myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity.” (1602) Jesus knew that people would need to hear these words today, so He went on to say “Come with faith to the feet of My representative…and make your confession before Me. The person of the priest is, for Me, only a screen. Never analyze what sort of a priest that I am making use of; open your soul in confession as you would to Me, and I will fill it with My light.” (1725) “Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy.” (1602)

Many feel that their sins are unforgivable but, Jesus said, “Were a soul like a decaying corpse, so that from a human standpoint, there would be no hope of restoration and everything would already be lost, it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full. In the Tribunal of Mercy (the sacrament of Confession) …the greatest miracles take place and are incessantly repeated.” (1448) “Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy.” (1602)

Every sin imaginable could be forgiven by Him!

On the evening of His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His Apostles and the first thing that He did was to give them the power to forgive sins (John 20:19-31). This is done through the power of the Holy Spirit. For sure it was not the Lord’s intention just for the Apostles to forgive sins but rather for that power to be passed down through the Holy Spirit to the priests of today. That is why Confession is so much of an uplifting experience; we are actually receiving heavenly graces and the forgiveness of sins from the Lord Himself!…

Remember these words of Jesus

I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all soul and especially poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.” (699) “Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion. I am giving them the last hope of salvation; that is, the Feast of My Mercy. If they will not adore My mercy, they will perish for all eternity…tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near.” (965) Wake up people of the World, and repent of your sins, this just might be our last hope of salvation!”