January 28, 2018

I. Catholic Schools Week, our Owensboro Catholic Schools benefit all year round from the religious guidance, prayers, and support parishes provide. St. Stephen Cathedral is proud that we have 100+ parishioners in our Catholic Schools K-12. I wish to thank parents for this decision and the sacrifice it demands from you. In addition to Sunday Mass, Catholic school parents are asked to be involved in our parish, to make sure their children are involved in some parish ministry, to be PR people for recruiting (over 95% of our parents are “happy” or “very happy” with our Catholic schools), and sacrificial giving ( our Cathedral parish contributes $2700 for each student enrolled). It’s about faith. A big shout out of gratitude to our  parish-ioners for your unfailing support of this important ministry.

II. Our Five Star Cathedral Preschool! Father Jamie and I will preside at a Blessing Prayer Service for each classroom Monday and Tuesday. Many parents and grandparents will be present this week as they witness each child being called forth to receive a special blessing; of course, each of our teachers and aides deserve a blessing as well! Again, thanks all our teachers, in concert with Pam Weafer, who have merited a five star rating, the highest possible, from the Commonwealth of Kentucky for our Cathedral Pre-School. Yeah! Congratulations!

III. Feast of the Presentation of the Lord is rooted in every day life. And faithful observance of the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph present Jesus in the temple to consecrate him to the Lord. There they meet the faithful Simeon and the prophetess Anna, for whom temple worship was part of every day life. Simeon’s song announcing that he has seen God’s salvation in the child Jesus, and the actions of the prophetess, Anna, giving thanks to God and testifying about the child to those who awaited Jerusalem’s redemption, form the heart of today’s Gospel. Can you find the stained glass window in our church depicted this Fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary?

IV. Blessing of Candles will take place at both 7:00am and 12:05pm (noon) Masses (please make an effort to be present). The candle, an important sacramental in our Church tradition, signifies Jesus being The Light of the World, driving out darkness, lightening up our way, pouring out/giving up his life for us. Bring your own candles. V. Blessing of Throats on the Feast of Saint Blaise, Bishop and Martyr, this Saturday, February 3rd, at the 9:00am Mass, is another tradition which, of course, is optional. As our throats are blessed with candles from yesterday’s liturgy, we ask ourselves how faithfully we give voice and bear witness to the challenging Gospel message. We pray that we be spared from all illnesses of the throat, as well as words that detract, diminish, deflate, tear down, divide, including calumny, detraction, and all gossip and cursing. May our voices be used to build up and glorify God!

VI. Birthright Baby Bottle Drive: if you have not already done so, pick up an empty baby bottle from church, fill it up with loose coins, cash or checks, and return to church next week or drop it by the parish office. Birthright of Owensboro celebrates 34 years of serving women in need! They offer free pregnancy testing as well as emotional, material, and spiritual assistance with love and kindness. Birthright also offers help with maternity
clothing, baby clothing, diapers, formula, and many more items to help new moms. Parents, this is a great teaching opportunity for your children. Visit Birthright at 512 West 7th Street. Volunteers are needed to help greet clients and answer phones on Monday-Friday from 8:00am to noon. Thanks to Kate Abney for her leadership through our Social Concerns Committee