St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Vocation Corner: Jesus Knows the Next Step

It amazes me that just about every time Jesus appeared to His followers after His Resurrection they did not recognize Him.  Even after spending so much time learning from Him and following Him, they still could not tell who He was when He came to them.  I believe that at least part of the explanation for this is that they were becoming too focused on themselves after the death of Jesus.  After He died, we can certainly imagine that they must have been very scared and unsure about how to move forward in their lives.  It was at this point that they put it upon themselves to find the next right step, rather than placing their trust in the plan of Jesus.  In fact, they did this so to such an extent that even when Jesus Himself appeared to them, they could not recognize that it was Him and that He had everything in control.  It is easy to fall into the same trap in our own lives, especially when it comes to discerning a vocation.  Trying to find your vocation can be a difficult and stressful thing at times.  However, the last thing we ever want to do is take the matter into our own hands and feel like we have to be the ones to figure everything out.  Jesus already has the plan!  All we have to do is trust in Him.  Rather than getting too turned in on ourselves, we need to surrender everything, especially our whole future, to Jesus and simply be calm while He makes Himself known to us.  We do not want to miss the Will of Jesus in our lives.  Be calm, trust in Him, and always be open to recognizing Him no matter what circumstances you are facing in your life.  ​

– Fr. Bobby Gonnella


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Joy in the Three Legged Stool

Three legged stool? What is he talking about? Listen and find out!


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Mercy is the key to the life of faith

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Every Sunday we remember the Lord Jesus’ Resurrection, but in this season after Easter, this Sunday has an even more illuminating meaning. In the Church’s tradition, this Sunday, the first after Easter, was called “in albis.” What does this mean? The expression intended to recall the rite carried out by all those who received Baptism in the Easter Vigil. Each one of them was given a white garment – “alba” – ”white” — to indicate their new dignity as children of God. This is also done today: newborns are given a small symbolic dress, whereas adults put on a true and proper one, as we saw in the Easter Vigil. And, in the past, that white garment was worn for a week. until this Sunday, and from this stems the name in albis deponendis, which means the Sunday in which the white garment is taken off. And thus, the white garment removed, the neophytes began their new life in Christ and in the Church.
There is something else. In the Jubilee of the Year 2000, Saint John Paul II established that this Sunday be dedicated to the Divine Mercy. It is true, it was a beautiful intuition: it was the Holy Spirit that inspired him in this. A few months ago we concluded the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy and this Sunday invites us to take up forcefully the grace that comes from God’s mercy. Today’s Gospel is the account of the Risen Jesus’ apparition to the disciples gathered in the Cenacle (cf. John 20:19-31). Saint John writes that, after greeting His disciples, Jesus said to them: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” Having said this, He made the gesture of breathing on them and added: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven” (vv. 21-23). See the meaning of mercy that is presented in fact on the day of Jesus’ Resurrection as forgiveness of sins. The Risen Jesus transmitted to His Church, as her first task, His same mission to take to all the concrete proclamation of forgiveness. This is the first task: to proclaim forgiveness. This visible sign of His mercy brings with it peace of heart and the joy of a renewed encounter with the Lord.
In the light of Easter, mercy is perceived as a true form of knowledge. And this is important: mercy is a true form of knowledge. We know that one knows through many ways. One knows through the senses, one knows through intuition, through reason and also other ways. Well, one can also know through the experience of mercy, because mercy opens the door of the mind to understand better the mystery of God and of our personal existence. Mercy makes us understand that violence, rancor, vengeance make no sense, and the first victim is the one who lives these sentiments, because he deprives himself of his dignity. Mercy also opens the door of the heart and enables us to express closeness especially to all those who are alone and marginalized, because it makes them feel brothers and children of one Father. It fosters the recognition of all those in need of consolation and makes us find the appropriate words to give them comfort.
Brothers and sisters, mercy warms the heart and makes it sensitive to the needs of brothers with sharing and participation. In sum, mercy commits all to be instruments of justice, reconciliation and peace. Let us never forget that mercy is the turnkey in the life of faith, and the concrete way with which we give visibility to Jesus’ resurrection.
May Mary, Mother of Mercy, help us to believe and live all this with joy.

— Pope Francis


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Holy Hour and Healing Service

Are you hurting? Do you need quiet reflection time? Time alone with Jesus?
Join us for an hour of Eucharistic Adoration with a healing service on Friday, April 6, at 5:00pm in St Mary Church.


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Symposium: ‘Humanae Vitae’ Teachings Essential for Stable Marriages, Families

Benedictine College event looked at why the teachings of the Church are the answer to many current cultural and societal problems.
Mary Rezac/CNA/EWTN News
ATCHISON, Kan. — The promise of the sexual revolution and contraception was total sexual freedom for everyone.
“Sex is for fun and now women can have just as much fun without the consequences,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco said about the claims of the sexual revolution in a recent talk.
“That was the cry of the day, and yet somehow it didn’t work out that way,” he said.
What went wrong? It’s a question that….

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/symposium-humanae-vitae-teachings-essential-for-stable-marriages-families


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Liturgy Schedule for Holy Week

Thursday Evening Mass

  • in St Joseph at 5:30pm
  • in St Mary Church at 7pm in Spanish

Good Friday Services

  • Veneration of the Cross in St Mary Church at 12:10pm
  • St Mary Youth Living Stations of the cross on St Mary grounds (Outside) at 2pm
  • Passion of the Christ viewing in the Holy Family Community Center at 3pm
  • Veneration of the Cross in St Mary Church at 7pm in Spanish

Easter Celebrations

  • 4 pm Vigil Mass in St Joseph Church
  • 7pm Vigil Mass in St Mary Church in Spanish
  • 8am Sunday in St Mary Church
  • 10:30am Sunday Mass in St Joseph Church
  • 1pm Sunday Mass in St Mary Church in Spanish