E-Newsletter for
January 20, 2023
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Dear Friends,

The month of January is dedicated to the Most Holy Name of Jesus, typically celebrated on January 3rd of each year. Originally, this feast was granted to the Franciscans in the mid-16th century and was celebrated in mid-January. The Dominicans picked it up as well during that time and it became a popular celebration throughout the whole Church. In 1913, Pope St. Pius X moved it to its current date of January 3rd and it has remained there ever since. The Gospel reading of the day recalls when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised and it was then he was given His name - Jesus, the name given to Him by the angel, before He was conceived in the womb.

What is in a name? A name is defined as a 'set of words by which a person, place, thing, or animal is known.' In that sense, a name gives a person an identity. Many parents today give names to their children that have very specific meanings that are special, that means something to the family. A person's name, and the meaning of that name speaks to their identity, as to who they are not just externally but internally as well. Do you know what the name 'Jesus' means? It means 'God Saves.' Jesus' name speaks to His identity. It speaks to His purpose for being among us as a human being. His name speaks to His mission of salvation.

The Second Commandment teaches us that 'thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain.' "In vain" - meaning carelessly, recklessly, uselessly. Unfortunately, in today's culture, this is precisely what I hear so often from the mouths of individuals. We tend to kick around the Name of God like a soccer ball - carelessly, uselessly. As such, it is a manifestation of a lack of love, a lack of respect for God - for who He is and His mission. We need to remember to always speak God's name, the name of Jesus, out of reverence, respect and love for Him and the purpose for which He came among us - to save us. To speak His name in this way shows not only our love for Him but also shows our desire for His mission - that of the salvation of souls - to come to fruition in you and in me.

Perhaps, a simple antidote will help us in this challenge to revere the Lord's name with greater intentionality in this new year. Each time you enter the church, dip your fingers in the holy water, make the sign of the cross and then make a small cross over your lips as well. It's a small gesture that reminds us to always speak in ways that edify and encourage. It could possibly have a great impact on your faith and love for God - for His Holy Name. As the prayer, the Divine Praises puts it so profoundly: Blessed be His Holy Name.
God bless you and Happy New Year!

Fr. Jon

News & Events

Please watch here for news and events, and join us for good Catholic community!

No Greater Love: A movie on the life and legacy of St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta.

Join Fr Ballou and Fr Reardon for the viewing of this movie on the life of this great saint! January 22, 2023, 2pm at St. Catherine's Parish on Parker St and on January 29, 2023 at 2pm at Holy Name in the social center.

A Eucharistic Holy Hour for Vocations

will be held on Tuesday February 21, 2023 from 5pm-6pm in the church. All are welcome to come and pray for vocations.

The Eucharistic Congress

is now accepting registrations! You are invited to come learn more about the Eucharist and deepen your love for the gift of Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Come experience amazing speakers, a display of Eucharistic miracles, fellow Catholics from around the diocese, a full convention center of all things Catholic with Catholic ministries and materials, as well as Eucharistic Adoration and Mass with Bishop Byrne. There is a children's program available for children ages 4 - 12.

The Eucharistic Conference, March 4, 2023, at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Go to catholiclifeconference.org to register.
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