Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
Reading: 1 Tm 1:1-2, 12-14
Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our savior
and of Christ Jesus our hope,
to Timothy, my true child in faith:
grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father
and Christ Jesus our Lord.
I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because he considered me trustworthy
in appointing me to the ministry.
I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man,
but I have been mercifully treated
because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.
Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant,
along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Friday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading: Tb 11:5-17
Anna sat watching the road by which her son was to come.
When she saw him coming, she exclaimed to his father,
"Tobit, your son is coming, and the man who traveled with him!"
Raphael said to Tobiah before he reached his father:
"I am certain that his eyes will be opened.
Smear the fish gall on them.
This medicine will make the cataracts shrink and peel off from his eyes;
then your father will again be able to see the light of day."
Then Anna ran up to her son, threw her arms around him,
and said to him,
"Now that I have seen you again, son, I am ready to die!"
And she sobbed aloud.
Tobit got up and stumbled out through the courtyard gate.
Tobiah went up to him with the fish gall in his hand,
and holding him firmly, blew into his eyes.
"Courage, father," he said.
Next, he smeared the medicine on his eyes, and it made them smart.
Then, beginning at the corners of Tobit's eyes,
Tobiah used both hands to peel off the cataracts.
When Tobit saw his son, he threw his arms around him and wept.
He exclaimed, "I can see you, son, the light of my eyes!"
Then he said:
"Blessed be God,
and praised be his great name,
and blessed be all his holy angels.
May his holy name be praised
throughout all the ages,
Because it was he who scourged me,
and it is he who has had mercy on me.
Behold, I now see my son Tobiah!"
Then Tobit went back in, rejoicing and praising God with full voice
for everything that had happened.
Tobiah told his father that
the Lord God had granted him a successful journey;
that he had brought back the money;
and that he had married Raguel's daughter Sarah,
who would arrive shortly,
for she was approaching the gate of Nineveh.
Tobit and Anna rejoiced
and went out to the gate of Nineveh
to meet their daughter-in-law.
When the people of Nineveh saw Tobit walking along briskly,
with no one leading him by the hand, they were amazed.
Before them all Tobit proclaimed
how God had mercifully restored sight to his eyes.
When Tobit reached Sarah, the wife of his son Tobiah,
he greeted her: "Welcome, my daughter!
Blessed be your God for bringing you to us, daughter!
Blessed is your father, and blessed is my son Tobiah,
and blessed are you, daughter!
Welcome to your home with blessing and joy.
Come in, daughter!"
That day there was joy for all the Jews who lived in Nineveh.
Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Reading : Acts 13:26-33
When Paul came to Antioch in Pisidia, he said in the synagogue:
"My brothers, children of the family of Abraham,
and those others among you who are God-fearing,
to us this word of salvation has been sent.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize him,
and by condemning him they fulfilled the oracles of the prophets
that are read sabbath after sabbath.
For even though they found no grounds for a death sentence,
they asked Pilate to have him put to death,
and when they had accomplished all that was written about him,
they took him down from the tree and placed him in a tomb.
But God raised him from the dead,
and for many days he appeared to those
who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem.
These are now his witnesses before the people.
We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you
that what God promised our fathers
he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus,
as it is written in the second psalm,
You are my Son; this day I have begotten you."
The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ
At Saint Helen Catholic School Easter Carol of 2023, the 8th grade students recount the story of Jesus’ Crucifixion. For Catholics, the death of Jesus on the Cross is a key event within faith history. It is known as the Crucifixion, and it is considered both a tragic event and a necessary transaction. It is tragic because it involves the suffering and death of a divine teacher and leader. However, the event also was necessary because the sacrificial death of Jesus is understood to bring about both the forgiveness of human sins and a new covenant.
The crucifixion of Jesus is recorded in the New Testament books, known as the Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. This Bible story is the central summary of the saving Gospel of Jesus. Jesus had prophesied of his death in Matthew "from that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life." Jesus understood that his life would be required as a sacrifice for the sins of man.
At the height of his ministry and miracles, many Jews came to believe in Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God. Jewish leaders feared Jesus because of his growing followers. With the help of Judas Iscariot, Roman soldiers arrested Jesus, and He was put on trial for claiming to be the king of the Jews. According to Roman law, the punishment for rebellion against the king was death by crucifixion.
The Roman governor Pontius Pilate was reluctant regarding the punishment for Jesus. Pilate could find no wrong in Jesus, yet he wanted to give the people what they wanted, and that was the death of Jesus. Pilate washed his hands in front of the crowd to symbolize that he was not taking responsibility for the bloodshed of Jesus and then handed Jesus over to be beaten and lashed. Jesus had a crown of thorns thrust on his head and made to carry his cross along the pathway to the hill where he would be crucified. The location of Jesus' crucifixion is known as Calvary, translated from "a place of skull."
Friday of the Second Week of Lent
Reading: Gn 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a
Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons,
for he was the child of his old age;
and he had made him a long tunic.
When his brothers saw that their father loved him best of all his sons,
they hated him so much that they would not even greet him.
One day, when his brothers had gone
to pasture their father's flocks at Shechem,
Israel said to Joseph,
"Your brothers, you know, are tending our flocks at Shechem.
Get ready; I will send you to them."
So Joseph went after his brothers and caught up with them in Dothan.
They noticed him from a distance,
and before he came up to them, they plotted to kill him.
They said to one another: "Here comes that master dreamer!
Come on, let us kill him and throw him into one of the cisterns here;
we could say that a wild beast devoured him.
We shall then see what comes of his dreams."
When Reuben heard this,
he tried to save him from their hands, saying,
"We must not take his life.
Instead of shedding blood," he continued,
"just throw him into that cistern there in the desert;
but do not kill him outright."
His purpose was to rescue him from their hands
and return him to his father.
So when Joseph came up to them,
they stripped him of the long tunic he had on;
then they took him and threw him into the cistern,
which was empty and dry.
They then sat down to their meal.
Looking up, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead,
their camels laden with gum, balm and resin
to be taken down to Egypt.
Judah said to his brothers:
"What is to be gained by killing our brother and concealing his blood?
Rather, let us sell him to these Ishmaelites,
instead of doing away with him ourselves.
After all, he is our brother, our own flesh."
His brothers agreed.
They sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver.
Friday of the First Week of Lent
Reading I: EZ 18:21-28
Thus says the Lord GOD:
If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed,
if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.
None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him;
he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced.
Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked?
says the Lord GOD.
Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way
that he may live?
And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil,
the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does,
can he do this and still live?
None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered,
because he has broken faith and committed sin;
because of this, he shall die.
You say, “The LORD’s way is not fair!”
Hear now, house of Israel:
Friday the first week of LENT.mp4
Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies,
it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed,
does what is right and just,
he shall preserve his life;
since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.
Friday of the 5th Week in Ordinary Time, February 3, 2023, Memorial of Saint Scholastica, Virgin
Reading: Gn 3:1-8
Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals
that the LORD God had made.
The serpent asked the woman,
"Did God really tell you not to eat
from any of the trees in the garden?"
The woman answered the serpent:
"We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;
it is only about the fruit of the tree
in the middle of the garden God said,
'You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.'"
But the serpent said to the woman:
"You certainly will not die!
No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it
your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods
who know what is good and what is evil."
The woman saw that the tree was good for food,
pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom.
So she took some of its fruit and ate it;
and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her,
and he ate it.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened,
and they realized that they were naked;
so they sewed fig leaves together
and made loincloths for themselves.
When they heard the sound of the LORD God moving about in the garden
at the breezy time of the day,
the man and his wife hid from the LORD God
among the trees of the garden.
Prayer of Vocation
God our Father, we thank you for calling men and women to serve in your Son's Kingdom as priests, deacons, and consecrated persons. Send your Holy Spirit to help others to respond generously and courageously to your call. May our faith community support vocations of sacrificial love in our youth and young adults.
Saint Helen Christmas Carol 2022
At Saint Helen Catholic School Christmas Carol, students recount the story of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Over 2,000 years ago, a young woman from the town of Nazareth named Mary was visited by an angel named Gabriel. Gabriel told the Jewish woman that she would have a son named Jesus, who would be God's Son. At this time, Mary was engaged to her soon-to-be husband, Joseph. When told, Joseph was hurt and confused because he did not believe Mary. The angel Gabriel visited Joseph and told him, "do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit," and her son, Jesus, would save the people from their sins.
Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem because of an order from the Roman emperor that a census, or record, of all people be taken in their hometown. After traveling pregnant on a donkey for several days, Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem and were told there were no places to stay. The inns were full. Seeing that Mary was due at any moment, an inn owner told Joseph they could stay in his stable.
Mary and Joseph settled on the hay in a stable with animals sleeping. Mary went into labor, and Jesus was born in the stable. The only place for the sleeping baby to rest was most likely in the animals' trough, known as the manger.
After some time, three wise men, also known as magi, saw the brilliant star in the sky that rested over where Jesus was born. The three wise men traveled from a distant eastern country to find the new king. During the wise men's trip, Herod, the king of Judah, met with the wise men. Herod told them to come back and let him know where the baby king was so that he could also worship him. The wise men continued to Bethlehem and found Jesus where the star pointed. They knelt and worshipped the Savior and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They then traveled back home a different way, knowing that King Herod did not intend to worship Jesus but planned to kill the baby.
The summary of the Biblical account of the birth of Jesus Christ as demonstrated by the students can be read more in-depth in Bible verses from the Scripture.
All Saints Day (November 1st)
In Heaven, we will be in awe of the holiness of the countless men and women who served God and others with selflessness and self-sacrifice throughout their lives. Among the countless saints in Heaven are a few who are chosen by God to become canonized and added to the liturgical calendar of the Church on Earth. These holy men and women are given to us as models for every day and age to inspire us on our journey of faith. May these holy men and women inspire you as you daily seek to live the will of God in your own life. Saints of God, pray for us!
One of the greatest treasures of the Catholic Church is the holiness of its members. Among the members of the Catholic Church, there is a small and noble group of people that stand out as shining examples of holiness and goodness. These are people who have given everything for the love of God. They have been tried in the fires of persecution and have made choices throughout their lives that were in union with the holy will of God. These holy men and women are the canonized Catholic saints of the Roman Catholic Church.
Saint of the Day - Our Lady of the Rosary
The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, formerly known as Feast of Our Lady of Victory and Feast of the Holy Rosary is celebrated on 7 October in the General Roman Calendar. 7 October is the anniversary of the decisive victory of the combined fleet of the Holy League of 1571 over the Ottoman navy at the Battle of Lepanto.
The Background Story of Our Lady of the Rosary
Saint Pius V established this feast in 1573. The purpose was to thank God for the victory of Christians over the Turks at Lepanto—a victory attributed to the praying of the rosary. Clement XI extended the feast to the universal Church in 1716.
The development of the rosary has a long history. First a practice developed of praying 150 Our Fathers in imitation of the 150 Psalms. Then there was a parallel practice of praying 150 Hail Marys. Soon a mystery of Jesus’ life was attached to each Hail Mary. Though Mary’s giving of the rosary to Saint Dominic is recognized as a legend, the development of this prayer form owes much to the followers of Saint Dominic. One of them, Alan de la Roche, was known as “the apostle of the rosary.” He founded the first Confraternity of the Rosary in the 15th century. In the 16th century, the rosary was developed to its present form—with the 15 mysteries: joyful, sorrowful and glorious. In 2002, Pope John Paul II added the five Mysteries of Light to this devotion
The purpose of the rosary is to help us meditate on the great mysteries of our salvation. Pius XII called it a compendium of the gospel. The focus is on Jesus—his birth, life, death, and resurrection. The Our Fathers remind us that Jesus’ Father is the initiator of salvation. The Hail Mary’s remind us to join with Mary in contemplating these mysteries. They also make us aware that Mary was and is intimately joined with her Son in all the mysteries of his earthly and heavenly existence. The Glory Bes remind us that the purpose of all life is the glory of the Trinity.
The rosary appeals to many. It is simple. The constant repetition of words helps create an atmosphere in which to contemplate the mysteries of God. We sense that Jesus and Mary are with us in the joys and sorrows of life. We grow in hope that God will bring us to share in the glory of Jesus and Mary forever
Friday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time (September 23, 2022)
Saint Helen Catholic School Mass Readings for September 23, 2022, Friday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time, Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest.
Bible Reading – Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
1 There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for everything under the heavens.
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build.
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them; a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
6 A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
9 What advantage has the worker from his toil?
10 I have considered the task that God has appointed for the sons of men to be busied about.
11 He has made everything appropriate to its time, and has put the timeless into their hearts, without man’s ever discovering, from beginning to end, the work which God has done.
Friday of the Twenty-Second Week of Ordinary Time (September 2, 2022)
The Sixth Week of Easter
Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born, she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So, with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
In today’s Gospel Jesus continues His farewell address to the disciples. He told them the reason why He was going. It will be an opportunity for the Spirit. With the Spirit, Jesus is present in all the masses celebrated everywhere even if done at the same time. The Spirit is, therefore, a manifestation of God’s presence. It is another fulfillment of God’s promise to be with us. We bid JESUS goodbye and was rightly sad for the separation. But it was temporary. In fact, it was replaced by the permanent presence of the Holy Spirit.
Second Week of Easter
The second week of Easter allows us to continue entering into and embracing the gift we have received in the death and resurrection of Jesus. The prayers and the readings keep inviting us to celebrate the gifts we have received.
In the Acts of the Apostles, we watch Peter and the others show such courage and boldness in proclaiming the good news. They are filled with the Spirit. We see that they also care that no one is in need, ensuring that even the widows are taken care of.
The Gospel story about the encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus takes us deeper into the mystery of our re-birth into Jesus. It has to do with walking in the light.
The Passion of Christ
A depiction of the last twelve hours in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, on the day of his crucifixion in Jerusalem by our Middle School Students. The story opens in the Garden of Olives where Jesus has gone to pray after the Last Supper. Betrayed by Judas Iscariot, the controversial Jesus--who has performed 'miracles' and has publicly announced that he is 'the Son of God'--is arrested and taken back within the city walls of Jerusalem. There, the leaders of the Pharisees confront him with accusations of blasphemy; subsequently, his trial results with the leaders condemning him to his death. Jesus is brought before Pontius Pilate. Pilate listens to the accusations leveled at Jesus by the Pharisees. Realizing that his own decision will cause him to become embroiled in a political conflict, Pilate defers to King Herod in deciding the matter of how to persecute Jesus. However, Herod returns Jesus to Pilate who, in turn, gives the crowd a choice between which prisoner they would rather to see set free. The crowd chooses to have Barrabas set free. Pilate washes his hands of the entire dilemma, ordering his men to do as the crowd wishes. Jesus is presented with the cross and is ordered to carry it through the streets of Jerusalem, all the way up to Golgotha.
WELCOME TO THE FIFTH FRIDAY OF LENTEN SEASON
Lent is a 40-day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday. It’s a period of preparation to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter. During Lent, the faithful are also encouraged to go to confession, to perform works of mercy, give alms, and to support the Catholic Church.
WELCOME TO THE FIRST FRIDAY OF LENTEN SEASON
Lent is a 40-day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday. It’s a period of preparation to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection at Easter. During Lent, the faithful are also encouraged to go to confession, to perform works of mercy, give alms, to support the Catholic Church.
THE FEAST OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES
February 11 is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes who appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous in on February 11, 1858, in Lourdes, France. Young Bernadette was gathering wood near a grotto when she heard a noise and felt a gust of wind. She turned and “something white in the shape of a girl.” She immediately knelt to pray the rosary before the Blessed Virgin disappeared. Bernadette witnessed many more visions at the grotto and the event grew in great popularity to become one of the most traveled to pilgrimage sites for Catholics. The feast day is a great opportunity to explore this devotion that is very important to many Catholics around the world.
We celebrate the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes through a novena prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes – The feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is also known as World Day of the Sick. It was started by Pope John Paul II as a way for believers to offer prayers and sacrifices for those suffering from illness.
THEME: THE FEAST OF SAINT AGNES
The Feast of Saint Agnes is January 21st. She is the patron saint of young girls. Born in 291 AD in Rome, Italy. St. Agnes is one of the most famous early Christian virgin martyrs and she is mentioned in one of the Eucharistic prayers of the Mass. Because of the legend around her martyrdom, Saint Agnes is patron saint of those seeking chastity and purity. She is also the patron saint of young girls and girl scouts.
According to tradition, Agnes was a beautiful girl, about 12 or 13 years old, who refused marriage, stating that she would have no spouse but Jesus Christ.
Her suitors revealed her Christianity, which was then condemned as a cult. After refusing to renounce her faith, she was murdered during the persecution of the Christians by the Roman emperor Diocletian and was buried beside the Via Momentanes.