Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

How shall I make a return for the goodness the Lord has shown to me? I will take up the chalice of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. Ps. 116. Put your deep gratitude for the Lords many blesssings of the people in your life, opportunities and resources into action by sincerely loving God with all your strength, giving back to those in need from the bounty the Lord has given you and serving Him with courageous witness. With Mary in the Magnificat sing the praises of God who has favored us His lowly servants. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 21, 2013


The king in the parable of the Lord in yesterdays Gospel is a vicious man who by his own admission takes what is not his possession and harvests what he did not plant. Against the will of the people he takes the kingship and slays his enemies in front of everyone. No wonder the poor servant with his one gold coin is terrified! We worship a different sort of king: Jesus the Christ. He is a king of justice love and peace. We need not ever fear him. We need not fear the worlds persecution nor the finality of death for Christ has won the victory for us! We can accept with gratitude the treasure of Christs kingdom-the word the sacraments and love of God-and invest them by loving others and sharing the seeds of faith. The harvest will be bountiful! Be not afraid to invest God's love that you have been given by loving others and sharing Jesus with them!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Close of the Year of Faith

The Year of Faith has been a time of many graces for the whole Church as we have taken opportunities for study and reflection in order to deepen our knowledge of the faith. That knowledge we gain is directed towards deeper conversion to Christ and the evangelization of those who do not know Christ. The close of the YOF is not an end but a springboard to a lifetime of growth in faith. There should never be a moment when we stop learning more about our faith and drawing closer to the Lord.

Our parishes in Andover and Kinsman will mark this closing of the YOF on the Solemnity of Christ the King with Eucharistic Adoration from Saturday evening through Sunday afternoon (except for Masses). Please join us in prayer. See parish website for details. Come adore the heart of Christ and ask Him to increase our faith as we build His kindgom, preparing for His return in glory! Come spend time with Jesus. It will change your life. I guarantee it.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

The presence of evil.

Any doubts that Satan is not real are put to rest by the promise of the newly elected mayor of NYC to promote the closure of crisis pregnancy centers with the understanding that clinics not providing abortions do not provide adequate medicine. Death is medicine? Murder is medicine? Pray for his conversion. Remember that anyone who voted in favor of this evil is morally culpable and complicit. May God be merciful to us sinners. May people of faith have the courage to promote the culture of life.

Celebrating a building?

I once saw an old prayer book which contained a picture depicting the grace of the Sacraments as rivers flowing from Mother Church portrayed by Saint Peter Basilica in Rome. Today we celebrate the more fitting image, the "mother and head of all the churches of Rome and the world" - the Lateran Basilica, consecrated in the late 324 on land given by the Laterani family. The Lateran, dedicated to the honor of Saint John the Baptist, is the cathdral of the Diocese of Rome and the mother of all churches. It was dedicated within 15 years of the Edict of Milan in 313 when Constantine lifted persecution of Christians. Building a consecrated church building was that important to the early Church. God does not need buildings nor beautiful decorations but we need churches to give us an environment in which to learn faith and discover God. The world needs our churches as reminders of His presence in our midst. We are caled today to be zealous for the Lords house and make of our churches places of real beauty and sacred worship. These buildings and the worship happening within them inspires us to make of our souls living temples where God is alive and adored by our manner of life. The river of grace then flows from Christ in the Eucharist through us and all the Church into the world as we spread the Good News.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Use your uniqueness for the Lord.

Saul of Tarsus was a tentmaker by trade and thus quite familiar with manufacturing and, before the days of sales reps and middlemen, sales and haggling in the marketplace, as well as responding to the needs of customers. He brought those skills to the table when he was chosen by the Lord to be an Apostle. He became a frontman for the Gospel, "selling" the message of Jesus to people in need. He responded to the needs of the communities he visited with the salve of Gods love. Jesus challenges us to be shrewd in the ways of God, clever in using our uniqueness, skills and talents to serve Him and proclaim the name of Christ to those who do not understand.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Seeking purpose

In times of transition and fluctuation we often begin to wonder what the next step is or even doubt our purpose. Why am I here? What has God planned for me? Whats the point when everything is going wrong? Saint Paul reminds us in todays reading from Romans that no matter what happens, in life and in death, we belong to the Lord. Wherever we are, whatever we are doing or not doing, however dark it gets, we are His beloved. We are never alone and always loved. We also are reminded today that we live and die for the Lord. Thats our purpose. Each day, even in the most unexpected, mundane and sickening to glorify God in all things! Love Him. Praise Him. Serve Him. He loves you and will never forsake you.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

76th Basilica in the U.S.

Last evening Bishop Montforton of Steubenville celebrated the innaugural Mass at Saint Mary of the Assumption Basilica in Marietta, Ohio. It was a most splendid occasion for the thriving parish and its holy pastor. Visit

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

What is the meaning of life? Why am I here?

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

God is Love (John 4:16) and is a relationship of Persons: the Father sharing His very being in begetting the Son, the Son receiving and returning the Father’s love, and the love between them bearing fruit in the Spirit.  His divine nature is loving relationship.  God loves you.  He created you not out of necessity but out of love, in a desire to share His love with His creation.  He made you in His image and likeness (Genesis).  Therefore, the identity of the human person is to image God by living the fundamental vocation to love. 

Man’s telos, or end and purpose, is union with God.  This union consists in more than being with God.  It means “divinization” – being like God and sharing in His divine nature.  “We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (Eucharistic Prayer III).  The mingling of the water and wine at Mass, in addition to symbolizing the water and blood pouring forth from Christ’s side on the Cross, symbolizes the union of the human and divine – the two natures in Christ who is both God and man, as well as the union of God with His people.  The priest prays privately as he places a drop of water in the wine “By the mingling of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled Himself to share in our humanity.” 

God showed us the full depth of His love by sending us Jesus His Son, who “humbled Himself” in becoming man and “emptied Himself” (called Christ’s kenosis) (Philippians 2) in accepting His Passion in obedience to the Father.  In order to experience union with God and a share in the divine nature, we human persons imitate Jesus Christ, who joined His divinity to our humanity and became the exemplar of humanity perfected.  We do this in a myriad of ways but fundamentally the baptized disciple seeks to conform His life to Christ’s by living a life of self-emptying love. 

Blessed Pope John Paul II once said that “man is most fully himself when he makes a sincere gift of himself.”  By imitating Jesus in emptying ourselves in love for others, while we fear losing our identity or some part of our life we hold on to, we actually discover who we really are: images of God whose identity and divine life are defined by passionate love.  When we love, we therefore become icons of the presence of God, leading people beyond our mere selves to see Him who made them and cares for them.  The more we do this, the more we live the vocation to love and become more like Christ, the easier the transition unto eternal union with God and sharing in His nature will be when we pass from this life. 

From the fundamental vocation to love stems the three vocations within the Church – marriage, priesthood and religious life.  Whether one is called to family life, serving a parish or belonging to a religious community, there is a demand for the human capacity for relationship and a responsibility to empty oneself for the sake of others in every person’s calling from God.  Living out our human capacity for love and relationship results in making a constant sacrifice of our life for the sake of the holiness and health of those God sends our way.  Thus, we live like Jesus, who sacrificed Himself for our salvation. 

It is simple yet profound at the same time, easy to say yet without God’s mercy difficult to live:  to be human is to love God and others and live like Jesus so we can be with God and like God forever.  The meaning of life is love.  We are destined for no less than to be saints!

God bless you! 

Father Matthew

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Climb any obstacle until your eyes meet the gaze of the Savior: Homily 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013 Year C

Listen to today's homily...

All Souls Day

Today we pause to remember with mixed emotions those whom we love who have gone before us into the hands of the Lord. I remember fond childhood memories with my grandfather and grandmother-working outside with grandpa and enjoying grandmas cooking and baking - and lament that my grandparents did not live to see my ordination. We thank God that in His abundant mercy He allows souls the opportunity to be purfied in purgatory so that hell is not only option if we are in need of purification from the residue of sin which has stained our souls and made us unworthy of heaven. We find consolation in the Lords words: He desires none of us to be lost and all to come to eternal life. We commit a great act of love by praying for all who have died: the poor souls in purgatory, our own loved ones and those who have no one else to pray for them, and those who will die today. May God be merciful to the departed and grant them eternal life. May the light of faith burn brightly in all of us so we may shine with the perpetual light of glory.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Bulletin Column on the Fall Feasts

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

           Autumn, with its tapestry of changing, falling leaves manifesting the hidden miracles of nature and the genius of the Author of creation, provides a living image (in our hemisphere at least) to accompany the readings from Scripture in the end of the liturgical year and two important feasts.  In the final weeks of Ordinary Time, the Church focuses our attention on the end times: the last judgment and the second coming of Christ.  We will soon hear about the importance of being always prepared for His return.  In November, we celebrate the feasts of All Saints (1st) and All Souls (2nd).  The theme of death and judgment is mirrored in the starkness of the barren trees and decaying foliage.  One day, our bodies shall die and return to the dust of the earth and our souls shall stand naked before the throne of God. 

All Saints Day is a day to celebrate and honor all the men and women of every time and place who have lived lives of heroic virtue and stand as models of sanctity for us.  We beg their intercession for our petitions.  Be sure to research and know personally your patron saint!  He or she is your constant companion in the journey to union with God.  Be close to the saints, for they show us the way to Jesus and plead for us in our needs. 

All Souls Day is a day of remembering the faithful departed.  The story of Judas Maccabeus in the Book of Maccabees shows us the importance of praying for the dead.  Judas (not the betrayer of Jesus) offers sacrifice in the temple for his fallen comrades and friends after a battle.  He is concerned for their souls and his devotion spurs him on to offer prayer for them.  This tells us that these souls may have been in a state of purification and not yet in Heaven, therefore, they needed prayers offered on their behalf.  This state of purification we call Purgatory – God’s merciful gift to us to allow our souls to be cleansed of the effects of sin before entering paradise.  We all know the effect of our sinfulness and our need to be reconciled and purified so as to be worthy of union with God.  Our love for those who have died compels us, like Judas, to pray for the dead.  By our prayers for God’s mercy, we can assist the souls in Purgatory to enter Heaven quickly.  How good it is to pray in love for those who have gone before us! 

On All Souls Day and throughout the month of November, we remember the faithful departed and all the deceased in our prayers and especially at Holy Mass.  It is a great act of charity to pray for the dead, an opportunity we should never miss.  Please take advantage of the envelopes in the back of the church and list the names of those for whom you wish us to pray at Mass.  Please also take time each day to pray for your deceased loved ones.  Teach your children to pray for the dead as well, so that when you reach the end of your earthly life, your soul is not forgotten. 

God bless you!

Fr. Matthew

Father Barron's Awesome Reflection on the Saints

Please visit for Father Robert Barron's amazing reflection on the Solemnity of All Saints. 

Homily 30th Sunday OT 2013 Year C


Homily 29th Sunday OT 2013 Year C