Lauren Joyce's Blog

MANY THANKS to all who made the “Helping Hands” Rice Bowl Service Project a great success!

Last weekend, nearly one hundred volunteers came together in the MDP gym to pack meals for Burkina Faso, Africa!

Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of so many people, we were able to purchase, pack, and ship FOURTEEN THOUSAND high-nutrient meals to communities living in poverty in Burkina Faso, Africa!

Funds were raised through the Lenten Poor Box and Operation Rice Bowl.  We had initially planned to raise $5,000… but last week we hit the $7,000 mark, and still have a few more Rice Bowls to tally!

Our event was fun and high-energy… with music blasting, a few people were caught having a dance party while we packed!

As a family-friendly service project, we had a job for everyone ages 5+.  Our smallest volunteers had some of our best attitudes and “helping hands!”

And we couldn’t have done it without our heavy-lifters, who shouldered boxes and bags of rice weighing up to 50 lbs!

Our leadership team was comprised of the Ettore, Lloyd, and Galdi families.  Many thanks to each of them!

We are especially grateful to our fundraising partners: MDP Lenten Poor Box, Operation Rice Bowl, MTC Regional Catholic School, MDP Knights of Columbus, and MDP PREP!  And we are thankful to Medina Professional Photography Solutions for capturing the wonderful spirit and energy of our big day.

Watch for our next “Helping Hands” event in Spring 2019! If you would like to be on the Helping Hands / Operation Rice Bowl team for next year, please contact Lauren Joyce at 610-337-2173.

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by Lauren Joyce

Holy Week at MDP

We hope you will come and pray among us!

“We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.”

  • Confessions:  M, Tu, W @ 7pm in Church
  • 3/29 Holy Thursday: (Mass of the Last Supper) 7:30pm in Church
  • 3/30 Good Friday: 3:00pm in Church
  • 3/31 Easter Vigil: 8:00pm in Church
  • 4/1 Easter Sunday: 7:30, 9:30, 11:30am in Church

For the curious… the “big three” liturgies of Holy Week are Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil.  These are the “Triduum,” or the three holiest days of the year.  If you are able, we invite you to pray all three of these liturgies with us.  We begin in the “upper room” as Jesus celebrates the Passover with His Apostles.  (This is the most family-friendly of the three liturgies, and has a beautiful Eucharistic procession at the end.)  Jesus then goes out to the Garden of Gethsemane, and we go with him, watching and waiting.  (The Church is open for prayer all night long.)  On Good Friday, as we fast and abstain from meat, the passion and death of the Lord is never far from our minds.  At the 3:00pm service marking the death of the Lord on the cross, we mourn for this Lord and Savior who has loved us at the price of His own life.  We then wait in silence… the Lord is in the tomb.  There is no Mass on Saturday morning.  (There is 8:00am Morning Prayer and blessing of Easter food.)  After our long silence, we come together in the dark for the Easter Vigil, “watching and waiting” for the Resurrection of the Lord.  This service begins outside in the dark, and we enter the inky-black Church led only by the light of the Easter Candle.  Throughout the Vigil, the light grows and climaxes at the baptism of our new Catholics and the reception of Holy Communion.  Amen, Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

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by Lauren Joyce

Happening @ MDP: Living Stations of the Cross!

Our PREP / CCD children led us in prayerful Stations of the Cross last night… we are grateful for their efforts!  It was a beautiful addition to the parish Lenten Season.

 

All are welcome to our remaining Stations of the Cross this Lent:

- Friday 3/16 @ 7pm in Church

- Wednesday 3/21 @ 2pm in Church

- Friday 3/23 @ 7pm in Church (MTC Living Stations of the Cross)

- Wednesday 3/28 @ 2pm in Church (MTC Living Stations of the Cross)

 

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by Lauren Joyce

Parish-Wide “40 Hours” of Adoration Prayer: Feb 18th – 20th!

WHAT IS “40 OF HOURS ADORATION”?
This is a time within the Lenten season when our parish community takes turns to spend ”40 Hours” in prayer before the Lord in Church (Adoration).  We ask God’s blessing upon ourselves, our families, and our community.

All are invited to stop by at least once during our “40 Hours” of prayer!

Times:

  • Sunday: following 11:30 am Mass until 7:30 pm
  • Monday: following 8:00 am Mass until 7:30 pm
  • Tuesday: following 8:00 am Mass until 7:30 pm

Benediction Closing Prayers and Homily each evening at 7:30 pm with the newly-ordained guest priest, Fr. Matthew Brody.

If you can Sign Up to “cover” a time slot, this helps us ensure that the Blessed Sacrament is never left unattended. If you cannot sign up for a spot, you are still very much welcome to come by on your own schedule, and stay for as long as you like!

Sign Up Here: 40 Hours of  Adoration Prayer

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FAQ:

WHAT IF I CAN’T SIGN UP FOR A TIME SLOT – CAN I STILL ATTEND?
Absolutely!  You are very welcome to come and go as needed on your own schedule – some people stop by for just a few moments, while others stay for a full hour.  While volunteers to “cover” time slots are very helpful to us, if your schedule does not allow this we still hope to see you stopping by as you are able!

WHAT DO I DO DURING MY TIME SLOT???
This is a quiet time for prayer and reflection in front of the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ.  There are no “rules” to how or what you pray during your time in Church.  Many people bring their Bible, a Rosary, a holy book or a prayer journal to help them focus on Jesus.    Even “just sitting there” counts!

WHAT IF ALL THE TIME SLOTS ARE TAKEN?
Our goal is for LOTS of people to be in Church at all times. If your preferred time slot is taken, please come anyway or consider taking another time slot that is empty!  We are asking for 2 people as a minimum to assure there is attendance at all times.

 

God is waiting for you with love!

 

 

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by Lauren Joyce

When the Holidays Don’t Feel “Wonderful”

Some years the holidays are truly wonderful, and the child inside of us glows with wonder at the lights, the songs, and the gifts.

But there are other years, times when we are numb with grief over a loved one, or dealing with the fallout of a divorce, or trying to keep a brave face despite months-long unemployment.  In years like this, the holidays can feel downright brutal… a far cry from “the most wonderful time of the year” that the songs jeer at us, mockingly.

When the holidays don’t feel wonderful, the miracle of Christmas is that God is WITH US, even in the darkest of times. We don’t have to “feel” the right way for God to come to us at Christmas. He comes down to join us in our pain and in our mess before we’re even sure if we know how to ask.

Don’t be fooled by “perfect” manger scenes. The first Christmas wasn’t “wonderful” in the glitzy-Santa sense.  Mary and Joseph had traveled nearly 100 miles on foot, given birth in a stable that smelled like dirty sheep, and the whole time had to worry about maniacal political leaders who were actively hunting for their baby to kill him.  Fear, grief, worry – that was all present at the First Christmas Season.

God didn’t wait for the “perfect holiday season” to send His Son the first time, and He doesn’t need your life to be perfect to bless you this Christmas, either. Continue reading

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by Lauren Joyce

Happening @ MDP: Service Projects!

Our “Middle School Mercy Corps” spent this Saturday morning cheering for the athletes at the Special Olympics!  This high-energy event is hosted at Villanova University and celebrates athletes who have overcome mental or physical handicaps to compete in various sporting events.

Our MSMC pre-teens were “fans in the stands” and cheered on the competition.  A great time was had by all!

The “Middle School Mercy Corps” organizes service projects for 6th-8th graders and their parents in the parish and local community.  To receive emails with service projects and events for your 6th – 8th grader, email LJoyce@MDPparish.com or call 610-337-2173.

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by Lauren Joyce

Some “November” FAQs about Purgatory, the Saints, and Prayers for the Dead

Each November, the Church asks us to remember in a special way those who have died, both the triumphant souls in Heaven (Nov 1, All Saints Day) and the souls still being purified in Purgatory (Nov 2, All Souls Day).

This usually raises some questions, like…

- Why do Catholics pray for the dead?

- Do Catholics worship the saints?

- Does the Church still believe in indulgences?

When we understand the “heart” of these holy days, we can see the beauty and the wisdom the Church is offering us here.

Nov 1: On All Saints Day, we honor with great joy all of those holy men and women who are up in Heaven.  We look to their examples of living good Christian lives, and ask them to pray for us.  Many families celebrate with cake and sharing the stories of their special patron saints in the family… after getting to Mass for the Holy Day, of course!

Nov 2: On All Souls Day, we pray for those who have died, especially those whom we love.  As Catholics we believe that our prayers really matter, and can help these souls move from Purgatory to Heaven.  The Church so firmly believes in the power of our prayers for the dead, in fact, that she tells us we can help a loved one move to Heaven by completing these prayers here. (As in all things, this is not “magic”… it is a tribute to the reality that we are all members of the one family of God, and death cannot separate those united in the Body of Christ.  Just as we are commanded on earth to help and care for one another, this responsibility carries on after death, especially for those whom we love.)

Month of November: For the rest of November, our prayers for the dead continue.  Many families include a special Rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet for the dead in their prayers, as well as the “Eternal Rest” prayer.  At MDP, you will see photos of our beloved deceased up on the side altar in November, and many of our clergy will pause for a moment of prayer before Mass.  They are praying for the souls of all those who have died, especially those from MDP Parish.

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by Lauren Joyce

Catholic Parenting: Talking to Your Kids about Natural Disasters (Part 2 of 2)

Our kids are asking: If God is all-good and all-powerful, then why is He allowing so many people to suffer in natural disasters?

(Part 2 of 2)

Part 1: Before you can talk to your child, you have to find peace in your own heart

Part 2: Talking to Your Child about Natural Disasters

This piece by Focus on the Family (a non-denominational Christian ministry) offers many helpful insights and tips for parents.  They cover much of what I had planned to say, so I encourage you to check out their article.

I will add to their reflections that your child wants to talk to you, and you don’t have to have all of the right or perfect answers to get the conversation started.   Here are some suggestions: Continue reading

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by Lauren Joyce

Catholic Parenting: Talking to Your Kids about Natural Disasters (Pt 1 of 2)

Our kids are asking: If God is all-good and all-powerful, then why is He allowing so many people to suffer in natural disasters?

(Part 1 of 2)

Part 1: Before you can talk to your child,
you have to find peace in your own heart

At some point in our lives, we each face serious tests of our trust in God.  The terminal diagnosis of a loved one, sudden unemployment, or a serious accident can leave us reeling, wondering:  Why would God let this happen?  I thought He loved me?  Is He even there?

Truths to Hold Onto in Dark Times… Continue reading

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by Lauren Joyce

Growing Enrollment & “Best of MontCo” @ MTC Catholic School!


MTC Regional Catholic School is gearing up for another GREAT school year!

Not only is enrollment strong and higher than last year (285 students, including 86 new children enrolled this summer!), but MTC is also celebrating a win as the “Best Grade School” in the 2017 “Best of MontCo” Awards hosted by Montgomery Media, The Times Herald, and The Reporter.

Congratulations to Principal Christine Pagan and her hard-working team who have led the MTC school community to these exciting milestones.  Our prayers are with you in the upcoming school year!

*Mother Teresa Regional Catholic School is the “combined” regional school uniting the two parish schools formerly known as Mother of Divine Providence (King of Prussia) and St. Teresa of Avila (Trooper).

 

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by Lauren Joyce