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Saint John Roman Catholic Church

19 St. John Sq., Middletown, Connecticut, (860) 347-5626 ........... Reverend Father Michael Phillippino

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Feast of St. James, apostle  
   
July 25
   

St. James, known as the Greater, in order to distinguish him from the other Apostle St. James, our Lord's cousin, was St. John's brother. With Peter and John he was one of the witnesses of the Transfiguration, as later he was also of the agony in the garden. He was beheaded in Jerusalem in 42 or 43 on the orders of Herod Agrippa.
 

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Ministry Schedule - July

 

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New American Bible

 

Pastor

Rev. Father Michael Phillippino             

             

Director of Religious Education

Kathryn Connolly

                 

Parish Administrative Secretary

Ms. Megan Furtado

StJohnSecretary@comcast.net
    

Parish Bookeeper
Ms. Patty Holmes
StJohnBook@comcast.net

            
Sexton
Michael Keleher
StJohnSexton@comcast.net


Choir Director
Bryan Cosham 
 

 


   

Parish Office Hours 

- Monday through Friday
    8AM to 3PM

- Closed weekends, holidays
    & holy days

  


  

 
Parish Council:
Meets every 3rd Thursday of the month at 7 PM in the Rectory; all parishioners are welcome to attend.

 


 


"The Mother Church of the Norwich Diocese"

Mass Schedule
 

Saturday Vigil Mass: 4:00 PM

Sunday Mass:            8:00 AM and 10:00 AM

Weekday Masses:      8:00 AM Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat

No 8AM Mass on Wed

 

Eucharistic Adoration begins in the chapel at 9AM after morning Mass on the 1st Friday of each month and ends at 6PM, in observance of the 6:30 Stations of the Cross, with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and a Benediction.

 

Monday Night:   Miraculous Medal Novena in the Chapel

Thursday Night: 7PM Prayer Group in the Chapel
First Fridays:     8AM Mass and Devotions to the Sacred Heart

First Saturdays: 8AM Mass and Holy Rosary

Confession:       Heard Saturdays, 3:00-3:30PM   

  

           ~ Air Conditioned and Handicapped Accessible~

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Pastoral Sharings:  "17th Sunday in Ordinary Time"

 

 

 

 

Homily from Father Alex McAllister SDS
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
     
July 27, 2014

   

In our Gospel today we are presented with three more parables about the nature of the Kingdom. The first two about the treasure in the field and the pearl of great price tell us about the inestimable value of the Kingdom. The third one about the dragnet tells us about the great diversity of its make up.

I recently visited a most interesting Auction House, I’d noticed it was viewing day and as I was in the vicinity went in to take a look. It’s a fascinating place; there were all kinds of interesting items of furniture as well as a lot of old crockery, jewellery, paintings and many other curiosities.

There’s only one day for viewing so the place was full of people examining the various items they were interested in and making notes in the catalogue.

I watched a chap examining a collection of rather old clocks. He had a magnifying glass in one eye and was carefully peering into the back of each of the clocks to see the state of the mechanism.

He reminded me of the merchant in the parable today looking for the pearl of great price. This clock dealer was using his expert knowledge to see which of the clocks were worth buying. And who knows, one day he might discover a clock worth thousands that no one else has recognised!

This is a very good image for the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is all around us but most people aren’t aware of it. But those of us who do realise that it is there do everything we can to possess it.

The majority of people only have the very haziest notion of the spiritual; they think that there might possibly be a God but don’t see much evidence of his hand at work in the world and so forget about him most of the time.

It is often only when there is a crisis that they bring him to mind, but because they are so unfamiliar with the things of the Spirit they don’t know how to pray or call upon his aid.

They don’t realise that one of the greatest signs of God’s presence in the world is the very fact that he doesn’t make himself overtly known.

Clear evidence of God’s presence is that he gives us the tremendous gift of free will and leaves us to make our own decision as to whether we acknowledge him or not.

Paradoxically it is God’s apparent absence that shows how great he is. He doesn’t need to press himself upon us and make himself known. Actually it would be a sign of weakness if he had to constantly advertise himself. He prefers anonymity and ambiguity, he wants us discover him for ourselves rather than force himself upon us.

In ordinary life to give an anonymous gift is regarded as something special. This is particularly the case when the gift is a large one. But most people, quite naturally, want a bit of credit and it is hard for them to resist the temptation to reveal who the giver is.

And yet there is a negative side to making oneself known because it can place an obligation on the receiver of the gift. They might feel that they have to be extremely grateful or obliged give something in return.

This is the very reason why God doesn’t advertise his presence overmuch. If he let us know just how much he has done for us we would feel under such a heavy obligation to him that we would be completely paralysed and wouldn’t be able to do anything other than praise and thank him for the rest of our lives.

In the person of Jesus God has revealed himself definitively to the world. Through Jesus he has shown us what he is like and makes the great sacrifice that takes our sins away. But there is no definitive proof of this; we are invited to take it on faith.

And so the choice rests with us. The invitation is placed before us and it is entirely up to us whether we accept it. We are invited to believe in all that Jesus told us and to embrace the Gospel as our way of life, but there is absolutely no compulsion.

It could be that those of us who have taken Jesus at face value have a special sensitivity to the things of the Spirit or perhaps it is that we are open to the action of God’s grace in our lives.

Whatever the reason, we have come to know God; we have come to appreciate that his Kingdom of love and peace is indeed the “pearl of great price” that we simply must possess.

But unlike the merchants in the story or the man in the auction house we do not only want to possess it for ourselves because we understand that the Kingdom of God is not that kind of thing. It is not something that can be limited only to us; it is something that in order to possess we must share with others.

This is one of the great paradoxes of the Gospel. To possess the Kingdom means to share our knowledge of it with others. To truly believe in Christ means leading other people to the same knowledge; for secret faith is no faith at all.

We need to be like the householder, mentioned at the end of our Gospel reading today, who brings out of his house things both new and old. We should be happy to bring out of the house that is our life all kinds of treasures to share with our neighbours.

But these treasures are not things like clocks and pearls but attitudes and virtues like love and justice and truth and hope and so on. What we bring out from our treasure store are the values of the Kingdom, the attitudes of Jesus and the knowledge of the one true God.
http://www.catholicwealdstone.org/wordpress/?p=1739


 
     
                                                       
 

   

21st Annual Shrine Feast Day Celebration: The Shrine of the Little Flower is the first Shrine to St. Theresa in the world, located at the intersection of Routes 102 and 7 in Nasonville, Rhode Island. All are invited to the 21st Annual Shrine Feast Day Celebration on August 17th, 10 – 4:30 PM, rain or shine. The feast Mass will be held at 3:15 PM, and will be celebrated by Fr. George Nixon, the Parochial Vicar of St. Philip’s in Greenville, Rhode Island.
 

St. John Church Religious Education
The Registration Form for the 2014-2015 Religious Education Program has been mailed. Please fill it out and return it as soon as possible. A count is necessary as we need to make plans and order materials for the new classes. If you did not receive a registration form, please contact the Parish Office.


  

 

Xavier High School Honor Roll


Please join us in congratulating the following parishioners, who achieved Honors at Xavier High School

for the fourth marking period:


High Honors:
Adam Aresco ’15, Marco Rosano ‘16


Honors:
Nicholas Sowa ’14, Cal Connelly ’15, Dennis Beaudry ’16,

Liam Coughlin ’16, Tomas Ercolani ’16,

 


  

RCIA/RCIC 2014-2015
Are you or is someone you know interested in the Catholic faith? Are you or is someone you know interested in completing the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation)? We are now beginning to make plans for our fall classes. Please call Fr. Mike at 860-347-5626 or Sister Ann at 860-344-8569 for more information.

 

St. John Paul II Regional School: Pre-K through Grade 8 St. John Paul II School will be opening a 2nd Pre-Kindergarten Campus at the Faith Formation Building at St. Pius X Church, located at 310 Westfield Street in Middletown. This additional campus, to open in September, offers the following amenities: A half-day Pre-K 3 program five days per week, a full-day Pre-K 3 and 4 program three or five days per week, a quality, faith-based curriculum for children of all faiths, and a safe learning environment. For additional information please call (860)347-2978 or visit us online at www.jpii.org. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office at 860-347-2978 or 860-347-1195, or visit is on the web at www.jpii.org.

 

“PROJECT RACHEL” is our Diocesan ministry for anyone seeking healing and forgiveness. Priests in Project Rachel ministry are there for you with God’s Grace and Mercy. Call 860-889-8346 ext.283. All
inquiries are confidential. 
 
   
Mercy High School Summer Programs: Now open for registration at www.mercyhigh.com. Higher Achievement Program (HAP). For girls in grades 7-8, specializing in academic skills, sports, crafts, robotics, arts, and community service. July 7 – July 18, 9 AM – 3 PM. Theatre Arts Program (TAP), a creative and interactive musical theatre experience that will culminate in a trip to the Goodspeed Opera House for a production of “Fiddler On the Roof”. For girls in grades 6-8, July 21-25, 9 AM – 3 PM. Basketball Clinic, for girls in grades 5-9. July 21-25, 9AM – 12 PM.
 

 

ENCYCLICAL LETTER "LUMEN FIDEI" OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF

FRANCIS 

TO THE BISHOPS, PRIESTS AND DEACONS, CONSECRATED PERSONS AND THE LAY FAITHFUL ON FAITH

 

Read:HTML version (vatican.va)  Print:PDF version (vatican.va)

 

 

 



~ Middletown, Connecticut ~


Vatican Website

Pope To You

St. John

Norwich Diocese



 St. John Church 'Nativity
Window' Ornament click here


 

Or click here to visit our parish giftshop featuring 

gifts with images from our antique stained

glass windows

 

 Or click here to visit our Holy Spirit themed 

giftshop featuring gifts Celebrating the

Holy Spirit

 








 

 


 

 

  

 

"Fr. Barron on "Catholicism: The Pivotal Players - Paris"

                      

                                               

   

Rembrandt
Parable of the Hidden Treasure (Detail)

1630

Oil on Canvas

Museum of Fine Arts (Budapest)

 

Preparing for the Mass July 27, 2014

The month of July is dedicated to The Precious Blood of Jesus. The entire month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time. The last portion of the liturgical year represents the time of our pilgrimage to heaven during which we hope for reward.

        

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
 

Sunday Bible Reflections from Scott Hahn and the liturgy can be found here and a children's liturgy can be found here.

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A—July 27, 2014

Gospel (Read Mt 13:44-52)
 

The Gospel reading gives us another cluster of parables about the kingdom of heaven, adding to an unusually high number in just one chapter. The first two are very similar. In one, the kingdom is compared to a “treasure buried in a field.” The one who finds the treasure immediately recognizes its great value, so he hides it again, for safe-keeping, and “out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” He is thrilled with the prospect of the riches the treasure will bring him. Knowing its value, he has no trouble selling all his other possessions. Nothing he currently owns is worth more than the treasure in that field. In the next parable, a merchant is out searching for fine pearls. He finds one of staggering quality; he, too, “goes and sells all he has and buys it.” He knows that the pearl of great price will more than compensate him for whatever losses he has to count. What is the message here?
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Seventeenth Sunday: Wisdom

This Sunday’s readings begin Solomon’s request for Wisdom and conclude with a summation of the Lord’s teaching on the parables. 
 

 At the conclusion of the Dissertation on the parables in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus states: “Every scribe of the Kingdom is like the head of the household who brings out from his storeroom both the new and the old.”  Jesus spoke to the Jewish people, well versed in Hebrew scripture.  The Gospel of Matthew was pointed towards Jewish Christians. Jesus is not replacing what we call the Old Testament with the New Testament.  He is combining the best of the Hebrew Scriptures with the New Way, the Kingdom of God. The wise one, the scribe of the Kingdom, therefore, knows how to use what is old and what is new.
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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

Matthew 13: 44-52
 

The tone of the first reading of today’s mass is shaped by the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament, made nearly three hundred years before the birth of Christ. Classical Greek language and culture had a strong intellectual and conceptual focus, often seeking to capture ideas and realities in abstract terms. This stood somewhat in contrast to Hebrew language and thought, which was intensely earthy and visceral. An example of the differences in the Greek and Hebrew ways of thinking shows through in this text from the First Book of Kings. In the translation influenced by Greek idiom we hear King Solomon ask for the gift of “an understanding heart”, whereas in the Hebrew original we read that he asked for “a listening heart”.
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Reflections for Sunday, July 27, 2014 

Knowing We are Treasured by God
 

Out of joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. (Matthew 13:44)
 

Have you ever noticed how much effort some people put into identifying themselves with certain groups? From social clubs to frequent-flyer programs, from parish committees to social networks, we are all looking for some sense of belonging. But the problem is, for every group that has welcomed you, there are even more that won’t. This is why the gospel truly is good news: Jesus welcomes everyone, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile, slave and free. He has established a group where no one ever has to be turned away.
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Augustine’s two rules for reading the Bible 

St. Augustine, whom most consider the greatest of all the Church Fathers, spends the last three “books” of his Confessions interpreting the spare outline of the Creation recorded in Genesis. The result is a moving tribute to Divine Love, and to the surpassing fulfillment each soul finds in God alone. But along the way he teaches us two important things about how to read Scripture. They are well worth passing along.

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Novena to St. Anne begins July 17

Saint Anne’s feast day is on July 26th, so the St. Anne Novena is traditionally started on July 17th; however, you can pray it anytime. St. Anne (Hebrew, Hannah, grace; also spelled Ann, Anne, Anna) is the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the grandmother of Jesus, and the wife of Joachim. She is mentioned in the Apocrypha, chiefly the Protoevangelium of James, which dates back to the second century. Devotion to St. Anne dates back to the sixth century in the Church of Constantinople and the eighth century in Rome.

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Help! I need Practical Ideas for Living the Faith

For the last several years, there has been an increased interest in practical advice on how to practice their faith.  Certainly, the uncertainty and growing chaos in the secular world have something to do with this. More recently, we have seen more obvious clashes between our culture and our Church. We can look back through Salvation History and see the pattern. The answer today, just like in times past, is the same — turn away from sin and towards God. The right path has always been surrender to the One who alone is good and loves you.

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Build A Spiritual Defense

Most of us can sense when something is working against us as we persevere to grow in faith and strive to live the Gospel in communion with Christ. Sometimes, quite suddenly our peace of soul or joy in the Lord is oppressed by heaviness and negativity. Many people experience situations when strife arises, friendships abruptly break down, misunderstandings in families or groups cause division, odd accidents happen, strange twists occur and pathways are blocked. It is imprudent to always assume these are due to diabolical influences but often the devil is in mix. When a person becomes a threat to the demonic realm due to their love for God and/or some good work that builds up the Church, the devil reacts to the degree that God allows.
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Finding Hope Through Grief

In May 2000, Christi and Mark Tripodi endured any parent’s most wrenching ordeal. Their 3-year-old son, Bobby, was stricken with bacterial meningitis and died within a day of the diagnosis.
 

Almost a year and a half later, Bobby’s distraught parents had not accepted his death. Counseling and support groups did not alleviate their sorrow.
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Christ, Our Strength

I’m in Krakow, Poland at Mass in 1988. Poles pack the church to overflowing.  This is not the Easter Vigil; it’s merely one Sunday Mass at one Catholic church in a city with over 100 churches and Mass schedules that read like an auctioneer’s call:  6:30, 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30…
 

All the Masses I attend in Krakow are packed; people line the walls and fill the vestibule and even stand outside.

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Reflecting on Our Lady of Mount Carmel

I think of Mary as a gardener throughout human history. Trouble in France? Here comes Mary with rosary in hand and a full dose of prayer. Something’s tough in Russia? Mary’s on her way, pulling a hose behind her for some special fertilizing. They need help in the United States? There’s Mother Mary, clad in gloves, trowel in hand.
 

There’s no weed in our lives that’s too big for her, no overgrown mess that’s too intimidating. She doesn’t look outside her heavenly window and exclaim in frustration, “Won’t they ever learn?” She just shows up with a smile and heavenly help.
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Don’t Give in to Discouragement

Psychologists tell us that one of the chief evils of our age, an evil apparently less evident in earlier ages, is that of easy defeat. Be this as it may, most people who are honest with themselves would probably have to admit to indulging in despondency. They are fortunate if they have nothing worse to confess than despondency; there are many who labor under the weight of near-despair. Whether guilty of surrendering to the tempta­tion or whether burdened with a sense of guilt that in fact is without foundation, a man can reduce his spiritual vitality so as virtually to close his soul to the operation of hope. When hope dies, there is very little chance for faith and charity.

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Passing Along All that is Noble and Worthwhile  

I was blessed to grow up with great parents. We didn’t have much, but my parents made sure my sister and I had love, discipline, faith, strong values, and an appreciation for the value of hard work. My mother played a vital role in our family, as all mothers do, but I find as I grow older that I am most like my father. I pass many of the lessons he taught me on to my own children and still look to him for wisdom and advice. Look back on your own upbringing. What role did your father play? Were there other role models? Just as many of us live out the lessons we learned in our youth, our children will someday emulate us. They are always watching and we have to decide if we will be their heroic role models who consistently set the right example or relinquish our fatherly responsibilities to a host of bad societal influences. Which will it be?

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Four Critical Rules for Catholic Fathers

It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.—Pope St. John XXIII
  

I often feel completely lost and befuddled as a Catholic father in today’s world. How do I set the right example? How do I help my sons grow up with a strong Catholic faith? How do I prepare them for a culture that often teaches and rewards actions counter to what we believe and how we should live? One of my frequent daily prayers after I thank Jesus for my wife and children is to ask for help in living up to my vocation as a husband and father. Do you ever feel this way?
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The Christian Way of Life: 1st Century and 21st Century

In the ancient classical world during the first century, the Christian way of life clashed dramatically with the pagan practices of the day. In “The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus”, the author acknowledges that the early Christians possess a “wonderful and confessedly striking method of life.” Unlike pagans who abandon their sick or unwanted children to die in the mountains, the early Christians “do not destroy their offspring.” Unlike pagans who do not honor the holiness of marriage, Christians “have a common table, but not a common bed.” Unlike the worldly who worship the belly and live only for pleasure, Christians “are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh.” Christian living and morality followed a higher standard and sublime ideal.

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Young people find healing, purpose, God's love in theology of the body

For campus minister Amy West, St. John Paul II's theology of the body is more than just the late pope's writings on the human body, the creation of male and female, marriage and human sexuality. It is a means of healing and self-discovery for young people.
 

"What I see with each coming year is that students are wounded. They're wounded by their upbringing, by the evermore secular culture, by the evermore sexualized culture, and they've never learned or they've lost the value of their own self-worth and their own dignity," West, campus minister at George Washington University in Washington, told Catholic News Service.

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Who Will Crush the Serpent’s Head?

In the Douay-Rheims version of the Bible, we read:
 

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I ate.”
 

And the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because thou hast done this thing, thou art cursed among all cattle, and beasts of the earth: upon thy breast shalt thou go, and earth shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.
 

“I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel” [Gen. 3:13-15].

This translation, found also in many older editions of the Latin Vulgate, is the basis for common depictions in Catholic art of Mary with a serpent beneath her feet.

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Should we be Judgmental?

Repentance can be born only of grace. If God does not send grace to a spirit, making it understand the perpetrated evil, then there can be no supernatural repentance. Without grace, a demon can understand that it was a foolish decision to have rebelled, a decision that has caused it suffering. But true repentance is qualitatively different from just mere awareness. It is not simply an act of the understanding; rather, it is a gift from God so that we might bend our knees before Him and humbly ask for His forgiveness. Without this grace, one may feel pain for making a wrong decision, but true repentance is beyond him. Demons can admit that their choice led to suffering, but this does not stop them from hating God.
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Why Does Hell Need to be Eternal?

Repentance can be born only of grace. If God does not send grace to a spirit, making it understand the perpetrated evil, then there can be no supernatural repentance. Without grace, a demon can understand that it was a foolish decision to have rebelled, a decision that has caused it suffering. But true repentance is qualitatively different from just mere awareness. It is not simply an act of the understanding; rather, it is a gift from God so that we might bend our knees before Him and humbly ask for His forgiveness. Without this grace, one may feel pain for making a wrong decision, but true repentance is beyond him. Demons can admit that their choice led to suffering, but this does not stop them from hating God.

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Sinful Curiosity is at the Root of Many Sins

Curiosity is one of those qualities of the human person that are double-edged swords. It can cut a path to glory or it can be like a dagger of sin that cuts deep into the soul.
  

As to its glory, it is one of  the chief ingredients in the capacity of the human person to,  as Scripture says, “subdue the earth,” to gain mastery over the many aspects of creation of which God made us stewards. So much of our ingenuity and innovation is rooted in our wonder and awe of God’s creation, and those two little questions, “How?” and “Why?”
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Are We Really Teaching the Catholic Faith?

A gentleman once asked me; “how can we effectively proclaim the Gospel to those who won’t listen.” The tone by which he asked the question was one of frustration, anger, and fear. How could I or anyone for that matter involved in evangelization and catechesis not relate to this person as we have often asked that question ourselves.

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I Didn't Want to Live Anymore, Then I Met Him...

There was a time, not too long ago, when I thought all was lost in my life and I couldn’t go on living any more. It was the Body of Christ that saved me.

I was raised in a pretty normal albeit free-range family. My mum was Catholic so raised us in the faith. I was really close to my family, I had great friends and a happy and easy school life. I had a strong faith and sense of morality, which kept me firm and grounded as a young adult. In other words, life was good.

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Better Prepare Yourself for Communion

Sacramental Theology teaches a key principal that all Catholics should know so as to derive the most abundant graces that flow from the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Sacraments.  This key principal is called Dispositive Grace. What this term means, in clear and unequivocal terms, is that you receive graces from the Sacraments in direct proportion to your disposition of heart and preparation of soul.

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Yes, they ate Locust. A Review of Some the Common Foods at the Time of Jesus

Generally speaking, the Israelites of the time of Christ were frugal eaters. Frankly, until about 100 years ago, frugality in eating was more imposed than chosen. Food was more scarce and less convenient than it is today. Its availability was seasonal and all the elements needed to be made from scratch; even water needed to be hauled in from wells, etc.
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