The Pastor's Column


Fr. Lara's Lines


The Most Holy Trinity

Baptism and the Profession of Faith
Baptisms are popular during the Easter season and summer months. A couple weeks ago I celebrated the Sacrament of Baptism for a family’s child. They were excited because their baby was going to be welcomed into the family of the Church. They were well prepared for the ceremony and the celebration after. The parents and godparents knew how important this sacrament is for the child. During the Rite of Baptism, parents and godparents are asked to state their request to have the child baptized: “Dear parents and godparents: you have come here to present this child for baptism. By water and the Holy Spirit, this child is to receive the gift of new life from God, who is love… If your faith makes you ready to accept this responsibility, renew now the vows of your own baptism. Reject sin and profess your faith in Jesus Christ.” Immediately after this invitation the parents and godparents renew their baptismal promises and profess their faith on behalf of the child.

During the Sacrament of Baptism, the profession of faith is done in question form. Do you believe in God the Father? Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Do you believe in the Holy Spirit? Do you believe in the holy Catholic Church? We profess these same beliefs every Sunday when we recite the Creed. The Creed reminds us of the fundamental doctrines of the Church. This faith is gifted to us in baptism when we are baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. The dogmas of our faith professed in baptism refer to our belief in one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Most Holy Trinity
Since our baptism, we have embraced the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. This dogma of our faith cannot be understood, but we accept it because God has revealed it to us through the Scriptures. Even if it is not possible to understand it with our human intellect, we can come close to it through images and metaphors. The doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity is not an idea to be believed in but a reality to be embraced. We experience the goodness of God the Father in his creation, we feel the love of Jesus through others, and we are strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit to continue our journey of faith. To profess our belief in the Holy Trinity during the creed is to enter into communion with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

While the word trinity is not in the scriptures, there are countless references to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus himself refers to the Father: No one comes to the Father except through me; the Father and I are one; Father, into your hands I commend my spirit. Jesus also talks about the Holy Spirit: If I do not go, the Holy Spirit will not come; he breathed on them and said, receive the Holy Spirit. And the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are present when Jesus is baptized by John. “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, this is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Mt 3: 16-17). In order to articulate the doctrine of the Trinity, the church has used terminology that will help us understand the relation between the three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Trinity is one, but three different persons. We do not confess three Gods but one God in three persons. Each divine person is God in its entirety, although they all share the same nature. The divine persons are distinct from one another. The Father is the one who creates, the Son saves, and the Holy Spirit sanctifies. There are also distinctions in their relationship since the Fathers generates, the Son is begotten, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. St. Gregory Nazianzus talked about the Trinity as the divinity without disparity of nature, the infinite co-naturality of three infinites. Each person considered in himself entirely God and the three considered together one God. The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith. God can make himself known to us by revealing himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We worship God in the Trinity without confusing the persons or dividing the substance. They are inseparable in what they are but each of them shows forth his unique mission as a distinct person.

Memorial Day
On Memorial Day, we remember the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our country. We enjoy the freedoms and the opportunities we have because of those brave men and women. We are grateful for all they have done for our nation and we thank all those who are currently serving in the military as well. Happy Memorial Day!

Peace
Fr. Lara

Recognize God in Your Oridinary Moments - By Colleen Jurkiewicz Dorman
Precious Things
I once wrote an article about a school that embraced the Reggio Emilia approach to education. This meant, in practice, a lot of fascinating things, and it was a fun piece to work on. But all these years later, I could not accurately describe the Reggio Emilia style of learning to anyone except to say this: They give the kids glass bowls and china plates.

That’s what stuck with me, and that’s what sticks out in my memory amidst the hundreds of intervening articles and interviews on other equally fascinating topics. I remember those glass bowls and cups lining the shelves, the fine china dishes, the beautiful shiny cutlery the children used for lunch.

This was a pre-school, and these students were three-year-olds. “If they drop a cup and it shatters, then they learn that glass can break. We clean it up,” the teacher said with a shrug. The idea was that a child will never learn to handle a fragile, precious thing and grow into an adult who can respect and cherish a fragile, precious thing if they are not sincerely trusted with a precious thing whose fragility they bear personal witness to.

The breaking, you see, was part of the education.

The disciples worshiped, but they doubted. And yet, Christ gave them the Great Commission anyway, something fragile and important, something that could be easily dropped and easily broken. Christ knew who they were, what they were. They were mere human beings, deeply imperfect, scared and hesitant, a little slow on the uptake. He knows that’s exactly what we are, too. But he gives us the Great Commission just as he gave it to them. Because the Faith is something perfectly beautiful, passed from one flawed person to another, throughout the ages—constantly dropped, constantly broken, and constantly, miraculously, pieced back together again.

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” — Matthew 28:19-20
©LPi


The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of May

For the Formation of Men and Women Religious and Seminarians
Let us pray that men and women religious and seminarians grow in their own vocational journeys through human, pastoral, spiritual, and community formation that leads them to be credible witnesses of the Gospel.

Honor Our Military

Please take time to give thanks for those who have served and are serving in our military and to pray for the safety of those who may currently be in harm’s way. In a special way, we thank and pray for these parishioners and relatives of parishioners.
Dear God,
We pray in gratitude for all of those who have defended peace, virtue, and justice with honor. We pray especially for those who have suffered in mind and body from the ravages of war. May Your peace reign in our hearts and in our world. Amen.

He Who Sacrificed His Life
†John A. Stonis, Grandson of John & Dorthy Stonis
†CHRISTOPHER ZIMNY

Those Still Serving
JAY MARTIN, Nephew of Becky and Tom Brennan
JESSICA CAMERON, Niece of the Cameron Family
JOHN PODCZASKI, Grandson of Genevieve Podczaski
STEVEN TUMBARELLO, Son of Sylvia & Vince Tumbarello
CRAIG BEHRENDT, Grand-nephew of Sister Mary Helen
DANIEL BELZER, Nephew of Dave & Bev Belzer
MICHAEL KELLY, Nephew of Kevin and Kathy Kelly
MATTHEW NEUBAUER, Nephew of Dan & Judy Neubauer
EUGENE WALL, Nephew of Suzanne Lessner
NAILL SWIDER, Grand-nephew of Alice Swider
BRYAN DUFF, Son of Julie Duff
RYAN BLOCHBERGER, Nephew of Mae Grady
TIMOTHY DWORKIN, Grandson of Barbara Bouska
ALEXIS GONZALES, Great-niece of Eden & Lyle Gonzales-Nemzin
JACK MAHON, JR., Son of Jack, Sr. & Eileen Mahon
MICHAEL FOLEY
JOHN FOLEY
PETER MULLER
DANIEL FRAYNA
JOSEPH GULLO
SANG HOON LEE
ANTHONY PALMERO
MORRIS COREY MCMAHON, Son of Chris & Julie McMahon
RYAN FONTILLAS
MICHAEL T. HEHN, Grandson of John & Dorthy Stonis

To add or remove someone, please send the person’s name and relationship (optional) to bulletin@stcatherinelaboure.com

Please Pray for Ukraine

For our sisters and brothers involved in or affected by the war and devastation in Ukraine-- the deceased, the injured, the frightened, the displaced, the fighters, the protesters, the leaders. May God give them solace, healing, comfort, and hearts and minds directed toward peace.
Donations can be made here:

Knights of Columbus: https://www.kofc.org/secure/en/donate/ukraine.html

Caritas: https://www.caritas.org/

Ukrainian Catholic Archdiocese of Philidelphia: https://ukrarcheparchy.us

"May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war" - Pope Francis


Neighbors of other Faiths
The Golden Rule

Excerpted from charterforcompassion.org/the-golden-rule-in-seven-major-religions
We may speak of great differences in religious beliefs and forms of worship around the world. Called by an endless number of names, all, however, recognize and worship a Supreme Being. And all religions, somewhere in their sacred literature, expound the fundamental philosophy of the Golden Rule.

Buddhism: Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.
~ Buddha, Undanavarga 5:18

Christianity: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that all men should do to you, do ye even so to them.
~ Matthew 7:12

Confucianism: What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
~ Confucius, Analects 15:23

Hinduism: Good people proceed while considering what is best for others is best for themselves.
~ Hitopadesa

Islamism: No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
~ Mohammed, Traditions

Judaism: And thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
~ Leviticus 19:18

Zoroastrianism: Whatever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others.
~ Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29