Join us Tuesday, September 29 — the Feast of the Archangels — for a special presentation about angels. Topics will include basic catechesis about angels, common misconceptions, devotion to your guardian angel, stores from the Saints, and more. The program will be held in the Community Center and begins at 7pm. Attendees will receive a free 5×7 icon (photo print) of an Angel. Arrive early!
What Catholics Believe
Join us on July 3 for our First Friday Vigil, led by our new parish Administrator, Fr. Eurel Manzano. While Fr. Manzano will not officially begin his position at St. Theresa until August 1, he will be here to lead our July First Friday Vigil. Receive a plenary indulgence by joining our community for this devotion.
The First Friday Vigil will begin at 9pm and last until midnight. The vigil will consist of:
- Exposition of the Eucharist and Benediction
- Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart
- Solemn Mass at 11pm
What is the significance of First Friday and the Sacred Heart of Jesus for Catholics?
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a longstanding tradition among Catholics:
The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus just as it invokes his most holy name. It adores the incarnate Word and his Heart which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins.
– Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 2669
The First Friday devotion to the Sacred Heart grew from our Lord’s appearances to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1675. St. Margaret Mary wrote that in one of His appearances to her, Jesus said “Look at this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth.”
How can devotion to the Sacred Heart bring us closer to Jesus?
Traditionally, there are twelve promises which Jesus made to St. Margaret Mary regarding those who devote themselves to His Sacred Heart:
- I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
- I will establish peace in their families.
- I will console them in all their troubles.
- They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.
- I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
- Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
- Tepid souls shall become fervent.
- Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
- I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
- I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
- Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
- The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.
What is a plenary indulgence?
“An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints”.
The faithful may receive a plenary indulgence once a day, providing that they are in a state of grace. The specific requirements for a plenary indulgence include:
- have an interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin
- have sacramentally confessed their sins
- receive the Holy Eucharist
- pray for the intentions of the Pope
Pentecost Sunday is one of the most ancient feasts of the Church, celebrated early enough to be mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (20:16) and St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians (16:8). It is the 50th day after Easter (if we count both Easter and Pentecost), and it supplants the Jewish feast of Pentecost, which took place 50 days after the Passover and which celebrated the sealing of the Old Covenant on Mount Sinai.
The Acts of the Apostles recounts the story of the original Pentecost as well (Acts 2). Jews from all over were gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish feast. On that Sunday, ten days after the Ascension of Our Lord, the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary were gathered in the Upper Room, where they had seen Christ after His Resurrection:
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. [Acts 2:2-4]
Christ had promised His Apostles that He would send His Holy Spirit, and, on Pentecost, they were granted the gifts of the Spirit. The Apostles began to preach the Gospel in all of the languages that the Jews who were gathered there spoke, and about 3,000 people were converted and baptized that day.
That is why Pentecost is often called “the birthday of the Church.” On this day, with the descent of the Holy Spirit, Christ’s mission is completed, and the New Covenant is inaugurated. It’s interesting to note that St. Peter, the first pope, was already the leader and spokesman for the Apostles on Pentecost Sunday (see Acts 2:14ff).
In years past, Pentecost was celebrated with greater solemnity than it is today. In fact, the entire period between Easter and Pentecost Sunday was known as Pentecost (and it still is called Pentecost in the Eastern churches, both Catholic and Orthodox). In more recent times, parishes celebrated the approach of Pentecost with the public recitation of the Novena to the Holy Spirit.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity. The Holy Spirit is also called the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, the Advocate, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Love.
From whom does the Holy Spirit proceed?
The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit does not proceed from the Father and the Son by spiritual generation. Only the Son proceeds from the Father by generation. This is one of the mysterious truths that we know only from revelation.
Is the Holy Spirit equal to the Father and the Son?
The Holy Spirit is equal to the Father and the Son, because He is God. Because of the oneness of nature in the Blessed Trinity, the Father is entirely in the Son and in the Holy Spirit; the Son is entirely in the Father and in the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit is entirely in the Father and in the Son. No one of the three divine Persons is outside the other, for none precedes the other in eternity, nor surpasses the other in power, nor exceeds the other in any way. This indwelling of one divine Person in the others is called circumincession.
What does the Holy Spirit do for the salvation of mankind?
The Holy Spirit dwells in the Church as the source of its life and sanctifies souls through the gift of grace. Although the sanctification of mankind, like all other outward works of God, is performed by all three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, it is attributed to the Holy Spirit, the
third Person. The sanctification of mankind is attributed to the Holy Spirit because He is the love of the Father and the Son and because the sanctification of man by grace shows forth God’s boundless love.