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 Call to Continuing Conversion and Rite of Election 2019

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March 10, 2019

Mathematical solution to the Sock puzzle

Feb. 24, 2019

Local youth attend World Youth Day in Panama

Annual QUEST weekend honors Scouts

   The Dead Sea Scrolls series

 

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'Be the hug of Christ'

White Mass in DC encourages those with disabilities

Washington D.C., Nov 10, 2015 / 03:25 am (CNA/EWTN News) - Honoring individuals with disabilities and mental health challenges, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., celebrated the archdiocese's annual White Mass on Sunday and encouraged the faithful to embrace, serve and welcome the diversity of the Church.

The White Mass, hosted by the Archdiocese of Washington's Department of Special Needs Ministries, drew various caregivers and individuals with disabilities. It was celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Matthew on Nov. 8 and the homily was delivered by Father William Byrne, pastor of Our Lady of Mercy in Potomac.

“Last week, I just met a wonderful man named Jason,” Fr. Byrne said in his homily, explaining that he encountered the man at the Tricia Sullivan Respite Care Program run by the Potomac Community Resources.

“During the Rhythmic Music Program, Jason reached over and grabbed me around the neck, pulled our heads together and gave me a long hug,” he continued.

For Fr. Byrne, this hug symbolized something more than just an embrace. It was a gesture that all Christians should imitate – one of welcoming strangers into the Church and embracing them as Christ would embrace the world.

“We are the universal Church, whose job it is to welcome, embrace and accompany everyone in his and her encounter with Jesus,” Fr. Byrne stated, saying “we are called to be the hug of Christ to the world.”

“The hugs of Jason and me, the embrace of the apostles, the warm squeeze of the cousins Elizabeth and Mary while John leaps for joy in his mother's womb – these hugs are a great image for what we are called to be as a Church.”

For the past six years, the White Mass in the Archdiocese of Washington has been held to honor caregivers and individuals with special needs. Those in attendance at the White Mass wore white to symbolize their baptismal vows and life within the Church.   

“The White Mass boldly proclaims that all are needed at the altar of God and commends and commissions us to be the agents of that message,” Fr. Byrne said.

The White Mass celebrates the familial bond of the Body of Christ within the Church, he explained. If one member is missing, then the whole body is incomplete. This includes the members of the Church who are disabled or mentally challenged, as well as their caregivers.

“The White Mass celebrates not just all are welcome to the altar, but most important, all are needed at the altar of God!” the priest stressed.

Respite care is not a luxury, he reminded the faithful, but rather a necessity for the effective care of the Church. He also noted that caregivers need help and support from the community to fulfill their mission of serving the disabled or mentally challenged.

Fr. Byrne went on to highlight Sunday's Gospel, Mark 12:38-44, pointing to the poor widow and her sense of trust and generosity. Her witness of giving everything she had, he stated, should be every Christian's aspiration.

“The lady is not just giving up her second latte and dropping the change in the basket. She is literally hungry, hungry to serve God. She is hungry to help others.”

Fr. Byrne also noted that the caregivers who are involved in special ministry with the disabled or mentally challenged emulate the “modern day vision of this Gospel,” because they sacrifice but they also receive – just like the poor widow in the Gospel.

“Remember that in the end, what the woman in the Gospel was given was truly more than she herself gave. But, her giving also hurt,” he said, emphasizing that true love is sacrificial.

“Real love mandates always doing the right thing, even if it is the hard thing. Real love is extraordinary. Real love means going out of our way, digging in a bit deeper and finding Jesus not in my excess, but where I need Him most.”

The priest concluded his homily by challenging the faithful gathered to embrace one another and pray for the Body of Christ.

“First, don't be afraid to give someone a big ol' hug,” he said.

“Second, pray to understand that in order to be holy, we have to be whole. With all our differences, the huggers and the hugged, we are one Body, the Body of Christ.”

Past Issues

Feb. 10, 2019

Jan. 27, 2019

Jan. 13, 2019

Dec. 23, 2018

Dec. 9, 2018

Nov. 25, 2018

Nov. 11, 2018

Oct. 28, 2018

Oct. 14, 2018

Sept. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: 2018 Golf Classic; student athletes; physically challenged; Leonard Stegman; Lesson in forgiveness; Sending us on a mission

Sept. 2, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Priest crisis; Scandal; Opioid addictions; Seeds of Suicide; Leightons; St. Anne; Vincke; seminarians; Dominican Sisters; Stewardship Conference; Dead Sea Scrolls; PSR programs; Roe V. Wade

 

August 12, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Prayer and Action; Totus Tuus; Janee Bernal; Diana Ramirez; Heidy Ramirez; Bishop Gilmore honored for 20 years ministry; suicide; contraception and abortion; Dead Sea Scrolls; Humanae Vitae; certification in youth ministry; Chuck Weber; Cathedral rectory chapel; Sister Viola Heichelbech; Adam Urban

July 15, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Immigration Protest/Rally; Faith and Light Fiesta; Seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls; Corpus Christi procession; Prayers for priests; Sisters turn 100; Michael Brungardt; Gerald Vincke; Massacre in San Salvador; Action for Alex 

 

June 3, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Parish Pray for Priestly Vocations; Appeal reaches $10 million; Gangs; Seminarians; Pam Willis; Why I like being a priest; Happy Father's Day; Patricia Lujan; Tyler and Rachel Bennett; Adoption Protection Act.

May 20, 2018
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation
KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Track meet; Beloved Sinners; Benjamin Martin retires; Smiles; Future of Fortune Telling; Hoisington mission; DofI; Getting Equipped; Spring Social; First Communion; Confirmation

May 6, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Archbishop Romero; Seeing, Touching, Tasting; Exhortation; Father Patrick Conroy; Happy Mother's Day; A child on your doorstep; Vibrant Ministries Grant; From the heart of a young father; Love Gives Life; Roman Holiday; Smartphone; retirement
Fossil Hunting

 

April 15, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Easter Vigil; Angelica Village; Colorado woman; The art of anger; Cimarron Couple; Staats; Adoption; 

Father Ultan Murphy anniversary; Coughlan; Spiritual Advisor to Hoodlums; Woman of Courage; Oration contest; Darcy Feist  

 

April 1, 2018

 

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Defending Adoption; Led by the Spirit; Knights; ABC Pregnancy Center;
Memorial of Mary; Homeless; Relics; Down syndrome abortion; Chrism Mass

 

March 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: SKYAC; Aleksandr Men; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; Uganda; School for deaf; Rannah Evetts; Oberle; Rachel and Doug Trombley; Oscar Romero; Paul VI; DACA

 

 

March 4, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Fasting for priestly vocations; Father Juan; Fasting and prayer;
Quest Weekend 2018; DACA; With God, anything is possible; Homelessness in our communities; Rhubarb, Kansas;
What's the point of fasting; Rite of Election; same-sex couples

 

Feb. 18, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Catholic Schools Week; Rachel Doll; Ellinwood; Great Bend; Garden City; Ness City; Dodge City; Sister Rita Schwarzenberger; Nigeria; Bishop Hermes; Fasting for Priestly Vocations; World Day for Consecrated Life; 50th Anniversary St. Dominic School; What will life be like in 50 years?

 

 

Feb. 4, 2018

 

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: March for Life; Tracy and Ross Smith; Adoption; Vibrant Ministries; Faith and Light;
Pro-Life; Mortal sin to discard elderly; DACA; Abortion; Dreamers; Human Trafficking

 

Jan. 21, 2018

 KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Louise Korbe; Anne Frank; Miep Gies; Home Heat; Father Solanus

 

Jan. 7, 2018

KEYWORDS, PHRASES: Good news and kingdom living; dreamers; Sister Teresa Orozco; Infant Adoption; Elderly; a moral conundrum; seminarian; feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

 

 

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