November Liturgies

During November, we come to the end of the Church year, and we are asked to consider the end times – our own as well as the world's. The culmination of the liturgical year is the Feast of Christ the King which asserts the supreme authority of Christ over human beings and their institutions. Beyond it we see Advent dawning with its preparation for the birth of Christ and its foreshadowing of the Lord’s coming in glory. The main feasts are the Solemnity of All Saints, (November 1), All Souls, (November 2), St. Charles Borromeo, (November 4), the Lateran Basilica, (November 9), St. Leo the Great, (November 10), St. Martin of Tours, (November 11), St. Josaphat, (November 12), St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, (November 13), St. Albert the Great, (November 15), Sts. Margaret of Scotland and Gertrude … [Read more...]

Remember to Pray for the Faithful Departed!

Traditionally, the Church dedicates each month of the year to a certain devotion. In November, we remember the Holy Souls in Purgatory – faithful Christians who have died and gone before us but who still must atone for their sins. The time they spend in Purgatory cleanses them so that they may enter Heaven free from all effects of sin. Praying for the dead, especially for those we have known, is a requirement of Christian charity. Our own prayers and sacrifices can be offered up to relieve their suffering. The following prayer, among others, can be incorporated into our daily prayers during this month: Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. A plenary indulgence, … [Read more...]

Blessing of the Cemeteries

On All Saints Day, Monday, November 1, 2021, at 12:00 noon, Father Freddie Kaddu will bless the St Vincent de Paul Cemetery on Soniat and Loyola Avenue (behind Newman School).  This cemetery is the resting places for many longtime parishioners of St. Stephen Church, as well as the Vincentian Priests and Daughters of Charity who served our parish for over 150 years.  On the same day at 12:30pm, he will bless the St. Joseph Cemetery at 2220 Washington Avenue.  Many people take the occasion of the blessing as a time to beautify these resting places and pray for the souls of their faithfully departed relatives, priests, religious sisters and friends. … [Read more...]

First Friday Devotion

Jesus recounted the following to St. Margaret Mary, and this devotion has been recognized by the Church: “To all those who, during nine months on end, will receive Holy Communion on the first Fridays of every month.  I promise the Grace of final perseverance. They will not die in My disgrace, but will receive the Sacraments (if necessary), and My Heart will be sure shelter for them in that extreme moment.” The First Friday promises of our Lord to St. Margaret Mary: 1.  I will give them graces necessary for their state of life. 2.  I will establish peace in their houses. 3.  I will comfort them in all their afflictions. 4.  I will be their strength during life and during death. 5.  I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings. 6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the … [Read more...]

Feast Day of Pope St. John Paul II

Friday, October 22, 2015 the Church throughout the world will celebrate the Feast Day of Pope St. John Paul II. Pope St. John Paul II, also known as Saint John Paul the Great, was Pope from October 16, 1978 until his death on April 2, 2005.  He was the second longest-serving pope in modern history after Pope Pius IX, who served for nearly 32 years from 1846 to 1878. Born in Poland, John Paul II is credited as helping to end Communist rule in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe.  John Paul II significantly improved the Catholic Church's relations with Judaism, Islam, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion. One of the most traveled world leaders in history, John Paul II visited 129 countries during his pontificate. As part of his special emphasis on the … [Read more...]

Monthly Explanation of the Mass

The Eucharistic Prayer  The Eucharistic Prayer is the “center and high point of the entire celebration,” through which “the whole congregation of the faithful joins with Christ in confessing the great deeds of God and in the offering of Sacrifice” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 78). This central prayer of the Mass is why we often refer to the entire celebration as Eucharist, which is not a thing, but rather an action – Eucharist (a Greek term) literally means “to give thanks.” Although this prayer is spoken mostly by the priest, the gathered faithful are in no way spectators. We are all doing something even if we are not speaking – our active participation is paramount here, for we are offering our very selves in thanksgiving for all God has done to save us and we join … [Read more...]

Our Lady of the Rosary

October 7 In 1571 Pope Pius V instituted “Our Lady of Victory” as an annual feast to commemorate the victory of Lepanto, where Christian forces successfully thwarted an attempted invasion of Western Europe by the Muslim forces of the Ottaman Empire. The victory was attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, as a Rosary procession had been offered on that day in St. Peter's Square in Rome for the success of the mission of the Holy League. In 1573, Pope Gregory XIII changed the title of this feast-day to “Feast of the Holy Rosary". This feast was extended by Pope Clement XII to the whole of the Latin Rite, inserting it into the Roman Catholic calendar of saints in 1716, and assigning it to the first Sunday in October. Pope Pius X changed the date to 7 October in 1913, as part of his effort to … [Read more...]

St. Vincent de Paul Feast Day, September 27

Born in 1581 into a farming family in Pouy, France, Vincent's initial desire to be a priest was mainly for social advancement and monetary gain. Through a process of careful planning and being in the right place at the right time, Vincent was ordained a priest at the ripe age of nineteen by an elderly bishop who could barely see or hear. Beginning his ordained life with less than pure motives, Vincent's change of heart began in the middle of one of his visits to the poor tenants of a wealthy estate holder. When Vincent was called to hear the confession of a dying man, the spiritual naiveté of the penitent shocked Vincent. The poor man knew next to nothing about his religion.  Not long after, Vincent preached a sermon on general confession from the pulpit in the village chapel of … [Read more...]

St. Januarius September 19

According to various sources, Januarius was born in Benevento to a rich patrician family near Naples, Italy. At a young age of 15, he became a priest of his parish in Benevento, which at the time was primarily pagan. When Januarius was 20, he became Bishop of Naples. During the persecution of Christians by the Emperor Diocletian in 305 AD, Januarius was arrested and beheaded at the Solfatara crater near Pozzuoli. According to the Roman Martyrology, “the body of St. Januarius was brought to Naples, and there honourably interred in the church, where his holy blood is kept unto this day in a phial of glass, which being set near his head becomes liquid and bubbles up as though it were fresh.” The miracle of the liquification is the chief reason for the notoriety of St Januarius. The relic … [Read more...]

Hurricane Storm Damage

It will be obvious when you come to St. Stephen Church on Saturday or Sunday that we were hard hit by Hurricane Ida.  We lost the entirety of the roof to our school gym as well as much of the copper covering our gorgeous steeple. We are already in the process of mitigating our damages and repairing things so that we can get our children back in school.  The steeple might take a little longer to evaluate.  Notwithstanding the forgoing, we have maintained our Mass schedule since the hurricane hit, although we had to move it around over the last two weeks.  But beginning Monday, September 13, we will resume our normal Mass schedule at St. Stephen and St. Henry Churches. Due to the storm and the numbers of people who evacuated, we are pushing the start of our fall adult education and our … [Read more...]