Celebrating World Marriage Day This Weekend
Feb 3, 2019
In all three of today’s reading from the Liturgy of the Word we hear about how a vocation is a gift of God. It is different from a job. A vocation is a special calling from God that takes all of our energy. Isaiah, Paul and the apostles Simon Peter, James and John all experienced their calling to be prophets of God in rather dramatic fashion. Still their first reaction was of fear and trepidation. At first, they all experience the feeling that they won’t live up to expectations. Their brokenness and obvious imperfections cause them to believe they won’t live up to God’s call to them to be prophets. They are able to answer the call only after they allow God to draw near.
The Sacrament of Marriage is one of the Catholic Churches sacraments of vocation. The Church sees marriage as a lifelong commitment or vocation that like prophecy is a gift of grace from God. It is more than just a “relationship”. It is a source of God’s grace to transform the world into the family that is the Body of Christ. Today many young people seem to be frightened by the prospects of making a lifelong commitment to marriage. Like the characters in today’s readings they believe they aren’t capable of embracing marriage as a vocation. They wonder if they can live up to their expectations for marriage because of their brokenness and imperfections.
This weekend we honor and support with prayer those couples who are attempting to live out marriage as a vocation despite their flaws. We support those who recognize that married love isn’t always romantic 100% of the time and needs to be supported with real self-giving love. Faithfully, living out the sacrament of marriage needs a real commitment on the part of both spouses especially when family life becomes messy. Pray that couples will grow in self-giving love by always showing respect for each other and in the belief that with faith in God they can help strengthen our society through their faithfulness and sharing of God’s gift of self-giving love.
Prayer for Married Couples
Almighty and eternal God, You blessed the union of married couples so that they might reflect the union of Christ with his Church: look with kindness on them. Renew their marriage covenant, increase your love in them, and strengthen their bond of peace so that, with their children, they may always rejoice in the gift of your blessing. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
We also want to support with prayer those individuals whose marriages have come apart whether or not they were at fault. We pray that through an openness to God’s grace they will be healed from their loss and be open to sharing God’s love with the families.
Prayer of a Separated or Divorced Person
Father, I belong to you. I place myself anew in your hands and acknowledge you as Master and Lord of my life. Grant me the gift of a forgiving heart and cleanse me of any anger, hostility or revenge. Heal my hurts and wounds and teach me to rely on your love. Grant me wisdom of heart and strengthen me by your grace to move on in faith, in trust and in love. Thank you, Lord, for you love in my life
On this World Marriage Day, we won’t forget the widowed.
Prayer for Widows/Widowers
Most loving God, you know the pain and sorrow of death; mercifully hear our prayer for those who mourn the death of their beloved. The nights are lonely and the days are too long. Comfort them and bring an end to the days of tears. Bless them and bring an end to their days of sorrow. Renew them with the joy of life and bring to an end their days of mourning. Let the bond of love which you have for your people be the foundation of their hope that love never ends and that precious moments with our beloved are forever held dear in our hearts. Amen.
Parish Summer Fun-raiser
Tentative plans are underway for a parish summer fun-raiser to be held on Sunday, August 25, 2019. That is the Sunday closest to the anniversary of the first dedication of Holy Redeemer Church back in 1916. The Woman’s Club and Knights of Columbus are onboard. We plan to have music, food and a raffle as part of the event. It is meant to be an opportunity for parishioners to get together for fellowship and fun as the last days of the summer wind down. We will need quite a bit of help so come to the next planning meeting on Sunday, February 17, 2019, at 4PM in the parish center.
Two Retreat Experiences for Men
Diocese of Fall River Vocation Office Discernment Retreat Weekend
The Diocese of Fall River Vocation Office is hosting a discernment weekend for Men ages 18-45 at the Betania II Spiritual Life and Marian Center, 154 Summer St. Medway, MA from Friday February 22 to Sunday February 24. If interested, please contact Fr. Jack Schrader at email@example.com or 508-695-6161.
Fall River Diocese Women & Men’s Conference
Reserve Saturday, March 9, 2019, so you can attend the 2019 Fall River Women and Men’s Conference to be held at Stonehill College, N. Easton. The theme of this year’s conference is Living in the Light of Hope. Conference presenters will include Bishop Robert Reed from the CatholicTV Network, Scripture scholar and author Dr. Mary Healy from Detroit’s Sacred Heart Seminary and Deacon Pedro Guevara-Mann, author and host from Salt+Light Media of Canada. The day will conclude with Mass celebrated by Bishop Edgar da Cunha. A dozen parishioners attended last year’s conference. Some of them got their picture taken with Bishop da Cunha and ended up on the cover of his pastoral letter. The parish is planning to hire transportation again this year so you need not worry about driving. Registration forms for the conference are on the table at the back of the church.
Wednesday Communion Services for Next Few Months
Fr. George Bellenoit, who covers daily Mass for Fr. Sullivan’s day off on Wednesdays, will be a “snowbird” for the months of February and March. In his absence Deacon Joe Mador will be conducting Communion Services on Wednesday.
A Southern Holiday for Fr. Sullivan This Week
Fr. Sullivan is on a week’s vacation at Hilton Head, SC this weekend. Fr. Tom Lopes, a retired priest of the diocese is filling in for him. Please welcome Fr. Tom and Fr. Sullivan’s safe return this week.