Dear Friends in Christ,
Last Sunday, we celebrated the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We usually see the Blessed Mother as a beautiful and delicate lady who only sweetly whispers. This fragile person has no real place in our hard-knock world. Most of the artistic depictions of our Blessed Mother present her as too beautiful, delicate, and fragile to be relevant in our world.
Perhaps we should take a closer look at this determined and strong Jewish mother rearing a child in a very difficult time in history. When she said “yes” to the Angel Gabriel, she knew that many people would never accept the idea of a virgin birth and for the rest of her life; some people would whisper about her and hold her in scorn as an adulteress. She knew that she would be at risk of being stoned as an adulteress and that Joseph could refuse to complete the wedding union. She would need to be determined and strong while teaching her Son to always trust Yahweh. Despite what happened or what people did to him, he was to be forgiving and loving. It must have been difficult to give birth in a smelly stable, run away to Egypt so that Jesus would not be massacred with the other innocent children, and to live in a foreign land for five years. It must also have been hard to return and see so many people distrust and hate her Son, to bury her beloved husband all too soon, to see Jesus falsely accused by the religious leadership, found guilty in a rigged trial, and finally tortured and murdered by an occupying Roman empire. Through it all, this determined and strong woman held on to her faith in Yahweh and in her Son’s special place in God’s heart.
Our Blessed Mother walked by faith and not by sight and in trust in her God. Jesus would have learned from Mary how to hold on and to suffer if that was what was required to do the will of God. He would also have learned from her to be forgiving and gentle, look beyond what our human understanding teaches, trust the wisdom of God, and to see foreigners as our brothers and sisters as he once was. Most of all, she would have taught him to be strong amid troubles and to walk in the joy of being in the presence of God. She would have taught him her song to sing every day, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has found favor with his lowly servant.” This mother and Son walked humbly before their God and people. Our Blessed Mother is more than a delicate and fragile flower. The next time you are going through a rough patch in life, you will want to have a conversation with her.
Sincerely in Christ,
Deacon Paul Shelton
Mass Times for Our Community
From the beginning of the pandemic through the transition to a new pastor, our community has been through a lot. Our faith and our unity have been our strength. As we start to come back together to worship, we hope our new trial Mass schedule with help us grow in faith and unity. We wanted a Mass schedule that makes it possible for Fr. Matt and Deacon Paul to be able to celebrate with us. We also want to emphasize that we are one Pastorate, one community, with two beautiful worship sites where all are welcome!
Our new schedule is:
- Saturday: Confessions at 3 PM and Mass at 5 PM (Saint Matthew)
- Sunday: Mass at 9 AM (Saint Matthew) and 11 AM (Blessed Sacrament)
One Sunday Mass will still be livestreamed; the 1st and very last Sundays from Blessed Sacrament and the other Sundays from Saint Matthew.
We hope to continue this schedule for a while and then evaluate again how it is working as a Pastorate community going forward. Hope to see you at our vigil Mass or the early or late Mass at either of our beautiful Parishes – all are welcome!
Are you someone or do you know someone who…
- Has expressed an interest in becoming Catholic?
- Was baptized Catholic as a child, but has not become a full member of the Church through the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist?
- Baptized into another religion but never received any formal religious education.
At Saint Matthew, we offer an opportunity to come together and learn more about our faith journey. The sessions focus on the teachings and experience of Church, personal prayer, and deepening our personal relationship with the Lord.
This process is called The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A). We look forward to hearing from you soon. Don’t delay! Call Sr. Andre at 850-207-4679. The sessions will begin in September!
As you read in Fr. Matt’s letter in the bulletin a couple weeks ago, we are creating a new ministry in our pastorate that is one of liturgical support, safety, and welcome for our Masses. These ministers are the first people that visitors or regular attendees meet when they come to the church, setting the spiritual climate of the Mass by presenting a joyful attitude as they make others feel welcome and comfortable. They will also facilitate a general sense of order and safety so that everyone is free to worship without interruption.
There are a variety of aspects to this ministry which will call for personal dedication and full participation on the part of volunteers. Training will be required for those who wish to volunteer for this important role.
If you want to know more about this opportunity to serve, please contact the church office no later than Monday, August 23rd, and leave your name and email address or phone number so we can contact you.
Parish workday on Saturday, August 28th, from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM – volunteers needed!
Spruce up our church grounds by edging, pruning, sweeping, and weeding.
Meet at the office – bring work gloves, edgers/leaf blowers (battery or gas powered), and weeding tools.
Any amount of time you can give is appreciated.
Let’s make our campus beautiful!
Archdiocesan mental wellbeing initiative
Financial peace returns!
Meetings are held VIRTUALLY every Tuesday at 7 PM now through September 14th.
The following link is for registration: http://fpu.com/1138514
Contact Keyah Spann for more information or questions at 410-852-8453 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration is open to both Saint Matthew and Blessed Sacrament.
- A Catholic Response to an Epidemic – Please note that some of this information was published before all Parishes were closed.
- Magnificat online – free resources for prayer including each day’s Readings for Mass (weekdays and weekends), Liturgy of the Hours, and more. To access the Readings for Mass, scroll down to Magnificat online edition, U.S. edition.
- My Parish App – This the Readings and prayers for the Sunday Celebration of the Mass and much more!
- Find more resources here!
Our collections are lower during the Summer due to vacations, so if you can increase your weekly giving or make a larger gift for the Summer, it would be most appreciated! If you haven’t already made a donation to our air conditioning collection, please consider doing so – every little bit helps!
Online Rosary – Saturdays at 10 AM:
As covid-19 and other challenges to our society continue to be with us, our prayers and our actions are still needed! Therefore, you are invited to join us for a chat, share what you are experiencing, and share what you would like to pray for as we pray the Rosary together.
For this meeting we ask you to register, just for an added layer of security. To register click this link and follow the directions:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the meeting. You can register up until Saturday morning at 9:30 AM.
Weekly Bible Study with Deacon Paul from Blessed Sacrament – Thursdays from 8 to 9 PM:
This Bible Study is conducted by phone conference and the conversation concerns the Readings for the coming Sunday. Anyone is welcome to call in and participate or simply listen.
The number to call is: 425-436-6356
When asked for the code dial: 698937
You can also join the call by ZOOM!
Join Zoom meeting:
Meeting ID: 868 9378 6919
By phone with no video: 1-301-715-8592
The Readings for each week’s Bible Study can be found on the USCCB website at the following link:
You can watch one weekend Mass LIVE on Facebook and on YouTube every Sunday! See the schedule above for Mass online. Visit our Facebook page or YouTube channel to watch recorded Masses from previous weeks.