2609 Park Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32204

(904) 387-2554

Email: parishoffice@spsjax.org

2609 Park Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32204

(904) 387-2554

Email: parishoffice@spsjax.org

“Be Quiet, Be Still”

Today’s Gospel message is about “Jesus calming the stormy sea”.

The disciples were panicking and cried out for help. Jesus rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet!  Be still!” The storm ceased and there was great calm. This is the great spiritual lesson we can take from today’s Gospel:  There will be storms in our spiritual lives. The way to manage is to listen to Him – be quiet, be still. Jesus is with me to take care of it. I will share three quotes to help us to reflect.

St. Francis De Sales said “Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your INNER peace for ANYTHING whatsoever. Even if your whole world seems upset.”

God’s plan is greater than mine: God’s plan is always the best. Sometimes the process is painful and hard. But don’t forget that when God is silent, He is doing something good for us.

God is silent: I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining. I believe in love even when not feeling it. I believe in God even when he is silent…”

Fathers’ Day: Five weeks ago, we observed Mother’s Day and offered Mass for our mothers. Today, on this Father’s Day, we are doing the same – offering this Mass for our dads, invoking God’s blessings upon them.

Let us pray for our fathers, for their love and support.

Let us pray for those fathers who have been wounded by the neglect and hostility of their children.

Let us pray for those fathers who are divorced and remain in their children’s lives.

Let us pray for those fathers whose children are adopted and let their love and support offer healing to their children.

Let us pray for the stepfathers who freely choose the obligation of fatherhood and earn their stepchildren’s love and respect.

Let us pray for the fathers who lost a child to death and continue to hold the child in their heart.

Let us pray for those men who have no children but cherish the next generation as if they were their own.

Let us pray for those men who have “fathered” us in their role as mentors and guides.

Let us pray for those men who are about to become fathers; may they openly delight in their children.

And let us pray for those fathers who have died but live on in our memory and whose love continues to nurture us.

 

George Vaniyapurackal

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Praise those Fathers

Let us praise those fathers who have striven to balance the demands of work, marriage, and children with an honest awareness of both joy and sacrifice. Let us praise those fathers who, lacking a good model for a father, have worked to become a worthy and virtuous father.

Let us praise those fathers who, by their own account, were not always there for their children, but who continue to offer those children, now grown, their love and support. As well, let us pray for those fathers who have been wounded by words and actions of their children.

Let us praise those fathers who, despite marital discord, have remained in their children’s lives. Let us praise those fathers whose children are adopted, and whose love and support has nurtured a thriving life.

Let us praise those fathers who, as stepfathers, freely choose the obligation of fatherhood and earned their stepchildren’s love and respect.

Let us praise those fathers who have lost a child to death and continue to hold the child in their heart.

Let us praise those men who have no children but cherish the next generation as if they were their own.

Let us praise those men who have “fathered” us in their role as mentors and guides.

Let us praise those men who are about to become fathers; may they openly delight in their children.

And let us praise those fathers who have died but live on in our memory and whose love continues to nurture us.

– Prayer of Kirk Loadman adapted by Debra Mooney, PhD

The parable of the mustard seed – Reflection

We are familiar with the slogans, ‘might makes right”, “money is power” and “bigger is better.’ Jesus always gives us different perspectives in our lives. In His eyes, the poor, the small and weak, the meek and humble, are the truly great ones.

It is in this perspective Jesus tells the parable of the mustard seed. Insignificant beginnings can lead to a wonderful result. God’s Grace starts working for us in a small and seemingly insignificant way. Our faith can appear as small as a mustard seed; but such hope is enough for the Lord to work with. Our various efforts can seem to bear very insignificant results. The parable assures us that the final harvest from those efforts will be abundant.

Mother Theresa had this realization. She said “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” That is the key to our success in spiritual life. Little things are a better test of character than great things. They come every day; great things do not. Little things deal with reality, without any show; and what we call “little things” are often much greater than what we call the great ones, and therefore have much larger consequences. Attend to the little things, and we need not be anxious about the greater ones.

In today’s first part of the Gospel Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how the kingdom of God grows: It is as if a man scatter seeds on the land and sleep and rise night and day, and the seed will sprout and grow, even without him knowing. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. At the end the harvest has come.”

I compare this to our human life.  How does our human life begin? Little by little in a mother’s womb. Nine months of little-by-little growth is our beginning. Think of us after birth. We grow by small and constant repetitive actions. A little sleep, a little food, a little exercise. Over again, a little sleep, a little food, a little exercise. And again, a little sleep, and so on. A breath. A word. Life consists of small things.

The kingdom of God, our faith, our spiritual life is based on small things. Jesus told us this great truth. The last will be the first, the humble will enter the kingdom of God. A small child, the least in our eyes are all important in Jesus’ eyes.

Let us pray: Dear Lord, help us understand the deeper meaning of the parable of the mustard seed.  Help us do small things with great love and expand your Kingdom of love. We ask this Grace through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Fr. George Vaniyapurackal

11th Sunday in Ordinary time

 

This Saturday is The Immaculate Heart of Mary

Just as devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is essential, for it highlights the redeeming love of the Incarnate Word, so also is devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, since it emphasizes the co-redeeming love of the Mother of God.

Unlike the Heart of Jesus, the Heart of Mary does not participate in the hypostatic union and is, therefore, a purely human heart. It is the heart of the most perfect of creatures who took the love of God to the highest point possible and was closely united to the Heart of Jesus in a maternal and filial intimacy. This intimacy began with the Incarnation of the Word in her most pure womb, culminated with her final offering on Calvary—where She offered her Son for our salvation— and continues now in Heaven.

By the Heart of Mary, as Fr. José Maria Canal, CMF explains, “we understand her intimacy, maternal feelings, mercy and tenderness toward sinners.” For Pope Pius XII it is “a symbol of all interior life, whose moral perfection, merits and virtues are beyond all human understanding!”

Pius XII also emphasizes this maternal Heart’s compassion: “The Most Pure Heart of the Virgin [is the] seat of that love, compassion and all most lofty affections that participated so much in our redemption, especially when She ‘stabat iuxta Crucem,’ stood vigilantly next to the Cross.” (cf. John 19:25)

Could St. Paul’s Catholic School be right for your child, relative, friend or neighbor?

Catholic education systems have been proven over time, and by surveys and many studies, to offer numerous advantages compared to other forms of education. Catholic school graduates perform better academically, are more civically engaged, more committed to service as adults and more likely to practice their Catholic faith than students educated in the public school system.

Could SPCS be right for your child, relative, friend or neighbor? We know the very best testimony for our school is the personal recommendation from parishioners, friends and alumni. We are currently enrolling students for grades pre-kindergarten 3, voluntary pre-K 4 (VPK), and kindergarten through 8th grade.

Please watch our video to see what SPCS has to offer!

We strive to keep this exemplary education affordable, and worry that many families are unaware of the financial aid that is available. Recently signed legislation has expanded the scope of private and state-assisted funding to reach many more families through the following programs:

1)  Family Empowerment Scholarships – a family of four can earn up to $99,375; 5 member families $116,400, and 6 members $133,425. The complete scale is on the reverse of this letter. All military families, regardless of income, qualify for full funding. All siblings of students that qualify for the Gardiner Scholarship qualify regardless of income.

  1. Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten for 4 year olds – state funded, and not income based.

3) McKay Scholarships – students that are 5 years old by September and have a disability     documented by an Individual Education Plan or a 504 Plan may be eligible. As disabilities range in complexity, SPCS is not suitable for every McKay student, but please talk with us about your specific student.  Funding is not income based.

4)  Parish Scholarships – we strive to not turn away any parish family that wishes a Catholic education for their child. In conjunction with the FACTS Grant & Aid program, we search for an attainable family contribution for those unable to pay the full amount, thanks to the generosity of parishioners current and past. Indeed, if you would like to establish a forever family legacy with such a scholarship, please contact us.

Please visit our website at spsjax.org or contact us at 904-387-2841. Let’s discuss what we have to offer, and arrange a school tour or interview.

St. Paul’s COVID Protocols Updates & Changes

Effective the week of May 24:

  • The ribbons have been removed from the pews.
  • Vaccinated parishioners and guests are no longer required to wear a mask.
  • For your safety, unvaccinated attendees should wear a mask.
  • Four (4) Eucharistic ministers will be distributing Holy Communion; two in front and two at the back-middle. Parishioners should walk to the EM, by row, to receive communion.
  • Eucharistic ministers will be wearing masks when distributing communion.
  • Please continue to receive Holy Communion in your hands.
  • Those who wish to receive communion on the tongue should come to the altar rail after Mass to receive it from the priest.

Reflection:

So how do I let go of my anger? Generally, I bring it
to prayer. The complaints come unbidden, so I
might as well integrate it into prayer. What I’ve
found helpful is to balance anger with gratitude.
Near the end of my daily give-away year, I decided
to intentionally note one thing each day that I was
grateful for and to do this during morning prayer. I
call this my “gratitude offensive.”
It’s been a good experience for me. As soon as I
start fretting about the ills of our society, I call to
mind that at least I have electricity and running water,
or that we finally decided on which car to buy
and had the money to buy it, or that my back pain
and cold left in time for me to enjoy a dance weekend,
or that there’s a gentle breeze today, or . . . If
it’s a person I feel angry toward, I’ve taken it to
confession and forced myself to think of a positive
quality that person possesses and then hold him or
her in prayer. This may take a lot of repetition. I
keep reminding myself: Don’t quibble over small
stuff; let it go, and substitute gratitude. Remember
Rule of Thumb #10, Part 1: Forgive others. It will lift
your spirit.

Adoration Reflection

A MATTER OF TIME?
I told myself I didn’t have time
to stop along the way
And visit The Blessed Sacrament
perhaps I’d stop some day.
And then one day I finally stopped
my conscience to appease
I found some time to spend with Him
and thought that He’d be pleased
But as I prayed, The Lord said” Child
it hurts to be ignored
your tepid faith has pierced My Heart
much deeper than the sword”
“You treat Me with indifference
and wound My Heart a new
“But I took the time to die
“upon The Cross for you”
Although He’d waited patiently
I passed on by each day
And now I saw how wrong I was
how selfish were my ways.
My eyes were filled with tears
how could I be so blind?
To stop and visit Him was more
than just a matter of time.

Spiritual Communion Prayer

An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus,
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.

Amen.

Lenten Fish Fry- Yummeee

Please join us every Friday starting February 19th until March 26th for our delicious TAKE OUT ONLY Fish Fry Dinner.

Please place your orders EARLY by clicking on the link below:

https://knights-of-columbus-council-15132.square.site/

It is a community event sponsored by our Knights of Columbus.

$9.00 per person- $5.00 per Child

C’mon!

**  Check out the pictures for our Fish Fry in the PHOTO GALLERY.

To view the live stream Mass on Facebook - Sunday at 11:00 am - click here