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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Feast of the Archangels (Michaelmas)

A beautiful Feast of the Archangels to you!
"All you angels of God, pray for us!"

At one time in the Church calendar, the primary archangels each had their own day of celebration and remembrance, however, in 1969, their holy days were consolidated into Michaelmas, renamed the "Feast of the Archangels".  Whether you still celebrate them on their unique days  (Michael 9/29; Gabriel 3/24; Raphael 10/24; Uriel 11/8), as one unit on September 29th, or both, these sacred bodies intercede on behalf of humanity in prayer and action, and we honor them in our lives.

Learn more about this holy day and it's history, here:

Feast of the Archangels Liturgical Readings
The Akathist of St. Michael
Prayers to the Archangels

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Shout Back Your Love

This post was written and initially shared on Facebook by Emily Sullivan, an Eastern PA Catholic Homeschoolers mom.  Many thanks to Emily for allowing us to share her beautiful, poignant words.


To all the women out there shouting your abortion, let me whisper some words of apology.

I'm sorry that I wasn't there as a friend when you took the pregnancy test to tell you that your life wouldn't be over if you choose life for your baby. I'm sorry that someone along the way told you the lie that the little person growing inside of you with a beating heart, hair on their tiny head, and unique finger prints, who was already swallowing and kicking was just a "clump of cells. "

I'm sorry that so many of you will for years be haunted by the regret and depression that characterizes Post Abortion Syndrome, more widely acknowledged by psychologists in the UK & Australia then here. I've lost a baby and know very acutely the sense of sadness and longing for my child that I never got to hold. It is always a horror when your womb becomes a coffin.

I'm sorry for any man who has loved getting access to your body, but has resented the way your body works. "I love your body....except when it creates a new life.....then, not so much." You deserved a man who truly cherishes all of you, including your ability to create and nurture a child whose life can then bless the world with their gifts and talents. I'm sorry we act like a crisis pregnancy is all the women's fault with no thought to the man's responsibilities. I'm sorry that fathers don't tell their daughters that they are irreplaceable and precious, that more men prey on women then protect them and that we've come to think that sex can ever be safe and casual. It is many things but "safe" it is not.

I'm so sorry young women and old women, conservative women and liberal women, religious women, smart women, women in dingy apartments and women in palatial high rises, women who can barely read and women with PhDs, women on welfare and women well off.... I'm sorry that we live in a culture that so often degrades your dignity and the dignity of tiny babies who had no say in how or by whom they were conceived.

I wish I could tell all of you I'm sorry for the world we live in where "porn is the norm" and motherhood is seen as a threat to your identity, your ambitions your value as a member of society rather then as a gift that can transform your life for the better and blesses your life with love and joy. No one on their death bed regrets having a son or daughter who hand they can hold as they depart this fleeting life.

I'm so terribly sorry. But most of all I'm sorry I wasn't standing with my husband and little girls right before you walked into the clinic with a sign...a sign that said "Do you need a family right now? Come live in our home and if you don't want your baby, we do! We want them in our lives to love and nurture and if you don't want a baby right now to enrich your life, we want them to enrich ours!"

I'm sorry I wasn't there as a sister on that Saturday morning or Tuesday evening and I'm sorry the millions of my friends in the pro-life movement weren't there for you as well, on that day and for years afterwards with kind words and encouragement and resources and welcoming homes and food and everything else that would have made it safe to make a difference decision for you and your child.

For all of this and so much more, my most heartfelt apologies.

In Sincerity and solidarity as a woman,
Emily Sullivan


Current Catholic Events: Pope Francis Visits Philadelphia

(The following information is taken from
On Saturday, September 26th, 2015 at 10:30 a.m, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul. The event is not open to the public and will be held exclusively for local religious and those with personal invitations. 

On Saturday, September 26th at 4:45 p.m, Pope Francis will visit Independence Mall in Philadelphia. There, the pontiff will talk about immigration and religious freedom to an estimated crowd of 50,000, including mainly the local Hispanic community and immigrants.  Bishop John McIntyre told that he expects the pontiff will arrive for the event via the Popemobile. During this time, he said, Francis will likely do a loop around Independence Mall, greeting the crowds, allowing people to get near him while possibly making stops to bless infants and others.  The Independence Mall visit will include ticketed and non-ticketed areas. 

On September 26th, 2015 at 7:30 p.m, Pope Francis will attend the Festival of Families in Philadephia, Pennsylvania, a major event that is part of the World Meeting of Families gathering. During this event, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and Columbian rock musician Juanes will perform for the pontiff. It is expected that Francis will address the crowds.  The Festival of Families is an intercultural celebration of family life around the world that has taken place in different countries over the years. For 2015, it will take place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The event is expected to draw large numbers due to the pontiff’s attendance and event being open to the public.  The Philadelphia Art Museum and Franklin Institute are planning family-themed exhibits and extending their hours for the week. There is also a family 5K run planned, as well as bus tours of the national Catholic Shrines in the area. In addition, there will be musical and dance acts, and other family entertainment. The goal of the whole week is to build up family life.
On Sunday, September 27th at 9:30 a.m, Pope Francis will meet with bishops at St. Martin’s Chapel in St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. The meeting will be exclusively held with bishops attending the World Meeting of Families only.  This event is closed from public access.

On Sunday, September 27th at 11 a.m, Pope Francis will visit the Curran-Fromhold Correction Facility in Philadelphia. Over a couple hours, according to, the pontiff will meet with connect with select inmates and their families as well as prison staff. According to Prisons Commissioner Louis Giorla,  the inmates who get to personally meet Francis will be considered with history of good behavior in mind.

On Sunday, September 27th at 4 p.m, Pope Francis will celebrate the closing mass for the World Meeting of Families 2015. The Mass will be held outside the Philadelphia Art Museum and is open to the public.  The location has proved suitable in the past, with Pope Saint John Paul II celebrating Mass (with an estimated 400,000 attendees) on Logan Circle outside the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul in 1979.  There, the liturgy was imbued with the angelic sounds of the The Archdiocesan Choir, the Boy Choir, the Seminary Choir and the cathedral’s Collegiate Choir. Pope Saint John Paul distributed Communion to 150 specially selected members of the Archdiocese while roughly 3,000 priests moved into the large crowds and distributed the Eucharist to whomever they could reach.  This time around attendance may in the thousands if not millions for the Papal Mass with Pope Francis as the main celebrant.

On Sunday, September 27th at 7 p.m, Pope Francis will formally meet with organizers, volunteers and benefactors involved with the World Meeting of Families at the Atlantic Aviation hangar in the Philadelphia International Airport.  This event will closed off from the public and will be authorized access only.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sanctity and Sanity: Finding God in Your Daily Life

Diocese of Harrisburg Women’s Conference:
Sanctity and Sanity: Finding God in Your Daily Life
October 24, 2015
8:00 am - 4:00 pm

“Sanctity and Sanity: Finding God in Your Daily Life”
Keynote Speaker: Sister John Sheila Galligan, IHM, STD Professor of Theology – Immaculata University
Keynote Title:  “Arise and Call Her Blessed”
Principal Mass Celebrant and Homilist:  The Most Reverend Ronald W. Gainer, DD, JCL Bishop of Harrisburg
8:00 am – Doors Open/Registration/Exhibits
8:00 – 8:30 am Continental Breakfast
8:30 – 9:00 am Welcome, Announcements, and Introduction of Keynote Speaker
9:00 – 9:45 am Keynote
10:00 am – 2:30 pm Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
10:00 – 11:15 am Workshop Session A or Confession
11:30 am – 12:45 pm Workshop Session B, Lunch, or Confession
1:00 – 2:15 pm Workshop Session C, Lunch, or Confession
2:30 pm – 3:00 pm Solemn Benediction
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Holy Sacrifice of the Mass— Bishop Ronald W. Gainer
4:00 pm Dismissal
Register Online
Paper Registration and Payment
(Both on-line and paper registration)
Due to space limitations, walk-ins cannot be assured of preferred workshop choices.
If you require special accommodations, please contact us by SEPTEMBER 24 so we can make special arrangements.

Conference Flyer

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Second Saturday Well Read Mom's Book Club

Calling all moms/women/grandmoms to our Well-Read Mom Book Club! We started last year and read some fabulous books about spouses (((Elisabeth Leseur, Hanna Coulter, JPII's The Jeweler's Shop, The Hound of Heaven at My Heels and more).

This year we're tackling The Year of the Daughter. First up is Hawthorne's short, "The Birthmark".

We meet the 2nd Saturday from 8am-9:30am in Colmar.  Winter months include the Kristin Lavransdatter series! Good, Catholic stuff! (Google Well-Read Mom!)

Rules are - to just come! You don't have to read the whole book, or part of it, just come for the inspired discussions and a cuppa joe!

PM Heather via our FB group for more information!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Preparation: 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

The readings for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time can be found here.

This weekend's Liturgy of the Word is especially poignant to those who feel forsaken or marginalized, especially those with special needs.

The first reading, from the book of Isaiah, encourages us to "Be strong!" because the Lord is coming to save us.   But Isaiah doesn't tell us that the salvation he writes of is only spiritual; he adds that God will open the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf; He will give the lame the ability to dance and the mute a voice.  Historically (and even in modern times), those will ailments were seen as cursed by God or, alternately, they were physically bearing the sins of their parents and families.  Is this passage from Isaiah a foreshadowing of Christ's message in the New Testament that the disabled are not shunned from God, but rather bearing a greater testimony?

The responsorial of "Praise the Lord, my soul," once again reminds us to praise God in all things, but the verses echo the first reading.  God will lift up the lowly and save the broken.  This a repeated theme throughout the book of Psalms.  In what ways are we lowly and broken?  Do we praise God through the pain, trusting that He will raise us up and save us?

In the second reading, James warns us to not make "distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs".  In this passage, we are reminded that we shouldn't laud those who come to worship in expensive, beautiful clothing while relegating the poor and humble to our feet or the backs of our churches.  Do you do this personally?  Do you judge the person approaching the Body and Blood of Christ in their torn jeans and dirty shirt, while secretly thinking highly of the person doing the same in their designer dress or suit?  Before God, we are all naked.  Why do you think we choose to see distinction?  Why do you think we choose to judge others for something as simple as clothing?

In the Gospel, a reading from Mark, Jesus cures a deaf man who speaks poorly.  "Immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly."  Who among us with a parent of a special needs child doesn't immediately feel our heart leap into our throat at this passage?  With a simple word, Jesus takes away the physical burden that this man has endured, allowing him to finally participate in community life.  He can hear the sounds around him; he can lift his voice in song.  He can communicate and be understood.  For those of us struggling with children who are different (or struggling through life with their own disabilities), this reading is a ray of hope.  But it also beckons the question "Why my child?  Why us?  When will there be healing, if ever?"

Questions to consider from the Gospel: Do you believe that Jesus still heals the way that the stories from the Gospel present: why or why not?  How do you face illness knowing that healing may not come?  How do you raise and teach those with special needs in your life?  How do you learn from them?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Endow Programs: Fall 2015

In 1995, Pope John Paul II said, “woman has a genius all her own, which is vitally essential to both society and the Church.”  The Church understands that a woman, created in the image of God, bears within herself unique gifts that make a tremendous contribution to the world.  The more a woman draws near to Jesus Christ and cultivates a rich spiritual life in the Church, her gifts are illumined and her capacities flourish.  This not only affords a woman deep personal fulfillment, but also gives her the capacity to bring about the transformation of lives, culture and society.  The Church wishes to support women in the journey of discovering their dignity and in living out their vocation.

Endow (Educating on the Nature and Dignity of Women) is a Catholic study program that engages the intellect of women and teenage girls to help them understand their God-given dignity and respond to our culture’s desperate need for an authentic feminine presence to transform every aspect of life and society.

Discover Your Dignity (North Wales): starts September 8, 2015

Aquinas for Beginners (North Wales): starts September 9, 2015

Discover Your Dignity (North Wales): starts September 14, 2015

Of Human Life (Media): starts September 15, 2015

Edith Stein: Seeker of Truth (New Hope): starts September 17, 2015

On the Christian Meaning of Suffering (Royersford): starts September 21, 2015

Dignity (Morrisville): starts October 3, 2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

First Saturday Rosary: September 2015

Join together and pray the Rosary on the First Saturday of September at Mr. B's cafĂ©. There are plenty of seating areas and, once I've arrived, I can let you know where to find the group. Bring your Rosary & special intentions as we join together in this beautiful act of communal prayer.  RSVP with Michele through our FB page.