Fourth Sunday of Easter

“Remain faithful to the grace of God.”

We have been listening about the relationship between the Father and the Son which is based in Love. “The Father and I are One.”

The manifestation of love is obedience. There are people who say, as a Church, we have a lot of rules; and we do. Why? Because we need them. We are sinners not saints. We are not perfect but we are perfecting and rules help keep us on the right road to heaven.

Saint Paul says the more perfect we become, we don’t need rules. We long for that day. But, for now, we need to be obedient to God with the Commandments and the Precepts of the Church.

God knows we love Him when we obey Him; like the Good Shepherd, Who carries a big staff. If we veer off track, He gathers us in. Or like Mothers, they are happy when we obey them. Wives are happy when we obey them!

Finding ways to practice the virtue of obedience will help us manifest our love for each other and for God. This week find ways to practice obedience: children, obey your parents, and parents, obey God. Thus, we can do what we are being urged to do today by Paul and Barnabas, “Remain faithful to the grace of God.”

 

 

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by Father Cioppi

Parish May Procession

The tradition of “Crowning Mary” during the month of May is a long-standing one in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.   It typically takes place on the first weekend of the month after the parish children have received their First Holy Communion.

Mother of Divine Providence Parish will hold her procession on Sunday, May 5th, immediately after the 10:30 AM Mass.   All children who received their First Holy Communion, whether on Saturday or Sunday, are invited to wear their Communion attire and participate in the procession that will move from the church to the grotto in the parking lot for the Crowning Ceremony.      Everyone attending the 10:30 AM Mass is encouraged to join the procession!

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by Susan Dugary

First Holy Communion Weekend

This weekend, May 4th and 5th, 63 children will receive their First Holy Communion at Mother of Divine Providence.   We ask that you remember these children and their families in your prayers as they approach this important day.

May you always feel as close to Jesus as you do today.

May you always count on Him to gently guide your way.

May you always trust in God to answer every single prayer.

May you always feel Him blessing you with tender loving care.

 

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by Susan Dugary

Public Schools are NOT God Free Zones!

Please take 8 minutes to watch this important video, it will be time well spent!  If you think that these problems are NOT occurring here in Upper Merion, you are sadly mistaken.   Our children’s faith is being suppressed every day; we must take a firm stand to allow them to openly express their faith.

Last year we were very fortunate to have Barbara Samuells, President of Catholics for Religious Freedom, speak with us about the state of our country with regard to Religious Freedom.  After listening to Barbara and hearing other stories of children being told that they were not able to discuss their faith in public schools, one mother in attendance at the seminar openly told the following story about her child’s experience in Upper Merion:  Her child was filled with happiness on receiving Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time and  excitedly approached her teacher to share about her wonderful weekend, only to be told that it is unacceptable to discuss such events in Upper Merion public schools.   Imagine how embarrassed that child must have felt, to be told that her faith is unacceptable!   Another child was wearing a crucifix necklace only to be told to remove it; while another student was wearing a t-shirt that spoke of his faith and he was asked to turn the shirt inside out so that he did not offend any other student.

How can we allow this to happen in our own backyard?  You probably noticed that the students represented in the video are high school students.  They realize that they have certain protections afforded them as citizens of this country and that these rights are being violated.  However the children discussed, who are members of our parish, are very young and have no idea that they actually have rights.   It is up to us, the responsible adults in their lives, to protect them and their rights!

 

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by Susan Dugary

Welcome to our Parish

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by Father Cioppi

Easter Mass Schedules


Easter Masses:

Saturday Vigil Mass – April 20th at 8:00 PM                                                                                     Sunday April 21st Masses:  7:30 AM, 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM

 

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by Susan Dugary

DON’T MISS THIS LIVE LENTEN PLAY

DON’T MISS THIS LIVE PASSION PLAY!

We are blessed once again to offer the live musical drama entitled “Whom Shall I Send”.  This beautifully produced play is being presented to us in the sanctuary of the church on Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 7:00 PM.

Whom Shall I Send? Is an exciting musical that finds its roots in the New Testament as it depicts God’s call to the disciples and their response.  The play explores the humanity of the disciples—their doubts, fears and joys as they respond to the call of the risen Christ.  The energetic dialogue, vibrant songs and dances celebrate the spiritual journey of Peter, Paul, John, Mary Magdalene and Lydia.  It explores the unique way that each character is called by God and inspires audiences to reflect on the call of God in their lives.   This poignant and moving drama engages  the audience in a story of faith, love and friendship.

The Xavier Company is a group of professional actors, singers and dancers in residence at Saint Francis Xavier Church in Manhattan under the direction of Carol Ferrone.

Entrance to this play is free, but we urge you to help with the work of Xavier Company by placing a free will offering in the basket located at the break.  Thank you.

 

 

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by Susan Dugary

Mary’s Way of the Cross and 24 Hours for the Lord

“24 Hours for the Lord” is an initiative of the Holy Father begun three years ago. During this time, the faithful will have the opportunity to pray before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament which will be exposed for this purpose.

24 HOURS FOR THE LORD begins here at Mother of Divine Providence Parish on Friday, March 29th and continues through Saturday, March 30th until 2:45 PM.

As we celebrate this special time in our parish, we will begin with the live presentation of “Mary’s Way of the Cross” at 7:00 PM on March 29th. This live version of the Stations of the Cross is presented in Mary’s words. Nancy Server Thompson, Music Director at Camilla Hall will play the part of Mary; Sister Anne Phillip will be the narrator. Our “24 Hours for the Lord” will continue immediately after this program as the Blessed Sacrament is exposed. Sign-up sheets are located at the doors of the church this weekend. Please help us to make sure that Our Lord is never unattended from 8:00 PM March 29th through 3:00 PM on March 30th.  Please be sure to continue your Lenten journey by participating in this special time.

On Friday, March 29th, join us for the opening of “24 Hours for the Lord” beginning with a a presentation of “Where You There”.  A Passion Play from the perspective of Our Lord’s mother, Mary.  Exposition of the Blessing Sacrament will begin immediately after the Stations and Adoration will continue throughout the night.

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by Susan Dugary

LENTEN SERIES ON VICE CONQUERED BY VIRTUE

ASH WEDNESDAY

As 21st-century believers, we readily acknowledge that we have never walked with the earthly Jesus, but we have walked with those who witness His resurrected life and follow in His steps. Saint Paul calls us ‘ambassadors for Christ.’ When people ask what it means to be Christian, we can, without words, show them.

But realistically, we know that none of us perfectly image Christian virtue. Mahatma Gandhi once said that he had no problem with Christian virtue though he did have a problem with Christians. We deal with the paradox every day. And every day, we are reminded through Scripture and our Traditions in the confidence we have that God sent Jesus, Who never sinned, to bear on His shoulders our sin so that we might become righteous before God.

Ash Wednesday is the time we, as believers, enter into the desert of our hearts. We will, hopefully, encounter there our imperfections and our sins; the times when we were deceived into believing we were doing the right thing, when all the time we were just choosing the easy thing. We will rely on what the Church gives us and on Holy Scripture to lift us up onto the shoulders of Jesus Who comes to ‘make all things new;’ Who comes to set us free of our burdens and create in us ‘the new man,’ who will stand as righteous before the Face of God.

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by Father Cioppi

Forty Hours Parish Retreat

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has established a special tradition of the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament spread throughout its parishes over the course of the year.

Mother of Divine Providence is home to this 40 Hour period of adoration on the first Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of the Lenten Season each year. Our parish has set aside these days of prayer and adoration as an all parish retreat or mission centering ourselves on Christ though adoration and responding to the call he asks of us. We engage in prayer throughout the day in his presence from the conclusion of 8:00 AM Mass until we come together in the evening at 7:30 PM for an inspirational presentation and fellowship.

 

 

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by Susan Dugary