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  • 2019-2020 RCIA Class Page

    • Calendar

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    • Let's Chat!

      Leon Milnes - Oct 2, 2:59pm:
      Welcome to the chat wall!
      Leon Milnes - Oct 26, 1:51am:
      Hi Everyone. This church is awesome!
      Brian Franz - Mar 15, 10:20pm:
      Hello Elect!
      Geoffrey Siesel - Mar 16, 2:50pm:
      Hello all!
      Brian Franz - Mar 29, 11:57am:
      I sure wish I could get that discussion below to sort most recent posts first. I'll keep trying.
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    • Discussion

      Brian Franz · 2 months ago
      Let's try to hold our discussion here while we patiently wait for COVID-19 to pass. Marian and I will post prompts to which you may respond.
      Brian Franz · 2 months ago
      The Woman at the Well:  OK, let's hear from you.  Post any response or thoughts you have to the notes I sent out to you regarding our cancelled dismissal:  Jn 4: 5-42. Do you see any connections or threads among the readings? Is there a word, phrase, or idea that stands out to you, grabs your attention, or that resonates with you? How is God talking to you, personally, through these readings?
      Brian Franz · 2 months ago
      Here you may post any questions or concerns you might have about what's been going on with all the cancellations and how RCIA will be affected
      Brian Franz Back · 2 months ago
      Ok, looks like all masses have been cancelled through Easter weekend.  This is indeed sad news because the Vigil is such a beautiful Liturgy - The most beautiful of the whole year.  BUT, there will be one just like it next year so you can still experience it. AND, like we said, your initiation into the Church will only be delayed NOT cancelled!
      Sara Robinson Back · 2 months ago
      Happy St Patrick’s Day! From the Breastplate of St Patrick Prayer: “Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.” May Gad protect and guide us all. May He fill us with His grace so that we can face, with Him, whatever lies ahead. ❤️
      Ken Snow Back · 2 months ago
      Thanks for the prayer, Sara!
      Sara Robinson · 2 months ago
      All of this really saddens me, but if everything happens for a reason I bet it's a good one. BE WELL everyone!!
      Brian Franz Back · 2 months ago
      That's a really positive and trusting way to look at this Sarah.  And trust can be difficult sometimes, as shown in the 1st reading this past Sunday where the Israelites grumbled in the desert.
      Sam Cochrane · 2 months ago
      Thinking of all of you during this difficult time and praying. Stay safe and well!  Blessings, Sam
      Brian Franz Back · 2 months ago
      Nice to know Sam.  My guess, well maybe more of a hope, is that we are all thinking of one another too.  I am with you on this Sam.
      Brittany Marayag · 2 months ago
      I am so saddened by all of this. I am praying that everyone stays healthy and safe during this unprecedented and uncertain time. I know this will all happen for us when it is meant to. 
      Brian Franz Back · 2 months ago
      Brittany, I think you mirror the hope that is in all of you elect.  So beautiful from my perspective.
      Ken Snow · 2 months ago
      I have been reflecting on the three readings for the Third Sunday of Lent and will try to express my thoughts. In the first, Exodus 17:3-7, the Israelites have left Egypt and are in the wilderness. They are without water, and angrily confront their leader, Moses. Essentially, they are asking, "Why has God forsaken us?" But they don't see that it is not God who has forsaken them, but that it is they, through their lack of faith and through their selfishness, who have forsaken God. Moses is troubled and cries out to the Lord for help and the Lord tells him to take some of the Elders and go ahead to the Nile, which at that time was completely dry. God tells Moses to strike on the rock at Horab with his staff and that he (the Lord) will make the water flow so the people can drink of it. Although this miracle occurs, is witnessed by the Elders, and the people subsequently are able to drink of it, the people still quarrel and test the Lord, saying, "Is the Lord in our midst or not?" I think what this reading is saying is that the Israelites lacked faith, hope and trust in the Lord, even when his presence was miraculously demonstrated before them.    In the second reading, Romans 5:1-2, 5-8, Paul says to the Romans that we (all people) have been justified by faith and have gained peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ (his life, his suffering, his death and his resurrection). And it is through Christ in whom we have gained access, by faith, to the grace in which we stand, and that this faith creates genuine hope in our full realization of personally sharing in the glory of God. Paul says, "...we even boast of our afflictions, knowing affliction produces endurance, and endurance proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us." He continues by saying that Christ died for us, all of whom are sinners, while we were still helpless in a sinful state. Yet he willingly died at the appointed time to redeem us in the sight of God from this ungodly state. This is, of course the essence of Christ's role in redeeming sinners (all of us) through his sacrifice. I think that what Paul is expressing here is the crux of our faith. I think "affliction" refers to our feeling of being "victims" in the way life often plays out to less than what we may (selfishly) desire it to be. However, even when we experience this, deep down we know that this builds character and, subsequently, endurance, and with faith in the Lord we can grow through these experiences, and that God's grace is what truly animates our lives. Christ died for us, knowing we were unworthy sinners. Yet it is through this selfless act that he has prepared us to be free and achieve oneness with God our maker.  In the Gospel reading, John 4:5-42, Jesus encounters the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well and asks her to give him a drink of water. The woman is bewildered, as Samaritans and Jews do not associate, especially in sharing vessels for food or drink. Yet Jesus says to her, "If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." She is confused by this. But Jesus says to her, "Everyone who drinks this water (from the well) will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life." Jesus knows the woman's history and she is amazed. He tells her he is the Messiah who has long been prophesied: "I am he, the one who is speaking with you."  Jesus' disciples return and, besides questioning his associating with the Samaritan woman, urge him to eat but he says to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know. My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work."  The woman then goes to the Samaritan town to spread the word of Jesus at the well, and the people follow her back to the well where they see for themselves that he was, indeed, the Savior of the world. I think John is giving us a revelation of Jesus' true manifestation as the Son of God, first in his interaction with the woman, telling her that it is he who gives the true water of life (that is, the holy Spirit) which quenches the thirst of being separated from God. In the same fashion, he says to his own disciples, who somehow are missing the point that he is the Messiah, that he does not need to eat the food of mortals, but that he has "the food of which you do not know. My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work." John is telling us that through Jesus' earthly walk he provides us with both the water of life (the connection to the holy Spirit) and the food of the spirit, which in fact is Jesus' conscious roll of doing the will of the Father. The unfinished work is to bring humanity back to is creator. Tying these three readings together might seem easy at first glance, but in some ways they don't have obvious threads running through them: In Exodus, God produces a miracle at the hand of his servant, Moses, to the unbelievers. And, despite their plea for water in the bone dry wilderness, to which God responds by providing said water, they still doubt his presence and his power. Foolish and petty humans (sinners). In the reading from Paul's letter to the Romans, the "afflictions" he speaks of are much like the disparaging doubts the Israelites harbor in the wilderness with Moses. Yet, he says that, through the grace of God in giving us his Son who redeems us for our sins, and through whom we encounter the holy Spirit, we become spiritually joined with God and, as such, can experience eternal hope and peace. God is "poured into our hearts through the holy Spirit"--perhaps an allusion to the saving water of life God provided to the unbelieving Israelites in the wilderness. it is through Christ that we become reconnected to God. Here Paul assures us that, through the love of God, and through the sacrifice of his son, we are able to receive this "water of life" and encounter the grace of our creator. But we must become true believers. In John's gospel, the symbol of water becomes more clear: it is Jesus, the long-prophesied Messiah, God's only begotten Son, who is in fact the true water of life. As a human he embodies the holy Spirit and the infinite power of his heavenly Father. Unlike the foolish Israelites in the wilderness who, even after a life saving miracle is manifest to them, the Samaritan woman, and also the members of her community, see and believe that Jesus is truly the Messiah. Yet, even Jesus' own disciples, who have been with him for a good period of time, don't grasp the truth of who is is. They speak of food for the stomach. Jesus speaks of his work in bringing about the kingdom of God in the earth as his food. So, in summary, I believe these readings chart the path of God's chosen people (the Israelites) in their unbelief, even in the presence of a miracle which only God could produce, to that of the Roman followers of Jesus who are given encouragement by Paul to strengthen their belief in Christ as the redeemer of mankind in God's sight, and finally to the Samaritan woman (and her community) whose doubts are transformed into a genuine belief in Jesus as the true Messiah. Unfortunately, Jesus' own disciples have yet to grasp who he really is.  So the threads here, or at least the standout words and concepts, are: water (both in physical sense and as the symbol of the holy Spirit), and food: ultimately the message is that God always provides what we need, and that Jesus is both the water and the bread of life.  
      Brian Franz Back · 2 months ago
      Ken, I like how you contrast the lack of trust and faith of the Israelites (and the apostles to some degree) with the readiness or unrestrained trust of the Samaritans.  And it's the Israelites and apostles that were already 'in the fold' so to speak - they had more evidence and reasons to believe than the Samaritans. yet they were the stubborn ones.  I think it's kind of like us cradle catholics.  We get so used to it that sometimes we fail to recognize it, it's lost its luster -sometimes we're even like spoiled children.  Then you (Catechumens and Candidates) come along and remind us and refresh us and make it shiny again.  Thank you.
      Brian Franz · 2 months ago
      Happy 5th Sunday of Lent everyone! Joanne, sorry if I didn't mention the time limit on those zoom mtgs (40 mins I believe - note to self....) I really enjoyed seeing all your faces again and hearing some familiar voices too.   I do miss you. My family has been watching the live broadcasts of mass on Sundays and I am curious about something. At my house we are all going thru the motions - standing, sitting, kneeling and saying the prayers out loud.  And if there were singing I would be singing out loud too.  I do miss that part.   Like Marian said, she is even dressing for mass.  Is anyone else doing such things?  What has been your experience? Through that activity I still feel a deep sense of connection with our parishioners, our parish, our diocese, our church across the face of the earth - even though I can't see it I know that we are all doing this as one church.  This social distancing isn't going to beat us/God. Any thoughts?  
      Brian Franz Back · 2 months ago

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