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Kamloops, British Columbia!

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Overview of the Month – January 2015

Name-JesusThe month of January is dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus, which is celebrated on January 3. The first eleven days of January fall during the liturgical season known as Christmas which is represented by the liturgical color white. The remaining days of January are the beginning of Ordinary Time. The liturgical color changes to green — a symbol of the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection.

Highlights of the Month

Epiphany_WordleIn the first part of January we continue to rejoice and celebrate Christ's coming at Bethlehem and in our hearts. We have the wonderful feasts of Mary, Mother of God, where we honor Mary's highest title, and then we follow the Magi to the crib as they bring their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh on Epiphany. Finally we reach the culmination of this season with the Baptism of Our Lord by St. John the Baptist. With a touch of sadness we take down our decorations and enter into the liturgical period known as Ordinary Time where we will devote ourselves to the mystery of Christ in its entirety.

This is a time of growth and an opportunity to allow the dignity of Sunday to shine forth, prolonging the joy of Easter and Pentecost. Besides those previously mentioned the month's major feasts include: St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen (January 2), Holy Name of Jesus (January 3), St. John Neumann (January 5), St. Andre Bessette (January 6), St. Raymond of Penafort (January 7), St. Anthony, abbot (January 17), Sts. Fabian & Sebastian (January 20), St. Agnes (January 21), St. Vincent of Saragossa (January 22), St. Francis de Sales (January 24), Sts. Timothy and Titus (January 26), St. Angela Merici (January 27), St. Thomas Aquinas (January 28) and St. John Bosco (January 31). The feasts of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (January 4) and the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25) are superseded by the Sunday liturgy. “Liturgical information courtesy of CatholicCulture.org”

The Winter Season

01_winter_churchThe opening days of January may be cold and nature bleak, but the domestic church still glows warm with the peace and joy of Christmas. We dedicate the New Year to Mary on the January 1st Solemnity honoring her as Mother of God; and on January 6, the Solemnity of Epiphany, we rejoice with her, as her Son is adored by the three Wise Men.

Herald John, who ushered in the Advent season, is present once again to close Christmastide on the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord (The First Luminous Mystery), and to open the Season of Ordinary Time. He points to Jesus, the Lamb of God who unites time and eternity in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, and even January’s diminishing darkness seems to echo St. John’s prayer: “He must increase and I must decrease.”

In this liturgical season the Church eagerly follows Our Lord as he gathers his apostles and announces his mission. At Cana’s wedding feast (The Second Luminous Mystery) he performs his first public miracle at the request of his Mother, and his disciples saw his glory and believed in him.

We, his present-day disciples, pray for a like faith as we contemplate the eternal wedding feast of the Lamb and the unique role of the Blessed Mother in the plan of salvation. May we wholeheartedly obey her words of counsel: “Do whatever he tells you.”


 

The phenomenon of Christmas and Easter Catholics -- those who attend Mass only on the two greatest holy days of the year -- is often noted with a touch of horror by those who attend Mass every Sunday.  Worse yet are those who come to church only to be "carried" (baptism), "married," and "buried."

But while we're often quick to point fingers at others, we tend to forget that proclaiming the Gospel, living the Faith, and believing in the truths that the Catholic Church teaches are the work of a lifetime.  Simply showing up doesn't cut it.   Pope Benedict reminds us that evangelization is an ongoing process.  Some of the areas in which Christianity has been preached the longest are in the most desperate need of hearing the Gospel, and even those who still consider themselves Christians can lose sight of the truths of the Catholic Faith.

In recent years, surveys have shown that many who consider themselves faithful Catholics have begun to see what they receive in the Sacrament of Holy Communion as merely a symbol, and not the actual Body and Blood of Christ.  But the entire Catholic sacramental worldview flows from the recognition that being a Christian means becoming part of the Body of Christ.  If we regard the Host as mere bread, we have separated ourselves from Christ.  As Christ Himself said (John 6:54), "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you."

If being a Christian is no longer a living faith but more like a box that we check on a census form, then we have lost the essence of what it means to be a Christian.  While we are still indelibly marked by our baptism and confirmation, we cannot expect those sacraments alone to save us.  As members of the Church, the Body of Christ, we are called to preach the Gospel of Christ to all nations, but that first requires us to hear it, embrace it, and live it ourselves.  As Pope Benedict notes, that is our true identity as Christians; anything less is just a label.

Ordinary Time

During Ordinary Time, the Church celebrates the fullness of the mystery of the Lord Jesus. The people of God offer praise by celebrating the Paschal Mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus.

On the first day of the week, the Lord's Day, God assembles the beloved people to hear the word, to reflect upon it, to offer the living sacrifice of praise, and to eat and drink the banquet of the Lord. Then God sends them forth to proclaim this love by their words and actions.

Sunday is the original Christian feast day, following the tradition handed down from the apostles' time, for this was the day of the Lord's resurrection. Today's Christian communities continue this tradition by celebrating every Sunday as the day of the risen Lord.

Ordinary Time begins after the feast of the Baptism of Jesus and ends on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. During the Sundays of these weeks the readings are remembering the many aspects surrounding the life of Christ.

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Sunday Mass
Every Sunday at 10:30 am

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Personal Holiness and the Liturgy

The Mass admits of limitless levels and layers of understanding. A richness of outward signs points to inward realities of grace; sensible symbols become gateways to the mystical realm. The Church wisely uses externals – words, gestures, and material things we can see, hear and smell – to surround the sacred mysteries that will sanctify her children.

With urgency, therefore, the Magisterium encourages us to participate fully and actively in the liturgical sacrifice: by coming to it with proper dispositions; by offering our lives with the sacrifice of Christ our High priest; by growing in our knowledge and appreciation of the Mass; and by leading our children, through instruction and example, to a deeper understanding and love of the faith and the liturgy.

The Rosary

There are few prayer forms that are as “kid-friendly” as the rosary. While an entire rosary might be too much for some kids, a decade of the rosary can be the perfect length for a short, yet meaningful family prayer time. Holding a sacred object is important to children, and the rosary provides that.  Each of the 10 Hail Marys within a decade can be an opportunity to have different children lead by saying the first half of the prayer. Before each bead, family members can take turns offering a specific prayer intention.

Growing Together with the Sunday Mass Readings

Want a fun and simple way to bring the Sunday Mass readings alive? With just a few minutes’ preparation, your family can enjoy fun activities, discussion time and even a creative snack, but best of all, your family will remember the time spent together learning more about God.

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"Saint John Vianney, the patron of parish priests"

Man has a noble task: that of prayer and love. To pray and to love, that is the happiness of man on earth.

Prayer is nothing else than union with God. When the heart is pure and united with God it is consoled and filled with sweetness; it is dazzled by a marvelous light.

In a prayer well made, troubles vanish like snow under the rays of the sun.

St. John Vianney Prayers ›

"Saint Jude, Hope of the Hopeless, Pray for Us"

The St Jude Prayer is a very special prayer indeed. St Jude was one of the Twelve Apostles, and in the Catholic Church he is the patron Saint of lost causes.

So, when you're down and out, and nothing else seems to be working, the prayer to St Jude is here for you.

Saint Jude Prayers ›

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