November 7—13, 2021 is National Vocation Awareness Week
Top Five Things to Promote Vocations For all Catholics:
1. Pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. If we want more priests, sisters and brothers, we all need to ask.
2. Teach young people how to pray. Pope Benedict XVI said that unless we teach our youth how to pray, they will never hear God calling them into a deeper relationship with Him and into the discipleship of the Church.
3. Invite active young adults and teens to consider a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life.
4. Make it attractive. Show the priesthood for what it truly is – a call to be a spiritual father to the whole family of faith. Similarly, the consecrated life for a young woman is a call to be united to Christ in a unique way.
5. Preach it, brother! Vocations must be talked about regularly if a “vocation culture” is to take root in parishes and homes. This means, first and foremost, the people need to hear about vocations from priests through homilies, prayers of the faithful, and discussions in the classroom. Let’s Pray Please ask Our Lord for more dedicated, holy priests, deacons, and consecrated men and women. May they be inspired by Jesus Christ, supported by our faith community, and respond generously to God’s gift of vocation.
The USCCB theme for 2021-22 is “St. Joseph, defender of life.” For resources visit www.respectlife.org. Here are some events happening in our diocese this month:
• Respecting Life Begins With Me Program Oct. 1-31 – Developmental respect life program for youth in the Diocese of St. Augustine at elementary schools, religious education and home school programs throughout the month of October.
• Respect Life Weekend Oct. 2-3 – Be aware of your parish’s recognition and attention to Life issues.
• Life Chain Sunday Oct. 3 – Life Chains are taking place throughout the diocese! Contact your parish if they are holding a Life Chain event or participate at a parish near you. For information about Life Chain Sunday visit www.lifechain.org
• National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day Oct. 15. •
Masses for the Precious Ones – Mass on Oct. 24, at 11:30 a.m. at the Sante Fe Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche, High Springs, and on Nov. 7, at 1:00 p.m. at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios in St. Augustine.
• Congreso Pro Vida Oct. 29-30 – State Respect Life Conference, Miami. For more information visit www.congresoprovida.com.
For the believer, everything in nature is a love-note from God! The real God is not impersonal but rather the great lover who chooses to create in order to convey ‘boundless affection’ for us. Sky, light, clouds, living things –the delicacy of the flower; the play of the wind on your cheek –these are the ‘caresses of God’. God is very close indeed: the big secret is that we walk the world of the divine all the time. Never to be awestruck is to miss out on the richness of life. Allow yourself to experience some of the caresses of God today!
–Excerpted from Finding God in a Leaf by Brian Grogan
Each time I pray the words of the Serenity Prayer, I am reminded of how I am not in control of my life or the people and situations around me. All that we have control of is ourselves and our reactions.
Dear God, teach me that serenity is not about having life go the way I want, but learning radical acceptance in all things. Show me what it means to let go of control and how I want things. Teach me to get out of the way, so your love and life can be made more manifest in my life. Show me what it means to surrender myself and my plans to your will for me. Amen.
Are there situations or people in my life I am trying to control? Ask Jesus what he has to say about this.
St Paul’s Riverside will honor our Healthcare Heroes at a special event on Friday, October 1, 2021. We appreciatively invite all those who are serving our community during the Covid-19 pandemic to attend a special mass at 6:00 pm, followed by a family dinner in the hall.
The doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists, therapists, researchers, support staff, and first responders who are working in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living and hospice care centers are going through a tough, stressful time. They need our prayers, support, appreciation, and acknowledgement for their care, commitment, and tireless work for those in need.
This event is open to everyone who serves in the health care system — Catholics and non-Catholics, parishioners and non-parishioners, active and retired–as well as members of their families, upon whose love and support they relay.
Please RSVP by Sunday, September 26 by calling the parish office at 904-387-2554 or emailing Kathy.firstname.lastname@example.org
On this weekend, when we rest from our usual labors, loving Father, we pray for all who shoulder the tasks of
human labor—in the marketplace, in factories and offices, in the professions, and in family living. We
thank you, Lord, for the gift and opportunity of work; may our efforts always be pure of heart, for the good
of others and the glory of your name.
We lift up to you all who long for just employment and those who work to defend the rights and needs of workers everywhere. May those of us who are now retired always
remember that we still make a valuable contribution to our Church and our world by our prayers and deeds of
charity. May our working and our resting all give praise to you until the day we share together in eternal
rest with all our departed in your Kingdom as you live and reign Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, forever
and ever. Amen.
This journey of life is filled with such beauty at times. We could all do with slowing down and appreciating that beauty more often. Too often we allow it
to pass us by without recognition.
We do sometimes catch it, though. Sometimes, we realize we are in the presence of beauty and we allow ourselves to freeze time – to stay in that presence. In those moments, we are conscious enough to really experience beauty. While these moments may not come very often, when they do, they are often very emotional.
They connect us to a central truth that no matter what suffering there is in the world (and there is suffering in this world) and in our lives (there is and
will be suffering in our lives), there is also beauty. We cannot explain why it is so, we can only accept that it is so.
Excerpted from Finding God in the Mess: Meditations for Mindful Living by Jim Deeds and Brendan McManus
On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary to be a dogma of faith: “We pronounce,
declare and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma that the immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin
Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory.” The
pope proclaimed this dogma only after a broad consultation of bishops, theologians and laity. There were few
dissenting voices. What the pope solemnly declared was already a common belief in the Catholic Church.
We find homilies on the Assumption going back to the sixth century. In following centuries, the Eastern
Churches held steadily to the doctrine, but some authors in the West were hesitant. However by the 13th
century there was universal agreement. The feast was celebrated under various names—Commemoration,
Dormition, Passing, Assumption—from at least the fifth or sixth century. Today it is celebrated as a solemnity.
Scripture does not give an account of Mary’s assumption into heaven. Nevertheless, Revelation 12 speaks of
a woman who is caught up in the battle between good and evil. Many see this woman as God’s people. Since
Mary best embodies the people of both Old and New Testaments, her assumption can be seen as an exemplification of the woman’s victory.
Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 15:20, Paul speaks of Christ’s resurrection as the first fruits of those who have
fallen asleep. Since Mary is closely associated with all the mysteries of Jesus’ life, it is not surprising that the Holy Spirit has led
the Church to believe in Mary’s share in his glorification. So close was she to Jesus on earth, she must be with
him body and soul in heaven.
This world we live in can be very distracting. Everything gets broken down or torn apart, important
concepts are shredded into little bits and pieces. Prayer, and particularly contemplation, allows you
to enter into the heart of God knowing that this world beats as one, that there’s a harmony in the world.
You are more than broken bits and pieces and individual parts. To be at peace you have to see the whole,
get the picture of the whole, get the sense of the whole, and it is prayer and contemplation that helps
you achieve this.
Excerpted from Dipping Into Life by Alan Hilliard (p. 21)
So often we get caught up in the day to day rush of life that we forget to stop and soak in the many
blessings that surround us. But it is often in those individual moments that we can find true joy.
Dear God, you have blessed us with so many gifts and we have so much for which to be grateful.
Help us remember to acknowledge those blessings and give thanks for them.
Written by Susan Hines-Brigger
All three Synoptic Gospels tell the story of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-9; Luke 9:28-36). With remarkable agreement, all three place the event shortly after Peter’s confession of faith that Jesus is the Messiah and Jesus’ first prediction of his passion and death. Peter’s eagerness to erect tents or booths on the spot suggests it occurred during the week-long Jewish Feast of Booths in the fall.
According to Scripture scholars, in spite of the texts’ agreement it is difficult to reconstruct the disciples’ experience, because the Gospels draw heavily on Old Testament descriptions of the Sinai encounter with God, and prophetic visions of the Son of Man. Certainly Peter, James, and John had a glimpse of Jesus’ divinity strong enough to strike fear into their hearts. Such an experience defies description, so they drew on familiar religious language to describe it. And certainly Jesus warned them that his glory and his suffering were to be inextricably connected—a theme John highlights throughout his Gospel.
Tradition names Mount Tabor as the site of the revelation. A church first raised there in the fourth century was dedicated on August 6. A feast in honor of the Transfiguration was celebrated in the Eastern Church from about that time. Western observance began in some localities about the eighth century. On July 22, 1456, Crusaders defeated the Turks at Belgrade. News of the victory reached Rome on August 6, and Pope Callistus III placed the feast on the Roman calendar the following year