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This is the 94th anniversary of the birth of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Our nation will celebrate the legacy of Dr. King tomorrow with its annual Day of Service which is a fitting way to honor him. And so, we pray using his words from “A Time to Break Silence”, 4 April 1967.

         “Ever present God, you called us to be in relationship with one another and promised to dwell wherever two or three are gathered. In our community, we are many different people; we come from many different places, have many different cultures. Open our hearts that we may be bold in finding the riches of inclusion and the treasures of diversity among us. We pray in faith.”

         On Friday the annual March for Life will be conducted in Washington. With the June 2022 decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court case the tone of the March for Life has shifted. Previously we marched with the resolve to right a wrong. Now we march with the resolve to safeguard and to promote the beauty and dignity of all human life. Please continue to pray for the dignity of all human life from conception to natural death. We entrust those who are expecting under the patronage of St. Gerard. Also, thank you for your generous support of the many programs in our Archdiocese that assist women emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually as they carry their child to full term. Prayers also for all who work in the OB/GYN field.

         On Wednesday our parish Envisioning Team, the second phase of the Next Generation Parish initiative, will have its first meeting. Please keep the work of the Envisioning Team in your prayers.

         Wednesday of this week is also the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Originally, in 1908 when this week was first conceived, the week was known as The Church Unity Octave. An octave is an eight-day celebration that is bookended by significant dates on the first and eighth days. The Church Unity Octave was bookended by the Feast of St. Peter – originally celebrated on the 18th of January, and the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul on the 25th. The theme of this year’s Week of Prayer – “Do good, seek justice”- is derived from the First Chapter of the Prophet Isaiah.

         “Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil; learn to do good. Make justice your aim; redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow. Come now, let us set things right, says the Lord: Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool.” Isaiah 1:16-18

         The following passages from Sacred Scripture are recommended for your reflection and enrichment during this Octave of Prayer.

         Wednesday, 18 January – Luke 10:25-36

         Thursday, 19 January – Proverbs 21:13-15 / Matthew 23:23-25

         Friday, 20 January – Micah 6:6-8 / Mark 10:17-31

         Saturday, 21 January – Ecclesiastes 4:1-5 / Matthew 5:1-8

         Sunday, 22 January – Psalm 137:1-4 / Luke 23:27-31

         Monday, 23 January – Ezekiel 34:15-20 / Matthew 25:31-40

         Tuesday, 24 January – Job 5:11-16 / Luke 1:46-55

         Wednesday, 25 January – Psalm 82:1-4 / Luke 18:1-8

Have a blessed week! Peace abundantly – Fr. Joe

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