I. “Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service” is the national theme as we celebrate the gift of Catholic schools 2017. Catholic schools offer academic excellence and faith filled education for students. National test scores, high school graduation rates, college attendance and other data show that Catholic schools frequently out-perform schools in both the public and private sectors. While some Catholic schools are challenged by declining enrollment in school closures, the good news is that there is a strong demand and enthusiasm for Catholic schools. Nearly 30% of Catholic schools have waiting list for admissions and new schools are opening across the country. There is a built-in sacrifice for parents and parishes alike—a sacrifice which is worth the effort.
St. Stephen Cathedral Parish is willing to work with any family who wishes to enroll their child(ren) in our Catholic schools.
II. Welcoming Reception: We are delighted to have you in St. Stephen Cathedral faith community! If you have not been to a welcoming reception, you are invited to the Cathedral Rectory 6:30—8:30 p.m., on Thursday, February 5th. Please RSVP to Janet Murphy (270.485–8553).
III. Candles Galore! What does a candle do best? Give Light. Drive out darkness. Be vulnerable—burn itself out or give of itself freely. Thursday, February 2nd, is the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus, or Candlemas Day. Mary and Joseph presented Jesus in the temple to consecrate him to the Lord God. There they met Simeon, who recognized Jesus as the Messiah and declared Him “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel” (Luke 2:32), and Anna for whom the temple worship was part of everyday life. God rewarded their fidelity by allowing them to see the One who was Savior and Light, and to hold Him in their arms. This feast sparked the tradition of blessing enough candles to last the entire year. Bring candles with you to Mass on Thursday–we’ll be glad to bless them.
IV. Feast of St. Blaise: while serving as Bishop of Sebaste in Armenia, Blaise was a visible witness of the Gospel, which eventually led to his martyrdom during the persecutions of Diocletian. His feast day, Friday, February 3rd, is commemorated with a blessing of throats because legend says that he cured a young boy choking on a fishbone. Do I use the gift of speech/tongue to praise God and build up God’s Kingdom? Or do I curse, gossip, defame, lie, tear down God’s people and his kingdom here on earth? We will have the Traditional blessing of throats at both Masses on Friday.