Andrea Jackson, our Evangelical Catholic training consultant will give a presentation on prayer called "The One Thing" on March 24th, at 6:30-8pm in the Columbia Room of St. John's Primary School. All are encouraged to attend this special event.
The third training group has begun! "Reach More" Evangelization training through Evangelical Catholic. There are 11 active small group leaders, and 5 more currently training.
FROM THE PASTOR’S DESK
This coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. It is traditional for us a s Catholics to ‘give up’ something for Lent, but it is also a good practice to add something to our Lenten plan. Lent is a solemn time to focus on Jesus, who spent forty days in the desert fasting and praying. In order to die a little more to our personal selfishness and sinful attitudes and rise to new life in Christ on Easter morning, we enter into the three traditional pillars of Lenten observances; prayer, fasting and almsgiving
Prayer is an essential element of our Christian life, and Lent is a fitting time of year for growth in prayer – to deepen our friendship with Jesus. Spending quiet time to read and ponder a Bible passage will allow opportunities to encounter Christ. There are six Sundays in Lent, with readings specifically chosen for each one. Consider reading the Gospel passage ahead of time, taking the time to soak in the message and gain more understanding. The Mass Readings, daily and Sunday, can be found at http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings. The Stations of the Cross are another appropriate prayer during Lent, as it calls for pondering the 14 “Stations” which commemorate the Lord’s journey to death and burial.
Fasting is another special Lenten observance, and is form of self-denial and a way of drawing closer to God. Our lives have become so busy and cluttered that God gets less and less of our time. Through prayer and denying ourselves some things, our hearts are freer to make more room for God because we become less dependent on material things and less attached to the satisfaction they bring. The Church encourages abstaining from meat on all Fridays of the year in honor of our Lord’s death, there are some days that are required fasting. (See below) We can offer these sacrifices to God for someone who is suffering.
Our last traditional Lenten foundation, almsgiving, is another form of self-denial, how we share what we have with the poor. In addition to giving money, food, or clothing to an individual in need, consider giving some of your time to be with another person for a simple conversation, such as an elderly woman in a nursing home, or a retired man who lives alone and has no family in the area.
One last thing to consider, is in a spiritual battle, when we strive to eliminate particular things from our lives, we need to fill the void with a virtue. How can this work? Consider:
• Fast from words that wound; feast on phrases that uplift. • Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
• Fast from anger; feast on patience.
• Fast from worry; feast on trust in God’s plan.
• Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
• Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
• Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.
• Fast from discouragement; feast on hope in God.
• Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.
• Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.
• Fast from problems that overwhelm; feast on prayer that undergirds.
A good Lent prepares us to celebrate the greatest events in Christ’s life – His suffering, violent death on the cross and Resurrection from the dead – that frees us from the slavery of sin. This season of grace will also bring healing, renewal, and reconciliation in our lives.
LENTEN FASTING AND ABSTINENCE
Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence from meat for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence from meat.
For members of the Latin Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59. When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal. Two smaller meals may also be taken, but not to equal a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.
FROM THE PASTOR’S DESK
LENT IS COMING SOON!!!
Even though it is a late start to the Lenten season, it can still sneak up on us. Ash Wednesday is February 26th, only 10 days away. Have you thought about your Lenten practices yet? It is normal for us to ignore these until Ash Wednesday is upon us, and then start thinking about them. Then after a week or so, we will tweek them; then after another week, we will put them into action. By this time, we are 1/3 of the way through Lent. It is a good practice to begin thinking about these things now. Then, when Ash Wednesday rolls around, we will be ready to begin our Lenten practices right away.
Another thing we can get caught up with is that lent is simply a time to give something up. This is true, and it is always good to offer these things up. However, if we are still trying to give up the same things we gave up last year, or 5 years ago, or 25 years ago, perhaps it is time we try adding something as well. The reason we give something up is to create an emptiness and a desire in our hearts; but if this emptiness is not filled with something virtuous, we will fill it with something else.
Take this to prayer: is God inviting me to something more this Lent? Adoration? Weekday Mass? More frequent confession? Serving others in Nursing Home or hospital? Reading Sacred Scripture on a daily basis? Take advantage of our parish mission to begin preparing your hearts to see where it is God is inviting you. He invites all to holiness, but the path is as individual as we are. Much like a trip, we begin in a particular location, and have a destination in mind. Now we need to decide; do I take an airplane? Drive a car? Could I ride a bike? Take a train? And once we decide the mode of transportation, we decide the route. The most direct; the most scenic; perhaps I want the fastest route. Lastly, the most important step, and that is to begin the journey. It is possible to plan and plan to death, and never make the journey or begin the climb. Our preparation has got to lead us to action, even if it means we wreck the car and have to start all over again, then that is what we do.
In all of this, keep an open heart to God’s inspirations. I have found that often after doing all the planning, and getting started, God has a totally different Lent for me, usually one I would never select for myself. Ask for the grace to see that, and to embrace it, even if it means that my plan might have to be put on hold for a year.
+ Praying for a blessed Lent for our entire parish family.
ASH WEDNESDAY MASSES- MARSHFIELD DEANERY
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
12:10PM (Service only. - Confessions to follow)
Christ the King
St. Joseph’s, Stratford
St. Andrew,’s Rozellville
St. Michael’s Hewitt
St. Kilian’s, Blenker
St. Mary’s, Auburndale
From the Pope
Back in November, Pope Francis blessed a project that he dubbed the “Palace of the Poor,” a refurbished Calasanziane convent dating back to the early 1800s. The palace still carries the name of the Roman family that built it centuries ago: Palazzo Migliori – “Palace of the Best.”
When the nuns and the young mothers they cared for moved to other facilities, Pope Francis personally directed his Almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, to turn it into a refuge where the homeless and poor of Rome can sleep, eat, and learn.
St. John’s Parish Mission:
Training Saints to Lead Hearts To Christ
February 16th - 19th with Deacon Ralph Poyo
All are encouraged to attend this year’s Lenten Mission at St. John’s. Each evening’s talk will begin at 6:30pm and end at 7:30pm. Deacon Poyo has been in full-time ministry serving Catholic churches across the country. Since founding New Evangelization Ministries (NEM), he has become a popular evangelist, preaching at parish missions, conferences and retreats. His dynamic style of humor, visual props, and a no-nonsense communication of the truth enables him to captivate audiences of all ages. While he has spent much of his earlier years ministering to youth, the Lord now has him focusing his efforts on adults. Following is a brief description of this week’s talks:
Sunday Homily: Mission Title: “Call to the Deep”
Homily Title: Do You Know? During the homily, Dcn. Ralph will bring to light a popular misconception of Catholicism, often assumed by most Catholics. Circumstances of our past formation have left us thinking we know, but finding we really don’t.
Talk #1 / Sunday: Are You In or Just Playing Church: This presentation of the saving plan of God will equip you to answer the question raised at Mass.
Talk #2 / Monday: Spiritual Warfare: A Battle We Rarely See -
This presentation will unmask some of the real ways that Satan and his demons are inflictng pain and suffering on us and how they are intent upon keeping us from God.
Talk #3 / Tuesday: The Healing Power of the Holy Spirit - In Salvation History, this is the time of the Holy Spirit. Yet many Catholics have had little to no instruction on what to do with the Spirit. Thus, they are living outside of His life and power.
Talk #4 / Wednesday: Grounded in Discipleship - Discipleship has become a big topic of discussion. This night will help participants get started on that journey by focusing on the four fundamental disciplines of a Disciple of Jesus Christ.
FROM THE PASTOR’S DESK
As we get close to Lent, I would like to offer some reflections on the Mass, and some reasons why we do some of the things we do as Catholic Christians. These reflections are for practicing Catholics and for those entering the Church through RCIA this Easter; really for anyone seeking a deeper understanding, as this helps us to participate more fully and intentionally in the Mass throughout our journey in this life to eternal life.
PROCESSION: Why do we have a procession to begin Mass? Wouldn’t it be easier to just start from the sacristy? Yes, it would be more efficient, but the Mass is not about efficiency. It is about praise and worship; it is about celebrating an ancient liturgy in our world today. Everyone gathers in the church in anticipation. Christ, in the person of the priest, enters last, while all sing God’s praises. Similar to a royal procession, where everyone gathers and goes before the king, and they gather around the throne. We gather around our eternal king, whom is reigning from his throne; the cross and the altar of sacrifice. We also call to mind that we are on a pilgrimage through this life to heaven. The entrance procession, beginning at the back of the church (the world), is a symbol of that journey to heaven (the altar). Christ is our goal, symbolized by the altar, and he walks with us in the person of the priest.
WHY DO WE BOW OR GENUFLECT? At various times during the Mass, the priest and congregation genuflect or perform a deep bow. What is the significance of this in the liturgy? It is a statement that we are entering into a sacred space. When you enter the church and arrive at your pew, we normally genuflect before the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Tabernacle. When the procession arrives at the entrance to the sanctuary, the same gesture is performed. The sanctuary reflects the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem; the most sacred place in the entire Temple, where sacrifices were offered by the High Priest once a year. The church itself is a sacred space, and within the church, the sanctuary is the holiest space. This is where the sacrifice of the Mass takes place, and is set off from the rest by steps, and historically, by a railing. These are visible reminders of the hallowed ground we enter for the Mass.
THE ALTAR KISS Why do the priest and deacon reverence the altar with a kiss at the beginning and end of the Mass? The altar in our churches is a symbol of Christ himself. We venerate Christ with a kiss before offering the sacrifice of the Mass and at the conclusion of the Mass as we exit the sacred space.
SIGN OF THE CROSS The sign of the cross is how we as Catholics begin and end our prayers; whether it is a simple daytime prayer, a rosary or Divine Mercy chaplet or the Mass itself. We do not often think of it in this way, but the Sign of the Cross is a prayer itself. We naturally point to the forehead, then the heart and finally move our hand across our lungs. These call to mind the holy Trinity; calling to mind the Father as we raise our hand to our forehead, the love of the Son is recalled when we place our hand over our heart and the breath of God, the Holy Spirit is where our thoughts should go as we cross over our lungs. This prayer also marks us with the sign of the greatest act of love the world has ever witnessed.
The sign of the Cross is the sign of Christ’s love. Beginning and ending all our prayer with this simple prayer recalls the centrality of Christ’s sacrifice for our salvation. Ask yourself; is there a more powerful and at the same time a more simple way to acknowledge who we are than a simple sign of the cross in public?
Ash Wednesday Masses and services at St. John’s are as follows:
6:30am, 8:00am, 12:10pm (service only with the distribution of ashes) and 6:30pm.
Sign up sheet for Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers and servers can be found in the sacristy.
Monday - Friday: 7:00 AM
Saturday: 8:00 AM
Saturday: 4:30 PM
Sunday: 7:00, 9:00 & 11:00 AM
Tuesday–Friday: 6:30 - 6:50 AM
1st and 3rd Fridays: Confessions begin at 6:00*
Saturday: 3:30 - 4:15 PM
*Friday confessions begin at 6:00, but vary in duration
PERPETUAL ADORATION: The Marshfield Deanery has the St. John Paul II Adoration Chapel located in the lower level of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, at 201 W. Blodgett Street. The chapel is accessible from the rear parking lot. For more information or to sign up, contact Jean Kaiser at 715-503-0118 or Deacon Ray Draeger at 715-207-6085. Click on the image below for more information
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Welcome From Our Pastor
Welcome to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church! Ever since 1877 this parish has been assisting souls in their quest for deeper union with God. Pope John Paul II called the parish a “school of prayer” and St. John’s is committed to promoting growth in holiness in every state in life. Each of us is called... Read More
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