St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Psalm 19

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Pope to Inmates: ‘I Come Not Only as a Pastor, But as a Brother’

Rome, September 27, 2015

Meeting with inmates at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, Pope Francis said that he came to visit them not only as a pastor but as a brother.

Immediately following his meeting with Bishops…

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St Francis and the Blessing of Animals

It is no hidden thing that St Francis loved animals. He treated all Gods’ creatures with respect and love because God loves them all. All animals have a purpose and St Francis saw himself as in harmony with all of them. God created animals out of love, too. Humanity was to name them and take care of them. It was all part of God’s plan that the dominion humanity was to have over animals was to be that of care.

He also gave us animals as a blessing to us. We do not have to look far to find the companionship they offer us. God is so good to us to give them for our good. So we ask God to bless them as they continue to be a blessing to us. October 4 is the feast day of St Francis. This is the day that we traditionally get our animals blessed. There will be a special blessing for our pets after the 10:30 Mass on Sunday, October 4, at St Joseph Church, in the parking lot between the church and the school. The blessing will be at noon. Come with the wagging tails, purrs and any other noises your pets may make and get them blessed. If you cannot get them there or think they would not do well around all the other animals, you can call the office for Fr. Barr to come to your home and bless them.

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Pope to Americans: Defend Your Religious Liberty

Philadelphia, September 26, 2015

Pope Francis told Americans this afternoon to defend their religious liberty, because it is a gift that has been given them by God himself.

The Pope said this during an address given in Philadelphia at Independence Hall during the last full day of his US-Cuba trip.

The Holy Father said that…

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Family Is the Most Beautiful Thing God Made, Says Pope Francis

Philadelphia, September 26, 2015     

At the World Meeting of Families this evening, Pope Francis left aside his prepared address to speak about the truth, goodness and beauty of God, and the truth, goodness and beauty of families.

After a handful of musical performances and presentations from families representing a variety of places and situations, Pope Francis enthusiastically addressed the crowd to tell them…

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Sacramental Policy

One of my privileges of being a pastor is getting to know the people of the parish. We have such a diversity of people and cultures; I find it fascinating to hear the stories from them all. Everyone is so precious in God’s eyes and this reality never escapes me. In the time that I have been here, I have gotten to know some people well, but not all. This is my own fault. I need to get to know the rest of you better. In order to do this, I will be involved in all sacraments, especially marriage and baptism. Diocesan Policy requires you to get my permission to use another priest.  I will be conducting the preparation work for all weddings and baptisms, even when I allow another priest to celebrate the sacraments.

One way for me to get to know you better would be to have me bless your home. I am always available after Mass and would love to talk with you and give you a blessing. I look forward to getting to know more of you and offer my prayers for you. God bless you!