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Q U A R T E R LY J O U R N A L O F T H E O F F I C E F O R C A T E C H E S I S Feast of Ss. SImon and Jude I S S U E 8 - O C T O B E R 2 0 11

Mission We believe that through our ministry we continue the mission of Jesus Christ by enabling the people of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois to develop the gifts given them by the Spirit. In carrying out this mission, we strive to provide resources, service and leadership to all who are part of the educational mission of the Church: religious education, early childhood, elementary and secondary schools, and adult education. We do this in the spirit of Jesus Christ.

Staff Jonathan F. Sullivan Director for Catechetical Ministries Chris Malmevik Associate Director of Catechesis Cynthia Callan Executive Secretary Jean Johnson Superintendent of Catholic Schools Marilyn Missel Associate Superintendent of Catholic Schools

As I write this, we are just about a month away from the First Sunday of Advent and the implementation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition in our parishes. The years of preparation, months of catechesis, multiple workshops, bulletin inserts, booklets, music selection, and conversation comes down to this. Personally I remain convinced, as I was at the outset of this process, that this moment offers us a unique opportunity to reflect, as a local Church, on the importance of liturgy in general and the Eucharist in particular. This means looking not only at the vocabulary that will be changing, but at how we are called to respond to our participation in the prayer of the Church. If we live our faith only on Sundays – if the transformation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ does not lead us to our own transformation – then we have missed the point. With that in mind I am happy to announce that the theme of our 2012 Diocesan Adult Enrichment Conference will be “Living Faith Fully, Sharing Faith Freely.” Our speakers and presentations will center on how we are called to live and share our faith as a response to our baptism and participation in the Eucharist. The DAEC will be held November 4-5 at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel. Our keynote speaker will be Fr. Robert Barron of, and Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will be our closing speaker. We will also be offering a pre-conference on the Saturday before the DAEC, which will include training in the Theology of the Body for Teens as well as sessions for Catholic coaches and athletic directors. More information about the DAEC and the pre-conference will be available in February.

Barbara Burris Associate Director of School Planning Kyle Holtgrave Associate Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries Beth Schmidt Secretary for School Personnel, Youth and Young Adult Ministries

In this issue . . . … Celebrating the Lord’s Day, page 2 … Book Review, page 5 … Babies Have a Right to a Hertitage, page 6 … Knotted Knickers & Theology Geeks, page 8 … Reflection, page 10

Celebrating the Lord’s Day O

n Sunday, we gather as the Body of Christ to celebrate the Lord’s Day, the day of Christ’s Resurrection:

As “the first day of the week” (Mk 16:2) it recalls the first creation; and as the “eighth day,” which follows the sabbath, it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by the Resurrection of Christ. Thus, it has become for Christians the first of all days and of all feasts. It is the day of the Lord in which he with his Passover fulfilled the spiritual truth of the Jewish Sabbath and proclaimed man’s eternal rest in God. (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 452) The Scriptures tell us that Jesus rose on the first day of the week—the day following the Jewish Sabbath. Shortly after daybreak, the women found the tomb empty and Jesus risen from the dead. Jesus’ death and Resurrection opened for us the doors of salvation. Sharing in Jesus’ death in Baptism, we hope to share in his Resurrection. We become a new creation in Christ. It is that new creation which we celebrate on Sunday: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad. (Ps 118:24) Each Sunday is a “little Easter”—a celebration of the central mysteries of our faith.

The Sunday Eucharist The primary way in which we celebrate the Lord’s Day is with our participation in the Sunday Eucharist. What better way to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord than by celebration of the memorial of his Passion, death, and Resurrection? This celebration is not a solitary, private event. Instead, we come together as the People of God, the Church, to worship with one heart and one voice. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) teaches that “participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church” (CCC, no. 2182). When members of our church community are absent from this gathering, they are missed. No member of the faithful should be absent from the Sunday Eucharist without a serious reason. The Liturgy should be the first thing on Sunday’s schedule, not the last. We should arrive on time, prepared in mind and heart to fully participate in the Mass. Those who cannot attend because of illness or the need to care for infants or the sick deserve our prayers and special attention.


Often, people will suggest that going to Sunday Mass is not necessary. After all, they can pray at home just as well. This has clearly been an issue in the Church for more than a millennium. In the fourth century, St. John Chrysostom addressed this problem directly: You cannot pray at home as at church, where there is a great multitude, where exclamations are cried out to God as from one great heart, and where there is something more: the union of minds, the accord of souls, the bond of charity, the prayers of the priests. (CCC, no. 2179, quoting St. John Chrysostom, De incomprehensibili 3, 6: PG 48, 725) Private prayer, though essential to the spiritual life, can never replace the celebration of the eucharistic Liturgy and the reception of Holy Communion. In some communities, the lack of priests makes it impossible to celebrate the Eucharist each Sunday. In such instances, the bishop may make provision for these parish communities to gather and celebrate the Liturgy of the Word or the Liturgy of the Hours. These Sunday celebrations in the absence of a priest may or may not include the reception of Holy Communion. Still, these celebrations allow the People of God to gather and keep holy the Lord’s Day.

Keeping Sunday–All Day Celebrating the Sunday Eucharist—though central and essential—does not complete our observance of Sunday. In addition to attending Mass each Sunday, we should also refrain “from those activities which impede the worship of God and disturb the joy proper to the day of the Lord or the necessary relaxation of mind and body” (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 453).

Sunday has traditionally been a day of rest. However, the concept of a day of rest may seem odd in a world that runs 24/7, where we are tethered to our jobs by a variety of electronic gadgets, where businesses run as normal no matter what the day of the week, and where silence seems to be an endangered species. By taking a day each week to rest in the Lord, we provide a living example to the culture that all time belongs to God and that people are more important than things. As Pope John Paul II said in Dies Domini (The Day of the Lord), his apostolic letter on Sunday: Through Sunday rest, daily concerns and tasks can find their proper perspective: the material things about which we worry give way to spiritual values; in a moment of encounter and less pressured exchange, we see the true face of the people with whom we live. Even the beauties of nature—too often marred by the desire to exploit, which turns against man himself—can be rediscovered and enjoyed to the full. (Dies Domini, no. 67) Not everyone has the freedom to take Sundays away from work. Some people, including medical professionals and public safety workers, just work on Sundays to keep the rest of us safe and healthy. Others must work for economic reasons beyond their control. Resting on Sunday does not mean that we are inactive. Instead, Sunday is traditionally consecrated by Christian piety to good works and humble service of the sick, the infirm, and the elderly. Christians will also sanctify Sunday by devoting time and care to their families and relatives, often difficult to do on other days of the week. Sunday is a time for reflection, silence, cultivation of the mind, and meditation which furthers the growth of the Christian interior life. (CCC, no. 2186)


To celebrate the Lord’s Day more fully, consider trying the following: • • • • • • • • •

Don’t use Sunday as your catch-all day for errands and household chores. Share a family dinner after Mass. Have the whole family join in the preparation and cleanup. Go for a walk or bike ride and give thanks to God for the beauty of nature. Spend time reading the Bible or a spiritual book. Pray the Rosary or the Liturgy of the Hours, alone or with others. Volunteer in a local food pantry. Visit parishioners and others who are homebound. Read Bible stories to your children. Turn off your gadgets and enjoy the silence.

As we take time each week to celebrate the Paschal Mystery in the Eucharist and to rest from the burdens of our daily lives, we remind ourselves that we are made in the image and likeness of God who “rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken” (Gn 2:2).

References Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2000. Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006. Pope John Paul II, On Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy (Dies Domini). hf_jp-ii_apl_05071998_dies-domini_en.html. Excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, copyright © 2000, Libreria Editrice Vaticana–United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Scripture texts used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, copyright © 1991, 1986, and 1970 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, DC 20017 and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All rights reserved. Based upon Roman Missal Formational Materials provided by the Secretariat for the Liturgy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2010.


Between Heaven and Mirth

Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life Review: Jonathan F. Sullivan

The nicest compliment I ever received came from a Catholic deacon at a parish in Iowa. My family and I were getting ready to move out of the area (my one-year fellowship at the local Catholic hospital was ending) and he was explaining why our family would be missed: “It’s been so nice having you here. You and your family live the faith joyfully.” This compliment came back to me while reading Jesuit Fr. James Martin’s new book, Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life, which hits shelves today. Fr. Martin has crafted a wonderful book highlighting the rich tradition of faithful humor and joyful spirituality. He takes dead aim on the gloomy, pessimistic side of Christianity, arguing that it is not only antithetical to the teachings of Christ, but hurtful to the Church’s mission of evangelization. If you’re looking for a quick summary of Fr. Martin’s insights, skip to chapter four (helpfully entitled “Happiness Attracts: 11 1/2 Serious Reasons for Good Humor”). This is a similar list to the keynote talk I heard Fr. Martin give at the 2011 NCCL conference. At the top of the list is the fact that happiness and humor are ways to witness to our faith: Joy, humor, and laughter show one’s faith in God. For Christians, an essentially hopeful outlook shows people that you believe in the Resurrection, in the power of life over death, and in the power of love over hatred. Don’t you think that after the Resurrection Jesus’s disciples were joyful? “All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well,” as the fourteenth-century mystic Blessed Julian of Norwich said. For believers in general, humor shows your trust in God, who will ultimately make all things well. Joy reveals faith. This may seem self-evident, but the number of dour and humorless Christians would seem to indicate that it bears repeating. Fr. Martin goes to on extol humor’s virtues in the area of health, spirituality, hospitality, play, and interpersonal relations. What’s more, the book is funny. Fr. Martin sprinkles jokes and humor from the saints liberally throughout the text, including stories about Pope John XXIII; Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ; Dorothy Day; various Jesuit saints; and, of course, Jesus! In fact, I think his look at humor in Sacred Scripture (both Old and New Testament) will be especially eye-opening for many people. As Fr. Martin points outs, it is easy to overlook the humor in the Bible: We’ve simply heard the stories too many times, and they become stale, like overly repeated jokes. “The words seem to us like old coins,” [Elton Trueblood] writes, “in which the edges have been worn smooth and the engravings have become almost indistinguishable.” Trueblood recounts the tale of his four-year-old son, who, upon hearing the Gospel story about seeing the speck of dust in your neighbor’s eye and ignoring the log in your own, laughed uproariously. The young boy readily saw the humor missed by those who have heard the story dozens of times. Besides the Bible Fr. Martin recommends numerous books on humor and spirituality (he admits up front that his book is not intended to be an exhaustive treatment of the subject) and even gives a list of his favorite funny movies. A quick note about the book’s intended audience: some Catholics may wonder why a book about spirituality by a Catholic priest includes insights from other Christian traditions as well as Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism. Fr. Martin writes for a broad audience, and I hope that his Protestant and non-Christian fans from the Huffington Post and the Colbert Report will pick up the book; I think many would be surprised at the relevance of its subject. I heartily recommend Between Heaven and Mirth for anyone interested in furthering their own spiritual journey — or just looking for a few new jokes from their repertoire. The Church’s rich tradition of faithful joy is a treasure that deserves to be shared, for humor is a gift from God. Or, as Hilaire Belloc so succinctly put it: Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino! Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book for free from TLC Book Tours.


Babies Have a Right to a Heritage Baby manufacture is already big business. Recent ads targeting women college students in America have offered them free holidays in India in exchange for parting with their eggs during their visit, with Indian women teamed to become paid surrogates and return the product – the student’s child – to those who commissioned it. Do other jurisdictions want to follow this precedent and should Americans be more concerned about what is done in their name? The selling of slaves was considered offensive – should selling babies be OK?

Womb for Rent?

A special moral objection has long been attached to the sale of human genetic material and a number of declarations by international bodies have explicitly ruled out commerce in human embryos. These include UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) which has ruled that the transfer of human embryos can never be a commercial transaction and the European Union, which has insisted that the prohibition on making the human body and its parts a source of financial gain must be respected. (Article 21 of the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine.) Individual countries, too, have adopted stringent laws on the matter: Sweden threatens up to two years imprisonment for anyone who seeks to profit from the transfer of biological material from a living or a dead human or tissue from an aborted fetus. Switzerland prohibits the gift of embryos and any commercial transaction involving human germinal material and any resulting products from embryos. The case of Australia, though, may be more typical of what can happen in practice. While it is an offence there to intentionally give or receive value for the supply of human eggs, sperm, or embryos, and a 10-year jail sentence may be imposed for trading commercially in human eggs or embryo, Australians may bypass the law by travelling to the US to achieve what they cannot access in their home-country. There are, however, a number of different reasons for challenging this. First, there is a general objection to the “instrumentalisation” of the human body that applies, as well, to the sale of organs and tissue. It would be odd to object to the sale of kidneys but to have a laissez-faire approach to the sale of ova, sperm and embryos. Second, there is a well-founded fear that financially vulnerable individuals could be exploited. This already happens in the case of kidneys, and countries which permit women to sell their eggs are likely to find that the same is true of many of the women who decide to go through the unpleasant and risky process necessary to provide these eggs. In the UK, for example, there have been cases of brain damage and up to six deaths reported in relation to the egg retrieval process. Finally, there is a general judgement that the sale of human eggs, sperm or embryos is contrary to human dignity. Whatever the child-friendly goals of the practice, it evokes distant echoes of the sale of human beings in slavery. It is offensive to conceptions of the value of human life that it has taken millennia to establish and which we sometimes claim, even if a degree of self-deception is involved, as the foundation of our 21st century civilisation.


But is it so different to be bartered and shipped often deployed in relation to other issues conbefore birth rather than afterwards? It may seem cerning the status of the embryo, equity in the an excessive response to see today’s global interpreservation of personal identity has not received national commerce in genetic material in this way, as much attention as the rights of adults to fertilbut where the overt or covert sale of gametes or ity treatment. The new controllers of the necesembryos is involved, it is possible sary ingredients of reproduction to see the resulting children as the may well consider that their own victims of a similar kind of delibresponsibility ends with a preg“The selling of erate alienation from their ethnic nancy. But resulting from these global transactions are chiland cultural roots. slaves was dren who, abstracted from their It is worth remembering, perhaps, genetic roots, have become the considered that at least one of the wrongs new dispossessed. offensive – should involved in the historic slavetrade, apart from the condition selling babies be Some of these will not be trouof slavery itself, was that tens of bled by this, but others may OK?” millions of inhabitants of West come to feel, as they themselves and Central Africa were taken to reach adult life, that rights they the Americas, and so deprived of consider important, and that other people enjoy, were taken their genetic and cultural inheriaway from them by actions and tance. Generations later, some black Americans still feel a need decisions made by other people to seek their personal roots in before they were born. Africa. Brenda Almond is Emeritus Professor of Moral and (There are also other historical cases which, while Social Philosophy at the University of Hull and President they may lack that degree of exploitation, and may of the Philosophical Society of England. Her latest book is even have been inspired by humanitarian motives, The Fragmenting Family. had comparable effects: for example, the “Stolen This article by Brenda Almond was originally Generation” of aboriginal children in Australia who were placed with European families, or the published on under a Creative children shipped to Australia from Britain and Commons Licence. If you enjoyed this article, Ireland around the time of the Second World War visit for more. who never saw their birth families or place of origin again.) It would be unreasonable to stretch these comparisons too far. Nevertheless, whatever the arguments

I Knotted Knickers and Theology Geeks

n the middle of a conversation on journalistic standards during a recent episode of This Week in Tech, panelists John C. Dvorak, Leo Laporte, and Jeff Jarvis (whose blog post on the subject sparked the conversation) discussed the ideal of objectivity versus the reality of partisanship. (You can listen to a short clip from the relevant section at

The part that struck me was Jarvis’ statement at the end: “We in journalism get so much with our knickers in knots about ‘What is journalism?’ whereas the world says: ‘What’s information? What do I need to know today?’” Anyone who follows the media world knows that traditional news outlets are suffering. Newspaper circulation is waning; fewer people tune in to the evening news; and radio seems a quaint format. People don’t seem to care where their news comes from — they are more concerned about getting information that they need right now. Why else the rise of Google and Wikipedia? They allow us to have the world’s knowledge at our fingertips. I wonder if there isn’t a parallel with catechesis, and adult faith formation in particular. It’s no secret that catechesis of adults is a difficult ministry. No matter how many programs or classes we offer it seems like it’s the same people who come. They are eager and grateful, to be sure, but I’ve heard many DREs ask “Where is everyone else? Why aren’t they coming?” Yet we’ve seen an explosion in recent years of Catholic blogs and podcasts seeking to promote and explain the Catholic viewpoint on a variety of issues. While I doubt that many of these bloggers would claim the label “catechist,” they are, in their own way, evangelizing and catechizing to their readers and listeners. These blogs and podcasts are obviously filling a need that our catechetical programs do not. Convenience may be one explanation — it’s certainly easier to read a blog post than get to the parish center for an evening — but I’m not sure that explains it all. I also wonder if bloggers and podcasters aren’t better at targeting the specific needs and questions of the faithful. Take, for one example, Fr. Barron’s YouTube video series. Each video takes a single question, issue, or piece of media, and examines or explains it from a Catholic viewpoint. Many are questions that the faithful in the pew may have asked or heard from others: What is the Real Presence? Why do we celebrate the Ascension? What spiritual insights can we learn from The Dark Knight? Those of us involved in the catechetical ministry may be tempted to worry and fret that, even for many engaged Catholics, their primary avenue for catechesis is what they get from such online venues: “But it’s not systematic! It’s too focused on popular theology! There’s no oversight or review of the content!” To which we might respond: “We in catechesis get so much with our knickers in knots about ‘What is catechesis?’ whereas the world says: ‘What’s faith? What do I need to know today to be a better follower of Christ?’”


Marc Cardaronella gets to the heart of the problem with this passage: I think a lot of catechetical programming is geared toward the theology geeks and old regulars. It centers on teaching doctrines or other aspects of the faith. But to draw in a wider audience, it needs to tell people how to solve real problems. I’m not saying that catechesis isn’t important (except if it’s boring). I’m saying that often it’s not perceived as important by the average person in the parish. That’s because it’s not filling a need… People are busy. If they don’t see a real value in your class, they won’t go. It doesn’t matter if it’s free. The currency they’re spending is time. They only have so much of it, and if you’re not giving them enough value, they’re not going to spend their time on you. Here’s one example: Imagine you’re looking over a list of upcoming catechetical offerings and trying to decide which to attend. Which course title sounds more appealing? • Ending World Hunger, Poverty, and War with the Power of Faith • Catholic Social Doctrine Two courses that could have the exact same content — yet the first will be better attended because it promises to address real world problems that people encounter every day. The second one? The average person in the pew doesn’t even know what “Social Doctrine” is, let alone how it will help them. People write what they know, and unfortunately many catechetical programs are written by theology geeks (I want that on my business card!) rather than people who are really interested in how the faith can work concretely in people’s lives to address their needs and questions. If we expect people to give up something to attend our catechetical programs — and Marc is absolutely correct that, in today’s hectic world, time is a precious currency — than we need to demonstrate how our programs will benefit them. This isn’t something we can demonstrate during their time in our programs. It has to be part of the way we market catechesis and our programs. If we want people to come, we have to demonstrate that it will be worth their while.

Original article was posted by Jonathan F. Sullivan on September 7 and 13, 2011 at Jonathan F. Sullivan currently serves as the director of catechetical ministries for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.


E V On Saturday, March 3, 2012, the A S E T Office for Catechesis, in conjuncA D tion with Loyola Press, will offer a E H T free professional development work-

shop for pastors, deacons, DREs, CREs, principals, and other catechetical leaders. Connect, Awaken, and Share is a 2-and-a-half-hour workshop in which catechetical leaders are whisked through a series of activities, interactions, stories, reflections, and prayers, each one conveying a way or means to engage parents in the faith formation of their children. The facilitators model the approach and the energy that can work to be more inviting, honoring, and engaging with the parents—just as they hope the parents will be with them. Participants not only receive ideas they can share with their catechists, but also take home a booklet that gives a thorough explanation of each of the ideas and activities presented. Some ideas and activities presented during the workshop include: • Who Fanned your Faith?: This memory exercise helps participants recognize who shaped their faith and how. Perfect for family meetings at the opening of school. • Listen-Up Sponges: This fun do-it-yourself craft encourages family sharing while also helping everyone be a better listener. • Sacramental Connect-The-Dots: This interactive lesson helps parents make the connection between what goes on in family life and what happens in the sacraments we celebrate at church. • Family Sunday: This topic addresses how to help parents make the most of Sundays as a time to connect as a family and as a parish family at Mass. The workshop will be held from 10a-1p on Saturday, March 3, 2012, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield. Lunch will be provided after the workshop. Registration information will be mailed out to catechetical leaders in January.

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“Catechesis: A Shared Responsibility.” On October 12 Chris Malmevik and Jonathan Sullivan offered a pilot workshop in Carlinville entitled “Catechesis: A Shared Responsibility.” This workshop, designed for parish catechists and parents, incorporated prayer, video, and shared reflection while focusing on • Helping parishioners understand the various catechetical roles in a parish • Reinforcing the family as the primary center of catechesis • Providing resources for integrating catechesis in the parish and family The feedback from the pilot session was very positive, and Jonathan and Chris would be happy to come to your parish to offer the workshop at no cost. Contact the Office for Catechesis at 217-698-8500 or for more information.

Why Catholic? Adult Enrichment Workshops November 13-19, 2011 Events held at various locations and times

Connect, Awaken & Share Workshop Saturday, March 3, 2012 Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Springfield)

National Catholic Youth Conference November 17-19, 2011 Indianapolis, Indiana

Why Catholic? Retreat March 18-24, 2012 Events held at various locations and times

First Sunday of Advent and the beginning of the new Liturgical Year Saturday/Sunday, November 26-27, 2011 First and mandatory use of the Roman Missal, third typical edition with the new English texts

National Catholic Education Association Conference – “Leadership. Direction. Service.” April 11-13, 2012 Boston, Massachusetts

RCIA: Through the Doorway Sunday, January 29, 2012 – 1p - 6p King’s House (Belleville)

National Conference of Catechetical Leadership Convention – “Embrace Grace” May 7-10, 2012 San Diego, California

Catholic Schools Week – “Catholic Schools: Faith. Academics. Service.” January 29 - February 5, 2012

National Black Catholic Congress XI July 19-22, 2012 Indianapolis, Indiana

The “door of faith” is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace. To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime. It begins with baptism, through which we can address God as Father, and it ends with the passage through death to eternal life, fruit of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, whose will it was, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, to draw those who believe in him into his own glory. - Pope Benedict XVI

This work is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

COREnotes October 2011 - Issue 8 Feast of Ss. Simon and Jude

Office for Catechesis 1615 W. Washington • P.O. Box 3187• Springfield, IL 62708-3187 217.698.8500 ph • 217.698.8620 fax •

COREnotes Issue 08  

Feast of Ss. Simon and Jude

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