9 Days for Life Novena Day Nine: January 24, 2016

May we see and live the truth 
that every life is a good and perfect gift, 
and that our lives—all our lives—are worth living.

Prayers:  Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection:  Our culture is obsessed with perfection—a superficial perfection. Photos are airbrushed, and social media sites depict seemingly perfect lives. God calls us to seek perfection, too. He does not call us, however, to perfection of appearance or abilities, but to perfection in love.  In “A Perfect Gift,” one parent shares about the experience of raising a child with Down syndrome, contrasting it with what onlookers might perceive: “It’s like looking at a stained-glass window from the outside: The colors look dark, and you can’t quite make out the figures. From the inside, however, with the sun shining through it, the effect can be brilliant. From inside our family, love illuminates our life with Charlie.* What may seem dreary to others, perhaps even unbearable, is actually filled with beauty and color.” May each of us experience the power of God’s transforming love, that our eyes may be opened to the incredible beauty of the people the Lord places in our lives.

9 Days for Life Novena Day Eight: January 23, 2016

For an end to all domestic violence.

Prayers:  Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection:  “A correct reading of Scripture leads people to an understanding of the equal dignity of men and women and to relationships based on mutuality and love. Beginning with Genesis, Scripture teaches that women and men are created in God's image.” (“When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women,” USCCB 2002.)

Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children (1/22)

Offer up your prayers to Mary, Mother of God, to perfect and give to Christ. She loves Him and loves all whom He gives is Mercy. Trust in her intercession and in God's power to redeem the world. 

Please, pray for the lives of the little ones, who are beloved daughters and sons of God. You may use these intercessions while you offer the Holy Rosary for the unborn today. 

May our prayers of Mercy and Hope be heard by Christ in His Most Sacred Heart. 

The Joyful Mysteries
The Annunciation:
For parents facing an unexpected pregnancy, that they lovingly accept the precious life God has entrusted to their care.

The Visitation:
That the family and friends of expectant parents might reach out and support them as they prepare to meet their child face to face.

The Nativity:
That the love of the Blessed Mother and the Christ Child may be a source of strength for every expectant mother, especially mothers living in poverty, and that they both will be surrounded by joy and love.

The Presentation:
That fathers of young children will model St. Joseph in devoutly practicing their faith, so that they lead their children to God by their words and example.

The Finding of Jesus in the Temple:
For all children who have been lost and forgotten, that they may be led to a place where they are treasured, protected and loved.

The Luminous Mysteries
The Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan:
That all baptized Christians will be open to the Holy Spirit and bear witness to the sanctity of life.

The Wedding Feast at Cana:
For all husbands and wives, that they treasure the priceless gift of married love by generously accepting children through procreation and adoption.

The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God:
That those who pray and work for greater respect for human life will be guided by the Beatitudes and reveal the face of Christ to others.

The Transfiguration:
That our world will be transfigured by the witness of faithful Christians so that all may understand the priceless value of every human being.

The Institution of the Eucharist:
That through our worthy reception of the Eucharist and frequent Eucharistic Adoration, Jesus will teach us to love sacrificially the least and neediest among us.

The Sorrowful Mysteries
The Agony in the Garden:
For all who are suffering from abandonment or neglect, that compassionate individuals will come forward to offer them comfort and aid.

The Scourging at the Pillar:
That the victims of violence, torture and slavery will be delivered from their suffering, find healing and know that God is close to them.

The Crowning with Thorns:
That the persecution of Christians will end in a new era of tolerance and respect for the religious freedom and conscience rights of all.

The Carrying of the Cross:
For all who labor under burdens that seem too great to bear—due to illness, age, poverty, cruelty or injustice—that our prayers and aid will lighten their crosses.

The Crucifixion:
For an end to the death penalty and for the release of all prisoners of conscience and all who have been wrongfully convicted.

The Glorious Mysteries
The Resurrection:
For all who have lost loved ones, and especially for parents of a child who was miscarried, aborted or stillborn, that they will find peace in the promise of the Resurrection.

The Ascension:
For all who struggle with addictions, that through Christ’s triumph and ascent into glory, they may triumph over their temptations, and gain strength and peace.

The Coming of the Holy Spirit:
That the Holy Spirit will open the minds and hearts of those who now reject the Gospel of Life and allow them to be convinced of the truth and goodness of all that the Church professes concerning human life.

The Assumption of Mary:
For mothers who have died at the hands of abortion providers, that they may experience reconciliation and together with their children know God’s peace.

The Coronation of Mary:

For all mothers, that they might come to know the wonder of their vocation.

9 Days for Life Novena Day Seven: January 22, 2016

Intercession: May each person suffering from the loss of a child through abortion find hope & healing in Christ.

Prayers: Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection: Today, on this 43nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we consider the past four decades in which our society has legally permitted abortion. Since that tragic decision, many children’s lives have been lost, and many suffer that loss—often in silence. Yet God’s greatest desire is to forgive. No matter how far we have each strayed from his side, he says to us, “Don’t be afraid. Draw close to my heart.”  “In the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, also called confession, we meet the Lord, who wants to grant forgiveness and the grace to live a renewed life in him. … We bishops and priests are eager to help you if you experience difficulty, hesitation, or uncertainty about approaching the Lord in this sacrament. If you have not received this healing sacrament in a long time, we are ready to welcome you” (“God’s Gift of Forgiveness”). Let us run into the arms of Jesus, who is love and mercy.

9 Days for Life Novena Day Six: January 21, 2016

Intercession:  May all people reject pornography and discover the true meaning of love through an encounter and relationship with Christ.

Prayers:  Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection: Today we honor the life of St. Agnes, a 12 or 13-year-old girl martyred in Rome in 304 AD. Agnes never wavered in her commitment to remain a virgin and to give her whole life to the Lord, refusing proposals to marry. Her innocence and heroism facing death helped bring an end to the persecutions of Christians in Rome. Following the example of St. Agnes, let us remain steadfast in recognizing Christ, who is Love Incarnate, as the source and summit of our lives. May his love give us the determination and courage to live for him and for others, especially the most vulnerable among us. St. Agnes, pray for us!

9 Days for Life Novena DAY Five: January 20, 2016

For an end to the use of the death penalty in our country.

Prayers:  Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection:  As Catholics, we believe and put our hope in a merciful and loving God. We are conscious of our own brokenness and need for redemption. Our Lord calls us to imitate him more perfectly by witnessing to the inherent dignity of every person, including those whose actions have been despicable. Our faith and hope is in the mercy of God who says to us, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Mt   5:7) and “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” (Mt 9:13). As Christians we are called to oppose the culture of death by witnessing to something greater and more perfect: a gospel of life, hope and mercy.

9 Days for Life Novena DAY Four: January 19, 2016

May children awaiting adoption be welcomed into loving families.

Prayers:  Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection:  The Letter to the Hebrews reminds us to “hold fast to the hope that lies before us. This we have as an anchor of the soul, sure and firm” (Heb 6:18-19). We pray that children awaiting adoption would be filled with the hope of Christ and “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding” (Phil 4:7). We also remember that we too can cling fast to this anchor of hope, for we have received “a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’” (Rom 8:15). May our loving Father envelop each of us in his love today and open our eyes in faith, that we may see and rejoice in his love.

9 Days for Life Novena DAY THREE: January 18, 2016

May those who long for a child of their own be filled with trust in God’s loving plan.

Prayers:   Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection: It can be very difficult and painful when the Lord doesn’t answer our prayers the way we hope. We may have many doubts and questions, wondering why we face the challenges that we do. Yet even though our suffering is often shrouded in a sense of mystery, we believe that the Lord loves us with great tenderness and compassion that is beyond our imagination. Knowing this, we can trust that “all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28).

9 Days for Life Novena DAY TWO: January 16, 2016

May those near the end of their lives receive medical care that respects their dignity and protects their lives.

Prayers:   Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Reflection:  When Maggie’s active father suffered an accident that eventually led to his passing, Maggie’s conversations with him turned to life’s more serious topics, and his final days became a time that was cherished by the whole family. During this time, Maggie’s dad taught her that “dignity can’t be diminished by pain or loss of personal control,” that “Jesus was walking along with him,” and that “our suffering is not meaningless when we unite it with Christ’s own suffering.”   As a 50-year-old wife and mother of three, Maggie needed this message in a dramatically new way when she was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Instead of giving up hope, she embraced the legacy her father had left her, cherishing the life she still had left: “[M]y life is, always has been, and always will be, worth living.” Read more about her experience in “Maggie’s Story: Living like Dad.”

9 Days for Life Novena DAY ONE: January 16, 2016

For the conversion of all hearts and the end to abortion.

Prayers:  Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

Today’s Gospel reading (Mk 2:13-17) recounts Jesus dining with tax collectors and sinners.  When the Pharisees question Jesus about this, he responds, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” In a society where millions of people have fallen prey to the false promises of the culture of death, let us witness to the mercy of Jesus and invite all who’ve been wounded to experience his abundant love and healing.

Carpool Wanted for St. Mary's Student to Lacrosse, WI

Visually impaired student needs a ride to her internship at Franciscan Mayo Clinic in Lacrosse, WI. 

She is a very bright and promising young woman, a senior double majoring in Psychology and Pastoral and Youth Ministry at Saint Mary's. Is there anyone who commutes to Mayo Clinic regularly who might be willing to take a passenger for the semester? 
She says “I am writing this especially for those who would appreciate extra gas money or who already commute regularly between Winona and La Crosse.”

Her availability for transportation:

Monday: after 10:00 AM
Tuesday: after 1:30 PM
Wednesday: after 10:00 AM
Friday: after 10:00 AM
Saturday: flexible

“I would most likely work at Mayo twice a week at the very most and will probably rarely work on weekends. I would work for a few hours at a time, but this would also be dependent upon what is best with your schedule.”

If you are interested in generously assisting this student, please call the Parish Office at 507-452-4770 or email at info@cathedralwinona.org.

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, Sunday 1/17

Since 1984, when President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Sanctity of Human Life day, churches around the country have gathered on the 3rd Sunday of January to celebrate God’s gift of life, commemorate the many lives lost to abortion, and commit themselves to protecting life at every stage.  

See www.lifemattersww.org for information.

2016 Holy Hour Schedule for Life, Marriage, & Religious Liberty

Holy Hour of Prayer

Life, Marriage & Religious Liberty

(Offered on the First Saturday, for those participating in First Saturday Devotions)

January 2 ............May 7............September 3
February 6 ............June 4 .............October 1
March 5 ............July 2 ............November 5
April 2 ............Aug. 6 ............December 3

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
360 Main Street, Winona

8:30-9:30 am
(after 8:00 am Mass)

The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed; we will pray a beautiful Rosary, and there will be time for reflection and prayer.

Come pray with us for an increased respect for life, engaged couples, stronger marriages, and religious freedom.

“In a world where there is so much noise, so much bewilderment, there is a need for silent adoration of Jesus concealed in the Host. Be assiduous in the prayer of adoration…It is a source of comfort and light, particularly to those who are suffering.” - Pope Benedict XVI

Reflection on the Baptism of Our Lord (1/10/16)

Luke 3:21-22
Inspired Hindsight

Ask your parents how they met. If you haven't heard it already, you will likely hear a treasured story about an event which may have seemed quite ordinary at the time. Maybe the meeting was a function of sharing the same part of the alphabet and therefore being seated next to each other in math class. Hindsight reveals a seemingly trivial encounter to have been momentous—momentous for your parents (whose lives might otherwise have gone separate ways) but even more momentous for you (without that meeting, you would likely not have come into existence).

The baptism of Jesus at the Jordan may have been like that. The crowd of Judeans submitting themselves to John's immersion ritual may not have taken much notice of the Galilean in their midst. But all the evangelists, drawing on the hindsight of the Church's reflection, agree that this event at the Jordan was a profoundly significant moment—in the history of Israel, in the story of Jesus, and in the lives of his followers.

Luke's two-verse account is packed with clues to the larger meanings of this inaugural event. First, Luke passes over the action of John. Luke simply says that after everyone, including Jesus, had been baptized, Jesus was praying. Already Luke has made two important interpretive moves: (1) Jesus is in the midst of “all the people,” thereby invoking an important theme in the Third Gospel, Jesus' solidarity with the people of Israel; (2) Jesus' being at prayer prepares us for the other times in Luke and Acts when prayer and empowerment by the Holy Spirit are linked—in the instruction on prayer (Lk 11:13), the choosing of the Twelve (Lk 6:12 with Acts 1:2), and Pentecost (Acts 1-2).

Text Box:  The emergence of Jesus into his public ministry is announced in language that already hints the end of that life on Calvary.When he speaks of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus, Luke is careful to add the phrase “in bodily form” because the attentive reader of his gospel will remember that Jesus was already announced as conceived by the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:35); and so this experience of the Holy Spirit is not something unprecedented in Jesus' life but a fresh manifestation of a relationship already established.

As for the statement of the divine voice from heaven, Luke leaves Mark's version untouched, for it carries a fullness that cannot be improved. “You are my beloved Son” bears a double resonance. First, it evokes the heavenly voice quoted in Psalm 2:7 announcing the accession of a divinely appointed king, therefore a messianic sonship. Second, the phrase “beloved son” recalls to Jewish ears the famous place in the Torah where that phrase occurs as a kind of refrain (three times, in Gen 22:2, 12, and 16). This is the Akedah, the Binding of Isaac. Thus the emergence of Jesus into his public ministry is announced in language that already hints the end of that life on Calvary.

Finally, “with you I am well pleased” echoes Isaiah 42:1, the beginning of the first Servant Song of Isaiah, this Sunday's First Reading. That simple phrase, then, recalls the whole mission sketched by that song: bringing forth justice to the nations with the gentleness that refrains from breaking the bruised reed, bringing light to the blind and freeing prisoners.

Thus in two short verses inspired hindsight presents the emergence of Jesus into his public life in a way that shows him to be Messiah of Israel, Son of God, and Prophet to the nations. The Old Testament background clarifies why the Church sees our own baptism as an immersion into that same mission.

Dennis Hamm, SJ

42nd Annual MCCL March for Life (1/22/2016)

Friday 12 noon
January 22nd, 2016

Your presence will send a clear message to state lawmakers and public officials that a majority of Minnesotans believe in a founding principle of this country—the ‘Right to Life’.

10:30 AM
Prayer Service for Life: Cathedral of Saint Paul
Sponsored by the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
12:00 PM
March in front of State Capitol
12:30 PM
Program on Lower Capitol Mall
In case of severe weather, check our website and Twin Cities news outlets or call or email MCCL.

If you are interested in car-pooling to the March for Life:

  • Meet at 7:10am sharp at St. Mary’s Church lower parking lot (1303 W. Broadway)
  •  We will get on a bus at Rochester and drive to the Cathedral for the 10:30 am Prayer Service
  • March and Program are from 12 to 1:00 pm
  • Light Lunch afterwards, then Rochester around 4:00, return to Winona around 5:00 pm.
  • Wear warm clothes; bring snacks/water if you wish.
RSVP to Kathy at 507-452-1922 by Tuesday, January 19th

Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life | www.mccl.org
4249 Nicollet Avenue | Minneapolis MN 55409 | 612-825-6831 | mccl@mccl.org