I. Anointing of the Sick will be offered on the World Day of Prayer for the Sick, Tuesday, February 11, which is also the Feast of our Lady of Lourdes. The Sacrament of Anointing is appropriate for those suffering from physical or psychological illness, facing major surgery, or enduring the difficulties of advanced aging. Through this Sacrament, Christ refreshes our spirit to persevere and strengthen us in the midst of suffering; Christ reassures us of His constant presence and that the whole Church shares in our suffering. We are not alone.
It is the role of the entire community of faith to care for those who are sick, homebound, or confined to a nursing home. Never underestimate what a phone call, note, or a short visit can mean. A special note of gratitude to Fr. Sinoj and our Ministers of Care who reach out to our sick.
II. Owensboro Catholic Schools Registration: Catholic schools, which focus on educating the total person-body, mind, and spirit—have been in existence in America for over 200 years. Statistics show: 1) Catholic schools save the USA over $20 billion annually based on the average per pupil cost of educating public school students; 2) over 99% of Catholic school students graduate from high school and 85% attend a four-year college; 3) students from Catholic schools demonstrate higher academic achievement then their public school peers from similar social economic backgrounds; 4) Catholic school graduates or more likely to pray daily, attend Church more often, retain a Catholic identity as an adult, and donate more to the church. They are more apt to vote and be civically engaged and are committed to service as adults.
The parishes in the Owensboro Diocese contribute a greater percentage of monies to support Catholic schools than most other parishes in the U.S. dioceses. This is a sign of our support/love for Catholic schools and their mission to form our children with the mind of Jesus. I want to encourage all of our parents to consider Catholic schools for your children. Student assistance funds are available.
“O My God, I beg You, by your loneliness, not that You may spare me affliction, but that You may not abandon me in it. When I encounter affliction, teach me to see You in it as my sole comforter. Let affliction strengthen my faith, fortify my hope, and purify my love. Grant me the grace to see Your hand in my affliction, and to desire no other comforter but You.” (St. Bernadette of Lourdes)
III. Saint Valentine of Rome, is a third-century Roman saint widely celebrated on February 14 and commonly associated with “courtly love.” In 1969, the Roman Catholic Church removed St. Valentine from the General Roman Calendar, because so little is known about him; however, it is highly agreed that St. Valentine was martyred and then buried on the Via Flaminia to the north of Rome. St. Valentine is the Patron Saint of engaged/betrothed couples, bee keepers, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travelers, and young people. This day might be a good opportunity to ask myself: do I express my love to those who mean so much to me? How do I express my love to God for all the good done for me?
IV. Congratulations to our Shepherd, Bishop Medley, as he celebrates the 10th Anniversary of his ordination as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Owensboro. You are invited to Vespers (official Evening Prayer of the Church) at our Cathedral on Monday, February 17, at 6:00pm. A reception will follow in the Community Center. We have no idea the burden that accompanies the role of Bishop in our Church today.
V. How Does One Grow Faith? One way for men (includes Seniors in High School) is to commit seven hours (seven hours may seem like a lot of time, but not if we consider how much time we spend golfing, watching TV or on Multi-media, etc.) to the Men’s Conference on Saturday, February 15 at the RiverPark Center downtown Owensboro. I have had many men to tell me how this conference over the past several years has made a difference in their faith commitment. Pick up registration form at doors of the Cathedral or sign up on-line. Visit kycatholic.com online for more information.