“FAITH WITH CHARITY & LOVE”

BishopCote3 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has declared this as the Year of Faith for the Catholic Church. 2013 also marks a very special time here in the Diocese of Norwich as we celebrate our Diamond Jubilee. As we mark our 60th Anniversary, we declare this our year of “Faith with Charity and Love.”

It was in 1953 that the Diocese of Norwich was established, when the beautiful Church of St. Patrick on Broadway in Norwich was consecrated as the Cathedral, and our journey of faith as a new Diocese began.

Christ taught that our faith can move mountains. In our 60 years as a Diocese, we have accomplished so much, seeing first hand that with God, all things are possible. The loyal and generous support given each year to our Annual Catholic Appeal continues to allow us to spread the message of the Gospel and help our brothers and sisters most in need. Your display of “Faith with Charity and Love” has made this an active Diocese and a vibrant family of believers.

The incredible stewardship you display each year by your support of the Annual Catholic Appeal is in itself an amazing testimony to your “Faith with Charity and Love.” Each day, the ministries directly supported by the ACA move mountains. Our ministries nurture those with physical and spiritual hunger, and assist those who have nowhere else to turn. Our ministries inspire, educate, and enlighten. We counsel, console, and offer comfort and love to the children of Christ who seek his help. When we act in “Faith with Charity and Love,” we do what Jesus asked of us.

Despite the difficult economic times, I pray that you will continue to make a difference in the lives of many. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement. As we look to the future, the past 60 years are proof that with God, all things are possible.

May you be most blessed during this special Year of Faith and Jubilee. As I look back on these past ten years as Bishop, I am so very proud of the generosity and deep commitment you have shown as faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Together we have made a difference and together we will continue to make a difference through our “Faith with Charity and Love.”

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Michael R. Cote
Bishop of Norwich

 

SaintJohnChurchMiddletown.com

Digest of Articles from Catholic Blogs and Websites
February 24, 2013

Second Sunday of Lent
Luke’s version of the transfiguration of Jesus is more personal than the accounts of Mark and Matthew. Thus, for example, Luke alone tells us that Jesus was at prayer when this occurred. And he alone informs us concerning the subject of Jesus’ conversation with Moses and Elijah, that they “spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem” (v.31).
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2nd Lent: The Divine Sculpture
“How am I to know that I shall possess the lands you tell me you are giving me?” Abram asked God. Abram received the covenant with God in a mystical way. He was told to make a very large sacrifice, but not in the normal manner. He was to sacrifice a heifer, a goat, a ram, a turtledove and a pigeon, but instead of burning them, he had to cut them in half, except for the birds. Then we have this scene of Abraham spending the day keeping the vultures away from the carcasses, no small job. Evening came and Abram fell into a trance. God provided the fire for the immolation of the sacrifice. A smoking pot and a flaming torch passed through them. The covenant was sealed with the action of the spiritual.
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The Glory in Sight: Scott Hahn Reflects on the 2nd Sunday of Lent
In today’s Gospel, we go up to the mountain with Peter, John and James. There we see Jesus “transfigured,” speaking with Moses and Elijah about His “exodus.”

The Greek word “exodus” means “departure.” But the word is chosen deliberately here to stir our remembrance of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt.
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Home of the Homesick
Bottom line: Our citizenship is heaven. In Jesus we find the country we long for, our true home.

This Sunday Jesus invites us to climb a mountain. He wants us to go with him, like Peter, James and John do, for this purpose – to pray. On that mountain Jesus gives Peter, James and John a glimpse of his glory. That experience prepares them for what is coming. Jesus desires to give us a similar experience – a brief look that will reveal our future. We may not have the same exact experience as Peter, James and John, but we do receive tiny glimpses of where we are going.
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10 things you need to know about Jesus’ Transfiguration
The Gospel reading for the Second Sunday of Lent commemorates the mysterious event known as the Transfiguration.
This event is hard to understand. Why did it happen? What did it mean?
Here are 10 things you need to know.
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The Gift of Peter: Reflections on the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI – Cardinal Timothy Dolan
On Monday, February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, news arrived from Rome that that has not been heard since decades before Columbus sailed for the new world: The Holy Father had renounced his office, declaring that the See of Peter would be vacant on February 28. This news was startling. While a papal resignation is foreseen in canon law, the Catholic imagination is stretched by it. I am grateful for Pope Benedict XVI’s lifetime of service to the Church, and admire his humility in voluntarily relinquishing his ministry as Bishop of Rome.
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Praying Like the Devil
4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 
  
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
  
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,”he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
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In Defense of the Papacy: 9 Reasons True Christians Follow the Pope
Listers, glory and honor to God for giving us the grace of the papacy. The Pope is the “Advocate of Christian Memory” and he holds the King’s people to the King’s laws until our Savior returns. Each year on February 22nd the Church celebrates the Cathedra Petri – the Chair of St. Peter.
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Lent at the End of an Age
We are at the end of an age. And that is a fact that must loom large in the inventory of our Christian lives, for which we are all individually responsible. The priest or bishop or professor who misled us in college will not be with us at the judgment seat. Neither will “the culture” or the media. Lent is the suitable time to put aside all excuses and to reflect on larger concerns, which are becoming more acute with each passing year.
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A Little Lent Within Lent: The Tradition of Ember Days
Do you remember Ember Days?
   
If you’re a baby boomer or older, you may remember those days of fast and abstinence which occurred in four seasons of the year. Father John Hardon, S.J., in his Modern Catholic Dictionary, explained the Ember Days like this:

They were the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after St. Lucy (December 13), the First Sunday of Lent, Pentecost, and the feast of the Holy Cross (September 14).
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10 Quotes That Will Change the Way You Attend Holy Mass
Saint Gertrude the Great once reported that for each and every Mass that we hear with devotion during our lives, Christ sends a saint to comfort us in death. I was deeply moved the first time I read this.

Intellectually, I know that great value of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass – it is the solemn re-presentation of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Father in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. It’s the source and summit of the Christian life. However, it is often difficult to remember this amazing truth in the midst of our common distractions during Holy Mass.
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What does it mean to “offer it up”?
In this video, Fr. John Bartunek and Dan Burke talk about what it means to join in the redemption of Christ through suffering. If you are alive, you are suffering in some way. With this video you will gain perspective on that suffering and how you can use it to grow in your relationship with Christ and to aid others in their redemption.
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The Bells and Smells of Mass –Why Our Senses Matter When We Worship
We are “fearfully and wonderfully” made by God and His crafting of us is undeniably intricate. Our five senses give us a plethora of experiences with which to enjoy all of His creation. Our immediate surroundings provide much in the way of sensory pleasure – to the point that we often take them for granted. Similarly, our senses can also propel us back in time, where we are able experience past pleasures anew. Take a favorite song, for instance. A few musical notes and we are transported back in time – to our first love, senior prom, or a delightful vacation. We also relate to the memories evoked by the smell of a freshly baked apple pie or a favorite recipe – like Mom used to make. Even realtors have been known to employ this tendency to lure prospective buyers into a feeling of having ‘come home’.
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How to Meditate Like a Catholic
Meditation is a beautiful, yet often neglected, form of prayer and worship that deserves a special place in the spiritual lives of Catholics. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that meditation is above all a quest. “The mind seeks to understand the why and how of the Christian life, in order to adhere and respond to what the Lord is asking” (CCC 2705). It is the act of quieting the mind and heart in order to spend time reflecting upon God and His works, seeking a deeper understanding so that we might discern His will more clearly.
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Signs and Sacraments
One of the great difficulties facing Catholics today is to have an understanding of the faith that stretches beyond mere dogmatic formulations. Blessed John Paul II viewed this as one of the greatest challenges of his papacy. Whether it was his encyclicals, his speeches or his general audiences, the Pope tried to get Catholics to take a deeper look at the truth. Far from diminishing the importance of dogmatic statements, a deeper understanding is meant to make them more important in our lives.
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Five Ways Catholics can Make a Difference
Do we sometimes feel overwhelmed in the face of the relentless assault on the Church, our beliefs, and our families by the media and modern culture? Is it difficult to stand up for what we believe? Do we ever feel like we can’t make a difference? Many Catholics I encounter are struggling through daily battles to live out their faith and protect their loved ones…all in the midst of a very difficult eco­nomic climate. It would be easy to throw in the towel and give up or remain silent, but that is not an option for us. We are called to do more. We are called to be holy: “Therefore in the Church, everyone whether belonging to the hierarchy, or being cared for by it, is called to holiness, according to the saying of the Apostle: ‘For this is the will of God, your sanctification’” (Lumen Gentium, Second Vatican Council, 39).
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Yes, we call priests “Fathers,” but no, we are not violating Matthew 23:9
A couple of years ago, before I became Catholic, I was listening to the radio on a Sunday morning, on my way to a Lutheran (LCMS) church service. The guy on the radio was the pastor of a local non-denominational church. He proceeded to go on a tirade against the Church for labeling priests as “Fathers,” and cited Matthew 23:9 as proof that the practice was in violation of Jesus Christ’s teachings.
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Dealing with Demonic Rage
If you ever want to see how bad things have become find an article in the mainstream media about the Pope or the Catholic Church, then jump down to the comments page. You’ll probably find the most sweaty, irrational, blasphemous, ignorant and rage-filled rants imaginable. I saw one this morning which called for the Pope to be killed.
I realize that one should not generalize from the rage of a few internet crazies, however, if you spend any time at all browsing such articles from media sites you’ll find that the attitude crops up in papers across the English speaking world from “respectable” sites through to the tabloids. It is pretty widespread and scary.
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Interesting Papal Trivia
At the improving Catholic News Service there is an interesting papal trivia post. Check it out HERE.
 
As with baseball, the accumulation of small pieces of information can be of critical importance in that moment of greatest need!
Here is the second part of the fun-facts:
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                              SaintJohnChurchMiddletown.com

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