In the month of June, through your gifts, the Society of St Vincent de Paul brought the love and care of Jesus to the poor by assisting a single mother with a child with severe asthma. They live in an upstairs apartment without air conditioning. We were able to purchase a small window unit which will supply much needed comfort for this child. In addition, we assisted three adults with emergency housing, one family with rental assistance and two families with utility payments. TOGETHER WE CAN HELP THOSE WHO ARE SUFFERING. THANK YOU!
Hospitality is such an important part of being Christian. Unfortunately, it has been getting harder to find the time to prepare for guests. We need your help.
We are looking for parishioners who are willing to occasionally prepare the guest room when we have priests, speakers, or just simply guests coming to stay at St Joseph’s rectory. It would entail making sure the bedding is fresh, and the bathroom has clean towels and washcloths, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, floss, decorations and scents. You can be as creative as you want to make things fun! You will also let the office know if something needs fixing (lights, TV, heat, cooling and such). After the guest
has left, you will need to wash the sheets, towels and washcloths. We will take care of having the rooms cleaned.
We will need at least two people or teams to make sure of availability. This might be a fun opportunity to help our guests feel welcome. Are you willing to help out?
— Father Barr
to our St Joseph & St Mary Meals on Wheels delivery teams for bringing smiles and food to our brothers and sisters in Freeport. We thank Pat Weigel & Karen Hildebrandt, Ron & Roberta Schradermeier, Jim Full & John Shippert, Jane & Jacob O’Connor, and Gabby & Kimmy Williams for their service this month. May God bless you all for your gift to this wonderful ministry! Our next delivery run will be the week of August 26. If you would like to join our team, please call Joanie Williams at 815-298-9705.
To date, the Society of St Vincent de Paul has received $2,300.07 from the Lenten almsgiving. Your gifts made it possible to assist a single mother with three young children. She had lost her job due to the seasonal nature of her work. It took her several months to find another job. During this period, her only income was a small amount of child support and food stamps. Obviously, she fell behind with her bills. She had made considerable progress in catching up her past due bills with the exception of her gas bill. When she contacted SVDP she had only a few days before the gas was to be shut off. She had a good portion of the amount requested; however, the utility demanded payment in full. Due to your generous support, SVDP was able to provide the remaining funds. Your gifts truly do make a difference to those in our community who are in need. Thank you and God Bless.
Happy Divine Mercy Sunday! This day is a more recent celebration. It all started in Poland during the 1930s. We still have some parishioners who were born and lived at that time before World War II. Saint Maria Faustina died in 1938, but before her death, Jesus came to her in many visions teaching her about His mercy, love and compassion He has on those in need. It was right before World War II and Jesus knew that humanity was going in the wrong direction. The feast of Divine Mercy was to be in preparation of Jesus in the second coming so that souls would take advantage of His mercy before He came as the Judge. Humanity would need this as the world was about to undergo the wrath of the NAZI party on top of the suppression of communism.
St Faustina writes that souls caught into worldliness will “burn as an offering before God and beg for mercy for the whole world…and by their entreaties they will obtain blessings for priests, and through their prayers prepare the whole world for the final coming of Jesus.” (Paragraph #1155, Divine Mercy in My Soul). We have had more martyrs for the faith than we have ever had before in history since the time of St. Faustina. During the Nazi reign there were over 60 million people that were killed in the name of progressing humanity. The apple does not fall far from the tree. Since January of 1973, over 60 million babies have been killed because they have been relegated as some sort of sub-human. There are so many other sins that are considered normal behavior. Today we need Divine Mercy as our hope.
Saint Faustina even suffered from the sins of abortion today as she describes it in her diary at length on September 16, 1937: “At eight o’clock I was seized with such violent pains that for three hours … No medicine had any effect on me, and whatever I swallowed I threw up. At times the pains caused me to lose consciousness. Jesus had me realize that this way I took part in His agony in the Garden, and that He himself allowed these sufferings in order to offer reparation to God for the souls murdered in the wombs…I have gone through these sufferings three times now…If only I could save even one soul from murder by means of these sufferings.” (Par #1276) But God’s mercy is greater than any sins or compilation of sins. Jesus tells St. Faustina, “My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world. Who can measure the extent of my goodness? For you I descended from heaven to earth; for you I allowed myself to be nailed to the cross; for you I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of my mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart.” (Par # 1485)
So how do we receive God’s Mercy? Primarily through Confession and the Eucharist. Confession is where God’s mercy defeats Satan’s hold on us through shame and sin. I suppose that is why Satan tries so hard to convince us not to go to Confession. Our sins are wiped out when we go to Jesus in Confession. According to St. Faustina, it takes complete sincerity and openness, humility and obedience to really benefit much from confession so that it would change our lives (Par #113). Jesus also wants to give us all the graces we need in life through the Eucharist when we receive Him. Jesus says, “I desire to unite myself with human souls; My great delight is to unite myself with souls. Know, my daughter, that when I come to a human heart in Holy Communion, My hands are full of all kinds of graces which I want to give to the soul. … (Par 1385) When we receive Him with a tender heart, that is when we benefit from communion the most.
Freedom from sins and union with God who is love. This is God’s plan for you for starting on Divine Mercy Sunday. He is inviting you today.
Please note the April Free Lunch sponsored by St Vincent de Paul will be held on the fourth Saturday, April 27, in Berg Hall. Serving will be from 11:30am to 1:00pm. The menu will feature Don’s chili, cold slaw, chips, fresh fruit and dessert. We are in need of apples, oranges and bananas for the lunch. We will also be accepting donations of plastic trash bags (any size), disinfectant wipes, all-purpose cleaner and sponges. If you can provide any of these items, they may be brought to Berg Hall on the 27th after 9:00am, or contact Mary Koppi at 815-232-4687. This will be the final lunch of the season; we will resume serving in October.
Your generous donations have made a difference in many lives. Thank you and God bless you for caring.