First Reading: Acts 1:15–17, 20a, 20c–26 A Witness of Jesus
Second Reading: 1 John 4:11–16 We Know Love
Gospel: John 17:11b–19 He Raised His Eyes MASS INTENTIONS
SATURDAY, May 19
8:30AM Francis Mango
5:30PM Larry Weathers
SUNDAY, May 20
7:30AM Ints. of the Thomas Carroll Family
10:00AM Joanie Logan
11:30AM Unborn Children
5:30PM Helen Grinnan
MONDAY, May 21
6:30AM Margaret Cadawallader
8:30AM Dr. Harold Ciampoli
TUESDAY, May 22
6:30AM Jean Carlucci
8:30AM Erminia Zaccaria
WEDNESDAY, May 23
6:30AM Tom Gaval, Sr.
8:30AM Helen Hess
THURSDAY, May 24
6:30AM Walter Noonan
8:30AM Helen Grinnan
FRIDAY, May 25
6:30AM Ints. of Msgr. Chieffo
8:30AM Anthony & Ida Cirotti
SATURDAY, May 26
8:30AM Eleanor Capista
5:30PM Eleanor Capista
SUNDAY, May 27
7:30AM Thomas McFadden, Sr.
10:00AM Theresa Silvestri
11:30AM Louise Alvare
5:30PM Helen Hess
Bread & Wine - In memory of Lena Ferrantino
Candle -In memory of Evio Panichi ADORATION CHAPEL
The Adoration Chapel will close Thursday, May 24 before the 8:30 AM Mass and reopen on Tuesday, May 29 after the 8:30AM Mass. Open Hours: Sunday 2-3PM, Monday 1-2AM, Wednesday 2-3AM, Friday 8-9PM, 1-2AM (once a month) and 2-3AM (once a month) Please contact Monica 610-891-9483 or Shelly 610-353-7739.
Gospel Summary - As Jesus prepares to return to God, he is in the midst of a long prayer for his disciples. It is a prayer for unity even though Judas is no longer among the disciples. Jesus asks his Father to seal and strengthen the disciples as they will now be the ones to carry out the work begun by Jesus. He especially asks that they not be influenced by the evil one.
Reflection for Families - It is likely that John is making a connection between Jesus asking God to commission the disciples and the fact that the Church is being passed on from the first generation to the second. As parents (and probably as every generation of parents) we know how unsettling that can be! We worry about things like the next generation not working hard enough, not saving enough money, not valuing important things, and in general, they just don’t think like we do! But isn’t it amazing how life goes on and pretty well at that. We need to be clear to our children that we believe in them and have faith in God. Try for one week (or even one day) to consider each statement you make to your children or in their presence. Will they have the feeling that you are really hopeful for the future their generation will bring?
Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family - Designate a special cup as a “blessing cup” in your home. At a meal when the family is gathered, pour wine or grape juice into the cup. Have one adult begin by stating one thing about his/her faith that is important to pass on to the children. The adult may then take a sip of wine and pass the cup to the next person. Children may decide if they want to share something important that has been passed on to them or something they hope someday to pass on to their own children. When the cup has returned to the person starting, s/he may say these or similar words: “Let this cup be a reminder to us of all that has been passed down through the years.” Amen.
HOPE MEAL PROGRAM
Bernadette Grandieri – 610-565-6141 A time to be baptized: Frances Bo Lake, Olivia Grace Fedalen.
Baptismal Class: Call DeaconPeter or Mary Zurbach to sign up for Baptismal class for all parents. Sponsor Eligibility Letters from the parishes are needed three weeks before the Baptism. We ask you to come for instructions before you give birth so that you can be prepared in choosing your date and sponsors. We remind all parents and Godparents that they must be registered and practicing Catholics. Godparents must be 16 years of age and have received the Sacrament of Confirmation.
A time to die: Dr. Thomas M. McFadden, Sr. (father of Thomas McFadden) Our sympathy and prayers are extended to the families of our SMM Faith Community, who have died, and all the victims of war, and the 4,100 daily abortions.
A time to heal: PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR SICK & OUR SOLDIERS in harm’s way: Fr. James Hughes, Flo Albrecht, Baby Vaughan, Chris Bogdash, Kay Green Blatt, Jean Brennan, Giana Campbell, Dave Clark, Nancy Clay, Fran Cook, Chris D’Elia, Michael Delaney, Kathleen De Luca, Carol Desko, Anna DiDonato, Marie DiPaola, Gennela D’Orazio, Kathleen Durham, Allen Edmunds, Jack Eiserman, Ron Eubanks, Edmund Esposito, Ben Evans, Rev. John Freeman, Kevin Gallagher, Dr. David Ginsberg, Margaret Hagan, Patrick Hennessy, Junka Husted, Elliott and Henry Johnson, Paul Kelleher, Lucille Konecny, Carolyn Labrum and Hon. Judge J. Labrum, Caren Pappano Ladd, Joe Malloy, Leo Maloney, Joseph Manion, Joe MacDonald, Peggy Matthews, Dr. Ted Mauer, Carmella Messina, Eustace Mita, Jr, Andrea Orsini, Bill Purner III, Pat Quinn, Bob Ruggieri, Pat Ryan, Phyllis Scott, John Shea, Dan Shellington, Dorothy and Stephen Schmidt, Catherine Smith, George Tonsa, Joann Trolio, Dr. John Weigele and Francis Wesner. Call Msgr. Ralph, if you need a priest to offer the Sacrament of God’s Healing Love – cell 610-389-9541.
WEDDINGS need to be arranged 6 months ahead. At least one partner must be a practicing and active member of our parish or their parents. Please call Deacon James for the initial paper work and schedule your Pre Cana talks. WELCOME OUR NEW FAMILIES: - Robert & Eileen Young & Family, John & Patricia Daly & Family, Thomas & Bene Joy Votta & Family and Carolyn Kevane & Family. See Msgr. Chieffo for a registration form after Mass or stop in our Parish Offices in the lower level Mon through Fri 8:30AM-4:30 PM. Offices close for lunch Noon-1PM. If you would like your family and home to be blessed, please call the parish office, contact Deacon James or Msgr. Ralph.
MONDAY BEREAVEMENT AT 1 PM
If you are having a difficult time after losing someone please come and share your feelings on Mondays. Sr. Monica, RSM will be speaking on Grief & Loss. Feel free to bring a relative or friend. Call Barbara Eubanks with any questions. 610-361-8787. Jesus is with you in your sorrow to offer you new life through the Communion of the Saints. If you can come at night, please call Barbara.
STRENGTHEN YOUR PERSONAL LOVE
RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS!!!
Our small Faith Sharing group is more a discussion group with your fellow parishioners using the current Sunday Mass readings as a kick-off point. Meetings are kept to an hour in a relaxed, sociable setting. Facilitators and times of meetings are listed below. Please call Bonnie Clark (610-353-7930) or one of the facilitators.
Mon 1:30PM: Camille Antonello, 610-566-0148
Twice monthly: Sue Mita 610-566-4819
Tues 7:30PM (2x a mo): Mary Ann Foster, 566-1399.
Wed 7AM Men’s Group: Don Saleski 610-566-3492 in Church Gathering Room. Monthly, Wed: 9:30AM, toddler’s welcome: Jeanne Barker 610-627-1009.
Thurs. 3 PM: Eleanor O’Rourke, White Horse Village 610-558-9128. Thurs 7:30PM: Bonnie Clark (2nd& 4th wks) 610-353-7930. First Thurs of month: 10-11:30AM: St. Frances Hall: Mommies Pray & Play, email@example.com. If you would like to start a group, call Msgr.
HONOR THE BVM THROUGH THE ROSARY TUESDAY EVENING ROSARY AT 7:15
Our Blessed Mother wants to strengthen your faith through your JOYS, SORROWS AND GLORIOUS EVENTS so that you can become a LUMINOUS MYSTERY OF JESUS to your family and world. Join us in Mary’s Month in our Chapel and spend fifteen minutes with Our Lady silently sharing your joys, hopes, and/or struggles. In return, you’ll be assured of her blessings, peace and love. You give so much of yourself for your families, work and others; this is an opportunity to give yourself the gifts of quiet, peace and solitude. Dress is casual (sweats are fine), rosaries will be provided and it begins at 7:15 every Tuesday evening. Hope to see you then!
IN HIS SIGN RADIO PROGRAM WITH MSGR. RALPH is each Thursday from 5-6 PM on 800AM
Call with your questions or comments at 610-527-2906
Golf Outing – Oct. 22, 2012; Old York Road C.C. From the desk of Sister Mary James McCaffrey PREP children took home the re-registration form, Calendar for 2012-2013, Tuition Scale and a cover letter from the PREP Office. If you did not receive it, please check your child’s PREP school bag.
First Communion – October 20, 2012; First Penance – March 21, 2013; Confirmation will not take place next school year but in seventh grade the following year. VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL-Week of June 25th
Days: Monday thru Friday-Time: 8:30 to 12:00 Noon daily Theme: Vatican Express-We will need interested adult helpers and teenagers to make this a great experience. Coordinator: Sister Mary James
From Mrs. Burke’s Desk…
Our Special Person’s Day will take place on Friday, May 25th at 9:45AM in Fr Hughes Parish Center. Our students, under the direction of Mrs. Coughlin, have a music-filled morning planned. Additionally, our guests will be able enjoy the fine art displayed by Mrs. Atkinson’s classes. There will be a Noon dismissal for all students. Registration info: 610-566-8821 Ext.122
SMM SCHOOL ALUMNI NEWS
The following are the future plans of some of the SMMSchool Class of 2008 as they prepare to graduate. Luke Antonello will attend St. Joseph University and has received a University Scholarship. Julie Brittwill be attending Catholic University. Kenneth DeStefano is committed to attend John Hopkins University and play for their soccer team. Ryan Fulmer writes: “I did receive a commission to attend West Point. However, I have chosen to attend Princeton University on a full ROTC scholarship. I hope to major in International Relations and will be proud to serve my country as an Army officer in the future. I appreciate all the learning opportunities that both SMM School and Devon Prep afforded me.” William Ghaul was accepted at Ursinus College with a partial scholarship and will major in Business and play football for the “Bears”. Colleen Goldhorn will attend West Chester University and major in Graphic Design. Zachary Hallinan was awarded the Presidential Scholarship from St. Joseph University. Daniel Henry plans to attend GeorgeWashington University majoring in International Affairs and rowing for their team. Madeline Jacobs was accepted at Boston College and will double her major in Math and Secondary Education. ElissaJensen will attend UCLA and major in Business and Nutritional Sciences and be a member of their rowing team. Brynne Martin will be attending St. Joseph University. Ian McLarney writes, “I will attend Northeastern University in Boston as a member of the inaugural class of the newly created University Scholars Program. As one of only 50 applicants who have been offered admission into this program (39,000 applied), I am very excited to take advantage of the opportunities available to me. The University Scholars Program is a full tuition based program designed to form an eclectic community of scholars that live, learn, and explore together as a special subset of the Honors College. In addition, I have been designated as a Presidential Global Scholar by the University. This designation entitles me up to $6,000 to cover any costs of travel I incur while at Northeastern.” John McNichol plans to attend IndianaUniversity ofPA. Bernadette McShane will major in Food Marketing and play for the Women’s Lacrosse Team at St. Joseph University. Ryan Rogers writes “I will be attending Penn State Main Campus to pursue my dreams of studying the sciences, specifically in the major of Biotechnology. I hope to use the knowledge to make a career in developing drugs and therapies that can be used to help and cure people who are suffering from disease. All the while, I will hold what I learned from the Catholic Church and my education from St. Mary Magdalen and Malvern Prep close to my heart, for those lessons will undoubtedly be the most important in my life. Thank you …” Allison Saft received $100,000 Merit Scholarship to Tulane University and is on the short list for Oxford University in England. Peter Scheuerman will be attending East Stroudsburg University. Margaret Shevlin was accepted at Marymount Manhattan College. Joseph Sincavage received a full scholarship to Drexel University to major in Bio-medical Engineering. Jessie Marie West will be attending Penn State Main Campus (College of Business) as a Bunton-Waller Fellow. The Bunton-Waller Fellowship is a Full Four Year Scholarship. Ellen Wilson will attend Northeastern University.
This week’s additional graduates-to-be have informed us of their decisions: Clare Brabson has received an invitation to play on the Boston University’s Quidditch Team as a Seeker. She will major in the 5-year masters Occupational Therapy program at BU. Grant Jamgochian has been signed onto the football team for Lehigh University. Grant plans on entering Lehigh as a Pre-med student. Thomas McCarthy will attend University of Syracuse; Jenna Meissner is accepted at Temple University; Victoria Monzo chose Penn State University; Matthew Narzikul will be going to James Madison University. EricaSwiniuch has been asked to play as a Beater for the West Chester University Quidditch team and will major in History and minor in Secondary Education. Congratulations to all these wonderful young people who have used their talents! We are very grateful to these young people for sharing their future plans with the parishioners who have supported them during their elementary years of education.
May God continue to bless them as they take the next step in life’s journey! We will wait to hear the plans of other graduates-to-be as they make their decision. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Fondly, Miss Miniszak.
CATHOLIC CHARITIES DONATIONS AT WORK: CATHOLIC SOCIAL SERVICES
OUR PARISH HAS DONATED $38, 639.00 SO FAR
The goal for the 2012 Catholic Charities Appeal this year is $10 Million dollars. I have some good news. This year the appeal has raised nearly $6 million from over 40,000 gifts. Of these gifts over 2,500 are first time donors to the Appeal and over 16,000 have returned to support the Appeal after having been away for a year or more. It is remarkable and a bright spot for our Church even in difficult times. But as Jesus Christ instructs us-our work is never done. We have $4 million left to raise to hit our $10 million goal and help thousands of our brothers and sisters in need. They need us; they need you – maybe now more than ever.
For all of you who have already supported this important cause I can’t thank you enough. For those still considering your commitment I ask that you take a moment and make your pledge now. Pledge cards are available and there will be a special collection just for your gift next weekend. You are precious to God and us as we care for our brothers and sisters in Jesus. Peace, Archbishop Chaput and Msgr. Ralph.
STEWARDSHIP AND TITHING
Gracious and loving God, we know that it is from your hand that we receive all that we have and all that we are.
We believe that you call us to be the stewards of the gifts you have entrusted to us. Help us to respond to your generosity, by our generosity to all in need; to respond to your forgiveness, by our willingness to forgive others.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
YOUR FAITH GIFTS AND TALENTS ARE PRECIOUS TO ALL OF US
May 13 - $21,379.00
Last Year - $24,895.00
Catholic Charities - $593.00 SCHOOL TUITION
1st payment was due May 7, 2012
If you have not made your 1st tuition payment, please add a late fee of $25 & forward. Call Mary Lou with ?.
DANCING WITH THE SMM STARS ORDER YOUR DVD
DVD’s of the “Dancing with the SMM Stars: A Year of Dance” will be available in a few weeks. To pre-order your copy, email email@example.com. Price is $25 and will include the entire 1-hour competition, awards ceremony and the year of dance (SMM Reveal Party, FlashMob, HoeDown, etc.).
URGENT: PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS IN SUPPORT OF SCHOOL CHOICE!!! SMM SCHOOL SAVES OUR TAXPAYERS $6.8 MILLION A YEAR! NOW is the time to work together and voice our collective support for school voucher and EITC legislation! Many children are in need of a better education – the type of education found in our Catholic schools. Please visit www.pacatholic.org to contact your legislators and ask them to support school choice.
SAINT MARY MAGDALEN 50TH ANNIVERSARY
“NOURISHING THE VINE FOR 50 YEARS”
We are grateful to all who planted the vine and tended our faith family growth since 1963. We plan several celebrations and parish events to praise God and thank you for our growing and vibrant Catholic parish. If you have any creative ideas contact Pat Miniszak or Marie Keith. Stephen DiPietro is writing our Parish History and contact him for any fascinating stories. Debbie Nolan is writing on our parish ministries and organizations.
Will kick off with a
5K run-walk & Parish Picnic on Saturday, October 6, 2012
Stay tuned and help us celebrate.
SMM HEALING MINISTRY Protecting yourself, your love ones and your money.
Many of the services provided by the Healing ministry are geared towards helping our parish families navigate the process of providing quality care for ourselves and our loved ones as our needs change. On Wednesday, May 23rd, from 12:30-2:30 in the St. Francis Room at SMM church, Linda Anderson, an Elder Lawyer specializing in the legal, financial, estate and safety concerns of our elderly, has kindly offered to come to us and speak on the topic: Elder Law 101. Lunch will be donated by Senior Helpers, a home health-care agency. If you are looking for guidance on how to assure that your loved one’s life quality and estate is protected, please attend this afternoon of empowerment. Notifying Anitasmm@verizon.net or 610-566-8821 ext. 121 of your attendance would be appreciated but not mandatory. Feel free to encourage anyone you know who shares your concerns to join you.
SMM MOMMIES PRAY N PLAY
Thanks to wonderful volunteer moms, we can now offer FREE babysitting for mothers with infants and preschoolers. Come enjoy a morning of sisterhood and the Holy Spirit all wrapped up with babies and sitters and sharing!! While some of the
“Seasoned Mommies” hug and play with the babies, the rest join you, “New Mommies”, and together, we read and reflect on the Gospel readings for Sunday.
Meetings are held monthly in the St. Francis room of the downstairs church. This is our last meeting this school year. Our “Moms Dinner Out” will be in June and Sept. Our mornings will resume in October. Mark your calendar and invite a friend or two. Coffee, juice and snacks provided. Wanted: Seasoned and Unseasoned Moms for playing and praying. Contact: “seasoned moms”: Anitasmm@verizon.net or 610-566-8821 ext. 121 or Marie Keith ext 126. firstname.lastname@example.org
Please remember to bring a canned good or boxed item to Mass with you on the weekend. Food cupboard donations are down and we need your help.
JOIN OUR KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
STAND UP FOR FAITH AND COUNTRY THROUGH CHARITY AND UNITY
We meet the third Thursday of the month at 7:30 PM in the St. Francis Room. Contact our Grand Knight Steven Visek at 610-565-0231 or visit our parish website. Check out their website so you can become a better Christian: www.kofc.org/.
SMM Employment Network
If you have any questions or would like assistance from the SMM Employment Network, e-mail us at email@example.com or call Paul or Barb at 484-420-4246.
Looking for other Catholic Young Adults?
Catholic Young Adults of Chester County continues to meet on Wednesdays at 7:30 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in West Chester. All young adults in their 20s & 30s are invited to join us for events promoting faith, fellowship, and service! May 23: Fr. Matthew Guckin – “Understanding Our Mother”; May 30: Dawn Eden!!! (Author: “Thrill of the Chaste and My Peace I Give You); June 6: Holy Hour at St. Agnes. For more information find us on Facebook, at cyacc.org or by emailing our chaplain, Fr. Jeff Rott: firstname.lastname@example.org.
BETHESDA PROJECT-CASSEROLE SUNDAY
I bet a lot of people are wondering “what do you serve at an $8,000 dinner for 10?” We welcome your thought, suggestions and special recipes. Send them to Marie Keith – email@example.com; Jean firstname.lastname@example.org or Joanne email@example.com. We are still in desperate need of soap. You may drop it off in the back of Church by the food bins. Thanks to all who brought casseroles this weekend. We are grateful for your help in feeding God’s hungry people. Thank You!
ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSACTION
More parishioners are submitting their Sunday donations via EFT. This has proven to be a convenient and time saving method of payment. We do all the work you just need to complete one brief form and your funds will be deducted each 15th of the month. Forms are available on our website, in the back of church or call the parish office and ask to have a form mailed, faxed or emailed to you. Call Mary Lou if any questions at X 109.
MUSIC DIRECTOR’S CORNER
Consider joining our Adult and Children Choirs and Bell Choir. **Children think about joining our Children’s Bell Choir in September! Contact Mary Ellen Harris at Ext. 128
BELL CHOIR DONATIONS $250 (25 bells)
+ Louis J. Alvare
+ Anthony F. D’Angelo
+ Michael J. Ciavardini
+ Vincent J. DiDonato
+ Francis A Farrell, Sr.
+ Matthew Hallinan
60th Anniversary -Theresa & Gerald Halt Sr.
+ Marjorie Watson Bennett +Rev Richard Bennett
+ Kristin Ann Mayer
Chimes: + Gloria T. Zikowitz
SMM HOME & SCHOOL BOARD
The SMM Home and School Board invites you to our 2nd Annual Celebrity Scoop Night at Rita’s Water Ice! Let your beloved SMM teachers and staff serve up your favorite water ice flavors! Lots of fun and prizes.
Where: Rita’s, 220 N. Providence Rd. in Media.
When: Wednesday, May 30th 5:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.
SMM receives a percentage of all sales for that evening. Home and School Board thanks you for your support.
THE SOLEMNITY OF THE SACRED HEART
The visitation Nuns at 5820 City Avenue (between 59th and Cardinal Avenue), Philadelphia, PA 19131-1295, cordially invite you to their annual Sacred Heart Novena of Masses at 7:30 PM from Thursday, June 7, 2012 through Friday June 15, 2012, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. Rev. Daniel J. Joyce, SJ. will conduct the Novena.
LAUGH WITH THE PASTOR
Six year old Angie, and her four-year old brother, Joel, were sitting together in church. Joel giggled sang and talked out loud. Finally, his big sister had had enough. “You’re not supposed to talk out loud in church.” “Why? Who’s going to stop me?” Joel asked. Angie pointed to the back of the church and said, “See those two men standing by the door? They’re hushers”.
60th Anniversary Tribute to Father James F. Hughes on May 13, 2012, by: Patricia Miniszak
Father Hughes, I must admit I was a little hesitant when Monsignor Chieffo asked me to speak on this your 60th Anniversary Parish Celebration. But then, I recalled 24 years and 3 months ago, when I was interviewed by you for a position in the school. I do not know if you remembered but after you interviewed me, I had the nerve to ask you two questions. The first one was: “how stable is this parish.” You assured me it was. The second question was: “what do you want for your school.” You answered: “a strong Catholic school where the faith and traditions are instilled; where solid academics are taught; where discipline or order is evident; and where the children learn how to respect others and be kind to one another.” Then, you said very forcedly “I believe the school has to be the heart of the parish or we are not passing on the gift.” By that response, I prayed you would hire me. You did and how blessed I have been to be part of the growth of our school and parish. So, I had to say yes to Monsignor’s request and acknowledge what you did for Catholic Education and the SMM children.
In 1986, you began your building adventure by adding to the school a parish center that contained auditorium/gym and cafeteria for many social activities. In 1987, you formed a committee of parents who planned refurnishing the school and changing some of the school’s programs for the following school year for the purpose of increasing our enrollment. In September of 1988, we had an enrollment of 176 with completely renovated classrooms and new furniture.
In 1990, we had 282 students and classroom trailers. So, by 1991, you built a second addition which included two Kindergarten rooms, library, art room, music room, computer lab, science lab, and three additional classrooms. Who would have thought back then that all of those specific areas would be today’s requirement for a school. Well, more students enrolled, so more trailers came again.
By 1997, for the third time, you said yes to the school needs. The third addition was dedicated in 1998 that included seven additional classrooms, extra small rooms, a meeting room and a much needed basement for storage areas.
Father, when you retired in June of 2000, we had 428 students in the school that year and 434 enrolled for the following year, plus a school facility that was complete for the 21st century. Today, we have 414 students with 431 registered for next year. Your vision lives on. And if you read this week’s bulletin you can see how our high school graduates-to-be are succeeding.
On behalf of our parish and especially the children, I personally want to thank you for the foresight and guidance as pastor from September 2, 1981 to June 16, 2000. Also, thank you for letting me be a part of it and working for you for 12 of those years. I know the Lord’s words were meant for you “Well done good and faithful servant.” Our prayer for you is: “May the Lord continue to bless you and hold you in the palm of His hand.”
My Dear Eucharistic Apostles and Adorers of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament,
Happy 12th Anniversary!! That's right ... on Sunday, May 7, 2000, we began our Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Program at St. Mary Magdalen Parish and we have been enjoying the blessing of our Eucharistic Lord all these years ~ even through the construction of our new church. As I was musing and thinking about this memorable occasion, I was struck by the many providential events that lead to Eucharistic Adoration at SMM.
* The birthing process: how it took almost exactly 9 months for Adoration to come to fruition
* That we began in the Jubilee Year 2000 which the Holy Father, (now) Blessed John Paul, also designated as the Year of the Eucharist
* That our retiring Pastor, Fr. Hughes, had the foresight to recognize that Perpetual Adoration in our Parish would be a wonderful thing
* That our new Pastor, Msgr. Chieffo, embraced our Adoration Program with gusto and was thrilled to know that SMM had an ongoing, then fledgling, Adoration Program
* That we began at the beginning of the month of May ~ Our Lady's month ~ the Mother who always leads her children to her son, Jesus
* And finally that there have been so many miracles in our Parish stemming from visits to Our Blessed Lord in our Chapel.
I will share a short story and an example of a recent miracle of which I am aware. A dear friend of mine who is not a regular adorer but makes frequent visits to the Chapel received word that her sister was recently re-diagnosed with cancer. She battled breast cancer a few years ago and after surgery, radiation and chemo, she was told the cancer was gone. Unfortunately, after a doctor's visit for "suspicious" skin lesions, she was told she now had a secondary cancer (a really scary one ~ as if any of them are not!) and that there was also something on her lung. She endured 2 surgeries: one on her lung and one to remove the angeo sarcoma that was read at stage 4. My friend prayed tirelessly at the Chapel (when she wasn't at her job or visiting with her sister). After several weeks recouping (and lots of prayer) the family has received the blessed news that her sister is "cured" and that there is no evidence of cancer. She will need no further treatment and the doctor even told her to go plan a vacation!!! By his own admission, the doctor says he can only attribute her healing to divine intervention. Praise God and isn't He amazing.
These are the stories that come out of our Chapel every day. Please thank our Blessed Lord and visit Him frequently.
In 1634, a mix of Catholic and Protestant settlers arrived in Southern Maryland from England aboard the Ark and the Dove. They had come at the invitation of the Catholic Lord Baltimore, who had been granted the land by the Protestant King Charles I of England. While Catholics and Protestants were killing each other in Europe, Lord Baltimore imagined Maryland as a society where people of different faiths could live together peacefully. This vision was soon codified in Maryland’s 1649 Act Concerning Religion (also called the “Toleration Act”), which was the first law in our nation’s history to protect an individual’s right to freedom of conscience.
Maryland’s early history teaches us that, like any freedom, religious liberty requires constant vigilance and protection, or it will disappear. Maryland’s experiment in religious toleration ended within a few decades. The colony was placed under royal control and the Church of England became the established religion. Discriminatory laws, including the loss of political rights, were enacted against those who refused to conform. Catholic chapels were closed and Catholics were restricted to practicing their faith in their homes. The Catholic community lived under this coercion until the American Revolution.
By the end of the 18th century our nation’s founders embraced freedom of religion as an essential condition of a free and democratic society. So when the Bill of Rights was ratified, religious freedom had the distinction of being the First Amendment. Religious liberty is indeed the first liberty.
This is our American heritage, our most cherished freedom. If we are not free in our conscience and our practice of religion, all other freedoms are fragile. If our obligations and duties to God are impeded, or even worse, contradicted by the government, then we can no longer claim to be a land of the free.
Is our most cherished freedom truly under threat? Among many current challenges, consider the recent Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate requiring almost all private health plans to cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. For the first time in our history, the federal government will force religious institutions to facilitate drugs and procedures contrary to our moral teaching, and purport to define which religious institutions are “religious enough” to merit an exemption. This is not a matter of whether contraception may be prohibited by the government. It is not even a matter of whether contraception may be supported by the government. It is a matter of whether religious people and institutions may be forced by the government to provide coverage for contraception and sterilization, even when it violates our religious beliefs. SMM MEN AT MALVERN Retreat- June 22-24th
Several men from our parish will be gathering for our annual weekend retreat at Malvern Retreat House on June 22-24th. We invite you to join us even though you may be thinking that a retreat is for “holy rollers.” Not so. Those attending are just like you. The only difference is that they have somewhere along the way experienced the serenity that comes with getting off of the roller coaster of life and allowing the peace and quiet of Malvern prepare them for whatever future challenge of life may come their way. Think about it. We are asking you to spend 42 hours at Malvern for an experience that may change your life. If you would like any further information please log on to www.malvernretreat.com or call either Dr. Jack Colombo (610-891-0731) or Vincent Zeller (610-353-7739). We would love to have you join us on the June 22-24th weekend.