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St. Charles Parish Location: St. Francis, SD Sunday Mass: 11:30 AM Pastor: Fr. John Hatcher, S.J. St. Francis Mission Phone: 605.747.2361 Parish Administrator: Mr. Tony Lusvardi, S.J. Parish Office Phone: 605.747.2496 Reconciliation: Sundays, 20 min prior to Mass St. Bridget’s Mass Sunday: 9:00 AM St. Agnes Masses Sunday: 2:00 PM St. Thomas the Apostle Masses Sunday: 9:00 AM

Daily Mass This Week Tuesday: 5:30 PM, St. Bridget’s Wednesday: 5:30 PM, St. Charles Thursday: 5:30 PM, St. Bridget’s

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<><><><><><><><><><><><><><>January 1st, 2012<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> Good morning! Welcome to the celebration of the Octave Day of the Nativity and the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. We’re glad to worship with you, and we hope you have a blessed week.

Engaging the Word 1st Reading: Nm 6: 22-27 ~ 2nd Reading: Gal 4: 4-7, ~ Gospel: Lk 2: 16-21

The Gospel this Sunday fits nicely with where we are in both the liturgical and Western calendars. We have recently celebrated the birth of our Savior and have just now entered into the year 2012. We are very much like the shepherds, journeying back into the world with Good News and mystery. The month January is named for the Roman god Janus, who was two-faced – one looking forward, one looking backward. As we move forward, we remember all that has happened this past year, and especially all we have celebrated in the recent days. We gather the joys and sorrows, discoveries and mysteries, and we look to make sense of them. We may identify with Mary, who “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Lk 2:19). In this time of both celebration and transition, let us find great comfort in knowing that God is with us in all His creation and at all times.

“The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace.”

Blessed Kateri’s New Miracle Last week, Pope Benedict XVI signed a decree recognizing a miracle performed by Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. To be recognized as a saint, a person must be responsible for at least two miracles. A miracle is often considered to be an otherwise inexplicable cure for a sickness or disease. The new miracle which the Pope has recently recognized occurred in Ferndale, Washington in 2006. During that year, five-year-old Jake Finkbonner cut his lip one Saturday during a basketball game. An infection developed and a rare, flesheating bacteria spread quickly across his face, head, and chest. By the following Monday, he was taken to Children’s Hospital, and doctors feared for the worst. That Tuesday, a priest performed the last rites, in preparation for the boy’s death. Jake’s parents continued to pray, in particular for Bl. Kateri’s intercession. Since then, Jake has endured 29 surgeries and has more procedures ahead, but he is alive and has been cured of the infection. Doctors have no medical explanation for his recovery. More to come in the following weeks on the Pope’s official decree, on canonization, and on Bl. Kateri’s life.


Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton On January 4th, the Church celebrates the life of Elizabeth Ann Seton. Born in New York in 1774, she is the first statesideborn American citizen to be canonized. Her father was the first health officer of New York City, and this upbringing left Elizabeth with a deep desire to devote her life to nursing the sick, especially the sick poor. She married and had five children before her husband’s business went bankrupt and he died of tuberculosis. In the face of this hardship, Elizabeth converted to Catholicism. She spent the rest of her life dedicated to the education of poor children. She started the religious Congregation called the Daughters of Charity of St. Joseph. They opened a school in Maryland and took in poor children without charging for tuition. Since then, the Daughters of Charity have expanded their ministry throughout the world, staffing hospitals, childcare institutions, and schools.

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God In addition to today being the eighth day of Christmas – referred to as the Octave Day of the Nativity – we also celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. This feast is a celebration of Mary’s motherhood of Jesus. The title “Mother of God” derives from a theologically significant Greek word, Theotokos, which means “God-bearer.” We celebrate not only that Mary gave birth to Jesus, but that Jesus himself is God. So when we proclaim Mary as Mother of God, we are affirming both Mary’s singular devotion to God as well as Christ’s divinity.

Hail Mary, Full of Grace... Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. As we honor Mary, we recall this special prayer in which we glorify her and ask for her intercession. We adopt our words of praise from the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel. Both the angel Gabriel and Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, recognized her closeness to God and we echo their praise. She has modeled the perfect relationship with the Holy Spirit—one of complete trust and obedience. In the second part of the prayer, we seek her help so that we may adhere to God’s plan as perfectly as she did and that she may guide us always to her Son.

Announcements RCIC (Rite of Christian Initiation for Children). Classes for children between the ages of 6 and 12 who have not been baptized and their parents will begin on Jan. 15, 2012. Classes will run through May 27 and will prepare the children for all the sacraments of initiation (baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist). More details to follow. Contact Tony Lusvardi, SJ, 747-2496. RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). Know any adults interested in becoming Catholic? Are you an adult who has not yet been confirmed? Contact Tony Lusvardi, SJ. Bishop Gruss has scheduled confirmation for St. Bridget's and St. Charles for Sunday April 15. A "refresher course" for all those who have completed preparation for confirmation is scheduled for Lent 2012. More details to follow.

Next Sunday’s Readings 1st Reading: Is 60: 1-6 2nd Reading: Eph 3: 2-3a; 5-6 Gospel: Mt 2: 1-12


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