Signed in as:
Signed in as:
told each of the 14 confirmands as he traced the sign of the cross on their foreheads.
The bishop anointed each of them with Holy Chrism - the same oil used by the Catholic Church to ordain priests, consecrate bishops, create cardinals, and bless altars or vessels used during Holy Mass.
The choir sang “Veni, Sancte Spiritus” (Latin for “Come, Holy Spirit”) as the bishop performed the sacred rite assisted by Deacon Marcus and flanked by two concelebrants: Rev. Fr. Aloysius Boh, the parish priest of St. Bernadette and Msgr. Ansgar Laczko, 91, is retired and now in the 63rd year of his priesthood.
About seven-dozen parishioners of St. Bernadette watched in prayerful awe as sponsors led their candidates to the altar. Sponsors laid an out-stretched arm over one of the shoulders of each confirmand as witnesses to the rite, but also as a symbol of their commitment to continue to support the newly-confirmed in their faith journey.
Father Boh thanked his religious education staff for preparing the candidates. He thanked the choir for praising God during the rite and the sponsors for devoting a year to attending classes every Saturday morning with their candidates. He heartily congratulated the 14 newly confirmed, their parents, siblings, guardians, family members, and Christians of St. Bernadette for inspiring them by their own example.
For Catholics, confirmation is considered a follow-up to and completion of the Sacrament of Baptism. Whereas Catholics baptize infants, the rite of confirmation is reserved for young and older adults who seek to strengthen and consolidate their Catholic faith. Confirmands submit willingly, picking the name of a canonized Catholic saint, and Catholics pray to Christ to pour out the Holy Spirit during the rite as Christ did 50 days after His Resurrection.
In his homily, Bishop Mark called on confirmands and all people of God, to do five things: to pray in private; to participate in public prayer notably Holy Mass; to confess sins; to read the Scriptures; and to lead lives of service to others.
Firstly, he invited the newly confirmed to pray daily. Make talking to God an obligation. Thank Him at the rise of each day and before going to bed at night. Offer your day at school or at work to Him and thank Him when the day is done. On praying privately, the bishop told them to do whatever works for them. Borrowing the advice of an old monk, he said: “Pray as you can, not as you can’t”.
Secondly, he urged them to attend Holy Mass, which is liturgical or public prayer. Take the command to honor the Lord’s Day – Sunday – seriously. Participate in public prayer during Holy Mass so that God can continue to strengthen you. Do not stay away or make excuses for not attending, the bishop pleaded.
Thirdly, he urged them to confess their sins frequently and be reconciled with God, notably before Easter, at Christmas, during holidays, or before school resumes. Citing Pope Francis who calls confession the Sacrament of Forgiveness and the Infinite Mercy of God, the bishop thanked those among the newly-confirmed who are already benefiting from it and encouraged others to emulate their example.
Fourthly, the bishop invited them to read the Scriptures. Not the whole Bible (72 books for the Catholic Bible) in one go. Begin by reading short passages at a time. Start with the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and you will come to know your Savior better. Borrowing from Saint Jerome, who translated most of the Bible from its original languages – Hebrew, Albanian, and Greek – into Latin, Bishop Mark said “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ”.
Fifthly and finally, he called them to serve others, beginning with their own family, neighborhood, school, church, and community. Take joy in giving for, as Jesus says, there is more joy in giving than in receiving. Giving kills our self-centeredness and shields us from the popular belief that we should accumulate more things, money, wealth, and property for ourselves, the bishop said. Make the fruit of your faith works of love and justice, and give yourselves to others to find joy and fulfillment.
The bishop spiced his homily with many other stories, including of his childhood, growing up in racially-segregated America. He shared anecdotes from Christians the bishop ministered to over his priesthood, now in its 47th year. And he spoke with nostalgia about his early service to St. Bernadette in the 1980s when it was but a small, mission station. The once Rev. Fr. Mark, who came regularly from Rockville, Maryland, to say Mass at Saint Bernadette, elevated the church to a full parish, one of the nearly 100 Catholic parishes of Wheeling-Charleston, WV.
The high rates of teenage suicide and depression have prompted Polish Catholic technology investor and entrepreneur Krzysztof Gawrysiak, together with his prayer group Palnik, and another network of prayer groups ARW (Apostolic Faith Movement), to start a new mission to help teens that are considering suicide. Through the website, pray4teens.org, they offer assistance including prayer for teenagers who are contemplating taking their own lives, and allow any teen suffering from depression and suicidal tendencies to request prayer.
Concerned people can get involved in helping teens through PRAY4TEENS which is a “Teen Spiritual Adoption, a program for the spiritual adoption of teenagers who face the pain of loneliness and emptiness. It is about one-to-one prayer, i.e., one person praying for one specific teenager,” according to their website. ...... READ MORE
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has reported a surge in spying on Americans by the Biden Administration. A 127-page court filing published by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court revealed over 270,000 times the FBI has spied on American citizens without a warrant.
The ACLJ claims that “F.B.I. analysts improperly used a warrantless surveillance program to search for information about hundreds of Americans who came under scrutiny in connection with two politically charged episodes of civil unrest: the protests after the 2020 police killing of George Floyd and the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, a newly declassified court ruling shows. .......READ MORE
In the near future, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign SB 763 which will allow chaplains the ability to act as a mental health resource, aid in suicide prevention, provide behavioral health services, and engage in restorative justice practices.
Texas lawmakers passed unprecedented legislation last in May that will allow public schools across Texas to hire paid or volunteer chaplains to complement school counselors in providing “support, services, and programs for students.”
The bill is expected to be signed by Governor Greg Abbott in the coming weeks, and if enacted, the law would be the “first of its kind in the nation,” said State Rep. Steve Toth, one of the bill’s co-sponsors. The law would take effect on September 1 for the 2023-2024 academic school year where each public school district and open-enrollment charter school would vote on hiring or allowing volunteer chaplains in their schools and would determine how the chaplain would support their schools and programs. While chaplains would not be required to be board certified as counselors or teachers must be, the bill states they must be “endorsed by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, or the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.” ........ READ MORE
Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) in Florida has canceled public school graduations that take place in churches. That move brought a demand letter from the Liberty Counsel law firm.
Several schools including Chets Creek Elementary School, Hendricks Avenue Elementary School, and Holiday Hill Elementary School have been forced to suddenly cancel their school graduations at Chets Creek Church, Southside United Methodist Church, and Holiday Hill Church, respectively this year.
The attorney for the district’s Office of Policy and Compliance, Brian McDuffie, sent an email to all district principals on May 12, 2023, regarding the “use of religious facilities” for public school events. ...... READ MORE
Paganism is defined as “a modern religious movement incorporating beliefs or practices from outside the main world religions, especially nature worship.” In 1990 approximately 8,000 Americans practiced it. By 2008 the ranks had grown to 340,000. Today an estimated 1.5 million people turn to the pagan religion. Paganism has a long history including sacrificing children, often the worshipper's own children to prove that their faith was strong.
Even the NIH National Library of Medicine National Center Biotechnology Information published “Contemporary Paganism is gaining popularity throughout the U.S. Individuals are attracted to the principles of freethinking, lack of dogma, and rejection of proselytizing.” It also added the disclaimer “As a library, NLM provides access to scientific literature. Inclusion in an NLM database does not imply endorsement of, or agreement with, the contents by NLM or the National Institutes of Health.”
The number of pagans is expected to grow as America has increasingly devalued children. Abortion, human trafficking for the sex trade, transgender teaching, entertainment that shows promote chants, wizardry, and the complete lack of Christian teachings in many households have placed children in the ranks of objects instead of cherished gifts. ....... READ MORE
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is concerned about civil liberties that were restricted recently. During the Arizona, et al. v. Mayorkas et al case, Gorsuch stated the COVID-19 crisis may have resulted in “the greatest intrusions on civil liberties in the peacetime history of this country,” on the state, local, and federal levels.
In his eight-page opinion, Justice Gorsuch blasts the lockdowns and mandates and presents the truth with startling clarity. Importantly, this statement from the High Court comes as so many other agencies, intellectuals, and journalists are in flat-out denial of what happened to the country.
The Arizona, et al. v. Mayorkas et al case revolves around a decision made in the District of Columbia Circuit Court. That case was remanded back to that court with instructions to dismiss the motion as moot. Justice Jackson “dissents from the vacatur of the order of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and would instead dismiss the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted.
...... READ MORE
The Bible says we are to pray for our elected officials. It also directs us to pray for our enemies. Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference. We conservative Christians are being attacked on almost every front. The government has been taken over by left-wing politicians and this country is heading down a deep hole from which we may never recover. This I truly fear.
One target of these attacks is the military and its veterans. My first example reflects how the administration used the Covid pandemic to thin the military. Over 95% of those refusing to take the vaccine because they had religious objections were denied. No reason was given which is normally required. These soldiers, sailors, and airmen were forced out of their units. We, as a country, lost valuable talent, knowledge, and experience when these seasoned veterans were let go. They, in turn, lost time spent in the military and the benefits they had accrued. We have previously discussed this situation in detail in a couple of our podcasts.
Another attack on a veteran by the Biden administration was when they left retired Marine Paul Whelen sitting in a Russian prison. Instead, they sought and secured the release of a female, pot-smoking, basketball player because this played well to their voters on the left. To get her released, we gave up a convicted Russian arms dealer who we classified as ‘very dangerous’. Brittney Griner is now back home with her wife and playing professional basketball again this year.
This past month, our government evicted, 15 homeless veterans, and others from a hotel in Rockland County, New York. It was done in order to provide housing for illegal immigrants. Sleepy Joe let these criminals into this country. They are all criminals because they came across the southern border illegally. Now, New York officials threw these veterans out into the streets. Something is seriously wrong with this.
The rest of this column is devoted to Daniel Penny, a Marine veteran, who came to the aid of his fellow subway passengers in New York recently. Their infamous District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, charged him with homicide after left-wing/woke protesters stormed the subway. He caved once again to mob pressure.
Some of the things Jordan Neely has done are atrocious. He had been arrested over 40 times but was always released by the DA’s office. He punched four elderly women in the face breaking the eye socket of one. He tried to kidnap a seven-year-old, and he continued to threaten people on and off the subway. Although most legal experts believe Daniel Penny will get off, he will suffer because of Alvin Bragg’s cowardice to say “no” to the mob.
Now, Mr. Neely‘s family is going to sue Mr. Penny. Let me get this straight. He was homeless which means his family didn’t care enough about him to give him shelter. Now that he is dead, and they might be able to get money, they suddenly care. My wife and I feel so strongly about all of this injustice, we made a donation to Mr. Penny’s legal defense fund through GiveSendGo.com. We had never done this before for someone we have never met.
This is a perfect example of how twisted our politicians have become. The government deploys soldiers all over the world to kill the enemy. However, a veteran is not allowed to step into a situation here, in our own country, to defend himself and others who fear for their lives. This was a real-life situation and almost everyone on that subway car went to personally thank Daniel Penny once it was over.
Daniel Penny is a hero to most of us, law-abiding patriots. In liberal cities and states, good people are punished and evil ones are set free. I guess it now falls on us the average citizens to protect ourselves and our loved ones. At least, West Virginia has a “stand your ground” law that allows us to do that.
Being ex-military once came with dignity and respect. Today, with this administration and corrupt state and city officials, we have become the target of their policies. Worse yet, they do not respect this country or our military veterans. As Bob Dylan sang so many years ago - “The times they are a changing”.
The News That Matters Podcast Co-host
Lyla Belle King is the youngest reporter on staff at The Missions Tribune.
She writes in each edition about life through the eyes a young devout
Christian girl. She sets an example of how to always stand for Christ - no matter what!
Hello Youth Room! How are you? Are you excited that school's over? I still have a couple of days left but I'm super excited for summer! I’m praying that all of you guys are staying safe and having a wonderful day. Today I wanted to talk to you about the power of peer pressure when it comes to faith. Peer pressure can come in many different forms and each one is hard to combat. So, let’s figure out how to fight it!
Kids at school say things all the time that aren’t necessarily friendly or good. And it’s easy when you’re uncomfortable to laugh or shrug it off. Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing else to do in that situation. But really what kind of example are we setting when we do that? Laughing about it just invites people to test their limits even more. Until we’re finding ourselves accepting behavior, we never would’ve accepted a while ago. However, we really need to draw the line when people start making negative comments about our God. Because honestly there’s no way to explain that and make it seem okay. And of course, the way we do this should bring people to him not draw them away.
So how do we stand up when somebody’s joke has Jesus as the punchline? To be truthful there’s no real “how to.” But I do have some things for you to remember in these moments. For one, we can't forget that God never leaves our side so if you think you’re facing a crowded room alone, you’re not. And God gives us many words of reassurance in the Bible. Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;” Not letting these comments pass you by with a shrug actually grows your faith. It makes you stronger. And finally, I want to say, put on the armor of God every day. Like in Ephesians 6:13, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”
Thank you so much for reading this edition of Youth Room. This week, I think we should all pray for strength to stand up for Jesus. After all, he died for us, let's live for him. I hope you all have a wonderful and safe week! I’m praying for you and Jesus loves you! This is Lyla Belle signing out.
From the Heart today on our Faith Walk, the thought Planting. Plant, place (a seed, bulb, or plant) in the ground so that it can grow. Also to place or fix in a specified position. During this time of year when all the trees and flowers bloom, with the air filled with aromas letting us all know they are here. A question arouse within me, What have we allowed to be planted within you? The seed and or seeds that have now spring forth. Hebrews 12:15b Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. It admonishes us to be alert, be on the lookout for the roots we have in our lives. That nothing grows up to cause us difficulty or problems. We can’t control things that happen or happens to us, only how we react or respond to them. In this life we are exposed to different kind of seeds that when planted yield a harvest. Weeds like flowers grow. Choosing to be angry, and or to be bitter, only hurt us. These things by choosing choke the life out of us. When these things grow they trouble you, suspend your growth stopping your progression. Flowers that receive light, water and all the right nutrients produce beautiful colors and aromas. Roots grow under the surface, in order to check your roots you must dig deep. Break the ground and dig deep down to make sure you have the right roots that will nourish you and not take from you. D. dig, I. in, G. God, discover how to get rid of the poisonous roots that will take the life out of you. Dig them up from the root and get rid of them and allow the seeds of the word of God to be planted to produce roots that will give your life.
From My Heart 2 Yours,
Danielle S. Washington
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