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Respect Life Sunday set for October 3
Catholic parishes in western Oregon will celebrate Respect Life Sunday on October 3. That Sunday will mark the beginning of a month long observance of promoting respect for life from conception to natural death. The theme for this year is “The measure of love is to love without measure.” Archbishop John G. Vlazny will mark the occasion with a Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Sunday, October 3 at 11:00 am.
The Respect Life Program was adopted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1972. It promotes the Church’s teaching on the value and dignity of human life to the Catholic community and to the wider community. It combines education, prayer, service and advocacy. The topics addressed this year include:
* the death penalty and Divine Mercy
* end of life care
* infertility treatments in line with church teaching
* sexual trafficking
* population control
* depression and suicide among youth
* the promise of pro-life youth
At the request of Pope Benedict XVI, all bishops around the world will join with their parishioners in the Advent season to pray for respect of human life. Archbishop Vlazny will celebrate Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral on December 5, 2010 at 11:00 am. The Mass will join with others around the globe to witness that we are a “people of life.”
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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Then: 10-year-old Darth Vader, William Holtzinger…
Now: Fr. William Holtzinger, celebrating 10-year-anniversary as a Roman Catholic Priest…
Commenting here on his previous alias Fr. Bill (A.K.A Darth Vader) said, “Hah! Those were the days. Let us just remember that Darth Vader ultimately converted to the light side of he force! Okay I’m totally busted!”
Congratulations Fr. Bill on this your anniversary to the priesthood… And, May the force be with us all!
Click here for Fr. Bill Holtzinger’s Facebook page
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EDITOR NOTE: Here’s the State of Emergency Declaration from the Daily Courier, followed by Fr. Bill Holtzingers’ new liturgical norms:
Josephine County declares swine flu emergency
Associated Press – October 23, 2009 6:25 PM ET
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) – Josephine County has declared a state of emergency over the swine flu.
The declaration Friday by county commissioners in Grants Pass cited two people dead, 21 in the hospital, and many more sick with the H1N1 virus.
County health director Belle Shepherd says the declaration will allow the county to get faster results on state lab tests and extra medical personnel if the local hospital gets overwhelmed.
Shepherd says Josephine County has 1 of the highest rates of hospitalization of swine flu cases in the state, and that hospitals in Grants Pass and Medford are near capacity – a condition known as code yellow.
Commissioners in neighboring Jackson County, where Medford is located, will consider making the same declaration at their meeting Wednesday.
Information from: Daily Courier, http://www.thedailycourier.com
As we all know, the flu season is upon us. In the past several days, I have received many inquiries from parishioners who have felt uncomfortable at Mass while the flu spreads in our communities. Clearly, common sense is the best advise anyone can give. Everyone should be conscientious about washing their hands and refraining from touching their eyes and nose. If anyone is not feeling well, they should not attend Mass.
However, because of the H1N1 virus, things are different. On Friday morning, Oct. 23, Josephine County declared a local state of emergency due to the outbreak of H1N1 influenza. Therefore, after consultation with the Archdiocese Office of Worship and others here in our own parish, I have decided to return to the regulations given to us last year by the Archbishop during our last flu outbreak.
This means that I am asking everyone to refrain from holding hands during the Our Father, replacing a shake of hands at he Sign of Peace with a friendly wave to each other, and Communion in the hand with the host only. This means we will suspend the offering of the Precious Blood at Mass. These regulations will be in effect until I determine that it is okay to return to our normal liturgical norms. As was the case last year, some will not agree or like these directives, but I ask your obedience and potential sacrifice of your personal piety for the greater good of the community. Thank you for your understanding.
Fr. William Holtzinger
The answer: Witness to Christ crucified and risen from the dead..
H/T Fr. Bill Holtzinger – Soon to be our new pastor here at St. Anne’s in Grants Pass, Oregon. Thanks Fr. Bill, and nice meeting you during CCD class on your visit here last month. Welcome!