CATHOLIC FAITH AT HOME RESOURCES

for our STELLA MARIS

Family of Parishes

including:

St. Thomas More, St. Bernadette,

St. Mary & St. Peter


February 4


EXODUS

AND

EXILE




Like the Israelites we are not yet home to our promised land,

but we have hope in our journey to God!


In just a couple weeks,

we'll enter the desert when Lent begins.

Each day of Lent, spend ten minutes with John Bergsma

as he reads and reflects on one chapter of the

Book of Exodus and then gives you

a daily challenge to complete.


Once a week, join Scott Hahn as he delivers

an inspiring series of 8 talks

based on his new book Catholics in Exile

 – filmed with a live audience

at the new St. Paul Center headquarters.


Click the link below to watch the trailer

and sign up for this Lenten journey:


EXODUS AND EXILE


A SEASON OF

PREPARATION



Like Advent, where we prepare for Jesus’s birth at Christmas,

Lent is also a liturgical season of preparation,

as we get ready for Easter—the Church’s greatest celebration.



In contrast to Advent and Easter,

Lent is more solemn.


The sacrament of reconciliation

–where we ask God for forgiveness–

becomes more popular.



The Stations of the Cross, a tradition often

taking place on Fridays during Lent,

allow us to pray with of Jesus’s final hours.

More solemn songs replace

celebratory hymns during Mass.


There is no better time to reconnect with

or deepen one’s faith than Lent.


During this time, we can draw closer to God

as we prepare for the joyous celebration

of Christ’s resurrection at Easter.


Hallow–the #1 Catholic prayer app–

breaks down everything you need

to know about Lent.


Let Hallow guide you through this Lenten season!!


Click below to see all the Lenten resources

available on the Hallow app:


HALLOW


RETURN: A LENTEN JOURNEY


Spend Lent with Fr. John Burns

—author of the bestselling book Adore

as he invites you to strip

away your confusion,

attachments, and sin so you can

return to the Lord and undergo

real and lasting conversion. 

 

This journal features:

Free weekly companion videos

AND

Free downloadable discussion guide


 

Click below to watch the trailer:


LENT WITH FR. BURNS

FORTY

DAYS

IN THE DESERT



Recall Jesus saying,

“Enter through the narrow gate;

for the gate is wide and the road broad

that leads to destruction,

and those who enter through it are many.

How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.

And those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13–14).


Entering through that “narrow gate” is a path

that requires resolve and sacrificial love.


In order to take that constricted and challenging road,

we must face difficult aspects of our lives, including our sins.


Join these reflections for the Lenten season

that are based on Jesus’ forty days in the desert.


Beginning with Jesus’ time preparing for His ministry,

meditations on the seven capital sins

and Holy Week complete the forty days.


In addition, since Lent lasts more than forty days

when Sundays are counted,

separate reflections for every Sunday of Lent are included.


Click the link below to follow along daily through Lent:


40 DAYS IN THE DESERT



MADE FOR HEAVEN


Join Fr. Agustino Torres, CFR

—founder of Corazón Puro—

on a multimedia Lenten journey inspired by St. Francis.


Begin the season with a vow of poverty

and end at Easter with a heart free from the desert of sin

and open to love, serve, and care for others.


Made for Heaven features stunning original art

by Valerie Delgado of Pax.Valerie,

along with daily meditations on a passage from scripture,

reflection questions, prayer, and space for journaling and notetaking.



In six transformative weeks,

you will learn how to allow the Holy Spirit

to move in your heart through a new theme each week:


  • Week one: commit yourself to a Lenten vow of poverty and reflect on the story of Jesus being cast into the desert as you learn to make your life entirely about Christ;


  • Week two: be a witness to the Transfiguration and allow yourself to become transformed, letting your spiritual gifts shine forth;


  • Week three: accept the call to conversion and say yes to a life of simplicity and poverty as St. Joseph did;


  • Week four: let the healing power of God challenge you to become a vessel of mercy and a source of loving compassion to others;


  • Week five: learn how to pray with confidence and look beyond ourselves;


  • Holy Week: experience a deep encounter with God through the ancient liturgy of the Church.


Click the link below to watch the "teaser:"


MADE FOR HEAVEN TEASER VIDEO


NOVENA PRAYERS


SAINT VALENTINE



STARTS: FEBRUARY 5

ENDS: FEBRUARY 14



O glorious advocate and protector, Saint Valentine,

look with pity upon our wants, hear our requests,

attend to our prayers, relieve by your intercession

the miseries under which we labor, and obtain

for us the Divine blessing, that we may be found

worthy to join thee in praising the Almighty

for all eternity; through the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Pray, then, O holy Martyr, for the faithful,

who are so persevering in celebrating thy memory.

The day of Judgment will reveal to us all thy glorious merits.

Oh! intercede for us, that we may then be made

thy companions at the right hand of the Great Judge,

and be united with thee eternally in heaven.


Let us pray: Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God,

that we who solemnize the festival of blessed Valentine,

Thy Martyr, may, by his intercession, be delivered

from all the evils that threaten us.

Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.


(Mention your intentions here)


Saint Valentine, advocate and protector, pray for us.


Our Father

Hail Mary

Glory Be


WHO WAS ST. VALENTINE?


Tradition has it that St Valentine’s mission involved

 marrying Christian couples according to the rites of the church.

Making possible these marriages is part of the

reason he is patron of lovers and happy marriages.


St Valentine is widely associated with love and romance,

but the story behind the holiday is much darker than you might expect.


Click below to discover the story about St. Valentine:


STORY ABOUT ST. VALENTINE


SPECIAL PRAYERS

2024 YEAR OF PRAYER


The Vatican presented initiatives to

"rediscover the value of prayer"

during the 2024 Year of Prayer

in preparation of the Jubilee 2025.


Pope Francis officially launched the Year of Prayer

during the Sunday Angelus on January 21, 2024


This year is “a time to discover how to pray,

and above all how to educate the people of

today in prayer, in this age of digital culture.”


Click the link below to read more bout this Year of Prayer Initiative:


2024 YEAR OF PRAYER



The Eucharist is central to our Catholic faith.

The saints who have gone before us share

a common love for Jesus in the Eucharist.


Inspired by their deep devotion to the Blessed Sacrament,

some saints have composed prayers

that help the faithful draw closer to Christ.


The following prayers are perfect to add to your

prayer routine during a Holy Hour, after communion, or any other time!



1) Saint Ignatius of Loyola – Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.

Body of Christ, save me.

Blood of Christ, inebriate me.

Water from the side of Christ, wash me.

Passion of Christ, strengthen me.

O good Jesus, hear me.

Within Thy Wounds, hide me.

Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.

From the malignant enemy, defend me.

In the hour of my death, call me.

And bid me come to Thee.

That with Thy saints I may praise Thee.

Forever and ever.


Amen.


Click the link below to find four more prayers from saints:


MORE PRAYERS FROM SAINTS


For Peace in the Middle East



Click the link below for several prayers for Israel

and also a list of the names of the hostages!!


PRAYERS FOR ISRAEL AND HOSTAGES NAMES


Click below to see 8 children receive first communion in Gaza:



1st COMMUNION IN GAZA


NATIONAL EUCHARISTIC REVIVAL

NEW WEEKLY INFO


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


NEW DETAILS NOW AVAILABLE

 

The wait is over! A daily schedule for the National

Eucharistic Congress is live on our website.

You can now explore what this incredible

experience will look like day by day.

 

Preview the options for impact sessions in the morning

that speak to your particular vocation and mission.


Then, get excited for the dynamic revival sessions,

when the whole assembly will gather in Lucas Oil Stadium

to experience the power and love of Jesus.


These sessions—and the soon-to-be-announced

afternoon breakout sessions—

will be led by the expansive list of faithful speakers

who will join us in Indianapolis this summer.

 

Scroll through the updated schedule to

see many powerful opportunities for

encounters with Christ through prayer and the sacraments.



Click the link below for EVENT schedules:


EVENT SCHEDULES


Click the link below for IMPACT Sessions:


IMPACT SESSIONS


Click the link below for the SPEAKERS list:


SPEAKERS LIST





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THE EUCHARIST MAKES US PRO-LIFE


Our responsibility to care for every human life

is not a uniquely Christian vocation

but also a human one.


As Catholics, we have a particular awareness of this duty.

When, at the Last Supper, Christ commanded,

“Do this in remembrance of me,”

he left a memorial of his saving Death and Resurrection.


That command reminds us daily of his

sacrificial love for every life.


In the Sacrifice of the Mass, the priest renews

that sacrifice at the altar,

and the baptized are invited to offer themselves to God.


Click below to read the rest of Bishop Burbidge's essay:


BISHOP BURBIDGE'S ESSAY


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


If you see a link on your device's screen that says,

"View entire message”,

please click that link to continue seeing the entire newsletter.


REGISTRATION INFO FOR THE CONGRESS


WILL YOU BE THERE, TOO?


You can join us!

July, 2024

for the 10th National Eucharistic Congress.


Directly experience the fruits of your intercession and

see its impact around the country.

Click the link below to REGISTER:

REGISTRATION FOR 10TH

NATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONFERENCE




QUIZ! FOR THE WEEK


What is the Prayer of the Church ?

Scroll down to find the answer!


HUMOR


HIGHLIGHT





Interstate Driving


A state trooper sees a vehicle on the interstate doing 24 miles an hour

and pulls the car to make sure everything is all right.


When he approaches the driver he discovers that it is a nun.

"Excuse me, sister. But are you alright ?" He asked.


She replies, "Oh, yes officer. We're just fine. Was I doing something wrong?"


The officer says, "Well sister, you were traveling way

under the speed limit and I was concerned that

you might be having car trouble or something."


"But officer", the nun interrupts,

"I saw a sign there about a mile back that said 24,

and I know I wasn't going any faster than that."


Chuckling, the trooper says,

"Sister, that was a state highway route marker,

this is State Route 24, not the speed limit.

The speed limit signs have a MPH at the bottom."


"Oh, now don't I feel foolish!", replied the nun turning red.

"That's ok, but please try to be more careful,

I would hate to see you get hurt",

finished the officer.


Then as he turns to say good-bye to the nuns in the back seat,

he notices for the first time that they are trembling violently

and quite pale.


"Sister, what is wrong with your friends?

Can I escort you to a hospital ?"

"Oh, no, they're all right.

We just turned off of Route 135."




GOSPEL READING REFLECTION

For February 4, 2024


5th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Mk 1:29-39 


OPTIMISM AND HOPE


  • Our Lord says he came to “preach,” that is, to communicate something. What he came to communicate was really his very self, of which his words were an important part, since they revealed what was in his heart and mind. Receiving Our Lord’s very self meant freedom from sin, illness, and demonic possession. As the Gospel verse summarizes it, “Christ took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.”


  • Israel’s and our ultimate hope is that God will set everything right for those who fear him.


  • The words optimism and hope can mean the same thing: expectation of happiness, the belief that something good is in the future.


  • For the optimistic or hopeful person, things may be hard right now, but they will surely improve.


  • Present difficulties are bearable not only when they are seen as temporary, but especially when they are necessary for the future reward, like dieting to be more healthy and attractive, or study and training to become a professional.


  • As virtues, it is useful to distinguish optimism from hope. Optimism can be defined as the expectation of good things in this life obtained by natural powers, as the farmer expects to harvest the wheat he has planted. Hope can be defined as the expectation of good things both on earth and in heaven by the fulfillment of God’s powerful promises. Thus, optimism is the natural counterpart to the supernatural virtue of hope.





SCOTT HAHN'S

MASS READINGS REFLECTION


Click the link below to hear Scott Hahn reflect on

the 5TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME:


" RAISED TO SERVE"


REFLECTION ON THE FIFTH SUNDAY

IN ORDINARY TIME BY DR. HAHN




ANSWER TO QUIZ


What is the Prayer of the Church ?


The “prayer of the whole Church” is the Liturgy of the Hours, or Divine Office.


It’s the second highest form of prayer after the Mass,

higher even than the Rosary.


Many think that the “Hours” are just for priests and religious,

but this is a misunderstanding. 


Anyone can pray the Liturgy of the Hours.

It’s true that priests, religious men and women,

and deacons are required to pray it,

but everyone is invited to participate

in this prayer of the Church.


Click the link below to read more about praying the Divine Office:


PRAYING THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS OR DIVINE OFFICE


Click the link below to discover the Divine Office app:


DIVINE OFFICE APP

ST. THOMAS MORE WEBSITE LINKS


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BOOK

RECOMMENDATION

 

We need to be armed for battle!



At all times, and especially during these crazy times in this vale of tears,

we need to lay our foundation in Christ Jesus.

Spiritual reading helps us build and strengthen that foundation.

Order through your favorite book dealer.

This week's recommendation is:

 

Making a Holy Lent


BY

 Fr. Bill Casey



Lent calls us to ponder the reality of

Jesus Christ and the salvation He offers.


In these compelling pages,

Fr. Bill Casey turns our attention to Jesus

in brief reflections on topics ranging from the

Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist to the

role that the Blessed Virgin Mary plays in every healthy prayer life.


Drawing on years of experience as a retreat master,

Father Casey leavens each of these holy topics

with a refreshing dose of common sense.


We pray you will be excited to embark on purposeful

spiritual reading as a way to build a more prayer-filled,

Christ centered life.