Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Friday, March 25,2016


      
           
SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER
April 3, 2016
Gospel: (John 20:19-31)
  
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you."   When he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Thomas was not with them when Jesus came. So the disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and my hand into his side, I will not believe." A week later, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not doubt, but believe."
 
Reflection:
           
While we are steeped in this natural life, it is difficult for us to come to terms with
resurrected life. This was part of Thomas' problem: he was seeking tangible proofs-seeing and touching-to come to belief, but the resurrected life of Jesus is a new life is beyond tangible proofs. We receive this new life trough Jesus' gift of the Holy Spirit. We know the fruit of this new life is peace and forgiveness. But how do we come to belief without seeing? Jesus' ministry is continued in the disciples. Seeing these works is seeing Jesus. Seeing these works brings us to belief. More importantly, our doing what Jesus did, brings us to belief. Believing isn't seeing; it's doing the good works of Jesus. (Living Liturgy, p.112)
  
Vincentian Meditation:
  
Vincentians see the crucified everyday in the streets of large cities and in poor country villages. One of the great gifts of St. Vincent was the ability to recognize the crucified Christ in the face of the suffering and to mobilize the energies of others in their service. He was an extraordinary organizer. To aid the most abandoned of his time, Vincent gathered together rich and poor, women and men, clergy and lay. Our meditation on the crucified Lord, who loves us even to death, and on the crucified peoples in whom the Lord continues to live, will always be brightened by resurrection faith. The gospel proclaims loud and clear that suffering love triumphs, that the power of God works through human weakness, that the light overcomes the darkness, that there is hope even in the face of hopelessness. (Maloney, Seasons in Spirituality, p.59)
  
Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)

How has "doing the good works of Jesus" brought you to belief?
  
Closing Prayer:       
                                                                                     
 Lord Jesus, your resurrection brought forgiveness to the disciples,
 -fill us with your peace!                                                         
 For the grace "to do your good works",
  -fill us with your strength!      
For the grace to forgive and to be forgiven,
  -fill us with your compassion!      
For the grace to be witnesses to your resurrection
 -fill us with your joy!     Amen



If your Conference receives mail from the IRS don't ignore it!

Email St. Vincent de Paul's Controller at Ronald.Paseur@svdpsa.org
INCLUDE a scan of the IRS Letter you received.

Or

Mail the IRS Letter to:

Society of St. Vincent de Paul ATTN: Accounting
PO Box 831074
San Antonio, Texas 78283

 
St Vinnys Bistro is Officially Open!


On Wednesday, March 23rd, St Vinnys Bistro served their first meal out of the new kitchen!  We served a delicious meal of chicken stir fry and fried rice to our friends in the Courtyard! We are so excited for the meals to come! 












 


*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.








The Society of St. Vincent de Paul would like to graciously thank Elizabeth Jacobs Ward  who kindly and generously left her estate to our organization.We have been remarkably blessed by such a gift and are eternally grateful.


SAINTS OF THE WEEK



Saturday, March 26 - St. Joseph, Husband of Mary

The feast of the Annunciation, now recognized as a solemnity, was first celebrated in the fourth or fifth century. Its central focus is the Incarnation: God has become one of us. From all eternity God had decided that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity should become human. Now, as Luke 1:26-38 tells us, the decision is being realized. The God-Man embraces all humanity, indeed all creation, to bring it to God in one great act of love. Because human beings have rejected God, Jesus will accept a life of suffering and an agonizing death: "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends" (John 15:13).

 
Mary has an important role to play in God's plan. From all eternity God destined her to be the mother of Jesus and closely related to him in the creation and redemption of the world. We could say that God's decrees of creation and redemption are joined in the decree of Incarnation. Because Mary is God's instrument in the Incarnation, she has a role to play with Jesus in creation and redemption. It is a God-given role. It is God's grace from beginning to end. Mary becomes the eminent figure she is only by God's grace. She is the empty space where God could act. Everything she is she owes to the Trinity.

She is the virgin-mother who fulfills Isaiah 7:14 in a way that Isaiah could not have imagined. She is united with her son in carrying out the will of God (Psalm 40:8-9; Hebrews 10:7-9; Luke 1:38).

Together with Jesus, the privileged and graced Mary is the link between heaven and earth. She is the human being who best, after Jesus, exemplifies the possibilities of human existence. She received into her lowliness the infinite love of God. She shows how an ordinary human being can reflect God in the ordinary circumstances of life. She exemplifies what the Church and every member of the Church is meant to become. She is the ultimate product of the creative and redemptive power of God. She manifests what the Incarnation is meant to accomplish for all of us.


Sunday, March 27- Blessed Didacus Joseph of Cadiz


Born in Cadiz, Spain, and christened Joseph Francis, the youth spent much of his free time around the Capuchin friars and their church. But his desire to enter the Franciscan Order was delayed because of the difficulty he had with his studies. Finally he was admitted to the novitiate of the Capuchins in Seville as Brother Didacus. He later was ordained a priest and sent out to preach.

His gift of preaching was soon evident. He journeyed tirelessly through the territory of Andalusia of Spain, speaking in small towns and crowded cities. His words were able to touch the minds and hearts of young and old, rich and poor, students and professors. His work in the confessional completed the conversions his words began.

This unlearned man was called "the apostle of the Holy Trinity" because of his devotion to the Trinity and the ease with which he preached about this sublime mystery. One day a child gave away his secret, crying out: "Mother, mother, see the dove resting on the shoulder of Father Didacus! I could preach like that too if a dove told me all that I should say."

Didacus was that close to God, spending nights in prayer and preparing for his sermons by severe penances. His reply to those who criticized him: "My sins and the sins of the people compel me to do it. Those who have been charged with the conversions of sinners must remember that the Lord has imposed on them the sins of all their clients."

It is said that sometimes when he preached on the love of God he would be elevated above the pulpit. Crowds in village and town squares were entranced by his words and would attempt to tear off pieces of his habit as he passed by.

He died in 1801 at age 58, a holy and revered man. He was beatified in 1894.


Monday, March 28- St. Catharine of Bologna

Some Franciscan saints led fairly public lives; Catharine represents the saints who served the Lord in obscurity.
Catharine, born in Bologna, was related to the nobility in Ferrara and was educated at court there. She received a liberal education at the court and developed some interest and talent in painting. In later years as a Poor Clare, Catharine sometimes did manuscript illumination and also painted miniatures.

At the age of 17, she joined a group of religious women in Ferrara. Four years later the whole group joined the Poor Clares in that city. Jobs as convent baker and portress preceded her selection as novice mistress.

In 1456, she and 15 other sisters were sent to establish a Poor Clare monastery in Florence. As abbess Catharine worked to preserve the peace of the new community. Her reputation for holiness drew many young women to the Poor Clare life. She was canonized in 1712.


Tuesday, March 29 - St. Ludovico of Casoria

Born in Casoria (near Naples), Arcangelo Palmentieri was a cabinet-maker before entering the Friars Minor in 1832, taking the name Ludovico. After his ordination five years later, he taught chemistry, physics and mathematics to younger members of his province for several years.

In 1847 he had a mystical experience which he later described as a cleansing. After that he dedicated his life to the poor and the infirm, establishing a dispensary for the poor, two schools for African children, an institute for the children of nobility, as well as an institution for orphans, the deaf and the speechless, and other institutes for the blind, elderly and for travelers. In addition to an infirmary for friars of his province, he began charitable institutes in Naples, Florence and Assisi. He once said, "Christ's love has wounded my heart." This love prompted him to great acts of charity.

To help continue these works of mercy, in 1859 he established the Gray Brothers, a religious community composed of men who formerly belonged to the Secular Franciscan Order. Three years later he founded the Gray Sisters of St. Elizabeth for the same purpose.

Toward the beginning of his final, nine-year illness, Ludovico wrote a spiritual testament which described faith as "light in the darkness, help in sickness, blessing in tribulations, paradise in the crucifixion and life amid death." The local work for his beatification began within five months of Ludovico's death. He was beatified in 1993 and canonized in 2014.



Wednesday, March 30 - St. Peter Regalado

Peter lived at a very busy time in history. The Great Western Schism (1378-1417) was settled at the Council of Constance (1414-1418). France and England were fighting the Hundred Years' War, and in 1453 the Byzantine Empire was completely wiped out by the loss of Constantinople to the Turks. At Peter's death the age of printing had just begun in Germany, and Columbus's arrival in the New World was less than 40 years away.

Peter came from a wealthy and pious family in Valladolid, Spain. At the age of 13, he was allowed to enter the Conventual Franciscans. Shortly after his ordination, he was made superior of the friary in Aguilar. He became part of a group of friars who wanted to lead a life of greater poverty and penance. In 1442 he was appointed head of all the Spanish Franciscans in his reform group.

Peter led the friars by his example. A special love of the poor and the sick characterized Peter. Miraculous stories are told about his charity to the poor. For example, the bread never seemed to run out as long as Peter had hungry people to feed. Throughout most of his life, Peter went hungry; he lived only on bread and water.
Immediately after his death on March 31, 1456, his grave became a place of pilgrimage. Peter was canonized in 1746.



Thursday, March 31 - St. Stephen of Mar Saba

A "do not disturb" sign helped today's saint find holiness and peace.

Stephen of Mar Saba was the nephew of St. John Damascene, who introduced the young boy to monastic life beginning at age 10. When he reached 24, Stephen served the community in a variety of ways, including guest master. After some time he asked permission to live a hermit's life. The answer from the abbot was yes and no: Stephen could follow his preferred lifestyle during the week, but on weekends he was to offer his skills as a counselor. Stephen placed a note on the door of his cell: "Forgive me, Fathers, in the name of the Lord, but please do not disturb me except on Saturdays and Sundays."

Despite his calling to prayer and quiet, Stephen displayed uncanny skills with people and was a valued spiritual guide.

His biographer and disciple wrote about Stephen: "Whatever help, spiritual or material, he was asked to give, he gave. He received and honored all with the same kindness. He possessed nothing and lacked nothing. In total poverty he possessed all things."
Stephen died in 794.





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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 continue praying for Yolanda and Ramiro Ramirez, Angela Angel and Gloria de Luna,  all from St. Ann's Conference  who are experiencing health issues.