August 14, 2016

Gospel: (Luke 12:49-53)

Jesus said to his disciples: "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it be accomplished! Did you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother... "


In this gospel, Jesus is shocking! Jesus has a fire for accomplishing his mission and is single-minded in doing so. His very message is divisive because it calls others to a radical way of living-self-giving for the good of others. We must make a choice to follow him, to choose to speak God's word and preach the values consistent with God's reign. Divisions occur simply by being faithful to God's message. This is the real shock value of the gospel: being a faithful disciple of Jesus will instigate a clash of values, of principles, of priorities. This choice can result in divisions, even within families, because all us do not make the same choice to follow Jesus. (Living Liturgy, p.194)

Vincentian Meditation:

"On the journey of life, we must make choice. Our instincts, our selfishess, our pride will
Often suggest to us to follow them. It is an easier road. But Christ, His Church and our consciences suggest another way. To follow that road, we must say no to our natural instincts. It may be difficult and demand much effort, but that effort will bring with it a peace and contentment that money will not buy." (McCullen, Deep Down Things,p. 589)

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

What difficult choices have you made that led to a peace and contentment?

Closing Prayer:

Lord Jesus, bless us this day,
-with the courage to follow you.
Lord Jesus, bless us this day,
-with willingness to forgive those who hurt us.
Lord Jesus, bless us this day,
-with the strength to care for the poor.
Lord Jesus, bless us this day,
-with the faith to live our convictions.

Please contact Mary Esther Jockers at or B.J. Polk at if you would like to host a class or have any questions in regards to the training.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016 8:00 AM -
Saturday, September 03, 2016 9:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Hyatt Regency Columbus

350 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
United States

The Mideast Region is sponsoring the 2016 National Assembly of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, to be held at the Hyatt Regency Columbus, August 31- September 3, 2016.  

  • Restorative Justice Symposium: $175.00


The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is partnering with Commissioner Rodriguez of Precinct One, Bexar County Community Resources, and the San Antonio Food Bank, for the "Fans to Families Program!"  We are in need of volunteers for the job descriptions listed below for the following dates:

Our Lady Queen of Heaven
11150  Macdona- Lacoste Rd.
Atascosa TX 78002
August 12th and 17th  both times are 9:00am-12pm
Sacred Heart of Jesus Church
13466 I- 35
Von Ormy TX 78037
August 15th and 16th both times at 9:00am-12pm

Volunteer Copy Maker- (1 Volunteer)
The copy runner is responsible for retrieving the next available client file from the designated "out tray" from the Greeters' Station, making copies of the participants supporting documents and placing them in the participant service file.  The copy runner is an essential piece of the process, to ensure service files are moved to the designated workstation with accuracy and efficiency.
Volunteer- Communicator (1 volunteer)
The communicator will be responsible for hand delivering service files and escorting applicants to the designated intake workers for processing. This essential volunteer has the responsibility of keeping the service files organized and ensuring applicants are escorted to appropriate intake worker.
Volunteer Intake worker (5 volunteers)
The intake worker is responsible for reviewing and processing each application, meeting with applicants, explaining if any follow up is required, and providing food/fan vouchers to all approved applicants.
All volunteers will receive an orientation on Thursday, August 11th from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm at Haven for Hope - Volunteer Center Room A. 

If you would like to volunteer and can attend the orientation listed above, please contact Rachel Esposito at

St. Matthew's Conference has clothes that they can donate weekly to your Conference.  The amount is enough to fill a pick-up truck.  If your Conference is in need and has transportation to pick up the clothing each week, please contact Jack Schlegel at (210) 478-5020.


Friday, August 5 - Dedication of St. Mary Major Basilica

First raised at the order of Pope Liberius in the mid-fourth century, the Liberian basilica was rebuilt by Pope Sixtus III shortly after the Council of Ephesus affirmed Mary's title as Mother of God in 431. Rededicated at that time to the Mother of God, St. Mary Major is the largest church in the world honoring God through Mary. Standing atop one of Rome's seven hills, the Esquiline, it has survived many restorations without losing its character as an early Roman basilica. Its interior retains three naves divided by colonnades in the style of Constantine's era. Fifth-century mosaics on its walls testify to its antiquity.

St. Mary Major is one of the four Roman basilicas known as patriarchal cathedrals in memory of the first centers of the Church. St. John Lateran (November 9) represents Rome, the See of Peter; St. Paul Outside the Walls, the See of Alexandria, allegedly the see presided over by Mark (April 25); St. Peter's, the See of Constantinople; and St. Mary's, the See of Antioch, where Mary is supposed to have spent most of her life.

One legend, unreported before the year 1000, gives another name to this feast: Our Lady of the Snows. According to that story, a wealthy Roman couple pledged their fortune to the Mother of God. In affirmation, she produced a miraculous summer snowfall and told them to build a church on the site. The legend was long celebrated by releasing a shower of white rose petals from the basilica's dome every August 5.

Saturday, August 6 - Transfiguration of the Lord 

All three Synoptic Gospels tell the story of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-9; Luke 9:28-36). With remarkable agreement, all three place the event shortly after Peter's confession of faith that Jesus is the Messiah and Jesus' first prediction of his passion and death. Peter's eagerness to erect tents or booths on the spot suggests it occurred during the Jewish weeklong, fall Feast of Booths.

In spite of the texts' agreement, it is difficult to reconstruct the disciples' experience, according to Scripture scholars, because the Gospels draw heavily on Old Testament descriptions of the Sinai encounter with God and prophetic visions of the Son of Man. Certainly Peter, James and John had a glimpse of Jesus' divinity strong enough to strike fear into their hearts. Such an experience defies description, so they drew on familiar religious language to describe it. And certainly Jesus warned them that his glory and his suffering were to be inextricably connected-a theme John highlights throughout his Gospel.

Tradition names Mt. Tabor as the site of the revelation. A church first raised there in the fourth century was dedicated on August 6. A feast in honor of the Transfiguration was celebrated in the Eastern Church from about that time. Western observance began in some localities about the eighth century.
On July 22, 1456, Crusaders defeated the Turks at Belgrade. News of the victory reached Rome on August 6, and Pope Callistus III placed the feast on the Roman calendar the following year.

Sunday, August 7 - St. Cajetan

Like most of us, Cajetan seemed headed for an "ordinary" life-first as a lawyer, then as a priest engaged in the work of the Roman Curia.

His life took a characteristic turn when he joined the Oratory of Divine Love in Rome, a group devoted to piety and charity, shortly after his ordination at 36. When he was 42 he founded a hospital for incurables at Venice. At Vicenza, he joined a "disreputable" religious community that consisted only of men of the lowest stations of life-and was roundly censured by his friends, who thought his action was a reflection on his family. He sought out the sick and poor of the town and served them.

The greatest need of the time was the reformation of a Church that was "sick in head and members." Cajetan and three friends decided that the best road to reformation lay in reviving the spirit and zeal of the clergy. (One of them later became Paul IV.) Together they founded a congregation known as the Theatines (from Teate [Chieti] where their first superior-bishop had his see). They managed to escape to Venice after their house in Rome was wrecked when Emperor Charles V's troops sacked Rome in 1527. The Theatines were outstanding among the Catholic reform movements that took shape before the Protestant Reformation. He founded a monte de pieta ("mountain [or fund] of piety") in Naples-one of many charitable, nonprofit credit organizations that lent money on the security of pawned objects. The purpose was to help the poor and protect them against usurers. Cajetan's little organization ultimately became the Bank of Naples, with great changes in policy.

Monday, August 8 - St. Dominic

If he hadn't taken a trip with his bishop, Dominic would probably have remained within the structure of contemplative life; after the trip, he spent the rest of his life being a contemplative in active apostolic work.

Born in old Castile, Spain, he was trained for the priesthood by a priest-uncle, studied the arts and theology, and became a canon of the cathedral at Osma, where there was an attempt to revive the apostolic common life described in the Acts of the Apostles.

On a journey through France with his bishop, he came face to face with the then virulent Albigensian heresy at Languedoc. The Albigensians (Cathari, "the pure") held to two principles-one good, one evil-in the world. All matter is evil-hence they denied the Incarnation and sacraments. On the same principle, they abstained from procreation and took a minimum of food and drink. The inner circle led what some people regarded as a heroic life of purity and asceticism not shared by ordinary followers.

Dominic sensed the need for the Church to combat this heresy, and was commissioned to be part of the preaching crusade against it. He saw immediately why the preaching was not succeeding: the ordinary people admired and followed the ascetical heroes of the Albigenses. Understandably, they were not impressed by the Catholic preachers who traveled with horse and retinues, stayed at the best inns and had servants. Dominic therefore, with three Cistercians, began itinerant preaching according to the gospel ideal. He continued this work for 10 years, being successful with the ordinary people but not with the leaders.

His fellow preachers gradually became a community, and in 1215 he founded a religious house at Toulouse, the beginning of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans).
His ideal, and that of his Order, was to link organically a life with God, study and prayer in all forms, with a ministry of salvation to people by the word of God. His ideal: contemplata tradere: "to pass on the fruits of contemplation" or "to speak only of God or with God."

Tuesday, August 9St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

A brilliant philosopher who stopped believing in God when she was 14, Edith Stein was so captivated by reading the autobiography of Teresa of Avila (October 15) that she began a spiritual journey that led to her Baptism in 1922. Twelve years later she imitated Teresa by becoming a Carmelite, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

Born into a prominent Jewish family in Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland), Edith abandoned Judaism in her teens. As a student at the University of Göttingen, she became fascinated by phenomenology, an approach to philosophy. Excelling as a protégé of Edmund Husserl, one of the leading phenomenologists, Edith earned a doctorate in philosophy in 1916. She continued as a university teacher until 1922 when she moved to a Dominican school in Speyer; her appointment as lecturer at the Educational Institute of Munich ended under pressure from the Nazis.

After living in the Cologne Carmel (1934-38), she moved to the Carmelite monastery in Echt, Netherlands. The Nazis occupied that country in 1940. In retaliation for being denounced by the Dutch bishops, the Nazis arrested all Dutch Jews who had become Christians. Teresa Benedicta and her sister Rosa, also a Catholic, died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz on August 9, 1942.
Saint John Paul II beatified Teresa Benedicta in 1987 and canonized her 12 years later.

Wednesday, August 10 - St. Lawrence

The esteem in which the Church holds Lawrence is seen in the fact that today's celebration ranks as a feast. We know very little about his life. He is one of those whose martyrdom made a deep and lasting impression on the early Church. Celebration of his feast day spread rapidly.

He was a Roman deacon under Pope St. Sixtus II. Four days after this pope was put to death, Lawrence and four clerics suffered martyrdom, probably during the persecution of the Emperor Valerian.

Legendary details of his death were known to Damasus (Dec 11), Prudentius, Ambrose (December 7)  and Augustine (August 28). The church built over his tomb became one of the seven principal churches in Rome and a favorite place for Roman pilgrimages.

A well-known legend has persisted from earliest times. As deacon in Rome, Lawrence was charged with the responsibility for the material goods of the Church, and the distribution of alms to the poor. When Lawrence knew he would be arrested like the pope, he sought out the poor, widows and orphans of Rome and gave them all the money he had on hand, selling even the sacred vessels to increase the sum. When the prefect of Rome heard of this, he imagined that the Christians must have considerable treasure. He sent for Lawrence and said, "You Christians say we are cruel to you, but that is not what I have in mind. I am told that your priests offer in gold, that the sacred blood is received in silver cups, that you have golden candlesticks at your evening services. Now, your doctrine says you must render to Caesar what is his. Bring these treasures-the emperor needs them to maintain his forces. God does not cause money to be counted: He brought none of it into the world with him-only words. Give me the money, therefore, and be rich in words."

Lawrence replied that the Church was indeed rich. "I will show you a valuable part. But give me time to set everything in order and make an inventory." After three days he gathered a great number of blind, lame, maimed, leprous, orphaned and widowed persons and put them in rows. When the prefect arrived, Lawrence simply said, "These are the treasure of the Church."
The prefect was so angry he told Lawrence that he would indeed have his wish to die-but it would be by inches. He had a great gridiron prepared, with coals beneath it, and had Lawrence's body placed on it. After the martyr had suffered the pain for a long time, the legend concludes, he made his famous cheerful remark, "It is well done. Turn me over!"

Thursday, August 11 - St. Clare of Assisi

One of the more sugary movies made about Francis of Assisi pictures Clare as a golden-haired beauty floating through sun-drenched fields, a sort of one-woman counterpart to the new Franciscan Order.

The beginning of her religious life was indeed movie material. Having refused to marry at 15, she was moved by the dynamic preaching of Francis. He became her lifelong friend and spiritual guide.

At 18, she escaped one night from her father's home, was met on the road by friars carrying torches, and in the poor little chapel called the Portiuncula received a rough woolen habit, exchanged her jeweled belt for a common rope with knots in it, and sacrificed the long tresses to Francis' scissors. He placed her in a Benedictine convent, which her father and uncles immediately stormed in rage. She clung to the altar of the church, threw aside her veil to show her cropped hair and remained adamant.

End of movie material. Sixteen days later her sister Agnes joined her. Others came. They lived a simple life of great poverty, austerity and complete seclusion from the world, according to a Rule which Francis gave them as a Second Order (Poor Clares). Francis obliged her under obedience at age 21 to accept the office of abbess, one she exercised until her death.

The nuns went barefoot, slept on the ground, ate no meat and observed almost complete silence. (Later Clare, like Francis, persuaded her sisters to moderate this rigor: "Our bodies are not made of brass.") The greatest emphasis, of course, was on gospel poverty. They possessed no property, even in common, subsisting on daily contributions. When even the pope tried to persuade her to mitigate this practice, she showed her characteristic firmness: "I need to be absolved from my sins, but I do not wish to be absolved from the obligation of following Jesus Christ."
Contemporary accounts glow with admiration of her life in the convent of San Damiano in Assisi. She served the sick, waited on table, washed the feet of the begging nuns. She came from prayer, it was said, with her face so shining it dazzled those about her. She suffered serious illness for the last 27 years of her life. Her influence was such that popes, cardinals and bishops often came to consult her-she never left the walls of San Damiano.

Francis always remained her great friend and inspiration. She was always obedient to his will and to the great ideal of gospel life which he was making real.
A well-known story concerns her prayer and trust. She had the Blessed Sacrament placed on the walls of the convent when it faced attack by invading Saracens. "Does it please you, O God, to deliver into the hands of these beasts the defenseless children I have nourished with your love? I beseech you, dear Lord, protect these whom I am now unable to protect." To her sisters she said, "Don't be afraid. Trust in Jesus." The Saracens fled.

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 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 Arnold and Maria Trevinio, our Vincentians from Prince of Peace, who are both suffering from illnesses at this time. 

Please continue prayers for Council Treasurer, Langston Rodge, during his difficult illness. 

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.