St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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

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January 1, A Holy Day

It is great to know that January 1 is a day off because it is the solemnity of Holy Mary, Mother of God. So what if the rest of the world thinks it is new years day. This day is commemorated in celebration of Jesus being declared true God and true man by making a declaration that he is divine and declaring Mary His mother. Theotokos is the specific word they used in describing this. Come and find out more about this great feast day by coming to mass on this holy day of obligation.

Here is the schedule we have at St Joseph and St Mary Churches in Freeport:

Dec, 31, 2013

4pm Mass at St Mary Church

5:30pm at St Joseph Church

January 1, 2014

8am Mass at St Mary Church

10:30am Mass at St Joseph Church

12 noon Mass at St Mary Church, (Spanish)

We are also having Eucharistic adoration from 11:30pm till 12:30am (1 hour) to celebrate the “new year” for those who wish to spend it with Jesus.



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Pope to Give Thanks for Graces of 2013

Vatican City,      December 30, 2013

On Tuesday evening, December 31 at 5:00 p.m. local time in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis will preside at a celebration of Vespers (Evening prayer of the Church) that will include the singing of the Te Deum prayer.

The Te Deum, also sometimes called the Ambrosian Hymn because of its association with St. Ambrose, is a traditional hymn of joy and thanksgiving. …

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Holy Mary, Mother of God

This coming Wednesday is the great feast day of Holy Mary, Mother of God. It is a holy day of obligation. But why? It is not as if this day has anything to do with Our Lord and Savior, Jesus; right?

In the year 431, the Council of Ephesus declared Mary, “Theotokos”. They did so because of the many false teachings about Jesus at that time. Some of the heresies taught that Jesus was merely human and was not in fact God. Others taught that Jesus was really God, but not really human. The problem with these false teachings is that if Jesus was not God, then God did not so love the world to send His only begotten Son. The teaching of our faith would lose its hope. If Jesus was God, and not human, then God did not really unite Himself with Humanity, suffer and die for us. If He did not die for us, we will not rise with Him. This makes our faith void of any meaning.

There was much more to the arguments being made at the time. But for the reasons they had, the decided to declare who Mary was in order to make a definitive statement on Jesus. “Theo” is Greek for “God”, and the word “Tokos” beans “bearer” (as in, “gave birth to”). Because we do not believe that Mary gave birth to any other child, she gave birth to God in Jesus. This means that Jesus is divine in nature. But saying that Mary, a human, gave birth to Jesus means that He shares in the same nature of the one who gave birth to Him. Humans give birth to humans. If a human gave birth to a lizard, elephant or alien, then we would say there is something wrong with that. It would be unnatural. Human mothers give birth to human babies. So it is with Mary, she gave birth to a Son, Jesus. This Jesus shares in His mother’s humanity. So Jesus did not just come to save us as some sort of exterior force, but He became one of us and renews us from within.

This is our foundation to all our understanding of who Mary is. She is a creature, created by God, to bring the only begotten Son into this world. She was chosen, like all of us are chosen and irreplaceable. God does not use us for His plan and then throw us aside once He is done using us. God has a specific plan for every person. It is a plan of goodness for the goodness of ourselfves and all of humanity. God chose you the spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and even friends he has given and in store for you. Why would it be different for Jesus? The heavenly Father chose Mary to be the Mother of Jesus. He also chose her to be our mother also. Thank you heavenly Father!

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On the Holy Family

Vatican City,      December 29, 2013

Here is the translation of the Holy Father’s address before and after the recitation of the Angelus today to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Dear brothers and sisters, hello!

On this first Sunday after Christmas, the liturgy invites us to celebrate the feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth. In fact, every crèche scene shows us Jesus together with Our Lady and St. Joseph in the grotto of Bethlehem. God wanted to be born in a human family, he wanted to have a mother and a father like us. …–4?utm_campaign=dailyhtml&utm_medium=email&utm_source=dispatch