Joseph and Jesus, a Father's care

Joseph and Jesus, a Father’s care

We can imagine St. Joseph’s joy when hearing of Herod’s death. Now they can return home to family and friends. They can root their family life in the Jewish tradition and establish a stable trade. They can have a normal family life. Dutifully, he takes the child Jesus and Mary to the land of Israel. But this is not to be their home; fearing Archelaus, Herod’s son, St. Joseph listens to the guidance of an angel and they move again. This time to Nazareth in the district of Galilee. Finally, their wandering ends. Here the child Jesus grows in strength and wisdom as he learns the carpenter’s trade.

Over and over, St. Joseph obediently moves his family – protecting and caring for them – fully accepting his responsibility as spouse and father. How many times he must have knelt in prayer; beseeching the Father’s help and pleading for a permanent, safe home. Maybe by St. Joseph’s example, Jesus learned to seek a place of solitude for prayer. Psalm 31, which we sang in today’s celebration of the Holy Mass, may have been a psalm St. Joseph prayed often:

In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, incline your ear to me, make haste to deliver me.
Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake you will lead and guide me.
Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your kindness.
Take courage and be stouthearted, all you who hope in the Lord. Ps 31: 2-3, 3-4, 17, 25

Are we in constant prayer with God? To know the Father’s will, we have to be in dialogue. Jesus Christ shows us by his life that we need to pray. It was part of his life to seek solitude for prayer, to pray constantly, and to lead his disciples to prayer. Let us pray for each other as we discern how to live out our love of Christ and respond to the Father’s will.

O glorious St. Joseph, how you must have marveled at the child Jesus learning to pray by your side. You show us the necessity for constant prayer and the grace that is given for each part of our journey of faith in love. Following your example of obedience and trust, may we freely and generously go where the Father’s will calls us.

Pray for us, blessed St. Joseph,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
Almighty God,
In your infinite wisdom and love
you chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary,
the mother of your Son.
As we enjoy his protection on earth,
may we have the help of his prayers in heaven,
particularly as we discern our chosen-ness.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

All Children are Loved by God

All Children are Loved by God

Most Rev. Joseph Strickland, Bishop of Tyler, is asking that all Catholics join in prayer on Tuesday, January 22, 2013, the 40th anniversary of the legalization of abortion in the United States. Wherever you are at noon on Jan. 22, please pause to pray 40 Hail Mary’s that our society may move to a greater respect for the sanctity of life and an end to abortion. Let us support each other in prayerful thanksgiving for the truth that God revealed to us and let us call our neighbors to support the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.

Here is a sitge where you will also find a Novena – Nine days of prayer, penance and pilgrimage, which is part of a pastoral initiative to help build a culture that is favorable to life, marriage and religious freedom.
More information can be found at

You can also text “9days” to 99000 and the USCCB will send you daily messages/readings for the novena beginning January 19.

I ask all brothers and sisters in Christ and people of good will to join us in prayer at noon on January 22, using the prayer of your choice for the end of abortion and the respect for all life. You may find the novena a convenient and inspiring way to surround January 22 with prayer.

May God bless our nation –
Mother Susan Catherine, DDH


‘The Lord is king; let the earth rejoice; let the many isles be glad.  The heavens proclaim God’s justice; all peoples see his glory.” (Ps 97: 1,6) (Readings for June 21, Thursday, 11th week ordinary time)

We begin the Fortnight for Freedom with a call to rejoice!  Our Lord is king; let the earth rejoice! Our Lord is king!  a battle-cry of justice that fills our hearts with holy zeal, hope and the courage to persevere.  Justice and liberty are soul mates residing in charity.  Our Lord’s justice prevails and in his justice he endows us with liberty so we may freely respond to his love.  God so loved us that he created us in his image; this is the source of our freedom.  Our liberty resides in our human dignity which comes from our being created by God.  God created us in love and for love.  Therefore, he gives us freedom to respond to this love and justice requires that we freely do so.  We rejoice because we know that our liberty is given to us by God and that his justice will prevail. This gives us hope to make difficult choices when our liberty and the ability to respond in love are threatened.

Today is the memorial of St. Aloysius Gonzaga.  Born in 1568 to Italian nobility, he chose to freely give up his birthright to enter into the Society of Jesus.  He professed vows in 1587 at the age of 19.  In 1591, plague broke out and he chose to care for the poor who were dying from this terrifying disease. He succumbed to the plague this year at the age of 23.  This is the love that freely responds to the love of God.  By his example, we are inspired to follow our conscience and we are reminded of the people throughout the history of the Catholic Church who have chosen to care for the poor, the sick, the vulnerable, and the marginalized.

We are called together in these fourteen days to be one in prayer, fasting and almsgiving in defense of our religious liberty.  We are called to be one in heart speaking up for those who are poor, sick, vulnerable and marginalized.  Let us today pray for our nation and for us that we may rightfully defend the dignity of every human person.

“He who wishes to love God does not truly love Him if he has not an ardent and constant desire to suffer for His sake.” (St. Aloysius Gonzaga)

Today we pray for the Overturning of the HHS Mandate

Thursday June 21 – St. Aloysius Gonzaga

Almighty God we humbly bow before You, Who are all powerful. We turn to You in this hour of great need, full of faith and with great confidence in You Who can do all things. Through the intercession of St. Aloysius of Gonzaga, who lived the virtue of purity in a remarkable way, we ask you to overturn the HHS Mandate which is now law and which forces all Catholic Institutions to pay for contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs. Deliver us, O Lord, from all evil. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.



Over the past few days, the gospel readings for Mass have come from St. Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount.  We can envision and hear Jesus patiently laying out for the disciples how to live in the kingdom of God.  Today’s reading (Mt 6:1-6, 16-18) is about almsgiving, prayer and fasting.  Interestingly, Jesus does not tell them to give alms, pray and fast, for this was part of the culture.  Jesus instructs to them about how to pray, fast and gives alms in a way that pleases the Father.

We can ask ourselves; do we see almsgiving, prayer and fasting as part of our culture?  Are they part of the relationship we have with the Father?  Do we understand that this powerful channel of grace is to be incorporated into the very fabric of our daily lives?  How timely in the Lord’s Providence that we have this gospel on the eve of the Fortnight for Freedom.  Let us prayerfully consider a discipline of prayer, fasting and almsgiving that our heavenly Father will reward us with a renewed spirit of religious freedom in the leaders of our nation.  What prayers, what fasting, and what almsgiving can each one of us do these next 14 days?

Pray for our Nation. Religious liberty is an American birthright given by God.

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty


O God our Creator,

Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,

you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,

bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel

to every corner of society.


We ask you to bless us

in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.

Give us the strength of mind and heart

to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;

give us courage in making our voices heard

on behalf of the rights of your Church

and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.


Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,

a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters

gathered in your Church

in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,

so that, with every trial withstood

and every danger overcome—

for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,

and all who come after us—

this great land will always be “one nation, under God,

indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”


We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.