Good morning to you from Joy Valley! Happy Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul (and also the Immaculate Heart of Mary! More on this below.) What an incredible week- Corpus Christi on Sunday, Nativity of John the Baptist on Monday, Our Lady of Perpetual Help on Thursday (also St. Cyril of Alexandria!), Sacred Heart yesterday, and these wonderful feasts today! WOW!
We think we’ve got some pretty important and nifty things to chat about this morning so we want to keep the intro short. So, go ahead and grab that cup of coffee or tea, find a comfortable place to sit, and without further ado, let’s get into this!
Tomorrow’s Mass readings speak a lot about freedom. From Elisha leaving everything behind to follow Elijah, to St. Paul exhorting the people of Galatia to use their freedom in Christ for love of neighbor, to Jesus warning against being attached to anything more than the Kingdom of God. What a freedom it is to love God with our whole hearts, minds, and souls!
Catholic History in America
The 4th of July is later this week—a time of thanksgiving for the liberties we enjoy and a time to remember those who made (and make) it possible. As we celebrate Independence Day this week with all the parades and fireworks and BBQs, let’s take just a moment to look at how Catholics helped to shape these United States.
Our Lady and the United States
Our Lady of Guadalupe is considered the patroness of the Americas, so it would be fitting to ask for her intercession this week! We certainly face many challenges as a country and there seem to be looming threats to the freedoms that we cherish. Now, more than ever, it is essential to pray the rosary for our families and our nation. Patriotism falls under the virtue of Justice! At a time when our national unity and morale are so low, let us cultivate this important virtue!
Even though, by world standards, the United States is quite young, did you know we have a long history of devotion to Our Lady? This article by Fr. Joseph Esper does a great job outlining how the Blessed Mother has been with us from the beginning!
Last week we delved into one of the most controversial and heated topics in our country right now. As many of you know, June is now considered “Pride” month, with parades, demonstrations, and rallies in support of the LGBT+ lifestyle.
While the topic is multi-faceted and complex, it is possible to understand it, be able to speak about it, and have a loving and well-founded conviction about it. Many of you probably have friends or family who identify as LGBT+, so being able to speak with love and compassion is a must.
Courage International is a wonderful, faithful organization that conveys the Church’s teachings with love and compassion. Their article, “Approaching Pride Month as a Catholic,” helped us gain perspective on approaching the topic with those who experience same-sex attraction. Their materials can also be found on FORMED.
What does real care for persons with same-sex attraction look like? In 1986 the Vatican issued a “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons.” It’s around eight pages long—not a “quick” read by web-surfing standards—but incredibly rich in its explanation of the Church’s teaching on marriage, sexuality, and the human person. Here’s an excerpt:
The human person, made in the image and likeness of God, can hardly be adequately described by a reductionist reference to his or her sexual orientation. […] Today, the Church provides a badly needed context for the care of the human person when she refuses to consider the person as a “heterosexual” or a “homosexual” and insists that every person has a fundamental Identity: the creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life.
Now that summer is fully upon us, we are in the mood for enjoying the sunshine and outdoors as much as possible. We found this list of good books to take to the beach, so we thought we’d pass it along in case you are looking for ideas! And here’s a summer reading list for kids that you can feel comfortable with as well!
If you are a parent and have school-aged kids home during the summer, you might be close to pulling your hair out by now. Hearing phrases like, “I’m hungry” after just having lunch, or “there’s nothing to do” or “I’m bored” can leave a parent feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. This article has 3 simple ideas for kids while at home that will keep them occupied and help you maintain your sanity!
We found an article recently discussing how summer is a perfect time to work on building particular good habits. We never thought of it that way, but after reading this short article, it makes sense! Check it out!
As we mentioned above, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is typically celebrated today (just after the Feast of the Sacred Heart). If you’d like to know more about the Immaculate Heart, Catholic Culture has a nice piece explaining it! If you have a moment, this prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is beautiful!
Today we celebrate Saints Peter and Paul, two flawed men who were chosen by God to spread Christendom during the earliest years of the Church. They both had bold personalities and God used their natural strengths and weaknesses to accomplish His will! This short article from Catholic News Agency has a good rundown of their lives.
Here’s a Saints Peter and Paul coloring page for the kiddos!
Marian Center Update
We continue with Our Lady of Guadalupe Moms’ Group every Tuesday from 10-noon! Bring the kids and join us! Look for our Facebook page for updates!
We will be hosting community BBQs and bonfires every Friday in July.Click here for more info.
The Marian Center is hosting the Eucharistic Miracles of the World exhibit until the end of the summer. Find out more here!
To Christ Through Mary,
Katie Moe and Lori Mercer
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