Sister Veronica Gross' Blog

BAPTISM UPDATE

Part 3 of 3:  The Importance of the Parish Community at Baptism and After

The very prayers of a Baptism help explain why it should be celebrated among the parish family.  It is not just the parents and godparents who have responsibility for the new member of the Church, the baptized infant — all members of the community have an important part to play in the Baptism of the child!  The entire parish helps to support and to nurture the faith of the child through their example and prayers for the child and family.  Everyone becomes responsible for the spiritual growth of the child; this responsibility also helps the community grow in their faith.  So, if you see a child being baptized at a parish Mass sometime soon…remember that you and the people in the pews around you are in important part of the ceremony — you are part of the community of faith that will help this child get to Heaven!  This update is part of a series on Baptism Celebrated within Mass. Our first experience with this will be at the 11:30 A.M. Mass on Sunday, December 7th. Please join us for this wonderful experience.

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BAPTISM UPDATE

Part 2 of 3:  Why Celebrate Baptism in the Sunday Liturgy?

Today, many parishes celebrate Baptism within the Sunday Eucharistic Liturgy.  Why?  All of the Sacraments are community events.  They are not primarily “private” moments or individual celebrations.  The Sacraments are celebrations of the whole Church, represented by the parish family!  This is especially true of Baptism, because it changes the status of the one being baptized into a member of the Church community.  The baptized person enters into a special relationship with the Church and with God.  This status or identity is renewed in Sunday Eucharist.  Celebrating Baptisms of babies during Sunday Eucharist signifies that baptism is incorporating the baby into both the Church and the Life of Christ.  It also gives mature Catholics a chance to reflect on the meaning of their own baptism which happened so many years ago.  Next week we will learn about the importance of the parish community at Baptism.  This update is part of a series on celebrating baptism during Mass. This will be an option for our parishioners beginning in December.

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Baptism Update

Part 1 of 3:  THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM

Christian initiation is accomplished by 3 sacraments – Baptism, which is the beginning of new life in Christ, Confirmation which strengthens us in the Holy Spirit and Eucharist which nourishes us with the Body and blood of Christ.  In the Catholic Catechism we are told that “Baptism is birth into the new life of Christ.  In accordance with the Lord’s will, it is necessary for salvation, as is the Church herself, which we enter by Baptism.”  By Baptism, the person baptized is configured to Christ and becomes a child of God and member of the Catholic Church!  It is this sacrament which opens us to all the graces that are ours through the other Sacraments.  In the Sacrament of Baptism, we have been claimed for Christ, our Savior.  Next week we will learn about why Baptism should be celebrated during the Sunday Liturgy.  This update is part of a series on Baptism being celebrated during Mass.  This will be an option for our parish children to be be baptized at the 11:30 A.M. liturgy on the first Sunday of each month, beginning in December.

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BAPTISM UPDATE: A New Opportunity

We are excited to announce that, beginning on the first Sunday in December (December 7), our parish will be offering a new opportunity for infant Baptisms! In addition to our usually scheduled baptisms after the 11:30 A.M. Mass on the third Sunday of the month, we will now be offering a new baptism time during Mass at the 11:30 A.M. liturgy on the first Sunday of every month.  The first date for this new type of celebration will be December 7th.  There will be a brief catechesis – a time of learning and explanation – in our bulletin and here on our web-site over the next three weeks.  It is our hope that this catechesis will help our entire parish community understand the importance of this new endeavor.  Next week we will learn about the importance of the Sacrament of Baptism.

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ATTENTION BAKERS

It does not seem possible that the carnival will be happening in just three weeks.  This is always a wonderful time in our parish.  We have so many generous people who help make this a great success.  The dates this year are August 19 to 23.  One of the offerings is the Panther Cafe, which is a dessert booth.  We have offered homemade items in the past and this booth has been a great success thanks to all of the bakers we have in our parish.  If you are able to help by baking your specialty, please fill in the insert that was in the Church Bulletin this weekend or pick up a form at the doors of the church.  If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call the office at 610-265-4178 or contact Sister Veronica at vgross@mdpparish.com.     HAPPY BAKING!   Hope to see you at the Carnival.

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MANNA FOOD COLLECTION

Mother of Divine Providence Parish will be having the yearly Manna Food Collection for the Norristown Food Cupboard the weekend of July 19 and 20.  Items for this collection include all non-perishable food items: cereal, peanut butter,  jelly, tuna, soups, stews, pasta, canned veggies, fruit, etc.  Tea and coffee can be a real treat.  Please remember that non food items cannot be purchased with food stamps, so toilet tissue, paper towels, dish detergent, laundry soap, etc. are also good donations for this yearly collection. Please be sure to pick up a bag for your donations at the doors of the church this weekend (July 12, 13) and return it filled next weekend.  Thank you for your generous spirit.

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A PARISHIONER’S MEMORY

A parishioner offered this reflection on what she saw at the 11:30 A.M. Mass one Sunday.  She writes – “Before the 11:30 Mass, Deacon Mark was showing a young boy who was an altar server some things that he would have to do.  The boy looked very nervous, but never took his eyes off of the Deacon.   Continue reading

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CLIMBING MOUNT TABOR

One of our stops for Mass while in the Holy Land was Mount Tabor — the site of the Transfiguration.  It is a very high mountain.  It would take hours to walk up to the top, so the group took the ride in the vans that are provided.  The road that winds around the mountain to reach the top is very narrow — it just about holds 2 vans if they need to pass each other.  When that happens, you do not want to be on the open side of the road.  I am sure part of the excitement of the experience is the “wild” ride up and down the mountain.  A good Act of Contrition is in order because your whole life flashes before you as you make this trip.  BUT, when you reach the top, the beauty is amazing. Continue reading

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PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY GOES INTERNATIONAL

Our Prayer Shawl Ministry meets on the first Thursday of every month at 10 A.M.  We have a wonderful group of ladies who offer their handiwork for gifts to comfort those who are in physical or spiritual distress.  A former parishioner, Bob DeSpirito, who retired to Italy with his wife, Roseann, makes shawls during the winter months.  He sent a picture of the shawls that he made and I said that we would have to make him an honorary member of the Prayer Shawl Ministry.  He then suggested that he would send us a shawl once in a while for parishioners here.  So this is amazing news.  Our Prayer Shawl Ministry goes International — shawls sent from Sessa, Italy.  Imagine that.  Thank you, Bob.

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OPERATION RESURRECTION

Many people may not be aware that we have a very active Bereavement Ministry.  One of the offerings is that at Easter the Confirmation class takes an Easter plant to each family who had someone from their family buried during the previous year from Mother of Divine Providence Parish.  Our Director of Religious Education, Lauren Joyce, has been helping me with this experience and has received many wonderful responses from those who received a plant.  But we have also heard from those who helped with this event.  The following are some comments from both:  ”Operation Resurrection was a very good idea.  One elderly woman who lost her husband cried when we gave her the flowers.  She was so touched.  I think it is good for the children to deliver the flowers and cards personally.  This keeps everyone connected to MDP.”  Another said:  ”Thank you for your prayers and the beautiful Easter lily plant in memory of our sister.”  Special thanks to all those who participated in Operation Resurrection.  Our hope is that it will be able to continue next year.

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