We are so happy to inform you that the Crown of Twelve Stars Youth Program has been launched!
Dear Members of the International Family of Saint Philomena,
My name is Fr. Chad Partain and I am a priest of the Diocese of Alexandria in Louisiana in the United States, where I serve as pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Church and as chancellor of the diocese. On November 13, 2011, Msgr. Giovanni Braschi, rector of the Shrine of St. Philomena, officially established the Congregation of the Children of Mary, as the youth program for the International Family of St. Philomena. The program’s website and Facebook page were launched in October of 2011 and, since then, we have registered members, both young and the young at heart, from across the world.
As we prepare to celebrate the first anniversary of the youth congregation on November 21 (the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary), I am writing to you, as promoters of the devotion, to introduce this work of youth evangelization. The purpose of the Children of Mary is threefold:
1. to encourage and foster an extraordinary devotion to the Blessed Mother in the hearts of its members,
2. to introduce the devotion of St. Philomena to the youth of today, and
3. to encourage the imitation of St. Philomena’s heroic purity.
The youth who enroll as members of the Children of Mary, are also automatically enrolled in the Archconfraternity of St. Philomena and as members of the Universal Living Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena. The members make an individual Act of Consecration to the Blessed Mother and assume responsibility for praying an assigned daily Decade of the Rosary. They are encouraged to form Circles of five or more members for monthly meetings on the First Saturday of each month At this meeting they can participate in Holy Mass and offer their Communions of love and reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Monthly meeting guides and points for reflection are given on the Facebook page. Prayers and guidelines for the meetings are included in the Manual which is sent to the registered members along with their membership card and Medal of Consecration.
It is our hope that this organization can be a great force for good in forming a new generation of committed disciples who will truly make Mary’s ‘YES’ their own. Please include the Children of Mary and our Youth for Purity Program in your prayers and encourage the formation of ‘Circles’ in your local area. While this is primarily a youth movement of education and sanctification, membership is open to all the baptized who wish to be enrolled as Children of Mary. Registration applications can be found online at: TheChildrenOfMary.net
For more information or to register by mail, write to:
St. Philomena, Patroness of the Children of Mary, pray for us!
Come, Let Us Adore Our Eucharistic King
Glory to God in the highest and, on earth, peace to men of good will!
From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the amazing act of Consecration that was first performed by Christ in the Cenacle is perpetuated by His chosen priesthood, daily, on every Catholic Altar. The Holy Eucharist is the Flower of the Incarnation, the completion of all the Mysteries of the Redeemer’s Life as Man. Christ came to seek that which was lost. The end of His Passion and Death and glorification of our nature was that He might dwell forever in His Mystical Body, the Church. In this Mystery, Christ, Inexpressible Love, unites Himself with us.
O Incomprehensible Mystery, Masterpiece of Infinite Wisdom, Boundless Goodness,
Hiddenness must distinguish our lives as it does the God of the Eucharist, Who is concealed under the humblest elements. In marked contrast with the feverish excitement of the world, the dwelling of the Eucharistic King is a paradise of blissful repose. Our lives must be silent and calm if we are to be conformed to the Divine Solitary upon our Altars, in order that He may form in us His image.
The Holy Eucharist is the sun of Christianity, the source of life, the fountainhead of all grace and virtue. Although Christ conquered sin by His Death and Resurrection, He is still within the range of sinners’ power as they fling at Him insult and outrage. The storm of sin beats Him ruthlessly and heartlessly; its steel scourge falls upon His virginal flesh and numbers all His bones. Great, then, is the urgent need of our reparation for the pain which Our Eucharistic King is daily the silent Victim.
When we receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, all that He is and possesses is ours. ‘I live now, not I, but Christ liveth in me.’ (Gal. 2:20) Christ, within us, will always ennoble the world around us. Christ gives Himself to the soul and, then, diffuses Himself throughout the body becoming bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. Even the mortal part of our being experiences the closest contact with the God of Love. (Gen. 2:23) Christ will become the King of our hearts and the Director of our pilgrimage on earth, only if we are one with Him in thought, desire and sympathy. Every Holy Communion by a miracle of God’s forgiveness remits venial sin, for Christ cannot unite Himself with sin.
The chief effect of the Bread of Angels is to change us into its very substance. There is not, and there can never be, a closer union than this. Man cannot be independent of God. For the creature to attain his natural and supernatural ends, the Creator must dwell within him. In Him, we live and move and have our being. “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will take up Our abode with him.” (John 14:23)
Our Lord places Himself upon the Altar, within the easy reach of every one of us. He puts His Sacred Heart at our disposal, bidding us help ourselves freely from its treasures, to pay the last farthing of the debt we owe to God. By Him, with Him and in Him, we, little finite creatures, nothing of ourselves, can give a supreme worship to God which He accepts as sufficient. At this time of intimate union, God wants to hear about ourselves, how we are getting on, is He becoming the main focus of our lives? He wants to know all. His Heart does not sink when He sees us coming. His delight is to see us take up our post before the Tabernacle. Perhaps, we are too weary to pray, but just to sit before Him, with our eyes upon the little door, waiting for refreshment is enough. The sympathy of His Heart beating there, is infinite. It never fails us nor can it ever fail us. We are always welcome. There is no sign that our waywardness or perversity tires Him. He receives us with graciousness that soothes while it shames us. He comes with gentle touch and heals our wounds with oil and wine, sending us again on our way with lightened and braver hearts.
“I will cast myself at His Feet and place myself beneath His healing Hand. I wait for the word that will cure, though not all at once, my pride, my hastiness of temper, my coldness in prayer, my uncharitable tongue and my neglect of distasteful duties. He knows, I am an imperfect being. He has compassion on my infirmities. He is the Divine Physician, Who has come, not for those who are whole, but for they that are sick. A merciful and gracious God, long-suffering and full of Love, He will take away from me all sickness and infirmity.”
And what shall I give Him in return? Lord, it is not much, but it is all I have. I give Thee myself, body and soul. I give Thee my life, strength, desires, resolutions, efforts, all my love and trust, my joys and anxieties, my labor for souls that Thou lovest. Freely, I have received; freely let me give. Let the sense of my own infirmity, need of sympathy and encouragement make me alive to the needs of others. My own moods come and go. I find myself hard to handle. I am a trial to those about me. May I be tender and compassionate to those who, like myself, are struggling!
What Christ by His sacramental presence does in us, we must do in the world around us. As He transfigures us with His grace, we, too, must elevate and ennoble all who come within the sphere of our influence. We must be other Christs. We must glorify Christ by emptying ourselves for others. Christ came to restore to His Father the souls of sinners. Only by continuing this work, only by love of our neighbor, will we be saved; for by our sacrifices and the helpfulness of our charity for others, we decide our eternal destiny!
“Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess ye the Kingdom of My Father, for I was hungry and you gave Me to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave Me to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you covered Me, I was sick and you visited Me. Amen, I say to you, so long as you did it to one of the least of My brethren, you did it to Me!” (Matt. 25:34)
“Show me your hands. Do they have scars from giving?
(Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen)
In every Holy Communion, we taste the supernatural sweetness of the divinely communicated Life as it pours itself out in tidal waves of supernatural strength and limitless riches of Christ’s benedictions. His Eucharistic Life will not only illumine our own souls, but will enlighten those sitting in the darkness of the valley of death. Unless Holy Communion makes us one with Christ, the light of His sacramental presence in us cannot shine before our fellowmen. When Christ prayed for this union, His Heart embraced the Church collectively and each member individually, bestowing on Her a Sacrament that would establish every single soul in a relationship with every other, He would perfect It with a unity that symbolize the eternal unity of the Triune God. This union transcends time and space, linking us children of the Church Militant with the Saints of the Church Triumphant and the members of the Church Suffering. We are one with all that is one with Christ. When worthily received, the Blessed Sacrament will rob life of its bitterness and inspire supernatural considerateness, forbearance and forgiveness, giving us tenderness and compassion for every other child of God.
Largeness of desire will characterize our thanksgiving. With the gift of Himself, all other gifts are included! Convinced of this truth, we can be bold with God. We can presume on His kindness and try to exhaust His generosity. We must get rid of all distrust of the Infinite Lover. One Holy Communion can make us a saint!
I am blind. Eternity is coming, and coming fast; I must prepare for death and judgment; I can only live my life once. O my God, Thou Who hast made me, have mercy on me! When the world is cold to Thee, continue to dwell with infinite patience in this desert of forgetfulness, where ingratitude abounds; bless those who outrage Thee. Self-oblation is the essence of the Altar. Having set aside our own petty desires, ambitions, and selfish whims, let us offer to Christ our strong faith, absolute trust and sincere love – that our closest union with Him may be complete. May the Love that brought Thee down from Heaven burn brightly within our hearts! It is by suffering that one learns to LOVE!
My God, I long to love Thee with my whole heart, with my whole soul, with all my mind and with all my strength that before I come to die, I may love Thee according to Thy desire throughout Eternity!
O SACRAMENT MOST HOLY, O SACRAMENT DIVINE!
|A Christmas Bouquet For Your Loved Ones!
We wish to give you the greatest gift possible during this Advent and Christmas Season to help in a special way to prepare your hearts and souls for the momentous event which we anticipate: God with us!In reality, the first coming of Our Lord in the stable at Bethlehem occurs again and again. It is a merciful reality not only at the feast of Christmas, but in the hearts of each one of us at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass – the Church being the stable of Bethlehem, and the altar and our hearts the crib. The Church celebrates not only the first coming of Christ upon earth as Our Redeemer, but also the merciful reality of His second coming on earth as our Judge! By His first coming, Our Lord redeemed us from sin and obtained the resurrection of our souls to the life of Grace. With His second coming, Christ will heal us of all our frailties and will bring resurrection to our bodies. We shall reap the harvest of complete happiness with God even as we have served Him in this world with our whole being, body and soul. Christ desires to be born in us that we may live new, purer and more perfect lives.
Thirty days of Sacred Liturgies will be offered for all those who enroll in the Christmas Bouquet of Masses offered by Fr. Ivan Kolodij and the good priests in Ukraine. Your spiritual and temporal needs and your family, living and dead, will be remembered at the Holy Altar every day during December. The Christmas Mass Bouquet will be crowned with a solemn High Mass on the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ and during the Christmas Octave. There could be no more precious gift you can give at Christmas time. Each person arranging these Masses for their loved ones will be sent a beautiful Mass card which may be mailed to the person enrolled. We will mail the Mass cards directly to you. These may be sent in your Christmas greeting cards or placed inside your gift packages. This is a wonderful way to keep Christ in Christmas!!!