Equality Act 2021

The House of Representatives recently passed Bill #5 of 2021.  It is deceivingly named, Equality Act of 2021.  It is anything but.  It will now go to the Senate to be voted on.  We had better get everyone we have ever come in contact with to storm the Senate with phone calls, phone calls and more phone calls!  Other means of communication cannot hurt.

When you have a moment take a look at the Eleven Myths of the Equality Act of 2021

In the name of ‘freedom’ – ‘What freedom?’ is a good question to ask – basic Constitutional Rights of Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Conscience and Freedom of Speech will be removed in this Bill.  Make no mistake, smoke and mirror days are gone.  This is a frontal assault by those who would want to undermine and destroy our culture and our country.  We are not talking about the land of the free, but the land of the dictated and controlled.  If you hold truths not in accord with the ideology of those who say there is not truth – except the ones they dictate – you WILL BE PUNISHED financially and legally.

For example, if your organization teaches and holds that a person is born and is a man or a woman, your organization can be charged criminally.  If Catholic Charities only places children in homes of a married man and woman, it will be taken to court.  If a Catholic School teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman as God has created them at birth, it can be fined and/or taken to court.

In other words, if you hold the truths of your religion that are enshrined as a freedom in the Constitution, the Equality Act will allow for your religious freedom to be attacked and removed.

To top it off, the charge in the House of Representatives was led by one who calls herself Catholic?!  How many ‘Catholics’ signed it?!  In the name of providing for respect of those who struggle with same sex attraction, gender dysphoria and others, they have deliberately signed a bill that removes basic freedoms from Americans.  One would think that Catholics – and all Christians – would understand that the ONLY way respect for one’s neighbor is provided in a culture is through the principles of Christianity!  Without God, without Jesus Christ, basic human respect is impossible.  Why?  God is love.  He, in the Person of Jesus Christ, teaches us how to love by His example and teachings.

St. Joseph, pray for us!

God bless

FRVW

On behalf of Bishop Burbidge, I share with you resources below which may be shared with your parishioners in the best manner that you see fit.

Homily for the 2nd Sunday in Lent (OF 02/28/21)

“….Our Lord is our merciful and loving Father, and when we go to Mass, for His Mercy and Forgiveness, this is what He is saying ‘you are my beloved son/daughter in whom I’m well pleased’…That phrase right there, should hit everyone of us, there should be something different about us, for our parishioners here at Holy Trinity, because we see it every time we come in to church…”

Gospel: Mark 9:2-10 “This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”

Young Adult Lenten Small Groups

Quick reminder for all young adult men of the parish, ages 18-34, are welcomed to join us this Lent for a Small Group on Sundays, 3:00-4:45 pm in room 105. Feel free to invite a friend. And please email Josh, Michael, and Paul with any questions or for more information: youthministry@holytrinityparish.net

Separately, at the same time, another quick reminder for all young adult women of the parish, ages 18-34, are welcomed to join us for a Small Group on Sundays, 3:00-4:45 pm in room 103. Friends are welcomed, just come by and join us! If you have any questions, please reach-out to Rachel and Paul here: youthministry@holytrinityparish.net

Both groups have been designed to give you a weekly discussion and prayer time, and accountability and challenge as you walk through Lent in a special way this year. Both groups will end before the 5:00 P.M. Sunday Mass, should you also wish to attend Mass with your small group.

(If this is the first time you’re seeing this, email us to be added to the young adult email list: youthministry@holytrinityparish.net)

Fr. Walter Ciszek on Total Self Abandonment

Fr. Walter Ciszek was ordained a Catholic priest in 1937.  Born in Pennsylvania to Polish immigrants, he was sent to eastern Poland as a missionary.  Just two years later, the Soviet Union invaded eastern Poland.  Fr. Ciszek followed the train of Poles into the Soviet Union.  He functioned clandestinely as a priest until his arrest in 1941.  Under torture he signed a confession that he was a Vatican spy.  He would spend five years in the infamous Lubyanka prison, mostly in isolation, as well as fifteen additional years in hard labor – shoveling coal onto ships, working in mines, etc.  He has written two books of his experiences: With God in Russia and He Leadeth Me.

In his second and spiritual-focused book, Fr. Ciszek recounts an episode with a Soviet/Communist interrogator – which would be common – during his latter four years in Lubyanka.  After signing the fake-dossier, Ciszek was expected to ‘cooperate’ with the communists.  The priest found himself afraid amidst spiritual desolation.  At one point he said the blackness and hopelessness overwhelmed him.  He could only see two possibilities: cooperation with the communists or execution.  For that one moment, the Jesuit had lost all hope and faith in God.  He had lost the sight of God.  He was ashamed.

What did he do?  He turned immediately to Our Lord Whom he had forgotten.  “I had to pray that He would never let me fail to remember Him and trust in Him.  I pleaded my helplessness to face the future without Him.  I told Him that my own abilities were now bankrupt and He was my only hope.”

Almost immediately Fr. Ciszek was bolstered by the thoughts of Our Lord’s Agony in the Garden.  Jesus said, “Not as I will, but as thou wilt.”  “It was total self-surrender, a stripping away of all human fears, of all (human) doubts about his own abilities to withstand the passion, of every last shred of self, including self doubt.”  He calls this realization a conversion to live a total self-abandonment to God’s Will.  He was left with peace and clarity in total trust of Our Lord rather than himself.  “No danger could threaten me, no fear could shake me, except the fear of losing sight of Him.  The future, hidden as it was, was hidden in His Will and therefore acceptable to me no matter what it might bring.” 

The interrogator recognized the change in him quickly.  There was no fear.  There was a peaceful strength.  When pushed to cooperation with the communists, particularly to return to Rome and act as a Soviet spy, the priest simply refused.  With the threat of execution, the priest peacefully abandoned himself to Our Lord.  “I think I smiled.  I knew then I had won.”

Fr. Ciszek was not put before a firing squad, but sent to Siberia to the labor camps.

What a lesson for you and me in our present day!

God bless
FRVW

Stations of the Cross

NOTE: We are unable to provide booklets for the Stations of the Cross. You may follow along below on your phone or tablet, use the iPieta app, use a hand missal, or download a copy to print.

Stations of the Cross
by St. Alphonsus Ligouri

Preparatory Prayer

(Kneel) My Lord, Jesus Christ, / You have made this journey to die for me with unspeakable love; / and I have so many times ungratefully abandoned You. / But now I love You with all my heart; / and, because I love You, I am sincerely sorry for ever having offended You. / Pardon me, my God, and permit me to accompany You on this journey. / You go to die for love of me; / I want, my beloved Redeemer, to die for love of You. / My Jesus, I will live and die always united to You.

At the cross her station keeping
Stood the mournful Mother weeping
Close to Jesus to the last

The First Station:

Continue reading “Stations of the Cross”

Lent 2021

Lent has begun this past Wednesday, Ash Wednesday.  It is our spiritual trek to Good Friday and Easter.  What a tremendous season Lent is!  Have you decided on the prayer, penance and almsgiving that you will strive to perform in union with Our Lord’s grace?  Perhaps, it would be good to mention some possibilities.

Lent is a season of prayer, penance and almsgiving/works of charity.  This Lent we have a tremendous opportunity for prayer as we have Eucharistic Exposition/Adoration throughout the week, 24/7.  Perhaps, the fam can stop in for a visit each week.  Other ideas for prayer would be daily Mass, Stations of the Cross every Friday at 7pm (followed by Mass), Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary each day. 

As Lent is a season of penance it is most appropriate that all of us take advantage of the sacrament of Penance during this season.  We will have many times each week for Confession.  Please check the bulletin for the days and times .

A recent Spanish saint, St. Josemaria Escriva, once quipped, “Get used to saying ‘No’”.  Lent is a season to say, “No,” to our comforts and pleasures of this world; to say, “No,” to our selfishness, pride, laziness, attachment, etc.  Penance is one way of saying, “No,” to ourselves by denying particular physical senses of sight, taste/speech, touch/feeling, hearing, and smell.  Penance can also be said of denying interior senses of imagination, memory and intelligence.

Almsgiving/works of charity are the final piece to the puzzle of Lent as we prepare for the Greatest Work of Charity/Mercy: Jesus’ Passion and Death.  Through our self-denial during Lent – i.e. sweets, soda, coffee (tough one), TV, Facebook, etc. – we may be able to give to a charitable cause the money we have saved – i.e. House of Mercy.  Or, we may have time to perform little acts of love/mercy around the house or office or neighborhood.  The list is endless.  All of this goes without saying that we should ask Our Lord what He asks of us this Lent.  His grace will give us the intentions and resolve for works of charity.

May this Lent be a time for spiritual renewal for all of us.

God bless

FRVW