The Sheepfold

Feast of the Presentation of Jesus and Day of Consicrated Life

i Feb 2nd No Comments by

Today it is 40 days after Christmas!  Today we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, Candlemass; World day of Consecrated Life.

February 2, 2019 (Celebrated in Parishes February 2-3)
In 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. This Feast is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples. The celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life is transferred to the following Sunday in order to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church.

Today’s Gospel is from Luke 2:22-39:

22And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, 28he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, 29″Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; 30for mine eyes have seen thy salvation 31which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel.” 33And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; 34and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against 35(and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.” 36And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan’u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, 37and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 38And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. 39And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. 40And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

The Gospel of the Lord! Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ!

Have a Blessed Weekend!

A very Merry Christmas! Happy Birthday Jesus!

i Dec 25th No Comments by

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Jesus!

I have always loved this Solemnity and I have great memories of it throughout the years!  While we put up the tree and my dad loved to play Santa Clause whenever needed at a church function; Midnight Mass was the main attraction!  And yes I do remember Midnight Mass as a child, Immaculate Conception in Omaha being the ones I remember best even though the last one I attended there were 1976 at age 7.  In my teen years I was organist at Christmas Eve and Midnight Mass at St. Jude’s and St. Elizabeth’s in Florida.  Of course last night at St. Mary’s Cathedral in GI was also memorable.  

For most of the children in the home who have never celebrated Christmas with us, it is a new experience.  It can also be a sad and emotional time, if separated from siblings or this being the first time away from family at Christmas.  Sometimes Christmas wasn’t pleasant.  I always pray that the baby Jesus bring them healing, peace and joy on His birthday and throughout the Christmas Season!  Christmas Eve Mass is new to them and we do pictures by the Creche and trees in Church after Mass.  I go back for Midnight Mass while my mom and the children sleep!

Christmas day we stay home and relax and build positive memories.  Stockings are at each persons place at the table and those are explored first!  Then over to the Christmas Tree where there are presents for everyone, pets included!

Then Christmas Breakfast and I work on Christmas dinner while the children enjoy their new toys!  Usually play outside sometime and close the day with a light supper and 1 decade of the 3rd Joyful Mystery!  Of course there is birthday cake for dessert!

Yes, we do teach the children how to properly use breakable dishes!  This doesn’t stifle the children, but is a tangible way for them to learn that there are things that are special and we use special dishes for those special meals!  Helps to reinforce that they are special and need to be treated with care and respect; as well taking care of our things and the things around us; as they are gifted to our use by the Trinity!

I love the image of going to Bethlehem and seeing baby Jesus in the manger with Mary and Joseph, the animals, shepherds and angels!  I always nice to imagine getting to hold baby Jesus!

May the Christ Child bless you and your family this Christmas Season!

Sister Catherine

 

 

1st Sunday of Advent

i Dec 2nd No Comments by

The beginning of Advent is the beginning of the Church Year!  So Happy New Year as well!

We started our Jesse Tree a few days early this year, being that the 4th week of Advent is so short.  I ‘ve learned that the children in the home don’t do so well with doing 7 bible stories and coloring 7 ornaments in 2 days.  This way once we get to the 4th week of Advent we should be at about the right place to finish up on time.  On Christmas Eve our Jesse Tree becomes a second Christmas Tree.

The 1st Reading and Gospel for Today:

Reading 1
Jer 33:14-16
The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah.
In those days, in that time,
I will raise up for David a just shoot ; he shall do what is right and just in the land.
In those days Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem shall dwell secure; this is what they shall call her:
“The LORD our justice.”

Gospel
Lk 21:25-28, 34-36
Jesus said to his disciples:
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Some Saints this week:

St. Francis Xavier, St. John Damascene, St. Peter Chrysologus, St. Nicholas, The Immaculate Conception!  We have already watched the DVD on St. Nicholas and will put up stockings for Dec. 6th rather than shoes.

 

 

 

All Hallows Eve, All Saints and All Souls

i Oct 30th No Comments by

All Hallows Eve or better known as Halloween, starts these 3 days, ending the month of October and beginning November.  I love how these 3 Gospels speak of the Saints and the Souls recently deceased.

Gospel  (Oct. 31)
Lk 13:22-30
Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
He answered them,  “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’
He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’
Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’
And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out.
And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the Kingdom of God.
For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

Gospel (Nov.1)
Mt 5:1-12a

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.  He began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”

Gospel (Nov. 2)
Jn 6:37-40
Jesus said to the crowds:
“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”

Some of my favorite Saints… St. Catherine of Alexandra, Catherine of Siena, St. Therese the Little Flower, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Bl. Chiara, St. John Bosco, St. Dominic Savio, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Clare, St. Joseph, and of course Our Blessed Mother, Mary!

Feast of the Archangels Gabriel, Michael and Raphael

i Sep 28th No Comments by

I hope everyone has had a good week and is having a good weekend!

I love this feast day along with Guardian Angels on Oct. 2!  I thought this was good for those who wonder who are the Archangels and how do we have names for them!

Angels are celestial or heavenly beings. They are pure created spirits and have no bodies. They are messengers of God.
Archangels are one of the nine choirs of angels listed in the Bible. The nine choirs or classes are Angels, Archangels, Principalities, Powers, Virtues, Dominions, Thrones, Cherubim, and Seraphim.
The three Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are the only angels named in the Holy Bible and all three have important roles in the history of salvation. Michael protects; Gabriel announces; Raphael guides.
The Feast of Archangels is celebrated on September 29th. Here is a prayer to the three Archangels.
Heavenly Father, you have given us archangels to assist us during our pilgrimage on earth.
Saint Michael is our protector, I ask him to come to my aid, fight for all my loved ones, and protect us from danger.
Saint Gabriel is a messenger for the Good News, I ask him to help me clearly, hear your voice and to teach me the truth.
Saint Raphael is the healing angel, I ask him to take my need for healing and that of everyone I know, lift it up to your throne of grace and deliver back to us the gift of recovery.
Help us O Lord to realize more fully the reality of the archangels and their desire to serve us. Holy Angels pray for us.
Amen

Triumph of the Cross/Our Lady of Sorrows

i Sep 14th No Comments by

Today we celebrated the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross!

Reading 2
Phil 2:6-11
Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

The Word of the Lord!  Thanks be to God!

Whenever we make the sign of the Cross over ourselves it is like making a big invisible shield to protect us!  Jesus also tells us in Scripture to “take up our cross and follow Him”  where to?  To victory and one day to Heaven!

Ever notice that the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross is surrounded by Marian Feast days?!  Sept. 8 Birthday of Mary, Sept. 12 Holy Name of Mary and Sept. 15 Our Lady of Sorrows!  Our Mother is trying to tell us that her triumph is in the Cross of her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ!

Have a Blessed Weekend!

Sister Catherine Nagl

22nd Sunday in Ordianary Time

i Sep 2nd No Comments by

Hello Everyone and welcome to September!

Gospel
Mk 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
—For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,
do not eat without carefully washing their hands, keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace  they do not eat without purifying themselves.
And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,
the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds. —
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,
“Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”
He responded,
“Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written:
This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.
You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”

He summoned the crowd again and said to them,
“Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.

“From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.”

The Gospel of the Lord!  Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ!

We need to remember the cleansing power of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in our lives!

Tomorrow, Monday in the United States we celebrate Labor Day.  We honor it by not working or going to school on that day.  To me this day has a spiritual meaning as well for all people.  Work or “labor” is good for us.  It is not the result of Original Sin. God worked when he created the world and universe and all created things; and rested on the 7th day.  See Gen. 1:1-2:3  We see next in Scripture that “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.” Gen. 2:15  This is before the 1st sin and to till and keep a large garden is work.  Now at this time the work was not as hard as it became after Original Sin, cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. Gen. 3:17b-18.  So work has always been, but after Original Sin it because hard.    We also “work out our Salvation”.  Yes Christ died for us and opened the gates of Heaven for us, but we are to “take up our cross and follow Him”.  We see in Scripture; So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. James 2:17 and “for as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.” James 2:26

Have a good and Blessed Week!  Some Saints for this week: Pope Gregory and the Birthday of Mary!

 

Sr. Catherine Nagl

 

St. Monica and St. Augustine

i Aug 27th No Comments by

Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Monica and tomorrow her son St. Augustine.  We know about St. Monica from her son St. Augustine.  I found this about the Saints at St. Francis media.

Saint Monica’s Story
The circumstances of Saint Monica’s life could have made her a nagging wife, a bitter daughter-in-law, and a despairing parent, yet she did not give way to any of these temptations. Although she was a Christian, her parents gave her in marriage to a pagan, Patricius, who lived in her hometown of Tagaste in North Africa. Patricius had some redeeming features, but he had a violent temper and was licentious. Monica also had to bear with a cantankerous mother-in-law who lived in her home. Patricius criticized his wife because of her charity and piety, but always respected her. Monica’s prayers and example finally won her husband and mother-in-law to Christianity. Her husband died in 371, one year after his baptism.
Monica had at least three children who survived infancy. The oldest, Augustine, is the most famous. At the time of his father’s death, Augustine was 17 and a rhetoric student in Carthage. Monica was distressed to learn that her son had accepted the Manichean heresy—”all flesh is evil”—and was living an immoral life. For a while, she refused to let him eat or sleep in her house. Then one night she had a vision that assured her Augustine would return to the faith. From that time on, she stayed close to her son, praying and fasting for him. In fact she often stayed much closer than Augustine wanted.
When he was 29, Augustine decided to go to Rome to teach rhetoric. Monica was determined to go along. One night he told his mother that he was going to the dock to say goodbye to a friend. Instead he set sail for Rome. Monica was heartbroken when she learned of Augustine’s trick, but she still followed him. She arrived in Rome only to find that he had left for Milan. Although travel was difficult, Monica pursued him to Milan.
In Milan, Augustine came under the influence of the bishop, Saint Ambrose, who also became Monica’s spiritual director. She accepted his advice in everything and had the humility to give up some practices that had become second nature to her. Monica became a leader of the devout women in Milan as she had been in Tagaste.
She continued her prayers for Augustine during his years of instruction. At Easter 387, Saint Ambrose baptized Augustine and several of his friends. Soon after, his party left for Africa. Although no one else was aware of it, Monica knew her life was near the end. She told Augustine, “Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight. I do not know what there is now left for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled.” She became ill shortly after and suffered severely for nine days before her death.
Almost all we know about St. Monica is in the writings of Saint Augustine, especially his Confessions.

So mother’s and grandmother’s pray for your children and grandchildren daily!  I have a home for children and I pray for the children in the home twice daily as well as for those who have lived in the home and those who will be living in the home!

Have a Blessed Week!

Sr. Catherine Nagl

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

i Nov 27th No Comments by

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend!  We are at the end of the day, the feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal!

(I apologize, it wouldn’t let me rotate the picture!)

This was my dad’s medal.  He received it in Rome when Pope Pius XII blessed him.  He wore it every day after that until his death in 1989!  One of the stories that goes with this medal is that in 1983 my dad was diagnosed with an aortic aneurism.  It was on a Friday and the doctors didn’t think his heard would withstand the surgery so they sent him home to be on bedrest and directions as to what to watch for.  On Saturday morning my dad told my mom that he felt some tingling in the area of the aneurism.  My mom called the hospital and they said to bring him in.  At the hospital it was confirmed that the aneurism had started leaking, which meant surgery was needed.  The doctors asked my dad what he wanted them to do, for they were not sure his heart would withstand major surgery, but he would die without it.  I am sure my dad said a prayer before answering and said to do the surgery.

After surgery the surgeon came to the waiting room to let my mom know my dad had made it through surgery and had something to show her.  He put into her hand my dad’s Miraculous Medal and the surgeon said that it wasn’t his skill but my dad’s faith that pulled him through the surgery!  He said after surgery the nurse noticed that my dad had his hand clinched. (this should be impossible during a 5 hour surgery)  They had to pry open his hand and found the Miraculous Medal!  No one on the surgical team noticed that he took it off and kept it.

Needless to say my dad not only made it through surgery, but also recovered so well that the doctors talked to him about having a triple bypass surgery the following year  and he lived 5 years after that!

I’ve always liked that Miraculous Medal story!  He prayed the Rosary daily and had a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus!

This past Sunday was the Feast of Christ the King!  Next Sunday begins the Advent Season!

May you have a Blessed Week!

 

 

Guardian Angels!

i Oct 2nd No Comments by

Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here.  Ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide.  Amen.

I hope everyone had a lovely feast of the Guardian Angels!  Of course September 29 was the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, and between all these angels one of my favorite Saints…St. Therese the Little Flower!

It is so true that God gives each and every one of us a Guardian Angel to be ours from the moment of conception to forever!  I say the guardian angel prayer daily and talk with my angel like I do the Saints!

Of course to have the names of 3 of the Archangel in Scripture and some examples of how they help us on a regular basis!

Tied in with all of this is October is Right to Life month.  Reminding us that all life if important from conception to natural death, and of course in the Light of Christ we are cared for too!

It is also the month of Mary, the month of the Rosary.  A meditation of the life of Christ from the moment Gabriel came to Mary clear through to the Queenship of Mary!