St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Keeping the Faith

We are asking all Catholics in Stephenson County to join together with us, The Knights of Columbus of Stephenson County, on Facebook. Only through unification can all Catholic men, women and children join together to build and strengthen our church and beliefs.
Joining with us provides a platform where you can see how we are impacting our community at each council, each church and school. We are asking you to help make our Catholic Family strong and it only takes two minutes to like and follow us on The Knights of Columbus of Stephenson County Facebook page.
We are inviting you as Catholics to post what you do for volunteering: births, to baptisms, and marriages, from church and school events to information which impacts Catholics in our community. Our strength comes from our God, our Church, our Catholic families, our Catholic community, and sharing what we do, as Catholics in action.

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1. “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Lk 24:45). This was one of the final acts of the risen Lord before his Ascension. Jesus appeared to the assembled disciples, broke bread with them and opened their minds to the understanding of the sacred Scriptures. To them, amid their fear and bewilderment, he unveiled the meaning of the paschal mystery: that in accordance with the Father’s eternal plan he had to suffer and rise from the dead, in order to bring repentance and the forgiveness of sins (cf. Lk 24:26.46-47). He then promised to send the Holy Spirit, who would give them strength to be witnesses of this saving mystery (cf. Lk 24:49).
The relationship between the Risen Lord, the community of believers and sacred Scripture is essential to our identity as Christians. Without the Lord who opens our minds to them, it is impossible to understand the Scriptures in depth. Yet the contrary is equally true: without the Scriptures, the events of the mission of Jesus and of his Church in this world would remain incomprehensible. Hence, Saint Jerome could rightly claim: “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” (Commentary on the Book of Isaiah, Prologue: PL 24,17B). Continue reading

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Symbolism in the Church #32

The round windows up high in the sanctuary are from left to right: a Chalice and the cross, a skull, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a scale in the center, a harp, a dove with the olive branch and an ominous eye.   Continue reading

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Domingo XXXII tiempo ordinario ciclo C 2019

La trampa saducea, es decir la pregunta con la que los saduceos querían dejar en ridículo a Jesús, suponía dos cosas: la primera, que ellos no creían en la resurrección de los muertos y la segunda, que pensaban que Jesús tenía un concepto totalmente equivocado de lo que realmente era la resurrección. Jesús no creía que los que resucitan vayan a vivir en la otra vida como habían vivido en esta. En la otra vida no hay tiempo, ni espacio, y, consecuentemente, el que vive en la eternidad, ya no puede morir nunca, porque allí no habrá ni un antes, ni un después, todo es un eterno ahora. Dios está siempre vivo, porque la esencia de Dios es ser, Dios es “el que es”. Toda persona que practica conscientemente una religión –y somos millones de personas los que practicamos alguna religión- cree en la resurrección. Creer o no creer en la resurrección es una cuestión de fe, no es producto de un argumento racional y empírico. Lo que está claro es que los que creemos en la resurrección creemos que Dios es un ser vivo, eternamente vivo, y que da y otorga vida a los que creen en él. Si resucitamos en Dios, en el ser eternamente vivo, resucitamos para siempre, viviremos para siempre. Continue reading

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Father Damien of Molokai and the Holy Face

Fr. Dwight Longenecker

It is a little-known fact that Father Damien labored to established perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament among his lepers.
There’s a beautiful little scene in the film about St. Damien of Molokai. The saint has volunteered to be the one priest to serve the lepers on the island colony of Molokai.
Knowing that he is likely to contract the disease, Father Damien sails to the island and enters the village. He finds the lepers are abandoned, depressed, alcoholic and fighting among themselves. Then he goes into the tiny church only to find that it is a wreck. …

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Government forcing churches to pay for abortions again

A California church is standing up against a state law that forces churches to fund the killing of unborn babies in abortions.

On Monday, lawyers for Skyline Wesleyan Church in La Mesa urged the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold religious freedom and stop the government from forcing the church to cover abortions in its employee health insurance plans, City News Service reports. …

Church Fights in Court to Stop California Mandate Forcing Churches to Fund Abortions

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Archdiocese of the Military

Serving Those Who Serve
Next weekend our parish will take up the Collection for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS). Established by St John Paul II in 1985, the AMS is the only US diocese responsible for providing pastoral care to men and women serving in the US Armed Forces, enrolled at a US Military Academy, being treated as a patient at any of the 153 US Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, or working for the federal government beyond US borders – including those from our own parish and diocese. AMS priests and deacons serve approximately 1.8 million Catholics, including families, who hail from 50 states and US territories. While the salaries and retirement of Catholic military chaplains are paid for by the US Government, the AMS does not receive any funding from the government or military for program and administrative costs. To learn more about the AMS, go to Please give generously.