APRIL 2021

Hello Friends,

Happy Easter! I hope that everyone had a faith filled Lent and a very Happy Easter with your loved ones. Now that the weather is getting nice, our thoughts are turning to being outside, yard work, and just maybe being free from the virus. I hope you will be able to join us for Divine Mercy Sunday at 2:00 at St. Ambrose Church.


A Quote From Ven. Fulton J. Sheen

"Our Blessed Lord said, "I have overcome the world." By this He means that He has overcome evil in principle. The victory is assured, only the good news has not yet leaked out. Evil will never be able to be stronger than it was on that particular day, for the worst thing that evil can do is not to ruin cities and to wage wars and to drop atomic bombs against the good and the living. Th worst thing that evil can do is to kill God. Having been defeated in that, it can never be victorious again." 0

Why did Jesus go to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: How will Jerusalem welcome her Messiah? Although Jesus had always refused popular attempts to make him king, he chooses the time and prepares the details for his messianic entry into the city of "his father David." acclaimed as son of David, as the one who brings salvation(Hosanna means "Save!" or "Give salvation!"), the "King of glory" enters his City "riding on an ass." Jesus conquers the Daughter of Zion, a figure of his Church, neither by ruse nor by violence, but by the humility that bears witness to the truth. And so the subjects of his kingdom on that day are children and God's poor, who acclaim him as had the angels when they announced him to the shepherds. Their acclamation, "Blessed be he who comes in the name of the Lord," is taken up by the Church in the "Sanctus" of the Eucharistic liturgy that introduces the memorial of the Lord's Passover. Jesus' entry into Jerusalem manifested the coming of the kingdom that the King-Messiah was going to accomplish by the Passover of his death and resurrection. It is with the celebration of that entry on Palm Sunday that the Church's liturgy solemnly opens Holy Week. (paragraphs 559-560)

What does Palm Sunday symbolize?

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Jesus'entry into Jerusalem manifests the coming of the kingdom that the messiah-King, welcomed into his city by children and the humble of heart, is going to accomplish by the Passover of his Death and Resurrection. (paragraph 570)

What is Maundy Thursday?

"Maundy" comes from the Latin word "mandatum" (command or commandment). At the Last Supper, Jesus gave His disciples this command: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another" (John 13:34.

Who crucified Jesus?

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Jesus' violent death was not the result of chance in an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, but is part of the mystery of God's plan, as St. Peter explains to the Jews of Jerusalem in his first sermon on Pentecost:" "This Jesus was delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God." This Biblical language does not mean that those who handed him over were merely passive players in a scenario written in advance by God.

To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of "predestination," he includes in it each person's free response to his grace: "In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place." For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness. ( paragraphs 599-600)

The Hood family of Peoria, Illinois are asking for a second miracle from Fulton Sheen

Royce and Elise Hood of Peoria, Illinois are expecting their sixth child. They recently were told that their unborn son, who they have named Fulton Joseph, has Potter Syndrome. Potter Syndrome is a rare condition where, due to a lack of amniotic fluid, a babies kidneys and lungs may not develop fully or at all. After hearing the diagnosis, the Hood family went and prayed at the Ven. Fulton Sheen's tomb in Peoria asking for a miracle. Fulton Joseph is due at the end of March. Babies diagnosed with Potter Syndrome normally do not survive because the condition often inhibits the growth of their organs, according to the National Institutes of Health. It is unclear how many abortions are conducted after a prenatal diagnosis of Potter Syndrome. NIH states that, "If the underlying cause of Potter Syndrome is determined to have a poor long-term outlook, some parents decide not to perform extreme life-saving measures." Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler, R-Wash, said that her and her husband received the same diagnosis for their unborn child in 2013, and doctor informed them that women often choose abortion in such situations. Beutler said that treatments on her unborn daughter ultimately proved successful and that she is alive today. The Hoods have placed their son into God's hands and pray that through Ven. Fulton Sheen's intercession, they will have a miracle. You can follow their story at the website FultonJoseph.com.

Saint John Gabriel Perboyre

St. John Gabriel was a priest of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians), and he wanted to follow Christ by evangelizing the poor, the example of St. Vincent de Paul. John Gabriel was born in southern France in 1802, into a family who gave three sons to the Vincentians and two daughters to the Daughters of Charity. John Gabriel led a routine childhood and youth. This changed, however, after his younger brother was accepted into the Vincentian seminary founded by their uncle, Jacques Perboyre, C.M. John Gabriel asked his parents to accompany his brother.To his surprise, John Gabriel felt drawn to follow this life himself.

At the age of 16, John Gabriel entered the Novitiate of the Congregation of the Mission. The cross and crucifix were for John Gabriel signs of the redeeming love of Jesus Christ who gave himself up for me. Once John Gabriel was ordained a priest, he asked to go to the missions in China. In 1835, John Gabriel reached China. At this time, Chinese law forbid the entry of Christian missionaries and imposed the death penalty on all attempting to spread the faith. In 1839, John Gabriel was captured by the Chinese government. He was cruelly tortured and on September 11,1840, John Gabriel was "born to life" because he always had sought "him who died for us." He was tied to a post in the form of a cross and was strangled.

The parallels of John Gabriel's passion and death to the passion and death of Jesus Christ are extraordinary. These are just a few: (1) The passion of Jesus took place after three years of public life. The passion of John Gabriel occurred after three years of ministry. (2)Jesus, in his agony, was comforted by an angel. John Gabriel, in his "dark night of faith," was comforted by a vision of Jesus Christ crucified that dispelled his anguish and gave him profound peace. (3) Jesus was betrayed and handed over to the soldiers for 30 pieces of silver. John Gabriel was also betrayed and handed over for 30 taels, Chinese monetary unit of value. (4) Jesus prayed with his three companions, Peter, James, and John. At the moment of John Gabriel's arrest, he was also with three companions: Thomas, who remained faithful like John; Phillip, who escaped like James, and an old catechist who later on would deny him like Peter. (5) Jesus was nailed to a cross.John Gabriel was tied with ropes to a s scaffold made in the form of a cross. (6) Jesus died on a Friday at three o'clock in the afternoon. John Gabriel also died on a Friday at three in the afternoon. (7) Jesus was pierced with a lance in his right side by a Roman soldier. John Gabriel also received a deathblow by a soldier.

Saint Jean-Gabriel Perboyre was canonized by Pope John Paul in 1996. His feast day is September 11.

Published in the Summer Bulletin of the Association of The Miraculous Medal, 2019-Vol. 52, No . 2

Our Blessed Mother's Many Titles

Our Lade of Altotting

In the heart of Bavaria, Germany, lies the town of Altotting. The Shrine of Our Lady of Altotting, also known as the Chapel of Grace, is the National Shrine of Bavaria dedicated to our Blessed Virgin Mary. The chapel, which houses the image of our Lady, dates to about A.D. 660, and is the oldest Marian shrine in Germany. The image of Mary venerated there was carved from lime wood about 1330. The statue became darkened by the smoke of thousands of candles and became known as the "Black Madonna." The shrine became a popular pilgrim destination after the miraculous recovery in 1489 of a young boy who drowned and was revived after his mother laid his body before the image and prayed to our Blessed Mother for a miracle. The shrine is also called the "Lourdes of Germany" due to the numerous miraculous healing's that have occurred there and because of the thousands of pilgrims who come every year in search of healing.

Published in the Spring Bulletin of the Association of the Miraculous Medal, 2020 - Vol. 53, No.1

Saints for the Month of April

April 1 - St. Hugh of Grenoble

St. Hugh of Grenoble proves that you can't run away from your problems, even if you run to a monastery. St. Hugh tried it,and the Pope called him back to his diocese. Once he settled down, St. Hugh did great things.

April 2 -St. Francis of Paola

St. Francis of Paola wanted to live a quiet life of solitude. He managed to do this in a cave near Paola, but soon followers began to gather. He formed them into a community which emphasized pretty severe penance and austerity. St. Francis also had a public life assisting in the French court.

April 3 - St. Benedict the African

St. Benedict the African, also called St. Benedict the Moor and St. Benedict the Black, lived the

life of a slave until he was 18. After joining the Franciscans, he held positions of leadership. He was known for his poverty and humility.

April 4 - St. Isidore of Seville

St. Isidore of Seville was a prolific writer, and capable administrator of his diocese. following his brother as bishop of Seville, he founded schools and seminaries, and he was known for his encyclopedic knowledge. Perhaps Isidore's greatest accomplishment is that he was a holy man.

April 5 - St Vincent Ferrer

We presently have two living Popes, but they are not both contending for the papacy. That was not the case in the lifetime of St. Vincent Ferrer. The two contenders both claimed to be the authentic pope, and this went on for almost 40 years. For most of his life St. Vincent "backed" the anti-pope.

April 6 - St. Crescentia Hoess

The story of St. Crescentia Hoess is a twist on the story of rags to riches. Born into material poverty, she eventually rose to true spiritual wealth. But not without many obstacles, including a number of physical ailments.

April 7 - St. John Baptist de La Salle

Probably best known as the patron of many Christian Brothers' schools, St. John Baptist de La Salle originally had no intention of working with youth of founding a religious community. He saw himself as a comfortable diocesan priest. But God had other plans, and St. John responded wholeheartly.

April 8 - St. Julie Billiart

St. Julie Billiart spent many years suffering from incapacitating ailments, but she never lost her drive to work for the Kingdom of God. Her desire to educate led her to help found the Sister of Notre Dame de Namur.

April 9 - St. Casilda

St. Casilda grew up as a Muslim. Facing a serious illness as a young woman, she journeyed to a shrine in Spain where she was cured. As a result, she embraced Christianity.

April 10 - St. Magdalen of Canossa

St. Magdalen of Canossa worked in hospitals and among the poor, opened her home as a lodging for girls, started a school, and founded two religious communities. She accomplished all of this without the support of her family.

April 11 - St. Stanislaus

St. Stanislaus, the bishop of Krakow, was martyred for denouncing political and social corruption. He became the patron saint of Poland, and remains a popular saint throughout Eastern Europe.

April 12 - St. Teresa of Los Andes

A long life is not necessary for holiness, as St. Teresa of Los Andes proves. Not quite 20 years olfd when she died, she left a legacy rich in virtue, rich enough for her to be considered a saint.

April 13 - St. Martin I

Pope St. Martin I is considered a martyr for the faith even though he was not killed outright. He witnessed to the true faith by his consistent and constant teaching, which resulted in physical and mental torture.

April 14 - Blessed Peter Gonzalez

Blessed Peter Gonzalez had a bad experience while riding a horse that changed the course of his life. He became a Dominican, was ordained a priest, and worked in the court of King Ferdinand III.

April 15 - Blessed Caesar de Bus

Blessed Caesar de Bus decided on becoming a priest after having had a very negative experience in the military. He was a successful priest and worked primarily among the needy, teaching catechetics.

April 16 - St. Bernadette Soubirous

St. Bernadette was a poor, uneducated peasant girl who no one would believe had seen apparitions of the Blessed Mother. But Mary had appeared to her, and Lourdes has become a popular shrine of devotion to Mary, the Immaculate Conception, and of healing.

April 17 - St. Benedict Joseph Labre

St. Benedict Joseph Labre lived a poor life in the ruins of the Colosseum. To the uneducated eye, he appeared to be a pitiable figure, but the people of Rome saw him as a saint. He was known as the beggar of Rome.

April 18 - Blessed James Oldo

Blessed James Oldo was a wealthy married man who shared the "good life" with his wife. Circumstances, however, changed his attitude and he began to see the futility of his lifestyle. He and his wife became Secular Franciscans and, upon her death, Blessed James became a priest.

April 19 - St. Gianna Beretta Molla

St. Gianna Beretta Molla was a wife, mother, and pediatrician. During her last pregnancy St. Gianna was found to have a noncancerous uterine fibroid. While she allowed the doctors to remove the tumor, she made sure that her pregnancy was protected. St. Gianna Molla died of complications shortly after her daughter's birth.

April 20 - St.Conrad of Parzham

St. Conrad of Parzham served as friary porter for 41 years. Anyone who came to the friary in Altoetting would have met St. Conrad as he greeted them at the door. Such a role may not sound like much, but St. Conrad turned it into a true ministry of love and service.

April 21 - St Anselm

Perhaps best known in philosophical circles for his rational proof of the existence of God, St. Anselm was a great theologian as well. A Benedictine monk and scholar, St. Anselm earned the title "Father of Scholasticism" a school of philosophy/theology prominent in the middle ages, especially among Catholic philosophers and theologians.

April 22 - St. Adalbert of Prague

St. Adalbert of Prague received his name from his mentor, St. Adalbert of Magdeburg. Ordained a bishop early in life, Adalbert became a faithful defender and preacher of the faith. In return for his faithfulness St. Adalbert received criticism, exile, and martyrdom.

April 23 - St. George

Slayer of dragons, rescuer of a king's daughter, and other legends seem to cling to St. George. What we know for sure is that he was willing to shed his blood for the faith. Even though the details may be sparse, the fact of his courage and holiness is enough.

April 24 - St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen was know for his generosity and care for the poor throughout his life. Starting off as a lawyer, he became disenchanted and joined the Capuchins where he was known for his prayer and preaching. While traveling, he was attacked and killed.

April 25 - St. Mark

Most likely the first of the four Gospels, The Gospel of Mark is brief and pointed. St. Mark has one goal, to present Jesus as God's crucified messiah, and he fulfills that goal concisely. St. Mark's Gospel seems to have been one of the sources used by St's Matthew and Luke for their works.

April 26 - St. Pedro de San Jose Betancur

St. Pedro was a Secular Franciscan who founded a hospital, a shelter, and a school for the poor in Guatemala City. He also founded a religious congregation for men. Another congregation for women, inspired by his life, sprang up after his death. St. Pedro supported his work by begging alms.

April 27 - St. Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort

A diocesan priest with a great devotion to Mary, St. Montfort attracted many people to the faith by his preaching. He lived a life of notable poverty and simplicity. St. Louis de Montfort encouraged daily communion at a time when it was not customary to receive the Eucharist frequently.

April 28 - St. Peter Chanel

A Marist priest and the first martyr of the South Pacific, St. Peter Chanel worked on the island of Futuna. Struggling and having little success in his evangelization efforts with the local people, Peter Chanel eventually was awakened on April 28 and clubbed to death in his home. Within two years of his death, the whole island had become Catholic.

April 29 - St. Catherine of Siena

St. Catherine of Siena was a Third Order Dominican known for her contemplation and prayer-as well as her involvement in Church and civil affairs. During the time when there were two and three popes each claiming the papacy, St. Catherine sided with Pope Urban VI. She was named a Doctor of the Church in 1970.

April 30 - St Pius V

Pope St. Pius V, a Dominican, was the one responsible for the implementation of the results of the Council of Trent, no easy task. Refusing to remove his Dominican habit, he is also responsible for the tradition that popes wear white. His Dominican training and spirituality were great helps in his efforts to reform the Church.