St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

What's new for St Joseph and St Mary Parishes!

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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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Project Rachel: Post-Abortion Healing Ministry

Hope after Abortion – Is your soul aching? Do you feel broken, sad and alone? There is hope after abortion. Open your heart and allow Christ to enter, heal and restore. Contact Project Rachel Post-Abortion Healing Ministry for confidential referrals to trained clergy, professional counselors, retreats and/or information on steps to healing:
(815) 387-3379 or
Visit Peace starts here.

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Want to Become Catholic? Not Confirmed?

Come to our RCIA (Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults) classes starting Sunday, September 8. The classes are from 12:30pm-2:00pm every Sunday in the rectory at St Joseph Church. We will be going over the basic teachings of the Catholic Church with Fr Barr and our deacons. We will learn about the Catholic understanding of the Bible, the sacraments, prayers, traditions and practices. Come and discover the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith and of the love our Lord Jesus has for you.

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Symbolism in the Church #30

The altar is the main focus point of the Church. It is where Jesus is made present to us in physical form in the Eucharist. We believe that the Eucharist is the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus.
In a recent trip to Italy, one of the places we went to was Lanciano. Lanciano is a town that houses what is known to be a “Eucharistic Miracle.” In the ninth century, a priest was celebrating Mass at the altar. As he elevated the host, he doubted for a second that the host was actually Jesus. In that instant that host started to bleed. I was actually able to see this host on my last trip. But why would God have something like that happen? So that we may have faith that the Eucharist is actually Jesus in the flesh. Jesus said, “This is my body, given up for you” (Lk 22:19). The Eucharist is at the same time a meal and a sacrifice. What we see and experience is bread and wine, but at the spiritual level we encounter Jesus, whom we do not see. Continue reading

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Domingo XXIX tiempo ordinario ciclo C 2019

Estar todo el día en oración con Dios es estar todo el día en diálogo permanente con Dios. No tanto, no sólo, con el pensamiento, sino con nuestras actitudes, nuestras palabras y nuestras obras. Para expresar nuestra amistad a un amigo no es necesario que nos pasemos todo el día diciéndole al amigo que somos amigos suyos, sino demostrándoselo con nuestro comportamiento. Pues lo mismo con Dios: no es necesario que nos pasemos todo el día pidiéndole a Dios que nos ayude, es suficiente con que vivamos todo el día viviendo como hijos de Dios, como sus siervos, como sus amigos, reconociéndole Señor de nuestras vidas. Y lo que tenemos que pedirle a Dios todos los días es que yo haga su voluntad, no que él haga la mía. Si Dios es nuestro amigo y nuestro señor, es seguro que él quiere siempre lo mejor para nosotros; nosotros lo que tenemos que hacer es querer también que esa voluntad de Dios se cumpla en nosotros. Debemos quererlo con confianza y con amor, aunque muchas veces nos cueste entender que la voluntad de Dios es lo mejor para nosotros. Si vivimos todos los días como auténticos hijos de Dios, como sus amigos, debemos confiar en él, más que en nosotros mismos. Ya sé que esto, en determinados momentos adversos, no es algo fácil, pero es necesario, dentro de una auténtica teología del amor de Dios. Sí, como la viuda del evangelio, como el mismo Cristo en el Huerto de los Olivos, tenemos derecho a gritar a Dios que nos ayude, pero no olvidemos nunca de terminar nuestra oración diciendo: <hágase tu voluntad y no la mía>. Continue reading

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St. Anthony of Padua

“The Lord manifests Himself to those who stop for some time in peace and humility of heart. If you look in murky and turbulent waters, you cannot see the reflection of your face. If you want to see the face of Christ, stop and collect your thoughts in silence, and close the door of your soul to the noise of external things.”

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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 from 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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Talks on An Amazing Pilgrimage…

Fr Barr will be giving a talk on his amazing pilgrimage to France and Italy. There will be two Sunday evenings, October 27 in St Joseph Church and November 3 at 5:30pm in St Mary Church. He will be talking about all the places he was at. Each place has its own story. The first talk will be about France. In France, he went to Lourdes, then to see the tomb of St Thomas Aquinas (whom Aquin is named after), St Margaret Mary Alacoque (who started the Sacred Heart Devotion) and her incorrupt body, St Claude de la Colombiere, St Bernadette (who had the visions of Mary in Lourdes) and her incorrupt body, then finally to see St John Vianney and his incorrupt body. This was a one-of-a-kind pilgrimage. So many miracles and healings happened along the way as they prayed for St Mary and St Joseph parishes and all those we serve in the community. The Sunday after will be about his experience in Italy. Stay tuned to hear the rest of this incredible story.