Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Friday, March 4, 2016


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FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT
March 13, 2016

Gospel: (John 8:1-11)

The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. They said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?" Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." In response, they went away one by one...So he was left alone with the woman before him. Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? She replied, "No one, sir." Then Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more."

Reflection:

A story that begins with deathly accusation ends with divine mercy. Where the community's condemnation would have led the adulterous woman to death, Jesus' mercy leads her to new life. A story that begins with exposing the sin of an individual ends with exposing the sinfulness of all. Where the community begins with awareness of the woman's sinfulness, they are transformed through encountering Jesus into awareness of their own sinfulness. A story that begins with human testing of the divine ends with divine invitation to repent. Jesus reveals a new order in which all are called to repentance and the experience of divine mercy. Jesus' desire for us is not death but new life. (Living Liturgy, p.90)

Vincentian Meditation:

God's loving presence is cleansing, as baptism and penance remind us. God's love labors to break down the resistance that it finds within us. It is a creative love that works toward change, transformation, new beginnings. God wants to make a home within us. The recurring Lenten season nudges us each year toward self-denial. The real point of ascetical practices is not merely to "give up" objects, but to reconstruct one's deepest self so that God might take fuller possession of our home. Jesus asks that the same energy we might have used in accumulating riches, consolidating power, or pursuing personal pleasure be channeled toward the building up of a "new person" as a dwelling place for God. (Maloney, Go! On the Missionary Spirituality of St. Vincent de Paul, p. 99-100)

Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)

Do you hold unjust prejudices and judgments of the poor?

Closing Prayer:

Jesus, model of compassion and kindness,
-free our hearts from unkind judgment of others.
Jesus, model of meekness and mildness,
-make us meek and humble of heart.
Jesus, model of forgiveness and mercy,
-open our hearts to all people. Amen



Please click the link below for information on an estate sale that will be taking place the first week of March.  The property of where this is taking place is one that SVDP inherited from a bequest.

https://www.estatesales.net/TX/San-Antonio/78201/1105224
 



*If your Conference can host one of the training sessions and for ALL RSVP's, please contact either Mary Esther Jockers at jemmie57@sbcglobal.net or B.J. Polk at jrragman@aol.com.  

INDIVIDUALS WHO WANT TO ATTEND CLASSES MUST RSVP (THOSE WANTING TO ATTEND MUST RESERVE A SPACE).  THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST FOR CLASSES THAT REQUIRE LUNCH AND THOSE WITH HANDOUTS AND BOOKLETS.

Classes will be CANCELLED
if no one hosts or RSVPs for the classes.



 
  rummage sale
SVDP St. Dominic's Conference is preparing for its semi-annual Rummage Sale on the church's grounds, slated for SATURDAY , MARCH 05, 2016, 09:00 - 03:00 p.m.
Spaces will be made available for $15 each.  Please call Mario Hernandez at (210)
748-2540 to reserve a space(s).
 
 Variety of booths will be available. All are welcome to come and enjoy a day of shopping or selling!
 
SVDP St. Dominic's Conference hours of operation are
Tuesday & Fridays, 09:00 a.m.-12 noon.  

Please note that all proceeds go to support the SVDP Conference at St. Dominic's! 
 
Important Information about CPS Assistnace

CAM encourages agencies to refer clients needing assistance with their CPS Energy bills as funding is available. Criteria for assistance is as follows:
 

Client must have children under the age of 18 or

Have a family member over 60 years old or

Have a family member with a disability (must show award letter)

Could not have been assisted financially through CAM within the last 12 months.

Client's name must be on the bill or be an authorized individual on the account.

Before sending clients please remind them to bring a photo ID, social security cards for all family members and a current (within the last 30 days) CPS Energy disconnect notice. CAM is located at 110 McCullough, SA, TX. 78215 and is open Monday - Thursday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm and Fridays from 9:00 am to 11:45 am. No appointment is necessary but we do work on a first come first serve basis.



Two Wheelchairs and Folding Walker Available from St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi has 2 wheelchairs and a sturdy walker available.  If your Conference has any Brothers and Sisters who can use these items, please contact the St. Francis of Assisi Conference at 210-492-4600 ext. 217.  Please leave a message if no one answers, and someone will call you back.

SAINTS OF THE WEEK



Friday, March 4- St. Casimir

Casimir, born of kings and in line (third among 13 children) to be a king himself, was filled with exceptional values and learning by a great teacher, John Dlugosz. Even his critics could not say that his conscientious objection indicated softness. Even as a teenager, Casimir lived a highly disciplined, even severe life, sleeping on the ground, spending a great part of the night in prayer and dedicating himself to lifelong celibacy.

When nobles in Hungary became dissatisfied with their king, they prevailed upon Casimir's father, the king of Poland, to send his son to take over the country. Casimir obeyed his father, as many young men over the centuries have obeyed their government. The army he was supposed to lead was clearly outnumbered by the "enemy"; some of his troops were deserting because they were not paid. At the advice of his officers, Casimir decided to return home.

His father was irked at the failure of his plans, and confined his 15-year-old son for three months. The lad made up his mind never again to become involved in the wars of his day, and no amount of persuasion could change his mind. He returned to prayer and study, maintaining his decision to remain celibate even under pressure to marry the emperor's daughter.

He reigned briefly as king of Poland during his father's absence. He died of lung trouble at 23 while visiting Lithuania, of which he was also Grand Duke. He was buried in Vilnius, Lithuania.


Saturday, March 5 - St. John Joseph of the Cross

elf-denial is never an end in itself but is only a help toward greater charity-as the life of St. John Joseph shows.
John Joseph was very ascetic even as a young man. At 16 he joined the Franciscans in Naples; he was the first Italian to follow the reform movement of St. Peter Alcantara. John Joseph's reputation for holiness prompted his superiors to put him in charge of establishing a new friary even before he was ordained.

Obedience moved John Joseph to accept appointments as novice master, guardian and, finally, provincial. His years of mortification enabled him to offer these services to the friars with great charity. As guardian he was not above working in the kitchen or carrying the wood and water needed by the friars.

When his term as provincial expired, John Joseph dedicated himself to hearing confessions and practicing mortification, two concerns contrary to the spirit of the dawning Age of Enlightenment. John Joseph was canonized in 1839.


Sunday, March 6- St. Mary Ann of Jesus of Paredes

Mary Ann grew close to God and his people during her short life.

The youngest of eight, Mary Ann was born in Quito, Ecuador, which had been brought under Spanish control in 1534. She joined the Secular Franciscans and led a life of prayer and penance at home, leaving her parents' house only to go to church and to perform some work of charity. She established in Quito a clinic and a school for Africans and indigenous Americans. When a plague broke out, she nursed the sick and died shortly thereafter.

She was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1950.

Monday, March 7- Sts. Perpetua and Felicity

"When my father in his affection for me was trying to turn me from my purpose by arguments and thus weaken my faith, I said to him, 'Do you see this vessel-waterpot or whatever it may be? Can it be called by any other name than what it is?' 'No,' he replied. 'So also I cannot call myself by any other name than what I am-a Christian.'"

 So writes Perpetua, young, beautiful, well-educated, a noblewoman of Carthage in North Africa, mother of an infant son and chronicler of the persecution of the Christians by Emperor Septimius Severus.

Despite threats of persecution and death, Perpetua, Felicity (a slavewoman and expectant mother) and three companions, Revocatus, Secundulus and Saturninus, refused to renounce their Christian faith. For their unwillingness, all were sent to the public games in the amphitheater. There, Perpetua and Felicity were beheaded, and the others killed by beasts.

Perpetua's mother was a Christian and her father a pagan. He continually pleaded with her to deny her faith. She refused and was imprisoned at 22.

In her diary, Perpetua describes her period of captivity: "What a day of horror! Terrible heat, owing to the crowds! Rough treatment by the soldiers! To crown all, I was tormented with anxiety for my baby.... Such anxieties I suffered for many days, but I obtained leave for my baby to remain in the prison with me, and being relieved of my trouble and anxiety for him, I at once recovered my health, and my prison became a palace to me and I would rather have been there than anywhere else."

Felicity gave birth to a girl a few days before the games commenced.

Perpetua's record of her trial and imprisonment ends the day before the games. "Of what was done in the games themselves, let him write who will." The diary was finished by an eyewitness.


Tuesday, March 8 - St. John of God

Having given up active Christian belief while a soldier, John was 40 before the depth of his sinfulness began to dawn on him. He decided to give the rest of his life to God's service, and headed at once for Africa, where he hoped to free captive Christians and, possibly, be martyred.

He was soon advised that his desire for martyrdom was not spiritually well based, and returned to Spain and the relatively prosaic activity of a religious goods store. Yet he was still not settled. Moved initially by a sermon of St. John of Avila (May 10), he one day engaged in a public beating of himself, begging mercy and wildly repenting for his past life.

Committed to a mental hospital for these actions, John was visited by St. John, who advised him to be more actively involved in tending to the needs of others rather than in enduring personal hardships. John gained peace of heart, and shortly after left the hospital to begin work among the poor.

He established a house where he wisely tended to the needs of the sick poor, at first doing his own begging. But excited by the saint's great work and inspired by his devotion, many people began to back him up with money and provisions. Among them were the archbishop and marquis of Tarifa.

Behind John's outward acts of total concern and love for Christ's sick poor was a deep interior prayer life which was reflected in his spirit of humility. These qualities attracted helpers who, 20 years after John's death, formed the Brothers Hospitallers, now a worldwide religious order.

John became ill after 10 years of service but tried to disguise his ill health. He began to put the hospital's administrative work into order and appointed a leader for his helpers. He died under the care of a spiritual friend and admirer, Lady Ana Ossorio.


Wednesday, March 9 - St. Frances of Rome

Frances's life combines aspects of secular and religious life. A devoted and loving wife, she longed for a lifestyle of prayer and service, so she organized a group of women to minister to the needs of Rome's poor.

Born of wealthy parents, Frances found herself attracted to the religious life during her youth. But her parents objected and a young nobleman was selected to be her husband.

As she became acquainted with her new relatives, Frances soon discovered that the wife of her husband's brother also wished to live a life of service and prayer. So the two, Frances and Vannozza, set out together-with their husbands' blessings-to help the poor.

Frances fell ill for a time, but this apparently only deepened her commitment to the suffering people she met. The years passed, and Frances gave birth to two sons and a daughter. With the new responsibilities of family life, the young mother turned her attention more to the needs of her own household.

The family flourished under Frances's care, but within a few years a great plague began to sweep across Italy. It struck Rome with devastating cruelty and left Frances's second son dead. In an effort to help alleviate some of the suffering, Frances used all her money and sold her possessions to buy whatever the sick might possibly need. When all the resources had been exhausted, Frances and Vannozza went door to door begging. Later, Frances's daughter died, and the saint opened a section of her house as a hospital.

Frances became more and more convinced that this way of life was so necessary for the world, and it was not long before she requested and was given permission to found a society of women bound by no vows. They simply offered themselves to God and to the service of the poor. Once the society was established, Frances chose not to live at the community residence, but rather at home with her husband. She did this for seven years, until her husband passed away, and then came to live the remainder of her life with the society-serving the poorest of the poor.



Thursday, March 10 - St. Dominic Savio

So many holy persons seem to die young. Among them was Dominic Savio, the patron of choirboys.

Born into a peasant family at Riva, Italy, young Dominic joined St. John Bosco as a student at the Oratory in Turin at the age of 12. He impressed John with his desire to be a priest and to help him in his work with neglected boys. A peacemaker and an organizer, young Dominic founded a group he called the Company of the Immaculate Conception which, besides being devotional, aided John Bosco with the boys and with manual work. All the members save one, Dominic, would in 1859 join John in the beginnings of his Salesian congregation. By that time, Dominic had been called home to heaven.

As a youth, Dominic spent hours rapt in prayer. His raptures he called "my distractions." Even in play, he said that at times "It seems heaven is opening just above me. I am afraid I may say or do something that will make the other boys laugh." Dominic would say, "I can't do big things. But I want all I do, even the smallest thing, to be for the greater glory of God."

Dominic's health, always frail, led to lung problems and he was sent home to recuperate. As was the custom of the day, he was bled in the thought that this would help, but it only worsened his condition. He died on March 9, 1857, after receiving the Last Sacraments. St. John Bosco himself wrote the account of his life.
Some thought that Dominic was too young to be considered a saint. St. Pius X declared that just the opposite was true, and went ahead with his cause. Dominic was canonized in 1954.




Does your Conference have any news, events, or any other information that you would like to share in the Friday Five? **Please note, that events can be advertised if they ONLY support the SVDP Conference.  Any events that are put on by a parish can no longer be advertised.**

If so, please email Rachel Esposito at rachel.esposito@svdpsa.org to be include in the next edition of the Friday  Five! All information must be submitted by 3:00 pm on Wednesday. Thank you. 

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Please pray for Sister from St. Brigid Conference, Nell Sharrock.  She has been a Vincentian for many years.  She has provided service in many of the offices in the Conference and Council Office.She is currently in Hospice at home.  We thank you for all of your prayers. 

Thanks to all who prayed for one of our Vincentian's spouse, Adan Polanco, from St. Stanislaus Parish.  Praise God the family received wonderful news last week and he is now cancer free.  Praise the Lord and thanks to all for your prayers.
 
Please continue praying for Yolanda and Ramiro Ramirez, Angela Angel and Gloria de Luna,  all from St. Ann's Conference  who are experiencing health issues.