St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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

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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 #20

The Millennial Cross is located in the foyer area above the enclosed bulletin board to the right as you enter the building. This cross was made in commemoration of the new millennium (the year 2000). Pope John Paul II saw it as a new era of holiness that we are all called to bring God’s goodness to all the world. Jesus and His triumph over sin and death, hence the cross, was the symbol he chose as the symbol of His mercy and the new era of reign. It is to be a reign of mercy, reconciliation and peace. It is to be all a part of the new evangelization and the Church’s role and contribution to society. It involves all Catholics in whatever state in life they are in. All Catholics are called to take part. Jesus is calling even you today. Have you stopped to hear His voice? Continue reading

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Symbolism in the Church #18

Another image we have of Jesus in the foyer area is the Infant of Prague. I do not know when this image was brought here to St Joseph Church, but it has been here for quite a while. There is no specific information as to when the original statue of the Infant of Prague was made. In Spain, around the 1300s, there were similar images made with a wood base carved, covered in wax. It came on the radar for devotion, as it was said St Theresa of Avila had it for a while. There were political connections between Spain and Germany that were fostered, and along with it, devotion to the child Jesus. That would explain the devotion in the German Tradition. It went through wars and mishandling in the 1600s and ended up in Prague. Many miracles have been attributed to the original image in Prague. The original looks more like a doll than a statue because of the wax, but is not something to play with as it is very fragile. Continue reading

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Symbolism in the Church #17

As soon as you come in the door of the foyer area, there is a painting above the glass doors as you are facing into the church. It is a picture of Jesus with His hands down towards those who are sick and poor. It reminds us of how Jesus has compassion for the sick and poor. This is a place where they can come and receive consolation from our merciful Lord. So often we think of those who do not suffer as blessed. However, when we read Matthew, Chapter Five, verses three through twelve, we start to understand that it is specifically people who suffer who have God’s support. Continue reading

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Corpus Christi Novena Explanation

June 23 is the Feast Day of Corpus Christi, where we as Catholics honor Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. All are invited to pray the novena prayer below. You can cut it out and pray it for the nine days of the novena. The Novena starts Friday, June 14.
Novena prayers are great for opening us up for the graces of special feast days like this. We look forward to honoring our savior Jesus and the graces He wants to give us.

~ Daily Novena Prayers ~

O Lord, You have given us this Sacred Banquet, in which Christ is received, the memory of His Passion is renewed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.
V: You have given them bread from Heaven. 
R: Having all sweetness within it.
Let us pray. God our Father, for Your glory and our salvation You appointed Jesus Christ eternal High Priest. May the people He gained for You by His Blood come to share in the power of His Cross and Resurrection by celebrating His Memorial in this Eucharist, for He lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever. Amen. 
O Jesus, since You have left us a remembrance of Your Passion beneath the veils of this Sacrament, grant us, we pray, so to venerate the sacred mysteries of Your Body and Blood that we may always enjoy the fruits of Your Redemption, for You live and reign forever. Amen.