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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Novena to the Holy Family

A Happy and Blessed New Year to all!

The Feast of the Holy Family is Sunday, January 8, 2012. If you start the Novena today, December 31, it will end on the Feast Day.

O most loving Jesus, Who by Thy sublime and beautiful virtues
of humility, obedience, poverty, modesty, charity, patience and gentleness,
and by the example of Thy domestic life didst bless with peace and happiness the family Thou didst choose on earth,
in Thy clemency look down upon this household,
humbly prostrate before Thee and imploring Thy mercy.
Remember that this family belongs to Thee;
for to Thee we have in a special way dedicated and devoted ourselves.
Look upon us in Thy loving kindness; preserve us from danger;
give us help in time of need, and grant us the grace to persevere to the end in the imitation of Thy Holy Family;
that having revered Thee and loved Thee faithfully on earth, we may bless and praise Thee eternally in heaven.

O Mary, most sweet Mother, to thy intercession we have recourse, knowing that thy Divine Son will hear thy prayers.

And do thou, O glorious Patriarch, St. Joseph, assist us by thy powerful mediation, and offer, by the hands of Mary, our prayers to Jesus. Amen.

Here mention your petitions for this novena..........

1 Our Father ...1 Hail Mary... 1 GloryBe

Lord Jesus Christ, who,
being made subject to Mary and Joseph,
didst consecrate domestic life by Thine ineffable virtues;
grant that we,
with the assistance of both,
may be taught by the example of Thy holy Family
and may attain to its everlasting fellowship.
Who livest and reignest, world without end.

(Indulgence, 5 years each time)

A Prayer to The Holy Family, for One’s Children

O Jesus, only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father,
well-beloved Son of the Blessed Virgin and foster Child of St. Joseph,
we most fervently implore Thee, through Mary Thine ever-blessed Mother and St. Joseph Thy foster father,
take our children under Thy special charge and enclose them in the love of Thy Sacred Heart.

They are the children of Thy Father in Heaven, created after His own image;
they are Thy possession, for Thou hast purchased them with Thy Precious Blood;
they are temples of the Holy Ghost, who sanctified them in Baptism and implanted in their hearts the virtues of faith, hope and charity.

O most loving Jesus, rule and guide them, that they may live according to the holy Catholic Faith,
that they may not waver in their confidence in Thee and that they may ever remain faithful to Thy love.

O Mary, Blessed Mother of Jesus, grant to our children a place in thy pure maternal heart!
Spread over them thy protecting mantle when danger threatens their innocence;
keep them firm when they are about to stray from the path of virtue; and should they have the misfortune of falling into mortal sin,
oh, then raise them up again, reconcile them with thy Divine Son and restore them to Sanctifying Grace.

And thou, O holy foster father St. Joseph, do not abandon our children!
Protect them from the assaults of the wicked enemy and deliver them from all dangers of soul and body.

O dear parents of the holy Child Jesus!
Intercede for us parents also, that we may bring up our children in the love and fear of God and one day attain with them the Beatific Vision. Amen.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Feast of St. Stephen Recap

A beautiful and successful Solemn Mass for the patronal feast of St. Stephen! Thanks go out to Fr. Bede Kotlinski, OSB, Fr. Michael Donovan, O. de M., and Mr. Albert Beltz, a seminarian for the Diocese of Cleveland, as well as the St. Stephen schola for providing the wonderful music.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

A very blessed and merry Christmas to you all!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Feast of St. Stephen

December 26 is a special day for St. Stephen Church, and they will celebrate with a High Mass in honor of their patron at 6:30pm.

For those who don't already know, you may find it very interesting that at the foot of the cross in the sanctuary at St. Stephen Church, which you can see well in the main picture at the top of the blog, is, of course, the Blessed Virgin Mary on Christ's left. But the figure on His right, in red, is not St. John the Apostle. Can you guess who it is?

Sancte Stephane, ora pro nobis!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New First Saturday Mass - Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish

The following message was received via email letting us know about a new First Saturday devotion and Traditional Latin Mass being offered at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish.
Sacred Heart of Jesus
1545 South Green Road ~ South Euclid, OH 44121
Phone: 216.382.7601 ~ Fax: 216.382.4992
email: office @

8:00 a.m. First Saturday Mass & Devotions
This Mass is in the Extraordinary Form.

The Mass will begin at 8:00 a.m. Individual confessions will be available beginning at 7:30. Following the Mass we will recite the Rosary and prayers to Mary.

Click here to see photos of their Extraordinary Form of the Mass for the External Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus 3 July 2011.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Solemn High Mass, Dec. 8, St. Stephen Church

For the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a holy day of obligation, St. Stephen's will offer a Solemn High Mass at 4:30pm. 


We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which asserts that the Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from every stain of original sin is a doctrine revealed by God and, for this reason, must be firmly and constantly believed by all the faithful.
With these words, spoken in 1854, Pope Pius IX, in the Papal Bull ineffabilis Dei, declared Mary's Immaculate Conception to be dogma. Pius did not invent the concept. Rather, he was affirming a belief held by many Christians that came before him, from East and West, that Mary was conceived free of the stain of original sin, on account of Christ's work. God caused this immaculate conception in order to render Mary a pure vessel to bear God-made-flesh.

Mary, the one who is "full of grace" and the one whom "all generations will called 'blessed'" has been viewed as unique since the earliest days of the Christian faith. Just as Christ has been called the "new Adam," the Church Fathers, especially Saints Justin (AD 150) and Irenaeus (AD 180), saw Mary as the "new Eve," who humbly obeyed God, even though Eve disobeyed. The Church Fathers also called Mary the "new ark of the covenant" and theotokos, God-bearer. It is from these titles that the doctrine of Mary's Immaculate Conception and sinlessness unfolded. Thus St. Ephrem the Syrian (d. AD 373) spoke of Mary as without stain or blemish, calling her "all-pure, all-immaculate, all-stainless, all-undefiled, all-incorrupt, all-inviolate" (see Nisibine Hymns, and "Precationes ad Deiparam").

St. Ambrose (d. AD 397) wrote "lift me up not from Sarah, but from Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled, but a Virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free of every stain of sin" (
Commentary on Psalm 118

Augustine left open the possibility of Mary's sinlessness, even using language similar to the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception:
We must except the holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin (
On Nature and Grace
, 42).
Later Fathers, such as St. John of Damascus (d. AD 755) and St. Andrew of Crete (d. AD 740) continued this emphasis on Mary's sinlessness as bearer of God. John of Damascus wrote:
The Father's...sanctifying power overshadowed her, cleansed and made her holy, and, as it were, predestined her. Then Thou, Word of the Father...didst take flesh of the Blessed Virgin, vivified by a reasoning soul, having first abided in her undefiled and immaculate womb...(Sermon I: On the Assumption)
John also spoke of Mary's "holy, undefiled, and stainless soul" (Sermon II: On the Assumption). However, there was no official dogma of the Immaculate Conception as of this period. Most Church Fathers agreed that Mary was sinless at the time she gave birth to Christ. They disagreed as to whether Mary was made sinless at conception, birth, or when she said "yes" to God's call. Even some prominent medieval Western theologians (notably St. Bonaventure and St. Thomas Aquinas*) denied Mary's Immaculate Conception, although not her sinlessness. Even today, Catholic and Orthodox theologians agree that Mary is the all-holy, blameless, "new ark"; the debate is not about Mary being sinless, but about when Mary was made sinless. Part of this disagreement is because the East does not believe in original sin as the Western Church defines it. Orthodox theologian John Myendorff, in 
Byzantine Theology
has suggested the East would likely accept the Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception if they had a Western understanding of Original Sin. The East and West nonetheless seem to be getting at the same "mystery": Mary's sinlessness and holiness in her role as theotokos.

*- St. Thomas believed, like most at the time, in the entire personal sinlessness of Mary, and believed that Mary was made immaculate before her birth; His writings place this sanctification somewhere between conception and birth, at the time when her soul and body were joined, an event some medieval theologians believed occurred a short time after conception.