To Jesus through Mary! We have seen several days of sun here in Joy Valley and our snow is finally melting. We’re almost there — one week away from the first day of Spring! Speaking of Spring — don’t forget to turn that clock forward an hour tonight! (Have you ever forgotten to do that and shown up at Mass as everyone was leaving? We might have – oops!)
Well, besides the good news of Spring, we are also past the halfway point of Lent. We have lots more good news! First, we wanted to thank all of you who wrote in and entered our Lenten book giveaway. We really enjoyed getting your emails answering what Lenten sacrifice you are making this year! The winner of the Lenten Giveaway is Michelle Buday. Congratulations Michelle! We will be in contact with you to make arrangements.
Other good news- we have two WONDERFUL celebrations coming up this week! Wednesday is the feast of St. Patrick and Friday is the Solemnity of St. Joseph! (More on these exciting feasts below!) Boy, it sure is amazing to be Catholic!
We have more good stuff we thought you might enjoy as well, so, let’s get into this!
Are you struggling a little with keeping up your Lenten promises and sacrifices? We always come out of the gate strong, but as the days continue, it can be a struggle. We found this article, Taking Stock at Lent’s Midpoint, to be encouraging and helpful as we try to finish strong.
What the World Needs Now
You know, we know it: What the world needs is more Jesus. However, we tend to overcomplicate evangelization and make it way more involved than it needs to be. If you are looking for simple and quick ways to make the love of Jesus known, check out 10 Ways to Bring God’s Love to the World. The article is to the point and has some great suggestions!
St. Patrick’s Day
On Wednesday we celebrate the Feast of St. Patrick, one of the most well-known saints in our country. Although he lived over 15 centuries ago, his Faith and humility have so much to teach us and are still relevant today. To learn more about What St. Patrick Can Still Teach the World, head on over to the National Catholic Register.
Every year, we celebrate this great day with a delicious Irish Dinner including Irish soda bread and corned beef. Follow this link for our recipe. Also, if you want some ideas to celebrate this feast day as a family, Catholic Icing has some great crafts and activities.
Solemnity of St. Joseph
Like lots of other Catholics, we are all about St. Joseph this year. Actually, we’re always pretty excited about St. Joseph. We moved into our present location in Joy Valley on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph in 1994. We consider Joseph to be the patron of these holy grounds, which houses the ministry we have dedicated to the veneration of his spouse, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
We are currently praying the Novena in honor of St. Joseph right now for the intentions of the Church, the Marian Center, all of our benefactors, our families, and your intentions. The Novena ends with his Solemnity of St. Joseph on Friday, March 19.
As the Protector of the Church, Saint Joseph’s feast is a great solemnity. That means it is a great feast — and your Lenten obligation to abstain from meat is removed. Feast on some steaks or a juicy cheeseburger and celebrate this amazing saint who held in his hands the Savior of the World.
Catholic Culture has some great information on their site to celebrate St. Joseph and Catholic Icing has some terrific kids’ activities as well.
Marian Center Exhibit
We figured this might be a good time to reveal our next exhibit at the Center. Can you take a guess? That’s right, it’s an original exhibit on the life and legacy of St. Joseph! As far as we can tell, there are no other exhibits on St. Joseph anywhere in the world! What better time for such an exhibit during this, the Year of Saint Joseph! We look forward to debuting this exhibit on June 1.
The Solemnity of Saint Joseph is celebrated just six days before the Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord on March 25. Did you know that there are parallels between these two grand celebrations? In Luke’s Gospel we hear about the angel who came to Mary to announce her role in salvation history. Likewise, we read in Matthew’s Gospel about the angel who came to Joseph to ensure he fulfilled his destiny as spouse of Mary and father of Jesus.
St. Pope John Paul II wrote:
“There is a strict parallel between the ‘annunciation’ in Matthew’s text and the one in Luke. The divine messenger introduces Joseph to the mystery of Mary’s motherhood. While remaining a virgin, she who by law is his “spouse” has become a mother through the power of the Holy Spirit. And when the Son in Mary’s womb comes into the world, he must receive the name Jesus. This was a name known among the Israelites and sometimes given to their sons. In this case, however, it is the Son who, in accordance with the divine promise, will bring to perfect fulfillment the meaning of the name Jesus-Yehos ua’ – which means ‘God saves.’
“Joseph is visited by the messenger as ‘Mary’s spouse,’ as the one who in due time must give this name to the Son to be born of the Virgin of Nazareth who is married to him. It is to Joseph, then, that the messenger turns, entrusting to him the responsibilities of an earthly father with regard to Mary’s Son.”
Marian Center Update
From March to May 31, the Marian Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10am-3pm. Stop by to visit. We have wonderful gifts and books to help you grown in the Faith. Please let us know if you have any prayer intentions you would like us to remember!
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.
Quinn Blackmore (Karen)
THANK YOU for all the good news in my new newsletter. I am marking my calendar for Oct 15-17, sending $100. to sponcer the exibits and praying for you. I will come visit soon, but I would like to stay in the St Mary’s room for the night. I have to come 2 1/2 hours away and it’s along drive both ways…I’ll be calling you soon. May God bless you all. Karen “Quinn” Blackmore, Tawas City, Mi…
Hi Karen!! I am just seeing this. It is so good to hear from you. We would love to see you sometime this summer. Just give us a call. God Bless, Lori