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Pope Francis proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy beginning on December 8, 2015.Pope Francis proclaimed a Year of Mercy beginning on December 8, 2015, which is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This special year began on this day because “…the liturgical feast day recalls God’s action from the very beginning of the history of mankind…” The Jubilee of Mercy will close on the Solemnity of Christ the King, November 20, 2016.

 Catholic Family Land in Bloomingdale, Ohio is a family retreat center run by the Apostolate for Family Consecration.

If I told you there was a place where you could go during the summer to grow mentally, morally, and physically -- all while playing your favorite sport, meeting new friends, and growing stronger in your faith – you’d think I’m crazy. The crazy thing is, there actually is such a place, and it’s in Bloomingdale, Ohio.

Queen Esther with friends at a reception after a special Mass celebrating her 100th birthday.Earlier this year, in January, a Birthday Mass was celebrated for Miss Esther Ellspermann, a parishioner at Saint Wenceslaus Church in Saint Louis, Missouri, who is 100 years young. In just a couple of months, she will be 101! Affectionately known as Queen Esther and loved by all, she recently shared with us some details about her fascinating life. 

The Nazareth House Resale Shop in Seguin, Texas features inexpensive clothes for children.
There is a new store in town, and parishioners at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Seguin, Texas see it every time they go to Mass, as well as anyone who travels on Guadalupe Street.

This is a photograph of Father Peter in the chapel of Saint Wenceslaus Parish in Saint Louis, Missouri.Father Peter Praseyto, M.S.F. is a priest of the Missionaries of the Holy Family from the Java Province of Indonesia. He arrived in Saint Louis, Missouri on December 10, 2014 to learn English and serve in the North American Province. He graciously answered some questions about his fascinating life. Where were you born? I was born on March 14, 1980 in the city of Sukoharjo, in the Central Java Province of Indonesia. I was ordained as a Priest of Jesus Christ on July 15, 2008 by Bishop Ignatius Suharyo (now archbishop) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

In this painting by the British artist Joshua Mann, 1849-1884, two angels keep watch over a sleeping child.At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck...

The deeper purpose of fasting is to connect with our deeper hunger for goodness and truth, and ultimately for God.“Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Tempted to leave Mass early? Just remember, Judas was the only one to leave the Last Supper early.21 When Jesus had thus spoken, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was lying close to the breast of Jesus; 24 so Simon Peter beckoned to him and said, “Tell us who it is of whom he speaks.”

Deacon Cayetano "Sandy" Morales serves the People of God at Holy Family Church in New Braunfels, Texas.My name is Deacon Cayetano (Sandy) Morales. I was born January 29, 1939 in New Braunfels, Texas to Librado Morales and Refugia Treviño Morales, into a family of seven sisters and five brothers. I was raised in a very caring and compassionate family, and my mom taught us the Rosary, which we prayed every day. My education began in the parish school at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, where I learned my prayers in Spanish from a religious sister who lived on the parish campus.

Silhouette of a husband and wife kissing in front of a big Valentine Heart.

[Dear Dr. Ray, we are parents with teenage children. We have known each other for years; we love each other, we are comfortable with each other, but there is little affection. Is this normal?  – Something is Missing] Of course, lack of affection typically reflects the relationship’s overall temperature. As the atmosphere cools, affection slips into hibernation. Then again, sometimes a marriage isn’t all that cold. Affection, like compliments, chills from lack of effort.