MARCH | 2021
The Liturgy of the Hours “Sanctifying the Day With Prayer”
A Month and Year to Honor St. Joseph
The Girl Scouts of St. Peter: Empowered for Service
From the Catechism What is Almsgiving?
eet the Men’s Group: Growing in Faith and M Relationship with Christ
BAPTISMAL PREPARATION CLASSES: The Gateway to Life in the Spirit
s Catholics, we believe that Baptism frees us from original sin. Through Baptism, we also become official members of the Church. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments” (1213). As such, at St. Peter’s, parents are required to attend a onehour Baptism course before the Baptism of their first child. A refresher course is offered if it has been several years between children. “Through Baptism, God enables us to participate in His life in Jesus Christ and makes us His children,” says Director of Religious Education Gina Bergman. “Being baptized in the Catholic faith means becoming a child of God and part of the Body of Christ.” For parents expecting a child, it may have been many years since they have participated in faith formation. This class serves as a great reminder of the many symbols of Baptism. Gina says the class also reminds parents of the important commitment they are making in having their child baptized in the Catholic Church. As part of the Sacrament of Baptism, parents choose Godparents for their child. Godparents are not required to attend this class, but they are taking on a very important and special role in the life of the child. continued on page 5
Morgan, Brandon and baby Margot Miles.
THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS “Sanctifying the Day With Prayer”
hat if the busy present moments that constitute our daily lives were consecrated to Christ? Each insignificant moment or mundane activity becomes another opportunity to glorify Him. The Liturgy of the Hours is a means of not only centering the day on Christ, but also sanctifying the day, offering these moments to Him. It is a prayerful, habitual practice of the clergy and religious — yet, in ever increasing numbers, the laity are also gravitating towards these daily prayers. Though it has undergone various developments over the years, the Liturgy of the Hours — also known as the Divine Office or the Breviary — has remained relatively the same since the 11th century. The Hours are divided into five parts of “canonical hours” — Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, Daytime Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer. Each of the Hours includes readings of the psalms. Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer include a Gospel canticle. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops describes the prayers as “a meditative dialogue on the mystery of Christ.” Through Scripture, the Hours invite us into this dialogue, a prayerful conversation that can undergird our daily moments. From helpful instructional videos on YouTube, to written resources through EWTN and the USCCB, there is a wealth of resources for the laity on learning how to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. Many Catholic bookstores and even Amazon.com sell the four-volume book set that contains the complete Hours. And if using the actual four-volume set seems daunting, the website divineoffice.org offers the entire Liturgy of the Hours for free. An app is also available to download, therefore providing us with a means of keeping the prayers within reach throughout the day. Whether with a faith community or in solitary prayer, saying the Liturgy of the Hours situates us within a rich tradition of Catholic prayer and consecrates the present moments of our lives to Christ.
Whether with a faith community or in solitary prayer,
SAYING THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS situates us within a rich tradition of Catholic prayer and consecrates the present moments of our lives to Christ.
A LETTER FROM OUR PASTOR
A MONTH AND YEAR TO HONOR ST. JOSEPH Dear Parishioners,
ur Lord and Savior Jesus Christ chose to enter the world through the human family. He came as an infant born into the marriage and home of the two holiest human creatures who ever lived — Joseph and Mary. At a time when our world and our Church needs family and faithful disciples now more than ever, could there be a more fitting time to venerate the man who gave his life and his love to the Blessed Mother and the Son of God? Pope Francis has declared 2021 the Year of St. Joseph in honor of the 150th anniversary of the saint’s proclamation as patron of the Universal Church. Our pope said he established the year so that “every member of the faithful, following his example, may strengthen their life of faith daily in the complete fulfillment of God’s will.” As Christians, we are blessed to have Mary as our spiritual mother and Joseph as our spiritual father. Just as Mary guides us from heaven with loving devotion, St. Joseph also diligently provides for the needs of the family of God, the Holy Catholic Church. Because of his special role as foster-father of the Child Jesus, St. Joseph has merited singular privileges in heaven unmatched by any saint aside from the Blessed Virgin Mary. To give some modern-day perspective to the significance of this special year, Pope Francis has said the coronavirus pandemic heightened his desire to reflect on St. Joseph, as so many people during the pandemic have made hidden sacrifices to protect others, just as St. Joseph quietly protected and cared for Mary and Jesus. “Each of us can discover in Joseph — the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence — an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble,” the pope wrote. At the end of the First Vatican Council in 1870, Pope Pius IX declared St. Joseph the patron of the Universal Church. He is also the patron of carpenters, workers, fathers, and a happy death because he died in the presence of Mary and Jesus. The title of Joseph’s March 19 feast day is “Husband of Mary.” Pope Pius XII later declared May 1 to be the feast
of St. Joseph the Worker to counteract the Communist May Day holiday. As Catholics pray and reflect on the life of St. Joseph this year, they also have opportunities to gain a plenary indulgence or remission of all temporal punishment due to sin. An indulgence can be applied to oneself or to a soul in purgatory. An indulgence requires a specific act, defined by the Church, as well as sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, prayer for the pope’s intentions, and full detachment from sin. Special indulgences during the Year of St. Joseph can be received through various prayers and actions, including praying for the unemployed, entrusting one’s daily work to St. Joseph, performing a corporal or spiritual work of mercy, or meditating for at least 30 minutes on the Lord’s Prayer. As we devote 2021 to St. Joseph’s honor, we will undoubtedly unlock many special graces — not only for our parish, but for each of the faithful who increase their devotion to him during this special year. There is no greater model than St. Joseph from whom we can learn how to live virtuously in imitation of Jesus and Mary. In Christ,
Rev. Msgr. Leo J. Enlow To read more about Pope Francis’ declaration on the Church granting plenary indulgences for the Year of St. Joseph, visit www.bit.ly/StJoseph2021
Pope Francis’ Prayer to St. Joseph Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To you God entrusted His only Son; in you Mary placed her trust; with you Christ became man. Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life. Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage, and defend us from every evil. Amen. 3
The Girl Scouts of St. Peter:
magine a world where, from a young age, girls were empowered with confidence, courage, and character. Imagine the difference these young women could make, using their unique and God-given talents to serve their parishes, their communities, and the world. Here at St. Peter, we hope that our Girl Scout Troops will be a place where our girls can begin to discover and nurture the gifts that God has given them, making the world a better place. “I hope that my daughters will learn more about themselves and how they can make the world a better place, no matter their age, by being good stewards of their community,” says parishioner
The various Girl Scout Troops at St. Peter, like Troop 5619 (pictured), give girls the opportunity to learn leadership skills, participate in service projects, and make new friends.
Jessica Foster, who serves as ministry leader for Girl Scouts at St. Peter’s and as leader of St. Peter Troop 5694. As a child, Jessica was a Girl Scout and is glad that her daughters have the same opportunity through troops at St. Peter. “I was able to experience new things that I probably wouldn’t have experienced if I wasn’t in Girl Scouts,” Jessica says. “I volunteer with the organization because I have seen how girls can grow their leadership skills and become active members in their community.” Developing leadership skills is one of the primary purposes of Girl Scouts, and the girls are given opportunities to discover and utilize their strengths in a variety of different ways. From STEM badges and outdoor education to art and financial literacy, girls have the chance to learn and grow in many areas. Service is an important aspect of many troops’ activities, with girls choosing to give back to the community in different ways — collecting food, clothing, and personal hygiene items for those in need, making cards for the residents of a nursing home, ringing bells for Salvation Army, and more. At St. Peter, girls are encouraged to grow in their faith and relationship with the broader community. At the girls’ initiative, Troop 5095 — one of the troops hosted at St. Peter — hosted a fundraiser to raise money for our sister parish in Haiti. The same troop is currently working on earning their Silver
“I was able to experience new things that I probably wouldn’t have experienced if I wasn’t in Girl Scouts. I volunteer with the organization because I have seen how girls can grow their leadership skills and become active members in their community.” — JESSICA FOSTER
EMPOWERED FOR SERVICE Award and is planning to create a butterfly garden, where people can pray, behind the school. “The Girl Scout promise and law share similar values with the Catholic faith,” Jessica says. “Girls learn how to be honest, fair, considerate, caring, courageous, strong, responsible citizens, to respect others and authority, use our resources wisely and make the world a better place.” Girl Scouts also provides young women with opportunities to build strong friendships with other girls, working together towards a common goal. “By participating in Girl Scouts, girls develop relationships with other girls who share the same Catholic values,” Jessica says. “I love seeing the sisterhood and friendships that come from the members of the troops.”
Girl Scouts is open to all girls, beginning in kindergarten, all the way through high school. Jessica hopes parents will encourage their daughters to become involved, and parents and other members of the community will consider serving to mentor and guide the girls of our parish in Girl Scouts. She reminds parents that if there is not currently a troop serving their daughters’ age group, there is help available to get started. At the end of the day, Jessica’s goal is to help the girls leave her troop ready to change the world and make a positive impact on those around them. “The girls learn to put others first and to love others, no matter what they believe in,” Jessica says. “They become respectful and honest citizens, who love God’s people.”
For more information on the Girl Scout troops that meet at St. Peter, or to start your own troop, please contact council representative Jill Butterfield at 217-494-1884 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
BAPTISMAL PREPARATION CLASSES continued from front cover “Godparents are also examples to that child to show them the importance of Mass and living a life like Jesus,” Gina says. “They are also there to support the parents in raising their child in the Catholic faith.” To prepare for Baptism, Gina recommends parents and godparents work on enriching and strengthening their faith lives. She recommends using the parish subscription to FORMED.org, through which they can access more than 4,000 resources. Everything from books and videos to podcasts can help parents learn more about the Catholic Church. In particular, Reborn: You, Your Child and the Heart of Baptism is a six-episode series on FORMED.org that discusses the Church’s teaching on Baptism and covers the different parts of the Rite of Baptism.
Margot was baptized last fall at St. Peter’s.
Please contact the parish office at 217-222-3155 to begin the process of preparing for Baptism for your child. 5
From the Catechism WHAT IS ALMSGIVING?
iving alms to the poor is a witness to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2462). During the seasons of Advent and Lent, it is not uncommon to hear about fasting, prayer and almsgiving. Most of us are familiar with at least two of the three penitential practices — prayer and fasting. We engage in prayer each day, while fasting becomes a regular part of our Lenten routines. But what is almsgiving? It is simply giving to those less fortunate than ourselves. This can be through donations of canned goods to the local food pantry, spare change to the Salvation Army during the Christmas season, or even through person-toperson contact with the poor. This Lent, if your family has not regularly engaged in almsgiving, consider making a change.
Search for opportunities to serve the poor and vulnerable, making their lives easier — even if in a small way.
Things to do with your family: • Place a coffee can in a prominent place in your home, and commit to filling it with loose change throughout the week. Then, donate the money to a local charity. • The next time you shop for groceries, buy a few extra canned goods and donate them to a food pantry or food bank. • Research a charity that works with the poor, and make a commitment to regularly give to that organization. • Resolve to never judge those who are less fortunate, and teach your children the same.
MEET THE MEN’S GROUP Growing in Faith and Relationship with Christ
The Men’s Group gathers last year at St. Peter’s Parish. There are about 60 members in the group.
he St. Peter’s Men’s Group had its origins several years ago in the That Man Is You! program, and it is continuing to help its members grow in faith and fellowship, and in the words of group leader Mark Strieker, “become the hands of Christ.” Mark and Doug Greenwell, two group leaders, have been looking forward to resuming the group’s regular meetings in February after COVID-19 brought them to a halt last fall. There are between 25 to 35 active members of the group that has 60 enrolled members. The meetings typically run for six to eight weeks when the members watch a video, then offer their reflections on the contents. The group also plans fellowship activities two to three times a year, such as a brat cookout. “We also are challenging members outside the meetings to engage in service, to try to become the hands of Christ,” Mark says.
Running throughout the group’s activities is the thread of helping the members grow in faith. They have incorporated our parish’s Fr. Augustine Tolton’s prayer in their meetings, asking for his intercession to hear their prayers for intentions brought to the meetings. “Faith formation is strong with the group,” Mark says. “There is a lot of community and sharing that happens in small groups.” “It’s always difficult for guys to talk about things,” Doug says. “This format is very relaxed, and it is easy to share on how we can carry the material, and challenge ourselves to grow as leaders in faith. That’s what we see in the longterm goal of the group.” “We want to see faith grow and see bonds grow in the Men’s Group, have people they can turn to, and they will be there if they need anything,” Mark adds.
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2600 Maine Street Quincy, Illinois 62301 www.cospq.org
MEET THE MEN’S GROUP Having the bonds that are forged with each other as members also helps each man grow closer in his relationship to Christ. The men share the belief that they can ask, together, for God’s grace and guidance. “It fortifies what we’re trying to do,” Doug says. The group provides weekly challenges in the form of personal growth ideas. The men are challenged to be male leaders of faith and to step out of their comfort zones. “Being involved as a group leader is outside mine,” Mark says. “But I feel a great gift has been given back to me.”
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Last year, the members were challenged to go to confession during Lent — and the members overwhelmingly met that challenge. By having a strong personal faith, the members find they can give their best to their families, friends, and places of work. “I can see the different layers you can touch from the depth of this faith,” Doug says. “We’re called to use our talents to help, and sometimes we don’t know our talents. We feel God is asking us and others to stop and use what we can to better serve God.”
Any male parishioner interested in joining the Men’s Group may contact Doug Greenwell at 217-242-4518, or Mark Strieker at 217-316-0080.
MASS SCHEDULE Weekend Masses Saturday: 5:00 p.m., Sunday: 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.
Weekday Masses Mon-Sat: 8:00 a.m., except for Wednesdays: 8:30 a.m.
Reconciliation Saturday: 7:30-7:50 a.m., 3:30-4:30 p.m. or by appointment