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             KEEPING THE FAITH REFLECTION
                        'Summertime Catholic'

           Summer's here!  

          After this winter's challenges, we're looking forward to 
          some “easy living”. Summertime in “vacationland' is a
          time for a brief relaxation from some of our formalities
          and obligations, from routines and even from some work.
          It is time for visiting, travel, barbecues, and getting  
          outside to enjoy God's gorgeous creation. School's out, 
          CCD ends, and even the Burning Bush prayer group suspends 
          their weekly gatherings for a few weeks. We dress more casually, take time off from work, and spend more time outside during the long evenings and extended twilights.
       
      Of course, not all of our responsibilities and routines end. After all, we still need to get ready for NEXT winter. And we don't QUIT our jobs or entirely abandon our duties to family, work, and community. After all, come September, we'll have to saddle up again and resume our normal everyday responsibilities and routines.
       
      So what happens to our spiritual life during the summer? Do we take a break from God?  How do we think about the “Church Stuff” that we are involved with during the rest of the year? Is it a chore, an obligation, a responsibility to attend to, to accomplish, and be finished with? Is our faith life something we need to take a BREAK from? Do we need to rest from it, gather our strength from a few weeks of rest so that thus fortified we can take up the yoke of that chore again?
       
      You know, it is hard to attend first Friday adoration in August when the summer is at its best and the weekend barbecue, family gathering, and camping trip beckons. And isn't it true that these activities are good and holy in themselves and refresh our souls as well as our bodies?
       
      Let us take take a look at some ways to make sense of this apparent conflict between our spiritual life and summertime. How can we be good disciples during the summer or whenever we take time off?
       
      Let me propose a very simple idea: When we take a break from our lives, take Jesus with us. Consider how much he loves us. I once heard someone say, “Jesus is just crazy about us!” Why wouldn't he want us to take our family camping and hiking? Does he want our kids to go play little league ball without us cheering them on? Hardly.
       
      But perhaps the danger here is that we FORGET to take Jesus with us. We FORGET that he wants us to enjoy some free time, we FORGET to include him, and thus we forget to thank him and appreciate him and slowly drift away from him. Its like someone taking me to the fair and when I get there, taking off and leaving them by themselves while go off on my own. Kind of rude......Kind of SAD.
       
      So instead of taking a break from our faith this summer, why don't we think about how it can help us enjoy our summer even more. For example:
       
      Say grace before your barbecue. A great demonstration of faith.
       
      Evening prayer a around the campfire? I bet the kids would always remember that.
       
      Continue your visits to the nursing homes and shut ins. Summer may remind them of the joys they no longer can experience and your visit can cheer them. Bring some summer to them.
       
      Jesus never takes a break from us. Let’s remain faithful to him at Weekend Mass.
       
      What better way to start a road trip than with a weekday Mass.
       
      Attend Mass where you travel to and experience firsthand the communion of saints. Communion is not called communion for nothing. We really are one Body of Christ.
       
      Think often of Jesus and remind ourselves that the Holy Spirit is always with us. We don't need to say the whole rosary while walking a beach or climbing a trail but we can pause and reflect occasionally on the blessings of health and resources that allows us to enjoy God's creation.
       
      Our Faith, our Church and our Parish can be so much more than an obligation if we just allow it. Reflect on the aspects of our spiritual life that improve our quality of life: Sacraments, Community, Personal Relationship with Jesus, Peace, Security and oh yes, don't forget, Everlasting Life. These are the elements of our Faith that sustain us and allow us to live life to the fullest.
       
      How often we think of “Church” in terms of that which we need to give TO and forget that what the Church is really about is to give us. Sure, prayer, sacrifice, and service are the guideposts for discipleship but Jesus didn't come just to get stuff from us. He came to give us freedom from evil and eternal life. If our spiritual life is stuck in the obligation mode then its hard to recognize that true value of our Faith, Church, and Parish.
       
      Let’s take a few moments today to plan our summer. Think about specific ways that you can take Jesus with you wherever you go, whatever you do. Focus on simply REMEMBERING that the Holy Spirit is always with you to help you enjoy the blessings God is always eager to shower upon you. Identify those essential elements of your parish involvement that you will continue with and those that should be relaxed. Look for new ways deepen your relationship with Jesus. Who knows? By the end of the summer He may have changed your spiritual life in ways you have not yet imagined. What if your summertime faith life kept right on going come September? What if your summertime replaced the fall and winter? What if this church stuff ceased to be just an obligation and became a source of contentment and peace? What if we actually LIKED to come to church and worship God with our friends?
       
      I think God would be very pleased. “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
       
       - Keeping the Faith

    • Wish to have a Mass said in memory of a loved one?
      Please  Click Here,  to see our Mass Intention Guidelines

      Sunday, Aug 17: 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
      9:00 AM Holy Rosary ** Louise & Edmund Steeves by Joan & Carroll
      9:00 AM Our Lady ** Deceased Members of Dubois Family by Dubois Family
      Reunion 2014 Committee
      9:00 AM St. Mary ** Joseph Grivois (1st anniv.) by His Children & Grandchildren
      10:30 AM St. Mark ** Glenna Louridas by Husband Peter & Children
      11:00 AM St. Denis ** Peter LeVasseur by Sue & Family
      11:00 AM St. Louis ** Fr. Chanel Cyr by John & Johnnie Cancelarich
      1:00 PM —3:00 PM Holy Rosary ** Prayer & Discernment for adults feeling
      called to serve the youth of our parish.
      6:00 PM Holy Rosary ** Taize Ministry

      Monday, Aug 18:
      8:30 AM St. Mark ** MASS CANCELLED
      8:30 AM St. Mary ** Eugene T. Lynch by His Wife & Daughters
      11:00 AM Sacred Heart **Funeral Mass
       
      Tuesday, Aug 19:
      8:30 AM Holy Rosary ** Cliff & Ruth Hare (r/s) by Liz & Lori Violette
      8:30 AM St. Denis ** Donna Kenneson by Mike & Cindy Thibodeau
       
      Wednesday, Aug 20:
      8:30 AM Holy Rosary ** Mildred Bougie by Catholic Golden Age
      8:30 AM St. Mary ** Reta Mae Gallagher by Ed Koch
       
      Thursday, Aug 21:
      8:30 AM Sacred Heart ** Claire St. Peter by Reginald Bouthot
      8:30 AM St. Denis ** Owen Toner by Ed & Ellen Sherman
      11:00 AM St. Mary **Funeral Mass
       
      Friday, Aug 22:
      8:30 AM Holy Rosary ** Adrienne Chapman by Holy Rosary Money Counters
      8:30 AM St. Mary ** For the Repose of All Souls in Purgatory by Claudette Deeves
       
      Saturday, Aug 23:
      4:00 PM Holy Rosary ** Corinne Boudreau by Husband Roland
      4:00 PM St. Mary ** Helen McGrath by Ron, Marlene & Carol
      4:00 PM St. Theresa ** Pauline Blake by Craig & Cheryl Bossie
      5:30 PM Sacred Heart ** For the People
      6:00 PM St. Catherine ** Msgr. Leopold Nicknair by Fr. Ray Morency
      6:00 PM St. Joseph ** Fr. Arthur A. Ouillette by His Family
       
      Sunday, Aug 24: 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
      9:00 AM Holy Rosary ** Marie Cullins by Holy Rosary Money Counters
      9:00 AM Our Lady ** Rayno Cote (5th anniv.) by Gladys Cote & Family
      9:00 AM St. Mary ** Onil Roy by Norm & Margaret Johnson
      10:30 AM St. Mark ** Donald Rafford by His Children Clark, Joanna, Cyndi &
      Theresa
      11:00 AM St. Denis ** J.R. McGillan, Jr. by Kathy Dionne
      11:00 AM St. Louis ** Roland St. Peter by Richard & Nancy Shaw

      * In case of a Funeral Mass, the Daily Mass Intention will be rescheduled.

    • Fr. Kyle's Homily - August 17, 2014
      Homily
      August 16-17, 2014
       
      Perseverance in Prayer
       
       

      “For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven,
      it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”
       
      These words, once uttered by the Little Flower, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, offer us a beautiful insight into the activity of prayer. For Catholics, prayer is at the heart of everything we do and, more importantly, everything we are. Whether we’re at Mass joining ourselves to the great prayer of Christ to God the Father or at home meditating on the mysteries of the rosary…whether we’re getting ready for work or putting the kids to bed…whether we’re elated with joy or depressed with sorrow…as faithful people we are, or at least we should be, always gazing toward heaven, expressing not only with our words but our whole lives our praise, our adoration, and our love for God. Every minute of every day, no matter what we’re doing or how we’re feeling, is for us an opportunity to raise our minds and our hearts to God and to commune with Him. And when we make this conscious effort, when we deliberately choose to sanctify our day by inviting God to exercise His sovereignty over the moments of our life…this is what it means to pray.
       
      But, let’s just be honest for a moment…this is easier said than done. Like faith itself, prayer is certainly a gift from God, a gift that stirs us up and causes us to want to seek the Lord. He gives this gift freely and abundantly to His people, but this requires a response on our part. And this is where things become difficult. Because we are not merely spiritual beings but are robed in flesh and blood, and because we all suffer from the effects of original sin, our wills are weak and prayer becomes difficult. Like with so many other things in life, if we don’t get immediate results, if we’re not immediately stimulated by something, it’s hard to do it. It’s easy to lay on the couch and eat potato chips, but it’s extraordinarily difficult to get up and exercise. It’s easy to gorge ourselves on chocolate cake and other sweets, but it’s painfully hard to eat healthy food. It’s easy to sleep in on Sunday mornings, but agonizingly difficult to get out of bed and get to Mass. So often it’s the case that we know what we should, but we lack the firm desire or the discipline to actually will to do it. And prayer is no exception. Everybody here today knows that prayer is essential, but my guess is that many of us lack the discipline to pray well. For this reason, the saints, those who through the grace of God and the constant effort of their whole lives have become true masters of prayer, describe prayer as a battle. It’s a battle against ourselves and our human weakness and it’s a battle against Satan who is constantly tempting us away from prayer with the allurements of earthly pleasures. To pray well, we have to make the firm decision to just do it. We have to discipline ourselves, at times, to forego things that we’d otherwise like to do…even if they’re good things and certainly if they’re bad…to forego and to just pray.
       
      Often times we can enter into a rich life of prayer after we’ve been moved in a significant way. Retreats are often the instigators of this. Any number of people here have been on a Cursillo or ACTS retreat and have experienced a superabundance of grace that propelled them into prayer. Sometimes a really thorough Confession, or the reception of any of the other Sacraments, can do the same. Sometimes we can read an inspiring book or hear a powerful witness talk and be moved to pray. The Lord uses these experiences to reignite our faith and to fill us up so that we want to pray…but like any other experiences, there “felt-effects” can and almost often do wear off. And for this reason, we have to be extremely careful that we’re not relying too much on how we feel when it comes to prayer. Because prayer is about communion with God, the raising of our hearts and minds to our Creator will necessarily encapsulate the whole range of our humanity. As human beings we are joyful and sorrowful, excited and fearful…we can experience great happiness and are susceptible to great pains. God wants our attention and our love no matter how we’re feeling; and He wants our attention and our love even if turning to Him in prayer does not make us “feel” better. We turn to Him because He is the source of our being…He completes us and makes us whole. We turn to Him because He is God and we are creatures. We turn to Him because, in the words of St. Peter, where else are we going to turn? The Lord alone has the words of everlasting life. We don’t pray because we feel good and spiritual, and we don’t pray to feel better. We pray because we were made to pray. But this takes hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.
       
       The greatest act of prayer that ever occurred or will ever occur is the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. It was miserable, painstaking, and horrific for Him, but He nonetheless hung upon the cross in agony and offered Himself up to the Father as a sacrifice of love. So powerful was this prayer, the prayer of the God-Man, that it truly and actually reconciled God and man. His death on the cross is precisely what enables us, who have been baptized into His death, to offer ourselves now as a sacrifice to the Father. Every act of prayer, then, is an experience of the cross…we have to be willing to accept, then, that prayer will always be a sacrifice.
       
      The woman in today’s Gospel shows us how to persevere in prayer. Despite her great suffering, and despite the obstacles in her way, she had her eyes set on the Lord. She beautifully shows us how patience and humility are necessary elements in communing with God; she knows that He alone can make her life whole and complete. And so she runs to Him, not sulking away in discouragement when it seemed like she wouldn’t get to Him or that He wasn’t listening, but persevering to the end.
       
      So ask yourself today: where are you at? Do you pray? Do you turn to God like you would Santa Clause, only to get things that you want…or do you turn to Him in love, to commune with Him? Do you make a conscious and disciplined effort to devote specific moments every day to commune with Him in prayer? Do you sanctify the rest of your day by turning your heart and mind to Him in the midst of your routines, your duties, and your leisure? Do you sacrifice yourself out of love for Him, just as He sacrificed Himself out of love for you? Do you run after Him just as the woman in the Gospel did? If not…what are you waiting for? Prayer is a battle…and it’s a battle that we can either lose or win. If we do not pray, if we do not commune with God in this life, we will not have life with Him in the next. But if we do pray, if we discipline ourselves and fight the good fight, if we preserve in prayer, then the happiness and fulfillment that we are so desperately seeking in this life will be given to us in the next, when we see our God, the object of our love, face to face.
       
       


       
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    • Calendar of Events
      • Aug 23-24, 2014
        All families with school age children, grades K-5, are encouraged to register their child after masses for the weekend of Aug. 23/24. The following sites are: Holy Rosary, St. Denis, St. Joseph, St. Louis, St. Mark and St. Mary. If you would like to register early or cannot make it that weekend, please call the Faith Formation office at 764-8644 and we will email the information to you or you can stop by and pick it up.
      • Aug 26, 2014
        6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
        St. Mary's Conference Room, Presque Isle
      • Aug 31, 2014
        11:30 AM - 2:00 PM
        Knights of Columbus Barbeque Chicken Fundraiser Luncheon Knights of Columbus Hall, Main St., Fort Fairfield Sunday, August 31st from 11:30 am until “sold out” Menu will consist of ½ BBQ Chicken, French Fries, Cole Slaw and roll with punch, coffee and dessert for anyone dining in. “To Go” meals will be available for those wishing to take a meal home. Price will be $8 per person. Net proceeds from this event are going to help support Northern Maine Council #1753’s sponsored seminarian with college expenses on his journey to becoming a priest. Please come enjoy a wonderful meal with family and friends while helping to support a young seminarian. We look forward to seeing you there!
      • Sep 10, 2014
        6:00 PM
        The Worship & Spirituality Commission will meet Weds., Sept. 10th at 6:00 PM. Planning for the Advent and Christmas seasons will take place.