Mary – The Theotokos

Mary Mother of God2017 is here! While New Year’s Day ushers in another new year for us as well as another challenge to be faithful to our New Year’s Resolution (for those who have made one), January 1st is also a very special day in the Church. On the first day of this new year, we honor Mary, the Theotokos. This Greek word can be translated as “God-bearer,” or as the more familiar title known as Mary, the “Mother of God.” Though it may not be easy to understand, there is simple logic behind it. If Mary is the Mother of Jesus, and Jesus is God, then Mary is the Mother of God. This is one of the truths of our faith and one of the four Marian dogmas of our Church. This dogma of Mary was established almost 1600 years ago by the Catholic Church in Ephesus, modern-day Turkey. “For this reason the Council of Ephesus proclaimed in 431 that Mary truly became the Mother of God by the human conception of the Son of God in her womb: ‘Mother of God, not that the nature of the Word or his divinity received the beginning of its existence from the holy Virgin, but that, since the holy body, animated by a rational soul, which the Word of God united to himself according to the hypostasis (the single, person of Jesus Christ with a human and divine nature), was born from her, the Word is said to be born according to the flesh’” (Catechism 466). Though this deeply held truth of our faith is not explicitly stated in Scripture, it is implicit at the Visitation, which will be stated momentarily, and it is a firmly held belief of our Tradition. Sacred Scripture does state that the beloved disciple (John) took Mary into his home. We understand this biblical truth as Jesus draws near to his death looking down from the cross. “When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home” (Jn. 19:26-27). According to Tradition, this home that Mary and John shared is believed to be in Ephesus, Turkey. In addition, the Catechism says that “called in the Gospels ‘the mother of Jesus,’ Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as “the mother of my Lord” (Lk. 1:43; Jn. 2:1, 19:25; Mt. 13:55). In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father’s eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly “Mother of God” (Theotokos) (#495).

Mary is truly “Mother of God” since she is the mother of the eternal Son of God made man, who is God himself” (Catechism 509). May we honor Mary, the Theotokos on this solemnity of the new year that just as she was Jesus’ mother, the Mother of God, she may be our spiritual mother who intercedes for us and ever leads us to closer to her son, Jesus Christ. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at hour of death. Amen.

– Fr. Jeff

Emmanuel Doesn’t Go Away

By: Sr. Gloria

We are in the Twelve Days of Christmas, which extends the Christmas season into the great feast of Epiphany. We heard the beautiful word EMMANUEL throughout Advent, and associate it especially with that season. However, we recall that it means: GOD WITH US. So it follows…. God doesn’t go away.

We would share with you a few phrases for reflection. They are not to be read and scanned quickly. We suggest that you take a line, then stop, and pray about it.

We start with a quote by Henri Nouwen: “In a world so torn apart by rivaly, anger and hatred, we have the privileged vocation to be living signs of a love that can bridge all divisions and heal all wounds.”

Henri Nouwen also said, “For Jesus, there are no countries to be conquered, no ideologies to be imposed, no people to be dominated. There are only children, women and men to be loved.”

The spiritual writer Richard Rohr has some rich one-liners. When you stop and reflect, you discover that they keep getting deeper and richer…..

“God is another word for everything.”

“We share life in our God who is endless love.”

“Love is caught more than it is taught.”

“Death is not a changing of worlds as most imagine, as much as the walls of the world infinitely expanding.”

“The most courageous thing we will ever do is to bear humbly the full mystery of our own humanity and divinity, operating as one.”

Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us, and we change things.”

Mother Teresa continues, “We think that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”

We conclude with quotes by unknown wisdom persons.

“We are drowning in information while starving for wisdom”

“What can I do today to be more attentive to God’s presence in my life?”

Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School Euchre Tournament

Happy New YearThe Cardinal Mooney Catholic staff, students and families would like to wish you a very Happy New Year! We are so grateful for the growth our community saw in 2016 and cannot wait to see what 2017 will bring.

deck of playing cardsAlso, we want to let everyone know that we will be hosting a euchre tournament on January 7th at 7:00pm at the Holy Cross activity center. We would love to have all of you come out and enjoy a great night of cards and conversation. And who knows, maybe even win some money! Please reserve a spot for the tournament by calling the school office at 810-765-8825.

Religious Formation News – December 25, 2016

ornamentsMerry, Merry Christmas to our faith formation families and to all of you!!!

Go Tell It On The Mountain! Joy To The World! O Little Town of Bethlehem! What Child Is This! O Holy Night! O Come All Ye Faithful!

  • We ended our formation sessions for the kids and families for the Christmas break on December 14th with a beautiful sing a long provided by our very own talented Cliff Erickson!He does a great job of mixing secular and Holy and getting everyone involved (even Fr. Jeff and Fr. Sal 🙂 )!! Thank you Cliff for giving of your valuable time for the families of our parish!The songs listed above and many others are classics for the ages! I believe that I know most of the verses for each of them (of course I heard them every day at Mass at Catholic school) but something that troubled me during the sing was that while the kids could sing every word to Frosty the Snowman and Here comes Santa Claus they had trouble singing the words to the Christmas hymns. Even the first verse! With some of the 6th and 7th graders admitting that they did not know them.So here is my plea to our parents and guardians! PLEASE expose the kids to these wonderful songs about Jesus’ birth! Haul out the old CD’s or download them to your devices and PLAY them throughout the Christmas season! Songs, well listened to, stay in our heads till our deaths some returning after many years of not hearing them to our memories as we age! Thank you!

nativity scene

  • Remember too that Christmas lasts for 12 days (or so) and STARTS on Christmas day!
    Leave up those trees! Continue to play Christmas Carols! Look at all the wonderful Saints who celebrate feast days during the days of Christmas December 26th (St. Stephen) through January 9th (which is the Baptism of the Lord) they include the likes of The Holy Family (Dec 30th), Mary the Mother of God (Jan 1) Basil & Gregory (Jan 2), St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (Jan 4) to name a few and this year ends on January 9th when we celebrate Jesus Baptism!! Epiphany is celebrated on the 8th!!For too long we have celebrated the season beginning before Thanksgiving and ending almost at the stroke of midnight Christmas day! Not so in the Catholic faith! Let’s bask in his birth for a bit longer! Lent will be here soon enough! 🙂

God bless you all with a beautiful Christmas celebration!
Happy Birthday Jesus!
Karen Clor – DRE 810-985-9069

New Year’s Mass Schedule 2017

Solemnity of Mary Mother of God

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
New Years’ Eve
Saturday, December 31st, 2016

4pm at St. Stephen

New Year’s Day
Sunday, January 1st, 2017

9am at St. Stephen
11am at St. Joseph
(No 7:30 am Mass)

Thank you from St. Anne’s Altar Society

ginger bread cookieThanks to all who donated and bought the cookies at the recent Cookie Sale, St. Anne’s made $623.00.

Due to your generosity, St. Anne’s was able to purchase new prayer cards and new pyx for the churches.

Also, we were happy to share a delicious lunch and fun game with approximately 60 people at our annual Christmas Party.

Thank you again for your support.

Christian Service Food Baskets 2016

‘For I was hungry and you gave me food…in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me’ (Mt25:35,40)

The Christian Service Commission would like to express its heartfelt gratitude and thanks for your generous donations for our Christmas Food Baskets. This year we prepared 55 baskets, which went to over 185 needy persons of our community. Whether you donated food, money, regifting items or your time we thank you for your continued support with this project. We wish you all a very Blessed Christmas.

Parish Offices Closed 12/23/16 to 1/2/17

closed for the holidays signStarting Friday, December 23, 2016, the Parish offices will be closed until Monday, January 2, 2017. Staff will be in periodically to check messages.

The staff of Holy Trinity Parish wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with many blessings!

Lay Apostle Prayer Group

A quote from the “Heaven Speaks to Those Who Do No Know Jesus” booklet.
Jesus – “If you read these words and sit in silence, you will begin to know Me. If you begin to know Me, truly, you will begin to love Me. Forget anything that tempts you to move away from these words and graces. Rest. Be with Me. Allow Me to teach you about Myself.”

Join us praying the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary each first Thursday of the month in the St. Stephen’s Chapel. We meet next on January 5th, 2017 at 6:30pm. Help yourselves to the books and booklets in the back of each worship site.

Port Huron Housing Commission

The Port Huron Housing Commission is experiencing an extremely low waiting list for their senior apartments that house seniors 62 years of age and older. The wait time for a Studio apartment is less than 3 months, One bedroom apartments are less than 6 months and two bedrooms are immediate. Seniors 62 and older can have a maximum income of $37,450 for one person, $42,800 for a two person family and $48,150 for a three person family to qualify for our Public Housing program. The rent amounts are based on 30% of the family income, less approved deductions, but cannot be more than $426.00 per month for a studio, $527.00 for a one bedroom and $691.00 for a two bedroom apartment. The Port Huron Housing Commission operates two senior sites with 206 apartments, Desmond and Peru Villages, both located in the downtown district within walking distance to the Council on Aging. Anyone interested in applying may do so at their office located at 905 7th Street, Port Huron, Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.