The Sacred Season of Lent starts in a few days

02-16-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

In ten days we will begin the sacred season of Lent. We begin with the evening before Ash Wednesday with a pancake dinner at St. Jerome Hall, the traditional feast before the fasting and abstaining of certain foods. Then on Ash Wednesday we will have three Masses with the distribution of ashes after the homily. On Thursdays of Lent we will have a soup dinner and discussion on the catechism of the Catholic Church led by yours truly. Fridays of Lent are a traditional time for the Stations of the Cross. We will follow what we did last year by having the stations at St. Jerome Church for the first three Fridays and St. Maurice Church for the last three Fridays. We also have the five minutes with the Word reflections from "The Word Among Us" to take at the entrances of the churches for your own spiritual growth during Lent.

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World Day of the Sick – Feburary 11

02-09-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

This Tuesday is February 11th, the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes and the World Day for the Sick. Many miracles surround the apparition of Our Lady at Lourdes, France, when she appeared to St. Bernadette. Since St. Bernadette dug the spring of water that the Blessed Mother commanded her to do, the Lourdeswater has been instrumental in bringing healing to thousands of people. It was at Lourdes when the Blessed Mother called herself the Immaculate Conception, a term that St. Bernadette would never have heard or understood in her short life on this earth at the time. A wonderful movie about the apparition and St. Bernadette is The Song of Bernadette, starring Jennifer Jones in an academy award winning role as Bernadette. Charles Bickford (nominated for supporting actor), Vincent Price and Lee J. Cobb are three other actors that appear in the movie, and Gladys Cooper and Anne Revere were both actresses nominated for supporting actress for the movie. The movie was nominated for a total of 12 Oscars, including Best Picture, and won four. I highly recommend the movie to anyone who is looking for a movie that is family friendly and respectful to the Catholic faith. Let us turn to Our Lady of Lourdes and ask for her intercession for those whoneed healing.

Reading the Bible

02-02-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Last week I mentioned that there are a few different programs to use in order to read the Bible from cover to cover. In order to read the Bible, you must first make sure that you have a Catholic Bible because the Catholic bible has seven more books in the Old Testament. These books are Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus), Wisdom, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Tobit, Judith and Baruch. Dr. Mary Healy, a Catholic biblical scholar and seminary professor, offers a plan for reading the Bible in 365 days. You can find her plan on the internet at the following address; https://brandonvogt.com/how-to-easily-read-the-whole-bible. There is also a plan at chnetwork.org that allows you to read not only the complete Bible but also the complete Catechism of the Catholic Church in 365 days. This one takes more than fifteen minutes a day because you are adding the catechism to it.

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Fishers of Men

01-26-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

"I will make you fishers of men." These are the words of our Lord as he calls St. Andrew and Peter, two fisherman, to come after him and to become his Apostles. These are words that every man who has entered the seminary has heard somewhere and at some time in his life. Many of these seminarians go into the seminary to test the call and end up discerning with the help of a spiritual director that priesthood may not be for them. Other men who enter into the seminary test the call and eventually become ordained to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. It is an awesome calling for a young man to be called to the sacred priesthood and to give his life for the good news of Jesus Christ. It requires total commitment on the part of the young man. In the Roman Catholic tradition, these young men, at the moment, are called to lifelong celibacy, or more importantly, celibate chastity. The celibate priesthood has been a beautiful and rewarding gift to the Catholic Church and her faithful since the beginning of the church.

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Pro-Life Message

01-19-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

This Wednesday, January 22nd Message From the Pastor , the United States commemorates a decision from the Supreme Court in 1973, that is, to quote President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a day that will live in infamy. It is, of course, the day that seven Supreme Court justices voted to strike down states' laws regarding abortion, thereby granting a constitutional right for women to have access to abortion. Forty-seven years later, this decision has polarized our country and kept the issue of abortion as a central political tool instead of a moral issue. Many states, including Virginia and New York, have recently passed laws stating that abortion can be legal up to the very moment of birth with some politicians arguing that a child born alive from a botched abortion can be left to die on the table. How did we get to this place?

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The End of the Christmas Season

01-12-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

Today marks the end of the Christmas season. For many people, the day after Christmas ends the season. For Catholics, many view the Epiphany as the end of the season. Liturgically, though, the week after Epiphany is still part of the Christmas season which will end today with the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. For others, culturally speaking, they even extend the season to February 2nd, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. These people will keep their Christmas decorations up and their Christmas music on for the whole month of January. In any event, from Christmas day to either the Baptism or the Presentation, the life of Christ and the Sacred Scriptures read at Mass do not truly follow the normal and natural progression of Christ's life.

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The Feast of Epiphany

01-05-2020Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

Happy Epiphany!!! We seemed to move at breakneck speed through the two weeks of Christmas that I want to take the time now to say thank you. It takes a lot of work to get through the holidays and all walks of life, and the church is no different. Since I do not like to thank people at Mass because Mass is the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice and our focus should be on Christ, I would be remiss if I did not thank the people involved in making the Christmas season special.

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