Feast Day Quote

Hail Mary, Mother of God, Crowned Treasure of all the Universe, Star without Decline, Crown of Virginity, Sceptre of the True Faith, Indestructible Temple, Dwelling of the Incommensurable, Mother and Virgin. We salute you because you are called Blessed in the Holy Gospel and you come in the name of the Lord. 

We salute you, Mother of God, because you contained in your virginal womb what Heaven could not contain. Through you, in whom Heaven rejoices, the Holy Trinity is glorified and worshipped in every land.

Saint Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444)

Mary, Mother of God

Growing up it wasn’t so much that I had a hard time relating to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as much as she wasn’t even in the picture.
I grew up in an ecumenical home. My mother was Methodist; although she has since become Catholic, and my three sisters left the Catholic Church shortly after Vatican II, although two of them have since returned to the Church. Perhaps as a result of this, we weren’t a very devotional family. Oh, we were very Christian, to be sure, and my father and brother were very proud of being Catholic, but I never grew up praying the rosary, or other basic (and essential) Catholic prayers. In fact, when I went to the seminary at the age of 25 I still didn’t even know how to pray the rosary. I’d never prayed it in my life. I had lots of beads, but didn’t know what to do with them! I used to dread being called upon to lead it, because I didn’t know what do. Although I wasn’t quite as bad as a friend of mine who when told some people were going to pray the rosary, came out wearing it around his neck, thinking that’s what you did!

I would guess a fair number of Catholics have grown up as I did, especially since Vatican II, with a very impoverished view of Mary. But today’s feast once again thrusts her before our eyes and our minds and means to teach us again about this remarkable woman.

What exactly is the big deal about Mary? Why all the hymns, why the statues, why the prayers? Well, quite simply, because Mary is the greatest human person who has ever lived (Jesus, remember, is a divine Person with a fully human nature). No one has ever done in the history of the world anything that can remotely compare to what Mary has done. Why? Because Mary has opened up the way for every person to receive forgiveness and mercy and to be freed once and for all from the sting and tyranny of death. All of this possible for me and for you because of her complete surrender to God, because of her obedient “Yes!” to the archangel Gabriel, or rather, to God through the archangel. Because of this surrender and this “Yes!” she became the mother of Jesus and salvation and eternal life has been made possible for all people, of all time. No king, no queen, no general, no president, no athlete, has ever done or ever will do anything as important.

For this reason we honor Mary. Note well: we do not worship her as Catholics, though some of our Protestant brothers and sisters are often confused on this. We worship God alone, not His creatures, and Mary is a creature. But we do honor and venerate His creatures. And so for the same reason that we keep photos of loved ones on our mantle or nightstand or desk at work, we keep images or statues of Mary in our Church or our home: to remember her and give thanks to God for the blessings we’ve received through her.

January 1st is a time of year when most of us try to come up with some resolutions for the year just beginning. For some it might be to get in a little better shape, maybe to exercise more and eat less. For some it might be a time to resolve to watch less TV and do more
reading. For some it might be a time to resolve to spend more time with our children or grandchildren, mindful that the years are passing by.

As we all ponder what it is we’re gong to do in the year ahead, allow me to offer a suggestion that I sincerely think the Lord is asking each of us here at St. Anastasia’s to do in this new year. For the past number of days now I’ve heard over and over again in my prayer for us as a parish family Jesus asking me to ask all of you to pray the rosary every day in 2006. There is such a hunger in us for meditation and reflection; we’re surrounded and bombarded by so much noise in our daily lives. And here is one way to be still and to find time to reflect and to pray.

Now the rosary is a difficult prayer for some of us, I know it was and still can be for me. I still find it difficult to pray it in a community out loud. I usually pray it in the car. But more and more in the past number of years, and increasingly so in the past few months, I have found it to be one of the most important prayers of my day and the most powerful prayer I know of to intercede for all of the intentions that I carry in my heart. As our fingers roll across these beads we recall again and again the mysteries of Jesus’ life and the wondrous things that God in His love has done for us. And we recall as well the wonderful gift of Mary – His mother and ours, the perfect disciple and our model, who is even now praying for each of us by name before God the Father.

Through her prayers may this new year be truly blessed with greater faith and trust in God, and may we grow more and more each day in our family resemblance to her, our Mother.

- Fr. John Riccardo
Pastor, St. Anastasia Church, Troy, MI
Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God
January 1, 2006

Our Lady of Medjugorje

April 25, 2006 "Dear children! Also today I call you to have more trust in me and my Son. He has conquered by His death and resurrection and, through me, calls you to be a part of His joy. You do not see God, little children, but if you pray you will feel His nearness. I am with you and intercede before God for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call."

(no subject)

I am doing an oil painting of Mary.

Tell me about her. Who is she to you, how does she feel? What are the things that you love most about her and her story? What colours do you associate with her, what emotions or words?

Happy Easter :]

(no subject)

Message of February 25, 2006

“Dear children! In this Lenten time of grace, I call you to open your hearts to the gifts that God desires to give you. Do not be closed, but with prayer and renunciation say ‘yes’ to God and He will give to you in abundance. As in springtime the earth opens to the seed and yields a hundredfold, so also your heavenly Father will give to you in abundance. I am with you and love you, little children, with a tender love. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

new member introduction

Hello, my name is Mandy and i'm 17. I go to Ste. Marie's parish in Manchester, NH and also attend St. Patrick's Parish in Manchester on Saturday's. I'm a lector and EM (Eucharistic Minister) and hope to soon be in the Contemporary Music Ministry. I'm a member of the Community of Living Water prayer group and love every minute of it. I love the whole aspect of being charasmatic, alot of people associate charasmatics as the ones that have their hands in the air and clap with the music, or speak in tounges, it's true but i think it goes deeper than that. Anyone local in this group or anyone in the group that is also an EM, lector or involved in music ministry at their parishes? Either write back to this message or if you'd like you can e mail me at CFCcritiques@comcast.net

  • Current Music
    Praise & Worship station

Our Lady of Medjugorje

Message of December 25, 2005

"Dear children! Also today, in my arms I bring you little Jesus, the King of Peace, to bless you with His peace. Little children, in a special way today I call you to be my carriers of peace in this peaceless world. God will bless you. Little children, do not forget that I am your mother. I bless you all with a special blessing, with little Jesus in my arms. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Our Lady of Medjugorje

Message of November 25, 2005

“Dear children! Also today I call you to pray, pray, pray until prayer becomes life for you. Little children, at this time, in a special way, I pray before God to give you the gift of faith. Only in faith will you discover the joy of the gift of life that God has given you. Your heart will be joyful thinking of eternity. I am with you and love you with a tender love. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
  • Current Music
    The First Noel by Nsync (yes, i'm a dork!!)

Our Lady of Medjugorje

Message of October 25, 2005

“Little children, believe, pray and love, and God will be near you. He will give you the gift of all the graces you seek from Him. I am a gift to you, because, from day to day, God permits me to be with you and to love each of you with immeasurable love. Therefore, little children, in prayer and humility, open your hearts and be witnesses of my presence. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
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    peaceful peaceful