Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

St. Juan Diego, a humble Aztec peasant, saw the Blessed Virgin Mary on the Hill of Tepeyac near present-day Mexico City on December 9, 1531, the feast of the Immaculate Conception at the time. After a request by the bishop to prove her identity, Our Lady asked Juan Diego to gather the roses which he found growing on the hill, which were neither native to the area nor in season, and take them to the bishop. Juan Diego did so and placed the roses in his tilma (or cloak). Upon opening the tilma to reveal the miraculous roses to the bishop, there was something even more miraculous present—an image of the Virgin Mary dressed as a pregnant Aztec princess. The various design elements on the tilma read like a codex to the Aztecs, revealing to them the truth of the Catholic faith preached by the missionary priests. Millions quickly converted to the Catholic Church as a result. This apparition and image is venerated under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the first Marian apparition in the New World, and the only one where Our Lady produced an image of herself. The perfectly preserved tilma is venerated at her basilica and shrine in Mexico City. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of the Americas, the New Evangelization, and unborn children. Her feast day is December 12th.


 


Read More: The Woman Who Changed the Face of a Hemisphere

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Las Vegas Catholic Worker

Compassionate Hearts, Mystical Body

Six pots boil away on the stove; it’s my morning to cook! A new Fettuccine Alfredo recipe demands more of my focus. Still, I’m aware of the volunteer arrivals. Conversations and greetings spill in and I recognize familiar voices and notice newcomers.

Miraculously, without much coordination on most mornings, enough volunteers arrive before dawn to participate in our mission of providing a hot meal for a few hundred homeless men, women and sometimes children.

Our volunteers trek from all parts of the city. Many are Catholic, some are from other faith traditions and some not claiming any religious affiliation at all. They are all ages: parents with young children, retirees, college students and teenage youth groups. They come from varied life experiences: teachers, doctors, social workers, artists, peace activists and seekers.

Looking about the circle, gathered hand-in-hand in prayer before venturing out to serve the morning feast, I am often struck by the spectrum of diversity. People who are unlikely to cross paths and converse are in this moment standing side-by-side, ready to transcend any illusion of our separateness for the greater purpose at hand.

A mystical body is being formed as we are willing to move together into the zone of the suffering reality with vulnerable, compassionate hearts. A mystical body that not only coexists but coalesces to manifest and mirror the divine light present in all life.

The miracle of what happens at the Catholic Worker may be that the multitudes are fed. And with your help we have done this consistently for over thirty-two years. Yet I offer that in this historic moment another dimension of the Catholic Worker way becomes especially relevant. In a time where many are defaulting to a stance of hatred, intolerance, fear and divisiveness, we stay committed to the vision of Gospel love and nonviolence. We aim to provide a place for the many members of this broken body to find hope and healing in working together for the well being of the lost and forgotten. We need your financial kindness to continue our ministry here on the streets of Las Vegas.

PayPal will pay 101% of donations made to the Las Vegas Catholic Worker in December. See our website: www.lvcw.org

Las Vegas Catholic Worker
500 W. Van Buren Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89106-3039


PLEASE JOIN US:

  • Wednesday-Saturday, 6:00 a.m.: Morning prayer at Catholic Worker.
  • Wednesday-Saturday, 6:30 a.m.: Breakfast served to 150-200 poor & homeless people.
  • Wednesday, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.: Hospitality Day, we invite 20 homeless men home for showers, to wash clothes and for a great lunch.
  • Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: Vigil for Peace in front of Federal Courthouse, 333 Las Vegas Blvd. S.
  • Thursday, 10:30 a.m.: 50 lunches taken to the homeless.
  • Second Saturday of the month: Knights of Columbus Pancake Breakfast to the homeless.
  • Third Saturday of the month: Deliver food boxes to homes in need.

Las Vegas Catholic Worker
500 W. Van Buren Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89106-3039
(702) 647-0728 ~ mail@lvcw.org ~ www.lvcw.org

Reflection for Week 2 of Advent

Out in the Wilderness

Something big was about to happen, but then John the Baptist had been expecting something unusual. He had heard stories about the time before he was born, how he had come onto the scene long after his parents thought children would be part of their lives. Both his mother Elizabeth and his father Zechariah, a priest, had received messengers—though his father did not at first believe what was happening—who made surprising promises that John would take after the prophet Elijah.

John “grew and became strong in spirit,” and in time he embraced his calling to be a prophet with a passion and headed out to the wilderness.

He even looked the part. With his camel’s hair clothes, leather belt, and a diet of locusts and wild honey, he was the spitting image of Elijah. And he had a prophet’s message: to call people back to God. “Repent,” he said—let your heart be changed, turn your life around—“for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Go down into the waters of baptism and come up a new person. Know you are forgiven.

Then came the moment John’s whole life had been heading toward. He realized one was “coming after me” who was “more powerful than I.” He even started denying he was the prophet he acted so much like. I’m not Elijah, or the Messiah, he said. The real Messiah was on his way.

John didn’t recognize Jesus at first when he showed up at the Jordan River to be baptized. But when Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens opened and God’s presence came down like the Spirit of God that had swept over the waters at the creation of the world. And if anyone there needed any further persuading, a voice from above was heard to say, “This is my Son, the beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

john baptize jesus

John had completed his work. He had made straight the paths for the way of the Lord.

It’s Advent. Jesus is near. With the rest of the people of God you are out in the wilderness waiting for him to appear. How can you make straight the paths of your own life? Be open to a change of heart, to letting yourself be turned in a new direction. To what new roles—perhaps unexpected ones—does your life, like John’s, point? Could it be to bring some forgiveness and peace to yourself, your family, your friends, your coworkers, the world?

The answers may be hidden just beneath the waters, waiting to surface.

sjhom logo

Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network

 

Greetings from Rev. Bill Blazek!

As the new Regional Director for U.S. and Canada, I’m excited about the many good things happening at the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network! We’ve changed our name to better align with our mission; we’ve formed a new regional team; we have exciting things planned for 2018; and I believe our opportunities are limitless in reaching a new generation of participants and supporters.

Each year, friends like you, generously give in support of our mission. Without your contributions, we could not advance the mission of uniting in prayer to love, serve and sacrifice for God and our neighbor. Our Holy Father says many things about power of the prayer. It’s in this quote by Pope Francis that sums up our mission perfectly, “How powerful prayer is! May we never lose the courage to say: Lord, give us your peace.” With a renewed emphasis on the Pope’s prayer intentions, we’ve undergone a name change and have also begun work to broaden our reach and ensure our resources are available to the poor and marginalized. Allow me to share with you some highlights!

A Focused Mission in the Name Change

Since 1844, our mission has been to help Christians live out their desire to serve God with their whole lives and their whole selves. God asks us all to pray for ourselves and for others – to make ourselves a living sacrifice and to “pray without ceasing” for the needs of the Church and for the entire world. Since the nineteenth century popes have asked our apostolate to pray for specific intentions. Accordingly, we receive a prayer intention each month from the Holy Father, pledging ourselves to pray for it every day.
The mission of our ministry is to encourage Christians to make a daily offering of themselves to the Lord for the coming of God’s Kingdom and for the Holy Father’s monthly intentions. It is precisely this call by our Holy Father that gave rise to the need to change our name. Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network makes clear the fact that our mission is to pray for our Holy Father’s intentions and that we are people connected across the world, uniting in prayer for the challenges facing humanity. This habit of prayer encourages a Eucharistic spirituality of solidarity with the Body of Christ and loving service to others. Nourishing this spiritual program is the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. United in this apostolic network we pray with the Holy Father in the Heart of Christ.

Our Mission of Spreading the Good News:
New Ardor, New Methods and New Expression
Saint Pope St. John Paul II, one of our recent Holy Fathers would often proclaim our need to profess our faith with new ardor, new methods and new expression. We are poised as an apostolate to advance our mission in just this way.
New Ardor for the Sacred Heart of Jesus!

First, we have an opportunity to reinvigorate our love for the Sacred Heart! There couldn’t be a better time in history than now to share with greater zeal the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Christ’s bleeding and pierced heart is wounded by our transgressions, yet on fire with love for all mankind! His most Sacred Heart unites us as Christian disciples with each other and our Holy Father. Pope Francis reflecting on the heart of Jesus in one of his Angelus addresses said, “… the Heart of Jesus is the ultimate symbol of God’s mercy – but it is not an imaginary symbol, it is a real symbol, which represents the center, the source from which salvation for all humanity gushed forth.” We have the unique and special call to spread this devotion with new ardor.

 p3
New (Modern!) Methods to Foster Prayer

In 2016, Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network launched its first ever app, Click-to-Pray. Today we have more than 65,000 English language users of our app. The motto of the Click-to-Pray app is “Together, we make each day different.” This app is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. Click-to-Pray encourages users to pray every day for the challenges facing humanity and the mission of the Church, as expressed by the Pope in his monthly prayer intentions. This app reminds users of the World Day of Prayer (first Friday of each month) and proposes a rhythm of prayer three times a day: with Jesus in the morning, during the day, and at night. Apps like this represent “new modern methods” of reaching our younger generations! With your support, we can continue to make this accessible to people all over the world and in new languages.

New Expressions through Video

Across our history, our Holy Fathers have presented their monthly prayer intentions. Since 2016, through ministries such as ours, we are able to produce and distribute a monthly “Pope Video” where Pope Francis expresses those prayer intentions that he recognizes as the most pressing challenges facing the world today. Through this video, we are able to see the genuine concern our Holy Father has for his flock. We are able to see his authentic love and care for the needs of people around the world. It is in this expression that people around the world become compelled to pray. It is in this expression that fosters relevancy and meaning, giving hope to the world at large! Your generosity allows us to continue this expression of our Holy Father’s love and mercy.

Expanding Our Reach to Regions Entrusted to Us

Our work never stops. We continue to bring our message to people through direct mail, print and social media. We have plans to evolve our communications channels so that we are reaching the young, the poor and the marginalized. This includes underprivileged Latino immigrants, Native Americans and First Peoples in Canada. We already have a strong outreach to Vietnamese immigrants through our Eucharistic Youth Movement. It is through this movement that we have laid plans this year to welcome immigrants, originally Asian and Pacific Islanders, in cooperation with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. A great challenge for us will be strengthening our outreach to French Speakers in Canada and the U.S., as well as establishing a true ministry to Spanish speakers in both countries that goes beyond simply offering some of our documents in translation.

Make Your Gift
God is Love

The spiritual content of our ministry and its formation program is presented as a school of the heart. In prayerful silence and in awe should they be received, for they speak of our history with Him. We are invited to live a personal love covenant with the Risen One, and to offer daily our readiness to collaborate with Him in his mission, as his apostles. We are put to the service of the Church and sent out to make God’s compassionate love present in the world.
We hope you’ll find our cause worthy of your end-of-year donations. There’s no greater call than to be a part of a mission that unites people together in prayer in devotion to His Sacred Heart for the Holy Father’s desire to meet the challenges facing humanity.

Your gift enables us to:

  • Grow our ministry in ardor – passionately sharing the need for devotion to the Sacred Heart
  • Reach more people through new methods – across U.S. and Canada. We rely on the generous contributions to keep our mission alive!
  • Spread this Good News through expressive channels – allowing more people from around the world to personally encounter Christ through our Holy Father’s message.

Please consider a tax-deductible donation and complete the enclosed card and mail in before the end of the year. Click here if you’d like to make a gift.

With gratitude and in The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,

Rev. William Blazek, SJ
Regional Director for Canada and U.S.

Popes Worldwide Prayer Network

Pray with St. Jude during Advent

These Advent meditations are meant to help the love of Christ grow within you. Use them throughout the season to pray for the intercession of our patron, St. Jude, who offers hope and healing in so many ways.

The Claretians will be praying for you this Advent season. Send your special intentions for Advent to the National Shrine of St. Jude today. Together we await the birth of the Savior. May your faith be refreshed as you keep yourself open to God’s love.

The daily meditations for the first week of Advent are below. You can also view the Advent meditations on our website and bookmark the page so you can return to it each new week of the Advent season.

advent wreath

December 3rd – First Sunday of Advent

The Advent wreath is lit, marking the coming of the birth of our Savior. Prepare the way of the Lord by committing to a quiet time of reflection throughout Advent.

“Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.”

Prayer to St. Jude for Advent
Lord Jesus, your power is infinite; your glory, everlasting. Quietly you come into the world as an innocent child. Ready my heart for the miracle of your birth.Bring light to the world, as we wait silently for your warmth in the coldness of the night. Bless me with patience and faithful discipline to prayerfully prepare to welcome and greet you.

St. Jude, Patron of Hope, pray that Christ’s holiness will flow into me this Advent. May Christmas joy and burning love take root in me and grow to carry the joy beyond me and inspire hope in others. (send an Advent petition) Amen.

December 4th

The Blessed Mother gave herself over freely to God’s will. May you discern God’s presence in your life so you can continue to say “yes” like Mary did.

“But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.”

Prayer to St. Jude for Advent
Lord Jesus, your power is infinite; your glory, everlasting. Quietly you come into the world as an innocent child. Ready my heart for the miracle of your birth.Bring light to the world, as we wait silently for your warmth in the coldness of the night. Bless me with patience and faithful discipline to prayerfully prepare to welcome and greet you.

St. Jude, Patron of Hope, pray that Christ’s holiness will flow into me this Advent. May Christmas joy and burning love take root in me and grow to carry the joy beyond me and inspire hope in others. (send an Advent petition) Amen.

December 5th

Advent is a time for giving. How can you give of yourself this week? Offer a brief prayer to those who are in need.

“Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! Let us rejoice and be glad!”

Prayer to St. Jude for Advent
Lord Jesus, your power is infinite; your glory, everlasting. Quietly you come into the world as an innocent child. Ready my heart for the miracle of your birth.Bring light to the world, as we wait silently for your warmth in the coldness of the night. Bless me with patience and faithful discipline to prayerfully prepare to welcome and greet you.

St. Jude, Patron of Hope, pray that Christ’s holiness will flow into me this Advent. May Christmas joy and burning love take root in me and grow to carry the joy beyond me and inspire hope in others. (send an Advent petition) Amen.

December 6th

St. Jude, help us grow in virtue this Advent. We pray for a New Year full of faith, hope, and love.

“The way of the just is smooth; the path of the just you make level.”

Prayer to St. Jude for Advent
Lord Jesus, your power is infinite; your glory, everlasting. Quietly you come into the world as an innocent child. Ready my heart for the miracle of your birth.Bring light to the world, as we wait silently for your warmth in the coldness of the night. Bless me with patience and faithful discipline to prayerfully prepare to welcome and greet you.

St. Jude, Patron of Hope, pray that Christ’s holiness will flow into me this Advent. May Christmas joy and burning love take root in me and grow to carry the joy beyond me and inspire hope in others. (send an Advent petition) Amen.

December 7th

We devote ourselves to St. Jude, seeking his intercession for our challenges. St. Jude, we offer you all of our petitions with gratitude.

“The lowly will ever find joy in the Lord, and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.”

Prayer to St. Jude for Advent
Lord Jesus, your power is infinite; your glory, everlasting. Quietly you come into the world as an innocent child. Ready my heart for the miracle of your birth.Bring light to the world, as we wait silently for your warmth in the coldness of the night. Bless me with patience and faithful discipline to prayerfully prepare to welcome and greet you.

St. Jude, Patron of Hope, pray that Christ’s holiness will flow into me this Advent. May Christmas joy and burning love take root in me and grow to carry the joy beyond me and inspire hope in others. (send an Advent petition) Amen.

December 8th

Today we celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. Pray for the gift of a pure heart, and for her gentle guidance in times of temptation.

“Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

Prayer to St. Jude for Advent
Lord Jesus, your power is infinite; your glory, everlasting. Quietly you come into the world as an innocent child. Ready my heart for the miracle of your birth.Bring light to the world, as we wait silently for your warmth in the coldness of the night. Bless me with patience and faithful discipline to prayerfully prepare to welcome and greet you.

St. Jude, Patron of Hope, pray that Christ’s holiness will flow into me this Advent. May Christmas joy and burning love take root in me and grow to carry the joy beyond me and inspire hope in others. (send an Advent petition) Amen.

December 9th

Forgiveness is an essential fruit of the Spirit. Dear God, give us the strength to forgive and the courage to ask for forgiveness.

“Here is your God; He comes with vindication; with divine recompense He comes to save you.”

Prayer to St. Jude for Advent
Lord Jesus, your power is infinite; your glory, everlasting. Quietly you come into the world as an innocent child. Ready my heart for the miracle of your birth.Bring light to the world, as we wait silently for your warmth in the coldness of the night. Bless me with patience and faithful discipline to prayerfully prepare to welcome and greet you.

St. Jude, Patron of Hope, pray that Christ’s holiness will flow into me this Advent. May Christmas joy and burning love take root in me and grow to carry the joy beyond me and inspire hope in others. (send an Advent petition) Amen.

Yours in prayer,


Fr. Mark Brummel, CMF
Director, St. Jude League

The St. Jude League unites thousands of devotees in a community of prayer and hope. The League provides the path for petitions of need and gratitude to be delivered directly to the altar of St. Jude at the National Shrine each week. These petitions are remembered in the Masses and prayers of the Claretian Missionaries at the National Shrine.

The St. Jude League also provides members with materials for prayer and reflection that can help inspire and encourage their spiritual life. The League promotes the Solemn Novenas to St. Jude, which take place five times a year at the National Shrine, and many other opportunities for prayer.

Through St. Jude’s intercession, we receive the support we need for the challenges we face in our lives, whether for a difficult experience like illness or death, or the occasional wear we feel from daily realities.

Screenshot-2017-10-27 Send Your Prayer to St Jude

Pray with St. Jude during Advent

Learn About the Season of Advent

Meaning of Advent

The New Year in the Church begins with the season of Advent — a time to help us prepare for Christmas, when we celebrate the fulfillment of our longing for the Savior with the birth of Jesus.

So, what is Advent? It’s the season that lasts about four weeks, beginning four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. The Church’s Christmas season begins on Christmas Eve and lasts for twelve days. So, Advent is a season of anticipation that leads up to Christmas.

During this time, we observe a season of prayer, and reflection — followed by anticipation, hope and joy. Each Sunday during Advent we light a candle on the Advent wreath.

History of Advent

Advent as a season has evolved throughout history. What began as a liturgical season focused mainly on repentance now embodies joyful preparation for Christmas. Though the precise beginning of the celebration of Advent isn’t known, there are writings from as early as the 5th century that mention the season of Advent.

Pray With Us During Advent

Take time for meditation and reflection each day of Advent by remembering to offer God your gifts of heartfelt gratitude and love. Please send your Advent intention and it will be placed at the altar of St. Jude at the National Shrine of St. Jude. Together we await the birth of the Savior. May your faith be refreshed as you keep yourself open to God’s love during this Holy season of Advent.

Advent Traditions

One of the primary traditions of Advent is the lighting of the Advent wreath. Each candle lit represents an aspect of the spiritual preparation for the coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ. The circle of branches of the wreath symbolize the eternal cycle of the seasons while the evergreens and lighted candles signify the persistence of life in the midst of winter.

advent wreath

We invite you to light a virtual Advent candle with us this season when you send your prayers or petitions to the National Shrine of St. Jude.

Another popular tradition of Advent is the Advent Calendar. Although these calendars frequently follow the entire month of December instead of strictly adhering to the Advent season. Advent calendars open up to mark each day and can contain anything from prayers to candy depending on the calendar.

Advent Candles

The Advent wreath contains 4 candles. All of the candles are purple except the third (which is rose).The symbolic meanings of the candles can vary but they are often:

1. Hope — expectation of what is to come and sometimes prophecy
2. Love — sometimes called the Bethlehem Candle
3. Joy — this rose candle is often called Mary’s Candle
4. Peace — it can often be called the Angel’s Candle

Colors of Advent

The color of Advent is purple. You’ll see purple used quite often in banners around the church or in the vestments of the clergy.

Purple is used at Advent as it is at Lent to represent the penitential nature of the season. In fact, Advent used to be known as “little Lent.” The color is a symbolic reminder for us to be preparing ourselves for the coming of our Lord.

The third Sunday during Advent is called Gaudete Sunday. The word Gaudete means “rejoice.” On that Sunday your priest may wear rose vestments. This color is meant to remind us that Christmas is drawing near.

What is Advent?

Put simply, Advent is the season that leads up to Christmas. It’s a time we use to pray and reflect in anticipation of the coming of our Lord and the start of the Christmas Season.

Please join us in celebrating the season of Advent this year.


Screenshot-2017-10-27 Send Your Prayer to St Jude


 

Feast of Christ the King

COLLECT PRAYER

Almighty ever-living God, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the King of the universe, grant, we pray, that the whole creation, set free from slavery, may render your majesty service and ceaselessly proclaim your praise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Gospel MT 25:31-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left,
‘Depart from me, you accursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
Then they will answer and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you,
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.’
And these will go off to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life.”
christ the king