St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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If You Give Everything, You’ll Gain Everything

Fr. Dwight Longenecker
Being brought up in a Bible-believing Protestant home, I had to memorize verses from the King James Version of the Bible. I’m glad I did. Not only did I learn God’s word by heart, but the words were written in my heart. They’re in there. Down deep.
One of the verse I had to learn was, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.” It is a question of priorities, and it is really very simple: Put God first and everything else falls into its proper place. Put God first and you shall have all things according to their worth.
The converse is therefore also true: Put something else first and you will lose all things, and the surprising thing is that you will eventually also lose the thing that you put first. Here are some examples:

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Bible: Acts of the Apostles 8

In Chapter 13, Paul and Barnabas are told to go to on a mission (v2). How did they get this mission? How was it that God spoke to them and they knew that they had a specific mission to accomplish? They prayed. They worshiped and listened. They also fasted.

Some people may say that fasting is something done in the past; that Jesus would not want us to fast any more. But here we see at least six believers fasting. The fruit of this fasting and worship is clarity in God’s will. The fasting was a gift of self to God. Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, worship is now an act of thanksgiving for His goodness and mercy towards us. When united to worship, this fasting takes on the disposition of the worship that it accompanies. Gift giving assumes a relationship between the giver and the one receiving the gift. So the first Catholics saw themselves as having a relationship with Jesus. Continue reading

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Jesus is the reason for the Season! Where would we be if it were not for Him!? – The novena begins Thursday, November 30, on St. Andrew’s Feast Day. It is piously believed that whoever recites the below prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew (Nov. 30th) until Christmas, will obtain what is asked. Thank you Jesus for becoming one of us!


HAIL and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, O my God!, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

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Trinity Sunday: Rejoicing in Knowing Who God Is

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Be Bold, Be Catholic 3

Keeping the light of faith lit takes work and help from our neighbor. We grow in faith by sharing our faith in word and action. The more we share, the stronger our faith becomes. It starts with our interior thoughts about our faith. Then we share what is good and helps what keeps the faith alive in our hearts. We all need a witness of God’s goodness once in a while. We need to hear the stories of little triumphs to help us realize God is there and does listen to our prayers. Continue reading

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Pope’s Morning Homily: Want Joy? Be Docile to Holy Spirit

 If you want joy, do not resist the Holy Spirit, but be docile to Him. …

Pope’s Morning Homily: Want Joy? Be Docile to Holy Spirit