Prayers of the Faithful / Petitions / Intercessions (Year A)

April 27, 2017

1st Sunday of Advent (November 27, 2016)
2nd Sunday of Advent (December 4, 2016)
Immaculate Conception (December 8, 2016)
3rd Sunday of Advent (December 11, 2016)
4th Sunday of Advent (December 18, 2016)
Christmas (December 25, 2016)
Mary, Mother of God (January 1, 2017)
Epiphany (January 8, 2017)
2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (January 15, 2017)
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (January 22, 2017)
4th Sunday in Ordinary Time (January 29, 2017)
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (February 5, 2017)
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time (February 12, 2017)
7th Sunday in Ordinary Time (February 19, 2017)
8th Sunday in Ordinary Time (February 26, 2017)
Ash Wednesday (March 1, 2017)
1st Sunday of Lent (March 5, 2017)
2nd Sunday of Lent (March 12, 2017)
3rd Sunday of Lent (March 19, 2017)
4th Sunday of Lent (March 26, 2017)
5th Sunday of Lent (April 2, 2017)
Palm / Passion Sunday (April 9, 2017)
Holy Thursday (April 13, 2017)
Easter Vigil (April 15, 2017)
Easter Sunday (April 16, 2017)
Divine Mercy Sunday (April 23, 2017)
3rd Sunday of Easter (April 30, 2017)


Click to view additional Year A petitions (from 2014)

April 30th Parish Bulletin

April 26, 2017

The St. Wenceslaus parish bulletin (PDF) for the Third Sunday of Easter on April 30, 2017.

“Egyptian Christians are made of Steel!”

April 23, 2017

Last Palm Sunday, in Egypt’s Nile Delta, a terrorist detonated a suicide bomb in a Coptic Christian church. 27 were killed and 78 wounded. Then, just hours later, there was another bombing at Saint Mark’s Cathedral in the coastal city of Alexandria. The Coptic patriarch had just finished celebrating Palm Sunday Mass when another terrorist attempted to get inside that church. At least 17 were killed and 48 wounding, but many more may have been murdered if the killer had not been prevented from entering by security guards at the gate.

These attacks are a reminder that Christian persecution and martyrdoms are very much alive today. An Egyptian TV news show interviewed a Christian woman whose husband, AmNeseem, was one of those gatekeepers who restrained the second terrorist and died in the blast. The mourning widow’s words and the reaction of the Muslim news anchor in the studio are remarkable:

Stories from a Saint’s Diary

April 19, 2017

St. Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) was a nun in Poland who experienced visions of Jesus Christ later deemed by the Church as worthy of belief—though (as like all private revelations) not required to be believed by the faithful. The Divine Mercy Image, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and Divine Mercy Sunday all stem from of her apparitions. St. Faustina detailed her experiences in a diary she kept from 1934 until her death. It is an episodic but fascinating read. These are just some of her stories:

●  Once [at age 19] I was at a dance with one of my [biological] sisters. While everybody was having a good time, my soul was experiencing deep torments. As I began to dance, I suddenly saw Jesus at my side, Jesus racked with pain, stripped of His clothing, all covered with wounds, who spoke these words to me: How long shall I put up with you and how long will you keep putting Me off? At that moment the charming music stopped, [and] the company I was with vanished from my sight; there remained Jesus and I. I took a seat by my dear sister pretending to have a headache in order to cover up what took place in my soul. After a while I slipped out unnoticed, leaving my sister and all my companions behind and made my way to the Cathedral of Saint Stanislaus Kostka. It was almost twilight; there were only a few people in the cathedral. Paying no attention to what was happening around me, I fell prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament and begged the Lord to be good enough to give me to understand what I should do next. Then I heard these words: Go at once to Warsaw; you will enter a convent there. I rose from prayer, came home, and took care of things that needed to be settled. As best I could, I confided to my sister what took place within my soul. I told her to say goodbye to our parents, and thus, in my one dress, with no other belonging, I arrived in Warsaw. (Diary paragraphs #9-10)

●  Once, I desired very much to receive Holy Communion, but I had a certain doubt, and I did not go. I suffered greatly because of this. It seemed to me that my heart would burst from the pain. When I set about my work, my heart full of bitterness, Jesus suddenly stood by me and said, My daughter, do not omit Holy Communion unless you know well that your fall was serious; apart from this, no doubt must stop you from uniting yourself with Me in the mystery of My love. Your minor faults will disappear in My love like a piece of straw thrown into a great furnace. Know that you grieve Me much when you fail to receive Me in Holy Communion. (#156)

●  Once the Lord said to me, Act like a beggar who does not back away when he gets more alms [than he asked for], but offers thanks the more fervently. You too, should not back away and say that you are not worthy of receiving greater graces when I give them to you. I know you are unworthy, but rejoice all the more and take as many treasures from My Heart as you can carry, for then you will please Me more. And I will tell you one more thing—take these graces not only for yourself, but also for others; that is, encourage the souls with whom you come in contact to trust in My infinite mercy… (#294)

●  Once, when I was visiting the artist who was painting the [Divine Mercy] image, and saw that it was not as beautiful as Jesus is, I felt very sad about it, but I hid this deep in my heart. When we had left the artist’s house, Mother Superior stayed in town to attend to some matters while I returned home alone. I went immediately to the chapel and wept a good deal. I said to the Lord, “Who will paint You as beautiful as You are?” Then I heard these words: Not in the beauty of the color, nor of the brush lies the greatness of this image, but in My grace. (#313)

●  On the evening of the last day before my departure from Vilnius, an elderly sister revealed the condition of her soul to me. She said that she had already been suffering interiorly for several years, that it seemed to her that all her confessions had been bad, and that she had doubts as to whether the Lord Jesus had forgiven her. I asked her if she had ever told her confessor about this. She answered that she had spoken many times about this to her confessors and… “the confessors are always telling me to be at peace, but still I suffer very much, and nothing brings me relief, and it constantly seems to me that God has not forgiven me.” In answered, “You should obey your confessor, Sister, and be fully at peace, because this is certainly a temptation.” But she entreated me with tears in her eyes to ask Jesus if He had forgiven her and whether her confessions had been good or not. I answered forcefully, “Ask Him yourself, Sister, if you don’t believe your confessors!” But she clutched my hand and did not want to let me go until I gave her an answer, and she kept asking me to pray for her and to let her know what Jesus would tell me about her. Crying bitterly, she would not let me go and said to me, “I know that the Lord Jesus speaks to you, Sister.” Since she was clutching my hand and I could not wrench myself away, I promised her I would pray for her. In the evening, during Benediction, I heard these words in my soul: Tell her that her disbelief wounds My heart more than the sins she committed. When I told her this, she began to cry like a child, and great joy entered her soul. I understood that God wanted to console this soul through me. Even though it cost me a good deal, I fulfilled God’s wish. (#628)

●  After Holy Communion today, I spoke at length to the Lord Jesus about people who are special to me. Then I heard these words: My daughter, dont be exerting yourself so much with words. Those whom you love in a special way, I too love in a special way, and for your sake, I shower My graces upon them. I am pleased when you tell Me about them, but don’t be doing so with such excessive effort. (#739)

●  February 6, [1937]. Today, the Lord said to me, My daughter, I am told that there is much simplicity in you, so why do you not tell Me about everything that concerns you, even the smallest details? Tell Me about everything, and know that this will give Me great joy. I answered, “But You know about everything, Lord.” And Jesus replied to me, Yes, I do know; but you should not excuse yourself with the fact that I know, but with childlike simplicity talk to Me about everything, for My ears and heart are inclined towards you, and your words are dear to Me. (#921)

April 23rd Divine Mercy Sunday Parish Bulletin

April 19, 2017

The St. Wenceslaus parish bulletin (PDF) for Divine Mercy Sunday on April 23, 2017.

But It Was Not Enough For Him

April 16, 2017

At Passover, in Jesus’ day and in our own, the Jewish people remember and celebrate the great Exodus, how God delivered his people from slavery in Egypt and led them into the freedom of the Promised Land. Through Moses, God commanded his people to keep the Passover feast as an everlasting memorial. Jesus’ Last Supper was something of a transformed Passover meal, and his Passion, Death, and Resurrection are the mystery that the Passover foreshadowed and prefigured.

Jews today observe their annual Passover meal with an assortment of ancient traditions. Among these is singing or reciting an up-beat Hebrew song named “Dayenu” (Da-yea-nu.) Dayenu means “it would have been enough for us!” Here is an English translation of this more than one thousand year old song:

If [the Lord] had brought us out from Egypt, and had not carried out judgments against them
Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had carried out judgments against them, and not against their idols
Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had destroyed their idols, and had not struck their first-born
Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had struck their first-born, and had not given us their wealth
Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had given us their wealth, and had not split the sea for us
Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had split the sea for us, and had not taken us through it on dry land
Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had taken us through the sea on dry land, and had not drowned our oppressors in it
Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had drowned our oppressors in it, and had not supplied our needs in the desert for forty years
Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had supplied our needs in the desert for forty years, and had not fed us the Manna
Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had fed us the Manna, and had not given us the Sabbath
Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had given us the Sabbath, and had not brought us before Mount Sinai
Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had brought us before Mount Sinai, and had not given us the Law
Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had given us the Law, and had not brought us into the land of Israel
Dayenu, it would have been enough!

If He had brought us into the land of Israel, and not built for us the Holy Temple
Dayenu, it would have been enough!

It would have been enough for us,” for how could we demand more than what God had given? He created the universe out of nothing and every good thing is his gift. Apart from God’s promises (freely-imposed upon himself by His covenants) we could not rightfully insist upon anything more. As Job said at the onset of his trials, “Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I go back there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!” We could not demand more—but we would still desire more.

We would continue to desire life without end. We would still want deliverance from evils, outside us and within us. We would still desire unending delights, for as King Solomon observed, “The eye is not satisfied by seeing nor has the ear enough of hearing.” And would long for divine intimacy with the Holy Source of all good. All these desires are fulfilled for us through Jesus Christ.

We could not demand more, but we would still desire more, for the Lord has placed these desires within us. He did this that He might fulfill our desires and they reflected his own desires for us.

The Lord did all the great things that came before
— But this was not enough for Him!

He did all these great things, and then He became man for us
— But this was not enough for Him!

He became man for us, and then He taught us the New Law of Love
— But this was not enough for Him!

He taught us the New Law, and then He suffered and died to forgive us
— But this was not enough for Him!

He suffered and died to forgive us, and then He rose from the dead to save us from death
— But this was not enough for Him!

He rose from the dead to save us from death, and then He left us the Church
— But this was not enough for Him!

He left us the Church, and then He wedded and united himself to us through the Holy Sacraments

What God has given us, what Jesus has done for us, what we are given, what we are promised — this is enough for us. Let us rejoice in Him this day!

A Holy Cities Quiz

April 11, 2017

A Geography – History – Saints Quiz
[Highlight to reveal answers]

  1. This Missouri river city was named after a 13th century king of France — he has the window second on the right inside St. Wenceslaus Church.  St. Louis, Missouri
  2. Remember: this Texas city was the site of the Alamo and bears the Spanish name of the patron saint of lost items.  San Antonio, Texas
  3. This Florida city, named after the convert and great theologian who wrote the first Western autobiography, was the site of our land’s first Catholic Mass in 1565.  St. Augustine, Florida
  4. This Bolivian city’s name, which honors the Holy Cross, is where our diocese’s Fr. Joe Walijewski built a mission in 1958.  Santa Cruz, Bolivia
  5. This Russian city was renamed Leningrad when the communist leader, Lenin, died in 1924. In 1991, the year the Soviet Union died, they changed the name back.  St. Petersburg, Russia
  6. This California city, the second largest in the United States, was named after the angels.  Los Angeles, California
  7. This California city was named after the patron saint of animals — a poor saint who began a religious order and received the stigma.  San Francisco, California
  8. This city in Southern California was founded by padres and honors St. James.  San Diego, California
  9. This Brazilian city, the largest in South America, is named for St. Paul.  São Paulo, Brazil
  10. This, the smallest city-state in the world, is not named after a saint but after the hill it sits upon.  Vatican City, Europe

April 16th Easter Sunday Parish Bulletin

April 11, 2017

The St. Wenceslaus parish bulletin (PDF) for Easter Sunday on April 16, 2017.

April 9th Parish Bulletin

April 5, 2017

The St. Wenceslaus parish bulletin (PDF) for the Palm / Passion Sunday on April 9, 2017.

April 2nd Parish Bulletin

March 30, 2017

The St. Wenceslaus parish bulletin (PDF) for the 5th Sunday of Lent on April 2, 2017.

March 26th Parish Bulletin

March 23, 2017

The St. Wenceslaus parish bulletin (PDF) for Laetare Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Lent on March 26th, 2017.

“I Thirst for You”

March 19, 2017

St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta offered this beautiful meditation on the thirst of Jesus Christ, writing these words in His voice:

I know you through and through; I know everything about you. The very hairs of your head I have numbered. Nothing in your life is unimportant to Me. I have followed you through the years, and I have always loved you, even in your wanderings. I know every one of your problems. I know your needs and your worries. And yes, I know all your sins. But I tell you again that I love you, not for what you have or haven’t done. I love you for you, for the beauty and dignity My Father gave you by creating you in His own image. It is a dignity you have often forgotten, a beauty you have tarnished by sin. But I love you as you are, and I have shed My blood to win you back. If you only ask Me with faith, My grace will touch all that needs changing in your life; and I will give you the strength to free yourself from sin and all its destructive power.

I know what is in your heart; I know your loneliness and all your hurts: the rejections, the judgments, the humiliations. I carried it all before you. And I carried it all for you, so you might share My strength and victory. I know especially your need for love– how you are thirsting to be loved and cherished. But how often you have thirsted in vain, by seeking that love selfishly, striving to fill the emptiness inside you with passing pleasures–with the even greater emptiness of sin. Do you thirst for love? “Come to Me all you who thirst…” (John 7:37) I will satisfy you and fill you. Do you thirst to be cherished? I cherish you more than you can imagine–to the point of dying on a cross for you.

I thirst for you. Yes, that is the only way to even begin to describe My love for you: I THIRST FOR YOU. I thirst to love you and to be loved by you; that is how precious you are to Me. I THIRST FOR YOU. Come to Me, and I will fill your heart and heal your wounds. I will make you a new creation and give you peace, even in all your trials. I THIRST FOR YOU. You must never doubt My mercy, My acceptance of you, My desire to forgive, My longing to bless you and live My life in you. I THIRST FOR YOU. If you feel unimportant in the eyes of the world, that matters not at all. For Me, there is no one any more important in the entire world than you. I THIRST FOR YOU. Open to Me, come to Me, thirst for Me, give Me your life, and I will prove to you how important you are to My Heart.

No matter how far you may wander, no matter how often you forget Me, no matter how many crosses you may bear in this life, there is one thing I want you to always remember, one thing that will never change: I thirst for you-just as you are. You don’t need to change to believe in My love, for it will be your belief in My love that will change you. You forget Me, and yet I am seeking you at every moment of the day standing at the door of your heart, and knocking. Do you find this hard to believe? Then look at the cross, look at My Heart that was pierced for you. Have you not understood my cross? Then listen again to the words I spoke there, for they tell you clearly why I endured all this for you: “I THIRST…” (John 19:28) Yes, I thirst for you. … All your life I have been looking for your love — I have never stopped seeking to love you and to be loved by you. You have tried many other things in your search for happiness; why not try opening your heart to Me, right now, more than you ever have before.

I stand at the door of your heart and knock. Open to Me, for I THIRST FOR YOU.

[Source – with her full meditation]

A Quirky Introduction to the Code of Canon Law

March 17, 2017

        Back in my seminary days, one of our priest-professors called canon law our most practically useful field of study. The Code of Canon Law regulates the workings of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church in every diocese from Aachen to Zrenjanin. The Code does not contain absolutely every Church rule (for instance, liturgical rubrics or policies enacted by bishops’ conferences) but it is a rich resource. To pique your interest in its seven “books” & 1,752 canons, I here present to you some of the intriguing implications & amusing applications of Church law:

 

BOOK I: General Norms
203 canons about the general application of Church law (#1-203)

  • The 1983 Code of Canon Law swiftly replaced the 1917 Code eighteen years after Vatican II ended.
    (Canon 6§1: “When this Code takes force, the following are abrogated: the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1917….”)
  • The 1983 Code preserved existing treaties. Thus, by international law, Vatican City may float a papal navy.
    (Lateran Treaty of 1929, Barcelona Declaration of 1921, & Canon 3: “The canons of the Code neither abrogate nor derogate from the agreements entered into by the Apostolic See with nations or other political societies. These agreements therefore continue in force exactly as at present, notwithstanding contrary prescripts of this Code.”)
  • Your housepets are not bound by canonical law to keep the Lenten fasts.
    (Canon 11: “Merely ecclesiastical laws bind those who have been baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it, possess the efficient use of reason, and, unless the law expressly provides otherwise, have completed seven years of age.”)

 

BOOK II: The People of God
543 canons on the rights and obligations of laypeople and clergy, and the hierarchical organization of the Church (#204-746)

  • A priest is forbidden from becoming a U.S. Congressman.
    (Canon 285§3: “Clerics are forbidden to assume public offices which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power.”)
  • The pope can unmake a cardinal, designate him to be his papal successor, or ask him to go to a small Pacific island.
    (Canon 333§1-3: “By virtue of his office, the Roman Pontiff … possesses power over the universal Church…. No appeal or recourse is permitted against a sentence or decree of the Roman Pontiff.” & Canon 335: “When the Roman See is vacant or entirely impeded, nothing is to be altered in the governance of the universal Church; the special laws issued for these circumstances, however, are to be observed.”)
  • If a bishop plays hooky from his diocese for more than six months, his archbishop is to tattle on him to the pope.
    (Canon 395§4: “If a bishop has been illegitimately absent from the diocese for more than six months, the metropolitan is to inform the Apostolic See of his absence…”)
  • The 666th canon cautions that means of social communication may be harmful to one’s vocation & dangerous to chastity.
    (Canon 666: “In the use of means of social communication, necessary discretion is to be observed and those things are to be avoided which are harmful to one’s vocation and dangerous to the chastity of a consecrated person.”)

 

BOOK III: The Teaching Function of the Church
87 canons about Christian ministry, missionary activity, education, and social communication (#747-833)

  • A priest is not required to preach a homily at Mass if no one else is there (besides the Holy Trinity & the saints, of course.)
    (Canon 767§2-3: “A homily must be given at all Masses on Sundays and holy days of obligation which are celebrated with a congregation…. It is strongly recommended that if there is a sufficient congregation, a homily is to be given even at Masses celebrated during the week….”)
  • Catholic schools must be careful to be at least as good as the public schools.
    (Canon 806§2: “Directors of Catholic schools are to take care under the watchfulness of the local ordinary that the instruction which is given in them is at least as academically distinguished as that in the other schools of the area.”)

 

BOOK IV: The Sanctifying Function of the Church
420 canons on the Sacraments and other acts of worship, places of worship, and feast days (#834-1253)

  • To be capable of being baptized, Superman must be “not yet baptized” and “a person.”
    (Canon 864: “Every person not yet baptized and only such a person is capable of baptism.”)
  • Despite Francis Ford Coppola, the Church permits each baptized person only one “godfather.”
    (Canon 873: “There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each [for baptism].”)
  • It is canonically A-OK for Father to enjoy a coffee & a tasty jelly doughnut between his Sunday morning Masses. So chill.
    (Canon 919§2: “A priest who celebrates the Most Holy Eucharist two or three times on the same day can take something before the second or third celebration even if there is less than one hour between them.”)
  • Confessions are not to be heard in open hot-air balloon baskets except with a just cause.
    (Canon 964§3: “Confessions are not to be heard outside a confessional without a just cause.”)
  • Cardinals can hear confessions in Arizona, St. Louis, or whatever they happen to land.
    (Canon 967§1: “In addition to the Roman Pontiff, cardinals have the faculty of hearing the confessions of the Christian faithful everywhere in the world by the law itself….”)
  • You may not hire someone else to pray your penance from the Sacrament of Confession for you.
    (Canon 981: “The confessor is to impose salutary and suitable penances in accord with the quality and number of sins, taking into account the condition of the penitent. The penitent is obliged to fulfill these personally.”)
  • There are three degrees of Holy Orders: deacons, priests, & bishops. Three. Not two. Not four. Five is right out.
    (Canon 1009§1: “The orders are the episcopate, the presbyterate, and the diaconate.”)
  • Smitten with a special someone? Remember: you may not murder your spouse or theirs in order to marry that person.
    (Canon 1090§1: “Anyone who with a view to entering marriage with a certain person has brought about the death of that person’s spouse or of one’s own spouse invalidly attempts this marriage.”)
  • A marriage may be contracted through an interpreter but the pastor must be sure the interpreter is trustworthy.
    (Canon 1106: “A marriage can be contracted through an interpreter; the pastor is not to assist at it, however, unless he is certain of the trustworthiness of the interpreter.”)
  • A church’s name cannot be changed once it has been dedicated. So choose wisely, foreseeing all possibly-regrettable nicknames.
    (Canon 1218: “Each church is to have its own title which cannot be changed after the church has been dedicated.”)
  • During times of sacred celebrations, entry into a Catholic church is guaranteed to be free or your money back.
    (Canon 1221: “Entry to a church is to be free and gratuitous during the time of sacred celebrations.”)
  • A dead body may not be buried beneath an altar but a saint’s body can—because the latter is a relic.
    (Canons 1239§2: “A body is not to be buried beneath an altar; otherwise, it is not permitted to celebrate Mass on the altar.” & Canon 1237§2: “The ancient tradition of placing relics of martyrs or other saints under a fixed altar is to be preserved, according to the norms given in the liturgical books.”)

 

BOOK V: The Temporal Goods of the Church
57 canons concerning ownership, contracts, and wills (#1254-1310)

  • Any donation expressly given for the installation of pink and green shag carpeting can only be used for that purpose.
    (Canon 1267§3: “Offerings given by the faithful for a certain purpose can be applied only for that same purpose.”)

 

BOOK VI: Sanctions in the Church
89 canons about crimes and their punishment (#1311-1399)

  • Don’t slug-bug Pope Francis while riding in the popemobile — you’ll be instantly excommunicated.
    (Canon 1370§1: “A person who uses physical force against the Roman Pontiff incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See…”)

 

BOOK VII: Processes
353 canons about Church trials and tribunals (#1400-1752)

  • Canon law court judges cannot accept free sports tickets while presiding at trial, not even to Cleveland Browns games.
    (Canon 1456: “The judge and all officials of the tribunal are prohibited from accepting any gifts on the occasion of their acting in a trial.”)
  • The last canon treats of the transferring of pastors and notes that the supreme law in the Church is the salvation of souls.
    (Canon 1752: “In cases of transfer the prescripts of canon 1747 are to be applied, canonical equity is to be observed, and the salvation of souls, which must always be the supreme law in the Church, is to be kept before one’s eyes.”)

The Cross of the Passion

March 15, 2017

A local parishioner has drawn upon the best available evidence to create this realistic sculpture of Jesus Christ on his Cross. Come to St. Wenceslaus in Eastman on Friday, March 24th at 7 PM to encounter this impressive, life-sized crucifix. Father Victor Feltes will speak about the historical sources on which this crucifix is based and lead some short devotions.

March 19th Parish Bulletin

March 15, 2017

The St. Wenceslaus parish bulletin (PDF) for the 3rd Sunday of Lent on March 19th, 2017.