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St. Paul Street Evangelization — Cave Junction, Or. Reasons to Return to the Catholic Church

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EDITORS NOTE: Welcome to St. Paul Street Evangelization, Cave Junction, Or. Chapter!  If you have any questions concerning the faith or your journey home, you may e-mail me (Jimmy Evans) at Jamestevans0@yahoo.com 

Reasons to Return to the Catholic Church

Rome is Where the Heart is

If you once were a practicing Catholic and have been away from the Catholic Church for a while — no matter how long — you’re always welcome back. Your companion in this journey is our Lord Jesus Christ. He will walk alongside and guide you. Place your trust in Him; He will lead you home.

1. Reconciliation (Confession)

If you’re thinking about coming back, it’s very important to go to Confession (the “Sacrament of Reconciliation” or “Penance”). Jesus Christ Himself instituted Confession and He desired that His followers have a place to go to be absolved of their sins. He, in turn, gave authority to men to forgive sins.

“Jesus … said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’” (Jn 20:21–23).

All parishes around the world have set times for Confession, and finding out these times is a Google search away. You also have the right under Canon Law to ask the parish priest for an appointment for Confession. You should explain to the priest prior to your confession that you haven’t been to church for a while and haven’t been attending Confession. If you need a refresher, the priest will happily guide you through the steps of Confession.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn 1:9).

2. The Communion of Saints

You may remember from your childhood that if you lost something, you’d pray to St. Anthony of Padua. If you were studying for a test, you’d pray to St. Joseph of Cupertino or St. Thomas Aquinas. Whatever your intention is, there is a saint to call on to pray with you.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us” (Heb 12:1).

This “cloud of witnesses” cheers us on as we walk with Christ. The faithfully departed — the Church in Heaven — are ever concerned about the Church on earth.

“Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness. … They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], 956).

The communion of saints helps us by praying for us for we are joined in Christ’s Body, the Church, and it is our joy to bear one another’s burdens (cf. Gal 6:2) and to encourage one another (cf. 1 Thess 5:11).

3. The Eucharist

The Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life” (CCC 1324). The Eucharist is Jesus Christ: Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

At the Last Supper, the final meal Christ shared with His beloved disciples, He left them the means in which He would be physically present in the world.

“When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she commemorates Christ’s Passover, and it is made present: the sacrifice Christ offered once for all on the cross remains ever present. ‘As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which “Christ our Pasch has been sacrificed” is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out’” (CCC 1364).

The Mass makes present the one sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. As He took bread and gave thanks, He said, “This is my body which is given for you” (Lk 22:19). Jesus speaks of the same Body in John 6: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (Jn 6:56). The sacrifice of Calvary and the sacrifice of the Mass are one and the same sacrifice; only the manner in which they are offered differs.

Therefore, weekly Mass attendance is important. As outlined in CCC 2042, the three precepts of the Church are:

1. You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor.

2. You shall confess your sins at least once a year.

3. You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season.

One must be in a state of grace in order to receive the Eucharist. This means we must not have any unconfessed mortal sin. The Eucharist is participation in Christ’s Body and Blood (cf. 1 Cor 10:16). To receive Holy Communion in such an unworthy manner is to profane against the Body and Blood of Christ (cf. 1 Cor 11:23–29) and is objectively a mortal sin, as is deliberately not attending Mass.

“Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance” (CCC 1415).

“The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor. Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin” (CCC 2181).

The Eucharist is food for the journey, through which grace is conferred. Through the Eucharist, we are also physically united with Christ. Therefore, we must walk and grow in holiness in order to become vessels that give a witness of Christ to the world.

4. The Joy of Salvation

The mission of the Catholic Church is to bring the reality of God and salvation to all.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him” (Jn 3:16–17).

The Catholic Church offers to all the means of salvation, and the fullness of faith. She also unites the faithful with Christ. God’s gift is freely offered to us; we don’t deserve it, yet it is offered anyway. We must respond accordingly, in faith, to His free grace, so that we can be led by Him, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, to walk in faith and to do the will of God, so that we may be perfected by Him (cf. Mt 7:21; Jas 2:14–26; Mt 5:48).

“In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them by Christ’s gift, so that … doing the will of the Father in everything, they may wholeheartedly devote themselves to the glory of God and to the service of their neighbor” (CCC 2013).

When Christ ascended into heaven, He left His disciples a final instruction.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:19–20).

No matter what you’ve done (provided you truly repent of it, confess, and receive absolution), you have a home in the Catholic Church. By Christ’s work on the Cross and through the Sacraments that Christ Himself instituted, your heart will be made new.

“Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17).

“For it is through Christ’s Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the People of God” (CCC 816).

“Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future” (Oscar Wilde).

5. The One True Church

What is it that sets the Catholic Church apart? Why not just go to the non-denominational church nearby? The answer is simple: no other church in the world (though they may possess much truth and a share of God’s grace) can claim that their founder is God: Jesus Christ Himself.

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:18–19).

Jesus declared here with divine authority that the Catholic Church would teach all nations the Good News and would bring the hope of salvation to all. The Church would be a visible sign to the world that Christ remains with the world until the end of the age. When the Catholic Church teaches and speaks, it does so with the authority of Jesus Christ.

Christ bestowed upon St. Peter the authority to lead the visible church (thus setting in motion the office of the papacy), and the authority to (preeminently) “bind” and “loose.” These ancient rabbinical terms mean to “forbid” and “permit,” that is, to interpret the Law in special circumstances. Jesus, in John 20:22–23 extended the Church’s authority to include absolving sins or issuing penance for them.

The Church is known as the “pillar and bulwark of truth” (1 Tim 3:15) because the Holy Spirit guides it into all truth (cf. Jn 14:26; 16:13). When the Church teaches, it does so because the Holy Spirit has enabled it to. Not all Christians have this special protection, and some are even counterfeit “Christians.”

“Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers’” (Mt 7:21–23).

So why should you consider returning to the Catholic Church? The Catholic Church is built on a rock-solid foundation and Christ Himself promised, “the powers of death shall not prevail against it.”

“Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock” (Mt 7:24–25).

Author bio

Stephen Spiteri is a happily married and proud Catholic husband and father. He currently teaches Religious Education at Irene McCormack Catholic College (Perth, Western Australia), sharing his knowledge and love for Christ and the Catholic Church. Stephen Spiteri is also the founder and author of the apologetics blog ‘The Spirit Magnus’ and has been answering questions and helping people learn more about the Catholic faith online in this way since late 2008. He has been a guest speaker at Catholic conferences, speaking on the topic of apologetics: defending the Catholic faith. Stephen Spiteri also taught a course on apologetics at the ‘Acts 2 Come’ Catholic Bible College in 2012. He is currently working on other projects that will help bring the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith to those interested in learning more about Catholicism.

Written by: Stephen Spiteri

Edited by: Dave Armstrong

Further Reading:

Biblical Evidence for the Communion of Saints
Biblical Catholic Eucharistic Theology
Biblical Catholic Salvation: “Faith Working Through Love”
Biblical Proofs for an Infallible Church and Papacy

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Siskiyou Crest National Monument: Stop Siskiyou Land Grab Coalition sponsors community Forum — February 5th at 10 a.m

Facebook Group: People Against the Siskiyou Crest National Monument

Stop Siskiyou Land Grab is a community based coalition dedicated to stopping the Siskiyou Crest National Monument.  This is our backyard.  Our property values are at stake, as well as our usage and access rights.

As residents of this region, we are well aware the SiskiyouCrest is an environmental gem.  We wholeheartedly support sound environmental stewardship, where all constituencies can have a seat at the table.  A national monument designation by the President is a sloppy executive order style creation.  In previous cases, monument designations have failed to fully reflect local community interests.  Sadly, environmental advocacy groups approach the subject from an ideological perspective above all else, often distorting the historical record on the impacts to property value and access and usage rights.

Community Forum:

Join us February 5th at 10 a.m.

Location:  Applegate Community Church at the intersection of North Applegate Road and Highway 238 (18960 North Applegate Road).  Click here for the event flyer PDF.   Feel free to print a few copies for friends.  For driving directions,click here and replace “Medford” with your town and State and click “get directions” to create a personalized route and map.

Stop Siskiyou Land Grab is a new organization.  In the near future our website will host additional information.

If you wish to contact us, email Info@StopLandGrab.Org or call us at (541) 862-1486.     .

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Wreck on the Highway: Praying for the Living and the Dead

The Most High, Our Father in Heaven himself, is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. And so, we ourselves must be merciful, just as Our Father is merciful…

I would first like to send my condolences and continued prayers to the family who suffered through a terrible car accident two days past on Rockydale Road, in Cave Junction. I was at the scene of the accident shortly after it happened and spent the entire time praying The Divine Mercy Chaplet on behalf of all the victims, and particularly for the children. It was not until yesterday morning after arriving at work that I was told the accident resulted in the death of one of the children, Larry. It was not easy for me to hear as a parent…

I will not speculate on the cause of the accident or any guilt that might be associated with the crash. I simply due not have the facts, it’s a small town prone to rumor, and only God is capable of reading the history of our hearts and souls in every circumstance of life we’ve each experienced. I mention this because as I made my way around town today I realized within conversations concerning the accident the (natural) tendency to try and explain the tragedy– even to the point of judging… But, for Christians we understand, (or should), that over 2000 years ago there was another day of infamy when a death occurred on a cross at around the 3 O’clock hour, the hour in which divine mercy triumphed over justice for the sake of all men and ages—including ourselves and this age, in this moment.

Historically, the spiritual works of mercy we Christians are called to carry-on within the world not only include correcting sinners and counseling those in doubt, but also–

consoling the sorrowful,

bearing wrongs patiently,

forgiving wrongs willingly,

along with Praying for the living & dead…

I don’t know if the family is spiritual or not, but nonetheless I will be offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass this coming Sunday for all their corporal and spiritual needs at this time. I ask my readers to join me in the same with the sure knowledge that nothing is ever truly lost to God…, be they the living are the dead… As he is not the God of the dead, but of the living…

Blessed be his holy name.

jme

O-Bum-A-Con-No-Me: Our local bank goes under…

The writings on the wall:
 
‘Relationships built on self-interest’ (i.e. Free Market Capitalism), must go.
 
And they are…

 My ‘Power Analysis’: This Democrat controlled Congress must go in 2010, followed by the president in 2012.

Well, maybe not so lasting...

The closing lines of the FDIC press release says it all–

Home Valley Bank is the 103rd FDIC-insured institution to fail in the nation this year, and the second in Oregon.

Here’s the press release in full:

South Valley Bank & Trust, Klamath Falls, Oregon, Assumes All of the Deposits of Home Valley Bank, Cave Junction, Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2010
Media Contact:
David Barr
Office Phone: (202) 898-6992
Cell Phone: (703) 622-4790
Email: dbarr@fdic.gov

 

Home Valley Bank, Cave Junction, Oregon, was closed today by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with South Valley Bank & Trust, Klamath Falls, Oregon, to assume all of the deposits of Home Valley Bank.

The five branches of Home Valley Bank will reopen on Monday as branches of South Valley Bank & Trust. Depositors of Home Valley Bank will automatically become depositors of South Valley Bank & Trust. Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, so there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship in order to retain their deposit insurance coverage. Customers of Home Valley Bank should continue to use their existing branch until they receive notice from South Valley Bank & Trust that it has completed systems changes to allow other South Valley Bank & Trust branches to process their accounts as well.

This evening and over the weekend, depositors of Home Valley Bank can access their money by writing checks or using ATM or debit cards. Checks drawn on the bank will continue to be processed. Loan customers should continue to make their payments as usual.

As of March 31, 2010, Home Valley Bank had approximately $251.80 million in total assets and $229.6 million in total deposits. South Valley Bank & Trust will pay the FDIC a premium of 1.05 percent to assume all of the deposits of Home Valley Bank. In addition to assuming all of the deposits of the failed bank, South Valley Bank & Trust agreed to purchase essentially all of the assets.

The FDIC and South Valley Bank & Trust entered into a loss-share transaction on $211.6 million of Home Valley Bank’s assets. South Valley Bank & Trust will share in the losses on the asset pools covered under the loss-share agreement. The loss-share transaction is projected to maximize returns on the assets covered by keeping them in the private sector. The transaction also is expected to minimize disruptions for loan customers. For more information on loss share, please visit: http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/lossshare/index.html.

Customers who have questions about today’s transaction can call the FDIC toll-free at 1-800-528-4893. The phone number will be operational this evening until 9:00 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time (PDT); on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., PDT; on Sunday from noon to 6:00 p.m., PDT; and thereafter from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., PDT. Interested parties also can visit the FDIC’s Web site at http://www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/homevalleyor.html.

The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $37.1 million. Compared to other alternatives, South Valley Bank & Trust’s acquisition was the least costly resolution for the FDIC’s DIF. Home Valley Bank is the 103rd FDIC-insured institution to fail in the nation this year, and the second in Oregon. The last FDIC-insured institution closed in the state was Columbia River Bank, The Dalles, on January 22, 2010.

# # #

Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation’s banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation’s 7,932 banks and savings associations and it promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no federal tax dollars – insured financial institutions fund its operations.

FDIC press releases and other information are available on the Internet at www.fdic.gov, by subscription electronically (go to www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html) and may also be obtained through the FDIC’s Public Information Center (877-275-3342 or 703-562-2200). PR-169-2010

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Saint Thérèse: How my ‘adopting a priest with prayer’ came about…

Saint Thérèse, sister and friend of priests, pray for us…

For the past few weeks I’ve been offering my work day in reparation for my sins, those of the whole world, and for priests as well. I wish I could say that I’ve been consistent in these prayers during this time, but I haven’t. In fact, following my confession this past Sunday I spoke with the priest about my current lackadaisical attitude towards prayer…

Without knowledge of my recent prayer intentions, the priest gave me my penance: I am to pray during work in reparation for my sins, and after a brief pause, he added, “and for the sins of we priest’s too…”

I left confession a bit amazed (at the action of the Holy Spirit) remarking to my wife back in the car, saying, “Huh! My penance is exactly what I’ve been doing of late.

I suppose this penance could fall under a couple of categories: 1. God inspiring me to fortitude; or, 2. God convicting me of sloth (Note: Sloth begets in the soul a spirit of indifference in our spiritual duties and a disgust for prayer). I’m leaning hopefully toward the 3rd option, a combination of both…

A couple days later I received an e-mail with the latest parish bulletin information to place on our mission blog, and this immediately caught my attention:     

ADOPT A PRIEST WITH PRAYER

In 1996 the Oakland, CA Diocese started this program and we just learned about it and would like to start it in the Archdiocese of Portland. Priests have a Divine Mission but they are also very human and daily face the problems and struggles common to all of us. They have a great need of our support in prayer, love and concern. If you would be willing to pray each day for a year for an individual priest in the Archdiocese of Portland, please email Adoptapriestwithprayer@yahoo.com or mail your name and address to Mary Ann Schlumpberger, 2736 Fish Hatchery Rd., Grants Pass, OR 97527. Mary Ann will e-mail or mail you the name of a priest for you. Since the program is just getting started here, it will take a bit to get organized. No meetings, no dues, just prayer!

Last night I contacted Mary Ann via e-mail, and today she replied. (You can view the priest I’ll be praying for this year on the right sidebar– Fr. Elwin Schwab.

A side story: I’ve also been lamenting lately the fact that when our family came into the church 12 years ago we placed our spiritual trust in Our Lady of Mt. Carmel by enrolling in the Brown Scapular Devotion. A sacramental which requires:

 1.The scapular must be worn and the wearer must be enrolled in the scapular. 2. Chastity to one’s state in life must be observed. 3. One must fast from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays. 4. Recitation of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin or the rosary everyday.

Slouching back to sloth, I am…

So, tonight when considering what daily prayer(s) I could recite on behalf Fr. Schwab, I found myself drawn to Saint Thérèse, a friend of both hardened sinners and of priests.  Here is the daily prayer I’ve decided upon that will be found within my heart at work for both Fr. Schwabb and myself:

Saint Thérèse, sister and friend of priests, pray for us…

I’m finding that we must do more than simply pray for more vocations, we must pray to sustain them also. And I’m also learning that when we ourselves forget to pray, heaven doesn’t. Perhaps someone is doing a good work from heaven upon the earth… The next year will tell.

Please pray for us. 

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