Good afternoon and happy Easter Saturday to you! We absolutely love that the celebration of Easter is extended for eight days and then (to a somewhat lesser degree) until Pentecost. What a wonderful season; so full of hope and joy! We’ve been outside working in our gardens and planting vegetable seeds and enjoying the sunshine. We hope that you have had an opportunity to do some fun things as well!
In keeping with the joy of the Easter season, we are coming to you today with some things to lift your spirits. Perhaps one of the best things about this time of year is the celebration of Divine Mercy, which culminates tomorrow on Divine Mercy Sunday.
(At the bottom of this email, we’ll give an update on Marian Center, and some exciting news about a matching gift challenge!)
So, without further ado, let’s get into this.
The maxim “God loves you” gets tossed around a lot and sometimes it has the ability to eclipse the fact that God is also just. Sin is real and reparation and repentance are necessary in the spiritual life. The reality is, we are 100% dependent on God’s mercy. Luckily, His mercy and tender love are yours for the asking! Check out Marcellino d’Ambrosio’s article that grapples with justice, mercy, and the sacrament of confession.
Celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday
The typical stipulations for a plenary indulgence require going to confession and receiving Holy Communion. Unfortunately, these sacraments are hard to come by at this moment in our history, but do not fear! You can still gain a plenary indulgence this Divine Mercy Sunday! Check out The Marians of the Immaculate Conception’s video, they’ll show you how!
You can join the Marians of the Immaculate Conception for the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday on EWTN tomorrow. For more information, head to the website of the National Shrine of Divine Mercy.
Easter joy, the kind that is a supernatural gift from the Lord, often gets confused with happiness. For a lot of folks, happiness (not joy) is associated with pleasure. But, we know that happiness and true joy are two different things. Easter joy, the kind that doesn’t fluctuate with circumstance or mood, is truly life-changing. Check out this article from Catholic Exchange about finding YOUR joy this Easter season!
Renewal of the Domestic Church
There is always a silver lining to be found if you look a little harder. While many are dealing with unemployment, financial hardship, and other uncertainties, there does seem to be a bright spot emerging from this corona cloud. Wonderfully, because families are spending so much more time in the same place, there has been a resurgence of the family dinner, family game and movie night, and family prayer! The National Catholic Registerput out a nice piece about how these blessings are abounding. Hopefully the trend will continue once this is all over with!
Mary is our Mother, and always leads us to her Son. In the article, Mary, My Guide to Understanding God’s Mercy, the author tells of her personal experience with Our Lady leading her to understand the Mercy of God. It’s a quick, but worthwhile read.
On April 24, the Church celebrates the feast day of St. Fidelis, a martyr and great preacher. His name means “faithful” and he certainly was- dying at the hands of Calvinists who killed him when he refused to renounce the Catholic Faith. If you’d like to learn more about St. Fidelis, read here.
If you are looking for some resources to help celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday with little ones, look no further. Our friends at Catholic Icing have some great ideas.
Catholic News Agency also has some great suggestions for celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday at home as a family.
On Easter Sunday, Archbishop Bernard Hebda along with Bishop Cozzens of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis stood outside in the cold, wet snow as people drove by in their cars to receive an Easter blessing. Thank you to these shepherds for their commitment to the faithful by ministering to the flock in a creative way. To read about this Easter blessing, click here.
People say that the Lord hears the prayers of a child, perhaps it’s because of their innocence and simplicity. In a Peruvian town of Guadalupe, a photographer captured a six year old child on his knees, praying in the middle of the street for an end to the coronavirus. To see that beautiful image and read about this special moment, head on over to Aleteia.
The readings for the Second Sunday of Easter (and Divine Mercy Sunday) recount the doings of the Early Church. To read Dr. Scott Hahn’s reflection, click here and to read a reflection on the meaning of the resurrection and the triumph of mercy, click here.
Marian Center Update
Given the recent announcements by the President and the Coronavirus Task Force, we hope to be able to open the Marian Center on May 1, while insisting that visitors and customers maintain a safe distance of 6-feet away from each other and wear a mask. We also hope to start our exhibit on Marian Apparitions on June 1 — but without any pilgrim buses. This date remains tentative.
Normally, the Marian Center gets a boost of revenue in March and April from the sale of First Communion and Confirmation gifts. But obviously our store hasn’t been open for over a month. As a reminder, no one here at the Marian Center earns a salary; all money goes to pay for programs and expenses. While we don’t have any programming expenses right now, we still have to pay for heating, electricity, and insurance.
We have a generous donor who has agreed to match all monthly donations up to $4,000 total.
That means if you make a monthly recurring gift of $10, the donor will give the Marian Center $120 immediately — and your family will be recognized as a sponsor of a Marian Apparition panel.
Please prayerfully consider donating $10 a month. You can do it securely online and it takes only two minutes. Click here to donate securely online.
Jesus, we trust in you!
To Christ Through Mary,
Katie Moe and Lori Mercer
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