Friday, 21st July 2017

Conversion of St Mary Magdalen

Posted on 20. Jul, 2017 in Featured, NEWS

 

Jesus ascended the mountain with his disciples, followed by the Pharisees, the Herodians, and the Sadducees, and took the teacher’s chair.

Magdalen had taken her seat among the other women with the self-confident air of a lady of the world, but her manner was assumed. She was inwardly confused and a prey to interior struggle.

At first she gazed around upon the crowd, but when Jesus appeared and began to speak, her eyes and soul were riveted upon Him alone. His exhortations to penance, His lively pictures of vice, His threats of chastisement, affected her powerfully, and unable to suppress her emotions, she trembled and wept beneath her veil.

When Jesus, Himself shedding tears full of loving compassion, cried out for sinners to come to Him, many of His hearers were transported with emotion. There was a movement in the circle and the crowd pressed around Him. Magdalen also , and following her example the other women likewise, took a step nearer.

But when Jesus exclaimed: “Ah! If even one soul would come to Me!” Magdalen was so moved that she wanted to fly to Him at once. She stepped forward; but her companions, fear some disturbance, held her back, whispering: “Wait! Wait!” This movement of Magdalen attracted scarcely any notice among the bystanders, since the attention of all was riveted upon Jesus’ words.

Jesus, aware of Magdalen’s agitation, uttered words of consolation meant only for her. He said: “If even one germ of penance, of contrition, of love, of faith, of hope has, in consequence of My words, fallen upon some poor, erring heart, it will bear fruit, it will be set down in favour of that poor sinner, it will live and increase. I Myself shall nourish it, shall cultivate it, shall present it to My Father.”

These words consoled Magdalen while they pierced her inmost soul, and she stepped again among her companions.

 

The above extract was taken from the book ‘The Life of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations – From the Visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich 1774 to 1824’, as recorded in the Journals of Clemens Brentano, arranged and edited by Very Reverend Carl E. Schmoger, C.SS.R. Volume Two of Four. TAN Books. ISBN 978-0-89555-788-9

Of the Scapular given to St Simon Stock

Posted on 13. Jul, 2017 in Featured, NEWS

As men esteem it an honour to have persons who wear their livery, so also is our Blessed Lady pleased that her clients should wear her scapular, as a mark that they have dedicated themselves to her service, and that they are members of the household of the Mother of God.

Modern heretics, as usual, ridicule this devotion; but the holy Church has approved it by many bulls and indulgences. Fathers Crasset and Lezzana, speaking of the scapular of Mount Carmel relate, that towards the year 1251, the Blessed Virgin appeared to Saint Simon Stock, an Englishman, and giving him the scapular, said, that all who should wear it would be saved from eternal damnation.

She said, ‘Receive my beloved son, this scapular of thy order, the badge of my confraternity, a privilege granted to thee and to all Carmelites: whoever dies clothed with it will not suffer eternal flames.’

Moreover, Father Casset relates that Mary appeared to Pope John XXII., and commanded him to make it known that all those who should wear this scapular would be delivered from purgatory on the Saturday after their deaths; and this he did by a bull, which was afterwards confirmed by Alexander V., Clement VII., and other Pontiffs.

Paul V., as we have remarked in the first chapter of this work, gives us to understand the same thing, and seems to explain the bulls of his predecessors, and prescribes in his the conditions on which the indulgences may be gained. These conditions are: that each one should observe the chastity required in his state of life, and recitation of the little office of the Blessed Virgin; those who cannot do so must exact in keeping the fast-days prescribed by the Church, and abstain from meat on Wednesdays.

The indulgences, moreover, which are annexed to this scapular of Mount Carmel, as also to those of the Seven Dolores, of our Lady of Mercy, and especially to that of her Immaculate Conception, are innumerable, as well partial as plenary, both in life and for the hour of death. For my own part I have been careful to receive all these scapulars. To that of the Immaculate Conception in particular, very great indulgences have been attached by various sovereign pontiffs.

 

Source. The Glories of Mary by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri. ISBN: 978-0-89555-021-7

The Glories of Mary by St. Alponsus Ligouri (1696-1787) is one of the greatest Catholic books ever written. Easily understood by all, this famous book is undoubtedly the best composite of teaching about the Blessed Virgin Mary ever penned and is one that will lead many souls to a greater love of Jesus through a more intimate knowledge of Mary and her exalted role in our salvation.

Departure times – Parish Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2017

Posted on 06. Jul, 2017 in Faith, NEWS, Parish News

The following are the departure dates and times for the Parish Pilgrimage to Lourdes:

  1. Monday 10th July 2017, bus will leave the Parochial centre at 4.45am.
  2. Tuesday 11th July 2017, bus will leave the Parochial centre at 8.15am.

Fr Tremer wishes all pilgrims a safe journey and many blessings in Lourdes.

Prayer Sheet for July 2017

Posted on 06. Jul, 2017 in Faith, Parish News, Parish Prayer Sheet

Parish Monthly Prayer Sheet for July is now available to download.

Prayer Sheet July 2017

Saint Benedict – Chapter 7 on Humility

Posted on 06. Jul, 2017 in Featured, NEWS

This Tuesday 11th July we celebrate the Feast of Saint Benedict who was born around 480 as a son of Roman noble of Norcia. He founded the famous monastery of Monte Cassino in Italy which became the roots of the Church’s monastic system and after 1500 year’s Benedictine monks still follow his rule even here in Ireland. In 1964 Pope Paul VI declared St Benedict Patron Saint of Europe.

Below is a part of Chapter 7 from the Rule of St Benedict on Humility:

Holy Scripture, brethren, cries out to us, saying,
“Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled,
and he who humbles himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:11).
In saying this it shows us
that all exaltation is a kind of pride,
against which the Prophet proves himself to be on guard
when he says,
“Lord, my heart is not exalted,
nor are mine eyes lifted up;
neither have I walked in great matters,
nor in wonders above me” (Ps. 130[131]:1)
But how has he acted?
“Rather have I been of humble mind
than exalting myself;
as a weaned child on its mother’s breast,
so You solace my soul” (Ps. 130[131]:2).

Hence, brethren,
if we wish to reach the very highest point of humility
and to arrive speedily at that heavenly exaltation
to which ascent is made through the humility of this present life,
we must
by our ascending actions
erect the ladder Jacob saw in his dream,
on which Angels appeared to him descending and ascending.
By that descent and ascent
we must surely understand nothing else than this,
that we descend by self-exaltation and ascend by humility.
And the ladder thus set up is our life in the world,
which the Lord raises up to heaven if our heart is humbled.
For we call our body and soul the sides of the ladder,
and into these sides our divine vocation has inserted
the different steps of humility and discipline we must climb.

 

Source. Rule of Saint Benedict by Saint Benedict.

Soil for the Seed commences again September 2017

Posted on 29. Jun, 2017 in Faith, NEWS, Parish News

Soil for the Seed
The second year in the theology programme, Soil for the Seed, begins on 11 September at 7.30 pm in St Mary’s Hall, Stewartstown. The topic for this module will be Called to Mission and will be facilitated by Patrick Logue. Other modules are ‘Moral Decisions, An Introduction to Liturgy and Inter Faith Relations. Cost £60 per module or £200 for year. You do not have to have participated in the first year to take part in the second year. You do not have to attend all four modules; you can attend individual modules. Contact the Pastoral Plan Office, Dundalk, tel 00353
429336393; email: armaghpastoralplan@gmail.com

Except I See His Hands by St John Chrysostom

Posted on 29. Jun, 2017 in Featured, NEWS

John 20:24-25

“But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said, Except I shall see in His hands —I will not believe.”

As to believe carelessly and in a random way, comes of an over-easy temper; so to be beyond measure curious and meddlesome, marks a most gross understanding. On this account Thomas is held to blame. For he believed not the Apostles when they said, “We have seen the Lord”; not so much mistrusting them, as deeming the thing to be impossible, that is to say, the resurrection from the dead. Since he says not, “I do not believe you,” but, “Except I put my hand— I do not believe.” But how was it, that when all were collected together, he alone was absent? Probably after the dispersion which had lately taken place, he had not returned even then. But do thou, when you see the unbelief of the disciple, consider the lovingkindness of the Lord, how for the sake of a single soul He showed Himself with His wounds, and comes in order to save even the one, though he was grosser than the rest; on which account indeed he sought proof from the grossest of the senses, and would not even trust his eyes. For he said not, “Except I see,” but, “Except I handle,” he says, lest what he saw might somehow be an apparition. Yet the disciples who told him these things, were at the time worthy of credit, and so was He that promised; yet, since he desired more, Christ did not deprive him even of this.

And why does He not appear to him straightway, instead of “after eight days”? John 20:26 In order that being in the meantime continually instructed by the disciples, and hearing the same thing, he might be inflamed to more eager desire, and be more ready to believe for the future. But whence knew he that His side had been opened? From having heard it from the disciples. How then did he believe partly, and partly not believe? Because this thing was very strange and wonderful. But observe, I pray you, the truthfulness of the disciples, how they hide no faults, either their own or others’, but record them with great veracity.

Jesus again presents himself to them, and waits not to be requested by Thomas, nor to hear any such thing, but before he had spoken, Himself prevented him, and fulfilled his desire; showing that even when he spoke those words to the disciples, He was present. For He used the same words, and in a manner conveying a sharp rebuke, and instruction for the future. For having said,

John 20:26

“Reach hither your finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither your hand, and thrust it into My side”; He added,

“And be not faithless, but believing.”

Do you see that his doubt proceeded from unbelief? But it was before he had received the Spirit; after that, it was no longer so, but, for the future, they were perfected.

And not in this way only did Jesus rebuke him, but also by what follows; for when he, being fully satisfied, breathed again, and cried aloud,

John 20:28

“My Lord, and my God,” He says,

John 20:29

“Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed.”

For this is of faith, to receive things not seen; since, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 And here He pronounces blessed not the disciples only, but those also who after them should believe. “Yet,” says someone, “the disciples saw and believed.” Yes, but they sought nothing of the kind, but from the proof of the napkins, they straightway received the word concerning the Resurrection, and before they saw the body, exhibited all faith. When therefore anyone in the present day say, “I would that I had lived in those times, and had seen Christ working miracles,” let them reflect, that, “Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed.”

 

Source. Translated by Charles Marriott. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 14. Edited by Philip Schaff. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1889.)

Sacred Heart Promises to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Posted on 21. Jun, 2017 in Featured, NEWS

The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is this Friday 23rd June 2017. It is a good time to reflect on the apparition of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, where Jesus gives these twelve promises for those who are devoted to His Sacred Heart.

Prayer:

The Twelve Promises of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary for those devoted to His Sacred Heart:

  1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
  2. I will establish peace in their families.
  3. I will console them in all their troubles.
  4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.
  5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
  7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
  9. I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
  10. I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
  11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
  12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.

“Look at this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth.”

Parish Corpus Christi Procession on Sunday 18th June

Posted on 16. Jun, 2017 in Faith, NEWS, Parish News

The annual procession will take place from St Lúarán’s Chapel at 6.00 pm. All those taking part are asked to assemble at 5.45 pm. Included are First Communicants and Confirmation boys and girls from all Parish Schools, Scouts, Fr Rock’s GAA and parishioners.
 
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will take place in St Lúarán’s Chapel 1.00 pm – 5.00 pm. The devotions will end with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in Holy Trinity Church at 7.00 pm approximately. The Rosary will be recited in Holy Trinity Church to coincide with the procession.
 
A parish demonstration of our love and devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Christ’s invitation ‘Come to Me and I will give you rest’.

Corpus Christi by St Peter Julian Eymard

Posted on 14. Jun, 2017 in Featured, NEWS

Haec est dies quam fecit Dominus.
This is the day which the Lord hath made. (Psalm cxvii. 24.)

Every day comes from God. They unfailingly succeed one another through His loving kindness. God allows man six days of the week for his labor and his needs, but the seventh He reserves for Himself. Sunday is therefore more particularly the day of the Lord. But of all the days there is one which is, in a more excellent manner, the day of God and is called the day of God: Fête-Dieu, as the French put it, which, done literally into English, would read God’s Feast Day. That is truly the day which the Lord has made for Himself, for His own glory, and for the manifestation of His love. Corpus Christi! God’s Feast Day! What a beautiful name! God’s Feast Day and ours also! Let us see in what way.

I. This feast day of God, which the Church calls Festum sacratissimi Corporis Christi, “Feast of the most sacred Body of Christ,” is the only day dedicated exclusively to the honor of His adorable Person, of His living presence in our midst.

The other feasts commemorate some mystery of His past life; they are beautiful; they glorify God; and they are a rich source of graces for us. But after all they are only reminders, anniversaries of an already distant past, which relives only in our piety and devotion. Our Savior is no longer personally present in those mysteries; He accomplished them once for all and left only His grace in them. But Corpus Christi is an actual mystery; the object of this feast is our Lord’s Person, living and present in our midst. That is why the celebration of it has a character all its own. No relics or symbols of the past are exposed, but the very object of the feast, which is living. In the countries where God is free, see how all the people proclaim His presence, how they prostrate themselves before Him! The impious themselves tremble and bow the head; God is there! How glorious for our Lord’s presence is this feast, on which all men acknowledge His presence and adore Him!

Corpus Christi is also the most lovable of feast days. We were not present at all the mysteries of our Savior’s life and death which we celebrate in the course of the year. We find joy in them because they are sources of grace. But on the feast of Corpus Christi we participate in the mystery itself, which takes place under our eyes. This mystery is for us.

There is a relation of life between Jesus living in the Sacrament and ourselves living in the midst of the world: a relation of body to body. For that reason this feast is not called simply the feast of our Lord, but the Feast of the Body of our Lord: Corpus Christi. Through this Body we touch Him; through it He is our Food, our Brother and our Guest. Feast of the Body of Jesus Christ: a name as full of love as it is unpretentious and well adapted to our misery! Our Lord asked for this Feast so as to draw still closer to us, just as a father is desirous of being wished a happy birthday by his child in order to have a reason for giving him a more ardent proof of his paternal affection, and or granting him some special favor.

Let this Feast therefore be one of joy, and let us expect from it the most abundant blessings. All the hymns and canticles of this solemnity express the thought that on this day our Lord will show Himself more gracious than ever. The Church, it seems, should have celebrated Corpus Christi on Holy Thursday, since the Eucharist was instituted on that day. But she could not have duly expressed her joy on that day of mourning; the Passion begins in Holy Thursday, and it is impossible to rejoice at the thought of death which predominates during the solemn days of Holy Week.

Corpus Christi
was also postponed until after the Ascension because sad farewells had still to be bidden and a painful separation effected. It was put off until after Pentecost so that, filled with the graces and joys of the Holy Ghost, we might be able to celebrate with all possible splendor the Feast of the Divine Bridegroom Who dwells among us.

II. CORPUS CHRISTI is the most solemn Feast of the Church. The Church is the Bride of our Lord in all His risen glory, not of Jesus Christ at His birth or His death; when these last two mysteries took place the Church was not yet in existence. Of course she follows her Divine Bridegroom to the Crib and accompanies Him in His sufferings, but of these mysteries she has only the remembrance and grace. But Jesus Christ lives with His Church in His Sacrament.

People who have never set foot inside one of her churches think she is widowed. They look upon her as a corpse, and upon her temples as places where only death and suffering are spoken of. But today the very ones who never attend her solemn festivals will see her in all her wealth and beauty, in a natural attractiveness which God, her Bridegroom, will enhance with His presence. What magnificence in the processions as they pass by! What reverence in the faithful as they kneel down!! The Church shows to everyone her Bridegroom in the radiant monstrance. Ah! Who today will presume to say she is widowed? Her friends are in adoration and her enemies tremble. Jesus shows Himself to all men; He gives His blessing to the good; He looks on sinners with compassion; He calls them and draws them to Himself. The Council of Trent calls this Feast the triumph of faith, and rightly so. It is also the triumph of the Church through her Divine Bridegroom.

 

Source. The Divine Eucharist: Meditations suitable for adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. First Series: The Real Presence (from the 9th French ed). By Saint Peter Julian Eymard (New York: Fathers of the Blessed Sacrament, 1906).

Prayer Sheet for June 2017

Posted on 12. Jun, 2017 in Faith, Parish News, Parish Prayer Sheet

Parish Monthly Prayer Sheet for June is now available to download.

Prayer Sheet June 2017

St Leo the Great’s Sermon on the Most Holy Trinity

Posted on 06. Jun, 2017 in Featured, NEWS

The Holy Ghost’s work did not begin at Pentecost, but was continued because the Holy Trinity is One in action and in will

Today’s festival, dearly-beloved, which is held in reverence by the whole world, has been hallowed by that advent of the Holy Ghost, which on the fiftieth day after the Lord’s Resurrection, descended on the Apostles and the multitude of believers, even as it was hoped. And there was this hope, because the Lord Jesus had promised that He should come, not then first to be the Indweller of the saints, but to kindle to a greater heat, and to fill with larger abundance the hearts that were dedicated to Him, increasing, not commencing His gifts, not fresh in operation because richer in bounty.

For the Majesty of the Holy Ghost is never separate from the Omnipotence of the Father and the Son, and whatever the Divine government accomplishes in the ordering of all things, proceeds from the Providence of the whole Trinity. Therein exists unity of mercy and loving-kindness, unity of judgment and justice: nor is there any division in action where there is no divergence of will.

What, therefore, the Father enlightens, the Son enlightens, and the Holy Ghost enlightens: and while there is one Person of the Sent, another of the Sender, and another of the Promiser, both the Unity and the Trinity are at the same time revealed to us, so that the Essence which possesses equality and does not admit of solitariness is understood to belong to the same Substance but not the same Person.

Each Person in the Trinity took part in our Redemption

The fact, therefore, that, with the co-operation of the inseparable Godhead still perfect, certain things are performed by the Father, certain by the Son, and certain by the Holy Spirit, in particular belongs to the ordering of our Redemption and the method of our salvation.

For if man, made after the image and likeness of God, had retained the dignity of his own nature, and had not been deceived by the devil’s wiles into transgressing through lust the law laid down for him, the Creator of the world would not have become a Creature, the Eternal would not have entered the sphere of time, nor God the Son, Who is equal with God the Father, have assumed the form of a slave and the likeness of sinful flesh. But because “by the devil’s malice death entered into the world -Wisdom 2:24,” and captive humanity could not otherwise be set free without His undertaking our cause, Who without loss of His majesty should both become true Man, and alone have no taint of sin, the mercy of the Trinity divided for Itself the work of our restoration in such a way that the Father should be appeased, the Son should appease, and the Holy Ghost enkindle.

For it was necessary that those who are to be saved should also do something on their part, and by the turning of their hearts to the Redeemer should quit the dominion of the enemy, even as the Apostle says, “God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying Abba, Father – Galatians 4:6,” “And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty – 2 Corinthians 3:17,” and “no one can call Jesus Lord except in the Holy Spirit – 1 Corinthians 12:3 .”

 

Source. Translated by Charles Lett Feltoe. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 12. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1895.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight.

Blessing of the Graves 2017

Posted on 29. May, 2017 in Faith, NEWS, Parish News

The Blessing of the Graves for 2017 will take place on the following dates:

Cookstown
Friday 2nd June at 7.30pm

Slatequarry
Sunday 4th June at 10am

Rock
Sunday 11th June at 10am

St Alphonsus Ligouri – Visitation of Mary Pt.3

Posted on 29. May, 2017 in Featured, NEWS

To be convinced of the desire that Mary has to be of service to all, we need only to consider the mystery of the present festival, that is, Mary’s visit to Saint Elizabeth. The Blessed Virgin, tender and delicate as she then was, and unaccustomed to such fatigue, did not delay her departure. And what was it that impelled her? It was that great charity with which her most tender heart was filled that drove her, so to say, to go and at once commence her great office of dispenser of graces.

Observe especially, says Saint Bonaventure, in this visit of Mary to Saint Elizabeth, the great power of her words. According to the Evangelist, at the sound of her voice the grace of the Holy Ghost was conferred on Saint Elizabeth, as well as her son Saint John the Baptist: “And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb, and she was filled with the Holy Ghost.”52

On this text Saint Bonaventure says, ‘See how great is the power of the words of our Lady; for no sooner, has she pronounced them, than the Holy Ghost is given.’53

“Let us go, therefore, with confidence to the throne of grace,” says the Apostle, exhorting us, “that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid.”58 ‘The throne of grace is the Blessed Virgin Mary,’59 says blessed Albert the Great. If, then, we wish for graces, let us go to the Throne of Grace, which is Mary; and let us go with the certain hope of being heard; for we have Mary’s intercession, and she obtains from her Son all whatever she asks.

And if we credit that celebrated saying of Saint Anselm, ‘that salvation is occasionally more easily obtained by calling on the name of Mary than by invoking that of Jesus;62 we shall sometimes sooner obtain graces by having recourse to Mary than by having directly recourse to our Saviour Jesus Himself; not that He is not the source and Lord of all graces, but because, when we have recourse to the Mother, and she prays for us, her prayers have greater efficacy than ours, as being those of a mother. Let us never leave the feet of this treasurer of graces, but ever address her in the words of Saint John Damascene: ‘O Blessed mother of God, open to us the gate of mercy; for thou art the salvation of the human race.’63

A Most Beautiful Example

In the Franciscan chronicles it is related, that two religious of that order, who were going to visit a sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin, were overtaken by night in a great forest, where they became so bewildered and troubled, that they knew not what to do. But, advancing a little further, dark as it was, they thought they discovered a house. They went towards it, and felt the wall with their hands; they sought the door, knocked, and immediately heard someone within asking who they were. They replied that they were two poor religious, who had lost their way in the forest, and that they begged at least for shelter, that they might not be devoured by the wolves.

In an instant, the doors were thrown open, and two pages richly dressed stood before them, and received them with the greatest courtesy. The religious asked them who resided in that palace. The pages replied that it was a most compassionate Lady. ‘We should be glad to present her our respects, and thank her for her charity.’ ‘She also,’ the pages answered, ‘wishes to see you; and we are now going to conduct you into her presence.’ They ascended the staircase, and found all the apartments illuminated, richly furnished, and scented with an odour of Paradise.

Finally, they entered the apartment of the Lady, who was majestic and most beautiful in her appearance. She received them with the greatest affability, and then asked them where they were going. They answered, that they were going to visit a certain church of the Blessed Virgin, ‘O, since that is the case,’ she replied, ‘I will give you before you go a letter, which will be of great service to you.’ Whilst the Lady was addressing them, they felt their hearts inflamed with the love of God, and an internal joy which they had never before experienced. Then they retired to sleep, if, indeed, they could do so, overcome as they were by the happiness they experienced; and in the morning, they again went to take leave of the Lady and thank her, and also receive the letter, which she gave them, and they then departed.

But when they got a short distance from the house, they perceived that the letter had no direction; they turned about, and sought first on one side, then another, but in vain; they could no longer find the house. Finally, they opened the letter to see for who it was meant, and what it contained; and they found that it was from the most Blessed Virgin Mary, and addressed to themselves. In it she told them that she was the Lady whom they had seen the night before, and that on account of their devotion for her she had provided a lodging and refreshment for them in that wood.

She exhorted them to continue to serve her and to love her, for she always would amply reward their devotion, and would succour them in life and at death. At the foot of the page they read her signature: ‘I, Mary the Virgin’.

Let each one here imagine the gratitude of these good religious, and how they thanked the Divine Mother, and how greatly they were inflamed with the desire to love and serve her for their whole lives.65

 

52. Luc. i. 41.

53. Med. Vit. Christi, cap. v.

58. Heb. Iv. 16.

59. Serm. Liii. De Dedic. Eccl.

62. De Excel. B.M.V. cap. vi.

63. In Annunt.

65. Lyraeus, Tris. Mar. 1. 2. M. 26

 

Source. The Glories of Mary by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri. ISBN: 978-0-89555-021-7

The Glories of Mary by St. Alponsus Ligouri (1696-1787) is one of the greatest Catholic books ever written. Easily understood by all, this famous book is undoubtedly the best composite of teaching about the Blessed Virgin Mary ever penned and is one that will lead many souls to a greater love of Jesus through a more intimate knowledge of Mary and her exalted role in our salvation.

Volunteer for World Meeting of Families in Dublin 2018

Posted on 25. May, 2017 in Faith, NEWS, Parish News

At least three thousand volunteers are needed to assist with the planning and organising of the ninth World Meeting of Families which Pope Francis asked Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to host in Dublin in 2018.  This six-day festival of faith will take place from 21 to 26 August next year with the theme: “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”. 

As part of its pastoral preparations the organisers of the World Meeting of Families are now inviting thousands of volunteers to participate in this once-in-a-generation event.  The volunteers will be part of the operational team which will organise and run what will be the largest gathering of families in the world.

Volunteers must be resident in Ireland, over 18 years of age and respectful of the Catholic ethos of the event.  Volunteers will also assist at related preparatory events which will take place around the country.

How to Apply

To apply to become a WMOF2018 volunteer, whether to start with helping with the preparations in the run up to the event and/or during the five days of the event, please visit www.worldmeeting2018.ie/volunteer.  Becoming a volunteer will include a formal online volunteer application, a training programme, as well as Garda vetting and screening process in line with WMOF2018 safeguarding policies.

Annual SVP Family Bus Trip to Portrush on 8th August

Posted on 22. May, 2017 in Faith, NEWS, Parish News

The Annual SVP family bus trip to Portrush will take place on Tuesday 8th August, everyone welcome. Names and contact numbers to be given to SVP centre by phoning 028 8676 9400 before Tuesday 25th July. Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or adult. Bus leaves at 9am and arrives back at approximately 6.30pm.

Mary’s Meals Backpack Project collection this coming weekend

Posted on 22. May, 2017 in Faith, NEWS, Parish News

MARY’S MEALS – BACKPACK PROJECT

The Backpack Project continues to grow due to everyone’s generous giving of school items (pencils, pens, rulers, erasers, exercise books etc) plus such items as toothbrushes, toothpaste, spoons, soap, tennis balls, flip-flops, hand towels, boy’s shorts and t-shirts, girl’s dresses, skirts and t-shirts (ages 4-12 years old).  The Mary’s Meals Support Team appreciates your generosity.  Collection baskets will again be in the Church porches this coming weekend of the 27/28th May.  Thank you.  For further information please contact Pat McNeill 077 7404 3147.

St Alphonsus Liguori – Visitation of Mary Pt.2

Posted on 22. May, 2017 in Featured, NEWS

Saint Bonaventure, speaking of the field in the gospel, in which a treasure is hidden, and which should be purchased at however great a price, “the kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field, which a man having found hid it, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath and buyeth that field,”17 says that ‘our Queen Mary is this field, in which Jesus Christ , the treasure of God the Father, is hid,’18 and with Jesus Christ the source of and flowing fountain of all graces.

Saint Bernard affirms that our Lord ‘has deposited the plenitude of every grace in Mary, that we may thus know that if we possess hope, grace, or anything salutary, that it is from her that it came.’19 Of this we are also assured by Mary herself, saying, “In me is all grace of the way and of the truth;”20 in me are all the graces of real blessings that you men can desire in life. Yes, sweet Mother and our Hope, we know full well, says Saint Peter Damian, ‘that all the treasures of Divine mercies are in thy hands.’21

Before Saint Peter Damian, Saint Ildephonsus asserted the same thing in even stronger terms, when, speaking to the Blessed Virgin, he said, ‘O Lady, all the graces that God has decreed for men He has determined to grant through thy hands; and therefore to thee has He committed all the measures and ornaments of grace;’22 so that, O Mary, concludes Saint Germanus, no grace is dispensed to anyone otherwise than through thy hands: ‘there is no one saved but by thee; no one who receives a gift from God but through thee.’23

Blessed Albert the Great makes a beautiful paraphrase of the words of the angel addressed to the most Blessed Virgin, “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God:’24 ‘Fear not, O Mary, for thou hast found, not taken grace, as Lucifer tried to take it; thou hast not lost it as Adam lost it; thou hast not bought it as Simon Magus would have bought it; but though hast found it because thou hast desired and sought it.’25

Though hast found increated grace; that is, God himself become thy Son; and with that grace thou hast found and obtained every created good. Saint Peter Chrysologus confirms this thought, saying, ‘This great Virgin and Mother found grace to restore thereby salvation to all men.’26

And elsewhere he says that Mary found a grace so full that it sufficed to save all: ‘Thou hast found grace, but how great a grace! It was such that it filled thee; and so great was its plenitude, that it could be poured down as a torrent on every creature.’27 So much so indeed, says Richard of Saint Lawrence, ‘that God made the sun, that by its means light might be diffused on the whole earth, so has He made Mary, that by her all Divine mercies may be dispensed to the world.’28

Saint Bernadine adds, that ‘from the time that the Virgin Mother conceived the Divine word in her womb, she obtained a kind of jurisdiction, so to say, over all temporal manifestations of the Holy Ghost; so that no creature can obtain any grace from God that is not dispensed by this tender and compassionate Mother.’29

Hence let us conclude this point in the words of Richard Saint Lawrence, who says, ‘that if we wish to obtain any grace, we must have recourse to Mary, the finder of grace, who cannot but obtain all that she asks for her servants; for she has recovered the Divine grace which was lost, and always finds it.’30 This thought he borrowed from Saint Bernard, who says, ‘Let us seek grace, and seek it by Mary; for that which she seeks she finds, and cannot be frustrated.’31

If we, then, desire graces, we must go to this treasurer and dispenser of graces; for it is the sovereign will of the Giver of every good thing; and we are assured of it by the same Saint Bernard, that all graces should be dispensed by the hands of Mary: ‘for such is His will, who is pleased that we should have all by Mary.’32 All, all; and he who says all excludes nothing.

 

  1. Matt. Xiii. 44.
  2. Spec. M.M.V. lect. Vii.
  3. Serm. De Aquad.
  4. Eccles. Xxiv. 25.
  5. Serm. Ii. In Nat. B.M.V.
  6. In Cor. Virg. Cap. xv.
  7. De Zon. V.
  8. Luc. i. 30.
  9. Bbl. Mar. in Luc.
  10. Serm. Iii. De Annunt.
  11. Serm ii. De Annut.
  12. De Laud. V. 1. Vii. C. 3.
  13. Pro Fest. V.M. s. 5, c.8.
  14. De Laud. V. lib. Ii. Cap. 5.
  15. Serm. De Aquad.
  16. Mariam. – lb.

Source. The Glories of Mary by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri. ISBN: 978-0-89555-021-7

The Glories of Mary by St. Alponsus Ligouri (1696-1787) is one of the greatest Catholic books ever written. Easily understood by all, this famous book is undoubtedly the best composite of teaching about the Blessed Virgin Mary ever penned and is one that will lead many souls to a greater love of Jesus through a more intimate knowledge of Mary and her exalted role in our salvation.

St Alphonsus Ligouri – Visitation of Mary Pt.1

Posted on 16. May, 2017 in Featured, NEWS

Fortunate does that family consider itself which is visited by a royal personage, both on account of the honour that redounds from such a visit, and the advantages that may be hoped to accrue from it. But still more fortunate should that soul consider itself which is visited by the Queen of the world, the most holy Virgin Mary, who cannot but fill with riches and graces those blessed souls whom she deigns to visit by her favours. The house of Obededom was blessed when visited by the ark of God: “And the Lord blessed his house.”1 But with how much greater blessings are those persons enriched who receive a loving visit from this living ark of God, for such was the Divine Mother!

‘Happy is that house which the Mother of God visits,’2 says Engelgrave. This was abundantly experienced by the house of Saint John the Baptist; for Mary had scarcely entered it when she heaped graces and heavenly benedictions on the whole family; and for this reason the present feast of the Visitation is commonly called that of ‘our Blessed Lady of Graces’. Hence we shall see in the present discourse that the Divine mother is the treasurer of all graces.

We shall divide it into two parts. In the first we shall see that whoever desires graces must have recourse to Mary. In the second, that he who has recourse to Mary should be confident of receiving the graces he desires.

First point – After the blessed Virgin had heard from the archangel Gabriel that her cousin Saint Elizabeth had been six months pregnant, she was internally enlightened by the Holy Ghost to know that the Incarnate word, who had become her son, was pleased then to manifest to the world the riches of his mercy in the first graces that He desired to impart to all that family. Therefore, without interposing any delay, according to Saint Luke, “Mary, rising up,… went into the hill-country with haste.”3 Rising from the quiet of contemplation to which she was always devoted, and quitting her beloved solitude, she immediately set out for the dwelling of Saint Elizabeth; and because “charity beareth all things,”4 and cannot support delay, as Saint Ambrose remarks on this Gospel, ‘the Holy Holy Ghost knows not slow undertakings;’5 without even reflecting on the arduousness of the journey, this tender Virgin, I say, immediately undertook it.

On reaching the house, she salutes her cousin: “And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.”6 Saint Ambrose here remarks that Mary was ‘the first to salute’7 Elizabeth. The visit of Mary, however, had no resemblance with those of worldlings, which, for the greater part, consist in ceremony and outward demonstration, devoid of all sincerity; for it brought with it an accumulation of graces.

The moment she entered that dwelling, on her first salutation, Elizabeth was filled with the holy Ghost; and Saint John was cleansed from original sin, and sanctified; and therefore gave that mark of joy by leaping in his mother’s womb, wishing thereby to manifest the grace that he had received by the means of the Blessed Virgin, as Saint Elizabeth herself declared: “As soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.”8 Thus, as Bernadine de Bustis remarks, in virtue of Mary’s salutation Saint John received the grace of the Divine Spirit which sanctified him: ‘When the Blessed Virgin saluted Elizabeth, the voice of the salutation, entering her ears, descended to the child, and by its virtue he received the Holy Ghost.’9

And now, if all these first-fruits of Redemption passed by Mary as the channel through which grace was communicated to the Baptist, the Holy Ghost to Elizabeth, the gift of prophecy to Zachary, and so many other blessings to the whole house, the first graces which to our knowledge the Eternal Word had granted on earth after His Incarnation, it is quite correct to believe that from thenceforward God made Mary the universal channel, as she is called by Saint Bernard, through which all the other graces which our Lord is pleased to dispense to us should pass.

With reason, then, is this Divine Mother called the treasure, the treasurer, and the dispenser of Divine graces. She is thus called by the venerable Abbot of Celles, ‘the Treasure of God, and the Treasurer of graces;’10 by Saint Peter Damian, ‘the Treasurer of Divine graces;’11 by Blessed Albert the Great, ‘the Treasurer of Jesus Christ;’12 by Saint Bernadine, ‘the Dispenser of graces;’13 by a learned Greek, quoted by Petavius, ‘the Storehouse of all good things.’14 So also by Saint Gregory Thaumatiurgus, who observes that ‘Mary is said to be thus full of grace, for in her all the treasures of grace were hidden.’15

Richard of St Lawrence also says that ‘Mary is a treasure, because God has placed all gifts of graces in her as in a treasury; and from thence he bestows great stipends on his soldiers and labourers.’16 She is a treasury of mercies, whence our Lord enriches his servants.

  1. Paralip. Xiii. 14.
  2. Coel. Panth. In Vis 2.
  3. Luc. i. 39.
  4. 1 Cor. Xiii. 7.
  5. Exp. Evang. Sec. Luc. Lib. Ii. No. 19.
  6. Luc. 1. 40.
  7. Loc. Cu. No. 22.
  8. Luc. 1. 44.
  9. Marial. P. vi. Serm. 1, p. 3.
  10. Contempl. De. B.V.M. in Prol.
  11. Serm. Ii. De .nat. B.V.M.
  12. Thesauraria Jesu Christi.
  13. Serm. De Exalt. B.M.V. art. Ii. Cap. 3.
  14. Tu promtuarium omnium bonorum.
  15. Serm. 1. In Annunt. B.M.V.
  16. De Laud. V. 1. Iv. C. 21.

Source. The Glories of Mary by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri. ISBN: 978-0-89555-021-7

The Glories of Mary by St. Alponsus Ligouri (1696-1787) is one of the greatest Catholic books ever written. Easily understood by all, this famous book is undoubtedly the best composite of teaching about the Blessed Virgin Mary ever penned and is one that will lead many souls to a greater love of Jesus through a more intimate knowledge of Mary and her exalted role in our salvation.

Prayer Sheet for May 2017

Posted on 03. May, 2017 in Faith, Parish News, Parish Prayer Sheet

Parish Monthly Prayer Sheet for May is now available to download.

Prayer Sheet May 2017

Annual Armagh Diocesan Pilgrimage to Knock on 23rd May 2017

Posted on 02. May, 2017 in Faith, NEWS, Parish News

Annual Pilgrimage takes place on Sunday 28 May. Cookstown Pioneer Council is organising the Pilgrimage on behalf of the Parish. Cost of travel by coach together with breakfast and evening meal – £35.00. Booking with either: E Harvey Tel 8676 3865; E O’Hagan Tel 8673 6259; D Corey Tel 8676 2696; M Quinn Tel 8676 2963; S O’Kane Tel 8676 2445, B Conway 8676 4183. Booking must be made by 23 May. Please note this is a Parish Pilgrimage and is also open to parishioners from Lissan, Kildress and Desertmartin who have travelled with us in former years and are most welcome this year.

Mass Rock Rosary – At Greencastle throughout May

Posted on 02. May, 2017 in Faith, NEWS, Parish News

100th ANNIVERSARY OF OUR LADY OF FATIMA
Rosary will take place at the beautiful Statue of Our Lady of Fatima at Mass rock on Mullydoo Road Greencastle (near Greencastle Community Centre) every night from Monday 1 May at 7.30 pm. For more details please contact Helen 0758595 0724 or email – helen.a.t@hotmail.com.