My dear friends in Christ,
Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.” In our Gospel this weekend from John 15:1-8, we are taught that we must cling to Jesus the way that a vine is attached to a branch. How important this is during the time of a pandemic. We must cling to our Lord, and our lives must grow from our Saviour. I think what has carried me though this past year is clinging to this vine, Jesus, through prayer and being nourished by the Word of God and the Body and Blood of Christ. When you reflect, I pray that you can say the same – that your faith and being fed, for many spiritually, has provided you with the strength, comfort, and hope that only Jesus and our Father can provide. On this Fifth Sunday of Easter, we are reminded once again that we are an Easter people – a people of hope.
We begin the month of May, the Month of Mary, dedicated to our Blessed Mother. We too cling to her, asking her intercession, to protect us, our loved ones, and for an end to this pandemic.
As found on the Vatican website, “Pope Francis is requesting that during this month of May the entire Church invoke the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the end of the pandemic and, in a special way, he is inviting all of us to pray fervently for those most closely affected by it. During each day of May, guided by a calendar with specific intentions, all the Shrines around the world, united in a communion of supplication, will lift up their prayers, which, like the fragrance of incense, will rise up to heaven. Thirty Marian Shrines will take turns leading this prayer throughout the Church and offering the faithful a series of prayer moments for them to participate throughout the entire day.”
Click here to view the full press release
Click here to pray the Rosary each day in May at 12:00 p.m.
As a community of believers here at St. Julia, may we cling to the true vine, Jesus Christ, our Blessed Mother Mary, and cling to our rosaries as we pray for an end to this pandemic and the safety of all. We also pray for all the lives lost, and for those who mourn the loss of a loved one or friend.
May God continue to bless and keep safe each of you and those that you love.
That the prayer Hail Mary is known in Latin as the Ave Maria. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that the first part of the prayer praises God for the gifts he gave to Mary as Mother of the Redeemer; the second part seeks her maternal intercession for the members of the Body of Christ, the Church,
of which she is the Mother. Hail Mary, or Rejoice, Mary, the greeting of the angel Gabriel opens this prayer. It is God himself who, through his angel as intermediary, greet Mary. Our prayer dares to take up this greeting to Mary with the regard God had for the lowliness of his humble servant and to exult in the joy he finds in her (CCC, 2676). It is so important that we take are prayers and petitions to our Blessed Mother, Mary. She is a powerful intercessor who intercedes on our behalf to her son, Jesus. Whether it be one Hail
Mary or the entire rosary, embrace this prayer as we abandon ourselves to the will of God as we unite our prayers together with her: “Thy will be done.”
Mary, pray for us!
New Year's Day is not just the start of a new year, it's also a Holy Day of Obligation in the Catholic Church! On January 1st we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, a liturgical feast day honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary's motherhood in the wake of the birth of the baby Jesus Christ. This holiday is also the Octave of Christmas or the 8th day of Christmas. As Mary's fiat reminds the faithful: "Be it done unto me according to Thy word." A solemnity is the highest ranking holy day in the Church calendar. As a family of believers here at St. Julia, let us begin the new year together, in prayer as we turn to our blessed Mother for her intercession as she takes our prayers and petitions for the year ahead to her son, our savior Jesus Christ!
From Our Pastor