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Encounter the Peace of Christ During the Season of Lent

This Lent, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati will once again engage in the initiative, "The Light Is On For You". On Tuesday, March 24th from 7:00pm – 9:00pm, most Catholic parishes/pastoral regions will open their doors and provide the opportunity for private confession. (To take place at St. Mary, Bethel.)

 

If you have been reluctant to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, have been away from the Church for some time, or just find it difficult to get to a regularly scheduled confession time or communal penance service, this is your chance to experience the reconciling peace of Christ through the grace of the Sacrament. No stress, just peace! 

 

Invite a Friend or Family Member to Encounter the Peace of Christ

 

Do you know someone who stopped coming to Mass or is experiencing doubt in their lives? Invite them to participate in "The Light Is On For You" on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 from 7:00pm – 9:00pm at St. Mary's. Invite them to experience the peace of Christ through quiet prayer and through the grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

 

Repent and sin no more… experience Christ’s peace!

 

Priests throughout the Archdiocese will hear private confessions and churches will be open for quiet reflection and prayer. Consider making a commitment this Lent to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation and receive the healing grace of God’s forgiveness and love. 

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A Guide for Confession

Returning to the Sacrament of Confession after being away for awhile can cause us to be anxious. However, you need not be afraid. It is our hope that this guide will help remove some of that fear and give you encouragement to receive Jesus’ forgiveness in this great sacrament. Keep in mind that during your confession, if you need help – especially if you have been away for some time – simply ask the priest and he will help you by "walking" you through the confession.

The basic requirement for a good confession is to have the intention of returning to God like the "prodigal son" and to acknowledge our sins with true sorrow before the priest.

Sin in my Life

In some ways, modern society has lost a sense of sin. As a Catholic follower of Christ, I must make an effort to recognize sin in my daily thoughts, actions, words and omissions. We are all sinners, but Jesusloves sinners. As He said, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” So, we need not be afraid to recognize and admit our sin.

The Gospels show how deeply Jesus wishes to forgive us and how important is the forgiveness of our sins. Lives of saints prove that the person who grows in holiness has a stronger sense of sin, sorrow for sins, and a need for the Sacrament of Penance or Confession.

The Differences in Sins

As a result of Original Sin, human nature is weakened. Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ's grace, takes away Original Sin, and turns us back toward God. The consequences of this weakness and the inclination to evil persist, and we often commit personal or actual sin.

Actual sin is sin which people commit. There are two kinds of actual sin, mortal and venial.

Mortal sin is a deadly offense against God, so serious that it destroys the life of grace in the soul. Three simultaneous conditions must be fulfilled for a mortal sin: 1) the act must be something very serious; 2) the person must have sufficient understanding of what is being done; 3) the person must have sufficient freedom of the will.

Before Confession

Be truly sorry for your sins. The essential act of Penance, on the part of the penitent, is contrition, a clear and decisive rejection of the sin committed, together with a resolution not to commit it again, out of the love one has for God. The resolution to avoid committing these sins in the future (amendment) is a sure sign that your sorrow is genuine and authentic. This does not mean that a promise never to fall again into sin is necessary. A resolution to try to avoid the near occasions of sin suffices for true repentance. God's grace in cooperation with the intention to rectify your life will give you the strength to make progress in resisting and overcoming temptation in the future.

Examination of Conscience

Before going to Confession you should make a review of mortal and venial sins since your last sacramental confession, and should express sorrow for sins and a firm resolution not to sin again. Here is an examination of conscience to help you review your life. It is based is on the Commandments of God:

  1. I am Lord your God; you shall not have strange gods before me.

    Have I loved God with my whole heart and soul? Do I pray to God daily? Have God and the pursuit of sanctity in Christ been the goal of my life? Have I denied my faith? Have I lost trust in God’s forgiveness and goodness to me?Did I despair of God’s mercy? Have I placed my trust in false teachings or substitutes for God? Have I rejected any teaching of the Catholic Church?

  2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

    Have I used God's name profanely in my speech? Is my speech unbecoming of a Christian person?

  3. You shall keep holy the Lord’s Day.

    Have I honored every Sunday by avoiding unnecessary work and going to Mass, including Holy Days of Obligation? Do I observe the one-hour fast before Holy Communion? Have I received Jesus in the Eucharist with serious sin on my soul?

  1. You shall honor your father and mother.

    Do I give due honor to my parents? Have I shown Christ-like respect to my spouse, family members and legitimate authorities? Am I patient with my family members and do I forgive them? Have I been attentive to the religious education and formation of my children?

  2. You shall not kill.

    Has my anger harmed others? Have I shown sacred respect for human life, especially to the innocent? Have I treated my body and others as a temple of the Holy Spirit? Have I violated God’s gift of fertility by an act of sterilization, suchas a vasectomy or tubal ligation? Did I abuse drugs or alcohol? Have I supported in any way abortion or "mercy killing"? Have I attempted suicide? Have I wished ill on another?

  3. You shall not commit adultery.

    Do I show appreciation and gratitude for my spouse? Have I been faithful to my spouse in my heart and in my relations with others? Have I been chaste in thought and word? Have I used any form of artificial contraception? Have I engaged in sexual activity outside of marriage? Have I viewed pornography? Have I committed impure acts by myself? Did I deliberately look at impure TV, pictures, reading? Have I married or advised another to marry outside the Church?

  4. You shall not steal.

    Have I stolen anything from another, from my employer, from the government? If so, am I ready to repay it? Have I been lazy in my work? Have I paid my employees a just wage? Did I fulfill my contracts? Have I vandalized ordestroyed another’s property? Did I rashly gamble, depriving my family of necessities? Have I contributed to the support of the Church and the poor and needy by giving a fair share of my time, talent and finances?

  5. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

    Have I lied? Have I gossiped? Have I cheated? Have I destroyed or defamed someone’s name or reputation? Have I discriminated against others because of race or other reasons? Have I spoken ill of any other person? Have I rashly judged others? Have I kept appropriate secrets and confidences?

  6. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.

    Do I respect the sacredness of marriage by respecting another’s spouse? Am I a jealous person?

  7. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

    Am I envious of the abilities, gifts or possessions of others? Am I materialistic? Am I greedy or selfish with thisworld’s goods? Am I grateful for who I am and what I have?

During Confession

After examining your conscience and telling God of your sorrow, go into the confessional. You may kneel at the screen or sit to talk face-to-face with the priest. Do not be afraid.

Begin your confession with the sign of the cross, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. My last confession was _________ weeks (months, years) ago."

The priest may read a passage from holy Scripture.

Say the sins that you remember. Start with the one(s) that is most difficult to say. In order to make a good confession the faithful must confess all mortal sins. After confessing all the sins you remember since your last good confession, you may conclude by saying, "I am sorry for these and all the sins of my past life."

Listen to the words of the priest. He will assign you some penance. When invited, express some prayer of sorrow or Act of Contrition such as:
An Act of Contrition
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because I have offended you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.

At the End of Confession

Listen to the words of absolution; it is Jesus’ forgiveness to you through His priest. As you listen to the words of forgiveness, believe that you are forgiven and make the sign of the cross with the priest.

After Confession

Give thanks to God for forgiving you. Do your assigned Penance.

Finally be resolved to return to the Sacrament of Reconciliation often. We Catholics are fortunate to have the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is the ordinary way for us to have our sins forgiven. This sacrament is a powerful help to get rid of our weaknesses, grow in holiness, and lead a balanced and virtuous life.

 

 

 

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Eucharistic Adoration

Eucharistic Adoration is available at the following times:

Mondays at St. Peter's …. Confession and Adoration 6 - 7:00 PM.

Wednesdays at St. Mary's 6:30 PM - 8:OO PM

First Fridays at St. Peter's 8:00 AM

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ARE YOU READY TO DO YOUR TAXES? 

DO YOU NEED YOUR CONTRIBUTION STATEMENT? 
If you are looking for yours, please contact Debbie in the Parish Office to request a copy of your 2019 donations to the Parish. She can put a hard paper copy in the mail to you. They can not be emailed. Thank you for all you have given in 2019 and God Bless you for your continued Stewardship of “Treasure” to your parish in 2020 

 

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On Wednesday, February 26, 2020, Lent begins with Ash Wednesday. It marks 40 days before the celebration of Easter. Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Season is a time for contemplating one's transgressions.

 

Ash Wednesday Mass Times

8:30 AM St. Peter's

Noon St. Mary's

7:00 PM Both Parishes

 

 

According to the Catholic law of abstinence, every person 14 years of age or older must abstain from meat (and items made with meat) on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all the Fridays of Lent. Every person between the age of 18 and 59 (beginning of 60th year) must fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. 

 

Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ's sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities.

 

Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from palm branches blessed on the previous year's Palm Sunday, and placing them on the heads of participants. For the reception of ashes, the priest says, "Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return" or "Repent and believe in the Gospel."

 

 

 

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The CMA is our opportunity each year to support the work of six vital ministries all of which serve thousands of people in our archdiocese. Please prayerfully consider supporting this year’s CMA. Your help is needed as we stand Together for the Faith of the Gospel.

Our parish goals are $8,616 for St. Peter’s and $10,251 for St. Mary’s.  If a parish exceeds its goal for the CMA, 50% of our overage comes back to the parish to be used toward its own needs.  This year, any rebate will go to the parish capital fund (facilities needs).   Pledge cards have been distributed at all Masses on the weekend of January 25/26th.  If you would like a pledge card, please contact the parish office or donate online.  For more information or to donate, please visit CatholicAppeal.info

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Join St. Mary's (4:30pm - 7:30pm) or St. Peters (5:00pm - 7:30pm) for our Fish Fridays! Come enjoy some awesome food! You can eat in or carry out a great meal that won't break the bank! (St. Mary's prices are the same again this year!!!) Click Here For St. Mary's Menu

Both churches offer fried or baked fish, French fries or baked potatoes. St. Mary's continues with Split-The-Pot for those who would like to participate. Of course, both parishes have a great number of mouth watering desserts to choose from. 

The dinners are available every Friday through Lent that include 2/28, 3/6, 3/13, 3/20, 3/27, and 4/3. We hope you'll join us!