Archive for the ‘Current Event’ Category

Vancouver Catholics Welcome EWTN & the Friars

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

There always seems to be beautiful things when you go somewhere new; Vancouver was no different. EWTN hosted a Family Celebration in thanksgiving for the long support we have received from the people there.  Years ago when EWTN sought approval for air in Canada from the Communications Commission, the local bishop and Knights of Columbus stepped in and actively supported the Networks campaign. Now, there is a large fan base in that beautiful city and its surroundings.

Over 800 people attended the one day event in Vancouver titled “Evangelization: The Journey begins at Home.” None of the children seemed to mind that Brother Leo only brought 800 balloons (that’s one each), or that the rain couldn’t quite hold off until tomorrow. There was plenty of time to meet the other friars – Fathers Joseph, Mark, Miguel and Paschal, and Brother Paul too – and some of the EWTN personalities and staff.

As we set-up on Friday we hoped that we would be able to take some time to head out into the city. We heard about the natural beauty of Stanley Park – God does not disappoint. After walking around for a couple hours along the bay and into the woods, we walked into the Cathedral just as they were having Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. It was a beautiful gift.
Saturday was the event. It was a little busy, but by no means overwhelming. The people were so happy that this time we came to see them and that they could find in person what they are so often seeing on television or radio. Faith remains a powerful force for good in this part of the world. Simple beauty showed forth in the lives of so many who continue to be reached in the place where they need it most – in their home, wherever that happens to be.
If you would like to attend a family celebration, consider joining us for the 2014 EWTN Birmingham, Family Celebration August 16 – 17.  For more information, click here: 2014 EWTN Family Celebration   
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Remembering Blessed John Paul II on the 9th Anniversary of His Death

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Today is the 9th Anniversary of the passing of Blessed Pope John Paul II into eternity.

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Remembering Blessed John Paul II

We thank God, especially this day in his rich blessings over the Church, and for sending us such an exemplary Holy Father, who by his words and life dedicated himself in the spread of the gospel message to all the corner of the world. His profound love for the most Holy Eucharist and Our Lady, the poor and the oppressed illuminated the world by his healing ministry by reconciling world conflicts and his untiring efforts to raise the dignity of life.

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EWTN Chapel Entrance During 2005 Papal Interregnum

He illuminated the Church with his wisdom and charity, he touched hearts, converted sinners, brought peace where there was hatred, and always retained a most compassionate and humble heart.  May his love for humanity inspire in our hearts to all live a life worthy of our Christian calling.

Fr. Joseph, Fr. Mark, and Fr. John Paul will be traveling to St. Peters Square to attended the canonization of both Blessed Pope John Paul the Great and Bl. Pope John XXIII on April 27, 2014, Divine Mercy Sunday. This is an exciting moment in Church history as two of our past beloved popes will be canonized by our current Holy Father, Pope Francis. Fr. Joseph in the past had several occasions to meet Bl. Pope John II and concelebrated a Mass with our Holy Father. Our very own Fr. John Paul was named after Bl. John Paul. Pope John Paul has always been an inspiring factor in vocations to our community. All praise and thanksgiving to God.

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Fr. Joseph Concelebrating Mass with John Paul II

 

 

Fr. Joseph Gives Retreat to SFO in Fairhope, AL

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

This past weekend Fr. Joseph traveled south to Fairhope, AL (on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay) to give a retreat to a group of Secular Franciscans (SFO).

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Focusing on Franciscan spirituality, the retreat was divided into three presentations:

Presentation 1:  Union with God, the Heart’s Deepest Longing
Synopsis: St. Francis is called our Seraphic Father because he loved Christ with an intensity like that of a Seraph (Angels closest to God).  What hinders our love from a fiery intensity?

Presentation 2: Beautiful Suffering
Synopsis: St. Francis suffered greatly and had a unique share in the Passion of Christ, yet he is remembered for his joy.  How can we suffer beautifully?  What are sufferings we bring on ourselves?

Presentation 3: The Holy Eucharist, Food of the Saints
Synopsis: St. Francis speaks of the Eucharist in almost all of his writings.  The Eucharist is the greatest means of sanctification we have.  How can we most benefit from It?

Fr. Joseph also visited WNGL 1410 AM, Archangel Radio, (an EWTN affiliate) in Mobile.

Archangel Radio

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Br. Leo & Br. Bernard Celebrate 20 Years of Religious Profession!

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Happy 20th Anniversary of Religious Profession, Br. Bernard & Br. Leo!

We are grateful for your eloquent witness of fidelity and perseverance, and for all that you have done to strengthen our bonds of fraternity and to build up our way of life through your silent yet faithful commitment all of these years.  On this great Solemnity of the Annunciation may our Blessed Mother show you special favor for your own “Fiat” to the invitation of God in your lives.  Your response to His call has proven to be a true blessing to each one of us in our own vocations.

Blessings to each of you in your Religious Life this day and for many, many years to come!!

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Fr. Leonard Gives Parish Mission

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Parishioners from Our Lady of the Lake in Pell City, Alabama devoutly and attentively listen to Fr. Leonard’s preaching.

At the invitation of Monsignor Michael Sexton, Pastor of Our Lady of the Lake, Fr. Leonard began the mission activities by promoting it at the Sunday Masses. The mission officially began on Monday March 17th and continued through the 19th.

The parish mission theme was, “Our Life of Sacramental Grace: A Journey with Jesus.” During the mission Fr. Leonard briefly explained the meaning of each Sacrament and how they bring us into the mysteries of Christ’s life. He also emphasized how the particular graces of every Sacrament transform us into an image of Jesus. Lastly, he informed the crowd on how God’s generous outpouring of sanctifying grace and actual grace from the Sacraments help us through life’s trials and tribulations.

For three days parishioners listened attentively and wholeheartedly to Fathers preaching. After the mission they expressed heartfelt sentiments of gratitude at the St. Joseph’s celebration in the Parish Hall.

For more information about Masses, activities and events at Our Lady of the Lake go to ollpellcity.com

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Fr. Anthony Blesses Local St. Joseph’s Altar

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Saint Joseph is one of the most beloved saints among Italian-Americans. As the patron of workers and the protector of the family, he is honored with a feast on March 19.

The custom of building an altar to Joseph goes back centuries in Italy. Long ago the people of Sicily were delivered from drought and famine through the intercession of St. Joseph. In thanksgiving for the good harvest, they prepared the first St. Joseph’s Altar, also called a St. Joseph’s Table. In front of the altar, tables were filled with traditional homemade Italian dishes, pastas, eggplant parmesan, cannoli, fig cookies, meatless lasagna and casseroles. There is fish, but no beef, pork, chicken or lamb. Those who survived the famine had little meat to put on their altar of thanksgiving.

Fr. Anthony blessed the St. Joseph’s Altar this year in Pelham, AL for the Italian American Heritage Society of Birmingham. St. Joseph, pray for us!

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Start saving now to travel to the Holy Land this Fall with Fr. Miguel!

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Start saving now!

Experience the Gospels ● Walk where Jesus walked ● Bring the Bible to life

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Fr. Miguel Marie, MFVA – Spiritual Director
$4,895 (pp double occupancy)
Departing from Philadelphia, PA (connecting air available)

 

Visitation Pilgrimages & Tours, Inc.
800-535-9803 or visit http://visitationpilgrimages.com

 

Price Includes:

R/T Air from Philadelphia, PA

  • 4* Religious Houses
  • Breakfast & Dinner Daily, 1 Lunch
  • R/T Airport Transfers in Tel Aviv
  • Private Deluxe Motor Coach
  • Sightseeing/Entrance Fees per Itinerary
  • Tips to Hotel Staff, Guide & Driver
  • Licensed English Speaking Guide
  • Daily Mass
  • Holy Hours (optional but highly recommended)
  • Retreat Talks in Galilee
  • Pilgrim Booklet
  • Travel Bag
  • Luggage Tags
  • Ticket Case
  • Map of Holy Land

 

Day 1 ~ October 24, 2014 ~  Depart USA

Today depart Philadelphia, PA for our transatlantic flight to Tel Aviv.  Enjoy dinner, movie, and breakfast during the flight.

Day 2 ~ October 25 ~ Tel Aviv ~ Galilee

Shalom! Arrive Ben-Gurion Airport and meet our tour escort.   Enjoy a scenic drive to Galilee and arrive Mt. Beatitude where Mass will be celebrate. Dinner and overnight at the guest house on Mt. Beatitude.

Day 3 ~ October 26 ~ Cana ~ Nazareth

After breakfast depart for Cana and visit the Church built over the wedding house. Celebrate Mass followed by renewal of vows for married couples. Continue to Nazareth to visit the Basilica of the Annunciation and the Grotto where the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary. Visit St. Joseph’s Church built over the house of the Holy Family. We’ll also visit the synagogue church where Jesus preached. After lunch we will visit the Mt. of Precipitation and the village of Nain. Dinner, Holy Hour, and overnight on Mt. Beatitude.

Day 4 ~ October 27 ~ Mt. Tabor ~ Galilee

This morning we’ll visit Mt. Tabor and take a scenic drive to the top via taxi.  Visit the beautiful Basilica of the Transfiguration and celebrate Mass. We’ll then proceed to Kursi before we stop for a St. Peter’s fish lunch by the Sea of Galilee. After lunch we’ll take a relaxing boat ride across the Sea of Galilee.  Return to Mt. Beatitude for dinner, Holy Hour, and overnight.

Day 5 ~ October 28 ~ Galilee

After breakfast walk down Mt. Beatitude or ride the bus to Tabgha, the site of the multiplication of the loaves and fish. Walk to the Church of Peter’s Primacy where Jesus met His disciples after the resurrection and celebrate Mass.  We continue onto Capernaum, Jesus’ home city during His ministry, and visit the ancient synagogue and St. Peter’s house. Proceed to Bethsaida, one of the towns where Jesus preached, and enjoy a picnic lunch. End the afternoon with an optional walk along the Millennium path by the Sea of Galilee. Dinner, Holy Hour, and overnight on Mt. Beatitude.

Day 6 ~ October 29 ~ Jordan: Mt. Nebo ~ Madaba ~ Petra

Today we depart for Jordan. Our first stop is Mt. Nebo, where Moses was laid to rest. We’ll celebrate Mass on Mt. Nebo. After lunch we’ll visit Madaba to view the ancient 6th century Byzantine mosaic of the Holy Land. We continue onto Petra for dinner and overnight.

Day 7 ~ October 30 ~ Jordan: Petra ~ Israel: Dead Sea

This morning we’ll visit the spectacular site of Petra and see the massive structures of natural red sandstone carved out by the Nabateans. Take an optional chariot ride or horse ride through the streets. Enjoy lunch before we depart for the Israeli border and continue to the Dead Sea. Dinner and overnight by the Dead Sea.

Day 8 ~ October 31 ~ Masada ~ Ein Gedi ~ Jerusalem

After breakfast enjoy the experience of floating in the Dead Sea. We then depart our hotel for Masada, the palace of Herod, which became famous by the Jewish Zealots. Take a cable car ride to the top and visit the ruins. After lunch we depart for Ein Gedi National Park and take a walk to the place where David confronted King Saul. As we continue onto Jerusalem, we’ll pass by Qumran, the site of where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. Mass, dinner, overnight at Notre Dame in Jerusalem.

Day 9 ~ November 1 (All Saints Day) ~ Bethlehem ~ Abu Gosh

Enjoy breakfast before we depart to Bethlehem and visit the Milk Grotto, Manger Square, and the Grotto of the Nativity and touch the birthplace of Jesus.  Then visit the Grotto of St. Joseph, the Grotto of St. Jerome, the Basilica of St. Catherine, and Shepherd’s Field. Time for lunch

before we depart for Abu Gosh, where Jesus met the disciples on their way to Emmaus. Return to Notre Dame for dinner, Holy Hour, and overnight.

Day 10 ~ November 2 ~ (All Souls Day) ~ Mt. of Olives ~ Ein Karem

Morning departure to the Mt. of Olives and enjoy a panoramic view of the old city of Jerusalem. Walk the Palm Sunday Path from the Chapel of the Ascension down to Gethsemane. Along the way we’ll stop and visit  Dominos Flevit, where Jesus wept over Jerusalem, and celebrate Mass. After Mass visit the beautiful Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene with its golden domes. Take a lunch break before we visit the Cave of the Betrayal where Judas betrayed Jesus. Then we depart for Ein Karem and visit the place where Mary met Elizabeth and proclaimed the Magnificat. Walk to the Church of St. John the Baptist and visit the grotto of his birth. Return to Notre Dame for dinner, Holy Hour, and overnight.

Day 11 ~ November 3 ~ Old City of Jerusalem

This morning we begin by visiting the Pretorium site and the Flagellation Chapel where we’ll celebrate Mass. We then begin to walk the Via Dolorosa and carry the cross in the footsteps of Jesus. We arrive at Calvary in the Holy Sepulchre.  After a lunch break we’ll visit the Wailing Wall before we go to Mt. Zion and the Room of the Last Supper and the Abbey or Dormition. Our final visit for the day is St. Peter in Galicantu, the site where Peter denied Jesus three times and where Jesus was imprisoned. Return to Notre Dame for dinner, Holy Hour, and overnight.

Day 12 ~ November 4 ~ Jericho ~ Jerusalem

Early Mass in the Holy Sepulchre and then return to Notre Dame for breakfast. Depart for the traditional site of Jesus’ Baptism by John the Baptist. Renew our Baptismal Promises. Continue to Jericho, the world’s old inhabited city. Take a cable car to the Mt. of Temptation and visit the cave where Jesus fasted for forty days. After lunch visit a Sycamore tree, like the one Zacheaus climbed. Return to Jerusalem and visit the Pater Noster Church where Jesus gave the Our Father prayer. Our final stop is St. Ann’s Church, the birthplace of Mary, and the pools of Bethseda. Retun to Notre Dame for dinner, Holy Hour, overnight.

Day 13 ~ November 5 ~ Jerusalem

Today is free for personal devotions, exploring the old city and shopping, packing, etc. Mass T.B.A. After dinner depart to Tel Aviv for our flight home.

Day 14 ~ November 6 ~ USA

A fond farewell to our pilgrim family.

Upcoming Vocations Discernment Retreat, April 11-13th

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Young men, are you called to evangelize the digital world?!! The Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word invite you to their San Damiano Vocation Discernment Retreat from April 11-13th at the Annunciation Friary in Irondale, AL. Experience Franciscan contemplation and evangelization. Click the picture to contact Fr. Patrick, our vocations director, more information:

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MFVA Convocation with Br. Joseph Wood, O.F.M., Conv.

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

On Tuesday, February 25th, Br. Joseph Wood, O.F.M., Conv. gave the friars a Francsican reflection on the frescoes of Giotto di Bondone in the Basilica of St. Francis. Br. Joseph Wood lived for some time in Assisi. He currently resides in Chicago, IL and is the vocations director for the Conventional Franciscans of the St. Bonaventure Province.

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Travel to the Holy Land this May with Fr. John Paul

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Holy Land Pilgrimage May 15 – 27, 2014

Holy Land 2014 Trip

Fr. John Paul Mary, MFVA – Spiritual Director

$4,550 (pp double occupancy)

Departing from Newark, NJ (connecting air available)

Visitation Pilgrimages & Tours, Inc.

800-535-9803 or visit http://visitationpilgrimages.com

Price Includes:

 R/T Air from Newark, NJ
  • 4* Religious Houses
  • Breakfast & Dinner Daily, 1 Lunch
  • R/T Airport Transfers in Tel Aviv
  • Private Deluxe Motor Coach
  • Sightseeing/Entrance Fees per Itinerary
  • Tips to Hotel Staff, Guide & Driver
  • Licensed English Speaking Guide
  • Daily Mass
  • Holy Hours (optional but highly recommended)
  • Retreat Talks in Galilee
  • Pilgrim Booklet
  • Travel Bag
  • Luggage Tags
  • Ticket Case
  • Map of Holy Land

Day 1 ~ May 15, 2014 ~  Depart USA

Today depart Newark, NJ for our transatlantic flight to Tel Aviv.  Enjoy dinner, movie, and breakfast during the flight.

Day 2 ~ May 16 ~ Tel Aviv ~ Jaffa ~ Mt. Carmel ~ Galilee

Shalom! Arrive Ben-Gurion Airport and meet our tour escort.   On our drive to Galilee we’ll have Mass on Mt. Carmel and visit Stella Maris, a Carmelite Monastery which is home to the beautiful statue of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Dinner and overnight at the retreat house on Mt. Beatitude.

 Day 3 ~ May 17 ~ Cana ~ Nazareth

After breakfast depart for Cana and visit the Church built over the wedding house and celebrate Mass. Couples can renew their wedding vows.  Continue to Nazareth to visit the Basilica of the Annunciation and the Grotto where the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary.  Visit St. Joseph’s Church built over the house of the Holy Family. We’ll also visit the Synagogue Church where Jesus preached. After lunch we will depart Nazareth and visit the Mt. of Precipitation.  Dinner, Holy Hour, and overnight on Mt. Beatitude.

 Day 4 ~ May 18 ~ Galilee

After breakfast depart for Tabgha, the site of the multiplication of the loaves and fish. Walk to the Church of Peter’s Primacy where Jesus met His disciples after the resurrection.  We then walk the Millennium path along the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum. Mass celebrated in Capernaum, Jesus’ home city during His ministry. Visit the ancient synagogue and St. Peter’s house.  End the afternoon with a visit to Bethseida, one of the towns where Jesus preached.  Dinner, Holy Hour, and overnight on Mt. Beatitude.

Day 5 ~ May 19 ~ Mt. Tabor ~ Sea of Galilee

This morning visit Mt. Tabor and celebrate Mass in this beautiful Basilica of the Transfiguration. Enjoy the spectacular view of the lower Galilee and beyond. We’ll then proceed to the Sea of Galilee and for a fish lunch by the water.  After lunch we’ll take a relaxing boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. We’ll then make a visit to the Domos, a beautiful theology center built by the Vatican. Return to Mt. Beatitude for dinner, Holy Hour, and overnight.

Day 6 ~ May 20 ~ Jericho ~ Jerusalem

Today, after Mass on Mt. Beatitude, we depart for Jericho, the oldest inhabited city in the world. Then we’ll take a cable car to the Mt. of Temptation and visit the Monastery and the site of the cave where Jesus fasted for 40 days.  After a lunch break make a stop at the Sycamore tree like the one Zaccheus climbed. Proceed to the Jordan River and renew our Baptismal Promises. Continue on and enjoy the drive as we ascend up to Jerusalem.   Dinner, Holy Hour, and overnight at the famous Notre Dame Pontifical Institute in Jerusalem.

Day 7 ~ May 21 ~ Bethany ~ Qumran ~ Dead Sea

After breakfast depart for Bethany and visit the Church built over the house of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Celebrate Mass before we take a walk to the tomb of Lazarus.  Depart Bethany and enjoy the drive to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, and visit Qumran, the site where the first Dead Sea Scrolls were found.  Time for lunch before we take a relaxing float in the Dead Sea.  Dinner, Holy Hour, and overnight in Notre Dame.

Day 8 ~ May 22 ~ Bethlehem ~ Ein Karem

Enjoy breakfast before we depart to Bethlehem and visit the Milk Grotto, Manger Square, and the Grotto of the Nativity and touch the birthplace of Jesus.  Celebrate Mass and then visit the Grotto of St. Joseph, the Grotto of St. Jerome, the Basilica of St. Catherine, and Shepherd’s Field. Take a lunch break before we drive to Ein Karem and visit the beautiful Church of the Visitation where The Blessed Virgin Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth and proclaimed the Magnificat. We’ll then walk to the Church of St. John the Baptist and visit the place of his birth.  Dinner, Holy Hour, and overnight in Notre Dame  (Mass T.B.A.)

Day 9 ~ May 23 ~ Jerusalem

Morning departure to the Mt. of Olives and enjoy a panoramic view of the old city of Jerusalem. Walk the Palm Sunday Path from the Chapel of the Ascension down to Gethsemane.  Visit the Church of the Pater Noster and celebrate Mass at Dominos Flevit, where Jesus wept over Jerusalem. We continue the walk to The Church of All Nations with the Rock of Agony. Take a lunch break before we have quiet time in the Garden of Gethsemane for prayer and meditation. Return to Notre Dame for dinner, Holy Hour, and overnight.

Day 10 ~ May 24 ~ Jerusalem

This morning we’ll spend an hour of adoration in the Flagellation Chapel as we prepare ourselves to carry the cross in the footsteps of Jesus along the Via Dolorosa. We arrive at the Holy Sepulchre where Mass will be celebrated. After a lunch break we’ll visit Mount Zion, the room of the Last Supper, and the Church of Dormition.  Proceed to St. Peter in Gallicantu, the site where St. Peter denied Jesus three times and where Jesus was imprisoned.  Return to Notre Dame for dinner and overnight.

Day 11 ~ May 25 ~ Jerusalem

After breakfast we’ll visit the pools of Bethesda and celebrate Mass in the Church of St. Ann, the birthplace of the Blessed Mother. Proceed to the Western Wall for a time of prayer.  Enjoy the afternoon free for personal devotions or shopping. Dinner, Holy Hour, and overnight in Notre Dame.

Day 12 ~ May 26 ~ Jerusalem

Morning Mass followed by a visit to the Temple Mount and visit the site where Abraham prepared to offer his son Isaac. The rest of the day is free for person devotions, shopping, or packing.  Enjoy a farewell dinner before we depart for the airport and our flight back to the USA.

Day 13 ~ May 27 ~ USA

A fond farewell to our pilgrim family.