St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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The Symbolism in St Joseph Church #3

Jesus leads us through the storms of this life: all our uncertainties, sufferings and joys, both individually and communally. Sometimes we “see how strong the wind {is, we} become frightened” (Mt 14:30) and start wondering why He is leading us to such turbulent territory. We question if He is even leading us or if He cares. But He has the helm. He has His boat under control. He is leading His Church to the safety of the dock. The winds and the waves may be pushing this old barc and our very lives around, but we still have nothing to fear as Jesus is the one who leads us. He is the one who saves us (Mt 14:30-31). Continue reading


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V domingo tiempo ordinario Ciclo C 2019

Dios nos da a todos y cada uno de nosotros una vocación común: la vocación a la santidad. Esta vocación común a todas las personas debe realizarla después cada uno mediante el cumplimiento concreto de las vocaciones temporales que también nos da el Señor. Nosotros podemos aceptar la vocación y las vocaciones que nos da el Señor, pero también podemos rechazarlas. Aceptar o no aceptar esta vocación a la santidad que Dios nos da, supone colaborar o no colaborar con Dios en la edificación de nuestro yo interior, para que se parezca lo más posible al Yo de Cristo. Colaborar con Dios supone siempre reconocer nuestra imperfección radical y aceptar que sea Dios mismo el verdadero autor de nuestra santidad. Colaborar con Dios en la construcción de nuestra propia santidad supone, pues, siempre un acto de humildad y un ejercicio de oración. La humildad es siempre el primer paso hacia la santidad; sin humildad no avanzaremos nunca hacia la santidad. Pero, a la humildad debe seguir siempre la oración transformadora para que sea Él el autor de una santidad que por nosotros mismos no podríamos conseguir nunca. En la vida interior hay que bregar y trabajar, hay que sembrar y regar, pero sabiendo siempre que es Dios el que da el verdadero incremento. En las lecturas de este domingo tenemos tres modelos de personas que aceptaron la vocación a la santidad que Dios les dio, reconociendo inicialmente su incapacidad para conseguirlo. Estas tres personas -Pedro, Isaías y san Pablo- fueron llamadas por Dios a conseguir la santidad mediante la predicación de la palabra de Dios. Las tres respondieron positivamente a la llamada de Dios, a la vocación; cada una desde sus concretas y particulares circunstancias personales. Continue reading


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The Symbolism in St Joseph Church #2

The three spires of St Joseph Church should remind us of Mount Calvary on that Good Friday as Jesus was crucified with the two thieves, each one to the other side and Jesus in the middle. But instead of on Mount Calvary, St Joseph is on Piety Hill.
The white of the church is the symbol of purity. How every time when we enter this church for Mass or confession, Jesus purifies us of our sins. It is a place where His mercy is found without failure. Even when we come to adoration or any other event, we are raised up to Him who saves us and we are made whole once again. Somehow, when He lifts us up, we are purified and all the evils of this world no longer matter; we are with our God. How good it is to be raised up to His heart! Continue reading


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IV Domingo tiempo ordinario ciclo C 2019

Nuestro encuentro con Cristo, desde el día de nuestro Bautismo, fue un golpe de gracia y de vida pero, cuando pasa el tiempo, vamos cayendo en la cuenta de lo que supone comprometerse con El. O de lo que nos espera, si somos capaces y estamos interesados, claro está, de acoplar hasta las últimas consecuencias, su estilo de vida con la nuestra. Porque, nos puede ocurrir lo mismo que a aquellos que, en la sinagoga, quedaron encantados por las palabras de Jesús pero, a continuación, comenzaron a pensárselo dos veces: ¿no es este Jesús el hijo del carpintero? ¿Y esos milagros? También, esta reacción y actitud, la solemos emplear muchísimas veces en personas de nuestro entorno cuando nos cuesta admitir el bien que nos hacen o, simplemente, el que llevan la razón. Continue reading


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Life: It is the Primary Right Before All Other Rights

Last Friday was the 45th annual March for Life. I love going as often as I can. There are many reasons why. First, because I love standing up for those who have no voice. Before these babies can even cry with their voice, they have been killed. By taking their lives, their say in abortion is muted. Over 60 million babies have been aborted in the US alone since the fateful decision of Roe v. Wade. The irony of this court hearing is that Jane Roe never even wanted an abortion, and in fact never did get the abortion. I encourage you to look up her story. In fact, later in life, “Jane Roe,” who is Norma McCorvey, became a very strong advocate to end abortion. Even more interesting is that Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who has been quoted as finding many deaths from illegal abortions, admitted that he made up those numbers of “coat-hanger” abortions. So the science behind abortion proves to be false and allowed in court. Yet at the same time during the court hearings, the science of sonograms was not allowed; true science was thrown out of court, while falsified information was allowed in. It seems that this still goes on today in the news and colleges.
This brings me to another point. What a beautiful day it was! Not because of the good weather, which did help. It was seeing all of the teens and young adults singing and sharing the love. The March for Life is not a Catholic event, but those who attend are predominantly Catholic. It is thoroughly a Catholic environment, as it was meant to be. Everybody cares for each other. There are no hateful words to each other, except for pro-abortion advocates that come and get nasty. People are helping others in restaurants, hotels, and at the Basilica. We hear conversion stories, stories of suffering, sin and grace. We all rejoice in God’s goodness and mercy. We pray a lot and shout out, “we love babies, yes we do!” It is an event filled with love, joy, and always willing the good for the other. Every time I go it is that way. Jesus is surely there.
But when we think of life, it comes before all other rights. If I am not alive, I cannot eat, I cannot have any possessions, I cannot speak, and I cannot even have an opinion in this world. It is the primary right that comes before I can even obtain any other right. That is why the right to life is of the first concern in the eyes of the church. That is why it should be the first concern in politics, government, and morals. That is why murder is so bad. That is why Church law says that anybody who partakes of abortion is excommunicated by the very act of doing it. Life is the primary right before all other rights.


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Roe v. Wade Anniversary

January 22 marks the 46th anniversary of the decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. It is most unfortunate that our justices made the decisions they made, opening the door for more than sixty million babies being killed from abortions in the US alone since that time. But more was at stake than abortion and the lives of babies. The ramifications of what was to follow would devastate America and the whole world. Continue reading


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Domingo del Bautismo del Señor ciclo C 2019

Su aparición ante los hombres y mujeres de su época para dar comienzo a los que tradicionalmente se ha llamado su “ministerio público”. Un año más, y casi sin darnos cuenta, ha llegado y se ha ido la Navidad. El salto que da la liturgia en este domingo es muy grande, aunque se nos diga que todavía no se ha cerrado el ciclo navideño. Dejamos al Jesús-Niño y pasamos al Jesús-adulto. No es fácil para nadie este cambio de niño a adulto. Supone dejar a un lado las seguridades y lanzarse a la aventura de la confianza en el Padre y de la misión encomendada. Esto es lo que le ocurrió a Jesús cuando recibió el bautismo de manos de Juan. Continue reading