On the Fourth Sunday in Lent, March 22, 2020, the people of St. Anthony of Padua parish held a special day of Eucharistic adoration in a time of containment.
It is important that we, as Catholics, cooperate willingly and gladly with the authorities, as an act of love, to help slow and stop the spread of the new COVID-19 virus. Therefore, all public liturgies and gatherings in our diocese have been suspended since March 18.
So we did something else.
The doors of St. Anthony's have been open every day from 9 o'clock to 9 o'clock. People can come and pray quietly, and pay a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, and maybe light a candle. The church is big enough that even if there are ten people at a time, we can still be 20 or 30 yards apart.
Last Sunday, we set the monstrance on the altar with the Blessed Sacrament for all 12 hours. There was always somebody in the church. Sometimes there were a several people - we kept our bodily distance from each other even as we grew closer to the Lord.
In the course of the day, about 75 people spent any-where from a few minutes to a few hours in prayer. It was truly beautiful.
We "behaved ourselves" - that is, there was a great deal of respect both for the sacredness of the Eucharist and the gravity of our pubic health. Therefore -
all else equal, we will repeat this Day of Adoration on Sunday, April 19 (the Second Sunday of Easter).
Friar Bob Showers OFM Conv.
by parishioners Shelley & Ted Pulver
If you ever want to be uplifted, full of life and hope, you need to experience The March For Life in Washington DC. We joined the Indiana group with the Knights of Columbus at the National Mall. The excitement of being surrounded by thousands of like-minded pro-life people is what feeds our fire to continue to be a voice for the precious pre-born babies who are in danger of being aborted. Especially seeing the thousands and thousands of high-school and college students who traveled far distances to stand up for life was uplifting! They are our future hope!
This year’s rally made historic measures with the attendance by the only sitting president ever! The President made an uplifting speech promising he would continue to support pro-life efforts. He also stated that everyone is precious in God’s eyes and has the right to life. The Vice-president and his wife also sent a video to support the March.
There were several more presentations from individuals making their stand for life and telling their stories. Two women who are now mothers spoke of their life struggles after they were a product of a botched abortion. How they have forgiven their birth mother but wanting us to understand the reality of abortion.
Following the rally, the crowd amounted to several hundred thousand people converged to march down Constitution Avenue around the Capital Building and ending at the Supreme Court Building where Roe VS. Wade was put into law in 1974. Even though our presence is peaceful, our motives are fierce and we must all stand together to protect the lives of those who are most vulnerable.
We also attended the opening mass National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on January 23. The homily was beautiful and carried a strong message for our church. This was certainly one of the highlights of the trip. You can see the mass on YouTube below.
Please consider attending the March for Life 2021! Feel free to contact us to join forces to support the unborn and their mothers and fathers here in our church and community beginning now!
Shelley and Ted Pulver
(Shelley is an active member of the parish's Human Life and Dignity Commission)
Pastor's note: after talking with a number of parishioners of different ages, we are considering organizing our own parish group to go to the March for Life in 2021. If you are interested, please let Fr. Bob know (firstname.lastname@example.org)
On the last day of February, 2019, between 50 and 60 people gathered at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Angola, Indiana to intercede for those persecuted because of religion. The local Knights of Columbus led the parish in an evening devotion that had been prepared by the national K of C. The service featured a "travelling icon" of Our Lady, the Help of Persecuted Christians. We prayed for those persecuted BECAUSE they are Christians, and for those persecuted BY Christians.
"In every age, Christians have suffered for their faith, from the Roman Coliseum to the recent beheadings perpetrated by ISIS. Brave women and men, embracing the cross of Jesus, have gone to their deaths rather than deny their faith, and the blood of these martyrs serves as the 'seed of Christians', enlivening faith in others. Today, the witness of martyrs continues in an especially intense way in the Middle East, where priests are murdered for offering Mass and families are driven from their homes for displaying a cross.
"With this Marian Prayer Program, we honor the martyrs over the centuries as we call particular attention to the suffering of today's Christians ... Featuring the newly commissioned icon of Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians, the prayer program is the latest in a series of efforts undertaken by the Knights of Columbus to aid those who suffer for their faith. ..."
- from the introduction to the the prayer booklet used that evening
Fr. Bernie Zajdel OFM Conv. presented the following message from Pope John Paul II, his "Message for World Mission Sunday, May 28, 1996."
The identity of the Christian as witness is marked by the unavoidable and distinctive presence of the cross. There can be no authentic witness without it. Indeed, the cross is the necessary condition for all who have firmly decided to follow the Lord. "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me." (Luke 9:23) All the witnesses of God and Christ, beginning with the Apostles, have known persecution because of him. "If they persecuted me, they will persecute you." (John 15:20) This is the legacy which Jesus left to his followers and which each one must accept and incarnate in his own life. Golgotha is the only way to the Resurrection.
The cross, in fact, is the imitation of Christ in faithful witness and patient and persevering daily work. The cross is swimming against the tide, making decisions according to God's commandments despite misunderstanding, unpopularity, marginalization; the cross is the prophetic denunciation of injustice, of trampled freedoms, of violated rights; the cross is having to live where the Church is most opposed, obstructed and persecuted.
Together with parishes around the diocese, members of St. Anthony of Padua parish are growing in their faith by particip-ating in the process called "Why Catholic: Journey Through the Catechism", by Renew International.
Over the last several years, we deepend ourselves in prayer, the sacraments, and the creed. This fourth year deals with Christian morality - wwe seek to live a good life. A good life includes help-ing others. Each small group was encouraged to do something as a group to help other people. Patricia Geise reports:
Our Why Catholic group calls itself the Why Nots - as in, why NOT Catholic? And we have been industrious for babies and families!
At the outlet mall in Fremont there is a Carter's children's clothing store. Each year, this national chain (part of OshKosh B'gosh) con-ducts a drive called "Carter's PJ Program: Give Good Nights and Good Days to Children in Your Community". The store accepts pj donations from shoppers over the Christmas Season. People are generous beyond belief, notably at our local Carter's.
Women's Care Center of Northeast Indiana in Auburn (WCC-Auburn) has been selected as recipient from Carter's at Fremont outlet mall. Our parish supports the WCC, as well as the CareNet women's centers, in many ways. The Why Nots decided that we could support the WCC-Auburn by supporting Carter's Christmas PJ Program!
So, the Why Nots devoted an Advent evening to sorting, tagging, and putting on hangers 200 pairs of pajamas. It was a wonderful evening!
We all agree that joining a Why Catholic group at St. Anthony's has enriched and personalized our Catholic faith. And, what a bonus to reach out to others, working together!
WWC-Auburn is thrilled to have received this plentiful gift from Carter's. We, the Why Nots, hope to build awareness among our parishioners of this act of kindness by a local retail store.
submitted by Patricia Geise, Dec. 20, 2019
Each year at Advent, the church offers us the opportunity to listen to the prophets of the Old Testament whose promise of a Messiah filled the people with hope at times of hopelessness. The Old Testament promise was fulfilled at the first coming of Christ into our world whose birth we are preparing to celebrate at Christmas.
Advent also invites us to make ready for His second coming, and to make room in our hearts for His arrival here and now--the Third Coming of Christ. It is with deep trust in God’s unconditional love for us that we acknowledge our failings in the presence of each other and seek his forgiveness.
John the Baptist is the great prophet of the New Testament who calls us to ready our hearts. John is the Prophet of Joy and the Forerunner of the Messiah.
God of mercy and compassion, as we come together to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ, may the truth of His word bring love and hope to the darkness in our lives. Help us to bring down the hills and fill up the valleys, to straighten the crooked and to smooth out the rough until a highway runs right to our hearts, where Christ will make His home, for He lives and reigns, forever and ever. Amen.
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
The Word of God comes to us in the concrete realities of life — even as we go about our daily work, as we raise our families and build our societies, and sometimes when we find ourselves in the wilderness. Hearing the Word of God requires that we listen. So I ask myself:
- Do I pray every day?
- Do I go to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation?
- Are there things in my life that get in the way of God’s word for me?
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
God has given us the holy sacraments as vehicles of His grace — we hear the Word of God in the celebration of the sacraments.
- How long has it been since my last confession?
- Do I prepare myself to receive communion?
- Do I ever think about or let myself be inspired by the promises of my baptism and confirmation?
- Do I keep the vows of my marriage or ordination?
- Do I visit the sick?
John said to the crowds who came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruits as evidence of your repentance; and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.”
- God has given me the gift of faith. Do I take it for granted?
- Do I look down on people of other religions, or on those who have no religion?
- Do I think I’m better than anyone else?
And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?”
Sometimes I need God’s guidance. Do I ask for it? Do I listen?
John said to them in reply, “Whoever has two tunics should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.”
- Do I have a tendency to hoard and possess what is not necessary and still yearn to have more?
- What brings me contentment and security?
- Am I generous with my money and contribute whenever I can to charities which help to alleviate poverty?
- Do I make time in my schedule for other people?
- Do I reach out to the lonely?
Now the people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Messiah.
We long for the salvation of God. We long to understand the meaning of our existence, to see an end to our problems, to receive God’s help in our suffering. We long to know that we are loved.
- Do I dare to hope in God?
- Do I trust God in my weakness? And come to God in my strength?
- Do I show love?
John answered them all, saying: “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire.”
Sometimes we have other gods besides the one true God. Sometimes we take it into our heads that salvation comes from our own will power and discipline, from some political party or program or some political messiah, from some philosophy or from wealth, comfort, food or entertainment.
- Who or what is my god?
- Am I humble before the Lord?
- Do I long to receive the baptism of God’s fire?
Exhorting them in many other ways, John preached good news to the people.
- What is my attitude towards the most vulnerable in the community?
- How compassionate am I towards those who have personal struggles?
- As an employer, do I treat my employees with respect and equality? As a parent? As a teacher? As a person of influence?
- As an employee, am I trustworthy and honest? As a son or daugher? As a student? As a citizen?
- In my relationships, am I self-centred?
- Am I more concerned with satisfying my personal needs than putting the needs of others first?
Now Herod the tetrarch, who had been censured by John because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil deeds Herod had committed, added still another crime to his list by putting John in prison.
John the Baptist was a messenger of God, a prophet preparing the way for the coming of the Saviour by encouraging the people to repent. Prophets are often ridiculed, persecuted or simply ignored. As we strive to witness to the values of the Gospel in today’s society, we too, are likely to meet ridicule and ignorance.
We will be challenged by the prophets of our times, and tempted, in our turn, to ignore them, ridicule them or cheer their persecution.
- How do I react to such experiences?
- Do I easily ‘give in’ and compromise my values by finding ways to avoid the challenges?
- Do I resent it when some members of the Church call upon me to change my attitudes or preconceptions?
- Who and what helps me during the difficult moments of my life?
John the Baptist was the herald of the Messiah and made him known when at last he came. In his love Christ has filled us with joy as we prepare to celebrate his birth, so that when he comes he may find us watching in prayer, our hearts filled with wonder and praise.
The Blessing Box Facebook page wrote:
St. Anthony's Catholic Church parking lot at 700 West Maumee St., Angola. Indiana is the home for their new BLESSING BOX!!! Glory to God!!
Thank you Eric Anthony for sharing about the BLESSING BOX. Some of the things he shared was:
"On a sunny but cold and windy Palm Sunday, the traditional start of Holy Week for Catholics and some Protestants, members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Angola along with representatives from St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Angola got together after 6 months of planning to erect the first >Blessing Box< in Angola. So what is a Blessing Box? It's a place where people can donate items that they think that others, especially those in need, might find good use for. And, subsequently, those in need, or who simply need something, can drive or walk up to it and take what is needed any time of day or night, any day of the week. No questions asked. All of the wood, nails and shingles were recycled from the priest's previous residence that was located at St. Anthony's and torn down when the new church was built."
Beautiful with alot of preparation!! Thank you for stepping out in Faith!!
-Blessing Box Community, Crystal Rock Cathedral, Ardmore OK
But childish love does not last. If our love is to deepen, we must get to know God more deeply.
Saint Anthony said:
The child loves just because.
The adult loves, not because, but in spite of.
Think of someone you love.
Make a list in your head of things you really like about that person, all the things that make you love them …
Now make a list of all the little things about that person that irritate you.
Often, the second list just writes itself, faster and longer than the first list.
Here is what adults discover: We love in spite of all these things! Not because, but in spite of. You are called to love your neighbor in spite of everything. This is a holy love.
Blessings for the Feast of St. Anthony
friar Bob Showers OFM Conv.
My inspiration for this entry:
“Saint Anthony and You: A Novena” by friar Juniper Cummings OFM Conv.
(available online at: https://www.ecatholic2000.com/cts/untitled-421.shtml)
- Laurie Beard
- Tamera Wise
- Jaime Tellez
Ballots cast: 137
Vote count: Laurie Beard 99, Tamera Wise 97, Jaime Tellez 87, Dan Caruso 85
As of now, the Parish Pastoral Council consists of: Laurie Beard, Ruth Libey, Julissa Reyna, Ben Roederer, Chris Scott, Jaime Tellez & Tamera Wise.
Fr. Bob sends his thanks and congratulations to the new PPC members, his gratitude to the outgoing members Liat Peters and Doug Osos, his thankfulness to all the candidates, and his gratitude to all those who have served this parish on the pastoral council in the past or who serve now.
The group Journey through Faith chose to follow the parish religious education schedule. One very busy, working mother said that finds the RE schedule works perfectly as it finishes in time for her to pick up her children for Mass. She added that the Why Catholic sessions have deepened her knowledge of Catholicism, and just as importantly, she has come to know other parishioners as they share their thoughts and knowledge during the discussions.
She shared that she is now listening to Bishop Barron's Word on Fire (available free to St. Anthony's parishioners: see here) and, at the suggestion of another group member, she listens to the podcast Catholic Stuff You Should Know.
The members of the Journey through Faith group appreciated Friar Joe’s insight and wisdom a great deal. He, too, commented that he enjoyed the sense of community and the opportunity to get to know more people in the parish.
Another Why Catholic small group, "Jesus' Rebels", decided to gather to listen to Catholic talks from the Lighthouse CD series after morning Mass every Thursday. (These CDs are available for purchase in the gathering area of the church.) The Spanish small group, Levántate, will continue to meet each Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. Some small groups are finished until next fall, and others again have found other ways to continue their ongoing formation as Catholic adults.
Together in Christ,
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