St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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


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Prayer for Vocations

We have so much to be grateful for; our family, friends and our parish. Jesus has been so generous to have given us many priests and religious to help us as we grew to become the people we are today. Now is our time to pray for them and for new men and women to join the ranks of such holy people to continue to be an inspiration to us and our families. We will end Novena for Holy Vocations on Friday, on January 7, the Feast Day of the Epiphany, we will begin to pray for Holy Vocations at the end of every Mass. Please pray this prayer every day.

Dear Jesus, I arise today knowing the you are with me, that you see me and that you hear me. I offer to you this day, though the Immaculate Heart of Mary, my aches and pains, sorrows and humiliations: the cross I have this day. I desire to carry it with you like Simon of Cyrene, and I offer it to for all intentions of your Sacred Heart, especially that you bless your Church with an abundance of holy priests, religious sisters and brothers to work for the good of your kingdom. I trust in you, Lord, and pray that many young people also trust in you and say “Yes” to your call to follow you wherever you lead, since you are Love and goodness itself. Amen.


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Mass Times Change

The Mass times change for the Saturday evening Masses will go into effect as of January 20th. The Saturday evening Mass will be at 4pm In St Joseph Church on and after January 20th.

There will no longer be an 8am Mass on Wednesdays in St Mary Church. There is a 9:30am Mass in the Sacred Heart Chapel of Presence Care Center on Wednesdays. All Parishioners are invited to attend.


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One Day Left

One more day and Christmas is here! Depending on when you read this, it may be only hours away or have already come! I hope you have benefited from this Advent season in preparation for the coming of Jesus. If not, there is still time to invite Jesus into your home and hearts.

Maybe you can do it before you go to bed on Christmas Eve. The night Jesus is born, you can welcome Him into your home. If you do not know what to say, just say: Continue reading


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St Vincent DePaul Free Luncheon

This coming Saturday, December 16, the St Vincent de Paul Society will hold their third free lunch of the season. They will be serving lunch from 11:30am to 1:00pm in Berg Hall. To volunteer your help or to donate items for the lunch, please contact Mary Koppi at 815-232-4687. God Bless you for helping those who have little this Season!


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Journey Through Advent:

Liturgical Cycle B Get the most out of Advent by following along with Bishop Robert Barron’s homilies as he unpacks these profound scripture readings. The homilies presented on this CD will correspond to the Scriptures for Sunday Masses throughout Advent and Christmas 2017. Prepare your heart for His coming!


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Bible: Gospel of John 2

 

The Gospel of John does not have an account of how the birth of Jesus came about other than when it says, “And the Word became flesh” (John 1:14). The first historical context of the Gospel starts with John the Baptist. After that, John the Baptist introduces Jesus to the first disciples. Right after that, begins the second chapter and the Wedding in Cana. This is the first mention of Mary. Mary is mentioned again later in the suffering and death of Jesus.

I’ll give you some tips for looking up things in the Gospels. Remember, Mary is in only two of the Gospels, Luke and John. So, if you are looking for one of the stories where Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is present, then you would look for it in either the Gospel of Luke or John. If it is a story about Mary when Jesus was a child, then it is in the Gospel of Luke. Most anything during Jesus’ adulthood that deals with Mary would be from John. John accounts Mary at the Wedding of Cana and at the suffering and death of Jesus. There are, however, parts in Matthew and Luke where the Mother of Jesus is mentioned (MT 12:47 & Lk 8:20) as waiting outside with His “brothers”. Matthew’s account, written originally in Aramaic, a Hebrew language, does not make any difference between brothers and cousins. Back then, they used the same word to describe both cousin and brother. That is why we can still believe that Mary remained a virgin.

John also gives great detail that the other Gospel accounts do not have. One example of this is in Chapter Five at the beginning. There was a pool called Bethesda “with five porticoes” (Jn 5:2). This is an odd detail for its time, and perhaps that is why John notices this. Most buildings in Jesus’ time would have four porticoes (meaning doorways). Usually a building would have one door facing each direction; one facing north, one south, and so on. But, this one has five. Many scholars believed that John got this wrong and were starting to teach that the Gospel accounts did not intend to be historically accurate, as if the Gospels were just stories of myths trying to explain a spiritual reality. But, as archeologists found a pool building with five doorways in it, near to where John described. Therefore, the sceptics and those who are considered to be the “professional scientists” were wrong in their assumption, and the believers were vindicated. The Gospel of John does in fact provide actual, historical accuracy in its details.

In the Gospel of John is also the great “Bread of Life” discourse. This is where Jesus performed the multiplication of the loaves, walked across the sea, and then taught about the Eucharist. First, He reminds the people of the Manna in the desert by the multiplication of the loaves. They even mention it in verse thirty-one of Chapter Six. The miracle of the loaves was a set-up by Jesus so He could speak about the true Bread of Life of (Himself), in the Eucharist. He goes so far as to say, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life” (V 53-54). Many people leave because of this teaching, but Jesus does not back down. He does not say, “wait a minute, you are misunderstanding me, I meant it as a mere symbol”. No, He really means that He is the Bread of Life and that the host is really His body and the wine is no longer wine; it is His blood. He turns to his disciples and asks if they, too, are going to leave. Notice the chilling coincidence that you note at verse 66 in Chapter Six, that those who do not believe in the Eucharist leave Jesus and no longer follow Him.

 


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Cultural Colonization Doesn’t Tolerate Differences

Cultural and ideological colonization doesn’t tolerate differences and makes everything equal, ending by persecuting believers,” said Pope Francis in his homily of the Mass celebrated this morning, November 21, 2017, in the chapel of Santa Marta Residence.
In his homily, the Holy Father said that “ideological and cultural colonizations only see the present, they deny the past and don’t see the future. They live in…

Santa Marta: Cultural Colonization Doesn’t Tolerate Differences