St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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

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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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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. 

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All Souls Day Masses

NOTE: Dates & Times Have Changed
There is an envelope in your packet for All Souls Masses. Please list your intentions on the back and return it as soon as possible. All the deceased members of the parishes from the past year will be honored.
Mass at St Joseph Church will be on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 4:00pm. Masses at St Mary Church will be on Sunday, Nov. 3, at 8:00am and 12:00 noon (Spanish).
A form for candles is in the back of the church. You may purchase a candle in memory of other deceased loved ones. PLEASE HAVE YOUR ORDER WITH PAYMENT TURNED IN BY OCTOBER 20.

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On September 30, 2019, Pope Francis declared the third Sunday of Ordinary time as a special feast day in honor of the Bible whose official name is “The Sunday of the Word of God.” This is great news. This coming year, it will be on January 26, 2020. Pope Francis wrote a new Motu Proprio (Aperuit Illis) to go with this new feast day. It is a great read you can find at:
Pope Francis wanted to stress some things that are particular to the Bible that we do not find in any other written text. The first is that the Bible is the word of God, and not just some words of men or wise sayings (1 Thess 2:13). The Bible is not something we can change or try to twist into what we want it to mean. It is something we should live by and consult every day. In the Bible, God instructs how we are to live, tells us who God is and how we can get to know Him, and strengthens us in times when life gets hard. But the desires of our Supreme Pontiff are marked best by the end of the second paragraph of the Motu Proprio, “It is fitting that the life of our people be constantly marked by this decisive relationship with the living word that the Lord never tires of speaking to His bride, that she may grow in love and faithful witness.” The Bible is a place where we can get to know our savior more. He even quotes the famous quote from St Jerome, “ignorance of scripture is Ignorance of Christ.” Without the Bible, we could hardly get to know Jesus. Continue reading