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Good afternoon and happy feast of St. Mark the Evangelist! Our prayer is that this weekly email finds you and yours doing well and soaking in some of the extra beauty and blessings of the Easter season! Up here, in Joy Valley, we haven’t seen any flowers yet, but we’re guessing they’ll be here soon. This week’s email features some fun, timely, and helpful resources for you as you continue growing in holiness during these strange times.

So, without further ado, let’s get into this.

About St. Mark
We have to admit that, other than knowing St. Mark was a Gospel writer, we were pretty ignorant about who he was. (He’s pictured above). Since today is his feast day, we figured we should probably do some reading to learn more about him! This article, which discusses his life and work, was a great, short piece that we found easy to read and informative! 

Call Upon the Angels
Angels are an interesting subject to talk about because there are so many differing understandings of what angels are. Many modern folks believe that those who have died become angels or that they can become guardian angels once in Heaven. The truth is, angels are altogether different creatures than humans. To learn more about angels and the role they have as comforters and defenders, check out this article from Catholic Exchange

St. Joseph the Worker
This coming Friday, May 1st, is the feast of St. Joseph, the Worker. During these times of economic uncertainty, many people have been laid off or furloughed. So, it may seem a little strange to talk about being a workaholic. But, for some, this time of decreased work or joblessness has provided the perfect opportunity to reflect on the purpose of work and its role in our lives. The National Catholic Register has a great piece that sheds light on St. Joseph’s example of dignified work without sacrificing what is truly important. Check it out! 

Greatest Hug in History
People all over the world are missing being able to hug and hold their loved ones. The lack of human touch is really starting to weigh heavily on folks, especially those who are in quarantine alone. This next article speaks to that- the longing for the embrace of a loved one. The article, The Greatest Hug in History, is an account from the Spanish mystic, Ven. Mary of Agreda, of what the supernatural meeting of Our Lady and Jesus after His resurrection, was like. Absolutely beautiful, please take a moment to read it! 

Solutions to Current Problems
If you’re like many, you have been sitting at home watching the news (or trying to not watch the news), eating too much (hey, it’s Easter, right?!), and wishing this whole nightmare was over. For many, it has been over a month of this and our anxiety and boredom are hitting new heights. For those of you who can identify, we highly recommend reading this article. It offers some concrete ideas for our current problems. 

Saint Spotlight

St. Louis de Montfort, best known for his Total Consecration to Jesus Christ Through Mary has a feast day coming up on Tuesday the 28th. He is one of the pioneers in Marian devotion and quite an interesting character, himself. To learn more about him, check out this article from the Nashville Dominicans

St. Catherine of Siena’s feast day is the following day, on the 29th! What a great week! This saint had numerous mystical experiences with God the Father that lead to the spiritual classic, Dialogue. To learn more about the wisdom of St. Catherine of Siena, check out this link from Catholic Answers.

Marian Minute
Archbishop Jose Gomez, President of the USCCB, has invited all bishops to join him on May 1, to reconsecrate the United States to Our Lady under the title, Mary, Mother of the Church. Canada will be doing this at the same time. To check out the details, click here

Nifty News
We all need a little good news these days. Recently, a priest was given the ability and privilege to anoint a man who was dying of COVID. The experience was a powerful one for the priest. Read his response to this most beautiful and holy moment. 

Kids’ Corner
If you are looking for some way to get the kids at home connected with the Mass, even though we cannot physically attend, check out this linkfor some ideas for this Sunday’s gospel about the road to Emmaus! 

Sunday Readings
The readings for the Third Sunday of Easter can be found here. If you would like to read a reflection from Dr. Scott Hahn, check out this link

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

P.S. Please forward this email to friends and encourage them to sign up for our email newsletter.  

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